Before you ask, yes, I've stolen a cow. Or at least I've been an accessory to stealing a cow. I would say I didn't have much choice in the matter, though, as I was in grade school, it was late at night, and I had no idea what my dad had planned until I was in the back of a pickup truck being told to keep the calf quiet.
But nevermind that! We have much more important cows to speak of! Khan of Khans, published by Chaosium, is a game of stealing and protecting herds of cattle on the plains of Prax.
As a teen, one of the few games that we ever played together as a family was Risk. We would go to my uncle's house and spend an entire Saturday trying to dominate the world until one of us was a victor, or until my dad was upset that he'd lost Australia and flipped the game board off the table. It's one of the few board games I remember playing as a family.
As an adult, one of the games I've had the most fun with, once I started to explore the world of tabletop gaming and attending conventions, was Dominion. Every year, I would look forward to playing the deck-builder game with my friends at Hypericon It's an itch that I haven't had scratched in a while. I bought the base Dominion game, but my husband isn't too keen on playing it.
Eschaton is a deck-building strategy game by Archon Games. Eschaton also combines my two cherished tabletop game memories with a dark, occult theme. I was quite excited to learn about this game, and also a bit trepidatious on seeing the number of pieces involved in the heavy box.
Call of Cthulhu is a game with a reputation. It's a game that my husband was excited to pick up at PaxUnplugged when he saw it at the Chaosium booth, and given how nice everyone at the booth had been it was an expenditure that I couldn't say no to. It had been one of the first RPGs that Loren ever played and his excitement over the game was infectious.
I'll be honest here. Since my early days playing on AmberMUSH in the late 90s, the Cthulhu mythos had intrigued me. The Lovecraft writing style, however, is something I don't enjoy. Outside of a single time playing a Cthulhu board game, I'd never ventured into this world. Loren decided to run a game when our friend from Australia came to visit over Christmas.
And where better to run a creepy, eldritch horror game? Why, the cabin we had rented in the middle of the woods... where no one would hear us scream!
This year for Christmas, my husband and I took a visiting friend to a cabin in the woods. Our friend, in the country from Australia, had never seen snow in her adult life and we could think of few things better to do with that than try to get snowed in somewhere with some games, some good food, and some drinks. So we booked a cabin in NY after doing some research on yearly snow and then drove up, locked ourselves in, and set about having some fun.
When I first heard rumors of PAXUnplugged I grew stupidly excited. Having attended PAXEast on several occasions, Unplugged offered a chance to enjoy all the moments of PAXEast that I wanted without the crowds that a video game convention draws. I was beside myself with anticipation. And I waited, and waited, and waited for anything to show up on the PAXUnplugged website. It took forever; not just because of my longing and anticipation, but details of the convention were scant on the website until a month or so before the show.
Now that it's over? PAXUnplugged still holds the promise of what I was looking for. There were bumps in the road, but that's to be expected at an inaugural expo. Let's take a few moments to review the experience.
In 2013 I decided to move away from the small town in Kentucky that was an hour’s drive from anywhere I’d lived for the past two decades. I was tired of the small town life where Wal-Mart was the only excitement to be found and where booze was still illegal so you couldn’t even drown your sorrows (not that this is a technique of coping that I recommend).
There was more to the decision than just being tired of the small town. My girlfriend of three years had left, unable to cope, leaving me living alone for the first time in my adult life. My job was stagnant and the company I worked for didn’t have a lot of other opportunities for me in the local place.