I had the pleasure of attending TotalCon in Mansfield, MA, for the fourth (or possibly fifth) time; taking my father and my girlfriend, Kali, with me. We had a lot of fun at the convention, which wasn’t a surprise. Here are the highlights from Friday.
We arrived in the morning and were pleasantly surprised by the amount of people. TotalCon is growing every year, but it manages to keep the great family convention feel to it. We picked up our badges and event tickets and then headed out to set up our display table. After setting up the table Kali and I ventured forth into the board game room to find something to play. We grabbed a copy of Guillotine and sat down for a quick bout of this favorite. Afterwards, we played a round of Eight-Minute Empire, which was a fun and quick empire building game that takes 8 minutes to play per player. Kali and I both enjoyed Eight-Minute Empire and are looking forward to playing it again.
We then parted ways. Kali headed off to play an old school D&D game and I caught up with Ben Gerber from Troll in the Corner to play a few games. Ben had just picked up Cube Quest: Clash for The Crown in the dealer’s hall and we cracked the game open to give it a try. Cube quest is an area control dexterity game where two players take turn flicking dice at each other while trying to knock their opponents king off the board. The first flick was an exciting one with dice flying everywhere. This resulted in three grown men crawling around the convention floor searching for a die which was inconveniently the same color as the hotel’s carpet. You can check out Ben’s Rapid Review of Cube Quest over on TrollITC. After a few speedy rounds of Cube Quest we broke open one of my dealer’s hall purchase (Sentinels of The Multiverse: Shattered Timelines) and played a quick game. The expansion added some bunch of new stuff including, characters, villains, and a handful of environments. I really enjoyed the game and we played with one of the new characters as well as a new environment (The Block). Sentinels was fun and everyone enjoyed it. The new environment was interesting and I can’t wait to get it on the table again.
After those adventures, I decided to go check in on how Kali was doing. Sadly, her first long game of the convention was not that enjoyable. The GM had some major player management issues and the storyline was a bit bland. She valiantly finished the game out of respect for the other players, but it was not as much fun as we had hoped from the description. Once she was out of the game we debriefed and she took a rest in the room, as she was feeling a bit off after her awkward RPG experience.
I headed back into the board game room and broke out my copy of John Kovalic’s ROFL! Card Game. We had a great time trying to condense popular phrases into text/online speech and it often ended up with the group ROFLing, making the game title warranted.
Once we gave Chip some feedback on RhymeReply, he was kind enough to stick around and do a play test of my Tugboats! game. We played a round and then had a productive talk about updates and changes that would make the game better. This was one of the last play tests that was needed before ordering version 3.0 of the game with the new updates from the last few games we played. Thanks to Chip and Kali for helping me out by offering such great suggestions.
Kali and I then met up with Brendan and Jeremy from Crossroads Games and played a round of the card game Hanabi. Hanabi was amazingly fun and a great little card game. I have had it suggested to me many times, but from the description it was hard to tell if I would like it. The game is a cooperative card game where players are trying to complete piles of cards. This game comes with an interesting twist; you can’t see your own hand! Players take turns giving clues to each other about what is in their hand and this helps each player decide which cards to play and which ones to discard. We both really enjoyed the game and picked up a copy to bring home.
As soon as one game winds down, another game is always just over the horizon. It didn’t take much to talk me into a game of game of Heart-throb with Flip from the Flip the Table podcast. We had six grown gamer men playing a game designed for teenage girls. It was one of the highlights of the convention. It was hilarious to watch us figure out which eligible bachelor each one of us would want to kiss, go on a date with, go steady with, or even KILL for. I ended up being the victor of the game by one point!
After Heart-throb I caught up with Kevin Kulp of Pigpen fame, Jim from NJAGP, and my friend Michael for a game of Gravwell Escape from The 9th Dimension. Gravwell is a game about gravity and how it affects ships in space. Players draft cards and then use those cards to push and pull themselves to victory. Cards are played in alphabetical order and the placement of the ships on the board influence your movement so that things don’t always go as planned. The game was unique and I’m interested in trying it out a few more times before picking up a copy to add to my collection.
Well, that’s it for our busy Friday. Keep an eye out for details about Saturday and Sunday, which will be posted soon.