In the darkness the trees are full of starlight (henwy) wrote,
In the darkness the trees are full of starlight

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Ubercon Recap Day 1

Well, if I don't do this now I never will. Recapping is always such a pain and I've let too many event slide by without making entries about it as it is. What's the point of having a journal if you don't put in all the daily bits you're likely to forget or misremember years down the line, eh?

Anyway, Ubercon X took place this past weekend and I trekked over there around 3:30 pm on Friday. To no surprise, I was having pain management issues at the time so I spent the first 15 minutes or so huddled at a table popping additional drugs and waiting for them to kick in. It was in my infirmity that I was cruelly set upon by another fellow con goer. An errant comment on my part made him believe that I gave a flying fuck what was going on in his life. After that, it was impossible to get rid of him as he ranted and raved and frothed at the mouth about his housing issues.

I had met Robert Washington at previous gaming events and he had always seemed like a relatively normal person. He mostly whored games for Days of Wonder so I would often see him with Matt Lee. This time around he was all upset about the fact that he was being kicked out of his apartment. Apparently he lives in some rat trap in New York where he only pays something like $300 a month with utilities included. There were severe building code violations there and the housing inspectors came by telling everyone to get the hell out immediately. My comment was that it didn't seem likely to me that they would just throw everyone out on the street, only giving them a day or two to comply. At that point he started to froth at the mouth and spray spittle as he repeatedly told me I was wrong and he knew how the system worked, and assorted other derranged rantings. Like I said, I was dealing with pain issues at the time and was just hunched at the table hoping my meds to kick in as he went on and on. It was my own fault really. I should have just told him to fuck off but I kept throwing out the occassional comment which no doubt he interpreted as interest. It was clear he just wanted someone to rant to and if I wasn't there he would have accosted some other poor schlub. Eventually, after around 15-20 minutes, he finally ran out of steam and I was able to sit in peace until my pills kicked in.

The first thing I did gamewise, was run a game of Bull in a China Shop for some other early arrivers. It went off without a problem, though some of the players took an inordinate amount of time to complete their turns. It's a very simple game and it's not like there are a huge number of options. It's like watching someone suffer analysis paralysis over a game of Candy Land. After that I was over, I went to Gil Hova's table where I had signed up to learn Year of the Dragon. I currently have the game on pre-order almost entirely because it looked interesting. I figured I should at least play it once beforehand to see if maybe I'd want to cancel it in case it was a real stinker. All in all, it turned out to be one of those grind you to death games with people constantly dying and you being perpetually short of vital commodities/income. It reminded me a lot of Age of Steam where there are also no perfect options and you always stand on the brink of collapse. If the railroad barons had to go through something like Age of Steam, it's a miracle they came out of it with 2 pennies to rub together.

I ended up having to leave Year of the Dragon early because I had another game I needed to run. Portobello Market went pretty smoothly and all I had to do was teach the rules. The players handled the rest themselves, playing the game twice in the end. By then Lori, as well as Bernie and Karen, had arrived and I spent some time chitchatting with them. Bernie had signed on for the con as my helper monkey and to fulfill her exulted role, proceeded to run Poison while I tried my hand at the Munchkin tournament. The latter went on for what seemed like forever. I qualified for the final round pretty easily but we all got snookered by Eileen who snatched victory because no one was paying attention. This was only after repeatedly complaining throughout the game she was losing, of course.

I just don't like Munchkin much anymore. The feedforward system where whoever's in the lead just has a tendency to get stronger irritates me. Still, we were playing with the original which is a bit better balanced than some of the dozen or so add-ons since then. Just thinking about my one experience with Super Munchkin makes me want to punch Steve Jackson in the face. Not only was it and most of the other expansions an absolute abortion, but he charges $25 for a product with some of the most shoddy print quality I've ever seen. Munchkin cards start to fray and whiten around the edges fresh from the box before you even touch them. I've seen toilet paper that stands up to harsher handling.

After the Munchkin game, I decided to just head home and call it a night. Despite being tired, I ended up staying up all night watching episodes of 24. By the time morning rolled around and it was time to go back to the con, I was starting to feel the effects of exhaustion.
Tags: board/card gaming, playroom entertainment, ubercon

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