Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Dragonflight game highlights

Last weekend I went to a local gaming convention, Dragonflight. It was a ton of fun. Because of my work and sporadic volunteering, this was the first game convention I'd attended in something like 5 years where I was actually off-the-clock and free to sign up for a full event schedule. Man, it was nice. I played the following games, including quite a few that were new to me:
  • Night's Black Agents - The first of 2 different NBA sessions I played in, each set in a non-typical era for this RPG. Usually, it's a game of burned superspies hunting vampires in the modern day. Instead, this scenario was set in 1870 in the Ottoman Empire, with everyone playing real-life historical figures instead of modern superspies. I played George Stoker, surgeon, officer, and younger brother of the author of Dracula. 
  • The Captain is Dead - a brightly colored cooperative board game about everything going wrong on a space ship all at once. The game was really solid. I have some minor concerns about replayability because there are card decks where every card in the deck gets played every session of the game... but I'm still probably going to buy The Captain is Dead in a paycheck or two.
  • Prime 20 - Tim Beach's ultra-streamlined version of the d20 system, GM'd by Tim Beach himself. He did something fun for character creation: we built Lego minifigs from a big bag of Lego parts, and then quickly stat-ed those minifigs in Prime 20 mechanics. The adventure was a rescue mission that evolved into diplomacy when we learned the "abducted" villager had actually eloped.
  • Thanos Rising - The first of many pick-up games of this Marvel-themed cooperative dicefest that I played this week. OMG, I played so much Thanos Rising. Every hole in my event schedule was filled with a round of Thanos.
  • Night's Black Agents - My second NBA session of the weekend. This one was set within 24 hours of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. We had a pretty cool chase/combat scene in a Berlin subway station.
  • Cthulhu 7th - The new rules features in Cthulhu 7th Edition were enjoyable and meshed well with my gaming style and tastes. It seems like a more forgiving version of the game. That said, the GM had the Phobia Deck handy for when I found myself face-to-face with mind-bending horror. I drew the outburst of Violence card, and it colored the rest of the session. Pretty cool.
  • Urchin - A recurring staple of my Dragonflight experience is the Saturday Midnight Urchin game. All those years when I was a volunteer or board member for Dragonflight, the midnight Urchin was the one game I'd make sure I always got to play. As is my tradition, I re-curred my favorite Urchin character, an outrageous over-the-top musician name Rory Wanker, who is forever chasing his (imaginary?) former glory in the music industry. I'm getting the band back together!
  • Thanos Rising - So much Thanos Rising. Seriously, this game has no right being this good. It's a movie-tie-in by USAopoly that came out right after the movie did. That could have easily been a design disaster. How on earth did it end up being such a solid game? Shut up and hand me the dice.
  • Dr Who: Time of the Daleks - This is a semi-cooperative dice game with some card and board game elements. It really nails the theme. If I had played it for the first time maybe half a year ago, I probably would have fallen in love with it. Unfortunately for the good Doctor, it's mechanics kind of scratch the same itch that Thanos does, but you can finish three games of Thanos in the duration of one Time of the Daleks, and Thanos is easier to teach to new players. Given all that, I just don't see myself buying Time of the Daleks.
  • Gaslands - This game is everything I ever wanted Car Wars to be, but more elegant and much faster-paced. Our introductory death-race ended in a three-car-pile-up and massive explosion, in under and hour. I foresee myself buying and modding a bunch of Hot Wheels and Matchbox Cars in the near future.
  • Thanos Rising - And we closed out the Con with another nail-biting Thanos struggle.

That was a fun weekend.