Well, another Origins has come and gone. As with the past two years, I focused on press coverage and hanging out with friends moreso than playing games. However, I did still manage to hit the big games I wanted to play.
North Star Games was one of the first booths I hit at the show, and picked up my copy of Say Anything (gratis, in exchange for the secrets of the Select-O-Matic 5000 technology.) I’m very glad to see this game out, and in addition to playing at the booth with some friends, I also played a few games back in my hotel room late at night. I’ve had a blast with it, and I hope it does as well for them as Wits & Wagers did. The only potential issue is that “Your Mom” tends to be the best answer for most questions.
I was glad to get in another play of Dominion at Rio Grande, and finally be able to share it with others. This was the game I hinted at back during my Gathering report that gamers would love. When I first told about it, it was described as “Magic: The Gathering deckbuilding as a game.” While not quite accurate, it definitely maintains a lot of that feel. I really feel like this game could have a lot of crossover appeal: eurogamers like it, and any current or lapsed Magic player is probably going to dig it. Can’t wait for this to come out. (Looks to be October for Essen Spiel.)
I played what I hope to be my last D&D 3.5 game on Friday night, which was a reunion game for the long-running D&D game I was in from college. We managed to assemble the majority of the players from the old game (plus 2 new friends), which was quite a feat considering how spread out we are now. While those of us around the table disagreed (vehemently, in some cases) on what edition we want to play, the general agreement was that the people make the game, far more than the system. With a little Krogling on the way, gathering those same players together in future years may be impossible… such is what seems to happen to many great gaming groups.
I played only one event at The Big Experiment this year, which was the Martian Hold’em tournament. I made it to the final table, but knew I didn’t have a chance. Due to scheduling, I had to miss IceTowers, one of the games I’m best at. Oh well, someday I’ll win another medallion.
The boardroom continues to grow, and if you want to just spend a weekend with a huge library of board games, the board room ribbon is the way to go. Unfortunately, I paid for the ribbon, and only played one game there (and it was a game that I own!) This was mitigated by the incredible generosity of Rio Grande’s Jay Tummelson- he essentially gave everyone who owned a ribbon two free games. So the ribbon paid for itself right there. Next year, I’ll probably skip the ribbon… but I still highly recommend it to serious boardgamers at Origins (much more than playing in the Mayfair area.)
This year was neat for me since there were three games being promoted in the exhibit hall that had my name in the credits. However, not so neat for my friends who had to listen to me brag when walking around.
Anyway, while I didn’t play many games at Origins, I still had a blast. Oh, and I spent a lot of money.
I managed to save some money between a free hotel night (due to overbooking) and fewer parking costs. So what did I do? Spent more money of course. I lost track of my exact expenses, but here’s the big ones:
- Dr. Who miniatures. These are roughly the same scale as D&D miniatures, and some of them are very detailed. The Dalek, especially, is bitching. (I also had a good reason for buying The Doctor…)
- Cthulhuiana Corner swag: a Miskatonic University hat, two Miskatonic University stickers (which resemble the Miami University logos, oddly enough), a Miskatonic University Mead folder, a “No More Years” Cthulhu sticker, and a few other pieces as presents for friends.
- d12 Keychain. Only $1!
- A couple GameMastery Map Packs from Paizo. I wanted some more tiles for city settings. (Also picked up the new edition of Falling, since I love that game.)
- Dread and Burning Wheel from Indie Press Revolution. I don’t expect to run either one, but I’ve wanted to pick them up for a while. Interesting to note that they were selling the first Mouse Guard trade in preparation for selling the Mouse Guard RPG.
- Various D&D miniatures. Origins (and I assume GenCon) are deinitely the place to pick up singles. They’re cheap, and easy to pick up random rares for a new campaign.
- A set of Alea Tools. I wish I had picked up more, actually.
- And finally, I decided that Critical Hits needed an official one of these, made by Dragonfire Designs.