The Jaded Gamer

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Naked Lobster

Alec Chapman
United Kingdom
Lincolnshire
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Anyway, how's your sex life?
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"She said the same thing about waffles."
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Microbadge: Offline from The Geek for a while
Last weekend saw the return of the only really intensive gaming weekend known to increase the global retail price of lamb shanks, LoBstercon!

I may hardly qualify as one of the legendary 'con attendees, but this episode was a particularly idiotic example of how to do yourself significant harm through excessive board gaming.

But what did I actually get done? Well, I managed to buy some new clothes for the first time in ages - see, since I was at work up until 7am the first day of the con I had intended to pack the bag before leaving for work so I could grab it and immediately leave in the morning. Turns out I did everything EXCEPT that.

So, not for the only time in my life, I'm sure - I brought as many games to an event as I did pairs of socks... and nothing else.

But despite my singular commitment to self destruction did I manage to get everything done I wanted?

WANTED TO TICK OFF THE CON TRADITIONS LIST


My bi-annual game of Puerto Rico didn't happen, but since I always humiliate myself I was pretty cool with that.

More upsetting was the lack of Tales Of The Arabian Nights, a game I missed out on the previous 'con because I literally had laryngitis.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Incidentally, being unable to speak didn't stop me teaching Robinson Crusoe four times that weekend.


One of the few games I play "super seriously" (to a maximum level of one game a con) is Tichu and despite a breathtaking dead spot in the middle of our game and going down 900-700 as a result, Martin and I managed to Tichu/1/2 on the last round to steal a glorious victory from the lean mean bomb drawing machine that is Scott and Charlotte.


WANTED TO TRY

Five Tribes or K2 which were both on my "want to try" list weren't in evidence.

Specter Ops wasn't out yet, but I got to have a go at Letters From Whitechapel which was a nice alternative to the other games in its class - a bit more to it than Scotland Yard without the overkill of Fury Of Dracula. I still can't see wanting to play it again without a timer on the detectives.

Sheriff of Nottingham was an absolute blast! Don't know if I have ever bought a game halfway through the first play before - a reminder of my bad old habits, yes, but never mind.

TOOK MYSELF

Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island
Carried it all the way there (despite not packing any, you know, clothing) and it sat unplayed all weekend as far as I know. Probably a victim of the "let's just play this game again" feeling I had.

Sentinels of the Multiverse
I did play a LOT of Sentinels of The Multiverse though - five games of variously eccentric or epic battles - Ambuscade dropped easier than a Brazilian footballer in the final third, but The Ennead went the wire in a game dominated by two explosives wagons.

That was quite a game. Poor old Skyscraper took 30 points of damage in two turns as a result of those things (and a forced area effect play) and died saving her comrades (Thorathian Monolith), only for a third explosives wagon to be drawn and assist in slowing the advance of the Egyptian gods. Fiddliness is a characteristic of Sentinels, but the seven start of turn effects on the Villain turns was pretty extreme even bearing that in mind.

Shadows over Camelot
The game I was expecting to sit unplayed actually did get an outing, and despite my feverish attempts to teach it wrong (in my defence I had been up a LONG time by this point) we had a great time. It was only slightly unfortunate that the chosen traitor was the first timer at the table, while Bonnie Kate is some kind of Shadows savant...

XCOM: The Board Game
I greatly enjoyed the one play of this - I have no idea what on earth I did to dice in a past life but there is no way my bad luck in attempting success rolls with a 1/3 across this game and Arkham is reasonable. I wouldn't mind, but give me Summoner Wars and I'm rolling that 1/3 every time. Galling. Thanks to great support from everyone else the world was saved. Not sure the RAF will be asking me to lead fighter squadrons, but my budget auditing was absolutely perfect.

UNEXPECTED ENCOUNTERS

Xia: Legends of a Drift System
This is just too long. It's great fun, but we only played to ten points and despite a glorious victory everyone was seemingly too drained to give me props for my luck terrific perfomance. I always appreciate any game that features rules simply because they're cool, but still - it went a good hour too long for this type of romp, imho.

Shadowrun: Crossfire
The jury's out. Bizarrely, I seemed to penalised for playing the face character 'properly' and kill stealing / insisting on saving for the fireball to show off. This game's ok - but with Sentinels in the collection I'd just never dig this one out instead.

Loony Quest
This is more like it! Someone showed me it at 2am on Friday night when we were about to go to bed and I forced everyone to sit back down and learn it from the rulebook immediately. We only played world 1 which is apparently very easy - it's another game I'm glad to play but I doubt I would buy it for myself.

Quartermaster General
I don't get it. Everyone is acting like this game is amazing, and it was fun - but I saw it out almost constantly and everyone was raving about it. Sure, it was enjoyable, but I didn't have that kind of experience with it. Another one I'd never own anyway, because six players are hard to come by and that would be easily my preference here.

CONCLUSION

There were a bunch of other games played, but the chief takeaway from this weekend was a stinking cold, exhaustion and despite these, a timely reminder that this is one of my favourite places to be in the world. There's something just unavoidably wonderful about your only significant decisions being "what game shall I play next?" or "can a Thai restaurant take out a restraining order to stop you eating there every night?".

And sure, there were irritating moments too - there always are when 100 gamers get together and try and decide how to have fun - but that's all by the by - I got a lift home from a new gaming buddy, so I'm not going to complain for one second. Hoorah!
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