Thursday, August 17

The Cast Are Dice: Day 2

Day two started without a fry-up breakfast as the cafe was closed :-(

We'd got there early enough to set up in a prime location in the entrance room - right next to the tombola and bring-and-buy tables. We set the table up with a similar display to the previous day (though thankfully lighter on copies). I let Dunk wander off and experience the delights of the other games tables. Man, had he earnt it yesterday. As a result, I ended playing mostly 2- and 3-player games.

First up was a 2-player game with Tim, which was my only win of the day. Considering everyone I played with had never played before, I had a particularly bad day - I put it down to tiredness, and providing more guidance to the players than the day before. I don't think it was Tim's kind of game, but he got on well with it, and gave me a run for my money.

The second game of the day was with a couple of lads from Cambridge: Kerrin and Ray. Ray and I left Kerrin to use the mine, but I didn't get enough money, due to failing to build enough settlements. Ray built lots of settlements but Kerrin won the race to forty gold.

Third up was Simon, who also beat me. I don't think it was Simon's kind of game either - I think the audience of the conference was predominantly Eurogamers, and the gambling for reinforcements in particular is unpopular with them - dice are out of favour. Not much later Kerrin came back to buy a copy, he said it was the least he could do after beating me.

I was struggling to find players, the conference was noticably quieter on the second day, and people seemed to have particular games they wanted to play. Anyway, I managed to find a fourth opponent in Mark, who also beat me - although in this game I had a terrible run of luck. Mark attributed it to playing against a chess player, he thought it had some similarities to chess - you had to build a strong defence in a similiar way before attacking or settling.

After that game I wandered over to the adjacent table and offered the guys at it a game, saying that I'd invented it myself. One of the guys, Jerry said he'd heard about it, but that they weren't up for a game. Steve (my first pre-order from someone I didn't know) was at the table too, and he gave it a bit of a plug, and a few minutes later Jerry came over and bought a copy, that was five out of my six copies sold.

I'd wanted to head off around 4pm as I had to head back to Derby to pick up my car before heading home. With players thin on the ground, Dunk and I packed away Border Reivers, and we picked a game to play from the extensive library. Dunk chose Gloom, the ultimate game for goths! Each player starts with a Addams family-esque family of five characters, and the aim is to make your family as unhappy as possible before their untimely deaths. You do this by playing and drawing events which either cheer up or depress a family member, you aim to play the depressing ones on your family members and the happy ones on your opponent's family members - then kill them off at an opportune moment. There were a couple of nice gimmicks though.

  • The cards were made from transparent plastic, which in itself is just a gimmick, however, they made use of it by having symbols on cards which obscured similarly placed symbols on the cards below.
  • You're encouraged to tell the story as you play the event cards, each card has a title such as 'was wounded by wasps' and you're supposed to the events link together into a story.

I enjoyed it, but I'd not rush to play it again.

We made our way back to Derby, and then I headed home, it had been a good convention, I'd thoroughly enjoyed it, and I'd sold more than the three copies I'd set myself as a target. The Wife and I went out for dinner to celebrate that night, then I slept the sleep of the dead.

Tomorrow I'll post an analysis of my performance at the convention, from a marketing and sales perspective.

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