Day three started off as almost all my BGGCON days do, eating a hotel salad. They were out of the ones I had been getting, so I got this instead.
With jalapeno cheddar sausage? Well, not exactly.
As I looked for a quit corner to finish yesterday’s post, my friend Nathan, who I’d never actually met, walked by, with a morning run from Meat U Anywhere. We got to chat for a bit and catch up(?), that’s a weird word to use, but we have enough common friends and interests that it feels correct. It was nice, and he shared some of his bounty with me.
Afterwards, I went to the main lobby to look for some folks and ran into Rand who requested to wear this passtally shirt he’d given me, but that was too small for me, so I ran back up to get it for him. He even has the board printed on the back so that you can play it on the shirt!
The first game we played though was Charon’s Poker.
It’s a recent Korean release from the designer of BON and put out by popcorngames. In it, you have a hand of 4 cards from a deck of 5 to 10 in 3 suits, with a few special cards. This is not a trick taking game, but somewhat predictably, a game about poker hands.
Specifically, 3 card poker hands. To start, you place one of your cards face up on the table, and everyone can be assured that one may be in their final combination. The remainder of your hand cannot be rearranged.
On a player’s turn, they either pass, to rearrange their hand, or they declare that everyone passes their leftmost card to their neighbor who puts it at the right of their hand. After one time around the table, with the start player going twice, you pick up the set aside card, and make the best 3 card hand you can. (One of the special cards allows you to make a hail mary at this point and take 4 cards from the deck instead.)
It’s fun! It’s not a very strategic game, and you need to be prepared for how chaotic it is, but that also means that it has the tension and some of the exultant moments that those conditions can create.
At that point, two of our opponents left, and Renee was free to join us for a game of Time Palatrix. During our third hand, I saw W. Eric walking by, so I flagged him down to learn Die Crew. I had tried it for a few hands previously, but it didn’t quite click, and I was chalking that up to the circumstance.
But now I’m a convert and spread the love to several folks at a small event later in the day. Rather than listening to me blather about it, I’ll leave you with Eric’s post from yesterday about the game.
The only reason we stopped playing, was that the puzzle hunt was set to begin.
If you’re not familiar with such a thing, you find a group of friends and are handed a packet pull of puzzles, in this year’s case at least 100, to solve. These will generally be without instructions, and either very tough, very fun, hard work, or any combination.
Such events usually have a connecting theme or overarching structure, and this year it was a game of Battleship. Each of the 100 puzzles had a coordinate and solved down to a single word. A webform for the event allowed you to enter your answers and find out if you had a hit or a miss (or a wrong answer), and you earned points for each correct answer, hit, and sunk ship.
As usual, it was a lot of fun, but I also usually leave with a headache. :P
My regular crew from home comes to the convention, though we rarely end up playing together. I find them throughout the day to chat and catch up, but the puzzle hunt is one of our annual routines. As is heading to Meat U Anywhere for dinner afterwards.
That’s right, double MUA day, my @OpinionatedEaters friends!
That order may not look as good as the previous ones, but that brisket taco (eggs, cheese, brisket), for $3.50, and no line? It’s second only to that beef rib from Cattleack yesterday.
We hadn’t planned on going this year, as it is now quite far from the con hotel, but it is delicious, and, as I said yesterday, the long drive allows for some nice decompression time.
With Tokyo Game Market the same weekend this year, I’m missing out on the coverage from my Twitter feed, and that’s ok. It is. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t _want_ to check it still, and the drive allowed for a bit of that too. Check out this fellow that has stopped by the Oink! booth the last few times with ties decorated based upon their games!
The Volltreffer reprint also had some issues where some of the games sold had the wrong or no contents! So if that is somehow you, stop back by their booth Sunday.
When we returned, I stopped by the Inside Voices Meetup to say hi to some friends, but what I found was something special.
Nicole and the other folks had found a way to recreate a home-style game night in the middle of a 4000 person con! It was a small room, friends, a buffet of snacks, and just a warm and inviting atmosphere that felt more relaxed. (It’s where I taught more of Die Crew.). Thanks to Nicole, Eric, Netters, Meeplelady, and anybody else that was involved in putting it together in such a thoughtful way.
It also marked the second time in the day when I had to stop playing Die Crew because I had a scheduled event to get to. This time, it was Rikki Tahata’s Horse Racing Game.
Rikki designs games for large groups of people (20+) to interact with each other, with a few simple rules, no time pressure, and with both subtlety and strategy. I had seen him showing this game to folks in the registration line last year and couldn’t wait to have a chance to play it.
I saw my friend Wey and his crew, from such places as St. Croix and Antarctica!, in line and joined them for team Velvet Honey.
Each player logs into a specific website, as you might for something like a Jackbox game, and the game begins. You are given a small amount of virtual currency each race to spend betting on horses, training them, or, uh, untraining them. Different tracks have different conditions, and some horses may be better suited than others. On your phone, you can see a tip sheet, and on the big screen, the current bids and payouts.
This was also a charity event to raise money for The Game Loft, an organization in Maine who’s mission is to “promote Positive Youth Development through non-electronic games and community involvement.” As such, you could donate money (now or with an IOU) to earn more in-game money (though he also made it clear that we shouldn’t feel pressured to donate.)
Rikki even had bottles of champagne for the winners!
I don’t think anyone was prepared for what happened when the first race went off. The room turned into a raucous rock concert, with shouting and standing and fist waving, clapping and more shouting. (Friendly) rivalries developed, bonds were made with your teammates, and, uh, like I said, the winners got champagne.
If you have a chance to try anything like this that Rikki is doing, or play something with Wey, I recommend it.
Afterwards, I taught some of the Pax Unplugged crew Cine Write and Trade, as they’ll have two copies in their “First Look” area in a few weeks, if they can pry this one from my hands.
I’m not going to go back over it, as I described it at length yesterday, but I want to qualify my comments to say that the central mechanism really seemed to shine at 4 players, or maybe Suzi just had the best words to offer, but the auction was much more lively. It was also nice to find someone as obtuse as me in their clue giving, as Matt purchased Fabric and Recreational as clues for the same word, and also Red and “Honk!” (when Goose was not a possible word.)
That looks like the last picture I took. I tried to go to bed afterwards, but, as usual, took one last stroll through the hall to say hi to folks before I headed off.
But then I ran into some trick taking friends who were free, and we got to play Nokosu Dice.
Then a game of Billabong, which I’ve been hoping to try at BGGCON for several years, opened up at an adjacent table.
Then they wanted to play Psychic Pizza Deliverers Go To The Ghost Town.
…and then I went to bed. :)
By the way, I have some RollingCon and Not Hot Games Room ribbons. If you want one, stop me if you see me around.