Fall-loha 2014 on September 27th

Fall-loha 2014 graphic, yellow letters with autumnal leaf.Green Mountain Gamers return to the Burlington area for Fall-loha 2014, their annual autumnal game day, on September 27th. This year, they’re classing up the party by hosting it at the Windjammer Inn & Conference Center in South Burlington, convenient to the greater Burlington area, the interstate and some pretty good food nearby. It’s a free event, though a suggested donation of $5 is gratefully accepted to offset the costs of hosting the day.

It’s always interesting to see the turnout at a Green Mountain Gamers event, because it’s usually half people I know, and half newcomers. And in Burlington, my own stomping grounds, those newcomers may turn out to be from around the corner. Last year, that’s how I discovered the existence of Brap’s Magic, a new local game store. This year, who knows who I’ll meet?

I’ve been on a Sentinels of the Multiverse kick lately, so I’m hoping to play that, especially since my friends scored me two alternate hero cards at GenCon: Dark Watch Mr. Fixer and Super-Scientific Tachyon, which I will receive at the game day. I’ll have my Call of Cthulhu decks, too, of course. Doomtown, too, if there’s interest.[1]

Green Mountain Gamers always put on a good time, so I’m really looking forward to this game day — and the shorter commute.


[1] When did I turn into such a card-flopper?

Little Free Role-Playing Game Libraries

A little free library. Image by John Phelps.

A little free library. Image by John Phelps.

Last week, Geek Mountain State reminded me of little free libraries: post-top libraries scattered around, serving the local community. Burlington has at least two: Calahan Park on Locust Street, the community garden on Pine Street and a second on North Avenue, near Convent Square.

Aside from filtering Paperbackswap books into circulation that haven’t moved since I reposted them, I’m wondering about thinning my own role-playing game library through little free libraries — maybe some lesser-loved board games, too. Things like my Labyrinth Lord print-out, or the sadly large panoply of HERO books about which I really ought to have known better.

What do you think? What would you do with a bunch of books that aren’t worth the trouble to sell piecemeal?

[Green Mountain Game Days] Fall-loha 2011


After kicking up a flurry of bytes by making the rounds to get the word out about Fall-loha, I find I completely forgot to post about it here.

Fall-loha 2011 marks the return of the Green Mountain Game Days to the Burlington area since we launched into this endeavor of hosting quarterly game days all around the state of Vermont. It promises to be as much fun as all the others. Saturday, August 27th — we’re getting a jump on fall, so it won’t see us coming — the fun is at the United Church of Underhill, right in Underhill itself.

Over the last year, we’ve learned a few things about how to do these game days: people don’t seem to care what kind of soda is on hand, as long as it’s there; board game tournaments aren’t very popular; some folks like to take advantage of the block of time to play out the long games: Battlestar Galactica and so on.

Personally, I shall be attempting a playtest of my GURPS Cabal adventure for Carnage. That gives me a set amount of time in which to do my prep work, including character creation.

Should be a good time, no matter what. I hope to see some Burlington folks there who don’t normally get out to these game days.

Digging Deep

Status

As promised, Small World Underground is now in my hot little hands for the prerelease demo fiesta next Tuesday at Quarterstaff Games.

I don’t know how much I ought to say, but merely by pawing through the box, I notice a number of differences from the original Small World. Small differences, but present. They even altered the token tray, seemingly for the best.

Let the token punching commence!

Small World Underground Preview in Burlington

Days of Wonder posted a list of game stores participating in a nationwide preview of Small World Underground. Among them, nearest to me in terms of geography is none other than good old Quarterstaff Games in Burlington. And I get to help by running the preview — which probably consists mostly of learning the rule differences between Underground and its sunnier sibling.

When the game was first announced, I noticed with interest that it “can be combined” with the original set, but that’s not necessarily the same as mixing all the pieces together for a mega mash-up game. Surely someone will concoct an “Invasion from Below” mechanic to allow the two boards to interact, if it doesn’t already exist.

It’s not often you see board games getting this kind of preview buzz. Magic: The Gathering does it all the time. Even some miniatures games, I think. But previewing board games seems to be limited mostly to big shows like Gen Con and Essen. Consequently, I’m psyched that not only is Days of Wonder doing a wide preview like this, but it’s happening right here in Burlington. And I get to help. Nifty.

National Gaming Day 2010 at the Fletcher Free Library

The eternal question of National Gaming Day: "What shall we play next?"

Saturday was National Gaming Day 2010. In observation of the day, the Fletcher Free Library here in Burlington hosted an afternoon of board games. I didn’t get to stay for the whole afternoon, having agreed to run demos as a Man in Black down at the Gathering of the Gamers in Middlebury, which just happened to fall on the same date as National Gaming Day this year.

Along with a pair of plastic bins full of board games, Brennan brought fresh baked bread still warm from the oven, which was a great snack paired with Cabot cheddar and/or raspberry preserves. So we had something to nibble on while we played Pirate’s Cove, one of a pair of a games I’d set up in anticipation of potential players arriving. As it happened, it was mostly the gang from Tuesday nights, plus one young newcomer, Max. Meanwhile, a second group formed to play Dominion with a healthy helping of Duration cards from Seaside.

Pirate’s Cove went okay. It’d been long enough since I last played that I had to keep reminding myself how the game went. Max turned out to fit the model of a young player, to be honest, which has led me to wonder if I’m courteous or excessively picky about other people’s behavior while playing a game. After Pirate’s Cove, we kept up the piratical theme with a round of Liar’s Dice. By then, I had to head south to Middlebury. From what I’ve heard, the rest of the afternoon was given over to Age of Empires III, Citadels and more Dominion.

Saturday was gloriously sunny, abnormal for mid-November in Vermont. I’m thinking that had something to do with the turnout for National Gaming Day — it was good in terms of spending time with friends, but as a way to get more people playing board games, it was pretty weak. While we’ve gotten good at spreading the word within the existing social circle of Burlington gamers, I think we still need to work on reaching people who aren’t necessarily connected via social networking or other means. That and the Fletcher Free’s involvement came relatively late in the ramp-up to National Gaming Day. Hopefully, next year they’ll get on board sooner and take a more active role in promoting it to interested patrons.

Meanwhile, over in the Northeast Kingdom, Border Board Games hosted the gaming at the Goodrich Memorial Library. They had a pretty excellent turnout, with lots of new faces. Kudos to Bethany and Richard for being such great game hosts!

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