GwenCon 2007!

So GwenCon (the mini-games convention to celebrate the birthday of a friend of mine who I met through the college of ed) was last weekend and Grey came up to visit and attend with me and Brian H. Fun was had by all! We also got together with the regular Seattle folk for even more gaming.

At GwenCon, I got a chance to play Battletech (yes, Battletech!) on Heroscape hexes (ran by Mike Mearls… I think…). Apparently, the collectable miniatures game made by WizKids (the HeroClix folk) did well enough that they are re-releasing the original board game. Battletech is possibly the first game of the “geeky gamer” variety I ever owned. It’s either Battletech or Dungeons & Dragons (which btw is going to have a 4th edition coming soon) way back when I was 10 or 11. Except that when I bought it, it was so new that it was called Battledroids which I guess was infringement on George Lucas stuff. I should see if I have that lying around somewhere; maybe it’s worth a lot! If only I hadn’t sat on the box one day…

The board and miniatures really added to the game, I have to admit, so much so that, on Tuesday, Grey and I went to Target to buy a copy of Heroscape. Turns out that the game itself is pretty fun, too, and comes with a bunch of minis also.

Also at GwenCon, I played a new game called Tannhauser (also ran by Mike… thanks Mike!). It’s set in an alternate timeline 1940s where WW1 never ended. The Germans got a hold of arcane demonic powers of some sort while the Allies developed cool future tech stuff from Roswell. The artwork is insanely awesome (like most Fantasy Flight games–they also did World of Warcraft, the re-release of Arkham Horror, and A Game of Thrones, for example) but the game mechanics–well, mostly the smoke grenade mechanics–seemed kind of not good. But it was fun enough that I’ll probably end up buying it a few months from now after someone’s made some alternate rules for it. Or maybe Grey will convince Chris or someone down in the Bay Area to get it and I’ll get a chance to play when I visit next.

As last year, I also played live-action RoboRally except this time we had too many players so I just programmed Brian. We tied for the win. 😛 Later on, I played a couple rounds of Unspeakable Words while watching The Gamers: Dorkness Rising.

The next day we got together with Paly folk and played two rounds of Long Live the King. We sort of coerced Robin into playing since without we wouldn’t have had enough people but cut it short since it was obvious she wasn’t into it. Ah well. From what I could tell, the game has a lot of potential. I was worried there might be too much role-playing or too much negotiating like in Diplomacy, but the cards and turn orders and abilities each of us could do gave it enough of a structure that it wasn’t too freeform.

When not playing board games (oh, btw, for my birthday the weekend before we played Quao and Quelf which were both fun, but I think could use some tweaking–Quao needs more variation and Quelf needs more cards that are affected by the different characters–I got them both for cheap from Tanga), Grey, Robin, and I played some Sam & Max Season 1, and when Robin was not available Grey and I played Bioshock. Well, we tried to, anyway. Bioshock really doesn’t like Windows Vista and had some weird sound stuttering issues. I tried all the advice I could find and eventually decided to make a new partition and install Windows XP on it.

The only problem was that my Vista partition was pretty full and hidden page files and system restore points prevented me from making a new partition immediately. I had to do some system maintenance and defragging… thus the extra time we had on Tuesday in which Grey and I used to buy Heroscape… so it all worked out really. (As a side note, I finally got Bioshock working on Win XP but it took forever because I initially didn’t make the new partition big enough for all the auto-updates to happen (SP2, really) (damn the Bioshock user who posted you only need 3 gigs… try more like 5).

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