Ah, the smell of new games being opened.
The sound of people sitting at a table, chatting. Or perhaps one person talking, teaching others how to play the game that’s sitting in front of them.
I had that experience this past weekend at the 6th annual Terminal City Tabletop Convention in Vancouver (That’s in British Columbia, eh!)
Started and run by Shannon Lentz back in 2014, this is a 2-day convention where you just go and play games. For two whole days! What could be better than that? (Editor – 3 whole days?)
While originally held in Burnaby, space limitations there forced a move last year to the Croatian Cultural Centre on Commercial Drive in Vancouver. Last year, we had a huge room, but there were still a few space issues.
Thus, this year Shannon and his people were able to get another room added. I have to say, this year it did not seem as crowded and was a lot more peaceful because of it. The extra space really worked out for that.
The room was very full and there were tons of people there, but the ability to spread out really helped make it feel less crowded than previous years.
I missed the first year, but I’ve been to every one since then and I have to say this was the best one of the bunch. Space was not an issue, it was much more laid back. The Cultural Centre is a great place to hold an event like this because it’s conveniently located, has lots of space, great parking (in Vancouver, that’s not always the case), and this year they had tablecloths!
(Here’s a photo that shows how hard it was to play without a tablecloth last year)
Last year, the tables were worn, it was hard to move pieces and cards around, and it was just horrible. It was my only complaint about it last year.
The additional room had some open gaming tables as well as the vendors and other events that were going on there. I managed to buy two more Smash Up expansions (yes, you will see reviews of them soon). I didn’t get to any of the events and I probably should have checked out the second room a little more often, but I was busy doing what you’re supposed to be doing at these things: playing games!
The convention has an extensive games library to choose from, including some “play to win” games that you could check out and perhaps take home with you. We made a bit of use of it during the weekend, which was nice.
The Croatian Cultural Centre is not really that close to any food options within walking distance (a short drive by car or by bus ride down to Broadway or 12th, though) but they do have food service there until around 7:00 pm. You can get a tasty burger, hot dog, or a few other things along with a pop or other drink and it’s reasonably-priced.
This year, they managed to get food trucks brought in as well, along with a coffee truck in the morning. That was a nice touch.
The convention also has an RPG room for those of that persuasion. I’m not much of one, so I didn’t check it out. But there were definitely plenty of people in there.
In addition, you can auction off some games if you want. This year’s format was slightly different than previous years. This year, you registered your game for the auction and set a price. Twice during the day, if it hadn’t sold, you could adjust the price.
(Previous years had a silent auction instead, but that looked really unwieldy. I didn’t sell any games so I can’t say how well it worked, but I can say that it looked like it flowed a bit better this year)
Finally, there is a row of tables called “Proto-Alley” where designers can bring their current game and display it to the masses. I managed to get a demonstration of an interesting party spelling game called Wordos. It was pretty cool.
I managed to get twelve games in during the two days of the convention. Five of them will show up on my “New to Me – April” post when it finally goes live (hopefully not too much longer).
However, here’s the list:
Pursuit of Happiness
Valeria: Card Kingdoms (new!)
Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig (new!)
Camel Up (new!)
Dice Forge (new!)
Clank in Space
It was a great weekend of gaming overall, and kudos to Shannon and crew for running a great convention.
There was one caveat I have to mention, though, and this probably can’t be rectified (at least not by the organizers): The lighting was perfect for gaming (bright overhead lights that made any game easy to see), but it was terrible for pictures. You can see the lighting in the room pics above.
I had to take photos at weird angles to try and get the shadow of my hand out of the way. Even then, I couldn’t always avoid it.
Overhead shots of the entire game board were just impossible.
Maybe that’s a first world problem? I don’t know.
Also, a suggestion for you, Shannon. Maybe do another video so that the first thing you see on your web page isn’t a video from 2016? I mean, I love being shown on the thumbnail for the current video, but it might be time to make it a bit more recent?
Overall, Terminal City Tabletop Convention 2019 was a huge success as far as I’m concerned.
If you’re able to come next year, I highly recommend it!