I played four events and asked a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Boardgame question.
I ran a Traveller demo Saturday morning, ran a Traveller competition Saturday afternoon, attended Jeff’s Traveller demo Sunday morning, played in the V:TES event Sunday night.
Local cons are more work to me these days. I was thinking I’d want to play a RPG, but there was no chance I was going Friday and I had no intention of being there Monday, which meant Saturday night was the only slot available.
But, I’m just exhausted going into cons. Work is almost always active around the convention times as I do financial reporting input/output at the end/beginning of months and February is always squeezed by our coming out of a budget process along with four week fiscal month and President’s Day. This con, I was also checking on friends’ cats throughout the weekend.
Then, I feel like I’m just doing more work at these cons rather than having a vacation or going to them to play games. I do like the hanging out and talking about stuff. The main topic this year was unusual … I saw a few people I pretty much just see at cons. Unfortunately, didn’t get to spend much time with someone who spontaneously decided to attend Sunday.
In the competition, I gunslinged a couple of times. Sunday, we played a four player. In all of the games I played of Traveller, I only lost to Jeff who was trying out a Beowulf piracy deck taking advantage of stacking connections. He gained 12 VPs in one round from piracy. Try Traveller – a niche CCG with surprising levels of variety.
I won one of my gunslinging matches with two cards left after pointing out to a new player that piracy was likely the way to do me in late in the game. I was pretty close to the edge in the other gunslinging match, as well. I didn’t play Scout both times. I just have a very heavy card utilization style with Traveller, which is ironicful given how few cards I use in V:TES.
If you like a game where being more skilled at it matters, well, that’s also a feature of Traveller.
We gave out decks, a lot of playmats, and various promo cards.
Found out at the con that someone can even buy certain Traveller product off of Walmart.com to go with how full range of product is available to retailers and online options.
V:TES wasn’t that great as two players were borrowing my decks and con play just tends to feel really forced when it isn’t pickup V:TES at these NorCal cons. Still, it was okay. By far the most notable thing to my brain was how Lisette (Lasombra) repeatedly got bypassed due to the play of Acheron Vortex. For all of my V:TESers out there, this is mucho hilarity. For the rest of y’all, well, V:TES is a great game that more people should try (though, like anything else, not for everyone).
I got pastrami sandwiches and large smoothies four times in three days (as I ended up at the con Monday due to unfortunate events). Twice bagel sandwiches as Bagel Street Cafe (there) doesn’t have rolls at 7-8AM. Twice dutch crunch. Three peach smoothies, one wildberry. While things were hardly perfect and I got charged four different prices ordering the same two things twice, it’s one of the features of the con I look forward to.
Parking was insanely easy at 7-7:30AM on Saturday/Sunday. Since the con has outgrown the hotel, is that because the attendee demographics skew towards people traveling together? Uber/Lyft? Everyone running out for breakfast at the same time? Just weird how many spaces are available when the convention is so full. I did notice, though, that Saturday morning at 7:30AM was not a terribly active time in the main rooms of the con.
I enjoyed things in the moment. I was not excited by the commuting back and forth (forced due to the cats) and the responsibility of being required to be there at specific times. I just don’t look forward to these cons in the way I used to as they aren’t really about my playing games when I feel like playing games (when I’m not exhausted). Not running anything would help, so maybe I try to push someone local outside of Jeff and me to run Traveller and I’ll just attend the Traveller events as a lordly inner circler who can explain why Buffbot provides the skill tokens it provides. (I started telling the story but never got around to telling the important bit.) Besides Bagel Street Cafe and seeing people I rarely see, my focus on running my events/game also makes me feel not terribly connected to the convention – not enough variety. Not the con’s fault. I just don’t have time to prepare for these cons or time to savor them. Contrast with cons outside the area, where I’m a player and playing in the things I want to play in all con.
It was very encouraging how into Traveller some of the con goers were. We may not have widespread popularity, but the game works. That it can easily transition between solo play, two player play, and multiplayer play is a real strength, though two player and multiplayer are going to be pretty different in feel.