If you’re like me, then last week many of your gaming friends and people you follow on twitter went to Ohio for Origins, a big, 4-day convention second only to GenCon as far as size and prominence. I didn’t go this year, so I was among those using the hashtag #NOrigins.

I see on social media that I’m not the only one – so I thought I’d pose the question to the league… if you didn’t go to Origins last week, then what did you do? Did you participate in #NOrigins? Here’s what some of us played while our friends were picking up Spyfall from the Cryptozoic booth and demoing all kinds of new things in Columbus:


    During #NOrigins I not only continued to take turns in my 5 online games of Deus at boiteajeux.net, I got a few chances to play it in real life as well.

    Thursday night I also got a chance to play an old favorite: In the Year of the Dragon, which I haven’t played in a long time.

    Finally, I received a new submission for TMG from League member Luke Laurie, and I was able to get 2 plays in of Saturn Rising. It’s a pretty solid rondel game about mining resources and building a colony on Titan, the moon of Saturn.

    In addition to playing games, I had quite a few thoughts about a new design utilizing my deck-learning mechanism from Eminent Domain, this time using a single, shared deck. The current title is Deities and Demigods and the theme is Greek mythology. The idea is that there’s a deck of God cards and each round the next one is revealed, giving each player the option to either increase their devotion to that god, or else cash in their devotion to get a favor from that god. Over time, players can work to get additional cards for those gods into the deck so that their favorite actions will come up more often. The kinds of things you’ll do in this game is add boats or troops to the game board, move them around to cities, build buildings and monuments in the cities, and fight for control of them. I’ve posted a lot more details on my game design blog.


    Gathered in an undisclosed bunker and played Twilight Struggle while enjoying Russian Stouts and tasty burritos. Stephen even has a playlist of songs from each of the Cold War eras in the game.


    While I wasn’t at Origins this year I was paying close attention to the tweets and posts from Columbus since Letter Tycoon was releasing there and tournaments were being held. When not refreshing the twitter feed I was working on other designs – tinkering with the intricate details of the Transylvanian hospitality industry and researching iconic U.S. highways. I also got around to punching out and building the trains from Colt Express.


    Saturday night, my wife and I ate some truly amazing soul food: gumbo and smothered pork chop. Then, we met up with Bryan Merlonghi, his girlfriend, Ali, and Steve Nix of Troubadour Games. First, we played an intense game of Völuspá, playtesting a new promo tile, the Longship. The Longship lets you set aside up to 2 tiles for a big play on a future turn. Second, we played Bryan’s Cutthroat Kingdoms game. Cutthroat Kingdoms has some interesting mechanics where you try to marry off your first and second born sons to other players to create alliances, but those alliances may not last the entire game, so there is a lot of intrigue going on.


    I’ve been playing a lot of Flippin Monsters lately to tweak it and get it just right. I also played Black Fleet for the first time. It was great! I’ve been wanting a light but fulfilling Pirate-themed game for a while and this hit just the spot.


    My 8YO son went to his first overnight summer camp at the camp where my wife and I met 16 years ago. We spent Friday night in town, ate dinner at the restaurant where we had our rehearsal dinner, and picked him up and drove home on Saturday. We got plenty of #NOrigins pics along the way. When we got home, we had friends over for gaming on Saturday night and Sunday night. (For all of Randy’s pictures – check out #NOrigins on twitter).


Leaguers Peter Vaughan, Jasmine Davis, Nathan Cornelius and JR Honeycutt were there. What happened is top secret, of course. All of us were the spy…