Monday, April 16, 2007

Beach Con 2: Electric Boogaloo

This weekend, in a tradition we started last year, Ryan and Sarah invited a group of like-minded gamers down to “the beach house” in Huntington Beach. Much gaming ensued. I had to miss most Saturday because of a longform improv workshop (at which we played Werewolf, interestingly enough), but I did manage to get in a few games. On the RPG side of things, I ran a single-episode game of Hero’s Banner, which I’ve wanted to try since GenCon last year. Despite some initial missteps, it ended up working out well. Our primary mistake was in not realizing the potential danger of putting all of the characters together. The result was that Ted’s character didn’t really have a story to tell, as he soon discovered that his Influences didn’t match up with what was going on in everyone else’s action. This sort of danger exists in any game, but because of Hero’s Banner’s mechanics, it was particularly problematic. We also had a few pacing difficulties, but that’s par for the course in games with pre-set endgame mechanics (cf. My Life with Master, Polaris). Still, it was a fun time. I’ll be talking more about it on the next episode of the Voice of the Revolution.

On Sunday morning, Gwen and I played a few games of Hive while we were waiting for everyone else to wake up. Gwen must have still been asleep, as I actually won the first two games. By the time we finished a seven-race game of Odin’s Ravens, a few folks were up and moving around, but before the games got started in earnest, I had time to teach three people R-Eco. I enjoyed all three of these, and I think they all have excellent strategy-to-time ratios.

A good chunk of my Sunday was taken up with finishing the Hero’s Banner game we’d started the night before, but I did get to play a game of The Pillars of the Earth with the copy I’d picked up at Endgame the previous weekend. I liked this game when I played (in German) at BGG.CON last fall, and I was pleased to discover that I still enjoy it. Despite being the only player not to fall victim to “the tyranny of the bag,” I finished a distant last. I had a good time though, and I want to get this to the table a lot more now. We finished the weekend with a game of Alhambra, which I played for the first time only two months ago. I understood the game much better this time around, and I ended up running away with the game. I’m curious to see how well I actually understand the strategy, so hopefully I’ll find some excuse to bring this out again soon.


Post a Comment

<< Home