This Saturday, June 19th was the first annual Summer Game ‘n Grill, a day of tabletop games hosted by the Green Mountain Gamers, a collective of Vermont-based people with the common goal of encouraging more public gatherings to play games all around Vermont, of whom I am one. We spent the last three or four months planning this out since the idea first germinated in the wake of Northeast Wars‘ deflation, and then the game day just happened, wham.
Happily, the day was an unqualified success. Over almost twelve hours of gaming, we topped out at about forty participants, at one time or another. Going in to this, I planned to count the day successful with twenty people, so blowing the doors off, relatively speaking, with twice as many was a huge boost to both my own confidence and the group’s.
Board games ruled at the Game ‘n Grill. I had brought a couple role-playing adventures to run, but didn’t try at all to push them. At the time, I felt the crowd was pretty obviously there for board games. In retrospect, there were sufficient people there I knew to be role-players that I could have corralled them into a game, but didn’t. Because really, it’s a game day about mixing up and moving around from game to game. Who wants to sit at a single table for three or four hours at a time? Well, okay, the Agricola players did.
The day itself was a hit with everyone who attended. The Green Mountain Gamers group proved that the model works; not only do people want a single day of free play, but they’re happy to donate towards the cost of doing so and they really like being able to grill their lunch. This whole first year of game days is an on-going experiment in my mind, but I think we started off strong.
Next stop, Fall-loha!