Monday, October 3, 2016

My Rincon 2016 experiences

Every year since we've moved to Tucson, I've attended Rincon, the friendly little gaming convention that is Tucson's own. I think it's actually Arizona's only gaming convention. And every year, it seems to have gotten better, both my personal experiences and in general.

This is the first year at its new location. I'd already attended two fundraisers for Rincon at the new hotel but the actual convention made me like it even more. In particular, the hotel shares its parking lot with two restaurants, which was great.

I won't be surprised if this Rincon had record attendance. My experiences with the volunteers was very positive. They were friendly, always eager to help and, most importantly, seemed to know what they were doing.

The guests included Andrew Looney of Looney Labs and James Ernst of Cheapass Games. Both of those companies were a big part of me getting into board games and I still really appreciate what they do, particularly for casual gamers and family gamers. 

I've gotten into the habit of registering for events instead of looking for pick-up games since we've moved out here and I don't have a posse of friends from nearby states to serve as an automatic gaming group. It doesn't hurt that it's usually free to register for events it's more cons.

In fact, this year, I was afraid that I had signed up for too many events. Instead, it proved to be a great idea. I was able to keep busy and every event was fun.

In addition to learning Isle of Skye right at the start, I attended events hosted by James Ernst and Andy Looney and played in two tournaments. Heck, I placed second in the Carcassonne tournament on Sunday, although lucky draws of cloisters probably had more to do with it then any brilliance on my part. 

In fact, the only pick up games I got in were ones with the giant set of Tak in one of the free play areas. I had kind of followed its development because I get the Cheapass newsletter but it proved to be a much better abstract then I ever expected. Making my own copy is now on the shortlist of games to make.

I have to note that talking with designers at smaller conventions gives you a much bigger chance to have a real conversation with them. I also got to talk with David Short, who designed Automobiles and Skyline and is a Tucson local.

In the past, I've only spend an afternoon at Rincon between the age of our toddler and the further distance of the old location. I was there for most of Saturday and part of Sunday this year and it was bustling and fun the entire time.

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