This was the first year for SteamCon USA so it is it’s infant stages and that showed a little bit while at the Westin. For quite a few years, the Westin was the home for AdeptiCon (before they outgrew this space) and it is a really nice hotel whith a Grand Ballroom, 2 Junior Ballroom’s and then quite a few other rooms that can be partioned off. I knew that Steamforged would not be in the Gran Ballroom, but I had at least expected it to be in one of the Junior Ballrooms. Instead they held their events in multiple smaller rooms. They had one larger room for the Tournaments and World Championships, one room for the Rookie League and Open Gaming (roughly around 50 gaming mats) and then a room for the Store and their Seminars. I think if they would have been in the Junior Ballroom with everything all together (besides the Store) it would not have felt as isolated as it did. Anyways, that is just my opinion and this was their first year.
My plan going into this years SteamCon was mainly to catch up with my son and get some games in with him in the Rookie League. Seeing how I only had a handful of games under my belt, I was not quite ready to play in any of the Tournaments, plus the Tournaments take most of the day and my youngest son (12) also came with us so he could hang out with his older brother, so I had to make sure he was not too bored and be able to take them out for lunches and dinners.
Thursday November 30th, 2017
This was our travel day. I had a later start than I wanted to leaving Michigan (my son had a field trip), but we still arrived at the hotel around 6:30 PM local time. My oldest son was landing at Midway airport at 9:30 PM so we had a little time just to relax in the room and we also checked out the rooms where the events would be taking place. After we picked up my oldest from the airport, we headed to Rock Bottom Brewery next to the hotel for a very late night dinner and brew.
Friday December 1st, 2017
8:00 AM kicked off the beginning of SteamCon USA and we headed downstairs to get in line to register and pick up pur weekend badges. Seeing how the attendance this year was only around 180 people, the line was not too long. Badge pick up was taking place in the store, so once you checked in, you then can continue on to do your shopping. A few weeks ago Steamforged announced that the second boxes for the Farmer’s Guild and Blacksmith’s Guild were going to be available for purchase with a strict 1 per person, luckily I was with my two sons (and my youngest does not play) so I was able to ‘ninja’ a set for a few people back in Arizona.
After we completed our shopping we took our merchandise back up to our room then gathered our Guilds to bo back down for a game. It has been quite awhile since my last game of Guild Ball, so we took the first game very slow. Due to our slowness and getting really close to 1:00 PM (and needing to get lunch), we called the game 8-0 in favor of the Fisherman.
When we got back from lunch it was time to get in another game, and this time we decided to play with the game clock, 45:00 minutes each. Playing on the clock really helped a lot and sped up the game. With 27 seconds left to go, my Butcher’s were able to prevail over the Hunters.
That wrapped up Guild Ball gaming for the day.
When we got back from dinner (an old Chinese restaurant we used to always eat when living in the area) we attended the SteamCon Mixer. Also a little disappointed in this. I knew Steamforged would not be giving us free drinks, but I really thought they would have rolled in a ‘cash bar’. Instead you had you had to purchase your drinks in the restaurant at the front of the hotel, then bring them all they way back to the rooms. We did not stay long and instead heading back to the gaming room where the three of us played Shadow Games, a quick card game based on the Free Cities. My youngest son actually really enjoyed this game quite a bit and it gave him something to do.
Saturday December 2nd, 2017
Got in two more games of Guild Ball in today, lunch, Empire of the State seminar, dinner, and then the SteamCon Keynote, and finally some more Shadow Games.
I played the Mason’s Guild in this game (for the first time) vs Blacksmith’s and just lost.
In this game, with just 5 seconds to spare, Engineer’s captured the win. Even if I would have clocked out, you are a given 1 minute to complete an Activation, after that minute you concede a point. I was up quite a bit so I still had some time to spare.
Sunday December 3rd, 2017
Sunday we decided to make the day a bit shorter. We played one game of Guild Ball and then cashed out our Rookie League tokens for some Guild Ball mugs and SteamCon limited edition Cards.
I really enjoyed the Butcher’s this weekend. I think I am going to have to concentrate on playing them some more.
So did I have fun? Yea it was a good time. If I was a little bit more experienced I think I would have signed up for at least one tournament. Now after 5 games in one weekend, I do feel a lot more confident with the rules.
Will I be going to SteamCon USA 2018? That is To Be Determined. It really will come down to the location. If it is someplace again in the Midwest or within 6 hours of driving, I really think so. If not, then next Fall we may attend the NOVA Open instead.