Thursday, September 4, 2008

ConQuest SF

Helen and I spent most of Labor Day weekend at ConQuest SF, a four-day gaming convention. Although ConQuest is primarily for wargamers, they offer plenty to interest the non-war boardgamers, like us and our friends.

We had a very good time, although in some ways it was pretty low-key. These conventions offer tournaments, demos of new games, seminars, and more; and in the past we've sampled all of these activities. In addition to scheduled events, I usually look forward to some playtesting of unpublished designs-in-progress, and I hope to discover at least one really exciting game that I haven't played before.

But this time, we mostly just played games with our friends. We skipped the scheduled stuff altogether, except for the flea market, and even that was pretty small and disappointing. We did pick up a copy of Hare and Tortoise, and Helen spotted a vintage copy of Risk that I was able to score for a measly $8. I'm not a big Risk fan; what attracted me was that this version of the game contains approximately a bazillion little wooden cubes in each of six colors -- a real prize for a game designer who needs bits for prototypes!

I played a number of games that were new to me, but nearly all were disappointing and there were several that I outright disliked. (These included Ruse & Bruise and Phoenicia). The one new game that I did rather like was Metropolys. It didn't make me want to rush out and buy a copy, but I certainly wouldn't mind playing it at least a few more times.

There were no interesting prototypes being played, at least that I noticed (there were one or two that I deemed uninteresting). With one exception: Candy Weber's Coronets. I missed that session, but that's okay because I've played it before and expect to be able to play it again. She tells me it's coming along nicely and that some of my feedback from an earlier session has been incorporated. (Yay, I'm helping!)

On Monday the con was still in progress, but we were exhausted; so we slept in and then invited a friend over to play a few more games quietly at home. That was a good day, too.

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