Total Confusion 2013

So this weekend was the 27 installment of Total Confusion, the game convention I’ve been going to for, well, 27 years. It was an weird convention for me because due to an odd confluence of events I was only able to make it Saturday afternoon and evening as opposed to my normal Thursday through Sunday attendance, and many other long time attendees were not there for a variety of reasons. (For some reason my buddy Scott thought his honeymoon was more important than gaming, I’ll need to have a talk with him about that next time I see him).

On top of my already reduced schedule the early week weather forecast was calling for a huge snowstorm Saturday evening which looked like it was going to cut my available time even further. Luckily the arrangements I made to have someone else run my Saturday night game wasn’t needed.

I arrived about noon and check in at the convention was easy, mostly because by that point everyone was already registered and after 27 years they all know me pretty well. I went right to the miniatures room where I met up with the Battletech people I usually hang with. The afternoon game was run by Mike, but I spent most of the game “casually disinterested” as I walked around the table and game room catching up with people. At one point during the game I was going to miss my turn, but the players on the opposing team saw me taking pictures of some stuff so they took my turn for me. They probably did better than I would have.

Later in the game when my team really started to need to pay attention we raised our alertness level to “moderately engaged”. It didn’t help, we lost. Eh, it wasn’t that important anyway.

I spent the two hour dinner break catching up with more people, including Wes Carpenter, one of the founders of the convention and one of the very few (three, we think) that has been around since the first year. It’s great talking to Wes, and the funny thing is I should get to do it more often since we live less than five miles apart, but it’s just one of those things that never gets to happen I guess.

My wife and I also went into the dealer’s room to see what was going on there, and after making our yearly purchase from the folks at The Dragon’s Lair I wandered about the game dealers looking at all the new cool boardgames that have come out recently. There were a couple I was thinking about, but the retails on some of these games are pretty high so unless I absolutely have to have it I generally pass. And I don’t absolutely have to have any of them. (Although I did look one up on Amazon and it was 38% off there, so maybe over the summer).

The evening slot was the game I was running, and in my event I took a different course and decided to challenge the players by setting a scenario in conditions the players would not be used to: darkness. When players are forced to use their mech’s spotlights different tactics come into play, and one team figured it out a little quicker than the other and they we the victors. Our hour ride home, which we expected to be in the snow at some point, was uneventful as it was rain until we were within a mile of our house.

I’m already making plans for next year, and hopefully everything will be back to normal and I’ll get the four days in again.

I mentioned above taking some pictures, and here are a few of them…

This is Mike M.’s Battletech event. He always has cool 3D maps.

This is Circus Maximum, a board game that the convention has morphed into a miniatures game using Legos. It’s a pretty cool game, although the players were far too quiet this year.

This is Car Wars, which every year is run on Saturday night and I keep saying I’m going to try and I never do. On Friday night they had a massive game where it was cars taking on an 18 wheeler full of weapons. Kind of bummed I missed that.

This was some sort of a game where the players were hunting King Kong. The picture does not do the table any justice, it was incredibly cool looking. The best part of this game was a young man, maybe aged 10, that would throw his arms up in the air like he just scored a Stanley Cup winning goal every time he was successful during his turn.

I have no idea what either of these two games were, nor were there really anyone playing them, but they looked cool so I took a picture of them.

The following pics are all of Warhammer 40k games. I know nothing about the game other than they have really cool set ups.


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