For the second straight year, I had the chance to attend ConnCon – a gaming convention held in Stamford, Conn.
Last year was the first year I went and I really enjoyed myself. It was a weekend full of board gaming, meeting people, and just relaxing.
This year, I went back and had the chance to do it slightly different as I had a year under my belt, so it wouldn’t be such a surprise as the first year.
What really makes ConnCon so good is the people. The organizers and so many of the players there make things fun. Those who take the time to teach games do an excellent job and everybody is welcoming, which is nice. The place it’s held (Sheraton) is a perfect spot, too.
One thing I did was play a few more lighter games this year. Though I don’t mind a heavy game sometimes, it seems to take way too long to explain the rules, then play etc. I understand why – don’t get me wrong – but I often get lost when rules explanations are going on when they are too long. I’m better with an overview and some of the rules and then play – I learn games way better that way.
There was one game I played there that was somewhat like that. It took way longer than I would have liked and kind of took away from the experience. The setup and instruction was about an hour and then the game went a little longer than I expected. In the end though, it’s a good game, but I just would have rather not taken up the time at the con playing it.
In the end, I played about 25 times over the weekend (with 19 games being unique – something that I like). As noted, many were lighter, so it was nice just to sit back and play games. I also learned a few games I’ve really wanted to play, so that was super sweet.
There were a few games I really enjoyed. These may not necessarily be the best games there or anything, but I base this on the fun I had and the group I was with etc.
Nations: The Dice Game
A game I’d like to add to my collection. Shorter version than the Nations main game. Solo variant makes it highly interesting.
New York 1901
Fun tile-placement and card-building style game, along with area control. I enjoyed the mechanics and will likely add it to my collection as I can see playing this with non-gamers.
A game I own, so it was nice to learn and get to play it. I’m a fan of the designer and this game is no different than others I’ve played.
A new game I learned and one of the ones I had looked forward to the most. Good times and a cool game.
These are the ones where the experience wasn’t necessarily the best, and has no reflection on the game. But it might have been overly long, or the people I played with etc. A couple of these games, too, are only for a few items – but I’ll explain below.
Two Rooms and a Boom
I love this game – and the “night” group played it four times. The bad experience was only one of those games, but it irritated me enough that I put it on this list. Let’s just say one people in one of the later games decided to play his own way (it’s a party game) – which is fully fine. But he didn’t like that I didn’t “follow” and got a bit testy. So it kind of ruined that game. The other three were fine.
Again – one of the two games I played was brought down by how/who played. People have styles on how to play games and sometimes said styles clash. The other time I played the game was highly enjoyable. In the end, I won a copy of this one and am super happy because of it. I love Dr. Finn’s games and this is no exception.
This isn’t the game or the people I played with, rather it just seemed to drag with instruction and the early going of the game. I like the game and the theme. It was just one of those days and such where I wasn’t ready for a game like that and … it just wasn’t a blast.
I wanted to try this and I’m glad I did, but I just didn’t like it. The people playing were fine and the idea of doing it all was fine, but … I just didn’t like the game.
In the end, no matter what, I had a great time. This year I made sure to go out one night for dinner and not just stay in the hotel the whole time. I didn’t fill up every slot with games, which allowed for some extra time for open gaming. We also stayed for the closing ceremonies, which was OK … but I’m not sure if I’ll do it again as it’s not until a bit after 5, and getting home at nearly 10 and having to work the next day is a little tough.
I’m looking forward to FalCon (their fall version – in late October) and then again ConnCon next year. It’s a great con, not too big, and full of great games and friendly people. It’s affordable (the hotel is a decent price, the Con is priced well, and there’s food options), and it’s in an easy area to get to. I’m looking forward to the next one!
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