Now it's September, and the summer is culturally over.
But it's not too late to talk about what I did Labor Day Weekend, and since that is thematically related to my August vacation, I can talk about that too, in the same post! Woo!
I spent Labor Day Weekend at a small gaming relaxacon run by some friends of ours called TCEP
. Specifically, "TCEP 15--The Elder Party," in honor of the fact that it's an election year. Basically, it just means that my friends make arrangements with a hotel in Maryland for some function space and a special room rate, and invite 40-60? of their friends to attend and spend three days, hanging out and gaming. We had a splendid time having dinner expeditions with friends we haven't seen in a while and playing our favorite Euro (and other) Games. I managed to fit in games of Puerto Rico, Ticket to Ride--Europe, Race for the Galaxy, Power Grid, Zombies! (with all 7--or is it 8? expansions), and learned a new game--Agricola--during the course of the weekend.
The World Boardgaming Championships
(“WBC”), which is where esrblog
and I spent the first week of August, was a much different experience. For one thing, it is a much bigger event--several thousand people attended, and it goes on for nearly 6 days. So there were many fewer people there whom we knew, and we ended up spending most of our spare time hanging out with them (thanks, Ken and Craig!). Moreover, though you could find someone for a casual game, most of the conference was set up to provide people with tournament opportunities. You played three or four "heats" of a game with other people, and based on your win-loss statistics, you would make, or not make, the next stage in the competition (semifinals). I played heats in Ticket to Ride, Puerto Rico, "Empire Builder" (which included all of the Mayfair crayon-rail games), Race for the Galaxy, and Vegas Showdown.
I made it into the Puerto Rico semifinals (but failed to win that round, coming in only second) and narrowly missed the semis for Race for the Galaxy. In just about every other game I played in every other heat, I came in...third. (Except for one dreadful Vegas Showdown game where I misremembered an important rule about income and barely managed to crawl in at next-to-last.) Fortunately, all the players were good winners and losers, and behaved civilly throughout. So the tournament heats were fun, at least, even if I didn't do as well as I might have hoped.
On the negative side, we stayed at the
Passport Inn, a low-end motor inn whose only virtue was its price ($50 per night plus tax). Its claim to having Internet was a joke, and the air conditioning barely managed to make the rooms uniformly cool, damp and musty throughout our stay. In addition, in an effort to spare my right Achilles tendon (limped upon throughout Sword Camp, and very unhappy), I managed to sprain my *left* Achilles tendon, making my limp noticeably worse and multiplying my discomfort. Both sides are finally getting better now--but only because I've been avoiding stairs as much as possible for the past month, and limiting my walking. Ugh.
So I had a lot of good gaming this August, if nothing else. Let's see what September brings.