I love games. Board games, card games, video games, outdoor games, role-playing games. Mostly because I love to play. I’ve also been a big fan of Geek and Sundry since it was started, and since they produce a show about tabletop gaming (Tabletop), it’s no surprise that it’s one of my favorite web series of all time. I backed the Indiegogo for Season 3. I buy games that they feature. But for the past 4 years, I have not been able to participate in the signature Tabletop-in-the-world event, which is International Tabletop Day. That changed this year because I was finally in town and free on that day, and it was SO MUCH FUN.
The Boy and I headed into DC where we met Ben and Nicole at Labyrinth Games, a locally-owned game and puzzle shop that was hosting events. When we got there, Ben and Nicole had secured a table and a copy of a game called Above and Below which I’d never seen before, let alone played. The concept is fairly simple – you are founding a new town and trying to gain resources both above ground from farming, and from exploring the caverns that are underneath you by adventuring. You have a limited number of people to assign each turn, but can hire more. The adventures (which are of the choose-your-own-adventure sort) change from game to game based on a dice roll, so there’s lots of replayability. The Labyrinth employee who began explaining it to us was not super clear in his explanation (I’m going to assume it’s because he had been explaining more games than usual and was tired/not able to be as precise as usual), but after making a go of the rules, we dove in and LOVED IT. It’s a faster game than you’d think because there’s a limited number of turns, but everyone who walked past us either asked “What game is that?” or said “Dang – we wanted to play that one!” So this is a game to look out for. Ben and Nicole ended up getting themselves a copy, and the Boy and I are thinking we might get one too.
After that game (and making our purchases/entering the raffle at Labyrinth), we bought some home-made Tarts from Ted’s Bulletin, and then headed to Ben and Nicole’s house where we could continue to play, but this time while enjoying a beer or two. Ben convinced us to play a game he’d tried out at MAGFest called Beneath Nexus. The game is a card-based role-playing game that reminded me of a cross between Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: the Gathering. Played in three rounds of combat, one person (Ben) played the arch-villain, who controls multiple lower-level bad guys. After beating each round of bad-guys you get access to relics, which will hopefully boost your characters abilities enough to be able to beat the arch-villain in the final round. It’s still in beta-testing, but is available as a print-and-play, so you can even try it out for yourself for free! It takes a little time to get used to what is happening and why, but it’s a fun game, and once all the problems have been ironed out, I can see it being a fun game.
Our final game for the evening was Cards Against Humanity – the horrible (but fun!) party game that you have probably played many times unless you are against this kind of thing, in which case you probably play Apples to Apples and don’t have nearly as much fun making terrible jokes and feeling like you’ll go to hell for the card you just played. We added in the DC expansion pack that Nicole had printed out, and it made for an extra fun twist. Combining the standard deck with the DC cards made for some extra special answers which can be seen on Nicole’s Instagram.
Overall it was a fun day. I’m glad I finally got to participate in an official Tabletop Day event, and to also have a fun afternoon of playing games with people I like. Even just wandering around the game shop exposed me to games I hadn’t heard of, or hadn’t had a chance to look at more closely. It’s definitely the kind of shop I love, and I will likely be back at some point.
So how about y’all – did you know it was Tabletop Day? Do you have a favorite game to play? Or one that you hate? (one good answer is always Monopoly)