The things I learned at I-CON 27
Stephen Brewbacker
United States
Long Island
New York
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I-CON: Multi-track convention, with media guests, authors, comics, anime, movies…

I haven’t seen anything on BGG regarding last week’s convention at the Stony Brook State University, so I thought I’d do something related. That combined with the fact that it’s Sunday night, I’m bored, slightly inebriated, and I can’t get completely drunk because I have to work tomorrow, all came together to produce this list.

I-CON 27 was my first ever open gaming experience. I’ve frequented I-CON’s sporadically over the past 20 years, but never for the gaming.

After 27 years at the University of Stony Brook, I-CON still seems to be struggling to find an identity. However, I found that there was plenty of gaming on hand, and this is what I learned:
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1. Board Game: Shogun [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:127]
Stephen Brewbacker
United States
Long Island
New York
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I played my first game of Shogun with 2 members of my local gaming group and 2 graduate students from the Mathematics Department.

What I learned: I learned how to play Shogun. I also learned that it is forbidden to shave if one is to be a graduate student in the math department at Stony Brook University. I mean I've seen 80 year old Rabbis with less facial hair. These guys also revel in their 'geekdom' - wearing t-shirts with undecipherable geek-puns. I liked these two guys alot. Regardless of their unkempt appearance, they were good players, good sports, and gentlemanly.
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2. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:116]
Stephen Brewbacker
United States
Long Island
New York
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I played my first game of PoF with a member of my local gaming club and several geeks in their early twenties. An extremely gracious lady taught the game and sacrificed her own position so that a fifth player could join in last minute.

What I learned: I learned how to play PoF. I also learned that many geeks must actually be vampires (or believe that they are) because they obviously cannot bear to look in the mirror. I mean, Dude! You have dry, flakey skin, acne, psoriasis, and dandruff: that alone doesn't make you a 'bad guy'. We all have our 'imperfections'. But why, why, why wear a black t-shirt? [sigh] I guess these kids are too young to remember the old 'Head and Shoulders' commercials. Try light-colored shirts; and when you get a chance: medicate and moisturize.
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3. Board Game: A Game of Thrones (first edition) [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:312]
Stephen Brewbacker
United States
Long Island
New York
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I played my first A Game of Thrones with three other members of my local gaming club and two other 'first timers' that signed up to learn the game.

What I learned: I learned how to play A Game of Thrones. I also learned that of Cheeseburgers, Pastrami on Rye, Beer and Bratwurst, and A Game of Thrones: You can put ketchup on a cheeseburger, but they all go better with muster. There were perhaps three musters all game. Much like Pastrami, without muster, A Game of Thrones can be a bit 'dry'.
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4. Board Game: Axis & Allies [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1185]
Stephen Brewbacker
United States
Long Island
New York
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on Friday night I witnessed no less than three games of the A&A running simultaneously - the original version from Milton Bradley!

What I learned: Time travel is possible. I asked one group of 'youths' who were enthusiastically hunkered down over the map of the world, if they had ever tried the 'new' release of A&A, to which they replied that they had not. I was incredulous. How could this be? I played the Milton Bradley release for the first time over 20 years ago (and I played it 100 times if I played it once); but after playing the new version - well - I could never go back. I can only conclude that what I witnessed was a rift in the space time continuum - a glimpse back in time to I-CON 3 perhaps? (Either that or gaming on Long Island really is in as bad a state as I have long suspected.)
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5. Board Game: Zooloretto [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:606] [Average Rating:6.86 Unranked]
Stephen Brewbacker
United States
Long Island
New York
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On Saturday, while playing Zooloretto for the first time, I glanced around 'ballroom A' and was impressed by the numbers and quality of female gamers. There were more girls gaming than I ever remember in attendance at any other entire ?con. And they were ALL smoking hot!

What I learned: I learned how to play Zooloretto. I also learned that I've turned into a dirty old man. (Probably when I was still in my late thirties - but I digress.)
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6. Board Game: Zendo [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:706]
Stephen Brewbacker
United States
Long Island
New York
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So, as I may have mentioned, I played Princes of Florences for the first time with three other newbies and one experienced player: an elf-like man-child who reminded me of a blonde Pee Wee Herman. He twittered and shrugged his shoulders and wrinkled his nose as if he were experiencing a tiny orgasm every time he produced a 'work'. He won the game by a fair margin.

What I learned: I learned how to play Zendo - it was pretty interesting. I also learned what 'Ice House' pieces are. I ALSO learned that I've grown as a person. I was only mildly annoyed by Pee Wee's antics, but I never laid a hand on him. There was a day I might have really laid into him, goodness knows that smug little bastard was in need of a good beating.
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7. Board Game: 1830: Railways & Robber Barons [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:164]
Stephen Brewbacker
United States
Long Island
New York
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A member of my game group was teaching 1830 - of which I did not partake due to my committments to A Game of Thrones...

So anybody else make it to I-CON 27? What did you play? What did you learn?
 
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