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I flew to Adelaide this weekend for the board gaming convention ConCentric. This was mostly to catch up with some good friends from Perth who were also going to be there.

I had fun.

Con-centric may be a fairly small convention[1] running out of a community hall, but it is also very well run. The community hall is also an entirely appropriate venue for a convention that felt like a vibrant, open, and welcoming community of gamers.

In terms of games played I had a few rounds of some pyramid games from Looney Labs – Icehouse, Martian Coasters, and Treehouse – to start off the Saturday morning before being introduced to Splendor.

Splendor is now definitely on the “to buy” list. This is a very pretty gem trading game that adds simple, but engaging, game play to fabulous production values. I managed a second game later on Saturday evening, and that cemented my fondness for Splendor.

The Saturday afternoon session was a brief introduction to Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition. A three hour slot isn’t really enough to get a handle on the new edition. That said the balancing seems odd with cantrip spells doing 1D10 damage (fire bolt) and magic missile now starting with 3 missiles.

Sunday was mostly devoted to two versions of Terra Mystica. The morning game was the published version, and was an intense game that was well worth the time spent on it. I’m quite fond of Terra Mystica as a game[2], and there are apparently online variants at terra.snellman.net and lodev.org. I plan to investigate these later, and I’ll report back once I’ve had the chance to do so.

The second match was a home brewed variant using customisable maps, dice, and some streamlined mechanics.

I’d buy this if it were a licensed variant. This is a labour of love that has turned out well, and one that needs to be seen (and played) by many people.

My friends from Perth and I played this variant with the designer, and our unanimous opinion was that he should be approaching Z-man games to see if this can be licensed.

Some Space Beans, some more pyramid games, and a spot of Ogre[3] rounded out a pleasant convention.

This morning saw a spot of sightseeing on the Torrens before heading to the airport.

Overall a very pleasant weekend, and kudos to Ben and the rest of the team at Con-Centric Games. I’m certainly considering a return next year.

[1] At least compared to the likes of CanCon

[2] I brought my own copy to Adelaide after all.

[3] The replica of the original pocket edition, during which my dice sucked.