Thursday, June 15, 2017

Origins 2017: Day 1

I'm attending the Origins Game Fair this year with Mike and Dave. Unfortunately Dave has called in sick with an upper respiratory malady, and as I write this is being nursed back to health by his dear old Mother in Toledo.  We're having to make do without him.

The first thing on the agenda is registration, which is usually a tedious, time wasting activity.  This year it went a lot smoother than last year, mainly due to the number of laptop terminals that were available and the increased number of clerical volunteers that were available to help navigate the wonky software system for registration.  I suspect Divine intervention, as the line moved along at a brisk pace and our registration was completed without error.  As a general rule, Wednesday registration isn't too bad, but the Friday-Saturday-Sunday line is going to be a zoo.

The next hurdle was finding our first event.  This is where having someone like Mike around is a lifesaver.  Mike hikes the Grand Canyon on a regular basis and truly understands cartography and map folding much better than I ever will.  Here he is consulting the map.
Mike Consulting the Map
We played a four hour game of Advanced Civilization, which is one of the best board games ever developed.  It's out of print now, but our game master had a copy that is beginning to show its age in spite of gentle handling.  Four hours is about half the game; experienced players take six to eight hours to complete a full game of Advanced Civ, but it's worth the time investment.

Advanced Civilization
While I enjoyed this abbreviated round of Advanced Civ, there were a few caveats.  There were six players, five of whom were adults.  The odd man out was a child, female, of about 7 or 8 years, and the game was just out of her reach mentally.  To her credit she was extremely well behaved, didn't disrupt the other players and did her absolute best to play the game.  The game master, probably her grandmother, 'assisted' her.  And here's the rub.

Adv. Civ. relies on trading commodities with other players, and illustrates the importance of cooperative trade.  Any player trying to become an island will be allowed to do so, but is guaranteed to lose rather badly.  Of course, any player that could play two countries at the same time would have an unbeatable advantage over the other players - a fact that was hammered home to us by Granny and Short Round.

Then there was the man playing across from me.

In addition to commodities, you also trade disasters.  Flood, civil uprising, plague, pestilence, and famine are just a few of the myriad calamities that happen.  If you draw a calamity, you trade it away as soon as possible, and it's no big deal.  It's part of the game.

So when I drew the civil uprising card, I surreptitiously slipped it into a shipment of iron ore destined for the player across from me, and he went into a snit.  He endured the calamity, then refused to trade with me the rest of the game, unless he had a calamity he could inflict on me - which he did.  Twice.  Then he still sulked and pouted like a 10 year old girl that desperately needs a very sharp swat across her rear.  What do you say to an adult, over 40, who behaves like a child?  I'm just glad I don't work with him.  

Adv. Civ.
After Adv. Civ. we went across the street to have lunch at Barley's, and pick up our souvenir glasses.  They have a really nice glass this year, as you can see.

Freebie Glass
Stay tuned, and tomorrow I'll write about Day Two.

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