The convention began rather slowly on Friday. I packed some games in a wheeled bag to take with me, along with some sandwiches and water in a backpack, and arrived in time for the gaming room opening and snagged a table. However, most other people were more concerned with signing up for scheduled games than with open gaming at that point, so it was about an hour before some people joined me. They selected a game of Evolution, which went quite smoothly (although I ended up dead last in points).
I stopped briefly to eat, then wandered the tables looking for an open game. I managed to catch a game of Abyss, which was relatively simple to pick up. It's mainly set collection, with just a touch of press-your-luck. Not bad, but not a lot of substance either. Once that ended, the dealer's room was just opening, so I browsed there for a while. I bought a couple of board game organizational inserts (for Among the Stars and Lords of Waterdeep), then stumbled across a copy of Macao, which I've been interested in, but I haven't wanted to pay out-of-print prices for it. I snapped it up on the spot.
I decided to call it a night, since I knew that I wanted to get an early start in the morning. When I got home, I packed up all the games for the math trade in a big suitcase, along with a few just for playing, so that it would be ready in the morning. On Saturday, I was able to leave early enough to get to the hotel at 8am and claim a table in the perfect location.
I was quickly joined by a BGG couple and another random passerby for a game of Ginkgopolis, one of the games I bought after trying at GenCon last year. After that, I looked at the couple's game list and asked to try Guatemala Cafe, which is vaguely about growing and selling coffee. I followed that up with a quick game of Age of Craft from last year's Tokyo Game Market, then they taught me Garden Dice, one of the games I would be receiving in the math trade.
At around that time, people started to gather for the trade. I made the following exchanges:
Caverna: LARP and Cosplay Postcard (+Bleach manga) for Lord of the Rings
Core Worlds (+expansion) for Dominant Species
Dungeon of Mandom for Kingdoms
Florenza: The Card Game for Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer
Progress: Evolution of Technology for Zooloretto
Say Bye to the Villains for Garden Dice
Shadowrift for Milestones
Temporum for Thunderstone
After the trade was over, I tried to get together with some others from my "regular" gaming meetup, but they were scattered at a couple of different tables playing games that didn't really interest me. I ended up catching some random passersby. One brought out Dominion, so we played a game of that (with some of the cards from the latest expansion). We started going through my stack of games after that, playing Saint Petersburg, The King of Frontier, and Ou-sama no Macaron.
I took a break to eat then, and I probably should have headed home, but I figured I had time for at least one more game. I wandered around the gaming hall and caught up with one of the guys who had joined me earlier just in the process of selecting a game. I joined in for a 5-player game of Lords of Xidit. That turned out to be a bit of a miscalculation, because he had never actually played it before, so he had to sit and read the rules for about 20 minutes before we could start. We managed to muddle through, but by the time we finished, I had just missed the 9:15pm bus and was stuck waiting nearly an hour for the next one. I didn't manage to get to bed until about 11pm.
I started out later on Sunday, not arriving at the hotel until 9am. I began in the gaming ballroom with a game of Arctic Scavengers, then moved to the open gaming atrium. I found the BGG couple I had met the previous day, and they were willing to teach me Trajan, a complex brain-burner of a game. I had always thought it looked rather dry and couldn't understand why so many people raved about it. It actually turned out to be quite enjoyable once I got into it, and I even ended up winning.
I stayed with the same couple the rest of the afternoon, as we went through Trick or Trick, Tobago, Forbidden Island, Scoville, and Hive.
I was tempted to stay longer, but I decided it would be better if I got home and went to bed at a decent hour, because I still have to work on Monday. It was quite a full weekend. Now I need to face the puzzle of how to get all my new games onto my bookshelves...