Tabletop Games Day 2014   5 comments

Saturday, April 5, 2014 was National Tabletop Games Day, an occasion for people to get together face to face and play board games, card games, role-playing games, miniatures. Savvy game store owners all over America promoted this event by making space available for people to come in and game. I say it proudly. I’m a gamer. I would not miss it. What follows is my record of the day. I hope the rest of you had as much fun as I did.

2014-04-05 01.59.59

Here I am at the front door of Imperial Outpost Games at 49th Avenue and Thunderbird in Glendale, Arizona, ready for action.

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Darrenn is owner/manager of the Imperial Outpost. Hard to find a friendlier, nicer guy. He has done more to promote the cause of face to face gaming in Phoenix than anyone else I know, and in the process has built the best game store and hangout for gamers in the city.

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It’s a room full of gamers having fun.

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Yes, it’s true. Gamers are mostly male, but look there’s a woman in the mix enjoying herself, and also an elf.

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Shelves full of games . . .

2014-04-05 02.02.59

Elf playing Firefly, a science fiction game based on a Joss Whedon television program and movie. Is that Family Guy sitting next to her?

2014-04-05 02.05.04

Finally, some people I know. Starting with the purple t-shirt and going clockwise: Jessie Foster, Unknown Gamer Guy, Will, Devon, Heather. (I admit that I am terrible with names. I’ve never met Unknown Gamer Guy, and it’s only thru years of friendship that I know Jessie’s last name.)

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A second room full of gamers.

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The first game I played–Ticket to Ride, USA. I took second (out of five) in this game.

2014-04-05 03.16.28

The second game I played. Sushi Go. I learned more about sushi in one game than I had ever known before. Came in tied for last out of five players.

2014-04-05 03.52.40

Bwa ha ha ha ha! I am a terrible photographer. My plan was just to get the t-shirts without heads because I wanted to focus on t-shirt messages, but the camera’s field of view was a little higher than I knew, and so I caught the excellent gamer beards of James St. Andre on the left and Jessie Foster on the right. It’s kind of weird how they both assumed the same stance for having their pix taken. I did not notice it at the time.

2014-04-05 05.21.41

My friend, Vic, stops by to say hello to Jessie during our game of Bohnanza. Believe it or not, this is a German game about being a bean farmer. Supply side economics meets Diplomacy and the Wall Street Stock Exchange. The real action is in bean trading.

2014-04-05 05.22.12

Munchkin was there.  It was kind of hard to get Devon away from computer games on her Kindle.

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I don’t know this woman, but she has bright green hair. That comes straight out of Japanese anime.

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Jason Youngdale and Vic are playing Qwirkle. Something like a non-numeric form of dominoes. I don’t know the game, but it looks like fun.

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I don’t know this game either, but it’s impressive in its complexity and graphics.

2014-04-05 07.01.30

Starting with the guy in the red shirt, Rob, James, Nathaniel and the empty seat is mine. The game is Seafarers of Catan, and I won by a single point. This was the last game I played at the Outpost. I had been there for over 7 hours, and was getting very hungry.

2014-04-05 08.35.10

I saw this great miniatures setup on the way out. Look at those dice pyramids in the background!

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John Wick (black t-shirt), his wife Ro (in purple), Gillian and two guys I don’t know were having supper near the front door as I exited. This was the last shot I got, but it shows gamers still having fun even when I was calling it enough for the day.

The gaming party probably continued until midnight or later. I had a great time. I saw some friends. I got some laughs. I exercised my brain (yeah, gaming makes you think.) I pronounce Tabletop Gaming Day in the Phoenix area a great success.


If you did some face to face gaming on Gaming Day, why not leave a comment? This is the perfect opportunity to boast about your victories or moan about your defeats and mention the games you played. We’re gamers. We’ve all been there, and we know how you feel. As Wil Wheaton says, “PLAY MORE GAMES!”


5 responses to “Tabletop Games Day 2014

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  1. I didn’t win a single one of the three games I played on Table Top Day, but HECK, I got out of the house and played games! I don’t do this nearly often enough.

    There was a pretty big crowd in Rainy Day Games yesterday. Half bearded big gamer guys, then a three-way split between cautious newcomers, gamer ladies, and parents with kids checking things out.

    I played:

    Takenoko, a game about a giant panda eating bamboo. The players took turns doing actions like laying out hexes of the bamboo grove, moving the gardener (causing bamboo to grow) and moving the panda to a new hex (where he would eat a piece of bamboo). You scored points by matching patterns (like the amount of bamboo stalk in a particular hex, or how much bamboo had been eaten, or layout of the garden) on cards you’d drawn.

    Eight Minute Empire. A simple conquest game. The geomorphic board showed a number of islands, each with several regions. You got a number of army pieces. When you drew a card you could move piece(s), gain a new army, bump off an enemy army, and/or gain a special power.

    Quantum. A space wargame played on a geomorphic board. The spaceship counters were . . . dice! Lower number ships had more combat strength but moved slower. The goal was to place cosmic cubes, which you did by occupying a solar system with the right number of combat points. The game went on and on, with me and another player one cube-placement away from winning. A third guy made a surprise win by placing a cube via the alternate method of simply winning lots of combats.

  2. I think I’d like that Quantum game.

  3. Note on the Bohnanza game, Bohne is the German word for bean 🙂
    (but perhaps you knew this already).

    cool photos, I should go to Glendale one day!

  4. Here is the Board Game Geek listing for Quantum:

    Be sure to check out the picture gallery. Very handsome.

    The different classes of ship have various abilities, so they are not just a tradeoff of combat and movement. For example, the “3” ship can swap position with another one of your ships, and the “5” can move diagonally, and the “6” can transform itself into another class. Things can move very quickly and sneakily.

  5. Hey there, Ken! I agree, IOG is a wonderful gaming store and Darren is a great guy! I had a great time learning a bunch of new games during the
    Tabletop Games Day 2014, my daughter Devyn (the correct spelling, for future reference) enjoyed herself, too. I started taking her to play games at IOG a few months ago so she’d become more social, get out of the house, and use her brain. It’s a true win-win for us both. I didn’t see you at Huntcon since I came on Sunday but enjoyed playing that poker dice game with you at Meeplefest. I look forward to more gaming with you!

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