BSoMT’s first ever visit to Airecon…Harrogate, North Yorkshire.
I didn’t attend on a particularly official capacity (mainly as it was a last-minute, spur of the moment visit) so I was woefully prepared to chat with game designers etc…and so this is not so much an interview session but a walkthrough the discussions I had with folks I met…and some fantastic future guest contributors to BSoMT.
Place upon your earlobes your sound inhibiting replicas of the Eiffel Tower and let the waffle commence…
Not to the scale of UKGE, obviously, but it is very noticeable that this convention is very much about the socialising of gamers and the playing of board games, as much as promoting new or existing products. Proportionally there has been huge areas assigned to such activities and the lending library system provides opportunity to take out and try titles throughout the convention.
As I wandered lonely as a cloud it was almost inevitable I would gravitate to the Hall or Nowt stand and have a chat with the delightful and most hospitable Mr & Mrs Ninjadorg……oh, look! Mrs Hall, you’ve got me all sloping and cut my head off!
- Hall or Nothing Productions
Busy as ever, the Halls constantly engaged discussing GoK, 1066 and the all new (coming to Kickstarter soon) Lifeforms with both backers and potential new comers to the Company…as a first-rate malingerer, spending much of my rest time sat at the stand, I feel I could recant the sales pitch verbatim, having heard Tristan speak with many a punter!
…and Lifeforms (designed by Mark ,to be published by Hall or Nothing) really is shaping up to be a mega game…WITH A DEDICATED SOLO VARIANT! It may be worth you keeping an eye on the HoN site for notification of the project launch. I have asked Mark if he would be kind enough to do a guest spot on the BSoMT ‘s ‘A Guest Knows Best’ segment to share the design experiences of crafting a fully functioning solo mode for a quite complex cooperative (but also pvp) board-game
- City of Games
I couldn’t pass by Frank’s stand without having a chat about The City of Kings (which arrived the day after getting back from the con) I am always totally amazed at how enthusiastic Frank is about his game. We chatted at some length about some of the ideas behind the game and how solo players can access the same experience as multi-players…I wont talk much more on this because….. daah daah daaaahhhhh…
….Frank has agreed to do a video piece for the A Guest Knows Best segment about his ideas, thoughts etc on solo gaming and how it relates to the development of TCoK….I can’t express how overjoyed I am that he has kindly accepted the invite.
- One Single Elephant
During my aimless wanderings to and fro I chanced upon this stand…and, after nosying at a box of Carcosa (a title I noticed on Kickstarter some time back…but foolishly dismissed as it was a multi-player game) Nigel came over to chat (thoroughly nice bloke too) and I discovered that a dedicated solo option had been added mid campaign. I was intrigued to hear about the adapted mechanisms to make the game function for one, and although the game changes slightly for the soloist, the end result is a challenging game experience not unlike the multiplayer version. I took this title out of the lending library and gave it a quick spin…It was a busy old place in and arround the playing tables but after beating up a few frazzled gamers with their huge hauls of games, I found myself a lonely soloist patch of table space. I was short of time, regrettably at this point, but what I experienced then (and after subsequently viewing a couple of multiplayer games on YouTube) I am actually inclined to think that the solo game is perhaps the better option. I would really like to play a couple of more times before making that an official statement, writing this up as a review (perhaps Nigel could loan me a copy…😜) but it has potential. I heard some people compare it to Carcassonne, which is the obvious choice for comparison judging by the tile laying nature of the game, but there is such a lot more going on and, especially for the solo game, it does offer some interesting, and consequently, far more enjoyable facets to the gameplay than the aforementioned tile laying game.
As it happens I have asked Nigel if he would like to be a guest contributor on A Guest Knows Best and he said he would be delighted…so I look forward to hearing his tales of trial and tribulation as he tried to appease the demands of the soloist Kickstarter backer.
- Wotan Games
Voce still intact at this point…and pushing out of my comfort zone (in other words actually talking face to face with total strangers…I chanced upon this young gentleman. Lengthy discussions about the way gaming vies the solo player, how they can be implemented and how such mechanics could potentially be adapted to the 2-4 player game War of the 9 Realms were but some of the many topics under discussion as were politics, state of the NHS and a goodly many other topics…probably the lengthiest chat at the con and a thoroughly hospitable host. I would be most interested to see if a solo variant does materialise because the multiplayer game does look interesting. BGG link
- Ragnar Brothers
I have watched and very nearly backed several Ragnar Brother titles including Backpacks and Blisters which, embarrassingly for me, I had to admit to Phil, I finally ended up not backing…but needless to say, we spoke at length, again about implementing solo mechanics… to which, said ideas were put hypothesised regarding a new prototype project which, for the life of me I forget…idiot boy that I am. Well, it was an unofficial, impromptu visit to the con so that is the excuse I shall stand by. Corrections on game titles welcome!
…the Tour de France and various other cycle races also featured heavily in our discussions, which is interesting for a games con…a very informed chap, Phil, and I am thankful he took time out to chat to me. They doo have a collection of interesting games. The 2nd edition of Backpacks and Blisters has a solo variant and is worth having a look at BGG page link https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/212807/backpacks-blisters-second-edition
- Open Combat
This was an unexpected chat. I have no miniature skirmish/table top war-game mentions on BSoMT as I have yet to come across a system designed to make such elements of the hobby available to the soloist. Just in passing I mentioned this and Carl let slip he was writing and developing a potential system to do just that with the Open Combat game. This could be potentially huge as it would open up a large area of the gaming market to new customers…or give existing customers opportunity to play solo when the logistics of meeting up with others and transporting large collections become an unmanageable burden. I have invited Carl to share his thoughts and development the A Guest Knows Best segment which, I hope may be a series of contributions as the system develops, will give us all an incite into miniature skirmish gaming.
- Yay Games
The surprise of the day is at YAY games where Andrew introduced me to Ominoes…wait! A game of 2-4 players…no solo variant!…no one player option…have I gone insane?…
…it would appear so. Such a simple but fantastic tactical game…and amazing to hear about family history and links to unearthing dice like artifacts in an egyptian tomb that ultimately had an influence on the game creation.
- Cardboard & Coffee
Other chance encounters included a great chat with Cardboard and Coffee with the Nuts & Bots game. An impractical proposition to make this solo-able, I suspect, but a particularly interesting game in development, non-the-less
- Other points of interest
An interesting chat about solo options in games with Richard of Medusa Games and a look at The Magnificent Flying Machines…this, although only prototype, already looks a really cool looking air racegame (lots more going on than that discription would have you believe with various tile laying ideas, land mass obsticles, resource collecting, some exciting ideas) and one that is crying out for a cool solo mechanic…I wonder if Medusa Games will give it a thought.
And I watched a demo of a really cool looking game of total distruction in the wastelands (obviously not a game for civilised solo players)
Wreck & Ruin live on Kickstarter https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1358316989/wreck-and-ruin-0 https://t.co/V8yn77nrZw
- 1Player Guild
Flagging a little by close of show, I was invited to join Tristan and the 1Player Gild https://boardgamegeek.com/guild/1303 to sit and take part in a few games….and what do you know…a 4 player Omenoes. It really has proven to be an enjoyable game…and interesting to see how play/tactics differ depending on player count. Great to meet Gary , Kieth , Chris and CornishLee
A little memory keep-sake from the day…mounted in prime position aboard my rather threadbare iPad case…
I will admit meeting new people is not the easiest thing for me to do so this con has been a real out of comfort-zone experience for me…that said it has been all the more rewarding as a result. I always feel uncomfortable approaching those already in the public eye so apologies for intruding on Becky & Kelly of Boardgames in Bed, but it was great to meat you two and the increadible Rodney Smith of Watch It Played fame who took time out to chat to me of solo gaming…what a thoroughly nice bloke!
A great convention and some incredibly great people!