Published on April 14th, 2015 | by Duke Of Havoc0
International Tabletop Day 2015
This past Saturday was International Tabletop Day 2015. A day dedicated to gaming of the analogue variety. Started by uber-geeks Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day three years ago, the event has grown exponentially. We at Need To Consume are avid tabletop gamers so we decided to throw our own little shindig in central London.
Venues were hard to come by, unless could convince one of the team to sell a kidney on the black market. As a result we ended up in The Bloomsbury Tavern on Shaftesbury Avenue. It was quaint little gothic pub which had an area upstairs with seating and tables for the rabble we had showing up across the ten hours we had planned on being there. Being stoked for the day, I was there nice and early with a suitcase, yes a suitcase full of games. We wanted to ensure we had a real mix of games so anyone from a complete beginner to a seasoned veteran could show up, find something and have a good time without feeling out of their depth or bored.
We kicked off things with a group deciding to play the opening levels of Zombie 15′, two people going head to head with a game of The Duke (a rather interesting chess derivative), a game of Munchkin and an interesting indie card game which sadly the name of which escapes me entirely. It was all rather quiet to begin with, as we had a mix of people who all knew each other and others who had found our event on the official website and just wanted to come along to see what it was all about.
It didn’t take long for people to settle in, for alliances to be forged or grudges to be set; for which only blood would be worthy compensation (all in game of course). Seeing those who where very familiar with a game and it’s complex mechanics and taking newcomers through the rules was an inspiring sight. One thing that certain areas of the geek community can be guilty of, is looking down on those who don’t understand or have in-depth knowledge of a show or video game. Board games appear to be a great leveller. I saw someone playing in a head to head game, coach and guide his opponent. He could have just provided the basic rules and destroyed his opponent. But that really isn’t in the spirit of the day. Yes, people can learn tactics and tricks but this isn’t like playing an online multiplayer where you will always come up against those who sink hours upon hours into it and can thus dramatically reduce your enjoyment. With tabletop, you can be at the mercy of a card draw or a roll of the dice. A seasoned pro can lose to a complete beginner. That is what makes tabletop so damn appealing.
I personally walked around for the first few hours watching others play games, making sure everyone was having a good time but eventually I just wanted to get involved. I sat down to play the recently released Elysium. The theme is all based around the Greek gods and you have to tactically collect cards and create sets to win victory points. Took us a while to get into it but you could see that there is far more to the game than first meets the eye. Expect to see a full review on Need To Consume in the coming weeks.
One game that was new to the event was Bucket Of Doom. It is packaged in a small pink bucket and the idea of the game is to escape a highly implausible situation which is highly likely to end with your death, by telling an elaborate story based on the cards in your hand. The players then vote with their elbows for who had the best escape plan and the one with the most elbows pointed in their direction is awarded the win for that round. I saw a table playing it and it would appear to have tickled some funny bones so I can’t wait to play this and get a review up. I really like games like this as I can introduce it to my non-tabletop playing friend circles. I’ve seen the same thing happen with Cards Against Humanity and Zombie Dice. I expect to see the same reaction for this when I wheel it out at an upcoming BBQ party.
We were very lucky to also receive a copy of Looney Quest and the Firefly RPG game from Esdevium Games and towards the end of the night when many people were merry, some from the free flowing drink, others from the taste of victory, we awarded the prizes to two lucky participants. A huge thank you to Esdevium who continue to support Need To Consume’s board game section and for providing us with some giveaways.
It’s now the Monday after the event and I am writing this during my lunch break in a drab office at my desk. Both Kia and I who run Need To Consume had an amazing time and we have already committed to making this a quarterly event but in a much bigger venue. We want to take over an entire space which will allow for more attendees, more table space (boy do some games have a big footprint – Firefly, I am looking at you) and more games. If you want to ensure you hear about the event first, sign up to our newsletter and find us on social media. Just search Need To Consume and that will be us!
Did you come to the event or run your own? Let us know in the comments. We want to build a community of tabletoppers on the site so why not participate and let us know what you got up to!