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!

The registration line went really quickly this year! The goody bags and merchandise were in a separate place from registration, so there was no bottleneck anywhere, and registration went smoothly. The first actual thing I did after registration was Paint and Take! I had wanted to try this out last year, but ended up missing it because of our McDonald's trip... so it was exciting being able to paint something this year!

Okay, I only painted half a thing...

I played a lot of games in open gaming. The Hot Games area was really useful, since all the games were already set up so we could just sit down and start playing! One of my favorite new games from the weekend was Magic Maze, a cooperative real-time game where each person can only do one action (like I can only move people to the right on the board, and someone else can only move down, etc.), and you cannot communicate during the game, so there's a lot of working together. I also really enjoyed Sagrada (Amazon), a dice drafting game where you're building up a stained glass window while following certain dice placement rules.

Sagrada is fun and beautiful!

I only played one 18xx game at this convention (since there were so many other games to play, I didn't want to spend too much time with 18xx games). We played a game of 1880: China on Thursday morning with a couple friends. It was an interesting game - at first I was doing really badly, since I purposely didn't get a bunch of trains for my company (I was saving up for later trains). Then no one got shares in my company, and I could get a bunch in it. I ended up getting the trains I wanted, got a really good route, and was paying out enough money at the end to make up for my early game and win! I had planned my route when I bought my first private (it lets me use ferries for free), so it was cool actually being able to get the route I wanted.

End game of 1880: China

One of the games that I had really wanted to try was Strike (Amazon). I had been hearing about this for a while on Twitter, so I was super excited that I got to try it out with Rob and Roy from Epic Gaming Night! Strike is a fun dexterity/press-your-luck game where you're throwing dice one at a time into an arena until you decide to stop and take back any pairs+, or you run out of dice. But the 1-side of the dice is an X, which means that die is out of the game. Also, when you empty out the arena, the next person has to throw all their dice instead of just one at a time! I got out after 2 rounds in the first game (I usually suck at rolling dice), but I won the last game!

The Strike "arena"

Last year we played Winner’s Circle (Amazon), and our friends enjoyed it so much that they created their own version, using My Little Pony ponies! They brought it this year for us to try it out, and it’s really awesome!

Cutest game ever!!

In addition to the games I played (you can read about all the games I played in the descriptions here), I also did more events than in previous conventions. I already mentioned the painting, but I also participated in the Wits & Wagers game show, and the Dice Tower Awards! Since this was my first year being a Dice Tower Contributor, I got to "help out" at the game show, which meant I was on one of the celebrity teams. I also got to present one of the Dice Tower Awards (best Party Game) with Crystal! That was a lot of fun. I also was on a Media Panel! Not that many people showed up, but it was still a good experience, and I got to answer a couple questions (there were 6-7 people on the media panel, and everyone answered all the questions, so there wasn't enough time for that many questions).

View from the Media Panel

Another thing I signed up for was one of the Megagames. I had heard about megagames before, but I didn't really know what to expect. Crystal and I both signed up for one of the shorter ones on Saturday, Future Tense. There were 8 teams/countries of 5-6 people each, and each person on the team had a different role. We played little mini games throughout the megagame - one role played a game similar to Pit, my role was a semi-coop like the card play in BSG to vote on decisions, and another role was an area control game on an overall map. It was a lot of fun, but I didn't know what was going on a lot of the time, since you needed to figure out what everyone else was doing too, and it was hard to get information out of everyone. But I had a great time, and we didn't lose! Crystal's team actually won, which was pretty exciting.

We were at the High Table, voting on important decisions for our countries

We stayed in a Villa with some friends, which was pretty neat. It was still about the same distance from the convention hall as the normal rooms, but the villa itself was big and had its own kitchen (which we didn't use). Also, it had a nice view when you went outside (although you don't really want to stay outside too long in Orlando in July).

I'm not used to seeing this much green at a time

Hotel food was normal, but on Saturday night we decided to go to Kobe, a teppanyaki place. I feel like this might be a convention tradition now, since we went to a teppanyaki place at MeepleCon this year too! It was pretty fun, and there was a double rainbow on the way back to the hotel, which was nice. We also had to get some Key Lime Pie, since we were in Florida. We didn't end up going out for it, but the pie at tho hotel was pretty good!

Mmmm... pie...

Overall, I had a great time at Dice Tower Con! Even though the convention size doubled this year from last year, there was still plenty of space for open gaming, and I got to play pretty so many of the games I wanted to try by just using the Hot Games and the Library. I also got to meet a bunch of people - both friends from previous Dice Towers and new friends now that I'm a podcast person. And because I'm me.. I forgot to take any pictures with them (but pictures exist on other people's phones). I'm looking forward to next year's Dice Tower Con!

Yay gaming!
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