There were eight of us this week so two tables was the order of the day. My table of four started with OWACON (Old World And Code Of Nine). This is a new Japanese game from BakaFire, the designer of Tragedy Looper and, like that title, it is a very clever and fun game. In OWACON, you are automatons trying to carry out your programming after 100 years of being offline. However, you only possess two memories of the eight instructions in your program and each player has two different ones. Over four or five rounds, you are placing your three workers on a limited number of action spaces with more actions becoming available each round. Through your actions, you are trying to best fulfil the program through collecting (or avoiding) resources while also trying to look at or deduce what other players' memories might be. After the final round, all the memories are revealed and whoever collects the most points, from the combination of memories revealed, wins the game. It works really well, plays in less than an hour and has a real tension as some of the memories can have devastating effects like automatically eliminating someone from the game.
In our game, I had one such memory that eliminated all players with more than five more items than the player with the fewest items. Andrew managed to see that card during play but Nicky and Mark G were oblivious to it so were merrily collecting items for the points they expected to receive. But no, Andrew and I kept our items pretty low and the other two got taken out of the scoring straight away leaving just Andrew and me to duke it out for points. It ended up with me winning 12 points to 9. OWACON is a really fun and novel game and with each game using a random eight memory cards out of a possible 18 (or 28 in the Expert version), there is likely to be lots of replay value. Good stuff.