Friday, September 24, 2010

Prepping for a Local Con: What to Bring?

Someone famously asked "what's in the box?" not wanting to know the answer. Today I take a look at the question "what's in the bag?" and would love to share what I've got! You see, Chuck and I will be attending the Gaming Hoopla this weekend. It's a nice little local convention that focuses on board games. Chuck's going to be running Fiasco, Dread, and Call of Cthulhu (with my co-GM'ing Cthulhu) to try to inject some role-playing into the convention, but we have no idea how much of a turn out we're going to get.

With that in mind we're planning for some back-up games just in case. Since I was planning this out meticulously I thought I might as well write a little Friday post outlining what I'm throwing in my bag and why.
I'm planning on having a messenger bag (like the one to the left, only not as awesome) with me through out the con. Since I'm not running anything (that's Chuck's responsibility), I've got all the room in the world for filler games once I've packed my one set of RPG dice I may need for whatever reason (I always pack this for pretty much any occasion). Given my size limitation, I ended up planning on taking smaller games as opposed to something big and impressive like Battlestar Galactica. I didn't want my bag to get weighed down even though I won't be walking around that much. So I'm going to kill the suspense right at the beginning: I'm bringing Space Hulk: Death Angel, my Summoner Wars starter (dwarves vs. goblins), and the Agone corebook. Why?

My thought here is that - and Chuck and I talked about this just today - we always over pack our games for Gencon. We end up taking two or three games that we never play throughout the convention. This is important space we could be bringing new games back in, so it's a waste! Let's run down why I chose each item.

Space Hulk: Death Angel

Because I've got a small bag, I'm looking for small games. give my feelings about how much fun Death Angel is, it's pretty much a no brainer to include for today. Death Angel has a couple of great things going for it to include it in my con bag.

Other than the fact that it's nicely-sized given that it's a Silver Line game from Fantasy Flight Games, it also has multiple formats for play. It scales very easily from solo play to 6 player action. It's also very easy to learn if you have someone to teach it to you. There's a good level of team work involved but it also doesn't take up too much head space that you can't take in all the glories of the con.

Got a minute to play a game with a buddy? Wondering what to do when there's no one around to play with for about a half hour? Oh my God, what are you going to do with six people that will be short and fun? The answer to all these questions is Death Angel, and that's what makes it a great pick for the bag!

Summoner Wars

We really like Summoner Wars around here. It's a nice little Indy game that somehow takes the place of both miniature games and the fun of deck building with CCG's. We hope to see a lot more come out for the game (which fortunately looks to be the case). I believe between Chuck and I we have all the releases for the game. Six factions so far have enough cards to play. I own the Dwarves vs. Goblins starter, and it's one of my prized gaming posessions.

We're bringing Summoner Wars because it's an incredibly compact game. Like I mentioned above, it does a great job of replacing miniature games, and this is well-welcomed because mini games can be quite bulky and heavy to lug around. With Summoner Wars, we have six unique armies we can pull out for some fun duelling action or 4 player free-for-all combat at the drop of the hat. The other nice thing about bringing this to a con is that it deserves more exposure. The more people you can introduce to an indie game that you love, the more people will buy the game, and everyone wins.

Agone Core Rule Book

I'm a really recent convert to the Agone RPG. It all comes from the fact that I got the entire game line for about $25.00 shipped on Troll and Toad. It's a neat enough looking RPG that seems to do a lot interesting thing with the familiar old fanasy tropes we all know and love. I don't really want to write a whole lot about Agone right now though. The focus for this article is to answer the question for why I'm bringing an RPG book that I've only recently purchased to a mostly board game convention.

I don't intend on actually playing a game of Agone this weekend - I hardly know the rules at all beyond the basic mechanic. I'm bringing Agone because I could foresee having to wait to do something or for some one and might want to pull out a book to skim through instead of pulling out Death Angel for a quick play. I chose this book specifically because I'm really jazzed up to read it. It's also a very sturdy hardcover, so it has the bonus of not having to worry about the normal wear and tear as much with it. And hey, it does look kinda cool - maybe somebody will walk up and ask me about it, and I can instantly make a new gaming friend - that would not suck even a bit!

It's in the Bag

So there you have it! A versatile game, a game I want poeple to see in public and maybe give a shot themselves to support the game line, and a cool looking book I can pull out at the spur of the moment. If Chuck and I were into any CCG's hardcore right now, it would make a lot of sense to bring a couple of decks, but alas, we're in between card games at the moment. This being a short con, I think it's a perfect mix of playability and boredom killers and - most importantly - won't kill my shoulder by the end of the day!

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