Total Confusion is my favorite gaming con. It is pretty much a 4-day pure gaming convention made up of a good number of board games, RPGs, LARPs, card games, and table top model strategies. There is also a small vendor area, some panels, a video game room, a video showing area, and some performances. There is even a listing of old-school RPGs for geezers like me. I try to hit this con every year. This year’s con (27 years and going) ran from February 21-24, 2013 in Mansfield, MA; I attended on Saturday.
If you pre-reg you can usually get into the games you want. I never have the forethought to do this but one can still always find interesting things to try. Actually, one of my great enjoyments is trying games that I never tried before. In past years I have also played some games in development and homemade games, some of which deserve to advance to the big leagues.
Because of my laziness to pre-reg, I missed out on some of the games that pique my curiosity. The RPG I lamented missing most was called “SpiderMan and his Amazing Friends: Murderworld”. How could I resist? Now I’ll never know if Web-head saved the day or if Firestar flew a little too close to Iceman again. Ah well. At least I could try my second choice, “The Fantastic Four: It’s Clobbering Time”… which was also completely booked. I tried signing up for another great RPG choice… Call of Cthulhe, which was being run 4 times on Saturday… again ALL FILLED UP!!!! That hasn’t happened to me in prior years. It did seem like attendance keeps increasing or perhaps there needs to be even more Call of Cthulhu! It didn’t really matter; I went on to other awesome adventures.
First I joined in a board game I never played before called Zong Shi, a fun resource allocation game which was actually funded through Kickstarter. Good for them! Generally, I get bored of games like this but in my opinion, this is one of the better ones. Each person plays a master artisan and his apprentice in medieval China who try to gather resources (gold, jade, etc.), shop at the market, visit the temple, show proper respect to the important villagers, and mostly, build works of art. The person with the most points win. I was next to last but pulled out a few awesome combos.
In the middle of Zong Shi, a modified Settlers of Catan game began called “Catan Twister”. Now, I’ve never played Settlers of Catan but I know it is super popular. This looked even better. It also involved an inflatable sheep. Seriously.
Continuing. I then jumped into a game called “HYPERBOREA – Taken from Dunwich”, an RPG based on 1st edition D&D. The GM did a great job on taking six of us through our challenging quest in his Celtic world. It’s been awhile since I joined in a good D&D game. I had lost interest after edition 3.5 (sorry WotC). I hear edition 4 is better… or are we on 5 now? In the middle of our game, an odd contest occurred involving a large 20-sided die, an M.C. Willie Wonka clone, and a guy with a giant crossbow on his back that shoots tennis balls (ala Boba Fett but no missiles). One guy held the die while gamers came up and aimed the crossbow dude at the d20. I have no idea what any of that was about.
Some friends and I took a break from a block of gaming for dinner. He hit up a the Catman Diner, a train-car diner/steak joint/bar/pool hall. It did the job. Back into the fray!
My friend Devon introduced me to Ascension, which is a board/card game by Gary Games with an interesting rule set. Each player attempts to build their army while fighting monsters. Both people grab from the same deck to build your own as the game progresses. This is a really fun strategy type game. Actually, even though it has a low point value, beating up on the Cultist is very satisfying. I may pick up a copy of this one. To reciprocate, I introduced her to the Android Netrunner LCG, which I elaborated on in a separate post HERE. We played Netrunner twice and, in-between, checked out the Rocky Horror Picture Show playing in the video room next door. It was being performed by a great local cast (and personal friends), the RKO army. These guys perform in Rhode Island and Massachusetts and are great for a night out. Go see them.
Finally around midnight, we were ready to call it quits. We packed up and left. As I walked out to my car, I ran into some of the RKO Army crew and they sucked me into another two hours of gaming. We played a board game called “7 Wonders” by Repos Production. It was a really good game, especially if you have seven players like we did. It’s actually difficult to describe. Like Ascension, it is a card development game. You try to collect resources and buy extra resources from your neighbors (people sitting next to you). While doing this you attempt to build wonders, armies, etc. The game is played in three stages with each stage adding more and more powerful cards. I was next to last again. 😦
Enjoy some of the additional con pics below.