|Tennessee Game Days 9, and my trip to Nashville
||[Mar. 18th, 2014|02:34 pm]
Tennessee Game Days 9, and my trip to Nashville
Storms in OH canceled my first flight. United rebooked it automatically a minute later, for a similar length and time trip through Newark instead, which was pretty awesome of them. I made it to Newark but missed the connection (my own mistake), then quickly confirmed (by phone/web!) for another flight 4 hours later. The gate agent put me on standby for a flight 2 hours later, which I just barely made the cut for. I had a couple of short conversations and did a bunch of day job stuff while stuck in the airports. I rented a nice car through Hotwire for half the price of the cheapest tiny car I could find on my own, so I'll be using that service again in the future. My flights home were entirely uneventful.
Thursday evening I had a planned dinner with some old friends, mostly from MTAC and GMX. Coincidentally, another old friend and some acquaintances were having drinks at the same restaurant when I got there, so that turned out pretty awesome all around. I got to catch up on 4-8 years of Nashville goings-on, and some encouragement to visit more often.
Friday through Sunday were spent at the con. I got to converse / eat / play with some old gaming pals and friends for a while, and also to meet a bunch of interesting strangers.
Sunday night I had dinner and slept over with a few more old friends, who I definitely want to see more often than once every 3-4 years.
TGD has grown since I last attended, 7 years ago. It was 50-80 people then, and is around to 250-300 now. That puts it firmly past the threshold where there is always a game to join, although I was a bit pickier so I spent a few short interludes just wandering around and reading rulebooks. Their game library is quite large for the size of the event (more games than people, easily), and it was bolstered by the public game storage being split into hands-off and please-borrow sections, the latter of which was even larger. The door prizes were nice, the tournaments and game demos/tours were well run, and the hall was spacious enough for everyone to play without being crowded.
Here's a mostly complete account of what I played: http://boardgamegeek.com/plays/bydate/user/sparr0/subtype/boardgame/start/2014-03-14/end/2014-03-16
I taught Agricola to new players a couple of times, and played against some experienced folks. I'm enjoying it more as I get more experienced myself, but also tending towards playing the Family Game when I can't find people willing to have a card draft for the normal game. I also taught and played Tzolkin, which has firmly replaced Caylus as my worker placement game of choice. I found, bought, and played for the first time in 6 years a copy of Rukshuk, which is a rock-stacking dexterity game that I enjoy. I also bought Keesdrow and discovered it to be a nifty word search game that I'm going to recommend to anyone I know who likes Boggle. I bought Prosperity new, based on some reviews, and turned out to enjoy it, as did the people I introduced it to. I tried and did not like Sentinels of the Multiverse, possibly because we chose to play against an "easy" villain/scenario and unluckily had one of the hardest encounters possible. Hanabi, Eight Minute Empire, Glass Road, Caverna, and All Creatures Big and Small were new to me, and I enjoyed them enough that I'll probably buy or trade for copies. Dungeon Lords and Letters from Whitechapel were new and fun, but not something that I want to own. Bang I had played before, and it remains light and silly. To Court the King is a game that I've been trying to identify for years after playing it once before. I got the luckiest possible win, and I enjoy luck less than I did back then, so it wasn't as much fun. One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a neat concept, but suffers from many of the flaws of normal Werewolf without being more fun. And Power Grid is still Power Grid.
I would repeat any part of this trip except the travel shenanigans, and plan to do so next year at the latest.