Ben had been asking for some time if he could come to Midcon, as he enjoyed Games Expo and Hamstercon this year, I agreed he could come. We met up with Steve H and Mike at the bus stop and arrived at about 10.15. Dave D was already there; we launched straight into a game of Nottingham. This is a nice card game of collecting sets with enough player interaction to keep it interesting. Ben won, so he was well pleased. After this, Steve had got himself involved in a game of Civilisation and Mike was playing Imperial (actually, it turned out he wasn’t, but I digress). Dave, Ben and I played Race for the Galaxy. Not a big hit at the club, but Ben and I like it; once you’ve played a few times the strategy of building your hand and spread of cards becomes apparent.. We broke for dinner; the food was nice but horrendously expensive. And why does EVERY sandwich filling include mayo?
Lacking a fourth player; we tried Brass. This is Martin Wallace’s latest outing; a game of building canals and railways in industrial Lancashire. I liked it, Dave won and Ben was second. I then watched Starcraft being played on the next table; impressed, I bought the only copy on sale (and then had to fight off people desperate to borrow it to play – sorry folks; I like to punch out my own components and store them.)
We played Race for the Galaxy again, then Ben got into a Yu-Gi-Oh game with a lad he made friends with. Still lacking players; Dave and I played Dracula, a two-player game of Van Helsing chasing Dracula around a generic housing estate. I say played – we gave up after about three turns as it was rubbish; dull, pedestrian and boring.
Dave made a strategic withdrawal at this point (i.e. went home), and we had tea. After that, Ben and I played Mordred, another Martin Wallace game about Arthur’s knights battling evil Mordred. I won that one. We also chatted a lot to Hazel, the nice lady on the Bishop Games stand. We then played a curious 5-in-a-row game, the name of which I can’t remember; basically it’s like 5 in a row, but different elements of the board can move or rotate to change the patterns in place. We played several games and liked it.
Steve H came to join us and we introduced him to Vikings; I (just) beat Ben by 2 pts due to having lots of fishermen. Ben went off to play 5 in a row with Hazel, and Mike and another guy joined me and Steve for another game of Vikings. This game didn’t go so well and there were several comments about the fixed turn order penalising the last player. I’m not sure; I think it needs a few more playings to see if there is a different strategy the last player needs to adopt. The night was drawing on; we finished with Worms (no idea what the German name is); throw dice and collect worms. I won (eventually). We called it a night and headed for bed.
Ben watched a ‘Carry-On’ compilation on the TV and I started to read the rules to Starcraft before we turned in.
Sunday dawned dull and rainy. We had a super breakfast (one of the highlights of Midcon) and then headed back to the Wroxton. Dave, Mike and Steve had scheduled to play Britannia; on entering the room we got invited to join in with Andy and his sons Edward and Thomas. After playing Nottingham as an icebreaker (which Ben won); they suggested Twilight Imperium III. I’ve got TI II, but it’s never made it to the club; Ben’s asked to play a few times but again we haven’t. So we settled down to it. Ben liked it and was having great fun; it did transpire that the others play it a lot (family game). I wasn’t sure about it. I like TI 2; but I think they’ve added a layer of complexity that the game doesn’t need by putting in the ‘Puerto Rico’ style select-a-role/Action/Secondary Action mechanism. Also, there’s no point in making the hexes bigger if you then make the models bigger! This took up the rest of the day and we left to catch the bus home.
The turn-out was fantastic; I don’t think I’ve seen the Wroxton that full. Jeremy told me there were about 140 people attending on the Saturday,
It was good to see a lot of younger players there
The rooms were good, but the food ordering was bad. It took three attempts ( and two sendings back) to order a Club sandwich with NO mayo, NO lettuce and NO tomato