|Image (c) Mayfair Games. Used by|
permission. All rights reserved
Sunday I brought my son with me to Congress of Gamers to meet his friend (whose mother Sue C. ran the Catchy Quips vendor at the convention) and play RoboRally (designed by Richard Garfield, published by Avalon Hill [Hasbro]). Our session was a crazy one, with ten players on three connected boards. The game master, Marc Houde, randomly changed one of the boards every three turns. At one point, the second objective flag sat on a conveyor belt, a literal moving target. It became clear that the game could go on forever, so after three hours with only a few of us having touched the first flag, Marc announced that the first player to touch the second flag would be the winner. One player got to the flag but was carried to oblivion on the conveyor belt before he could declare victory. Much later, my friend Keith F. was able to capture the second flag and win the game, four hours after we started. There is a lesson hear about adding random complications to an existing game design. The result can be an unintended convolution that makes a game unnecessarily long and potentially frustrating and draining.
Because RoboRally ran so long, I missed the Puerto Rico session and instead spent a little time and money at the Harmony House vendor picking up parts for a prototype of an interplanetary mining game idea I've been kicking around in earnest.
|(c) Z-man Games|
Used by permission
After all that competition, I had a fun session of Castle Panic with my son and his friend. CP is a fun cooperative game, and it was a nice light-hearted finish to a fun convention. After that, we packed up and headed home, content to have played a solid weekend of games in good company.
And fun in the company of good friends and new acquaintances, after all, is what playing games is really all about.