DunDraCon 2019, for me, was mostly about running Traveller. Jeff ran an event on Friday, while I was still at the office. Saturday, I ran two, essentially back to back events. Sunday, Jeff had another demo where I helped.
We had plenty of people throughout the blocks. A few players attended multiple events and we have hopes that they can take their DDC experiences and turn that into home play.
I think we can work on smoother demos. Jeff, at previous cons, has done demos where everyone gets explanations at the same time, and I think that helps deal with the number of players we get and the complexity of a customizable card game demo. In a separate article, I write about making better demo decks. The other part of the demo I can work on is a better script and better play aids.
Saturday morning’s event was smoother and seemed more relaxed. Not sure whether that had something with time of day or was a random occurrence. The afternoon event had the intent of being an opportunity to play competitive games, so Jeff and I got a bit of gunslinging in. We have various promo cards that aren’t widely circulated and that I use as prizes and I tried to reward a player any time they did well. In addition, Jeff had set aside some product to give away to winners.
We also gave out a lot of playmats. We have an unbalanced distribution of our first generation playmats (not samples, those are pretty much gone). I don’t actually have any of our new playmats, yet. A future improvement, therefore, can be our getting our hands on new playmats and using those for demos, as they have the phases of the round on them.
Saturday afternoon’s event felt a bit hectic to me as it was a mix of teaching new players while trying to get those competitive games in. One demoee was definitely not into Traveller after demoing the game, and that’s okay. Not only is the Traveller CCG not going to be for everyone, but CCGs in general aren’t for everyone. I would have preferred that he had a better game where he didn’t get stuck early on and couldn’t climb out of a hole, but these things will happen unless we completely script the demoing experience, something I can understand as a method to try to show a game in its most functional light.
I won both my gunslinging games. In one of the games, I had two cards left at the end after I taught a new player how tactical Piracy can change the results of a game. I was not playing Scout in that game, even though Scout is where I tend to burn cards the fastest. The other game, I did play Scout, a fairly serious 4S deck that also had barely anything left at the end of the game. I never failed a and also removed a lot of my opponent’s through Flint, Vorn, Body Pistol, Fragmentation Grenade. Since my opponent was running multiple Neural Guns, I had to remove those equipped ASAP. Also used Lost and Found to prevent pain.
Sunday, we had some two-player games but, then, finished up with a four-player game. We had to abandon it before the very end as the next event was coming in at our table. Jeff played his Beowulf Piracy deck. I played a deck made from sample cards, though the card choices were fairly pedestrian. The funny thing was that I had hands of like six that had phase restrictions. It was absurd. Because the other two weren’t used to multiplayer play, the game went pretty slow, which is part of the reason I’d avoid trying to teach multiplayer unless you have a lot of time and a lot of patience. Jeff bankrupted a Merchant. I was ahead on by a good amount when we packed up.
I’m not sure I can say I won that game, but I didn’t lose any game during the con except an early game on Saturday against Jeff playing his Beowulf Piracy deck where I drew a lot of my anti-Piracy stuff early. What I didn’t draw in that test game was any way to stop a cavalcade of from Trouble on the Mains and doubled up Rhal’Kais Chop Shop. In the multiplayer, I intentionally didn’t put out to avoid extra from Rhal’Kais Chop Shop.
Why do I mention my results? With a bit more experience and game knowledge, I think I lose a major advantage against my less experienced opponents. A round earlier of Piracy from opponents’ decks that just aren’t good at Piracy in many cases will send my expensive decks/oppulent playstyle over the edge into bankruptcy. I think it would be a great thing to be one of those designer types who aren’t nearly as good at their games as the competitive players are.
Speaking of great things, I’d be happy if there was someone else local to run demos at future events – KublaCon is next conventionwise – so that I can be that too cool for school gamemaker drop in bloke who hands out extra stuff or tells stories of the early days because I can rather than spending most of the time in demo monk mode.
Outside of Traveller, I didn’t participate much in the con. I played the V:TES event Sunday night. I hung out a bit, though not as much as I would have liked. I got my usual food extrausually. Didn’t spend a lot of time talking about games and gaming, did get a better idea what Gloomhaven is like.
We are open to feedback from you all on how are events go, what we can do better, what you all would like to see us do differently. As mentioned, KublaCon will be in May. I’m going to work on trying to get some store demos on the schedule (yes, finally). Something I’d like to see is more multiplayer play as I think multiplayer play appeals in a very different way than two-player play, but that only really works if people are experienced with the game.