Ah well, it's only money, right?
UGH - I can't help thinking: "Gee, I could have bought X number of games for the price of the hotel!"
I seem to do that a lot - convert the cost of something I bought into 'game' value.
"Gee, instead of getting new shoes I could have bought a new game or two!" or "Gee, for the cost of those groceries, I could have bought 3 new games!", or "Gee, I just filled up my tank with gas - I could have bought at least 7 or 8 games at that price!"
Of course, sometimes you can't get around buying groceries or filling up the gas tank, so I guess I just have to decide NOT to get games instead. *sigh*
Anyhow, I digress. Gamestorm. Is it worth it to pay X dollars to attend? Well, first I must qualify that. For me, I have to travel from Eugene to Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA area and get a hotel room. So, the cost to enter the convention is very reasonable ($35 if you sign up by TODAY, or $45 after today). But, I also have to play for a hotel room for 3 days.
Hmmmm, let me see. I get to play games all day long for 4 straight days (March 24-27th this year). I get to play games with some of my good friends that I don't get to play games with much. I get to play games that I can't/don't/won't buy, or try out games checked out from the game library, or even see and/or play games I simply didn't know about. I get to participate in a no-ship math trade (there's some cost savings there - if I actually have something worth trading at least). I get to watch LARPers (not my thing to participate in, but interesting to watch, to a point). I get to eat for free in the hospitality room (well, a small donation is recommended)!
Yah, it's definitely worth it, if only to be able to play games non-stop for 4 days with no (or very little) life interruptions.
Ok, so what is my focus when I go this year?
There are lots of things to sign up for and you can sign up ahead of time online. You can also sign up for games directly at the convention (sign-up sheets will be put out) and, sometimes you can jump into a game that had signups if someone doesn't show up (not uncommon as people get involved in other games instead) or there are spaces left.
Also, the guests of honor this year are Lisa Steenson, designer of Redneck Life, Trailer Park Wars and the soon to be released Oh Gnome You Don't; and Mike Stackpole, author of Rogue Squadron (Star Wars: X-Wing Series, Book 1), I, Jedi (Star Wars), and other Star Wars and Sci-fi books, and apparently just completed the novelization of the August release of the new Conan: The Barbarian movie. There will be sessions with both of them, plus it looks like Lisa is running a bunch of game sessions with her games. Perhaps I'll look into these as well when I'm there.
I haven't yet participated in a tournament. A convention is likely the best place to participate in a tournament if you're into that sort of thing. This year there is a Twilight Struggle tournament (?! that could take a while), a Tichu tournament, an Innovation tournament, various CCG tournaments (Magic, L5R, Pokemon - multiple of each it appears), a Warmachines tournament, AA War at Seas tournament, a Super Smash Brothers Brawl! tournament, a Monsterpocalypse tournament, and a Dragon Dice tournament.
I have played TS, Tichu and Innovation but not enough to want to play in a tournament. Besides, I go to play games - generally new games or games that I don't get to play much, or that require more people that I don't normally play.
For instance, I have signed up for a 15 player game of Fische Fluppen Frikadellen designed by one of my favorite designers, Friedemann Friese. Apparently this game was specifically designed for playing with more than 1 board and this concept sounds intriguing. I saw this being played the last 2 years and everyone seemed to have a great time so I made sure I signed up for it this year. Here's a writeup of how the first year went 2 years ago: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/41197/item/906630#item906630
I've read through the rules and am looking forward to participating. And, it's just a board game so fits in with my tastes!
So, what other games have I signed up for?
So far, other than FFF, I have also signed up for Master Thieves which is a very hard to find and/or very expensive game with an innovative wooden 'box' which has a bunch of rotating drawers with loot in them that you are trying to steal. I've never played so am looking forward to getting in on this.
I have also signed up for the OOP Industrial Waste which is run each year by Lynette Jagoda. This and Power Grid are two of her favorite games. She is a chemical engineer in her normal life so these games have particular appeal to her. I played IW 2 years ago and was going to play last year but bowed out to let other players who haven't played before play instead. But, I really want to play again so signed up for sure this year. I may just have to get my own copy of this game if I can find a decently priced one.
Beyond that, it's wide open. I have several friends that will be there so I'm sure I'll just be playing whatever they are playing. I have a few games that I'd like to get in such as Tigris & Euphrates, Hansa Teutonica (w/ East Expansion), Fresco (I'm hoping with ALL or most expansions), Power Grid with maybe a different map, Age of Steam, Lost Valley, Railways of Europe, Haggis and any of the new Essen 2010 games that may be floating around (there's a whole slew I haven't played yet)
The only thing I regret in signing up late this year is I don't have anyone to room with (except on Friday night) to help share room costs. My usual roomate, Wes, is not able to attend this year. Going to a convention is like going to Las Vegas when considering having a hotel room - it's almost not worth it because I only have the room to sleep in. Otherwise, I'm out the whole day and out late, only to return, crash, get up and go out again!
Ah well, the price of getting my gaming fix!
If you are going and need to share a room let me know and maybe we can work something out. I'm already booked and I will be there Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening. So, if you don't have a reservation yet, let me know!
Now go and sign up for Gamestorm or something!