This is my friend Doug.
We’ll get to day four, but it turns out three wasn’t over when I posted it. Doug is responsible for some of my favorite memories of bggcons, and so when I saw him in the library around midnight yesterday, I was excited to catch up.
He wanted to play Pitchcar.
“Doug, we don’t need the mini set because they are a different gauge…”
“I’ve got adapters I made.”
So what I hadn’t anticipated, was the degree of Doug’s Pitchcar commitment. Here’s another custom piece.
We had 12 players, and I don’t know when we started, but when I left around 3, we were only 1/3 of our way through our first lap. It’s Doug, so I basically expected that this would still be up and going when I arrived at 7 something, but the ballroom was it’s usual sparse self with no sign of our shenanigans. It was great to see Doug’s passion spread to those who were around.
After teaching some things in Hot Games, I headed towards the Bazaar- which is a flea market of sorts for new and used games. On the way, I found this unexpected line:
Terraforming Mars Venus Next was supposed to be here several days ago, but hadn’t been seen yet this morning. This was the sudden Venus Next line today- but was only for taking names, as while the pallet was reportedly in the airport complex somewhere, it’s precise location had not been found. (That’s basically the same process for getting your Uber driver to find the hotel’s front door.) (Later arrived around 4 pm.)
So, the Bazaar:
Throughout this room are tables of new and used games. There are new releases, promos, used titles, vintage titles, wargames, and other things. This is my post, so you get a sampling of other things.
Geometry Strategy, anyone?
How about Micro Tumblin’ Dice?
No? Alright, Swedish Parliament 2014? (I do want to try this one, but I think it is in the library.)
After that I did swing by CMON to confirm that there was no Way of the Panda to try. (The Twitter grapevine indicated that there is a Decrypto demo copy on the premises, and despite one almost success, the timing never worked out to give it a try.)
I forgot to take a picture, but swung by Hot Games to get a Pulsar 2849 demo from Paul. I love learning games from Paul, and especially in person. Among other things we had con specific promo rules! (It involved Jaffa cakes.)
Up next was the puzzle hunt. I’m not sure on where the line is between spoilers and not spoilers, especially when it is essentially a one time thing, so I’ll try to be vague.
Neither I nor any of the people on my team had ever done one before. It was 51 pieces of paper, each its own puzzle, and one meta puzzle which required completing, or mostly completing, the other puzzles. In general, we are talking about puzzles of the type of you might find in Games’ World of Puzzles magazine. Not crosswords specifically, but any number of other things, including a dexterity puzzle:
One neat trick about this year, the answers were announced at the begining. You knew the pool of available answers, but not which corresponded to which. Overall, it took us around 2.5 hours. One of my roommates signed us all up for this, and I’m glad he did. Definitely doing again.
By Saturday afternoon, things were getting quite crowded. It was one of only two times we had a bit of difficulty finding opening gaming. (The other was Saturday evening.). Luckily, the con has a system to help you find open space.
Each room is equipped with a low res camera which takes a picture every x minutes, and there’s a feed you can consult to getting a general view of availability.
That evening we found Smoox and had him teach us Rescue Polar Bears: Temperature and Data.
Your win condition is to collect 20 pieces of data, but as with Pandemic, you may get distracted rescuing polar bears. Throughout the game you’ll be running around in your science boats, collecting data, rescuing polar bears, and occasionally breaking ice. Sometimes you even need your rescue helicopters.
This polar bear family seemed quite happy with our performance.
Getting ready for a game of Time’s Up, but I fly out fairly early tomorrow, so that’s probably that. (Though I may still try for Decrypto.)
What was Pulsar 2849 like? It was on my I am interested but didn’t find either it or time to try it list from Essen
It was good. For me, it didn’t do enough to stand out. Perfectly good game, but for more experienced gamers, I’m not sure that it presents something compelling.
Doug is a blast. So sad I missed the late night pitchcar game.