So, I attended Midsouth Con 29 this past weekend. This convention is very different from the conventions that I usually attend however. This one is a full fledged Sci-Fi/Fantasy Convention though. You know the type. The ones where there are people dressing up in Costumes, and Dealer Rooms, and Panels, etc. There is also gaming of all kinds, of course, as most of you know, I go there for the board games.
Also, because I’ve done quite a bit of gaming with the Memphis Gaming community over the years, there are lots of old friends there that are always fun to see and play games with.
Because I am down to one vacation day at work, which I HAVE to save for the day before the Country Music Marathon on April 30th, I had decided to leave immediately after work on Friday, which ended up being really tight.
I had signed up to run a couple of games at Midsouth Con. Midsouth Con uses a schedule of games rather than the open gaming, shelves along the outside of the room style gaming that is typical of the more focused boardgaming cons. So I decided to ‘officially’ run two games. This mainly means that I need to be able to teach and referee these games for anyone signing up to play them.
I had decided to run Age of Steam at 7:00 PM on Friday. I arrived at the hotel about 6:00, got registered, and headed into the game room. We had a little bit of time, before we started, and were waiting on a couple of players anyway, so we played a quick game of Carcassonne to kick things off.
It’s been a little while since I’ve played Carcassonne. (Well, I guess I played a couple of “Carcassonne with Friends” type games with MJ of Boardgames to go, and KF a few months ago, but that quickly fell out of favor.) Setting it up though drew in a few players, so we went from three players when it was suggested to five players.
I much prefer Carcassonne with a fewer number of players, but never deny anyone at a convention from joining a game. In the end, it was still very much an enjoyable game, that ended up going just barely to MH with one well placed farm. I think I finished second with a second slightly less productive farm and a couple of well done cities.
After that, I went ahead and set up Age of Steam. Specifically the Ireland Map. We had three players. I thought I was doing pretty well, when a well timed de-urbanization nailed a key cube and left another person to connect the west coast of Ireland from top to bottom. After that, it was really futile as I and the other player tried to keep the mega corp of West Ireland in Check, but in the end, could not beat out his money machine.
After Age of Steam. I walked around the dealer room seeing if there was anything that screamed out at me. I am quite satisfied with my current collection though, and didn’t see anything that was an unbelievably good deal. I do keep talking myself out of buying that hero pack for last night on earth. I’m not really interested in Growing Hunger due to my ‘anti-expansion’ tendencies. But the hero pack qualifies for my exemption in that it just adds a little variety, without anything that changes any core game mechanisms at all. Gamerz Depot didn’t have it, I did see it at some other random vendor. But I wasn’t going to spend FLGS money if it wasn’t going to the only FLGS I’ve got.
Went back into the gameroom shortly thereafter to set up the last game of the weekend I was scheduled to run. (I wanted to get them out of the way quick and leave Saturday and Sunday for open gaming). I met an a couple of friends from Oxford, and there was a little bit of time before my scheduled game, so I tried to send them through a quick game of Puzzle Strike.
I like Puzzle Strike, scratches an itch for me that dominion doesn’t, but still has very similar gameplay. This one didn’t go over so well, whenever I teach new players, I don’t think they get the importance is really the purple chips, and combining and crashing, not the other 10 chips available to buy. I think over time, this may actually be a detriment of the game. I’ve played it a few times now. Despite the character differences, I don’t think there is really that much difference in the game play. I think I’ll break it out a few times this week with Sarah and see if I can flesh it out a bit more.
Then I started my last scheduled game. Last Night on Earth. I like Last Night on Earth a lot as well, this time we played the truck scenario. The game went a good while, and there was one character death (me ) and ended up being really close. But in the end, the track star managed to find the keys, and my priest had filled up the truck earlier sacrificing himself for the good of the town. The track star met up with the drifter and they rode out of town just before nightfall.
I went and hung out with some friends in the Con Suite after this game, then played one game of Werewolf before heading to bed.
Woke myself up early Saturday and got in a stationary bike workout. Then cleaned up and headed down to the game room.
I was trying to make a 9:00 am Twilight Struggle game. I didn’t sign up for it because I wasn’t sure I could make it, but I managed to squeak in just in time. Every time I play this game, I love it more and more. We played a variant designed to make the game more apt to go into the later rounds. I suppose this was alright for me, in that I ended up playing the USA with one extra victory point due to the auction.
It was a long game, as I am unfamiliar with most of the cards, coupled with the fact it went all 10 turns. I was in really good looking shape in Turn 8, but managed to lose about 10 or so points between Turn 8 and Turn 10. In the end, going into final Scoring, it looked bleak, as I was down about 6. Turns out, I gained 6 points in Final Scoring, so four hours of Twilight Struggle resulted in an exact Tie. Great, Great, Game. I shoulda held out for two points on the side bid auction :p
The game took a lot out of me, so I spent the next couple of hours wandering, chatting with people, looking at costumes, going to lunch, etc. Eventually teamed up with GW and KH and played a game of Thunderstone. I have to teach this game in a couple of weeks at the OMGA Gameday, and wanted to give it a few games before then.
I really enjoyed the game. It is way better than Dominion. It actually has a purpose to the deckbuilding besides the victory points. I’ll have to check out Nightfall as well, since I think it has the deckbuilding with the fighting of Puzzle Strike. It might be the one I end up keeping. We’ll see when it gets here *whistle*.
Played one more game of Puzzle Strike shortly after this, then ended up heading to the Con Suite and hanging out before the Masquerade.
I really enjoyed the Masquerade. I guess it is the one con sort of thing I actually sort of like besides the gaming. The bioshock costume I think was the best, and I really like that magic guy they have between the costumes and the judging. They also have The Great Luke Ski sing a few geek style parody comedy songs. I saw him a few years ago, and ended up buying a couple of his discs. They are pretty good.
After this, went in the werewolf room to play a game of Werewolf, but the group circle started to get to big, and the mod wasn’t cutting it off to start the game, so I ended up borrowing some cards and starting my own smaller circle (with more strict rules for cutting off the numbers.) In my Opinion, Werewolf works better and is a better experience for everyone when it’s a smaller game and they play quicker. Anyway, I ended up running about three or four games well into the night.
Then I stumbled across the hall into the Con Suite and played a game or two of Cthulhu Dice. I won’t say much about this game other than it’s not worth looking into. There is no game there, but if you’re drinking, it is something to do while you’re sitting at the table.
Afterwards, I stumbled up to my room and went to bed. I think it was sometime around 3 or so?!?
Woke up early again *uggh* on Sunday because I had scheduled a 1 hr / 6 mile run for the weekend. Ended up doing it on the treadmill in the hotel, mainly because I don’t like to run in strange cities, in places I don’t know and might get lost. Plus it was darn cold.
After cleaning up, packing my stuff and running it out to the car, I headed down into the con area. I wanted one last perusal through the dealer room, but nothing really caught my eye. I did end up buying a Battlestar Galactica patch for my disc golf bag. I also found a retailer that had a Vcube 6 marked at $32. I offered him $25 for it and he took it. So I got one of those to play with, but that was the extent of my weekend purchases.
Shortly after, I headed into the game room and met up with SA and MA. They are on the newer end of the gaming spectrum, and they wanted to play something, so I ended up teaching them Dominion. (apparently I was on a deckbuilding kick all weekend) They really liked the game. I still feel about the same about it. I like it alright, but it’s not something I’ll typically suggest or anything.
Finished up my Mid South Con by running a game of Small World for them and a few others as well. That game is wearing out a bit, and honestly, with the iPad version and two players, I’m not sure I’d ever play a game on the board anymore.
Met up with Val and the Kids who had come to Memphis to shop right after and ate dinner before heading home and going to sleep. Another Midsouthcon is in the books; Not a long list of games that got played unfortunately, but like I said, this is a full scifi/fantasy con, so there is a lot of other stuff to do. I still had a blast.
I didn’t take many pictures, you can get to the entire album by clicking on the picture below.