One of the big reasons I go to Anthrocon, though certainly not the only one, is to play games. I played fewer new games this year, but got in a lot of time with old favorites and with both old and new friends, so I'll still call it a win. Plus, not playing new games means I'm not tempted to buy new games. ;) I've tried to keep this entry to game-related content so that if you don't care you can wait for the next post.
I played a lot of Race for the Galaxy (you know, like you do!), including a few games with Diane that included the third expansion. The third expansion is confusing
--- I think it will take me another ten plays or so just to get the mechanics
right. While I feel morally obligated to put that amount of work in, and learn the mechanics and get good at it (and even if I don't have a moral obligation, I have a friendly obligation to be able to play with the Posts!), I tend to prefer just the first expansion for random pickup games --- it just doesn't take as long, it's easier to explain, and anyone who's been around for the game once or twice will know how to play it without having to ask "How do takeovers work?" or "What on earth is prestige?" That said, we'll see what I think after another ten or twenty games --- maybe I'll really like the new mechanics. Certainly anytime other people have complained that RftG was broken, my response was "Play another fifty games or so." At this point it's a question of whether I really want to put in the time if no one else around me is going to.
After winning a bunch of games of Race (I didn't lose while I was there at all, actually, which is sort of terrifying) I decided I wanted to play something where I would get crushed, so I jumped into a Magic draft. The way this works (and someday I will make someone sit down and try a Race for the Galaxy draft with me) is that eight people sit down at a table, open up a Magic booster pack, take a card, pass the stack to their left, and repeat three times such that everyone has 45 cards (actually more like 42 because of lands, which get pulled, but whatever). Then you make a deck out of some of those cards, and play a best out of 3 ladder bracket tournament, and winning games causes you to get more cards. I didn't win any games but I actually had a blast being confronted entirely with cards I'd never seen before and trying to make a coherent deck --- aside from one game last Anthrocon where I was heavily shouldersurfed by someone, I haven't played since Ice Age. Other than undervaluing one mechanic (leveling, if you care), I think I did a decent job --- and someone else gave me all their cards from the draft, so I actually ended up with more cards than I would have had if I'd won. Not that I have anything to do with them really. :P The real win here was social, but I'll cover that in more detail in another Anthrocon post.
I also jumped into a tournament-style poker game, which I haven't done most of before. My introduction to the table went like this:
RACHEL: "Oh, huh, this is neat. I haven't played that much with chips before?"
RANDOM FURRY DUDE CLEARLY THINKING OH GOD WHY DID WE LET
THE GIRL COME TO THE TABLE: "And what have
you played with, then?"
RACHEL: "Oh, money." *teehee!*
OK, maybe I hammed it up a little bit. ;) I feel I represented Danger Haus well --- came in second, only made one really dumb mistake (though it cost me being chip leader), played an entire hand blind and forced everyone else to fold with lots of money in the pot --- only to discover I'd been sitting on the nuts (straight to the ace!) the entire time. So I guess that was a good fold on their part after all? Thanks for the karma, Silvio. :)  This was hopefully a social win, although we'll see if I end up spending time with those people next year, but at least Ian was in the game and we got to talk a bunch, so it would have been worth it just for that.
Diane had a great tool for meeting people and sparking conversations: her Pokewalker
. It's basically a little pedometer that you can put pokemon inside and get credit for walking around with them --- but it has the extra benefit that two people can trade at least items and maybe also pokemon through them. Of course, tons of furries are into Pokemon, and so there were hundreds of people walking around with these little pedometers on purse straps or badge lanyards or what have you, and it was an entry point for conversation with hundreds of people. Through a complicated series of events --- well, not that complicated, the random roommate we picked up on the anthrocon.org forums was running out of money and offered to pay for the room in part with his DS, since he didn't really use it and I had been waffling about picking one up --- I have Pokemon now. Unfortunately this happened at the very end of the con, but next time I go to a furry con, and it may be sooner than Anthrocon 2011, I'll be able to trade Pokemon with people. Yay! Expect me to blog more about Pokemon. ^^;;
I ran into and gave rides to a bunch of people playing that Furoticon game I wrote about last year
. It's, uh, even more what it is than it was before, now that they've added another expansion. Opinions are mixed on whether it's balanced or not; I was on the borderline of trying it out again but ended up doing other things during the time they had their events, and am fine with that. I do not need a CCG in my life. Please, everyone, remind me of this. I wish this game were awesome, and hope it is becoming or becomes awesome, because there's totally room in the universe I want to live in for an excellent game that is also furry porn.
More stuff later --- maybe today, as I'm taking it easy after a really stressful weekend. But right now, I need to go make myself a pizza. =^.^=
 Danger Haus is where I used to play poker back in Boston --- no limit hold'em, 25/50cent blinds, slightly odd house rules: you can't buy in again once you've gone all in, but you can play with money in your wallet, and the last person to bet leads the next round of bidding. (Apparently this is because eight years ago or whenever their poker night started, they didn't understand the rules, and they just insisted everyone follow their rules, and it worked. I love Danger Haus.) Silvio is a regular player who is known for playing blind or doing ridiculous things like playing a card face up. He's not a very good poker player, but he gets his hands by convincing you he's much worse than he actually is. :)