Three Days at Origins so far and even though its 9:00 in the morning, I feel like my head is the olive in a dry martini. Mostly, the feeling is from lack of sleep, but there is also the braincrushing weight of nonstop gaming for 20 hours and the copious beers from the Brewhouse upstairs. Three times I tried to post a 'live' gaming report from Origins and each time it sounded a little like that. Each day there were some new and interesting things that popped up but the overall theme this year was MARATHON GAMING. Getting there very early and leaving very very late.
Mostly this is because:
1. Launius is a freak of nature
2. I have no self control
I've heard Richard state before tht he only needs 3-4 hours of sleep each night and at no time did this become more evident than this Origins. We would roll into the hotel at 3:30 and he would be up, showered and shaved by 7:30...and he did it for 5 days straight. As for self control, anyone who knows me knows that Self Control is not my strong point. Instead of going back to the hotel with others I would hang out until the last of our group left.
So Orgins went down like this:
Day 1 Tuesday
Drive up- long and boring. Good thing the resturant we went to had marguritas on special. We stayed offsite at the Drury. Joe grabbed a 12 pack and we drank and played games the rest of the night.
Day 2 Wenesday Got there early.The dealer room wasn't open but CABS was . I forget what CABS stands for but it is a big boardgaming club in Ohio. They have an huge membership and an extensive boardgame library. It is predominately Euros but there are some AT titles in there (Talisman, catacombs, ect). If you want to play your favorite game at Origins though I strongly suggest you bring it yourself because unless it is in the top 300 on BGG, it is probably not there.
I opened up with a game of catacombs with two strangers and two peeps from ATL. I have never been so accurate. I never missed a shot and even had some insane triple hits-except for the last and most important shot. That one curved around the mage like there was an invisible force feild. Maybe I'm ready for the big leagues - IE taking on Frank Branham.
Then I broke out Super Hero Smackdown (one of the Launius Protos). It still needs some work but it is my favorite of the lot.
The basis of the game is matching up superheroes and placing hidden bets on them. Then you roll dice and have them fight. The way the dice are assigned makes for some interseting choices. As the game stands, it is a very good game and several people asked me when it would come out. However Richard isn't satisfied with good so he's going to tweak it some more until it is really tight.
Rio Grande sponsored free lunches and dinners at a grill built into the side of the hall. The food was better than fast food and was a BIG hit. It had the effect of never making you want to leave the CABS( I.E. the Boardgaming hall.) Next year if they sponsor cots as well, I'll be convinced its part of some sort of sinister plot.
I ran into some people I had met the year previously. Matt Tandimeyer and his buds Ray and Roderick. I suggested Talisman and they were all for it. We played the fast rules and in no time there was a three way race to get to the crown of command. I had a slight edge and managed to get past when the others got bogged down in the mines and dicing with death.
They should have submitted to me...they would still be alive under my benevolent divine rule...
Launius was demoing in the FRED area. It was a portion of the game hall that you could try the pre release of Defenders as well as some of their other games.
Lots more gaming then back to our hotel at 3.
Day 3 Thursday
I did a breif tour of the dealer hall. I didn't buy too much ...initially. Ufe (Undead Fleash Eater) came up around noon and introduced himself. He a young guy almost half my age (22) and is easygoing and says "dude" a lot. He was fun and easygoing and we hung out quite a bit over the course of Origins. He taught me Summoner Wars. I was skeptical that the game was going to be any good because it sounded so simple.
face up stratego with dice and special powers.- WRONG. The simplicity and combination of powers made for some really interesting gameplay. It was surprisingly fun and it played pretty fast once you read about 1/3 of the cards.
I also ran into Honorary ATer Janna Nelson who is also known as "The most awesome woman in Boardgaming." Janna's attention is in high demand because she has so many friends so I squeezed in a few games before she got swept away into the heavier euros which she loves. I opted for some middle ground with Tikal. Janna, a freind of hers Tom, Ufe, and I played and I knew instantly I liked Tom because of his plethora of bad suggestions.
For instance, an excellent way of stating your game prefereces could be demonstrated by systematically flipping any table with a game you didn't like. The suggestion was tempting and entertaining but I was at a loss what I would do with the remaing three days that I would have to spend locked out of Origins. Perhaps he should have suggested it Sunday instead.
Chis Tandimeyer showed up (A strange Eon). Chris lives in Pittsburg, where I grew up. His collection and tastes is almost exactly the same as mine. The only difference between us is that I am an evil bastard and he is a nice guy. THANK GOD HE BROUGHT THUNDER ROAD with him!!! I wasn't about to cart a big ass five gallon box around but thanks to him we had a treasure chest of AT goodness.
Speaking of AT goodness, I ran into Zev that evening and convinced him to show us RoadKill Rally. We had six playing: me, my buddy Joe, Zev, his right hand man Paul, Another of Zev's boothbuds Jon(??), And Stephan from Asmodee. The game is a riot and I instantly knew I wanted one. It is a simplified minis race game that uses cards as "handling". You use the cards to equip, attack, take special actions but you also have to use them to discard when taking damage and avoiding wrecks. It was quite clever and I predict Zev is going to do very well with that game. (thats right no TANGA specials on this one. No mah Brotha - you will have to get your own!) I am going to work very hard to convice Zev to create a 'Get Frank' promo card. Other than that missing element the game is flawless...
Stephan B turned out to be one of my favorite new aquaintences. He is pure mischief combined with a suave demeanor and thick french accent. "Ahh..you shood not be attacking me..Look at heem, we are freinds -no? Eet is just the slightest scratch- you will recover easily. 12 dice?! Ah well such is the way of these theengs.."
Fun fun game- then we dragged our asses home.