GameStorm 2007, Day 1

(You can see all of my GameStorm photos on my Flickr photoset.)

I'm coming back to this blogging thing with a flurry. I expect to make no fewer than 5 posts over the next week, so strap on your seatbelts, I'm back!

I spent a lot of time preparing for this GameStorm - I ran the Kniziathon and co-ran the two player tournament. I'll talk more about the Kniziathon in a separate post and stick to the other stuff that happened on day 1 of the convention. I consider day 1 to be Friday (making Thursday day 0 of course, because there were a few events that happened Thursday night).

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The GameStorm staff selected the Sheraton PDX Airport hotel for the convention this year, by far the best venue they've had and I made it clear to the organizers (Aaron, Aaron, and Beverly) that a return to the same hotel next year would be most appreciated, even at a price premium. Jacob and I shared a two-queen room with Ken and Brandon for $100/night, and this is one of the recently upgraded Sheratons with improved beds and showers. Plenty of space and comfortable accomodations combined with nice gaming digs made me a happy gamer.

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Jacob and I arrived about 8:15am on Friday to set up the Kniziathon HQ booth. Most of the daytime hours were spent playing various pickup Knizia games, plus a scheduled session of Amun Re that I ran for 8 people from noon to 2pm. Even with a new player we played the game in about 90 minutes. This game is definitely in my top 2 or 3 games list and packs a lot of punch for its short playing time. I also played Ra, Through the Desert, Lord of the Rings: the Confrontation, and Pickomino during the day.

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After a quick trip to Subway for dinner with a small group, KC and I kicked off the annual Friday night 2-player tournament. Last year we had a dismal turnout - only about 6 people participating. This year we made it part of the Kniziathon and made it an all-Knizia affair and ended up having 20 gamers participate. We ran the tournament for three rounds, Swiss-style, in three hours. The first round we played Lost Cities, then did a player's choice for subsequent rounds with the "white" (vs. black in chess terms) player choosing the game. We saw Battle Line, Carcassonne: the Castle, Through the Desert, Ingenious, and Lord of the Rings: the Confrontation played multiple times. After three rounds Chris Ballowe and Jeff Ganong were tied with three points each. They agreed to a fourth playoff round, with Chris coming out on top after a game of Battle Line.

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Starting around 10pm, I spent the next 3-4 hours tabulating interim results for the Kniziathon. More on that later.