My first foray into board gaming conventions this year, Origins 2011, was a moderate success I'd say. I didn't know anyone (besides my partner) so I didn't spend too much time actually gaming. But I made some great purchases and saw some interesting previews of upcoming titles. One of the highlights was having the game Quebec from Montreal's Le Scorpion Masque explained to me by one of the designers Philippe Beaudoin. Only a prototype was available at the time but he was able to give me a decent overview of play and describe the fascinating scoring mechanic.
In short, Quebec is a strategy game about helping to build Quebec city over a few centuries by contributing workers to the various different buildings that players choose to build. The players need to work together to complete these buildings for points but at the same time they are also competing directly for majorities in the 5 spheres of influence. What looks really fun is that during scoring a player with a majority can cascade half their pieces to the next sphere of influence causing perhaps a ripple effect of points for someone who plays things right. It looks to be quite a deep but dynamic experience without too much chaos.
The ruleset is actually simpler than I expected and offers 3 levels of play to ease players into the full game with the historically accurate events which really bring Quebec City to life. It doesn't hurt that the graphics are gorgeous, too.
Who am I kidding? I can't resist a well-designed board game that presents a big old well-researched slice of Canadiana. Looking forward to it.