International TableTop Day 2018

This was my third year going to an International TableTop Day event sponsored by my local comics shop, Vault of Midnight. I always enjoy the event very much, but with Free Comic Book Day following the weekend after, and working full time, I often don’t get a chance to blog about the event. But regardless, I always have a very good time and this year was no exception.

I go into International TableTop Day, hoping to play some old favorites, as well as wanting to learn new games – and for three years, this event has not disappointed in satisfying both those goals. Also, I tend to be a bit shy in new situations, but the staff is welcoming and inviting, helping to get new games started and always welcoming one into a new game. I really, really appreciate the staff and both how hard they work and their helpful, welcoming attitude. It’s a great relief and makes the event tremendously fun.

This year I played four games, which is a good amount for a 5-hour event. Those games were: Bunny Kingdom, Settlers of Catan (classic), Ex Libris, and Hive. Bunny Kingdom was a great game. Each player is dealt ten cards to start, and plays two – but then hands his or her cards first to the left, and after the next round to the right. Play alters in direction until all ten cards are played. There are four rounds then the game is scored. Players earn points for controlling territory and completing quests. It is far better to complete quests than hold territory, though holding territory is often needed to complete the quests. And the scoring is incredibly complicated, especially for a family game. But it is fun. The image header for this entry is our completed game board. Now that I understand the mechanics, I’d play the game again.

Settlers of Catan is the classic game, one I’ve played since the 90s, and that I really adore. I usually play one of the expansions, such as Seafarers of Catan or Traders and Barbarians of Catan, so it was nice to play the classic edition. One builds settlements, roads, and cities, in an attempt to be the first to achieve the required number of Victory Points. My two co-players were new to the game, and we did have a good time.

Ex Libris was a game set in a library, and the point is to put your books on shelves in order. I didn’t like the mechanic of there being no deals of new cards after the first one. I also found my special ability utterly useless and actually a negative for gameplay. But, on the positive side, the cards look beautiful, and if I played the game again I might enjoy it more. It’s also a very, very, long game – the longest by far that I played.

Finally, with only a half-hour or so left, I played Hive, a two-player game. It’s sort of like a basic form of Chess, with bees and insects. Your object is to surround your opponent’s Queen – and each of your insects moves in a different way. I played two games and I won once and my opponent won once. It’s a fun game, but one that might become boring after a while. On the other hand, it doesn’t have a board and can be played on any flat surface.

Overall, I enjoyed International TableTop Day very much, but then I always do. It’s a great event. I highly recommend finding a local event in your area and going.

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