C4 Post Mortem

I spent Saturday and Sunday at the 2009 Central Canada Comic Con, running board and card game demos for the good folks at Imagine Games and Hobbies. It was a good time: the con was well-attended and well-organized, and the folks who came by the game tables were all friendly and interested. Some highlights and observations:

  • My friend Pedro, who owns and runs Imagine Games with his wife Wendy, got to meet Julie Newmar, gave her an iron rose he made for her, and got her autograph and a picture with her. He has now fulfilled his childhood dream and can die happy.
  • Another friend, Sharine (whose name I have probably misspelled), had Adam West sing her the Adam West song from The Family Guy.
  • I got to high-five a bunny rabbit that had high-fived Adam West… yes, parts of the con were quite surreal.
  • I got to meet GMB Chomichuk, one of the creators of Imagination Manifesto, an interesting graphic novel that is also turning into an RPG. I haven’t read more than the first five or so pages of the book, yet, so I can’t tell you too much about it, but it looks good. And it also looks like I’ll get to take part in the blind playtest of the RPG rules.
  • The mornings were slow in the gaming area both days – I figure that attendees were spending the morning walking the floor, buying their stuff, and meeting the guests, then heading over to the gaming area afterward to see what was going on.
  • Afternoons were pretty full – each day I ran two game sessions in the afternoons for people showing up, which is really about all you can fit in between about 1:00 and 6:00.
  • On Saturday, I got to play The Stars are Right this time, instead of just observing. It’s fun, but there’s a tendency to bite off more than you can chew sometimes. At different moments, both I and another one of the players thought we’d be able to put together a combo that would let us summon a Great Old One, only to lose the pattern on the third push or flip, leaving us with a wasted turn. Frustrating, but still a fun moment, when you realize that the pattern in your head has collapsed and you can’t see it in the layout of the stars anymore.
  • Also on Saturday, I played a session of Fury of Dracula. I love the game, and the folks who played loved it, too. As usual in a demo with players who have never played before, I took the Dracula role, as it’s the most complex one to play. Because of weird dice luck, I wound up doing better in combat with him during the day than at night, but they still ran me to ground in Belgrade and killed me.
  • Sunday was a big day for Battlestar Galactica – I had two groups who wanted to play it specifically. Well, three, actually, but more about that below. In both games, I facilitated rather than actually playing, because there were plenty of players – the first session had five players, and the second had six. The first game, the cylons won without ever specifically revealing themselves, as the cylon admiral used some strategic choices to drive the population down to a point they just couldn’t recover from. The second game, the cylons revealed themselves very early, and really pounded on the poor humans, doing substantial damage even before the first jump. That game ended early as players had to leave, but things looked bleak for the humans.
  • As a departure from our chaotic “just come and play” style, we decided to have a sign-up game for Battlestar Galactica on Sunday afternoon. I had four people sign up, but then had a group show up half an hour before the game was scheduled to start who wanted to play. I agreed to run the game, but let them know that I’d have to stop when the signed up group arrived. The people who signed up never showed, so we got the whole game in.
  • Next year, I think I’m going to have a sign-up Arkham Horror game with all the expansions. It’s a big, splashy game, and should attract some interest.
  • Pedro and Wendy’s kids, Leo and Maya, won the children’s costume contest for their costumes of a completely normal human meat-child and his pet dog. Yay!

So, thanks to Pedro and Wendy for paying my way to the show and supplying me with Japanese crackers and candy. Thanks also to Brian, who ran the gaming area at the con and kept things moving smoothly. And most especially, thanks to everyone who came out to try a game or just talk about them. You all made the weekend a real success.

Can’t wait for next year!