So, if this is the first post you've ever read from this blog, my wife decided to rent a local fire hall for the whole day for my birthday present, and I sent an open invitation to the world to come on down, play games, and eat cake. It was not GenCon, but it was the most fun I've had in a looong time.
I got to the fire hall at 7am, brought in the forty pounds of food my wife cooked, and set up the hall, save for the folding chairs. I figured early on that until the "mundane" friends and family came by in the late afternoon, we would keep a policy of "Welcome, come on in. Grab a chair off the rack." It saved us from putting away an extra 30 chairs that night, and I had a lot of help mid-afternoon to set up the dozen or so chairs we needed at the time, and it was done in a matter of seconds.
With the food in the fridge, a danish and Mountain Dew in my gullet, I set up mostly round tables with two groups of long tables: one for my Samoa game, which was ready at 8:30, and one for Cinderella's castle and a pile of toys for the kids.
The fire hall was large, spacious, and had free soda (including white birch beer) included in the contract. Unfortunately, it was also out of the way for my guests (who travelled as far as Philly and the New York state line) the acoustics were horrible unless you were sitting around a table. We only had a handful of people by the time the first session was supposed to start. No, let's be honest, we only had three people at 9am, myself, my friend Brian, and Jon, a very nice fellow who discovered the event on Meetup and volunteered to run "Basic/Classic" D&D for the "A" slot. Since Jon could only be there in the morning I made it my mission to get the D&D game run, but as we waited, my other friend Steve showed up and broke the gaming ice. Steve's mission that day was to play as many of the games he had picked up via Kickstarter and never actually played, so he pulled out Dugeon Roll. It was a great little fantasy dice game with a very Cosmic Wimpout aura to it.
By the time we were done with that quick game, we had EIGHT players for Jon's game. While I was adamant we would run his game, between nostalgia and the fact that some random dude wanted to game at my birthday party, it was the counters that sealed the deal. Apparently, Jon's main gaming outlet was using Rolld20 on Skype and that uses counters for the visual portion of the game. Counters, that can be customized:
|Yes, that's a gnome and 70's Lee Majors fighting horse jockey Orcs.|
After we successfully rescued the mayor's son and killed off a magic...Sleestak(?), more players came in and we had 3(!) tables going. The Old Guard hid in a back table and tried to recreate the days of our youth, when we had more hair and it was not gray, by breaking out Battletech. Brian had brought the new introductory boxed set and Scott had brought a drool-level mini case full of old Ral Partha figures. Teaching Steve as we went along, we played a 3-on-3 game that included a failed Death from Above, and AC20 blast in the center torso of the previously mentioned jumping mech, a mech shutdown on a 10+, and a conga line of back shots that all missed. Don't mess with the Urbanmech, until it's out of ammo.
After the family came in and we did food and cake (forty candles is only appropriate when the fire trucks are 50 foot away in the same building). James Burns, one of the Mepacon regulars had come down with a "tub o' boardgames" and we learned the Legendary card game for Marvel. The pet peeve amongst the players was that the game was significantly tougher the more players you added.
Finally, as it neared quarter to eight, Droz and Steve took sides on my Samoa table, only 11 hours late. I tweaked the movement of the allies (d6 through the jungle), and the allied artillery wiped out two whole units of rebels, which subsequently became ambush snipers in the jungle. Droz managed to shake off the rebel spearmen with only minor casualties (outside of the British Sailors, whose courage will be sung in Samoan legends forever more) and they called the game as the Americans were huddled with their Samoan loyalists, pondering an assault on the trenches.
My thanks to James Burns and his girlfriend/fiancee, for bringing their tub o' games.
Thanks to Mike Sarno, who survived a three hour drive both ways with a car full of tween girls.
Thanks to my friend Kenny, a mundane, who did enough research to get me a Reaper Electronic Gift Certificate.
Thanks to Droz, Brian, and Steve, for not only participating in the Samoa game, but cleaning up and chatting till after 10pm, even though all of you had LONG rides home.
Thanks to everyone not mentioned for coming and celebrating my day.
And most importantly, thanks to my wife Michelle, for the whole idea of the fire hall, the ridiculous amounts of food. I could not have asked for a better birthday, at 40, 41, or 141.