Con auction find a good filler game

So last week was about attending PrairieCon in Brandon where it was mentioned how much we enjoyed the auction as it was an opportunity to grab some games at a lower cost.

As mentioned in that article we are going to review a couple of the purchased games as we get them to the table.

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The first one to be played was supposed to be Zombicide, until we realized the previous owner had mixed the various sets and boxed them a bit differently than the core rule set studied, so realizing that would mean a bit more prep time, that game was set aside.

Instead out came Hex-A-Gon from Catalyst Game Labs.

Catalyst, it should be noted is best known for a rather expansive library of material for the Shadowrun role playing game, so Hex-A-Gon is a bit of a different game for them.

At its heart Hex-A-Gon is an abstract strategy game although as a straight two-player contest this one might be a tad simplistic and too repetitive to rate very highly.

But as a filler game for three, or four players, this one has some definite merit because it is simple to learn, has some skill, mixed with luck, (variant rules), and is quick as well.

The game is nice aesthetically, at least in terms of large, chunky, wooden pieces. The board doesn’t quite live up to the pieces, although is functional, with a wood grain look at least.

So set up is a breeze, place the 60 pieces on the board, leaving one space of the hexagonal board empty, anywhere but along the outer edge.

You are now ready to play.

“Every turn, a player chooses and moves any knight on the board, jumping over other adjacent knights in order to seize those knights. When a player seizes a knight, he immediately removes it from the game board and places it where he can count all seized knights at the end of the game,” details the rules.

There are some specifics in terms of how a move is made, but they are super simple, so no worries there.

The game ends when no further jumps can be made. Players count up the number of knights they seized during the game. The player with the highest number wins! If two or more players have the most number of knights, the game is a tie.

The real fun comes in the variants.

It should be noted this can be a game for one too.

When playing solitaire, all the standard rules for movement and seizing knights apply, and the rules for scoring are the same. In solitaire, the player simply attempts to achieve the highest score possible, with the fewest knights left on the game board. A perfect solitaire score would be 59 points; that is, 59 knights seized, with 1 knight left on the board.

The game also comes with 10 small coloured pieces that are used as ‘treasures’ in a number of the variants.

Ten knights have a hollow cavity in their base. During set-up, place the ten treasures in these cavities, and then randomly place those knights around the board so that no player knows where they’re located. When a knight is seized that also contains a treasure in its base, the player seizes the treasure as well. What the treasure does depends upon which of the expanded game play options are in use; players must determine which rules are in effect before the game begins.

One of the variants is All That Glitters...

Piles of Gold: In this version, all treasures provide bonus points at the end of the game in the following manner: green = +1, blue = +2, red = +3.

Nothing But Traps: In this version, all treasures generate negative points at the end of the game in the following manner: green = –1, blue = –2, red = –3.

Tricks and Treats: In this version, treasures provide bonus points or generate negative points at the end of the game in the following manner: green = –1, blue = –2, red = +3.

And there are a handful of other treasure related rule variants that keep Hex-A-Gon a quick, fun, filler style game, and since it was bought at auction for $10 it was a solid win on our part.

Thanks to fellow gamers Trevor Lyons and Adam Daniels for their help in running through this game for review.

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