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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How Tabletop Games Improved a Family – from Wil Wheaton

I started watching Tabletop a bit before Christmas, and it made me want to play boardgames.

When I went back to my parents’ house for the break, I suggested that we could buy a couple games and play together. Now, you have to know that my relationship with my parents has never really been great. It’s only recently that it got better, and I believe that playing some boardgames with them helped reinforce that. For once, we didn’t spend every evening with me on the computer and them watching tv. For once, every once in a while, we spent an evening together, having fun. We spent New Year’s Eve together playing games when I usually would try and go anywhere to escape the family reunion.

If someone’d told me that a year ago, I would not have believed them. So yeah, thanks, Wil.

Comment on my blog about Tabletop. (via wilwheaton)

This is so cool!  Yet again it shows that fandom and “geekiness” can be a really cool thing.

When MMOs End – Death in the Digital World

I knew that MMOs ended sometime, but it hadn’t occurred to me that most of them end relatively quickly. It’s like when you start watching a good TV show. You don’t know if it’s going to go on for eight years, or if it’s going to get cancelled after half a season,” Laura Blackwell, a writer for PCWorld and avid Glitch player, says.

Digital apocalypse: living through the death of virtual worlds | The Verge (via thisistheverge)

This happened to me a few years ago when an on-line game I played daily died.  I’d even gotten to the point where I was spending real money on a digital world, something I swore I’d never do.  I felt like the company should have refunded all the money I spent.