As I write this, I’m slowly recovering from a whirlwind day at Origins Game Fair 2018, held in Columbus, Ohio. Had an amazing time, played some great games and hung out with some stellar people. And now I’m 100-percent wiped out.
It was a pretty amazing gathering of thousands of gamers of every stripe – roleplayers, wargamers, card-gamers (both CCG and LCG), board-gamers, LARPers… heck, there was a large area set aside in one of the gaming halls just for folks to play railroad-based games; another huge area was set aside for massive games of Settlers of Catan. The convention took over an entire metropolitan convention center as well as a couple adjacent hotels. Truly a sight to behold.
For me, one of the true highlights was being able to try out a series of games. While a couple I’d wanted to try had to fall by the wayside due to scheduling constraints (I had to eat lunch, after all), I was still able to try out the Pike & Shotte system by Warlord Games, which focuses on battles fought in the infancy of firearms (think 14th and 15th century). It was a fun game, played with musketeers, pikemen, and light and heavy cavalry. Maybe the most exciting element of the game for me was my sturdy pikemen holding off a charging unit of heavy horse and forcing them to flee. They received their comeuppance for their cheekiness, however, when they eventually were routed and destroyed themselves. Alas! The combat was nicely randomized by the element of orders – each unit had a commander, and you had to roll 2d6 with a result below the commander’s order level (for us, it was 8) and the number rolled determined how many moves you could make with your forces.
Sometimes you could move as many as three times. Other times, zero.
I also got a chance to get a how-to session of Malifaux. This is a tabletop miniatures skirmish game from Wyrd that I’d heard about for years. It has a whimsical, gothic, Tim Burton-esque, steampunk vibe about it, and I’d been intrigued to give it a whirl. What most people seem to remark about Malifaux is that the game is played without dice, but instead uses a card mechanic to randomize combat effects. I wasn’t sure about it at first, but as I got used to it I found I liked how the cards worked. I’d like to give this game a shot again.
Going to a convention like this really points up a big reason that we all got into this hobby in the first place, and that’s community. Everywhere you looked, at spaces inside the gaming halls, and on chairs and tables outside, people were playing their games, having fun, just being enthralled by their friendly competition.
People representing various gaming companies, big and small, enthusiastically showed off the games they’d worked so hard on, and seemed to have a blast teaching us how they worked. And, in the end, that’s what this is all about.
I’m excited to go back again. And again.
About the Author;
Peter Kuebeck is a writer, gamer and award-winning mini-painter living in the Midwest. He wages a constant battle against the ever-growing tide of unpainted minis in his basement, and occasionally GMs role-playing game sessions with friends. Catch his hobby shenanigans on Twitter at @popculturecube
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