UK Games Expo - Day 2
Day 2 of the UK Games Expo is done and dusted. It was a little less manic for me than Day 1, I didn’t really leave the Hilton tournament rooms all day; but I still didn’t get home until gone 1am this morning. Here are my highlights:
Settlers of Catan UK Championships - This was the big one, with twenty tables set aside for the tournament, and twenty fresh boxes of Catan ready to be opened. I was first to get seated at my table, and so had the pleasure of preparing the pieces for the first game. As with popping the seal on a fresh jar of coffee, or getting set loose on a pile of bubble wrap, there is a weird satisfaction that comes with pushing those cardboard game pieces free from their packaging. To be honest, that was as good as my Catan experience got this year. I played four matches getting one 3rd place, one 2nd place, and then back to back 4th place finishes. Even an extra bag of Jelly Babies couldn’t power me through, and by the time my participation in the tournament came to an end it was 6.30pm and I was shattered. Eight hours of Catan really takes it out of you. I wish I could blame the dice, but the honest truth is I just didn’t play well enough or ruthlessly enough…. and ok, yeah, the dice were against me (maybe a little) :P
But I’m ok with that. As with last year, the really fun thing about the tournament is the new people you meet and get chatting with. It’s always a much better experience if you can have a laugh with your table mates and enjoy playing the game. I’ll certainly be back next year, hoping to get a few places higher up the leader board; I honestly don’t think I'd be able to get much lower…
Legacy RPG - Last year was my first experience of an RPG at a Convention, and it was interesting to see how the play styles of my friends and I differed from other people. It was a great experience and so we thought we’d go for another game this year. Our tournament commitments (Me in Catan, Dean & Maz both playing in the X-Wing tourney) meant that we had a limited option of available games that would fit our schedule, and so we ended up jumping into a superhero game that ran from 8pm until Midnight.
Our group of heroes had been trapped in a floating temple to Anubis, somewhere in a pocket universe out past Pluto, and had to get free and pursue the group who had trapped us back to the planet ship Salvation Point. Things escalated when a cosmic wyrm (something that eats planets, don’t you know) appeared and left us with no choice but to steal the planet ship and lure it away from Earth.
There was combat, dashing heroics, a slice or two of copyright infringing Star Wars references, bribing guards with home made cheese dips, and sacrificing the, unsuspecting, embodiment of a star… Yeah, by the end of the game I think a few of us had crossed “Hero” out on our character sheet, and pencilled in “Villain”.
As with any RPG, you get out what you put in, so if you sit there and don't do a lot you might find it a boring experience; but if you get stuck in, contribute ideas, have a plan for your character, and get involved in the story the GM is telling for you… well, then it can be an absolute riot :)
I think the GM recorded the session, so there may be an audio transcript of our collective efforts coming out soon.
Other Stuff - In between tourneys and RPG’s there wasn’t that much free time today, but I did get to hang out in the Boulevard and play “Cash & Guns” over dinner. It’s a fun party game, and I can see the appeal, but I think it definitely needs more than four players to keep it interesting.
Anyway, Day 3 is about to kick off, so I’ll see you on the convention floor.