RogerBW's Blog

International Tabletop Day 2015 in Reading 12 April 2015

Yesterday was the third International Tabletop Day, and the first time I've got involved in events for it.

Several gaming groups based in Reading got together for this one, at various sites spread around the centre of town.

I started off at the RUCC (Reading Ukrainian Community Club), where the Bring and Buy was thriving:

And various people had brought along games to be lent out during the day.

I strolled through town to the Oakford Social Club, pausing to greet the ducks on the canal and marvel slightly at the "claret runs 24/7" bus service (being fair, the front of the bus was a sort of dark purplish colour).

At the Oakford, I set up Firefly and waited for victims. (The table was almost big enough!)

We ended up with six players, a couple who'd played a little before, and things went with some enthusiasm. It was a little slower than I like, but that's inevitable with novices, and I was using the recommended short first-time scenario.

I ended up keeping my layout on the spare bench space rather than trying to fit it on the table. (With Womack as my Captain, I didn't end up with a single immoral job. Hey ho.)

In the end I had my passengers eaten by Reavers just before I could have pulled off a win, and the Walden sneaked in to pay off Niška first.

After a bit of chat, and dropping in at Eclectic Games en route to say hello, I headed back to the RUCC for evening games, and started with Last Will. This is basically Brewster's Millions the Boardgame: you have to spend all your money before anyone else in order to get the really big inheritance. I thought I was doing reasonably well, but other players did better. It's quite enjoyable, and I'd play it again, but I won't be asking people to get it out; it's curiously flavourless. Where are the extravagant barques of frailty on whom one can lavish jewellery? Where can one bet ridiculous sums on which raindrop will get to the bottom of the window-pane first? Not here; there's a pink "guest" token which one can install in one's houses, and that's about it.

Some Coup next, the standard version rather than Reformation; I continued with my usual strategy of rarely lying, and won the first game but lost the second. I continue to like this as a filler game: it's fast and vicious, and people pick it up quickly.

Over on another table, people were playing Lifeboats. Apparently this is the next thing to do after improving game components: game-specific costumes.

El Capitán fell rather into the abstraction gap for me, but would have been highly enjoyable at about half the planned length. At two-thirds, one player had to leave, which caused the game to end while I was still quite liking it (and I think I came third out of five). Really not my sort of thing, though, and I doubt I'll play again.

We finished off the evening with a ten-player game of Avalon, where I don't think I did anything terribly impressive (as a spy, I picked my targets for accusation carefully and was even able to vote against a mission I wanted to go because the other players had confidence in the team, so was able to claim afterwards that I had had suspicions). Spies won 3-0.

A great day, and if you are in range of Reading I strongly recommend getting in touch with any of the three boardgames groups there.

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