Monday, February 18, 2008

OrcCon 2008 Recap

I made it through my weekend in potential convention hell at Strategicon/OrcCon this past weekend. I had a much better time than I have at previous Strategicons, which was NOT due to the hotel! The hotel space seemed a little better, but the parking was awful, the internet in my room never worked and there were no light blocking curtains (that I saw).

I did something that I've never done at a con ever before! I went to bed, both nights, at reasonable hours! On Friday, I only stayed up til 2 AM, then woke up at 8 AM and worked out with Ron at the gym for an hour+ and on Saturday night, I was only up til 3 AM which allowed me to get up at 9 AM on Sunday to be able to make it to the Power Grid tournament.

Power Grid tournament: I rarely, if ever, participate in the tournaments. The thought of getting stuck at a table with a bunch of people I don't wanna play with is tough. My desire to be competitive isn't enough to usually get over that hump. I think getting more sleep helped me be more tolerant of people too. But this time I decided to try the Power Grid tournament because I do enjoy playing the game.

Thirty people entered, so we had five tables of six players each. I ended up winning my table and so did Chris, so we ended up at the finals. The final table was a nail-biter to the end! Chris ended up coming in first, but I came in second! He built and powered 17 cities and I did 16, tying with Bruce, but I had more money in the tie-breaker. It was really fun! Plus, it was a "big" tournament, so the payout was more.

Race for the Galaxy tournament: I LOVE Race for the Galaxy. Instead of doing a separate post about it, I'll just say that I could play this game over and over (and I have!). In fact, with all my dealer dollars that I won in tournaments, I used it to buy a second copy of RftG because my cards are starting to get a little icky. The first time I played this game was on Christmas and since then I've logged 79 plays (conservatively) which puts me in the top 10 people playing it (who log their games on the Geek). I didn't win the tournament, but I did beat Chris, which ultimately is more important anyway! He seems to beat me about 75% of the time, so hopefully the tide is turning! Now I just have to get better at beating 42!

The Quarterly "One in a Million": I'm playing in the Power Grid tournament and a guy from the next table (playing some other game) leans in and says, "Did you used to work at Marie Callender's?" I did (a loooooong time ago), so I said, "Yes..." and I'm lookin' at him and his eyes look familiar and then I checked his name badge. I totally recognize his name! We hung out/dated for just a little while when I was 20! Shortly before I met my husband and got married. And here we are, twelve years later, running into each other at a gaming convention. How weird is that? When I knew him, he was in a band and was really into music stuff, so I never knew he was a geek at heart! I told him that had I known, perhaps the dating would've gone on longer! He lives really close to me, so we talked about gaming together sometime. He's married with two kids, so no potential re-kindling happening there!

The Food: I was so fortunate to not have to drive anywhere for food the entire length of the con! Erin and others went out and picked up food and for that I am grateful! I am often the food courier, so I know what a pain it can be and I want to say THANK YOU for the Tito's tacos, Chick-Fil-A, In-n-Out, Johnnie's pastrami, Dinah's fried chicken, Chinese food, and more I'm sure! Everything was yummy!!!!

Overall, this was a pretty decent con. I didn't play ANY Werewolf though!! But I did get sleep and my sleep schedule isn't all wacky, so that's a plus. I think I've finally adjusted to the format of the con. And I've lowered my expectations! Going to BGG.CON as my first gaming convention in 2006 ruined me forever as far as the local cons go.


Pappy said...

Race for the Galaxy is easily my favorite game released this past year... and for quite a bit before that. And it's so short, you can play over and over and over and... :)

Stephanie said...

Yeah, it's pretty awesome! It's like gaming crack to me. I just want to play it over and over!!! I really love it. I don't think I have purchased a second copy of a game EVER. :-)

Dave said...

Yay! New content!

I hope you find an internet connection (and computer) in Alabama.

Oh, and where is there a Chick-Fil-A near the airport?

Chris said...

No Werewolf!!! Shame... Hope you at least got some Tichu in?

Aaron said...

Thanks for the OrcCon recap - as usual I really wish I could have made it. :(

I've only played RFTG once, and I really liked it, but the crack factor is weird. People are obsessed with this game. Check out
the Tao of Gaming blog, whose writer has played and played and calculated many strategies mathematically -
for some really, really detailed analysis and hundreds of plays.

But that kind of thing really destroys the magic for me. I'm in it a little for the discovery, for the story. I simply could not enjoy a game if I had over-investigated it like that guy.

Stephanie said...

Chris - YES!! I did play Tichu! I placed 2nd in the Tichu tournament. I guess I should add that to the post.

Aaron - Yeah, Dave pointed me to that blog a while ago. I just haven't had the chance to look at it. To be honest, I'm really curious as to the calculations. The other night I was on hold on the phone and I started trying to figure out what the max points were possible on a particular 6 development card because it's one I consider to be weak, but I had never actually calculated it.

It's really fun and you should definitely play it more. I think the more you play it, the more interesting those types of stats would be, if you are into the game. You know me, I'm NOT a calculate everything to the max potential possible person. But this game is a bit different and I'm definitely more curious about it. Really though, figuring out all that stuff is useless if you don't have the cards to support that strategy. You just gotta play what's in your hand. :-)

Just as soon as I find the time, I'm gonna check that guy's blog!!

Anonymous said...

light blocking curtains!

as for the light blocking curtains, you have to reach behind those short curtains that i, and possibly you were tugging. they are gray, are usually bunched up behind there, try feeling around for the plastic poles that you can use to pull them shut