mini-mace 2008 II
2008 marks the first time we have done more than one mini-mace a year. mini-mace 2008 II was held in the same place as the last one, but this time with no big event like an L5R tourney or Wizkids events. Out of both of those we usually get 20 or so. This time, we simply had RPGs and board games. We used the smaller room this year, across the way from the bigger room which we used last time. About 35 of us gathered at the Golden Corral at Hanes Mall in Winston-Salem to game until we dropped.
My day started out fairly early as I left Fort Mill early in the morning for the hour and half drive to Winston-Salem. I had no idea what to expect. I know that mini-mace in the past has surprised me. In the past, when I expected 30, we got 60. I knew we would ahve a smaller group this year because of the last minute planning, but we were testing the waters for D&D 4 as well as trying out the idea of multiple mini-maces. I got there about 9 AM and the room was already busy. Everyone had already grabbed a table and was gaming. I rolled in my big cart of games, which drew interesting attention from the non-mini-mace patrons at GC.
My first “planned” session was to play Battlestar Galactica, the Board game. Because I had a pre-release of the game, it drew a lot of attention. We had 5 players sit down and we were into it pretty quickly. It is an easy game to learn but hard game to master. This was my third time playing. Each time seemed to go differently and this was no different. Unfortunately, we did discover some drawbacks to the game as we played – the down times were really slow and when the Cylons are both the Admiral and the President, the humans are doomed.
That game played in less about 3 hours. We haggled over the next game we were going to play and finally settled on Shadows over Camelot. I had heard that this game was cool, so I opened myself up to a new game. I usually hate the feeling of not knowing what I am doing – probably because I am control freak when it comes to gaming – but I stepped out of my shell. In the end, I died. I died mainly because I took one for the team at one point and brought myself down lower in Life Points than I should have. See, SoC is a collaborative game (similar to BSG, in many ways). I did get a new character, but things were headed downhill fairly quickly and in the end, evil won with the help of the traitors.
I was pretty wore out by the end of that. It was about 3:30 by then. I had to go at 6pm and if I could, I wanted to leave early. I took in one quick game of Race for the Galaxy, just because I have heard so many good things about it. This game was interesting but really illustrates the difference between gamers like me who like both RPGs and board games, and those that are more board game/card game oriented. In RPG terms, RftG is a game for min-maxers, simple as that. It is a race to see who can get to the max points first. There are kinds of special symbols and card types, ways to combine cards to maximize your points, and build your empire. One thing about it that annoyed me was very little player interactivity. It is a game that is compared to Puerto Rico, San Juan and games like that. I can see the fun it it sort of, but really the only reason you lose is because you either did not get the cards you wanted or you missed one of the specialized symbols that might have given you more points. I am not thrilled with that. It is an OK game, but not really my type of game.
I left after that. In the end, I have to say that it was a very satisfying game day. I would call this a very successful mini-mace. There were 4 or 5 tables of board games going on and 2 or 3 RPGs going on, including RPGA. We filled that room well with a lot of good games. I had a lot of fun and will keep doing them as long as people keep coming.
Now there is talk of doing them in other part of the Carolinas, which I am all for as long as I do have to do them myself.