Sunday, October 14, 2018

ToonCon 2018

This past weekend I attended ToonCon with the kids (Amanda would have been there but she was busy dodging hurricanes and alligators in Florida and learning about nap yoga). This is, I think the 8th year the convention has been running, and I've been to... most of them...?

Friday Evening

As is our tradition, The Girl and I played 7 wonders. We got in two, seven-player games.

The first I was Babylon and did... okay-ish... I didn't really concentrate on any one thing. I think I came in second with 50 or so points.

The second game I played Rhodes and went all military and blue buildings, two things I seem to rarely do... and totally crushed it... Maybe I'll have to take this strategy more often in the future!

The Girl did pretty good - both time coming in just after me (3rd and 2nd, respectively). I's funny, because everyone remembers her as "That little girl that won 7 wonders a last year" (although it was actually two years ago).

While we were playing 7 wonder, Finnegan was playing Roll for the Galaxy. I don't know how he did, but when I popped by to see what was going on, he had a good theme going on, so he was happy (for me this was a HUGE geek dad win - having raised kids that are more interesting in developing an interesting theme or narrative in a game than whether or not they're actually doing well in the game!)    Later he said it was okay, but it mostly just made him want to play RACE for the Galaxy again (which we haven't for some time!).

After that we played Viticulture, which was great fun! I usually don't do all that great at the game, but I have a lot of fun playing it - going through the process of building a vineyard - planting and harvesting and making stuff into wine and filling contracts and so on. I came very close to winning this time - we ran out of time and had to just call it and at the end of the last round we had a three way tie for first - the tie-breaker was money and I had one less than the guy who won (I think he had £12 and I had £11...?)

I'm not sure what Finnegan was doing...? I thought he had signed up for Viticulture? maybe he was at another table? Or maybe he skipped out and went and played something else...?

Finally we played a couple games of Century: Spice Road - another game I really enjoy playing - and usually do quite well at. The first game I was ON FIRE! I think I ended with 80-some points, and everyone else was back in the 60s... The second game we had to just stop as it was five to midnight and they were kicking everyone out.


I didn't get a lot of sleep Friday night... for a few reasons... One: I was still getting stuff ready for the Kill Team game I was to run the following afternoon. The Other: when we got home Finnegan's blood-sugar level was CrAzY high!? Like potential-Ketoacidosis-shut-down-organs-dangerously-high!? So I was up for some time just trying to get that down - without it crashing down so low he ended up hypoglycaemic!

So Saturday we slept in and skipped the first round of games... I still only ended up with about 5 hours of sleep, but we got there for the second round!

The Girl and I were playing Stone Age. I've never played it before. It was a lot of fun. Worker placement in the stone ages - your tribe hunts and gathers food and acquires resources and builds huts... It's funner than it sounds.

While we were doing that Finnegan was trying out Clank!


After that, I ran my Kill Team game. None of the four guys had played it or any Warhammer games before, but they were keen and fun guys to play with. I totally overwhelmed them with the rules and then we tried to play a game.

As I had suspected... it went very slowly... We did get through one full round - during which there was a LOT of shooting and no close combat.

The Mechanicus mostly shot up the Drukhari and the Heretic Astartes shot up the Genestealers pretty good.

We played PART of a second round. WE went through the movement phase and then I skipped straight to the fight phase (there wouldn't have been THAT much shooting anyway) because I wanted to give them all a sense of how the fight phase worked - and give the Drukhari and Genestealers a chance to do THEIR THING after having been mauled so badly by fire in the previous round.

And they kicked some ass - the Genestealers took out the Chaos Space Marine Champion and the Drukhari took down the Mechanicus Vanguard leader... it was pretty awesome...

Hopefully everyone had a bit of fun and at least got a bit of a sense of how the game plays...?

Now that I've got all this stuff painted, I'm looking forward to playing this for FUN - no longer under the pressure to get things ready for the demo and worrying about how it's going to go.

Shortly after the afternoon games was the auction... There are people that come to the convention just for the auction. In just over two hours they auctioned off 344 games (THREE HUNDRED FOURTY FOUR!!!) 2-3 per minute... They're THAT fast! Every year I have a good look at all the games that will be up for action on Friday (or sometimes earlier if they post the list of games beforehand). Find the ones I'm genuinely interested in, check to see how much they cost new and what they're selling for used and then set a maximum I will bid and I STICK TO IT - When they are auctioning things off that fast it is SUPER easy to get carried away... I've seen used games sell for almost what they cost new!?

I had about 20 games I planned to bid on a half dozen were ones I was genuinely interested in, others were more like "Well if I can get this for $5-10, I'll try it out..."

I won five lots. one was something that hadn't been on my list (the Dogs one) - When it came up, The Girl said she was interested in it. I don't like bidding on items I don't really know anything about, but I bid on it anyway and got it for about $16CAD. Looks like it goes for about $40-50 in the geek marketplace, so I think we did okay there... The four Flash Point expansions were all in one lot I picked up for $30CAD - this was another thing The Girl was interested in, but at least she pointed these out to me last night and I was able to look up how much they were new... Marrying Mr. Darcy came with the Emma and Undead Expansions. The older version of Brass I just about bought for $70 a year ago but managed to pick it up for $16 at the auction.

There had been a couple copies of Caverna I bid on, but didn't get... and kind of wished I'd bid just a bit more. Both went for about half what it is new. There was also a copy of Power Grid with a BUNCH of map and deck expansions which I bid on... but didn't get.. Ah well, maybe next year...

One of these years I should probably offload a few games I know I'm never going to play again!

We went home when the auction was done. There were a couple more sessions in the evening - Finnegan and I had signed up for Terraforming Mars and The Girl had signed up for Mission: Red Planet and Imhotep - but with so little sleep and having run a game, I was just DONE!


Sunday was different as we were all playing totally different games!

The Girl started off with Flamme Rouge - a bicycle racing game.

My first two session were taken up by Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain  - one of the newer COIN games from GMT. I like COIN games in general - though they are quite complicated and I'm not really sure what they hell I'm even doing, let alone how to do WELL in them...

Pendragon seemed a little more straightforward than the others... But maybe it was the faction I was playing - the Scotti, of course!!!

We kind of had to call it at some point because I had to go set up for the next game I was running.

Finnegan decided this year he wanted to try out Twilight Imperium 4 - and he ended up playing that ALL DAY!

I was a little worried he might be get a little overwhelmed and frustrated, but it seemed to go well enough...

While I was still playing Pendragon, The Girl went and played Castles of Burgundy. She's played it at ToonCon all three times she's come - she liked it so much the first time, she asked her grandma to get it for her for Xmas - and she got it... almost two years ago... and we have yet to play it at home!? Hopefully we'll get it on the table soon while she's still got the rules all fresh in her head!

For the final session of the weekend, I set up a game of Railways of the World to run for a few people. Originally six were signed up, but only three of them showed up!? So I joined in, as it was a learn-to-play and I like to play and SHOW everyone what I'm doing and explain why.

For the final round, The Girl got to play Power Grid. Afterwards she was saying she loved it and we need to play ours more! Which  made me a little more bummed that I didn't get the lot that included the base game and 8 expansions... Ah, well...

So all around I think everyone had quite a bit of fun and got excited about playing MORE games!

Bike parking was at a bit of a premium at the location - this was the only bike rack within blocks. It's kind of crammed into this little space between a fence, a planter and a spot to park a car. A Different guy had parked there with us on Friday evening and I think his bike might have been dinged by a car trying to pull in or out of that space!?

Coming Soon To Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog: 

Well... hard to say.. I've been so focused on getting ready for this past weekend for the last few months, I can't say I've given much thought to what comes next. Amanda would like me to clear out the basement so we can renovate the "Game Room". Surely that will be ONE of my priorities. I still have a lot of 40K and Kill Team stuff I'd like to get painted sooner rather than later.... I wouldn't mind getting a Kill Team campaign underway - even if it's just with the family... and I wouldn't mind playing some OTHER games - now that the kids are super excited about.


  1. Looks like a fun weekend! “Nap yoga?”

    1. Thanks Jonathan!

      Yeah, Yoga Nidra... it's kind of more a guided-meditation-nap than what one normally thinks of as "yoga"...?

  2. Sounds like you need a lie down! Game sounded like it went about as well as it could in the time you had, good that everyone had a good time and survived hurricanes!
    Best Iain

    1. Despite how tired I was, I was too wired to easily get to sleep last night, so we all had a big sleep in this morning...

      Yeah, as you say - about as well as it could in the time I had...

  3. A Pride and Prejudice card game? Interesting, you will have to report how it plays. The Pendragon game seemed interesting too, I will have to look into it.

    Glad to hear that the games you ran went well, although four player kill team seems a bit slow for complete newcomers.

    1. If I'd run the 4-player Kill Team game in the evening and taken up two slots (as I've done with previous games), we could have taken our time and probably gotten through a whole game and while the first two turns would have taken two hours, the next four would have been another hour and a half or so and they would have seen that, yeah, there's a lot to figure out at first, but after a round or two everything becomes pretty obvious and thing click along quite quickly... ah, well... it was a learning experience for all of us, I guess.

      Marrying Mr. Darcy: The Pride and Prejudice card game is pretty fun - we played it last night - it's kind of a "light filler". Probably take half an hour to play once you know what's going on.

      In our game last night, I played Elizabeth Bennet, Finnegan was playing Caroline Bingley, and The Girl was playing Kitty Bennet. At one point Finnegan drew an event card that involved receiving a letter from an aunt or something where she discovered her "true nature"...? or something like that...? I think he had to discard the top cards of each type - though it was early in the game and he only ended up being able to discard two - and then draw four and immediately play them. All four that he drew were Friendliness cards... for Caroline Bingley... who says right on her card; "Mr. Bingley's sister is well to do, and not terribly pleasant..."! That's quite the reversal of character!

      The Girl pointed out that she had enough friendliness to marry Mr. Bingley at which point Finnegan exclaimed "I CAN'T MARRY MY BROTHER! THIS IS PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, NOT GAME OF THRONES!"

    2. ha! I will have to look for that one, quite enjoyed the "light" games I got for my birthday.