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Convention Report: SaltCON 2018

Brad Cummings
United States
Connecticut
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From gallery of W Eric Martin
It's been three years since I moved to Utah, and I finally had the chance to attend SaltCON, arguably the largest local board game convention. I've attended Gen Con, Origins, and a handful of PAXs, but it's sometimes a struggle to find time for local conventions.

Early Saturday morning I packed up my five-year-old daughter and headed to the convention center located a few minutes north of Salt Lake City. I was surprised to find a crowded parking lot with a brief line to enter the convention. Turns out this year was a new high for the convention. Utah may not have the largest population, but the gamer density is substantial. This was the first year the convention had a dedicated exhibitor hall. Since that's my usual speed at conventions, we headed right in.

First off we checked out Glyph a dice-building battle game. It was a bit much for my 5yo, but she did get some awesome photos. (Did I fail to mention that she was the photographer for the event?)


From gallery of thequietpunk


Following Glyph, we checked out Moods of the Mad King. This is sort of a set collection game in which you are aiming to collect a complete three-card set. I "won" the demo and this resulted in a new photography rule: The winner must take a "selfie", as witnessed below.


From gallery of thequietpunk


We decided to leave the hall to explore the rest of the convention and ended up running into some folks from Roxley on the main gaming floor. They gave us a demo of Dice Throne: Season One and let us know that Dice Throne: Season Two is still on Kickstarter. My daughter was also able to perfect some action shots.


From gallery of thequietpunk


Back into the exhibitor hall! We swung by the Gamelyn Games booth, but it was pretty packed. We did manage to grab a few shots of Heroes of Land, Air & Sea, which was on display. That game looks like an amazing toy.


From gallery of thequietpunk


I was surprised to see Strawberry Studio at this show. They were playing What's Up, which I enjoyed in app form, and Pyramid of the Sun. What really caught our eye was Scare It!, their newest game coming in May 2018. It's a fun little matching game in which you are trying to scare other animals away while keeping your animals on the board.


From gallery of thequietpunk


It was then time for a lunch break, which is an essential part of any convention experience. When we got back, we headed over to try Wet Blanket (which does not have a BGG listing, for shame!); this is a light game about pulling people away from a party. At the same booth we checked out Ignite, a new type of confrontational deck-building game coming to Kickstarter soon.

After that, we finally had a chance to check out a game my daughter had been eyeing since the morning: Snowball Fight. This war variant was all right, but the best part was that my daughter won! Cue selfie.


From gallery of thequietpunk


Maybe it's because they're headed to GAMA or maybe they just want to go skiing, but Eagle-Gryphon Games was on the scene. They were showing off a prototype of Fleet:
The Dice Game
, which will be hitting Kickstarter soon. This roll-and-write game looks pretty deep for a dice game (summoning Suz of The Dice Tower).


From gallery of thequietpunk


Our day was nearly at an end. We had the chance to play a prototype game about dinosaurs eating food and say hi to a few folks. Before rolling out, we had a chance to stop by the Red Raven Games booth. They had some early copies of Empires of the Void II available at the show and a sneak preview of Near and Far: Amber Mines. My daughter nailed a ECU of the cover.


From gallery of thequietpunk


From gallery of thequietpunk


And that was our day. All in all it was a great time at SaltCON, and it seems like I may be back in 2019. Thanks for reading, and give a shout out to my 5yo photographer...
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