Cold Wars 2011: Thursday

FROM THE CONVENTION: So, after waiting for the truly horrendous DC morning rush hour to subside, I nosed my maroon van into the traffic stream, and headed North.  I tried the Western approach in 2010, crossing over the Potomac on Route 15 near Leesburg, but it took so long to get through all the lights on Route 7 it’s almost the same amount of time doing the Beltway-270-15-30 route.  So that’s what I did.  No muss, no fuss, and I was here in maybe 2.5 hours.

And then it was time for COLD WARS.

Thursday is a day when people are arriving and the convention sets up, so this is a short post.  The theme this year is Revolution in Latin America.  I would like to get into a game with a theme like that, it interests me personally.  However, I’m not finding a lot of them in the program that aren’t in a spot where my convention work schedule precludes participating.  So it goes.

Thursday, I got in just in time to discover I was working.  So I pulled two hours desk duty.  The registration system wasn’t up (thank God, I hate using it), so I tried to be helpful to people with questions, put out shirts, and generally be useful.  I walked around a bit after shift and got my stuff in from the van– there wasn’t a lot going on gamewise for me to get into, mostly boardgames.  I think Thursday is a great time to pull out boardgames that are big and complicated and time-consuming.. games like Arkham Horror and History of the World and whatnot.  There’s not a lot going on in the miniatures realm to compete with them and a rare opportunity to have space to spread out and play them.  I’ll remember to take a few of that kind of game to the next con if I’m working staff.

There certainly were about 10 or so miniatures events Thursday night, almost all in the Distelfink ball room.   A nice Channel clash naval game.  Leo Walsh ran ironclads.  There was some Flames of War stuff and a very nice looking Battlestar Galactica setup.  I got off of my shift at 9, which precluded me from participating in any evening miniature events, but I did bump into Jim, Andy, Derek and Joey playing boardgames and drinking beer, so I pulled up a chair and contributed a six pack of Abita Purple Haze to the situation.   They were playing a game called NUNS ON THE RUN, which at first seemed a little hokey from the theme (the players play schoolgirls who are trying to fulfill secret wishes by running around the nunnery at night being chased by a mother superior and a prioress, then getting back to their cells.  It turns out to be a very amusing game, and I enjoyed playing it!  The hidden movement is key– you plot your novices’ movement with a pad (like the old SNIPER game by SPI), you move (without putting a token on the board.  Then then nun moves.. if you are in a hallway where she can see you, you have to put your token out.  You aren’t “captured” unless she ends movement on your dot.  The strategy is to manage noise level.. like a zombie game, the more you run, the more chance there is of making noise that can be detected.  Here’s the Dice Tower video review.  I really liked it, and would consider buying it.

I was going to play a pirate game with this same group (Letter of Marque) but Pat Condray came by and we jawed for a while and I missed the setup.  The consensus on Letter of Marque was that it was “too simple”, so I guess I dodged that bullet.

And that was my day.. not hugely exciting but the first day is usually that way.

AUDIO SNIPPET: click to play″

It’s a little too early to be mentioning the crowds or parking or all the other things people whine about.  There were several snafus with preregistration and some people were in a high temper when they came down to sign up for events.  I like to think we mollified every one of them and they at least went away begrudgingly admitting we helped them get what they wanted, if we could.

That’s about all there is to report for a Thursday so I’m off to a Lancaster mystery breakfast and hopefully there will be more to report for today!