There”s three things I learned from our day at KublaCon; testing new games is awesome, a new marketing tactic should be implemented, and James is truly one lucky bastard…emphasis on bastard or really any word that could possibly encompass the lucky breaks this guy gets in board games. We”ll get to that in a bit though.
KublaCon 2013 (San Francisco, CA) offers a sanctuary for lovers of dice, tactics, and game miniatures. There”s hundreds of board games being played simultaneously in main lobbies and in more private rooms for those that hate natural light and may or may not feed on human flesh. Games included my favorites Battlestar Galactica and Game of Thrones and many games of Settlers of Catan and many miniature war dice games that included amazing game environments (full battlefields, miniature cities, barren wastelands). There”s also plenty of different types of games that aren”t just for the hardcore or scifi-ish nerdy gamer. An aspect of this Con that needs to be addressed.
There”s a nerd-type stigma around certain conventions that will always be around; ComicCon is now for bandwagon nerds, E3 for the consistent and semi-hardcore gamer, DragonCon for the freak in us all, and FanimeCon for those that may sexually enjoy a tentacle here and there. KublaCon however, seems to attract the basement dwellers when there”s a market for so much more. I understand these are the people most likely to come to your convention, but if old school games like Clue and current dinner party games like Apple 2 Apples, Scatagories, or (lord help me) Cards Against Humanity are offered then just try to tell me the current hipster or mid-twenties group of friends wouldn”t be somewhat interested. Hell I guarantee that if Hungry Hungry Hippos, Twister, or that game where you fire pirates out of a cannon and try to land them on the other guy”s pirate ship was there (oh my god what is this game called?!), then we could get that party going. Have an adults only section with alcohol and turkey legs.OR how about a large room where costumes and LARP weapons can be used to give LARP a chance. I think you get my point though. This Con is good, but could take the next step (if it wants to) to get huge. Kubla has the opportunity to appeal to a broader community than most cons could.
That said I had a great time at Kubla Con for the day we spent there. It”s well managed and organized and isn”t a madhouse like most conventions I”ve been too recently. Don”t get me wrong there”s still a good amount of people here, but you won”t feel like cattle being led to the slaughter. Probably my favorite aspect about this convention was getting the chance to be a tester for new board games. An opportunity James and I took advantage of and that led to my realization that I hate playing games with James. Video games yes, board games no.
Let me paint the picture for you: James and I are perusing around the tables taking in the atmosphere when a girl approaches (A girl you say?! Tell me more!) and asks if we”d like to come test out a new board game called “Tsunami” (details on this later). James and I begin this game with two other guys in their mid-twenties and begin shooting the bull and making sure the laughter is aplenty. The game begins and right out of the gate James is doing everything you think you shouldn”t be doing as a player in this game given the rules told to us. At one point the girl monitor (taking copious notes) says, “I”ve seen worse players, but not many.” James keeps testing the limits of this game and continuously has the lowest amount of money and space for improvement. The final round comes (with myself and the guy across from me looking good) and James goes on a hot dice roll streak that even Chappelle”s Show character Leonard Washington would be jealous of. James ends up winning and once again does so without even planning on it. If luck can be a character stat point, then James” would be 10.
I would like to thank the creators of “Tsunami” for letting us test their game and just having a good time with us. Mostly though for having to endure James” tactics. I encourage everyone to check out this game and pitch in on their recent to get this game in production. This game is for people 13 and up I think, but I think is really for anyone old enough to buy some booze to go along with it. It”s also a great kick-off game for those that want to get other”s used to games like Battlestar Galactica or Game of Thrones (phase games).
For more on our KublaCon visit make sure to listen to Episode #150. If you”re going to take a key note from this lecture let it be this…don”t let James lull you to sleep in a board game, make sure that when you knock him down he stays the fuck down.