It didn't start out auspiciously. I had to work on Friday, which meant I couldn't leave until school was out at 2:10. I blew out of the parking lot ahead of the buses, but still got stuck behind the giant piles of ER traffic. Even so, traffic down to Olympia wasn't the horror show everyone talked about in years past, and I didn't hear many folks complaining.
|I spent lots of time with luggage carts, schlepping stuff to and from my car and to and from my room. My room seemed to be in a different zip code from the convention ballroom.|
Due to the late start I missed getting into first Friday game session. It would set the pattern for my weekend. I spent most of my time wandering and watching games, talking to friends, having lunch with Dave Schueler. I also ran three games, each of them great experiences, and I'll review them in subsequent posts.
The wandering times gave me the opportunity to see a lot of other games, look at the terrain, and the interactions between players. I was in charge of determining the best of period awards and the subsequent Best of Show award. There were 115 games scheduled for the weekend, and together with some friends we did get to choose from some great games. Just as a note, this year's group of games lacked that super aesthetic wow factor of other years. However, as a group, the quality of the games and the level of engagement by those playing them was much higher than in the other years. Overall, just better game experiences, a sentiment which was echoed by many of those playing them.
|The middle scenario for Teutoberger Wald. One of the best run games I've ever seen.|
The convention was remarkably trouble-free. My colleagues on the Enfilade committee-Bruce Meyer, Adrian Nelson, Jim Denberger, Al Rivers, Michael Koznarsky, Dave Schueler-really did a superb job. There were enough games. Lots of vendors. Registration ran smoothly. Very few glitches occurred during the convention itself.
There were some great games that won awards:
Friday Afternoon--Viking Run hosted by Lloyd Bowler
Friday Evening--Battle of Sluys hosted by me, Kevin Smyth
Saturday Morning--Battle of Teutoberger Wald . . . the Road Home hosted by the White Rock Gamers
Saturday Afternoon--Port Royal hosted by William Stanchfield
Saturday Evening--Chelmsford on the Move hosted by Bill Vanderpool
Sunday Morning--Ice Age Hunting hosted by Mike Garcia
Teutoberger Wald also won the overall Best of Show for its originality and the engagment of its participants. The White Rock guys really were masterful in moving the players through a complex game. They win the suite and an admission to the convention for next year.
|Buffalo River by Bill Vanderpool. Not actual winner, but one of six games Bill ran at the convention.|
|William Stanchfield's breathtaking Port Royal game. Eye-candy a-go-go.|
I gave the Director's Award to Michael Koznarsky for his work with the painting competition, and perhaps more importantly, providing leadership to the Citadel and the Enfilade Yearbook.
I'll be following this post up with additional posts about the three games I hosted at the convention: Battle of Sluys, Hobkirk's Hill, and Closing Wilmington.