Sometimes when I have conversations with other people who don’t play board games regularly and it comes up in conversation that I’m a tabletop gamer, I find it somewhat amusing when they ask me about what games I have played. I usually turn it around and ask “well, what games have you tried?” Usually I get the same kind of responses below:
Either they mention a game from Parker Brothers or Hasbro.(Not that there’s anything wrong with these games). They say things like “Do you like, play Risk/Monopoly/Connect Four/Scattagories/Taboo/etc.”
Or they say “Have you heard of _____?” And usually the blank is filled with a game that has been around for many years now. I still laugh when the blank is filled with games like “Werewolf”, “Settlers of Catan”, or “Dominion”, “Carcasonne”
Or, they describe a game to me by their components and then I figure the game out:
“Have you heard of this tile game where you guys are on a boat, and there’s a monster, and you lay tiles on the board and…”
Don’t get me wrong. I love having conversations about board games with other people. I like talking about what’s new and out there and hopefully encourage people to try something new. In fact, that’s the reason why I started this blog in the first place.
But it would be nice to go to a place or event, meet like-minded people and discuss board games that I’ve never even heard of. I want the tables to be turned on me. I want to know a game that I’ve never even heard before, try it out, and advertise it’s play to others.
And of course there is a place. Board Game Conferences!
Last weekend I went to Fallcon. Fallcon is a board game conference in Calgary. I usually use this time to take a look and try a bunch of games that I’ve never even heard of before. And with the wonderful volunteers who help out at this event each year, it makes it easier to decide which games I want to add to my collection.
This year I went last Friday and Saturday to check out the festivities. Friday night I was on my own and signed up for a hosted game, Deus. Deus is a territorial expansion, resource management game that seems to be set during the Roman or Greek empire. Players are establishing a set of buildings that are used to generate resources, establish trading partners, or develop military armies. It sounds like Settlers of Catan, but has an interesting twist to it.
After playing, I had an opportunity to go and try out their version of King of Tokyo, only it was life sized. All components were ginormous! I have to say the best part of playing this version of the game was throwing the cubic foot sized dice high up in the air. They modified the game a bit, to adjust for the game’s large nature, but it was really awesome playing the game at this size.
On Saturday I had an opportunity to go with my friend Sarah. We started out at the family games section and tried out the Giant King of Tokyo, as well as Spinderella, a three-dimensional board game, where rolls of the dice would determine whether you move magnetic ants on a board, or adjust spiders above the trees, in which they could attack and eat one of the other ants. The other game that we tried was Chateau Roquefort, which was a cute board shifting game in which mice are trying to get cheese. In this game, you are moving through a 3 dimensional castle trying to snag different types of cheeses while avoiding pits.
The final game that I got an opportunity to try was Castles of Mad King Ludwig. In this game, you are trying to construct a castle for King Ludwig. Based on random criteria, some castles may require lots of green spaces, or lots of underground chambers, or a lot of tiny rooms. Players act as architects and attempt to adhere to these conditions. Players also try to mess around with other player’s castles by making certain rooms cost more than others. It’s a really interesting game and different than games I’ve played in the past.
And finally, the event I was looking forward to the most: the board game auction. Hundreds of board games consigned by dozens of gamers, all of them up for auction. It’s interesting to see how 400 games can just be sold in under two hours. I came out pretty good with five board games, but I was a little disappointed missing out on Kingsburg with an expansion and Suburbia. But this event definitely gets your adrenaline going when you’re trying to buy high quality used games at relatively low prices.
After being at this event, I now have a whole new perspective of what games are out there this year. I’m super stoked to add a few of these to my collection. And of course there are a bunch of games that I didn’t get to try, but want to look into. Games like, Steampunk Rally, Camel Up, and even Two Rooms and a Boom (even though I dislike hidden identity games right now). If you are Calgarian and you also like board games, definitely catch this event when it comes around next year in October.