Origins ’10 Wrap-up

Mmmm…Jenni’s Ice Cream WROCKS! We may have gone there a couple times and gotten tasty, tasty treats. But first, Trains!

One of my goals this con…actually sort of one of my standing goals for every Origins, is to play a new game. Last year it was the Anti-dimensional-green-ninja-preparatory-elementary-fortress-555 game which was a whole pack of fun. This year I went in a totally different direction and played a train game. More specifically Ticket to Ride but I hadn’t known originally that I was setting out to play that particular game. My Friend Cheryldactle competes on a national level in these train games (Puffing Billy is also bandied about but I’m not quite sure what that is. Oh I looked it up: The Train Gamers association named their tournament Puffing Billy after the oldest working steam locomotive Puffing Billy…which if you Google “Puffing Billy train” takes up at least 3 Google ‘o’s before…well I got bored looking for the train game) and she pretty much spends all of Origins doing her train thing. This year I asked her if she would show me what was up with this train game thing because she really seemed to dig the train game.

Games, as it turns out but Ticket to Ride is sort of the intro baby train game. Train-ing wheels game as it were.

LunarGeography got us tickets for mid afternoon Saturday so we boogered about the dealer room a while in the tail end of the morning (we get up late after show days). Then we eyeballed our tickets a little more closely and discovered that not only did they say “ticket to Ride” but “Tournament” as well. Ummmm…uh-oh. Seeings as half of us didn’t even know how to play, we wandered over to the train peeps and asked if we could turn in our tickets for generic tokens (same cost) and maybe spend a token to have someone show us the game. The train peeps weren’t keen on the idea (“Yeah, we’d rather not.”) but they were amiable to teaching us the ropes in the 45 minutes before the start of the tournament. They didn’t seem to think being a novice’s novice was detrimental so we sat down to a quick lesson in TRAINS!

The game is pretty fun and stupid simple to learn. You got X number of car tokens with which to put on tracks linking various cities on a map of the U.S. (I understand there is a Europe version as well.) Tracks have varying lengths from 1 token length to 6 token lengths and the points for the tracks slides depending on how long it is. 1 track length is 1 point, 6 track length is something like 15 or 20 points. You are also dealt two different hands of cards, your “Ticket” cards which basically give you points for completing a route from City A to City B and your “track laying” cards which enable you to lay down track. The first person out of car tokens ends the game and then you add up points to determine the winner.

Of course the tournament was random draw and of course TheMan, Badmovie and LunarGeography drew 2, 3, and 4 while I drew 11. BAH! At least I wasn’t sat at the table with the 5 time champion of the game (snerk). When I walked up to my table, one guy said “I’m a real novice at this game.” while the kid next to him said “I haven’t been playing long.” I told them that I just learned the game 5 minutes ago and away we went. It was HAWSOME! We were all really close at the end and the winner (the guy who was a novice) won with the fiddly extra bit points; longest train run/most cities connected, that sort of thing. Cool. Also, I wouldn’t mind purchasing the game if it isn’t $50…which it probably is. At least I know someone with the game (Hi Cheryldactle!) so maybe I can coerce her to bring it to one of the Smithee drinking nites.

Speaking of Smithee Drinking nites, we had one in Columbus Thursday. The location sort of sucked but we got a lot of people hanging about. Neat!

Lastly, we played another round of Anti-whatever-555 game Saturday as well. The horde of us decided to play Team Evil, mostly because in the last game 4 of the 6 Team Evil players were active and the peeps running the show were all “Ohmigosh, do we have all of Team Evil? No? Oh good.” I just wanted to know what happened if we all played Team Evil so we did. It was a really weird game because evil…was kinda incompetent. Maybe just my evil character was incompetent because Hank Jurgenson was being played and Hank’s schtick (other than talking like a Yooper) was “defender of the weak”. I played the school bully. They didn’t mix well. Hank makes it nigh impossible for Cyd (my character) to get any beatings going and what fun is it to be a bully if you can’t put the smack down on peeps? I had to be satisfied with stealing candy from a kindergartner and the zombie kid.

Anyway, the anti-whatever peeps were also running a game of Tokyo Masks, which was the adult version of the game. Of course there was crossover. Of course! Adding chaos to chaos? That’s the Anti-whatever peeps modus operandi! The show stopper though was the tearful reunion of Hank and Hank’s dad, who is incomprehensible. Hank’s dad was speaking Swedish Chef and Hank was doing a most excellent Yooper. It. Was. Awesome. In the end, I think Team Evil won because Team Good (or all the other players) went and killed Hitler. Figuratively speaking that is, I realize that I do need to qualify that. Anyway, one of the characters was a time traveler and decided to go back in time to change the circumstances of how the most formidable member of Team Evil got their powers. Guess what? When that happens? That character’s baby brother (who she killed in a dark ritual but then brought him back as a zombie so her mother wouldn’t ground her for killing her brother) becomes a super evil mega scary strong power villain.

Needless to say, Team Evil got the upper hand and turned pretty much everyone else evil. Then I think the grown-ups from the other game grounded the lot of us and ended our game.

2009: JSFR: Natury Berry Hachimitsu

2008: Space Marines!!

2007: “WTF?!? I don’t remember having that roll of fat at lunch time, where’d THAT come from?”

2006: First, may I give myself a nice pat on the back for getting all but one half load of laundry done? I think I shall.

2005: That evening we pressed 100ish buttons and Sunday we pressed 100ish magnets and lo! The Smithee promo prep was done. (Technically the unfinished sock puppet isn’t on the promo stuff list so HA!)

2004: The row shuffle looked like auditorium space invaders but we successfully got 11 rows of chairs to more or less uniformly advance by a whole row.

2003: I got a tie. A TIE! I lost and got a tie.

One Response to “Origins ’10 Wrap-up”

  1. Amy Says:

    I had fun playing Team Evil. I was trying to channel some of Wednesday Adams and some of that scary chick with hair in her face from The Ring.
    I think next year, we should try to assemble all of Team TesslaTron.

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