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Saturday’s Metrocities

I was feeling pretty good Saturday morning. The day was mine. I had no further responsibilities or promises to keep. Also, it was the day I was supposed to play in Kirin Robinson’s Old School Hack game. The rest of the crew were supposed to be involved as well. Corey Reid was also part of a pretty cool panel on RPGs and fiction, so I wanted to check that out.

The morning started late, but I had time to grab gifts for the girls before hitting the panel. It turned out to be an excellent one, even if it was sparsely attended. Corey had brought together Gareth Michael Skarka, Robin D. Laws and Emily Clare Boss. The panel threw out lots of great ideas and more than a few deep thoughts. I was quite glad I had the chance to sit in for that.

I had to touch base with some people between the seminar and the OSH game, so I arrived just in time, with my ankle (suffering through recovery from Achilles tendonitis) throbbing. No worries, I made it. The rest of the crew, though, did not. Thankfully, Kirin was able to assemble a crew for a game of OSH with an SF tweak. I haven’t done a lot of SF gaming (other than Star Wars). Most of the crew at the table had fond remembrances of Star Frontiers. I’m not a huge fan. I played it a few times in high school, but I didn’t own a copy of it, and it wasn’t a large part of my gaming past.

The SF version of OSH was a blast. It had all sorts of coolness going on, from fighting Rancor-like beasties to inter-stellar (maybe inter-dimensional) portals to gunfights with badguys. OSH is always a fun time, and adding aliens and lasers kicked it up a notch. I really got into the game, as did everyone else. I don’t know if we’ll see OSH SF any time soon, as Kirin had some issues with the rules. He wanted it to do certain things better than it did, but this was more about hitting his concept of how he wanted the game to work rather than a problem with the game actually working.

The game allowed me the chance to testdrive my “Noteboard.” This is a laminated, collection of cue-card size sections with grids on one side and blank on the other. Kirin used it to draw his freehand settings, and while it doesn’t clean up perfect, a little bit of water and papertowels does the trick. Dry erase and wet erase both work well with it. I’ve used it since, and for the $10 USD I paid for it, it’s probably already earned that back. Definitely a good investment.

We had an unfortunate time trying to find a good place to eat, and we pretty much went with the Old Spaghetti Factory because of our experience the night before, which I hadn’t mentioned. After our game of Nefertiti Overdrive on Friday, a bunch of us got together for dinner. I had to be finished by 7:30 PM so I could make the opening of the Ennie Awards at 8. Our search started around 6:00 PM. There were two issues that sabotaged our efforts consistently for basically an hour: 1) everyplace was frikkin’ full and 2) so many restaurants were barred to individuals under the age of 21 (two of our posse of eight were under the age of majority). I wolfed down my food like crazy and had to leave Rob to pay my bill in order to make it to the ceremony for the opening.

Just mentioning that because it’s something to remember and consider for your evening entertainment and sustenance at Gen Con. It’s also why after finding one place full on Saturday night, we just hit the Old Spaghetti Factory, and only barely found enough space by the bar. If we had arrived 15 minutes later, we would have been outta luck.

I don’t want to disparage the Old Spaghetti Factory because the food was satisfactory and the service was excellent, but the beer selection was wanting. Poor old MF Bullock had to abstain. I’m okay with Blue Moon or Shock Top. I know they are industrial beers trying to wear the skin of craft beers (it puts the lotion on its bottle), but I don’t mind it.

That night, the main crew – MF Bullock, Rob, Chris and I – played Rob’s purchase: Heroes of Metro City (also known as Heroes of Metrocity, pronounced like atrocity). It’s a really great game, a deck-building game like Dominion but with a super-hero theme. It was pretty quick to learn, though – like Dominion – likely pretty hard to master. What we learned in two games was that with each arch-enemy, ones strategy will be different, so there are a lot of games to master. I think Rob was pretty pleased with his purchase.

We stayed up relatively late – not university kegger late, just middle-aged father late – mainly because we had nothing planned the next day. I almost wish we had gone through another round of Heroes of Metrocity, but it was probably a much better idea to crash.

You can find more information on Old School Hack here

You can find more information on The Noteboard here

You can find more information on the Old Spaghetti Factory here

You can find more information on the Heroes of Metro City here