Wellycon 2012 came and went over the weekend, and what a weekend it was. To describe it as a big success would slightly understate it. As the largest to date we were close to bursting at the seams with approximately 160 gamers each day.
We arrived bang on time on the Saturday to find that the early birds already had a number of games well under way. Being keen both to play and film at the same time I compromised and did both, introducing three players to Tsuro for two quick rounds of fun and brain warmup.
By now people were flooding in, the games library was getting hit hard as a giant surge of gamers kicked off their weekend. It was a surge that would last most ofthe day as every table and flat space came into use except the registration desk. Old friends met, new faces were invited into games old and new.
Everything was running smoothly, Andrew Rae and his team have had a few years practice. None the less this coped with the human wave through registration and into the library, the coaching of games, the introduction of newbies to it all.
My plan for the weekend mostly went out the window. I had said that I wanted to share and teach mostly this year, and that is what I did. From five games of Tsuro, another five of Leaping Lilly Pads, and five more of Lords of Waterdeep, to one of Airlines Europe.
Perhaps the highlight game was when Zac from Whangarei, asked if I would run and teach Battlestar Galactica, how could I turn it down. With five newbies to the game, one who had not seen the series, it would be a big long game, assuming things went well. I drew Tom Zarek.
The game was very memorable for many reasons beside the length. After the first round the players started to find their characters and play them. There were crisis and debate, accusations, a failed Brig attempt, a revealed Cylon, and then it came, the big moment, of the game. Our libeal President Jen had me thrown in the Brig. Ok, I had been making the hard and tough decisions in true Tom fashion, and it earned me few friends, only suspicion.
Getting out of the Brig was not going to be easy, and Starbuck made sure I did not get out, she almosted hated Zarek. Unable to get out, it came back to the next turn of our President, who with some clever card play sent Helo and Adama to the Brig before revealing herself as a Cylon in a masterful deception.
It was an equally amazing finish a short time later as I had Tom hit the early jump with all the dials in red for an early jump leaving us with just one population!
It was a big game, finished in 4 1/2 hours, and we all had a great game.
Lords of Waterdeep was a popular new game to learn, I spent many hours running games of it. It had favourable responses every game, most players really looking to buy it. There were memorable games and plays, and I met many new payers this way. My next game was against some seasoned players who where mostly new to the game, and after a very slow start, broke out and regained a lead that was going to be hard to beat. In the end it was a close call of 2 points won in the last round on the last agent placement.
My own game, Leaping Lilly Pads also did well. I ran five games that were very fun, the players got right into the game and we laughed away some of our sorry scores, especially when a gamer called Grwyn did the perfect job of killing the rest of us with Predators.
It was then that magic happened, a gamer who had just played started to introduce and teach about four more games. You know you have made something special at that moment.
I capped off all my gaming with a five player Airlines Europe. I love this game as an investment strategy experience, it pips Acquire only just, and mostly because of the well executed theme. I decided to use a strategy that one of the gamers in our group uses. Mike uses a minimal investment / maximum share take strategy that can work really well, most people have probably never seen it. My let down was in the cards, and that was beyond my control. It was over half way through the game before Tony (an experienced player running the game) started to cotton on to what I was doing. The end was tight, I was third by one point, and only 4pts off the top place, a good score considering the cards. The winner was new to the game, an experienced Acquire player who took on board some of my tips.
The filming of Wellycon and interviews with people took some time, I knew it would. With the camera so new there were some technical issues that meant some brilliant footage was not captured. Even so there are moments of true gold on what I did gather. With the new PC almost setup, I have started to edit the footage which shall be released in two stages, the first is about Wellycon and some extra footage, the second release will give the full documentary that I have planned. Thankfully the Wellycon experience means that the additional footage quality will rise. So right now I have probably 10 minutes of video near finished, could be near 20 minutes more for Wellycon alone.
Saturday saw a Race For The Galaxy tournament. Being rather rusty I entered with low expectations, which I lived up to. I had chosen an economic strategy that went off key. That said, there were some real contenders, the running of the event was smooth and without a hitch.
Tichu also had a competition on Sunday, Michaela and Laura entered after a few warm up games. The luck they had in the warm ups left for the main event, so they were not so happy about it all.
Another highlight for me was the final awards for the weekend on Sunday evening. As with other years we had never won a prize in the raffle draw, and we missed again this year. What came as a wonderful surprise was to be recognised for the person with the most/best Wellycon spirit, no doubt for the doco and all my blog postings leading up to it, plus all the games I taught to newbies all weekend. I was also surprised with the prize to go with it, a new copy of The Castles of Burgundy. Many thanks to Andrew and crew for the honour and recognition.
There were many memorable people from the weekend whom I shared a game with, I think most people walked away with some new gaming friends or contacts. Some I sadly missed catching up with, such was the hustle and bustle of the weekend. As great as the games were, they were made better by the people I played with.