Wellycon 2012, Countdown, part 3

With this last week counting rapidly down, I thought I would share my final thoughts on what I hope Wellycon to be, and what I plan to do or hope to learn, play and teach.  Having written most of this before Andrew posted out the schedule for the weekend, my plans had to make a few changes to fit in things.

And this year I want to do things differently in a number of areas.

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Names & Faces

So first up I thought to myself, I am going to meet lots of new people again.  For me, part of the attraction of board games over electronic ones is developing the relationships, most are short term, others lead to much longer ones with more happening besides gaming.  One of my goals this year is to start gathering up nationwide contacts, people I know and faces I remember, not just the games I play with you.  If you see me, say ‘Hi’, or tell me what you think of my blog or review, tell me what games you would like reviewed.  I may be passing out some business cards for the blog as well, which you won’t need if you are reading this.

To help identify me I thought I might share a picture of Ann and I to aid in your identification.

Ann has the North American accent, I am the one with zero trace of the once thick Glaswegian accent.

You may see us with our children, Sarah (14), Michaela (13), and Laura (10, going 16).  Sarah & Laura are the shy ones, while Michaela will dive into any game that takes her interest, adults don’t scare her.  Thankfully they are all capable players in a variety of games.  Sarah is a real Dominion shark among others, loves Prosperity expansion.  Laura has a wide interest range, likes thematic games, while Michaela will jump head first into mid-weight games without having seen them before if they take her fancy and do well.  Do not under estimate them if you play them, they play for fun as well as to do well.

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The Really, Really, Big Idea

I have also decided to do something really big this year, I mean really big.  In fact bigger than my plans had been to run a Leaping Lilly Pads tournament to launch the game, which is delayed at the printers end, so that is next years project.  This year I have decided I would like to document Wellycon in video format.  In part this is because I have a new camera, mostly it is about board gaming in New Zealand.  As you may conclude from following this blog, I am mad about board gaming, what fun it can bring, what it can do for your family and friends, as an educational tool, as a social mechanism.

What I am planning is a short documentary on board gaming, and Wellycon will be a big part of it.  The idea besides poaching shots of the scene and crowds, is to get the camera down and dirty in the mud so to speak, have it at tables, talk to players, the organising team, retailers, and spectators.  I want to capture thoughts about gaming in NZ and at Wellycon, how your game is going, maybe plug a great game you have found.  It is an ambitious project, and I am an amateur with high hopes of capturing the magic I find in gaming, yet I think this is a worthwhile one which I would like to make public after the event with some additional recordings and editing.  Don’t expect the quality of production as with say Wil Wheatons ‘TableTop’ show, yet I hope it says something about board gaming as a pastime, a tool, as a means of enriching ones life.

So to help me in this I am recruiting the family.  I did some film work years ago at school, Sarah last year at college.  The rest are enthusiastic and motivatable (a new word) volunteers.  I shall arm them with various tools, video camera, cameras, tablet, and charge them with documenting the two days.  I am just just about to brief Ann on her role having just announced it an hour ago.

So if you say ‘Hi’ or get into a chat, I hope you won’t be offended if I try and capture it on tape (so to speak in this digital world), and if so I can take a polite and subtle hint, I don’t want to ruin your weekend.  On the other hand, this is reality TV, so no royalties for cameo performances.

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The Gaming Plan

Having a plan of attack is useful at conventions, and Wellycon is no different.  Just coming to play any game might seem okay, however there are games I would prefer to play, games I want to learn, and games I want to share.  So having a list made that targets those games in particular is very useful at focusing all the potential energy of the event into a great memory of experiences for me.

So here is a list of what I want to do games wise in Three categories.  Games to play/share/teach is about enjoying the experience of a game I really enjoy.  Sharing and teaching are part of that fun for me.  This will include a late prototype of Leaping Lilly Pads.  Learning is about tracking down some games I have heard about or looked at, and want to see what they offer as a designer for ideas and if it is a game I want to add to the collection.  Expansions, well, there are some nice ways to expand certain games out there and I want to hunt them down, test with a view to purchase.

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Games I want to play/share/teach

  • Lords of Waterdeep (see my review, this could be a great convention game)
  • Cuba (a clever twist on resource management and role selection with a few other twists of economics)
  • Torres (a fun deep strategy game that is so easy to learn, yet a great test of 3D thinking building towers and castles)
  • Carson City (this is a cool games of resource management mixed in with some gunfights and strategy)
  • Tsuro (a very, very cool short filler about flying dragons and tile placement)
  • Airlines Europe (a great economics game with lots of suspense and strategy)
  • BSG (for tose non-introverted sci-fi geeks that is Battlestar Galactica)
  • Leaping Lilly Pads (a fun short strategy game)
  • Carcassonne : The City (you have not played Carcassone until you play this master variant)

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Games I want to learn

  • Alien Frontiers
  • Le Harve
  • Quarriors
  • Space Alert
  • Sid Meirs Civilization: The Board Game (2010)

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Try expansions to games I own

  • Hinterlands & Cornucopia, for Dominion.
  • Any Small World expansion, particularly Tales & Legends.
  • Ticket To Ride India (which we will probably buy, so better let somebody know to get a copy there on the day for us)

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The first thing I noticed about my list is that most are medium or longer games, the sort that could chew up 2+hrs each.  So the reality check is that if I get in half of these I will be very happy.  The other is that the schedule now has a RftG (Race for the Galaxy) tournament, and this is a game I like.  I may not be the worlds best player of it, yet this is one game that I really do want to get played, I seldom get the chance at home, and I have only played online a few times, yet it is a game I really enjoy, in my top 20.  So squeezing this in is a must, as is some on-line practice time.

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This Week In A Logistical Perspective

This could be the OMG list as I prepare for the best two days solid gaming I do this year.  It is a big list, and when you have children it is all about logistics.  Thankfully Ann is great on the sort of logistics which keeps an army moving and in fighting trim.  She has the snacks planned, even the meals.  She will make sure my list is checked twice.  Partners like her are unsung heroes, and hopefully we get to share a game or two together.  I will have to score the sugary snacks that will complement a big protein hit every morning, so that is my shopping part of things.

I need to get a tidier final prototype of Leaping Lilly Pads finished.  This is a big job in itself.

There is games to prep, get copies of anything I need as play aids collated, etc.

There are batteries to charge, a netbook and a tablet to prep.  And near the weeks end there is a new video camera arriving, so a crash course on that.  Some finer points training for the team on all the equipment operations.

A team briefing on the doco making.

Practice Race For The Galaxy on-line, lots.

Some sleep.

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So…

…I hope to meet you on the weekend, maybe share a great game, actually, that is my prime reason of being there.  Hope you have safe travels.

For those who can not make it, well, I suppose a post or two with pics and maybe some video shorts to tempt you for next year is all I can offer.

Good gaming to you all.

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