With half of the Con down, Saturday started with the usual crush of weekend attendees. I tend to avoid the dealer hall on the weekend as it is just too crowded.  Instead, I had my Dropzone Commander event in the main event hall.

The event organizer had set up an amazing game area for four of us to throw down.  It was a single slab of 6′ x 4′ wood, foam, and awesome and it was a great experience to play on.

It was a pretty chaotic game with the four of us split into two teams of two that were linked to a game of Dropfleet Commander going on next to us.  We had to get orders from our Dropfleet commander and take certain objectives while also fending off our opponents that were trying to capture their own objectives in this quasi-simultaneous event.

I mainly stayed on my side of the map as the opponent across from me had faster dropships and kept throwing them into my zone.  They would entrench in and I’d be forced to hunt them out and expel the invaders.  My “victory” came near the end when I finally rolled my Mehmed mortar tanks into range and rained death down upon the Scourge commander “Jungle Devil.” That commander was blocking the remaining objectives of the game since turn one so it was good to finally see it off the table.  My side lost horribly due to a lot of communication errors and being out matched for the table but it was still a lot of fun and the players were great to hang out with.

After Dropzone, we ran over to our next event, a demo of the Fireball Island reboot from Restoration Games.  If I thought the Dropzone game was chaotic, Fireball Island cranked it up a notch.  The game is fun and cute but it is a lot of “take that” and if that is the only game you’re playing once a week, that brutality can make for some unfun times.  I thought I had the game in the bag but then fireball marbles kept pushing down the mountain and I missed the helicopter off the island.  It was pretty funny how that kept happening but you can’t really strategize anything in the game and so you have to just throw up your hands and embrace the chaos.

While the Song of Ice and Fire tournament on Day 1 was interesting once, after talking with the event organizers, the Saturday tournament wasn’t going to be run any better and likely would see a forced and randomly assigned list with no real payoff for spending hours in a disorganized setup. I ditched that tournament and decided to break my rule of avoiding the dealer hall.  I went in and found that the crowd had cleared out and it wasn’t too bad to run around in. Hopefully CMON figures out how to run tournaments and puts together an organized tournament ruleset or ASOIF might die off before it has the chance to even get started.

I made it over to the Flying Frog booth and found that they had a component preview for their upcoming 10th anniversary for A Touch of Evil. Unlike the 10th anniversary of their Last Night on Earth zombie game, I’m ok with re-upping for A Touch of Evil.  I don’t have a logical reason why except for maybe that I’m more invested in A Touch of Evil and my zombie game of choice is still Walking Dead All Out War.  I’m liking the look of these new pimped out features and will be excited to see the new villain rules they are including in the big box.

After more time wandering the hall, it was time for dinner and then a jump over to the Hard Rock Cafe to do the Mantic Game night.  I already discussed the Walking Dead revelations gleaned from that night but I also had a chance to play a demo of Mantic’s new Hellboy game.

I played Abe Sapian with Hellboy and we ran through a few rooms before we got bogged down and couldn’t find the big bad before he found us. I like a lot of the mechanics of the game and find the co-op/solo qualities unique (they seem similar to several dungeon crawl co-ops I’ve seen like Descent but have some nice dice action mechanics and everything seems to drive the theme forward).

Since the game basically runs on a timer to find the big bad, the game doesn’t go overly long.  If you screw up or take too much time, the big bad finds you for a tougher fight which sets a hard limit on how long you’ll have the game on the table.  I’m not sure if there is any character growth between missions but it was good to play through the game and see it in real life. I think late pledges for their kickstarter are open until August 13th so I have to mull this one over some more.

On the way back through the convention hall, the painting competition results were up and I really liked the full diorama this entry offered.

Day 3 concluded with another trip into the BGG Hot Games room as four of us broke out Critical Mass, a card driven Mechwarrior game. As a four player free-for-all, it was a pretty chaotic slugfest that I only half-paid attention to as I was trying to read up the rules for another game we might hit afterwards.  Critical Mass ended up running too long and we never got in that other game so it was kind of a lost cause. Afterwards it was another trip back to the hotel and crash course in speed sleeping.