Origins Game Fair 2013 – A Pictorial Recap
Hello, dear readers! It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since the last Origins Game Fair, but here we are with more fun experiences and lots of great happenings both at the con and in the time between. The Dice Hate Me Games booth grew from one game to four, and so did the Dice Hate Me Games family. Running a booth at a major con is hard work, but we also got a chance to have some fun and hang with great board game enthusiasts in the off hours. As is the usual custom, I tried to document as much as I could in pictorial fashion, and so I present to you a smattering of the awesome happenings over the five days of the con. Enjoy, and I hope to see all of you at next year’s Origins!
We were lucky enough to secure the same booth location as last year, which translated to lots of great traffic – and meeting lots of great people! Here you can see, from left to right, Darrell Louder, Christopher Badell from Greater Than Games, Shawn Purtell and TC Petty III helping to set up the bigger and better Dice Hate Me Games booth.
Did someone say VivaJava Dice? So pretty. We were lucky enough to get some prototypes of VivaJava Dice before Origins, and lots of people got a chance to check them out at the Dice Hate Me Games booth. VivaJava Dice hits Kickstarter on Friday, June 21st!
After setting up the booth, Darrell Louder, Shawn Purtell, TC Petty III and I were able to secure a table and break out Glory To Rome, despite the fact that an electrical transformer fire had shut down half the convention center. We weren’t concerned – after all, Rome Demanded Beauty!
Later on the first night, after the booth was completely set up, we were able to rope Chris Copac and Eric Leath into a five-player game of Ben Rossett’s Brew Crafters. TC wanted to test drive the single-player Urbion, so we shared duties in our brewery. Beer was brewed, fun was had – it was an awesome time.
A panorama of cross aisle 1 showing our position next to Z-Man games, the Catalyst Games Lab booth and Asmodee – the darling of the con.
Speaking of Asmodee, I managed to snag one of a handful of copies of the Spiel des Jahres nominated Augustus on Thursday. Having a vendor badge and getting into the exhibitor’s hall early does have its perks.
The Lucky Dice daily competition was back in full force at the Dice Hate Me Games booth and this is our daily winner with a score of 90. That score would remain unchallenged for the duration of the con – no 105 perfect score this year!
After the first day, we all headed over to BD’s Mongolian Wok for an Origins tradition. Here, The Great Heartland Hauling Co. designer Jason Kotarski shows our hostesses how to play his newest game, Frog Flip!
After our belly-busting dinner, we broke open my copy of Augustus and had a blast! This game, often called Roman Bingo, is a lot of fun – easy to learn, easy to play and filled with both “woohoo” and “holy crap” moments, as any great game should.
Matt Riddle and Ben Pinchback of Fleet fame taunted us from one table over – every time we yelled “Ave Caesar!” in Augustus, they’d counter with a loud “CAYLUS!” one table over as they played, well, Caylus. I still think we had more fun!
Everyone’s standing around a table, flinging discs and screaming at each other – yup, must be another game of Masters of Commerce! And it was awesome, as always.
He scores! Hands down, the most sought after promo of the con was the Space Penguin for King of Tokyo from Iello. You had to demo the game in open gaming and beat all the competitors in order to get the penguin. Shawn Purtell managed to do it, and he only had to intimidate three 10-year-olds to win!
Jim Dietz from Jolly Roger Games had final copies of Richard Launius’s Pirates vs. Dinosaurs for sale at their booth. The game looks amazing, and the components are really nice.
Dineeples? Yes, please.
Here, Eric Leath tries to run off with the ginormous Ogre that Steve Jackson Games’ own Phil Reed was showing off. Check out the video below for a little unboxing action – and an official statement from Phil on the future of Car Wars!
Sign me up on day one of that Kickstarter.
Who needs the new hotness at Origins? Certainly not us. Shawn and Darrell managed to swing us all a great package deal on some out of print Pirates of the Spanish Main, so we had a huge fleet battle at the Bar on 2. Here, Jason Kotarski shows off his sweet ship-building skills.
Dan Patriss prepares to unload a devastating broadside!
Yup, told ya.
The majestic fleet from our five-player throwdown.
And speaking of throwdowns, here we check out Jason Tagmire’s Maximum Throwdown, released at GenCon by AEG! This game is all about flicking cards to cover up other cards, denying players the special abilities on whichever symbols are covered. It’s pretty awesome, and a wonderful bar game.
Ah, the Plague Bin. It wouldn’t be Origins without a bucket of dice laced with virus.
There weren’t a ton of costumes this year (Dragon*Con will more than make up for that), but this Daredevil outfit was pretty nifty. It didn’t hurt that the guy was about 7 feet tall.
Saturday night at the show featured our 2nd annual Carnival tournament! Our reigning champion Debbie, at left, returned to defend her title…
… but 12-year-old wunderkind Maya also came back, seeking retribution for getting knocked out during the semifinals in one of the most epic games of Carnival ever played.
Maya trounced her competition in the opening round and moved on to face the champ, Debbie, in the semifinals. It was a nailbiter, and several turns passed where either opponent could have won the game with a single card.
Maya squeaked out the win in the semifinal and faced off against Michael in the final game. A lucky turn one triple three roll by Michael set him up for an early victory and the odds were too great for Maya to recover.
The scamp versus the new champ!
An amazing experience, as always. Thank you to everyone who came out to compete! Come back next year and see if you can survive against Maya – she’ll be even more fired up for that title, then!
TC Petty III facilitates a relaxing playtest of his Club Zen with Ben Pinchback, Matt Riddle and Kings of Air & Steam designer Scott Almes.
It just wouldn’t be Origins without Time’s Up: Title Recall – and we played a ton of it. For our third game of Time’s Up, we decided to get a little free form and dive straight into round two of the game without playing round one. For those not familiar, that means you can only say one word and then have to pantomime the rest. This is a bit of the genius of Jason Kotarski, who clearly missed his calling as a mime.
Michael Coe of Gamelyn Games brought samples of his Fantasy Meeples. They’re awesome! The Kickstarter campaign just wrapped up, but he’ll have plenty more to sell once they’re produced.
The Break from Reality booth looked really good, and the demo tables for Damage Report and Disaster Looms was always packed.
The Asmodée booth, where you basically stand there, mouth agape, and say to yourself “I want that… and that… and that…”
It’s the Duke of Dice, himself – Richard Launius! It’s always a pleasure to see Richard, and his enthusiasm and spirit is unparalleled. Richard was good enough to sign a copy of his newest release, Ace Detective. It looks like Wolverine is about to gut me to steal it!
Last night of the con, so we settled on a theme for the games – racing. We tried out Quicksilver, a zeppelin racing game from Split 2nd Games. The jury is still out on this one as we played half the game scratching our heads as to why we weren’t travelling very far or very fast – then discovered that the six-sided dice in the game only max out at 4 pips! I’ll be playing this one again with that in mind for better strategy and much more efficient hand management to get those boosts to go faster.
What better way to wrap up the con than with ducks? Jacki Purtell just had to have Duck! Duck! Go! and we’re glad she convinced Shawn to pick up a copy. This game is pretty adorable and actually pretty fun. It’s simple to play and hilarious to watch as rubber duckies turn in what seems like random directions, bonking into each other in a race to be the first to the drain.
That about wraps it up for Origins 2013! Thank you to everyone who came out to the Dice Hate Me Games booth – it was wonderful to meet everyone and see familiar faces from Origins 2012. Be sure to make plans for Origins 2014 – we’ll see you there!
- Origins Game Fair 2011: Day 4
- Origins 2012 Photo Recap – A Publisher’s Perspective
- Origins Game Fair 2011: Day 3
- Origins Game Fair 2011: Day 2
- Origins Game Fair 2011: Day 1