South Carolina Area Roleplaying and Boardgames, I think, or something like that.
It was mid January 2011, a few weeks ago, and I was really lucky to get to go. I should've posted a reveiw much sooner than now, but I am just now getting around to it.
Over three days (well, afternoon Friday thru afternoon Sunday) I played many games, but a large part of my playtime was used up in one particular up-and-coming board game, Dungeon Twister, which is two-player and has a chess-like feel. There was a tournament with the game itself as prizes, so I had added incentive, but it was a fun time by itself.
Besides Dungeon Twister, I played:
Red Dragon Inn
Struggle for Rome (a Catan descendant)
Betrayal at House on the Hill
Thunderstone (a Dominion-like card game with dragons in caves)
a zombie-themed game I forget the name of (indy)
I Drank What? (indy)
I was disappointed I didn't get to play my Star Trek card game design, but I knew going in it wasn't too likely. However, there was a "yard sale" of sorts where I bought many once-valuable cards for next to nothing. Then again, the cards are worth next to nothing in the regular market, so I suppose I overpaid. Haha.
Getting to play Nuclear War was one of the highlights for me, but I think I enjoyed Red Dragon Inn the best because of the people I was playing with, most of whom I had known from my hometown. Both of these games rely very heavily on luck and also who annoys whom. If you manage to keep a low profile, you may just survive long enough to win. Yeah, I didn't, haha.
Thunderstone is pretty new. It was fairly easy to learn, because the game mechanics are not all that different than Dominion (although they are different, and incorporate needs and not just wants). But I lost handily, because I was more focused on learning the rules and playing well than winning.
The yard sale or "swap" was a really good feature.
SCARAB was really well attended, altough of a poor gender ratio (which is normal). My only other con experience was completely dead by Sunday morning, so I was pleased to see a lively Sunday.
One gripe that comes to mind: they had few or no GMs (Game Masters, people who knew the game running the game). For the most part, random people signed up a given scheduled game and just met and then figured out the rules. One was fortunate if there was an experienced player among you. There was also very little incentive for people to be GMs. At my previous con, there was a sharp employee-discount-type deal for people who ran games, becoming like staff. That was only present here is a severely abbreviated form, and thus did not encourage much volunteerism.
The "swag" was very well-done, as I was told, and the staff very friendly.
I was disappointed at less sci-fi jollies going on. Pretty much nothing in that line. No screenings, no lectures, no guests of honor. Well, that's okay, I barely had time to shower and sleep as it was.
I am going to make this a regular thing if I can, attending gaming cons. I dunno that SCARAB is within my reach each year, or my budget, but it's something I liked a lot.
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