Haiti Con 2017 Recap

November 6, 2017

by Ambie Valdés
This year Toby and I went to Haiti Con for the first time. Haiti Con is a small 1.5 day charity convention in San Francisco that supports Ti Kay, a free TB/HIV clinic in Haiti. The convention is Friday night and Saturday during the day, but we only got day tickets for Saturday. Being the typical non-picture taker I am, I forgot to take any pictures so this blog will just be text.

The first thing we did when we arrived was explore the area. The convention was held in a 4-story church. The second floor had a small gaming library with some tables for open gaming and some snacks for sale. The third floor was dedicated to special guest designers with their prototypes. The fourth floor was for social games like Werewolf - there were multiple rooms of Werewolf games by the end of the night.

The majority of our time at the convention was spent on the third floor with the designers. We ended up spending time at three different designers' tables, and it was really neat being able to try out their new designs and give them feedback. The first designer we visited was Jeremy Commandeur, and we actually started off playing one of his published games, Pirate 21 (Amazon). It was kind of like Blackjack mixed with Love Letter - you're trying to get closest to 21, but your cards also have special abilities that you can use on your turn (instead of just drawing a card). We then tried a couple of his prototypes - one was a social deduction game based on The Prisoner TV show, where people are voting on event cards to try to fulfill their different win conditions. But my favorite prototype of the day was his other prototype - a real-time cooperative/team bobsledding game. You have four people sitting in a row and picking up cards to get ready, and then you have to work together to play the cards to get around obstacles, and everything is timed for the fastest time! Jeremy said that the final game will have double the cards, so you can have two teams of 4 that will be racing. I love real-time games (specifically real-time cooperative), and this one was a lot of fun.

Gen Con 2017 Recap

August 24, 2017

by Ambie Valdés
For the first time in forever, Toby and I went to Gen Con! This year was the 50th anniversary, and all the badges were sold out, so there were a lot of people there. We definitely did not go in expecting to play many games, but we still managed to play a few games throughout the convention! We also don't usually buy many new games, so we were mostly there just to experience everything as a once-in-a-lifetime event.

The convention was overwhelming. Before this, the biggest board game convention I went to was 3,000 people, so it was a huge jump to go to the 60,000 people at Gen Con! Also, most of the conventions I'd been to were more focused on open gaming and didn't have many vendors, but half the convention center was dedicated to exhibitors. We walked through the Exhibitor Hall multiple times each day, and every time we'd see booths we hadn't seen before. I'm pretty sure we still didn't see everything there.

Gen Con 2017 Vlog

August 24, 2017

Ambie went to Gen Con for the first time ever and made a vlog about her time there!


Episode 34 - GenConCant Preview

August 17, 2017

Ambie, Cassadi, and Crystal discuss some games they've played recently, including 1859, Rocky Road a la Mode, and T.I.M.E Stories: Lumen Fidei. We then talk about Gen Con and GenCant, including what we're excited about and some predictions we have. In this week's "Board Game Etymology" segment, Crystal discusses the origins of the word "hype."

Episode 32 - Con Candor

July 20, 2017

Ambie, Cassadi, and Crystal just got back from a couple board game conventions, so we talk about our time at Origins (Cassadi) and Dice Tower Con (Ambie and Crystal)!

Dice Tower Con 2017 Vlog

July 18, 2017

Ambie and Crystal both went to Dice Tower Con this year and recorded their first ever vlog! It's in two parts. Part 1 is Tuesday through Thursday, and Part 2 is Friday through Sunday!


Dice Tower Con 2017 Recap

July 12, 2017

by Ambie Valdés
I just got back from my 4th Dice Tower Con ever! It was my first time as a Dice Tower contributor, but I was still able to play a bunch of games, as well as meet a lot of people and go to different events. I had a lot of fun!

Over the course of the 5 days (really 4 and a half, since we left after lunch on Sunday), I had 65 plays of 46 different games, 32 of which were new to me! Granted, a couple of those were demos or incomplete games, but I still got to get the feel of them. I also participated in my first megagame ever, Future Tense!

We were in line early for registration, a little before 9 am on Wednesday (Registration opened at 10). There were already quite a few people in line, but there were so many more that showed up afterwards. The hotel had free breakfast and coffee for us, which was pretty awesome. Also, the Dice Tower crew were giving out promos, and there was a table full of promos. I got a couple BattleCON promos, which is pretty exciting. Usually I don't own the games they have promos for, so I'm happy that these ones will get some use!

Episode 31 - On the Road Again

July 6, 2017

Ambie, Cassadi, and Crystal discuss some games they've played recently, including Fourth Age, 1817, Kitten Klash, and Barenpark. We then talk about playing games while traveling or on vacation. In this week's "Board Game Etymology" segment, Crystal discusses the origins of the word "score."

Portland 18xx Tournament 2017 Recap

June 28, 2017

by Ambie Valdés
Toby and I got to go to an 18xx convention for the first time! Since we live on the west coast, we decided to go to the Portland 18xx Tournament (there are other ones further away) last weekend. Although it's called a tournament, it's not really a tournament - everyone records the scores of the games they played and get ranked based on that, but most of the people didn't care about the tournament and were just there to play 18xx games and have fun. We were there Thursday through Saturday, and we played 6 total 18xx games.

Even though this is one of the smaller convention libraries, it probably has the highest density of rare games!

HeavyCon 2017 Recap

May 31, 2017

by Ambie Valdés
This weekend over Memorial Day weekend, I got to attend HeavyCon for the first time! HeavyCon is a convention run by Heavy Cardboard, a podcast about heavier board games (heavy Euros, 18xx games, and wargames). There were 90 attendees, and since everyone was there to play heavy games, it was easy finding people to play pick up games of heavy economic games and 18xx games! Toby and I typically don't schedule games at conventions, and this one was no exception.

Over the weekend (Thursday-Sunday), I had 23 plays of 22 unique games. A bunch of the games were new to me, and 3 of the games were 18xx games (although those weren't new to me)!

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