Wednesday, February 8, 2012

TempleCon 2012

I'm back from TempleCon 2012, and it was yet another successful and fun year at the Con.

I should have prepped this blog post while I was there, but I'll try to remember what happened...

I arrived Friday evening, earlier than I expected.
I hadn't been planning to play the Friday VTES tournament, but after finding my way down the secret elevator to where the VTES room was, I noticed that the group was small, and I didn't really know what else was going on, so I sat down with my Chaundice deck (unmodified and un-looked-at for a year) and played 2 rounds.
It didn't get me anywhere in the tourney, but I didn't expect it to. I had some fun playing VTES for the first time in awhile, and that was OK.
Afterwards, we played some other games -- I think this was when we got a game or 2 of 7 Wonders in. Great fun.

I still had very little clue where I was going to sleep -- next year I will spring for a room and beg for roommates instead of the other way around -- but thankfully I got a sofa in a fellow player's room to crash on for a few hours, and then got up, my usual early self.

I'm a very early riser, and that doesn't mix too well with a convention like this. In the morning it was kind of quiet, and after trekking across the street to Dunkin's, I camped out around the boardgame room until it opened.
I was invited to a game of Diplomacy... but passed. That's not exactly a pickup game :)

I sat around in the boardgame room wondering what to do. And then some guys got out the library copy of BSG and were puzzlingly looking at the components.

I couldn't resist.

Long story short, I sat down to play with these strangers; a 4 player game with some Pegasus and some Exodus components.
I was Admiral Helo, with President Baltar, Tyrol, and CAG Boomer around the table.
Interestingly, the Exodus loyalty rules left the Sympathizer card as the "extra"; Baltar was on his own as the lone Cylon (as he usually is).
He didn't even need to Reveal; Boomer was brigged, I was brigged, and Tyrol was frakked. We resigned when there wasn't much we could do.

By the time that game ended, Round 1 of the VTES Qualifier was well underway. So I got in at Round 2.
Unfortunately, my Round 2 was not really much of a round. My predator was Ben Peal, with Kevin Mergen's Una deck (40+ Freak Drives), and I basically got a chance to take 1 action all game before I got smushed.

Round 3 was a little bit better. My deck got to Do Something. But I still ended up with zero VPs (or maybe I squeezed out one, I honestly forget; will update this entry after I see Matt's report).

Somewhere during the tournament, I tried out the game "Atlantis", and I actually won. Not sure it's a game I'd pick up, but it was interesting..

And then that night, there were *two* games of BSG.
In the first (7 player!) game, I was Starbuck and became a Cylon at the sleeper phase, sitting next to Prescott as Leoben. Cally (Tony) was the other Cylon. We won due to a forced march of Centurions, one of the classics.
Prescott didn't meet his goal (he wasn't in the brig and hadn't been executed), and that actually led to a question (can you Infiltrate directly into the Brig?) which we ruled as "no" but I haven't looked up an official answer.

In the second game (5 of us), I was in a silly mood so I chose Ellen Tigh.
Once again we had a lone Cylon (Matt M, but I don't remember which character he was), but we agreed beforehand to use the house rule "if the last card in the loyalty deck is a Cylon, lose 1 of each resource", which I may continue to use.
This was a pretty brutal game and the resources dwindled down into nothing. A third Cylon victory.

At about 2am, I had a floor to sleep on in Kevin+Pete+Matt's room, and we found Kevin very drunk and awake in bed. A short conversation about the backstory of Huang, Blood Cultist (he was apparently a Subway employee who liked to play Mario Kart), and I got about 2 hours of uncomfortable floor-sleep (see my earlier comment about a hotel room for next year).

Once again I was an early riser. But Sunday, the VTES draft started at 11, so there wasn't much time to do anything between room-opening time and VTES time. I could have skipped VTES but I was feeling like hanging out with those guys.
This gave me the idea that maybe next year, I will volunteer with TempleCon as an "early morning gaming liaison", to keep the boardgame room open and running for the morning people like me.

In the actual draft -- where we got Free Cards -- we played 2 rounds with no final; the Sunday draft usually fizzles out like this.
I drafted a halfway decent Lasombra deck out of a bunch of random packs.
I was happy that, in both rounds, I got to use Paulo's ability on the first turn of the game (move 1 blood from him to an uncontrolled Lasombra when he comes out).
In the first round, a combination of Pentex Subversion and Consignment to Duat locked me down after a strong start (draftferiors make dom/obt even better!), and I died without a VP.
In the second round, my stealth-weenie predator (Ira) "allowed me" to get 1VP before he obliterated me.

Overall it was fun.
And I gave away most of my free cards, knowing full well that I'd otherwise probably just be selling them which isn't fair.

Hoping to get back to the con next year, whether I play VTES or not (I don't think I'll be building any new decks, either way ...)

BONUS FACT: Throughout several plays of 7 Wonders during the weekend, I happened to notice that one of the cards looked 'marked'. There was some sort of grey blob on the back of the card.
When I got home, I posted something on boardgamegeek about card replacing, and I got contacted directly by the North American publisher of the game. A replacement is on its way. Cool!
Also, this morning (I'm home from work for unrelated reasons), I went through my set of BSG. To my surprise, it's still complete! Not a single lost bit or card!

Anyway, see you next year at TempleCon!

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