The Ninjabot

A Look Back at International TableTop Day 2014

Posted on April 9, 2014 at 10:01 am by Jeff Mueller

Another year, another TableTop Day gone by. While all of us here at GeekLegacy are massive video-game fans, we also love sitting down and crushing our enemies friends face-to-face across the a table in an avalanche of dice and cards.

So to celebrate what founder Wil Wheaton calls “A single day where the whole world is brought together in a common purpose of spending time together and having fun” I traveled to Toronto, Canada to put the “International” in International TableTop Day. There I met up with a rag-tag group of geeks, gamers and YouTubers at Castle Board Game Cafe to play new games and old and uphold the reputation of GeekLegacy.

CastleGameCafe

Before I break down games that we played, I want to take a minute and talk about the venue itself.

What a fantastic place!

Now, if I were a savvy writer you would be watching the nifty interview I did with the staff an taking a virtual tour of the cafe… but due to the fact I am a moron some technical difficulties that footage is useless. So instead I just have to break it down for you using words!

It’s a surprisingly simple, yet genius, concept. Two rooms with couches and tables, a cafe bar that serves sandwiches/coffee/desserts, a massive library of board and card games and a staff who know them all and will help you with the rules in-between bringing you your orders. The cost? $2.50/hour per person.

How awesome is that?!?

From the moment I stepped into the cafe it was clear that people were having a good time and TableTop Day was rolling ahead full steam both in person and all over the world according to the #TableTopDay hashtag on Twitter. So we did what any self-respecting gamer would do; we set-up shop and started playing games!

Magic: The Gathering

magic the gatheringOf course there were the requisite warm-up games of Magic: The Gathering, the grand-daddy of collectible card games. Aptly nick-named “Crack: The Gathering” this game is highly addictive, unbelievably easy to learn and dangerous for your wallet if you easily succumb to the Pokemon theory of “Gotta catch ’em all.

In a nutshell the game of Magic breaks down like this. You play the role of a wizard who fights other wizards for glory and conquest. Your deck of cards represents all the weapons in your arsenal. It contains the spells you know and the creatures you can summon to fight for you.

The great thing about this game is that it is ridiculously easy to get into, and carrying your favorite deck around takes up almost no space.

Dungeon Fighter

Dungeon FighterEvery geek loves an old-fashioned dungeon crawl, and this band of Canadian gamers was no different.

What was different was the way this game played out. Dungeon Fighter contains a ton of familiar fantasy tropes – heroes exploring a dungeon, searching rooms, finding treasure and facing hordes of vicious monsters but more interestingly this cooperative board game factors in quite a bit of skill!

While half of this game is rooted in Dungeons & Dragons, the other half is played out like a game of Quarters. The deeper into the dungeon you go, the more complicated the rolls of the dice become. To succeed you will need to hit a target by bouncing the dice, leaping in the air to throw them, trick-shotting them off the wall and more! (Hence why we affectionately nick-named this game “God Dammit!)

We had a blast while feeling pretty uncoordinated and a bit foolish.

Ugg-Tect

Ugg-TectAfter the frustration of jumping in the air, doing 360s and trying to hit a target with a dice roll it was time to sit down and get our inner caveman on!

Ugg-Tect, essentially a language exercise, is a race between two teams to see who can build simplistic structures with the included colored blocks the fastest. The catch? You have to use only the prescribed hand gestures and nonsensical words allowed to direct your team.

If they misinterpret your grunts and gesticulations? You smack them in the head with one of the inflatable caveman clubs that come with the game! I was a little skeptical at first, but I quite enjoyed the challenge and simple concept of the game and it ended up being one of my favorites.

Who doesn’t like boffing their friends upside the head while grunting and pointing? No-one, that’s who… fun for all ages right here!

Pit

PitHow do I describe Pit?

The closest I can come is free-for-all Go Fish with lots of yelling. It’s an extremely simple card game that has been around for a looooong time (first published in 1904), but for good reason.

It’s highly addictive, hands are usually clock in at around a minute and did I mention the yelling?

The goal is simple, be the first person to get a full set of one type of card. You do so by trading cards as fast as you can with all the other players. The catch? You do it all face down so you never know if you are just going to get the cards you traded away 20 seconds ago or not.

This game is an absolute blast if you want to watch your friends scream and come close to having aneurysms. Unfortunately it is not the most conducive game to play in a game cafe so after two hands we moved on to what has become the gaming juggernaut of the past few years.

Cards Against Humanity

cards against humanityAt this point if someone told me they hadn’t heard of Cards Against Humanity I would seriously think they were trolling me.

Everyone I know plays it! Even if they don’t usually partake in TableTop games.

This truly horrible exercise in word association should have you questioning your moral compass by the second hand. It’s like Mad-Libs for sociopaths, and it will have you rolling on the ground in laughter if played with the right group of people.

Luckily there were wasn’t an uptight person to be found in our group, so many a horrible word combination was played and looks of horror and unbridled laughter abounded.

King of Tokyo

King TokyoI have been wanting to play this game ever since I heard of its existence. A game where I get to play a giant Kaiju fighting other monsters and rampaging through Tokyo?

Yes please!

Unfortunately time slipped away from us and  by the time we were ready to unbox King of Tokyo it was time to start packing up. 6 hours of gaming had flown by, granting Tokyo and its inhabitants a reprieve from the inevitable devastation that was coming their way.

This one is definitely on the list for another day, that’s for sure… as I have heard nothing but good things about it!

So what about you? Have you played any of these games? What’d you think?

Let us know in the comments below!

TableTopDay

@TheMightyJerd & his Canadian posse

 Make sure to follow @themightyjerd on Twitter to discuss your favorite games and be sure to check out all the games played this TableTop Day below!

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