After our first convention, I’m left to dream about the future of Solid Board Gamers. We had the unique opportunity to take part in ConBravo, taking up an 8 foot table covered in board games that con attendees could try out.
Neuroshima Hex! proved itself popular, seeing quite a bit of play, as well as King of Tokyo, Parade, Dominion, Ticket to Ride, Pandemic, Dixit Odyssey, Carcassonne, Cards Against Humanity, Apples to Apples, Small World , Jungle Speed, Blokus, Settlers of Catan, Munchkin and Shadow Hunters. All these games were opened up and taken for a spin.
I was impressed by the volunteers; they participated, and stuck around the tables, always willing to help teach people how to play. Big thank you to all of them, and to Patrick, a man from Pennsylvania who brought a bunch of board games (including Jungle Speed, the game that made me discover how twitchy I am) Also, big thank you to Jason and Jasmine, Nasir and Stephanie who were all with me, and especially Nasir, as he stayed the entire weekend, manning our table, and doing plenty of teaching.
Friday and Saturday were the two days that I got to participate, and they were some of the busiest and most fun board game experiences I’ve had. I probably only played through one or two games today, for the most part I spend my time teaching, and passing off my position in each game to someone else. (Dixit, Neuroshima Hex!, Settlers of Catan were all easy to walk away from; there was always someone who wanted to take my place!)
During the less busy times, I got to check out the Gifted Vision table, where the creator of Dungeon Crawler, Jey, was sitting. He was showing off some print and play maps, a prototype for a Rock Paper Scissors style dice game, and some cool looking Minis. He even gave us a copy of Dungeon Crawler to demo!
I also was able to talk to the founder of Elegy, a Doompunk themed Larp. I’m not really into Live Action Role Playing in its current format. You definitely need to have the right kind of attitude towards it. I look at it as acting with latex weapons and painted Nerf guns.
I got some sweet promo material from the Steve Jackson MiB’s (a Coin, some bookmarks, and card, though, it seemed I’ve misplaced everything except the coin)
I highly recommend volunteering for these kinds of conventions. Lots of interesting people to see and meet. Plenty of board games to try out (even though the board game section was a small corner of a very large game room, which was really just a small part of the entire convention). I’m even more excited about events than before.
A couple other highlights of the weekend:
Board Game Battle Royale: 3 games, 3 rounds.
We played Dominion Guilds, Parade, and King of Tokyo. I learned that Guilds is not the kind of game you want to play in a Tournament when almost nobody has played Dominion before. King of Tokyo can go for 3 rounds on its own before everyone else has finished playing Dominion and Parade.
Despite being a simple game, Parade really does take about an hour to finish. It was a favourite of several from the group that stuck around the board game area. I do recall one slightly negative comment: Fiona, a volunteer, stated that it really made a mess of your feelings, and Patrick opined that he really disliked the way you could be winning the entire game and then have the tables turned in the final round. I was impressed when Stephanie trounced two other players with a 5, 0, 1, 1, 0 final score. She took a total of 5 cards in a 3 player game. I was impressed; If you are familiar with the game, you should be too.
I apologize to anyone that felt our 3 game Tournament was a little too casual, and maybe a little confusing. We only have 9 participants, but several got to sub out in-between. I am guilty of providing some hints/tips for players while the games were going on, which I probably shouldn’t have done, but the tournament also involved a lot of learning for all involved. We also didn’t announce the prize winners very well. Eric, Stephen, Calvin, and Matthew (Jason gave up his prize to Matthew) were our winners. A copy of Parade was given to Eric, the top player with 8 points. Stephen (7 points), Calvin (7 points) and Matthew (6 points) all received $10 gift certificates to Solid Board Gamers on-line store.
The next games I’m looking forward to trying out more is Shadow Hunters, Room-25 and Neuroshima Hex! These games stood out in my mind as being well designed, and fun to play. I just didn’t have enough time to play them all the way through (didn’t even get to open Room-25).
If you were at the ConBravo and got a chance to see us at our table, and maybe even play a game or two, leave a comment below. Let us know how we did! The Good, the Bad, the Ugly (my facial hair) and suggest something we could do better.