Balticon was fun, if odd. Friday night, I came in, saw people, ate dinner with peoples, changed, danced like a madman, went back to the room, and crashed. Saturday, I caught half of quadrivium's concert, did Patches' excellent Renn dance (where I ended up being her demo partner = fun), gamed most of the day (once I was awake), got a nice dinner with selki, drcpunk, and Pamela, gamed a bit more, stopped by some parties on the way to the filk room...and found that the filk had ended sometime before 2:30AM. So it goes. So I played a bit of Werewolf (annoyingly, a game soured because a player didn't realize they weren't a werewolf, the mod announced a werewolf innocent to the seer, and the mod didn't have the brains to -correct his mistake- before endgame was hit. So the seer looked at all three werewolves and lived to talk about it, yet the town "lost") and went to bed. Sunday, I gamed all day, had dinner with drcpunk, nancylebov, esrblog, and cathyr19355, and went directly to the filking -- so actually got a few good hours of filking in (even if I did torture Gwen's Like Their Feet Have Wings mercilessly; I'm not usually -that- bad on the words or even the chords; I think I brain was cramped [and I do try to sing songs with the words even when I know them, but my laptop was in for repair this weekend and I neglected to arrange a replacement for the con]). After filking broke up WAY TOO EARLY, I went over to the gaming room and got a few hours of Dominion and Race for the Galaxy in before bed.
Monday, I hung out in the gaming room for a bunch of hours. Where I was introduced to Colosseum. Which kicks ass.
Colosseum is a Wolfgang Kramer game -- and it shows. But while there are clear connections to Princes of Florence (eg, it's a art-themed financial game with the same style of auction, and a separate-but-related score track), I like it a lot better. For starters, it's a well-designed game with many of my favorite game elements -- development, trading, money management, auctions, as well as some other interesting ones (screw-the-leader, -aid- the leader (yes, both -- the leader gets a +3 on all further scores and has one of her pieces stolen from her in each of the four preparatory rounds), collections, and game win by best-score (which is why I refer to it as 4 preparatory rounds and one final round--as, unless you're playing badly, your score in the final round will dwarf your previous scores. For example, my round 4 score was 40 and my round 5 score was 85, and I won by 3 points).
I like it a lot, and have gone ahead and bought myself a copy (along with Le Havre, which is a bit long, but as the sequel to Agricola, I must own if nobody else in my friendship circle has it, and nobody does).