Lowell Kempf(Gnomekin)United States
In less than one week, my fiancé and I will be going to GenCon. While it will be the thirteenth time I have gone, it will be her first time. That said, she is a gamer (just not as crazed a one as I am) and is looking forward to taking some of the craft seminars.
When I first started going to GenCon, I was a RPGer and I went for role playing. Indeed, on my first GenCon, I stumbled upon a group of Chicago gamers who became my longest running D&D group, a bunch of guys I am still playing with to this day.
However, when I started board gaming, GenCon got quite a boost for me. While one sitting one sessions don’t highlight most RPGs strengths, that is the definition of most board games. Suddenly, the quality of my gaming experiences went up. More than that, I found board gamers at conventions to be more laid back and easier to have fun with. On top of that, instead of buying RPG books I never used, I was buying board games that did end up hitting the table.
As the years have gone by, I have found myself spending less time with strangers and more time playing with people I already know. Old friends who live in different cities and states, GenCon can be one of the few times I get to see them in the year.
Because of that, I always bring a bag of games with me to play with old friends. Of course, since space is limited, I try to pick a handful of games that stand a chance at hitting the table multiple times, are fun and won’t take up too much time since the convention is full of so many other activities.
So, games that have I have played at a variety of different tables that have a proven track record.
In the end, these are the games that will probably end up in the bag:
Take It Easy as a filler. I have yet to find anyone who doesn’t like this game. It is the ultimate multi-player solitaire and it is completely without any theme and yet people are always ready for another round.
Maori. Another game that’s low on conflict, although you can still squeeze some in. This little tile laying game is simple and yet… It offers a variety of choices and it offers a variety of ways for people to try and win. And, again, it has a been a hit whenever I’ve shown it to people.
Witch’s Brew. On the other hand, Witch’s Brew is full of conflict. I have tried and tried to like Citadels. I have played it with different groups and every time, the game drags on for at least two hours and people are bored and desperate for it to end. Witch’s Brew, on the other hand, moves a lot faster with a lot more vicious interaction. Definitely one I want to play more of.
Plus, an out-of-state friend asked me to bring 7 Wonders. I have to admit, I haven’t gotten enough reps of 7 Wonders in yet to know what I really think of it. Maybe GenCon will be the place where I get those plays in and decide if I want to invest in any expansions for it.
I’m sure that there will be other small games that make it into the bag, like Category 5 or R-Eco. (Possibly Rattus, since my science-loving fiancé loves to destroy Europe with the plague) However, the games listed above are the ones that are going to get crammed into the bag first.