RogerBW's Blog

Summer Stabcon 2016 16 July 2016

This long-running games convention started off as a Diplomacy gathering. These days it's a blend of board-gaming and roleplaying. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

Friday

I avoided the worst of the M6 by diving off around Congleton and heading up the A34. Still slow, but at least it was entertaining.

The hotel has had all its keyed room locks replaced with a card system. Fair enough; these days the cards are fairly reliable. Pity they couldn't have given it a lick of paint at the same time; even I reckon it could really do with it, and I'm not someone who cares much about ambience.

There was a huge game of A Touch of Evil going on. I'd like to try this one some time, as I get the impression it takes cooperative struggles against horrific menace to new heights, but the game was already well under way (and lasted several hours).

Got into a four-player game of Suburbia at which I did appallingly, ending up dead last by a huge margin behind two novices as well as the more experienced player. It was still an enjoyable game, but I'd be happier if I could work out what I was doing wrong (other than my usual problem of favouring Reputation over Income). My 3d-printed accessories were popular, though. (Coming soon to a blog post near this one.)

Lovely sky at around 11pm.

Did the world really need two games about Cthulhu-boosted motor racing? Granted, by the same designer, and apparently many of the cards can be ported from one to the other even though the gameplay differs.

Saturday

Apparently people really do this. First example I've seen in the flesh.

A five-player game of Mysterium to start the day, four players being enough to use the side-bet mechanic, which definitely makes the game more interesting. Once people got used to the strangeness of the clues, it all went pretty smoothly. I have the Hidden Signs expansion, but I don't think it makes a substantial difference to gameplay; it's more cards, not more rules, which will mean more variation for repeated plays rather than in a single game.

Then Forbidden Desert, which seemed to be going reasonably well until the thirst cards all got clustered together and we lost. This is still a decent diversion.

It had been too long since I had Flash Point: Fire Rescue out, and this was another game that started well, carried on well and then suddenly spiralled into ignominious defeat. Still fun, and I'd like to play it more often. (Note grey 3d-printed "point of interest" markers, though anything reasonably distinctive would do the job; when a PoI is revealed, the actual victim or blank is drawn from an opaque bag. This helps avoid the problem with some victims and blanks being visually distinguishable, and makes it easier to remember to put new PoIs on the board at the end of the turn.)

Monty Python Fluxx next, which was, well, Fluxx, and then One Night Revolution, not at its best with four but the players got the idea anyway. Then on to Chupacabra, as we were all getting a bit brain-fried and wanted something simpler.

Finally for this block of games, Welcome to the Dungeon, which still suffers from having player elimination. I have an alternative proposal: every time you win in a dungeon, you get an award card as normal. When you lose, everyone else gets one award card. When someone has a number of award cards equal to the number of players, they win the game.

After lunch and a nap, back to Suburbia, with one of the players from the previous night and a novice. This time things just came together for me, and I ended up the runaway winner.

And some more Mysterium before bed, though this time I wasn't able to get through the final clue.

Sunday

I was role-playing, which doesn't produce much in the way of interesting photos.

Quite a lot of people were selling games this time (including me). I don't know whether this was sudden fear of recession, sudden revulsion for all things European, or just (as in my case) a general feeling that our games rooms are getting a bit Full.

Went home much the same way as I'd come out, with some inventive manoeuvres round Birmingham (these days the M42/M5 seems to be doing rather better than the non-toll M6). And so to bed.

[Buy Suburbia at Amazon] [Buy Mysterium at Amazon] [Buy Mysterium Hidden Signs at Amazon] [Buy Forbidden Desert at Amazon] [Buy Flash Point at Amazon] [Buy Monty Python Fluxx at Amazon] [Buy One Night Revolution at Amazon] [Buy Chupacabra at Amazon] [Buy Welcome to the Dungeon at Amazon] and help support the blog.


  1. Posted by Dr Bob at 05:13pm on 17 July 2016

    I shall endeavour to make my RPGs more photogenic! :-)

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