Over the weekend I had the absolute pleasure of participating in International Gamers With Jobs Day (IGWJ Day) at Penguin Con. Named for community member and organizer OilyPenguin (who I now know is named Brian), it is a chance for GWJrs to gather under one roof in the midwest, roll some dice, play some 8-bit games, and generally share in our hobbies together over a homebrew or four. And this year it was held in a castle, owned by another community member.
It was flat out phenomenal.
Not only did I meet internet friends that before now existing only as charming streams of text and seasonally shifting avatars, but I got to spend quality time with them over games new and old.
Here's a walk through I did, from the pub downstairs in the castle's English basement, up through the great hall and into the breakfast balcony.
Highlights for me included
- Winning a game on the official Penquin Con Risk: Legacy board. It was pretty dramatic, and I owe everything to Allen Cook putting ten of his men to the sword in order to keep a Cthulhu-esque dark god from ravaging the land, because apparently that can happen in Risk: Legacy. Who knew?
- Guiding boogle and Gunner through Labyrinth. Printing out two additional manuals, giving us three total to read from, made all the difference. We were in and out in about three hours, with Benazir Bhutto taming Pakistan after a lighting quick Afghanistan war that only took the US forces a year to execute. I'm looking forward to playing through this again, and considering a write up for the GWJ magazine.
- Playing Monocheli's hand made Dune board game. While it took quite a while to ramp up, this is a game that I must own. The asymmetry of the 6 factions, the manner in which battles are contested, and the atmosphere that permeates the entire game makes this a winner. The spice must flow.
- Artemis. I was stunned at how much fun this Star Trek sim was. Having 5 would-be red shirts at the controls and a competent commander (Michael Chen) to lead us was an amazing experience. Looking forward to this coming to the iOS platform.
This will be a busy week. I have some professional administrative work to sort out that will occupy most of my time. I'll be playing Mice and Mystics, which just arrived, with my friend's 5 yr. old and 9 yr. old and writing the experience up for Paste. Additionally, I'll see what can be done to get my 2.5 yr. old into Dungeon by Wizards of the Coast. If she can get into Candyland, she can help me toss a few goblins around and collect treasure, can't she? I tell you what, those little fingers were very helpful at doing all the die cut punch outs last night.