8:00 am – 12:00 noon : Barroom Blitz II (as DM)
Ummm, I’m going to reserve comment on any of my Blitz sessions until Saturday evening, after I’ve run all three sessions, lest someone who is in the Friday night or Saturday night sessions read this and get spoilers they shouldn’t have.
12:00 noon – 4:00 pm : Luckily Reds Breathe Fire
I’d been in Kent King’s Demons in the Drink session (which is the prequel to this session) last year at GenCon 2004. I really enjoy Kent’s DMing style and the stories he chooses to tell. Plus, I’ve had him as a player and he is clearly a class act. If you’re looking for events in a GenCon catalog and you see his name, definitely grab it. You won’t be sorry.
8:00 pm – well, sadly, 8:45 pm – World Series of GenCon 2005
I entered into the World Series of Gen Con poker tournament this evening. It was a $15.00 buy-in that bought you T$1000. The top three winners from the Thursday, Friday and Saturday night events, as well as one lucky person from the Sunday afternoon “Last Chance” event, will all be flown out – and have their expenses paid – to Vegas to compete at a “final table” for real prizes (although, because of quirks in the gambling laws, they obviously cannot tell us here what those prizes are, because that would make this a gambling event … seriously, it’s funny shit, if you think about it… instead because they don’t offer “payouts”, and because you CAN get in for free (just with a reduced chip-stack, and only if there are openings which there never are) it’s a “Sweepstakes”.
Anyhow, I couldn’t catch cards to save my life. Well, that’s not entirely true, my pocket nines formed a set early on that matured into a really nice nines-full-of-twos two cards later, allowing me to bust someone out, but pretty much beyond that point, I couldn’t win a hand to save my life, and ended out severely short-stacked at about T$400, with the blinds at 50/100… I scored pocket 8s, went all-in, cuz that was pretty much as good as it was going to get at that point, and lost the coin-toss to two over-cards on the river. That’s poker, though.
I’m entered into the Sunday tournament, though. The Sunday event has fewer “winners”, but Sunday is always such a weak day for players and events that I expect turnout to be fairly low, so the reduced competition may help. Also, because of a change to the format, most of the marketing material says that the Sunday is an invitational only, so unless you see the new posters and go “Ah-HA!” you probably don’t think you can attend the Sunday session anyway. Heh.
9:00 pm – 1:00 am : Illuminati [classic, not INWO]
This was probably the most interesting game of Illuminati I’ve played in years. I drew, early on, a card that would allow me to retroactively change any die roll to a 12 (a failure).
I had drawn the Discordian Society, so my goal was to collect five Weird groups. By my third turn I had already gathered three of them. During a fierce battle for the third, the guy sitting across from me, playing the Gnomes, had elected not to get involved (as everyone else at the table tried to prevent me from getting it). One of the rules is that if you haven’t got a subordinate power in your control by the end of your third turn, you’re immediately eliminated. When it came to be his turn (his third turn) he still had no groups. He declared a privileged attack, so nobody could interfere with the attack, and then went after a group, succeeding with ease.
Except that I stopped play, and asked him how much it was worth to him for me not to play my “You rolled a 12, dipshit” card. I knew he had a stack, and he started out by offering 10MB. I countered with 30MB. In the end, we haggled for a few and settled out at 18MB. I was nice to him because he had been nice to me, and because (out of game) I’d have felt sorta shitty knocking a player out that early into the game. Yeah, we were playing at an “all-experts” table, and it would have totally been the right play from a strictly-rules sense, but there’s also “fun” aspects to be concerned with, too.
However, the fact that I neither (a) played the card, nor (b) completley bankrupted him, earned him and I the attention of the rest of the board for the rest of the evening, him moreso than me. He was, as I said, playing the Gnomes. His job is to hoard money. He was being very cheap, which is his role. Although, he got a little too cheap, and ended up painting a bullseye on his head. (Every player competes against each other, but there’s also a lot of cooperative “Yeah, but we can’t let HIM get any closer or we all lose.” types of moments in Illuminati).
For the next dozen turns, the Gnomes were basically crushed. Any time they accumulated any money whatsoever they were beaten down, forced to spend it. Then their power structure was attacked, and — now poor — they were unable to defend it. Eventually they were down to only two groups, and no cash except the income they earned from that particular turn.
Then came the most stunning event of the night. There were three camps of players really: (a) me and the Gnomes, who were on the shitlist (although my name was in very small letters after they’d eliminated one or two of the groups I controlled, because I hadn’t pissed them off lately, and with only 1 Weird group I was no threat)… (b) the four players to my right who were really annoyed and pushed over the edge when the Gnomes wouldn’t spend 5MB out of their 50MB stash to help prevent a critical move from happening earlier, and (c) a guy to my left who was playing The Network, who seemed to be really good at playing the game and had managed to stay completely neutral in everything.
After getting crushed one too many times, the Gnomes did something completely stunning. They captured (with some resistance, but not enough) another group. Then — looking straight at the four players who were all approaching their own victory conditions on the next turn or so — he transferred a chunk of his power structure to The Network, giving him the victory at least two turns before he could ever have gotten it.
There then followed some heated discussion about “throwing the game”. I came to the Gnomes’ defense, pointing out that you can’t throw a game you can’t win, and it was clear they couldn’t win. Further, part of Illuminati is the whole intrigue, backstabbing, deception, etc., and thus (as a corollary to that) is the concept that if you piss someone off enough, they might very well decide that if they can’t win, well then by the gods, neither can you, and ensure that you don’t get the victory.
Luckily, after the “heated discussion”, the conversation turned to more amenable topics, and everyone ended up sitting around bullshitting for an hour, before I decided to head back up to the room, write this summary for those who care, and head off to bed.
Little George is running the original Barroom Blitz scenario tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. … this’ll probably be the first time George’s gotten up for anything at 8:00 in his entire life. [just kidding, G!]
GenCon Day One Wrap-Up
8:00 am – 12:00 noon : Barroom Blitz II (as DM)
Posted in GenCon
- Book Reviews
- College Life Part II
- Crappy Customer Service
- David Ghent – Deadbeat
- Geek Stuff
- Lego Star Destroyer Assembly
- Life Stuff
- Mindless Link Post
- Movie Reviews
- MySQL Users Conference
- Political Stuff
- Random Stuff
- Rantings And Ravings
- Sharon Schneider – Dumb Fuck
- The Pit Of Despair
- War Nonsense