The Leighton Buzzard boardgames club's first convention happened last weekend, and BuzzardCon was a resounding success!
Things got underway quickly, despite the 9.00am start! There were a good few games played, but I only managed to get photos of a few of them. (A recurring theme throughout the day. I blame having too much fun playing the games!)
I managed to introduce Yellow & Yangtze to some new players, and it seemed to go down well. (I managed the win, but that was because I'd played it a few times before so had some knowledge of how things worked.) The game started a bit static, with me racking up loads of black and blue points from the pagodas in the middle of the board, while others were doing their thing around the edges. By the time people managed to invade and dismember the central state, I was happy to move my leaders elsewhere and build up scores in different colours. The final scores were fairly close, and everyone seemed to enjoy the game and would want to play it again sometime.
Other games played were Harry Potter and Arboretum. I didn't hear much about Harry Potter, but people seemed to enjoy Arboretum, even if they took a while to understand the detail of strategy.
You can also see the supplies of tea and biscuits scattered around the various tables. Such things are freely available all day at both BuzzardCon and our regular monthly meetings!
The morning games took us most of the way up to lunch. Unfortunately, I didn't get any photos of the full spread, do you'll just have to make do with this picture of the chili in preparation the evening before. Imagine the range of vegetarian chili, rice, salad, and roasted vegetables!
While I'm talking about food, the was also afternoon tea and cake, with the cakes being vegan or gluten free.
Around lunchtime saw the start of various other games, including Rising Sun, Sagrada, and Great Western Trail. The Rising Sun set continues to look as gorgeous as ever and was certainly a stunning presence on the table. Sagrada, while smaller, looked similarly lovely (and I think I prefer the game to the similar Azul).
I was in Great Western Trail, the cutthroat game of cattle herding! I'd played it once before, but couldn't remember much of that game apart from the fact that I lost horribly. Luckily for me, in this game the other players were similarly inexperienced, to it was a somewhat level playing field. I based my strategy around getting cowboys and building up a decent herd. The eventual winner, however, concentrated on buying stations on the train track and cleared up with a huge victory point bonus at the end of the game. Saying that, we all really enjoyed the game, and I didn't lose quite as horribly as last time!
Other games in the afternoon included Lost Cities (including the Gloranthan rune easter eggs!), Terrinoth, the first of several games of Terraforming Mars, and more of Rising Sun. I don't know much about them, being far too busy with the fine detail of cattle herding.
The day continued, the cake came (and mostly went) and still the games continued! Camel Up came out (oo-er!) and much fun was had with both the game and the general Carry On… level of humour. The Thunderbirds co-op game came out for a short time before the intrepid heroes of International Rescue were defated by The Hood: that table dived into another game of Terraforming Mars. Again, I don't know much about the game of Run, Fight, or Die, apart from the fact that people seemed to be enjoying it.
After Great Western Trail finished, we had yet another game of Terraforming Mars. A few other games were played, and there were still games going on until the 9.00pm close.
The future: BuzzardCon 2?
The whole day seemed to go very well. We had plenty of people (though we could always do with a few more). The whole day seemed to go very smoothly. We're thinking about doing another event along the same lines, probably in July (just before the schools break up.)
What did you think?
If you were at the day, what did you think? How were the games? How was the food? What did you enjoy, and what could be improved? Should we do another BuzzardCon?
Please let us know in the comments below.