Just returned from a fantastic gaming convention, BGG Con in Dallas. Those who know my history may wonder how I was able to invade BGG CON since I have been banned from the site for years. Well, I came in through a side route by offering to demo in the Stronghold Games booth. Stephen Buonocore, The Evil One, supplied my badge. I was doing a demo for “Diamonds” the new game from Stronghold designed by Mike Fitzgerald of Mystery Rummy fame. The photo above shows me with Stephen and Mike in the Stronghold Booth. This game was really the only choice for me as Stronghold’s other game offerings this year leaned toward heavy Euros with Panamax and Kanban. Reaction to Diamonds was great and the game soldout in the booth no doubt to my masterful demos. There was also a Diamonds tournament at the Con and the winner was taught by me. *Slight arrogant smile*
The Sheriff of Nottingham was on hand and the buzz from his game was substantial, it is on my list.
While I was doing my demos I just kept my ears open to hear what people were talking about and Sheriff of Nottingham and RED7 were two I kept hearing about and also Tragedy Looper from Zman. Zev was hyping the game and told me I needed to check it out. Many were singing the praises of Tragedy Looper.
When I was off duty from the Stronghold Booth I entered the Texas holdem Tournament, a staple of BGG Con every year. I finished in the top 25% and unfortunately didn’t make it to the final table. My prize was a 100 dollar Boardgamegeek Poker chip. However, after I was knocked out I swaggered down to the lower level to find the Battling Tops Tournament in full swing. While I was on the sidelines some guy dressed as an Angel of Death Costume grabbed my beer and took a swig. To my surprise it was the Evil one himself, Stephen Buonocore. As I sat ringside, to my surprise there was an open slot and I grabbed a top and joined the fray. Unfortunately, I was knocked out after winning two heats no doubt due to the lack of blessing from Tom Vasal who was dressed as a Cardinal.
Walking through the huge open gaming floor a came upon a ray of hope. A group of gamers who needed a player for Thunder Road!!! I put my beer down on the table as they were asking if I would teach the game. I felt like it was my duty as the last standing Ameritrash Icon. After my cars were scorched by machine gun and helicopter fire. I left the table hearing that the game was the best in the library.
I got to meet Rich Sommer of Mad Men Fame he was an avid gamer and is seen here with Mike Fitzgerald.
Rich also sand the praises of Red7 and suggested I pick it up. Rich was the host during the closing ceremonies as they gave away piles of games. At one point Rich had to scold Buonocore for being too rowdy in his booth, his closing night party was going strong and for Matt Loter to call him a lightweight when it comes to drinking is just wrong!
No wins for me with the raffle tickets but a big win for gaming. Every notion I had about BGG CON I had was blown out of the water. The Con is all Euro? WRONG! Just look at the photo of Thunder Road being played, along with Descent, and Twilight Imperium, Memoir 44…the list goes on!
Playing with strangers sucks? WRONG! Everybody was super friendly, met lots of great people. This Con was not strictly the “inside” crowd. Pull somebody walking by and ask if they know who Scott Nicholson, Michael Barnes, or Tom Vasel is? Most would say who???
Cons only have Nerds? Wrong!!! family gamers, cute women, and gamers of all stripes. The fact is Gaming as a whole is stronger than any little niche tribe that thinks it has a hold on the hobby.
Sure the insiders were there and I talked with them all. The last night I talked with Aldie and I laughed hard when he said they used to lament the name of Steve Weeks. He also mentioned Michael Barnes and when I told Aldie barnes was goin through a Euro phase by playing games like Tower of Babel, all Aldie could do was smile like a chesire cat.
As far as people knowing me from my Podcast days only Aldie and a few other recognized me. Octavion did not. As I sat at my demo table playing Diamonds with a group of women, one guy saw my badge and said,
“Didn’t you used to do a podcast?”…I smiled and said yes.
*Cue theme to CUBE CONFUSION*