BGGCON Day Three (2018)

Today we’ll start with a shoutout to the folks that showed up early and waited for the Not Hot Games Room to open.

Jim and his crew are enthusiastic supporters of my nonsense, and it means a lot to me. We’ll come back more to this evening’s activities later.

One of the side effects of this scale of gaming is inevitable lost pieces.  I enjoy the puzzle of trying to identify game pieces in the library, and last year, on my first shift in the library, there were several pieces inherited from the previous con which had gone unidentified.  I found a number of them, but was stumped by many more.  Then this fellow walked in:

He’s a component ID savant.  I bring it up now, and not last year, because he walked up to me today to say that he had identified which game that plain red D6 came from.

Ken knows that one company uses a D6 where the columns on the 6 are a different width than the 4 in a specific way, and used that to track the piece back to its box. 

I taught a few games in the hot games area this morning, but then I got a lead on a demo game of Quantified, a game still in design, from Quality Beast.

Quantified is a game centered around government and corporate surveillance, and the data trails that seemingly mundane life activities leave behind. Players take on the role of a refugee, a migrant, and other people who may lack some rights, and the players win if each of the players gains their human rights.

Players typically have four actions on their turn, but later, government mandates may require certain players to spend actions in certain ways.  Players can work their legal job, an illegal job, talk to each other, and move on the board.  Several deck of cards gives players certain thematic actions to take – such as voting, protesting, and hacking the national archives. 

The game isn’t ready yet, but there is a lot of potential to the core game I played.

After that I was able to meet up with my friend Renee. We played Res Publica and Tutankhamen so that I could prepare on the rules for tonight’s event.

My friend Alex had told me that QE was on his list to play this week, and I haven’t seen a copy in the library (and am not sure that there is one), but I borrowed the demo copy of the boardgametables.com edition from Chad, and naturally, everyone loved it. (See our previous review here.)

Next Alex and Justin let us playtest their upcoming design Wavelength. Component-wise, it is centered around this:

It work’s roughly as follows: with the brown shield closed, the player rotates the white disc so that the gray/blue/yellow target area is at a random location.  The player chooses a category card which lists two ends of a spectrum (e.g. Flexible – Inflexible).  The player then opens the brown shield, and chooses a few words which they think represent something that would fall in the yellow target area along the spectrum (e.g. al dente pasta).  The player closes the brown shield, hands the mechanism to their teammates, and says the chosen words outloud.  The teammates then rotate the gray dial, attempting to estimate where on the spectrum the player things the words fall.  Once a position is determined, the mechanism is handed to an opposing team to wager how accurately the first team guessed, and then the answer is revealed by opening the brown shield.

All of that is subject to change, but this was an excellent time, and I can’t wait to acquire a copy.

After that I went to the ‘shadow library ‘ room where a friend plays in order to pick up a few titles for the night’s events, and while I was there I played Megastar with Rand to help him cross it off of his mission to play all of the Friese games.  Megastar could also be known as Schrille Stille: The Card Game.  I’ve played it twice this week, and it has been enjoyable, though I don’t need to track down a copy.

We next played a Karl-Heinz Schmiel release from Mattel, Suppenkasper.  You are sort of simultaneously waiters and patrons of a restaurant, trying to feed each other more and more calories of food, while avoiding eating those foods. 

After reading the rules, I was expecting a fairly dull ‘take that’ card game experience, but it turned out to be a fairly dull, but strategic experience.  I would probably veto playing this in the future.

And at 8 tonight, it was time for the Not Hot Games Room. If I didn’t say it earlier this week, I set up some tables with games that are rarely played, hoping to highlight some worthwhile games, or at least games with some interesting pieces.  I didn’t want to repeat any titles from the previous year, but this year I setup Fortran, Res Publica, Tutankhamen, Manalath, Kogge, aufRUHR!, and Schnapp.

(Kogge is a repeat from last year, but it wasn’t played, so I used it again.)

I run the room for 4 hours and play almost nothing, but my heart is warmed throughout with the kind words from folks regarding the room’s existence and their appreciation. I reserved the space hesitantly this year, and wasn’t necessarily feeling up to it, but I’m glad I did. Folks seemed to enjoy most, if not all the games, and thanks to the folks that run bggcon for again allowing me library policy exceptions in order to put this on.

I almost forgot an @OpinionatedEaters break!  Tonight was my trip to Meat U Anywhere, one of my favorite places to eat, not only for the food, but for the service.  I try to go on Fridays and Saturdays because there are some weekend only meats – such as the beef rib below. Dessert isn’t on the menu, but it’s there if you ask, and the peach cobbler was outstanding tonight. 

But! I also heard from Renee that there is a secret menu with tamales and other items, which I guess is to say that I’ve now started my 2019 BGGCON To Do List.

See you one last time tomorrow.

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