As was entirely expected, I didn’t get much sleep on Thursday night; what I did get was deep and dreamless but, once the first lights of the Birmingham morn doth syrup-seep through the drapes around 5.30AM, I woke up and couldn't drop off again.
Showering and adorning myself with troos and a new Surprised Stare Games tee-shirt , I found the breakfast area relatively-empty – ie. buzzing loudly rather than roaring with bacon-breathed blabber-jabber – and was able to scoff a hearty fry-up in the genial company of Mr Rob Harris, Playtest UK plate-spinner and sometime Modiphius lacky.
Keen to get my Bring & Buy offerings safely shelved, it was a brisk walk back through the long hotel to a back door and through the woods to Hall 1. Even though it was still rather light-of-stock, I managed to grab a minty copy of Thunder Road (Mad Max: The Boardgame, basically, from 1987) and then cashed in some Magic: The Gathering rarities for an armful of games:
I couldn't avoid it forever, though, and before the doors opened I managed to enjoy the true Convention luxury of a being able to find a toilet cubicle without queuing for an hour OR finding it erupting like a poo volcano! There was some dithering, and a restorative coffee, back at the Stand before the Tsunami of Dobbershovery overwhelmed us...and I mean overwhelmed:
Continuing the severe weather phenomenon analogy, the next two hours were a whirlwind; chatting, signing and hurriedly unpacking more stock as GoLs - and, to my delight, Snowdonias - whistled off the booth! I managed to escape, mid PM, for a 20 minute perambulation with good buddy Neil and his kids, helping him select some choice goodies for the taking home of. We, SSG, also provided seated sanctuary to a weary Stu Burnham (of this Blog Parish) and son William; Stu returned the favour by doing the occasional 'demo':
In the end, at the close of play, there were 40 rather forlorn-looking Mayors (with their attendant guards) staring back at me...and today (Saturday) is supposed to be the BUSY day!
Supper was from Becky's Bhajis, a most excellent and spicy repast, before seeking out Russ & Alex Martin for some recreational distraction; as I took my seat, I noticed Russ had popped his 'plums' out and I suggested with all play with immediately. Thus, as is no surprise dear reader, did the sous entendu continue for the next 20 minutes before coming to a satisfying pi-filled climax:
We _had_ intended to play Imhotep next but, with the arrival of Ben & Steph & Matt Dunstan, it turned in to a me watching the others playing Snowdonia: A Nice Cup Of Tea:
It was a fascinating mix of players and, after the breezy 10 minute description of what is different?, these seasoned Snowdonians polished the whole thing off in 80 minutes...and there was just 5 points between Matt in 1st and Alex in 2nd! I had tried a couple of tiny tweak-ettes (one more space on the BUILD action for 5 players and tea being worth 2 points each rather than 3) which proved spot-on; I am now happy that this scenario is now ready!
Retiring to the Bar for much-needed hydration, Matt D and I chatted about gamey things then met up with his younger brother for even more chatter; we parted ways an hour later - they have a T.I.M.E Stories session to continue - and I meandered back in to the main room to see if anyone was still about:
Evidently they were so I drove deeper in to the hubbub in search of pals and something to join in with; fortunately, I happened upon an old (young) pal from the London working days teaching Guilds to Gil Hova and others and, keen that this should go well, I plonked my arse down and heckled for the first 6 rounds. The long, exciting day had finally caught up with me and I took myself off to bed around 11PM; Saturday's itinerary starts with an early meeting comprised of myself, Sheik Allegmatey and his business associates Messrs Ash Brown and Ben Zonntoast so, if you'll excuse me, it's time to take forty winkzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
*the bonce, not the performance!
Life and Games (but mostly games) from Tony Boydell: Father, Grandfather, Husband and Independent UK Game Designer.
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