The fourth StiegCon was held on the lower level at SpringHill Suites by Marriott Alexandria. It happened this past Saturday 28th of December 2019. The one-day convention went from 9 am to 11 pm and consisted of several tabletop games. A day of fun and games was the highlight of this day.
I was able to meet so many people and get to know them through the atmosphere under games. It was not just the people but the games that were played created more excitement and enjoyment in the strategies and gaming discussions that occurred.
My main goal for StiegCon IV was to either teach people or play with other people the board game Splendor. Splendor is a points-based victory where gems or tokens are used to purchase development cards and eventually lead them to points. The gem tokens are onyx (black), emerald (green), ruby (red), topaz (blue), diamond (white), and the gold jokers (yellow= any color in the game). These tokens combine with the effect of either taking colors, purchasing cards, or reserving cards. When a player takes a color gem from the bank they can decide whether they want to choose three separate colors from piles or take two of the same color if the pile has at least four tokens in it. Purchasing cards are where you spend the tokens to get development cards with bonuses and sometimes points.
Bonuses allow a substitute for tokens so with multiple bonuses it costs one less resource to get from the bank. Points in the game are done through buying development cards with a range of one to five or get royal cards given to you at the end of the turn only by being the first player to have that requirement of bonuses. Finally, you can block people or advance your gameplay by reserving development cards with jokers or without jokers. There are only five joker tokens so when there is no more left then you reserve a card without a token that represents all colors.
I played the game with four people in a combination of two games. The first round was a person named Jesse and had his game Lexicon. Lexicon was a Roleplaying game (RPG) where players design characters, role different dice for how they do actions, and a gamemaster guiding the story. He was really relaxed and enjoyed Splendor. He liked Splendor to the point where we were primarily focused on our moves and not the other player. We also dueled in Yugioh and he won with my Amazoness deck against my flip effects deck. I made the mistake of attacking with 2000 attack monster and he activated two traps to win the duel. One trap was an anti-flip effect and attack all opponents monsters while the other was giving his Amazon Swords Woman 1000 attack boost which was enough to send both of mine monsters to the graveyard and lose the rest of my life points.
The other three players were all formerly associated with the same inner circle of gaming community local to the area. It was really interesting because one of the players, Charles, was a Splendor enthusiast to the point in designing an expansion of the game. An expansion is a different version with other features that include new rules or an interesting aspect to the game. Anyway, Charles went as far as to design the expansion by playing several games to come with successful readdition of the rules. In the expansion, he increased the number of players to meet the playing style for eight players at once. This game you can purchase and select tokens in the same turn if you have the minimal tokens to buy the cards. Also, noble cards can be bought in a combination of tokens and bonuses to speed up the game.
There are no reserving cards to block other players or wait for turns to advance your gameplay for you can simply get tokens and purchase in the same turn. Basically, all of the features that made the game slow with four or fewer players are now not existing in his expansion. He thought us strategy about which cards to buy cheap cards with few resources to purchase in two or three turns. Sometimes, you can reserve a card like taking the cheap cards before someone else or preventing your opponent from getting a card they were saving up for. He even taught us the strategy of going for big points right away and the advantage of building an engine to purchase anything you might want with bonuses and even get the advantage of receiving the nobles. I won the game with a combination of building an engine, receiving last-minute nobles, and getting points early on. Splendor is a game of reading your opponent and made moves that you are able to best your game.
I participated in other games like Qwirkle, Star Trek Flux, and a customized version of Lamentations of the Flame Princess RPG. Qwirkle is similar to Scramble in sorting the pieces as dominoes as colored shapes instead of words. A qwirkle is a combination of a pattern of six shapes either the same type of shape of various colors or the same colored shapes of various shapes for six points for the line and a six-point bonus. Star Trek Flux is a card game with action cards, new rules that could replace the basic rules (play all or draw three), keepers, goals, and creepers. Goals are how you win the game with certain keepers in your progression or creepers with keepers (creepers usually prevent you from winning with a goal on the field unless previously stated on the card). The custom Lamentations of the Flame Princess RPG was where I participated as Joseph who was a thief and had a false identity. The campaign was set in Medieval France where Wiseman tales of frogmen roam and the plague running rapid in the area. I had terrible luck on the dice rolls in battle, sneaking around, and getting caught each time except for once.
Furthermore, StiegCon IV was really exciting with different games and most importantly, I formed connections with various people to network with in the future.