For The Queen?
I’ve written about my favorite RPG of the year before, Alex Roberts’ lovely For The Queen. You can see my prior super-blog about it under Do You Even For The Queen? You can also listen to me rave about it on The Gauntlet’s Favorite Games of 2018 podcast (I start rambling around the 9:30 mark). I won’t repeat myself on that score… if you haven’t checked those out, feel free to do so now.
Learn and Play?
About a month back, my lovely friend Andi, who runs a bit over at PAX Unplugged, borrowed their Learn and Play format. Apparently these are sessions where they teach you how to play a board game by going over the basic rules, and then have you play the game. She adapted it for story games, using For The Queen as the game in question. Brilliant idea, and one that I stole for Games on Demand at Orccon. I advertised it a few weeks earlier on the blog, and Sean and Evil Hat and others helped promote it out in the Twitter-sphere.
Honestly, I was a little concerned about turn out. I spent the morning setting up the Games on Demand venue, and fortunately had some great assistance from close friends. Had never set up the pipe-and-drape before, which we used to partition off some of the venue. Additionally, set up a fun dice-trade area for people to drop off their old crappy dice, in exchange for someone else’s old crappy dice. My partner J made a dope design for the “Give a die, Take a die” table!
2pm rolled around, and holy crap… we had the venue packed. 5 tables running full of excited players. Some had played before, and in fact I recruited many of those to serve as facilitators. Thanks Gene, Candace, Unique, Kurt, and Andy!
I decided not to play, and just to wander around, checking it out, taking some pictures, and just basking in the glow. Some tables played quicker, one hour games. Others took much longer. Two of the tables finished their shorter game, and decided to dive right in and play again! I joined one of these tables, and we played a space-themed game, which felt quite satisfying.
I love seeing the different ways people decide to play, and one table (run by Candace) did something I hadn’t seen before. Instead of choosing a specific Queen image card, they laid out all the images in the center of the table. As the game progressed, they slowly removed images… “that’s not our queen”… until finally at the end they had a single queen card left. At a certain point, Morgan drew the "This queen is not your queen. Why do you serve her?” card, and he apparently grabbed one of the other, discarded queen images and placed that in front of him to show his queen. All this was a cool little twist on the game I hadn’t seen before.
All-in-all, we had a bunch of folks exposed to the games, and it was a beautiful success. I’m definitely going to try to have more of these “event” style games in future Strategicon Games on Demand sessions. Next up might be Space Station Fobolex, the full-room Star Crossed space station adventure that Alex Roberts’ and others pulled off at Big Bad Con 2018 (and which they recently released to Star Crossed Kickstarter backers).