Friday Afternoon: Board Games
This con ended up being far more boardgame heavy than usual. To be fair, that wouldn't be hard as I usually only play one or two, if that. Over the course of the weekend, I played games of Smash Up, Infiltration, Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre, and King of Tokyo. I played the last at Buckets of Dice last year; it's cool but very simple. Epic Spell Wars is mostly cool because of the ridiculous metal voices the spell names inspire. Smash Up involves taking two preset decks of faction cards and shuffling them together to produce a mash-up of the two, which you then you to fight your opponents and seize locations. I think I played three games of this over the weekend and they were all very different in terms of strategy and gameplay, so it has a lot of replay value. Infiltration is another game set in FFG's Android world. In this one, everyone plays a mechanically identical character breaking into a facility to steal as much paydata as they can and get out alive before the security forces come. Thematically, it's not unlike a boardgame version of mission part of The Sprawl.
I might pick up copies of Smash Up and Infiltration at some point.
Friday Evening: ΚΡΑΤΟΦΑΓΙΑ
Both of my games reinforced how little I enjoy large games at cons; six players is too many. This game about creepy little mutants eating living things for mutant powers could have been freaky and intimate, but it turned out a bit gonzo. I'll run it again with four players.
On Saturday morning I played board games in the Barcon suite and I can't remember what I played in the afternoon...
Saturday Evening: Tonight We Slay a Dragon or Die in the Attempt
Ugh. Again, too many players. Also, never give up GM control to someone you don't know. No brainer, right? Yeah, I'm an optimist. This essentially turned into an okay trad-style adventure against a dragon, but I got the feeling the guy who GMed it wanted to turn it into a "the dragon is good and you're evil" gotcha. Again, I'll run this again with a smaller group and a firmer hand.
Sunday morning was more board games.
Sunday Afternoon: FATE Night's Black Agents
When we playtested Night's Black Agents a year or two ago, we fell in love with the premise (secret agents discover their previous employers were vampires and attempt to bring down their organisation, the awesomely named Conspyramid). The only problem was Gumshoe.
I was Mr Smoke, a handler modeled loosely on George Smiley from Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (I've only seen the excellent 2011 movie; highly recommended), and I was running an op in Sarajevo against the conspiracy. The game started with the team under fire from a high-powered rifle as we picked up a scientist with information on the vampire conspiracy. With the scientist badly wounded, we outflanked and eliminated the shooter and evaded the cordon of vampiric agents and police, but our rendezvous point was compromised so we had to separate. Merrick and McIntyre rushed the doctor to a safe house, and when Mr Smoke made contact, he rushed to meet them there, bringing a local doctor he had worked with before. The scientist didn't make it, but we did get the name of the company behind the local vampiric operation, OmniDynamics, an experimental blood-synthesis laboratory. McIntyre found us some names and addresses.
Mr Smoke contacted a local militant group and exchanged a set of British passports for a small bombing campaign. As the militants assassinated the upper management of OmniDynamics, Hetherington and Merrick infiltrated the penthouse condo of the head of the corporation. Hetherington ambushed him in his safe room, but despite his own slightly enhanced vampire blood, was soon engaged in a life-or-death struggle with the partially-vampiric corporate head. Merrick arrived and forced the vampire to flee, but the elevator doors opened to Mr Smoke with a white-phosphorus-loaded shotgun. We threw the vampire's body out the penthouse window into the sun and it exploded before it hit the ground.
This is now a semi-regular game.
Sunday Evening: Dominion Tournament
This was an interesting experience for me, having never played in a Strategicon tournament before. It used every supply once throughout the tournament and I wasn't familiar with many of the cards or combinations I ended up playing with which made it a bit tricky. There were two qualifying rounds and I just missed the cut for the finals, finishing 3/4 in the first game (because I expected aggressive play from my opponents and bought a near-useless moat at the start to get the jump on them) and 2/4 in the second (being pipped by a single point in a high scoring Bishop game by the person who finished just ahead of me in the first game as well! I don't know how the tourney ended, but I hope she did well! She'd only ever played the iPad version before the tournament!) The organisation was a bit rough and the format odd, but I'll probably play again next time.