Wil Wheaton, Felicia Day and the crew from Geek and Sundry decreed that Saturday 28th of April would be International Table Top Day (ITTD), a day to get together with friends and family to celebrate the games and experiences we have at the table, whilst playing and experiencing more games at the table. As my birthday was the week before the event I decided for the first time to host an ITTD party, this is some of the highlights and experiences from the day.
First and foremost as the host you need to make sure that you have all of the following things to run a successful ITTD Event:
- Games to play
- Snacks to eat
- Wipes to clean hands of snacks
- People who know the rules to the games.
- A good attitude
- Enough table space
With these things all ready to go, you now have all the ingredients for a successful day.
From 11.30am to 8pm on the 29th of April (we had to do it the day after due to a show I was in) approximately 20 people converged on Casa Del Parents House for the ITTD birthday party. The games library was 20+ games strong so there was no shortage of games that would be played. You will notice from the image below that there is an absence of “Mainstream” games such Monopoly, Scrabble, Boggle or anything you can normally pickup on the shelves at Kmart.
Board games have been going through a Golden Age Renaissance over the past 10 years and this collection contains games that can cater for people of all ages and skill levels.
The first game of the day was Coup. A 6 player bluffing game where the last playing remaining is the winner. You eliminate players by earning money/stealing money and using the credits to perform a coup backstabbing a player or more simply you can call out a player on a lie they may be doing. The game is short and sweet only taking ~20 minutes to complete.
As more people started to roll in we moved onto the game of Camel Cup. This game simulates a camel race in Egypt where the camels can stack on top of one another. This game is a lot lighting than Coup as it is entirely luck based (much like actual betting). Sure, there is some skill in picking the right cards at the right time but much of the fun of this game is to come up with scenarios you would like to see happen then yell in joy as it unfolds in front of you, or perhaps cry as the exact opposite occurs.
What I love about board gaming is that you will not like every game that you play but there is a game for everyone. The perfect example of this point is whilst a game of Camel Cup was being played on the outside table, indoors a game of Sagrada was being played by the parents. After this game was finished the opinions of this game ranged from “That was very interesting and though provoking” to “This game feels too much like solitaire”, and you know what that is totally ok.
The highlight of the day for me was later in the afternoon playing 2 games by Tuesday Knight Game called 2 Rooms and a Boom and Russian Roulette World Championships.
Post 2 Rooms and a Boom Discussion
2 Rooms and a Boom has a very simple concept. You have 2 teams, Blue team has the President and the Red team has the Bomber. If the Bomber is in the same room as the President after 3 rounds (each round a leader in each rooms swaps some players) the Red team wins, if the Bomber and President are in different rooms then the Blue Team wins. Everyone has a role, Everyone is involved the whole game and a game only takes about 10 minutes to complete.
By the third game everyone knew what was going on and some interesting meta plays were taking shape. 17 players were playing and after 4 games we realised an interesting statistic, the Red Team (Bomber) had won every game. This was a highlight because everyone at the event was involved and was talked about for the rest of the evening.
Russian Roulette World Championships (RRWC) on the other hand was a game that only had 6 players but provided some of the biggest laughs of the day. RRWC is a bluffing game where you are competing against up to 5 others players in a standoff of epic proportions. You can either keep the bullets in your gun or bluff your way to 15 victory points by taking your bullet out to know that you are safe but what makes game great is the action cards that you can collect and use in the appropriate phases. Using these action cards led to everyone yelling “WAIT!” to signify a stop in play for the chance to play their card, but not just one call, no no, 5 people yelling “WAIT!” for a chance to increase their odds of surviving or decrease to odds of someone else.
The 2 games of RRWC proved to the final games of the night as Pizza arrived for dinner and by that time the mental exhaustion caught up with everyone. Gaming for 8 hours s certainly something that not everyone is used to and the wind down took well over 2 hours.
This was my first time hosting an event of this scale and things I learnt from this year’s event are:
- Have more than one person who knows the rules to the games you are playing
- Have multiple tables / gaming areas to allow for multiple games going at the same time
- You need to have “leaders”. Someone who will drive a “this is the game we are playing on this table” attitude
- Don’t plan out ‘times’ for games, let it be natural
All in all I am very excited for 2019 and the chance to hold my own ITTD event again.