Well, for the next week or so, the Opinionated Gamers blog will report back from the Gathering of Friends. About 20 of us will be there at some point during the week – though we’re definitely not going to limit our comments to those physically in attendance! For those of you that are not familiar with the Gathering of Friends (aka The Gathering), it is an annual invitational event hosted by Alan R. Moon which runs about 10 days each March/April, and it is a wonderful opportunity to play games, meet up with friends – both old and new, and take a break from our otherwise busy lives. This year, the Gathering runs from Friday April 15 to Easter Sunday April 24.
The location of the event changes from time to time – and currently is based in Niagara Falls, NY. During the course of the week, probably 350-400 gamers will be there for some part of the Gathering, including representatives from many different game companies (I’d guess about 20-25 different companies will “officially” be at the Gathering). Many of the new games from Nuremberg will be available to play there, and there will surely be all sorts of prototypes there – both games in development from the game companies as well as new designs looking for a publisher to pick them up!
In any event, no matter what you’re looking for to play: the newest releases from Essen/Nuremberg, prototypes that will hit the market next year (or later), old classics, or whatever – it usually can be found at The Gathering along with enough gamers who are enthusiastic about playing that game too.
I couldn’t decide what would be the best way to do the blog this week – so we’ll try this experiment — I have created a group document that all the OG authors can access, and they’re free to write about whatever they want. It might be reports on new games, might be stories about old games… heck, it might be about the great dinner they had last night! I’ll copy the contributions from that group document into the blog each day. I’m initially planning to do this once a day, but if we are writing enough, I’ll do it more often.
The only thing that I can promise you that you won’t see this week on the blog are detailed reports on most of the prototypes at GoF. For the most part, all the prototypes played at the Gathering are protected, and all attendees agree to not write about nor display pictures of these games in progress…
Well, here’s to a great week – and I hope you enjoy reading about it with us! If there are games or people that you want to know about, leave us a note in the comments, and mabye someone will be able to help you out!
Dale – Well I pulled into Niagara late Friday night, so I really didn’t get started until Saturday morning with the gaming… At the start of my Gathering, here is my current list of games I want to play before the end of the week:
- Abtei der Ratsel
- Airlines Europe
- Carcassone the dice game
- Isla Tetra
- Letters from Whitechapel
- Mansions of Madness
- Olympos (not to be confused with Olympus)
- Rolling Freight (don’t know if Kevin will be bringing it)
- Secret of Monte Cristo
- Top & Down
- TTR: Alvin and Dexter
Note that this list is not all inclusive, nor is it fixed – because I’m sure that there will be a handful of games that I knew nothing about until someone drags me over to a table to see it in person… Also, I have no idea which games will be available this week yet — with all of the new baggage restrictions, I have no idea what people will be able and/or willing to bring over! I’m hoping to get to 15 of the 22 on the list currently, but again, who knows what will be added or deleted to the list as the week wears on.
Games that were recently on this list, but were played in the weeks prior to the Gathering include: Burgund, Firenze, Key Market, Pergamon, Trollhalla, Railways thru Time, Pastiche, Nightfall, Monsta, and Cargo Noir.
Time to play games! for those of you keeping track at home, the hit of the Gathering for me thus far is Uluru by Kosmos. It’s a fascinating puzzle game for 1-5 players. Of course, Uluru is the only game i’ve played thus far, so take that with a grain of salt!
More from myself and the other Opinionated Gamers during the week!