Here are my notes from Dicecon:
Dicecon (East and West) is Scotland's yearly board game conference. I got there in the afternoon around 3:00 pm. There were about 40 people playing, although I believe 20 of them were there only for the Settlers of Catan tournament. After a little confusion I met up with Gordon Lamont (of the Lamont brothers) and a few other Geekers. Everyone was really nice, which I had expected.
My ego was a little deflated when no one had a copy of It's Alive, and in fact only a few had even heard of it. And I was hoping to sign copies surrounded by adoring, screaming fans. Sniff.
But I managed to play two games. With Gordon and his two sweet children I played Pompeii. This is by Wrede, designer of Carcassonne. The game is divided into two parts. We didn't know how the second part worked until we started it, so we had no idea what or why we were doing in the first part, sort of like the first time playing Dvonn. In the first part you put your people in the town. In the second you move them out as the lava flows.
While similar in theme and some ideas to the other Pompeii game I played (Last 37 Minutes, which I didn't like), this one offers you more control. I suspect that now that I know what I'm doing, the game will make some sense the next few times I try it. On the other hand, it also looks like the game is rather limited in depth and won't withstand more than ten or so plays, altogether. I will have to play it more times to confirm this.
After Pompeii, I saw some guy setting up Ra and looking at the rules. This game was played as part of a loosely defined Kniziathon that was going on. I was able to sit in the game and teach them, although since this was the first time I had played with the actual components, I got some of the pieces wrong once or twice. The game was quite fun. I went negative early on and was banking on a solid line of monuments. They ended up doing very well, indeed, but I was just a bit too far behind. Before counting out the suns, I was just shy of first place. But after adjusting for the suns, I sank to last. Still, as you can see, quite a close game.
My opponents were Andrew and ... erm. Peter? I'm terrible at names the first time I meet people. Sorry. And they were such nice blokes, too. I'm sure I'll meet them again. Some people even spoke a little Hebrew to me, having been to, or having friends in, Israel.
Gordon was the most pleased to meet me and gave me a copy of his game Shear Panic. He also showed off his latest prototype, which looked like a really good mid-weight Eurogame. It will be in Essen, and I hope a copy will make it to BGG.con so that I get a chance to try it out.