Open Seat Gaming: Look Back at Origins 2018
Hope that you enjoyed all of the great things from Origins that we were posting all over social media. This was a really fun and successful event. This was our second Origins, our first as a member of Punchboard Media, and we did a ton of networking and meeting people. If you found us from that – welcome to the blog! We are glad that you’re joining us on this fun journey!
Here is a quick recap of some of our favorite things from Origins this year!
Marti: Like last year, I loved going to Katzinger's, but Taste of Belgium's chicken and waffles were on point!
Sarah: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream!!! Love the ice cream. I tried a bunch of flavors and loved them all!
Scott: Dos Hermanos was a great taco/Mexican place that I really enjoyed. Taste of Belgium is really good, too!
Marti: The game that surprised me the most was actually Drop It! by Kosmos. I like dexterity games, but I didn't realize that I would be so excited by this unique way to bring Tetris to the tabletop. Sarah and I laughed the entire time that we played the game, and I lost miserably. It is definitely a game we want to add to our collection!
Sarah: Four way tie: Bosk, Gizmos, Let's Make a Bus Route, and the Tea Dragon Society. Bosk is an upcoming 2019 release from Floodgate Games and designed by Daryl Andrews and Erica Bouyouris. It is an abstract game of planting trees in the spring and deciding where your leaves fall in autumn. Gizmos is an upcoming GenCon? release from CMON, designed by Phil Walker-Harding. Everyone is trying to build the best, most efficient mechanism via building combos of energy marbles to purchase files, converters etc for your machine. Let's Make a Bus Route designed by Sashi and published by Sashi and Sashi, is a twist on the random and write genre. Everyone is using a common board representing Kyoto to draw lines connecting different stations in order to create the highest scoring bus route. The Tea Dragon Society Card Game is published by Renegade Games and designed by Steve Ellis and Tyler Tinsley. Adorable family-friendly game with an interesting twist on deck and tableau building. Based on a wonderfully inclusive graphic novel world created by Katie O’Neill.
Scott: This probably seems trifling, but I was surprised to learn upon visiting the Van Ryder Games booth that the 8th Hostage Negotiator Abductor Pack would be releasing right at Origins! I wasn't able to pick it up until Saturday due to issues they had with the delivery, but I was so excited to be able to get it when initially I had just intended to ask what the progress on it was, haha!
Marti: We saw a ton of games during Origins, but my favorite demo (that I'm allowed to talk about) was definitely End of the Trail by Elf Creek Games. We got to play this unique game with Brent, one of the developers. He was a fantastic teacher and really gave us a feel for how dynamic this game is. You're searching for gold during the Gold Rush, and it utilizes multi-use cards that have different abilities and that you can use to build a poker hand. It is really different than other games, and I'll stop explaining here because we will be doing a review on it in July!
Sarah: Another tie. Reef and Iqauzu were my favorite demos. Both games are amazing aesthetically and thinkier than they may appear. Reef published by Plan B games under their Next Move imprint and designed by Emerson Matsuuchi is an excellent family abstract where you are building up and scoring your own coral reef. Iqauzu published by HABA and designed by Michael Feldkotter. Players are trying to hide their gems in the best spots on the rock wall behind the eponymous waterfall. Each column scores from left to right after each player has taken their turn. You can score bonus points based on how many of your gems are in each row and positioned in column.
Scott: My favorite demo definitely was Starship Samurai. Isaac Vega himself taught it to a group of us from Punchboard Media! It's a neat game of area control + set collecting with ships and huge samurai figures and it was a lot of fun to try out. Plus being taught by the designer made it a thoroughly enjoyable experience!
Best Pre 2018 Game:
Marti: I got the opportunity to try Ginkopolis, which really needs a reprint. Jamie from WDYPTW invited me to play with him, Ruth (The Five By), Nicole (Greatway Games) and Paul Naxer. It knocked my socks off! It is one of those games that looks so simple, and you can learn it easily, but there is so much crunch to it and I need to play it again!
Sarah: Shock, Sarah has her last tie. Yspahan and Saint Malo. Yspahan published by Ystari and Rio Grande games and designed by Sebastian Pauchon was taught to us by Eric Buscemi (Cardboard Hoard). Players want to score points by having the best collection of shops each round, building the most buildings to give them bonuses, and have caravans. Saint Malo, published by Ravensburger and alea games, designed by Inka and Markus Brand. Ruth of (The Five By) podcast brought Saint Malo to Origins so we could try it. You are building up your city via roll and write. You can build walls, houses, churches, store merchandise, and place citizens. But beware rolling swords which summon pirates to attack everyone cities. Fun roll and write plus city builder mash-up.
Scott: It's hard to pick for this since the new stuff was just so shiny and cool, but I think I'll go with Majesty for the Realm. The tableau-building has a unique twist in this game with certain things happening based on positioning of cards you have, and each building having a different effect helps different people play differently and still have just as much chance to win.
Here are some more stats from our week, as well.
- We ended up playing over 41 games (which we’ve already put a list of at this link).
- We ended up with a fantastic haul – we ended up with 26 games & expansions between the three of us.
- We drove about 20 hours the whole week, when all was said and done.
- It only takes 3/4 of a tank of gas to get to Columbus from Virginia. Yes, we were surprised too.
- We hit 5 states on our trip: Virginia (duh), West Virginia, Maryland, PA (my old stomping grounds), and, obviously, Ohio.
Marti, Scott, and Sarah