I spent most of the day helping Karsten run and playing in the Age of Empires III tournament. It was weird to have it down in Lampeter. I felt like it had been scheduled in the wrong location, but Don's impression was that it was the place with enough room. We did a lot of coaching, but a few experience players were present. Amelia played in one of my games, but she was hardly coherent, as she had stayed up almost all night watching the Patriot. Karsten coached his brother Eric and a couple of other players in the second heat for the longest game of AOEIII ever. By the time it was done, Karsten just needed to sit still with his eyes closed for awhile.

In any case, by the time I lost in the 2nd round, I was happy to be done. Four games of AoE3 in one day is just too many. We did gain several converts, though, who wanted to get a copy right away. Most people liked our rules changes. Bryan Collars learned the game, but he decided it was more Arthur's fare than his. I liked Bryan's suggestion that each of the powers have a unique ability--such as England an extra Captain, Spain an extra soldier, the Dutch an extra merchant, etc. It's something I'd like to try out. I think it would add a lot of flavor to the game and might actually teach a little history :)

After my stint with AoE3--and missing my last chance to play Circus or learn Flying Colors--I decided to partake in Nuclear War. It brought back a lot of memories. I think the last time I played it may have been 1991. (We drove up to Three Rivers Con once after that in an attempt to play the game since it was on the schedule. However, when only two people--including me--showed up to play, Karsten and I didn't even spent the night. We drove straight home. That's what happens when you mix boardgames and collectible card games at a convention!) It was fun, though I got rubbed out every time--millions of people on the table. The best part was my first Final Retaliation, which eliminated the guy who took me out. There weren't nearly enough young people playing. I think there's real potential to make a serious event out of a Nuclear War tournament.

I decided to drop out of the last round of Nuke War to play Slapshot. I suppose it was possible I could have pulled off a few points, but I was in the mood to knock around the hockey puck for awhile. Good thing! I ended up placing second in the tournament to Ken Gutermuth's first-place team. I might have been able to take Ken out if I had not lost my bruiser in the playoffs. Sigh....but I can't really complain about getting to stay at the top of the Slapshot Laurels list all while exposing Aran--from Israel--to his first real crazy WBC event. I think he was a little traumatized by the end :) Heather from CABS also played at our first round table, along with Laurie W. from Buffalo and her little son. It was really lighthearted and fun. No one was allowed to stay at the table unless he or she showed proper hockey spirit!

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