Granite Game Summit: Friday

I wrote last week about being excited to attend the Granite Game Summit in Nashau, NH. Now that I’m back home, and back to work, it’s time to talk about just how fantastic a time I had last weekend.

For some ridiculous reason (ie. I wanted to get as much gaming time as possible), I had booked a flight that left Raleigh at 6am. Which meant I had to be there at 5am and stand in stupidly long lines for the TSA. Thank god for online check-in, as if I’d also had to stand in the check-in lines, I don’t actually think I’d have made the flight – as it was I got to the gate minutes before they started boarding, and that was due to the TSA not choosing to closely examine every piece of my Quiver-ful of games, something I’d been warned about by a few people who’d experienced exactly that while flying. The flight was uneventful and soon I was landing 5 min early, grabbing a rental car, and making my way north to Nashua. Unfortunately the original plan of driving with Patrick had crashed and burned when his flights got messed up and delayed, so he would be arriving at the con separately some hours after I did.

Upon my arrival I headed into the main room and immediately found people I knew, along with Bill & Molly, whom I’d been looking forward to meeting. Once they finished their game, I ended up teaching a game of La Granja: No Siesta which was on the Play to Win table. I thought I was doing pretty well, but in the end Matt took the win over Daniel, Molly, & I. After that, Daniel & I played a quick two-player game of Russian Railroads, which I had apparently forgotten how to play well at all in the looooong time since my last play, before he taught me Hanamikoji. This two-player game of earning the favour of the legendary Geisha masters is simply gorgeous and I loved the back and forth. I also won in a single round which was pretty awesome. We finished up our two-player gaming sojourn by having Daniel teach me Roll’d West, his Roll & Write stripped down version of the amazing Gold West. I really enjoyed it and thought I had him, but he managed to beat me by a couple of points when we added everything up.

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By this time, Eric Buscemi and Jessica had finished their game of Fleet and so we pulled out Tony Miller’s Back to Rth for some playtesting. It’s an interesting premise and I loved the way the assembly line forced you to plan a few turns ahead in order to make best use of your cards, but in the end it overstayed its welcome and we ended up working together to trigger the end. I can’t wait to see how the game develops once it goes through some more iterations. Upon finishing the game, Patrick had arrived having survived his personal travel hell, and so it was time to gather for my one pre-planned “event game” of the con.

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I had been looking forward to playing Eclipse with Bill Corey, Jr. for weeks, and it was a fantastic way to make the first day of the con extra epic. The fact that it was also Fancy Friday added some extra oomph to the game, as the six of us took a short break mid-game to get gussied up. We returned to the table to finish fighting over the galaxy in a kilt, a tux, a “mermaid shirt”, and other beautifully dapper outfits as documented below by Patrick “King of the Group Selfie” Hillier (@overthehilliler).

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Post-Eclipse, Bill, Molly & I moved to the Lucida room since the Helvetica one would be closing soon (yes, they’re named for typefaces), ordered ourselves a pizza, and settled down for some Wurfel Bohnanza with Amanda. I love getting the chance to share this bean-rolling game (as evidenced by the last Five By episode), and it was a nice quick dessert after the marathon we’d just finished. As tempting as it was to keep gaming, it was late, I was full of pizza, and I’d been up stupidly early to head for the airport, so I said my goodnights and headed up to bed, hopefully not to dream of Bill’s creepy babies.

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