Saturday, February 23, 2013
Gamesummit in Ottawa was in Gatineau this spring and it was easily twice as big as it was last year. It was in a larger venue this year and it was also pretty full. Everywhere the tables were packed so that bodes well for the event, and already next years date is booked at that location. It ran for two days and I went both the Saturday and Sunday, Saturday for some serious game activities and Sunday to bring the kids. It was a pretty well run convention and even though they had some issues with registration I think they did a really good job running the show. I only had two real beefs about it in fact. My first complaint is that they didn't provide a white board for the game library so you could easily announce games looking for players. That's a minor thing but since they did have this in the past I was kind of relying on it and was ticked to see it wasn't available. One of my friends did manage to get the MC to announce a game we wanted players for, and that was great, we got all sorts of folks dropping by so that then we had to turn folks away. It was an awesome band-aid on an otherwise easily solvable problem. Next year set up a whiteboard for games looking for players. My second complaint was that they only had the picture booth running on the Saturday and so when I came on Sunday with the kids we couldn't spend our tokens and get novelty photos made up. That was disappointing since there was little to spend the tokens on for them and I had saved them up just for that purpose. Neither of these were big deal breaker issues by any means.
I got to try the Le Havre: Inland Port and I have to say it was interesting but I wouldn't buy it. The game had a very neat goods abstraction system that entirely solves the issue of having gobs cardboard tokens that the original game has. Unfortunately it solves it in a way as to be highly abstract and that takes away from the visceral fun of processing goods in the first place. More interesting was our trial of Clash of Cultures (that's it in the picture) which is a true civilization style strategy game that was a lot of fun. We messed up the rules and had a few false starts but the components and the game mechanics were really good. I'd like to try this one again for sure. I also got to try out a game of Chaos in the Old World which was an interesting and good looking area control style game based on the Warhammer franchise. Evil gods trying to dominate the world. It actually reminded me a lot of the Diskworld: Ankh Morpork game but with a more over the top heavy metal theme.
On Sunday the kids and I got to learn to play Munchkin which was pretty fun. My oldest liked it and asked to play again sometime (of course I had a copy of Munchkin at home we haven't played yet - Axe Cop flavour), the younger one balked at the amount of info on the cards and didn't like it as much. She won the game but was more along for the ride than anything. We also got a chance to learn and play King of Tokyo at the game demo tables which is a fantastic game, fast fun and very accessible to all types of gamers (of course I had a copy of King of Tokyo at home we hadn't played yet). We also go interviewed for the local newspaper, likely because the two girl children at a game convention bites dog angle the reporter was looking for.
The market place was huge, at least twice the area of the whole convention space the previous year. There were lots of vendors and the kids picked up some little nic-nacs but I really was keeping my self in check this year. I was very tempted to buy Cyclades which I had heard good things about and which I saw being played. That game is really pretty. I was also tempted to get Clash of Cultures but I didn't because it is a 4 player game and I have a surplus of 4 player games.
I did get a chance to pick up a copy of Durance, which was a kickstarter RPG book by Jason Morningstar, the creator of Fiasco, that recently shipped. That was a score because I missed out on funding that and was actually worried about finding it in a store before the zombie apocalypse. Durance is a space penal colony themed story game that I am pretty eager to try out sometime. I also grabbed a copy of Dino-Pirates of Ninja island even though I probably won't get a chance to run someghting like that for a hella long time (still gotta bplaytest Beacon whenever possible)because the dude was there with his book and we must support those dudes.
So good times. Next March I'll be looking to go again.