As you might have remembered from my last post on the subject, this past Saturday the Ole Miss Gamers Association (of which I am a small part) had a gameday to try to promote their club to a wider audience, as well as possibly raising a few funds and in general, have a good time.
It was a full day of Gaming and Prizes. There was a couple of Video Game Tournaments, some RPG One-shots of various systems, a couple of CCG tournaments, and of course, I was in charge of the Board Games.
I also mingled in some of the other games. I wasn’t about to get into an RPG or CCG or anything, but I did play in the Guitar Hero III tournament. Mostly I signed up for Comedic Effect though. Some of those people are insane in their skills. I lost the first round, got sent to the losers bracket, where I managed to win my second match, but quickly lost my third. About two matches away from possibly making it to a final. I can also come to terms with the fact that I will never be able to play this game on any level harder than Medium.
Anyway, the bulk of the day was spent playing and teaching Board Games. I had set up a game library mostly out of my own games. I spent alot of the day just manning the library and explaining some games that others would ‘check out’.
As far as me playing some games, I didn’t really want to make any of the gaming about me. So I tried to avoid picking any of the games that would be played that day. As you can probably tell from my play list, I was mostly successful.
I began the day teaching/playing Boomtown. It’s a nice little game, however, it is extremely luck driven. Granted, you can play to give yourself the best chance of winning, but the dice just don’t get rolled frequently enough to make it an even distribution on which mines would be good or bad to occupy. I did end up winning this game by a fairly large margin. Mostly through huge payouts on two of my mines, and grabbing an early governor card which turned out to net some big mayor bonuses. I like Boomtown, but it’s much better set as a quick game, while you’re having some drinks. But as a serious game goes. I just don’t think it can cut the mustard. It is too luck driven.
After that, I played a game of Apples to Apples. Apples to Apples is a game I used to love, although I haven’t played this one in at least two years. It has been eclipsed in my mind by Attribute. But Apples to Apples is still fun, and surprisingly, despite its being widely (read: walmart) available, alot of people still don’t know much about it. If you’re reading this and are new to games. It’s a decent game to pick up. Why don’t you do yourself a favor and give it a shot.
On a side note, I prefer Apples to Apples with a variant where we throw in a random card that nobody threw in as well. Nobody at the table playing Apples to Apples had ever heard of that, but it’s always fun when the random card gets picked.
After A2A I then sat down and taught and played a couple of games of Qwirkle. Twice with the same group. They came in wanting to learn some Board Games specifically. They asked about Qwirkle. (It is a pretty game) I told them it was basically scrabble without words. And they wanted to try it. They liked it so much they demanded to play it again. I have to agree it is a pretty good game, with a couple of different ways to play it. I’ve only played it about four times, and I do think it suffers a bit from the same problem as Puerto Rico. You can totally be set up by the person to your right. That can skew the game, but if everyone is paying attention, and understands the tile mix, and rules, then it does make for a really good game.
The same group playing Qwirkle then asked about Crokinole, I had set up the board early in the morning and left it set up all day. Of course, with the foot traffic, alot of people asked about it, and I made it a point to always sit someone down and have them play a bit if they asked. Crokinole is one of those games I’ll always have a copy of somewhere in my life from now on. The group playing Qwirkle was just one of several different people that sat down at one time or another and played a quick game of Crokinole.
When then grabbed a few more players and played a couple of games of Liar’s Dice. With the Pirates of the Caribbean movie cameo of this game. More people know how to play it (or at least, aren’t totally unfamiliar with it). The new players found out just how much fun this game can be with the right crowd. I won the first game, but the second, I got knocked out early on a bad call when three people in a row lied about what they had. (Alright, I wasn’t knocked out, but I think I lost 3 dice in the exchange, which severely hampered me for the remainder of my game.)
Mingled into a different crowd and ended up playing a couple more games of Apples to Apples. I really think I should have brought Attribute. With as big a hit Apples to Apples was, I wish I could have shown them the better version of it, or at least, what I think is the better version of it. They would have had a good time with it, but it was all good, they liked A2A.
Around this time, the Super Smash Brothers Brawl Tournament was going on. I’m not really into that game, and I was sitting around chatting with some of the other people who were not playing it. We ended up chatting about Video games, and one of them Mentioned liking Tetris. Well, I jumped at the chance to introduce them to a new boardgame. So I went and grabbed Ubongo.
I don’t really like Ubongo. I like the tetrisy aspect of it, but the dexterity quickly grab the tiny gems before the timer runs out is not nearly as fun to me, but I live with it to introduce it to people that like puzzles. Well, this one was also a hit. After a quick rules explanation, we ended up playing two games. One of them on the hard side of the board (That’s the first time I’ve ever played the hard side).
I kind of feel like this is one I should probably replace the sand timer with a digital timer, we aren’t very strict usually. If someone finishes before the sand goes out, we’ll typically let them move and grab gems for a second or two after (but we don’t let them sit and think long about which gems to grab.) But in hard mode, we had a different problem. There were a couple of times where we were looking at our boards solving the puzzle and for a while, nobody looked at the timer, and finally someone would look up and say, we’re out of time, with nobody having solved the puzzle. No telling how long we were like that…
And finally we finished off the night with a half a game of Descent. We started a bit to late to have any hope of getting this one finished. But we did get it introduced to two new players. (One being one of the Ubongo players who was an RPGer at heart and she had never tried one of our boardgames.) As far as the boardgaming goes, I’m glad we got some new people to at least try a couple of the boardgames. The RPGers and the CCGers and the Boardgamers sometimes don’t really mingle when we have our regular meetings, but with a whole day to play, everyone found time to at the very least go and look at some of the other games being played. And maybe it will help us to talk to each other a little bit more at our meetings as well.
As far as the club as a whole and how everything went, I think that it was a pretty good day. They ended up with about 45 paying customers. So I think they were calling that a hit.
On another side note, I was in the prize drawing, hoping to win one of those Video iPod Nano’s that look so cool. But alas, it wasn’t to be. And then I ended up winning a computer case with the Ole Miss Logo on it. Which was great, it was a nice case, however, I really like my Macbook case I currently have, (It fits it so perfectly and is so small and easy to carry). But looking at the nice case, (which I almost told them I didn’t want and to give it away to someone else) I instead thought Val might like it. Turns out, I forgot, she can’t use the dang thing. It has the Colonel Rebel Ole Miss Logo on it. Which she is not allowed to portray. I completely forgot about that. So now I have a fairly nice computer bag, and nothing to do with it…