PAX Prime 2011 Through a Boardgamer’s Eyes

Places

Acquisitions, Inc.Acquisitions, Inc.

Paul and Storm set the stage for Acquisitions, Inc.

The only panel-type event I made it to (besides the GeekDad panel, of course) was Acquisitions, Inc. It’s really more of a show: Wil Wheaton, Scott Kurtz (of PvP), and Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins of Penny Arcade get up on stage and play D&D. Really.

Last year most of the other GeekDads went while I stayed out and played board games since I just don’t have much D&D experience, but this year I thought I really wanted to see what it was all about. Wizards of the Coast provided us with VIP seating so we got a good view of the action. Paul and Storm, dressed as minstrels, opened the show and inserted various themes at appropriate (and inappropriate) times. Apparently this year there was a lot more flash and glitz: aside from Paul and Storm, they all had costumes, elaborate sets to highlight each character’s entrance, and a Geek Chic table with a huge model of the Darkmagic estate.

It was pretty funny watching these four grown men (and DM) play D&D on stage, but I was a little disappointed that the encounter didn’t really start until about an hour and half in, and they had to rush through a lot of the actual fighting without making as many jokes then. I skipped out slightly early to get to the expo hall before it closed. Overall, I’m glad I went this year, but it’s hard to spend a couple hours on this when I could be playing games myself.

Flash Point: Fire RescueFlash Point: Fire Rescue

Playing Flash Point: Fire Rescue with Alex, GeekDad Dave, and Chuck "Lucky Radish."

Speaking of playing games myself, after dinner on Saturday we convened back in the convention center, this time with a local friend of mine, Alex, and Chuck Gamble (creator of GeekDad favorite Mixamajig). We played another game of Flash Point: Fire Rescue and managed to rescue our seven victims from the house, though it got a little hairy a couple of times. It seems the bedroom in the back of the house was a pretty dangerous spot to be.

Food Fight by CryptozoicFood Fight by Cryptozoic

Food Fight from Cryptozoic

After putting out fires, we had a big food fight. Food Fight is a new card game from Cryptozoic Entertainment, who also have a Penny Arcade deck-builder coming up. The artwork on this is hilarious, and it’s all about using these food-based troops to battle for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. It took a little while to figure it out, but once we got going we had a blast. The basic mechanic is a little like War, with the higher number winning, but there are lots of modifiers (condiments, for example) which can give you an advantage in the battle. I’m looking forward to playing this one some more.

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