TableTop Day – Views From the Tables
Saturday was International TableTop Day. On this day, board gamers around the world come together to play board games. The Meetup group I belonged to, Game On: Chits and Giggles (yes, yes, I got the pun), decided to celebrate this by gaming for the full twenty four hours at the Portal in Manchester, CT, which was open for the full twenty four hours as well. It was a crazy undertaking, but we got quite a bit of gaming done, with a few observations along the way.
Longest Game I Was Glad I Was Not A Part Of
Our group started the night by splitting off into a couple of smaller groups. The group I joined pulled out my copy of Stone Age and played the worker placement game. Other members decided to take on a game of Battlestar Galactica, with a third group starting a game of Elder Sign.
Five hours later, two of the groups had finished their games and joined together in playing a few games of Blood Bound. When I say a few, I mean four (more on that later). That Battlestar Galactica game was still going on. Now, according to BoardGameGek.com, Battlestar Galactica has an average play time of one to two hours. This particular game had gone on for five hours.
Quote of the Day
“Hold on… dammit, we’ve been playing that wrong.”
Uttered by me the many times I tried to explain how a game is played.
The Fourth Time’s The Charm
Blood Bound is one of the few games in my collection that is designed to play with a large group. I recently picked it up at my local comic shop knowing that I would eventually be playing with a large group, thanks to the above mentioned meetup group. The game is a hidden role game where players are members of rival vampire clans trying to kill the leader of the rival clan. We played this four times early in the morning Saturday. Three of those times we played it, I managed to realize I missed a small but vital part of the rules. Thus, by the fourth time, we managed to actually play it right.
Granted, we were able to do this while another part of our group was still trying to find the Cylon in Battlestar Galactica.
Finally Got To Play It
My plan for TableTop Day was to play a few of the unplayed games in my collection, whether they were my copy or not. I did manage to play Blood Bound (my copy) and Small World (not my copy). I played many more games, but these are the two that I had in my collection that I had not played yet.
Perfect Game For 6 AM
Two Room and a Boom is a hidden role/deduction game played with a large group. Players are assigned to two teams with two players playing the president and the bomber respectively. The goal is for the bomber’s team to get the president and the bomber in the same room.
It turns out that at 6am, there are not the huge numbers of gamers at the store yet, allowing for the two groups to split up into two actual rooms.
That Game Kicked Our Butts
The Portal held two Pandemic Survival tournaments on TableTop Day. Pandemic Survival is the same as Pandemic with a few alterations. First, the roles are pre-picked for the tournament. Secondly, each turn is timed, so you have to think fast or be left behind.
Needless to say, Pandemic kicked our butts. A lot of us were taken out when outbreaks got to be too much to handle.
Worst Game I Partially Played, Part 1
Ground Floor is a worker placement game where players are trying to build up their companies from the ground floor (get it?). Unfortunately, I found the game far too complex and a bit boring to boot. Thankfully, we were saved when the Pandemic Survival tournament was about to begin.
We had planned on coming back to the game after the tournament. We ended up playing Cockroach Poker instead.
Best Game I Had Hoped To Buy on TableTop Day
Prior to TableTop Day, I had pre-ordered three games that I was planning on buying and playing that Saturday. Two of the games, Dice Town and Survive: Escape From Atlantis both came in: San Juan did not. Fortunately, the store had a copy in their game library that I was able to play (though I had played it many times in App form).
San Juan is a tableau building game similar in vein to Race For The Galaxy. Players work to build their towns and acquire victory points. Once one player reaches twelve buildings during a building phase, the game ends. I like playing the app, and really liked playing the actual game.
I just hope that my copy comes in soon.
Worst Game To Play After Staying Up Eighteen Hours
Ultimate Werewolf Inquisition, or any game where you need to close your eyes for any period of times.
Worst Game I Partially Played, Part 2
The last game of the night (or day, however you look at it) was Heroes Wanted, and it really did not click with me. You could argue that it was because it was 11pm and I had already been gaming for 23 hours. I would argue that I thought that the idea of forcing players to do stupid gimmicky “personality quirks” or they lose victory points is irritatingly stupid and unneeded. Thankfully, the late hour forced the game to wrap early, though I pretty much checked out of the game pretty early.
Disappointment of TableTop Day
The store had been holding raffles throughout the day for special TableTop Day promotions. There was only one promotion that I really wanted: The Felicia Day character card for Dead of Winter.
Guess what I did not win?
Karma Pays Back Moment
The Portal was having a Dungeons and Dragons Attack Wing tournament Sunday. Since I had just stayed up 24 plus hours for TableTop Day, I had not planned on participating on the tournament. But, Sunday came around and I said, what the heck. I figured I probably won’t win, but I’ll get a figure out of the blind booster.
Except I won the whole thing. I went undefeated. Well, technically, the last match was a MAD moment (Mutually Assured Destruction, for those who do not remember the cold war). I killed his last character on the field, but in this particular game, characters do not leave the field until the end of the round. Thus, that character does get one last attack, and he did. That attack took out my last two characters. I got the win by the simple fact that I had the highest level character left on the field when we all died.
Regardless, I won first place and the first place prize.