GenCon Day 2!
A list of all of all the awesome things that happened on day 2 of my GenCon experience:
1. Participating in the Carcassonne National Championships:
It's not like you had to do anything special to get to compete in this - in fact, there was at least one guy there who had never even played the game before - but it was fun and challenging none-the-less. I got off to a rough start, as I hadn't played the game in over a year, but I came back to win my second and third games, which is all the qualifying round was. Unfortunately, though I tied in wins with 3 others, I was the only one who didn't get to go on to the finals because my first game was so bad. Oh well!
2. Demoing Rise of Augustus:
I enjoyed this game a lot more than I expected, considering it is essentially glorified Bingo. It helps that it plays so fast. I don't mind extremely random games as long as I don't have to invest too much in them. I also demoed Blood Bound a little after this, but that was...not awesome.
3. Discovering the Rio Grande room:
I don't know if a lot publishers do this, but Rio Grande does it the best. They've got all their great games laid out on tables, and if you know how to play it, you can just sit down and play a game. If you don't, employees are more than happy to teach you. Plus they've got free food and drinks in the back of the room. It was like a beautiful oasis in the chaos of GenCon. I played a game of Dominion: Dark Ages and half a game Tzolk'in. And then made plans to return...
4. Demoing Mascarade:
I had heard about this game on the Shut Up & Sit Down
podcast, and it sounded perfect for that all-too-common situation at game night where 10 people are sitting around a table with no idea what to play. The mechanics are very simple and entertaining, and I picked it up directly after playing it. Good times!
5. Demoing FORGE WAR for 8 more people:
This session, again, seemed to go well at the first table (manned by my friend Steven) and went much less well at my table. I had two guys who who just kept messing with their smart phones while playing and I had to shout at them on occasion to get them to look up and make their move. Just totally not into it and the whole experience was like pulling teeth. The other two guys seemed to like it, though, so again it was a mixed experience. At this point I was starting to think that maybe just one demo table would have been a better idea.
6. Having a blast with a pick-up game of Mascarade:
I headed to the game library after my demo with the intention of trying out Mascarade with a large group of people. After some cajoling, Adrian and I got a 7-player game going and had a great time.
7. Experiencing the unique madness of Galaxy Trucker:
After Mascarade, we convinced one of the guys, Drunk Joe, to stick around, then found another guy willing to sit down and teach us Galaxy Trucker, which Adrian was really excited about. I had no idea what to expect with it, but I saw the words "Vlaada Chvatil" and got a little worried. Having had extended experience with Through the Ages and Mage Knight, I feared that Drunk Joe might not be up for learning a Vlaada Chvatil game. I couldn't have been more wrong. Galaxy Trucker is an experience unlike any other, but is surprisingly easy to pick up. You just have to build your ship in real time and then have it suffer through a series of unfortunate events, hoping to make the most money at the end of an expedition. Yeah, I said real time. You're frantically picking up tiles, looking for lasers and shields and boosters and crew cabins, trying to match up connectors and not leaving anything exposed. And then you just draw event cards and watch your ship get slowly torn apart by laser blasts and asteroids. I lost horribly in every single round and still had a good time.
Oh my, I just played too many great games. Stay tuned for part three, where Adrian I venture into the video game annex to compete in a Smash Bros. tournament. Exciting!
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