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  • Next of Ken, Volume 50: ...And Then, Trashfest South. Again.

Next of Ken, Volume 50: ...And Then, Trashfest South. Again.

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Stroll right in for Next of Ken, where this week I'm giving you the low-down on the gloriousness that was Trashfest South.  We came, we saw, we gamed...and even defeated a mighty RORSHARK.  As these two gentlemen can attest.



And now, a run-down of all the games played....

ascension-return-of-the-fallenAscension: Return of the Fallen was a fun two-player game, the cards are much more interesting than the first set's.  The Fate mechanism helped prevent board clog by frequently self-banishing cards.  The more I play Ascension, the more I like it...Richard Launius' Run, Fight or Die is near the same fighting weight as King of Tokyo, but with the added threat of zombies advancing down your own personal board.  You have to balance the need to get followers and loot with rolling guns and bats to keep the zombie hordes at bay.  If a copy had been for sale, I'd have bought one right then and there.  Look for it on Kickstarter...

Aliens, long out of print and highly sought after, was certainly thematic as the Aliens thrashed us.  We did get to bust out all our best quotes, so it wasn't a total wash.  I can't see paying high prices for thin paper and cheap cardboard, though.  Hopefully some publisher will finally see fit to re-visit the Alien franchise...Frank Branham's Battle Beyond Space was there as Zev hand-delivered his first production copy to Frank.  This one's all about flipping cards and moving your fleet, shooting and smashing everything you see.  It was certainly a great deal lighter than I'd expected, but the feel of the game with ships scattered all over the board is definitely one of a huge chaotic firefight in space...Here's a tip, don't play Battlestar Galactica drunk.  Ian's pimped out Lego version was in full effect, but I didn't even bat an eye0613122120a when he suggested we tank a skill check and brig someone, but he'd free them on his next turn.  Which naturally was a "Ian reveals himself" turn and brigs someone else.  We called it at distance 2 I think, the worst ass-kicking the humans have likely ever suffered.  It was here I dubbed all Cylons "peckerheads"...Chaos in the Old World was awesome again as usual.  I was playing the Skaven for the first time and made several mistakes, wasting my Skitterleap and not seeing another one for awhile.  I accidentally played kingmaker at the end, attacking Ian to prevent a dial victory but giving the game to Evilgit on VPs.  This was also Ian's copy with all custom-made, painted figs, which was just insane...

Also, never play Cosmic Encounter drunk.  When we found out the mighty John Clowdus had never played Cosmic, we felt it our duty to show him what he'd been missing.  What followed was a "hey, everybody, let's ally!" session where John essentially walked to five colonies without a fight.  Then as if it couldn't get worse came the "FATCast from Hell", a podcast that I doubt had five minutes of salvageable audio, but included the introduction of the dreaded Rorshark to F:AT cannon as well as Clowdus' seeing vagina shapes all over the Cosmic Encounter box.  Don't ask, it's better that way....Speaking of the Clowdus, Richard and I had the chance to play the new Smallbox offering Tooth & Nail: Factions.  It's pretty much a "slugfest with special powers" that has a cool resource system where creatures can be attackers or sit in your resource row to give 0613122242you extra cards and actions, or "pop" for a powerful one-time effect.  It was decent fun in that beer n' pretzels beat 'em up kind of way, and the mixture of the different factions and their special powers should keep the replayability high...

A Game of Thrones is always a good time and I'm always ready to play.  I broke my streak of playing Lannister four times in a row and allied with Loter's Tyrell, stabbing him in the back before he could me.  I should've put Baratheon away when I had the chance, though.  The Lannisters squeaked out a rare victory as I lost on tiebreakers due to Supply, of which I'd had very little all game...

Hemloch and Omen: A Reign of War were both big hits at the event, precisely because John Clowdus brought the awesome and had copies of both for EVERYONE IN ATTENDANCE.  That's right, free games, step right up.  I personally taught three people how to play, including a nice back-to-back session of Omen/Hemloch with Dave Roswell.  He took to both quickly, losing Omen narrowly but surprising me with a 2-point victory at Hemloch.  John's games are great, and he is a complete class act.  Go buy0613122120 some Smallbox Games, like, now....King of Tokyo was spotted quite often as it still has legs.  My two plays of it were embarassing as I was eliminated both times (Hint:  four health is not "okay.")  They'd have sold a million of these if they hadn't been out of stock for over nine months.  At any rate, this one's still popular, expect a run on them when they show up in stores literally any day now...Mage Knight was fun for a learning session, but I don't recommend you play this with four people.  We were three hours in and we were like second or third day.  A lot of cool stuff going on in the system, even if it can feel pretty puzzle-like.  You get a lot of freedom on what to do--recruit followers, bash monsters, seek out dungeons, burn down monastaries--good times, good times.  I've promised Ian I'll learn the more advanced rules myself so he's not stuck in the endless torment loop of teaching the intro scenario...

Mob Ties is essentially "Mob of Horror", just with a bloated playing time and such heavy cardplay that the board positioning is almost irrelevant; it becomes more, "did I draw defense cards?"  The only game of Trashfest that I really did not like at all, no way this should be a multi-hour affair.  Give me Mall of Horror any day, for sure...Panic Station was another Ian pimp-a-thon with Lego rooms and custom miniatures for everyone.  The ending was straight out of a horror movie; I thought Dave was still uninfected and he was to bring me the gas cans to burn down the hive.  He enters the room and hands me...an infection card.  You can see the final scene where someone is shouting, "come on!  We've got this!  Hand me the gasoline!" and the Android turns with an evil gleam in his eye, as horror dawns on the poor human's face.  For all the complaints on this game, I didn't see any of them as being an issue--in fact, this one will likely hit my "to buy" list, as it's honestly a really fun time....



Whew!  I think that (finally) covers the lion's share of the gaming I did, but it does so little to encapsulate the awesomeness of getting to game with fellow F:ATties.  Seriously, these are the kind of folks you wish you were gaming with, all the time.  No settling for certan games to appeal to the crowd, just a group of people who are about fun games with lots of killing and sky-high interaction.

0613122308Trying to explain the stupid jokes that had us laughing so hard our sides were hurting is really difficult.  I mean, how to encapsulate such marvelous discussions as Doc Brown travelling in time to get self-fellatio, to Marty McFly's balls smelling like cat food, to the merging of Hudson and Rick Moranis ("I'm the Keymaster!  Are you the Gatekeeper, man?")  It's the ridiculously riotous atmosphere that makes for the perfect gaming experience.

I have to give lots of props here.  Steve Avery is the mastermind that made it all happen, and was a gracious host for several of the people who made the trip. Dave Roswell, forevermore to be known as "The Shit Commando." Richard Launius for securing the Clubhouse, for patiently teaching folks games, and just being an awesome guy to game with, period.  My buddy Ian Allen gets the "Pimpin' Props", his tricked-out games had people lining up to take pictures.  He also did an ass-load of driving, for which my brother and I were grateful.  Loter and Look, The "L Brothers", for making every game you play with them memorable, including the ratio of ten "fucks" per minute at *least*.

John Clowdus for being THE man.  That type of generosity is the stuff of legends.  Dair, for failing to remind me he used to be wdgrant (seriously, fuckers, quit changing yer handles!)  Rilyen for being a peckerhead Cylon.  Evilgit for putting up with my tendency to break into song lyrics with the slightest of provocations.  Frank, for being a rock-solid game designer, and for knowing everything about every game, period (of a game like Operation: Maccabee he'd likely say, "Eh, that one's a bit too mainstream.")  MJL simply for being the Scottish Michael Barnes ("Oooch!  The Spotifaye!")

Getting sleepy now, I'm likely forgetting some props here, but to everyone I gamed with, a big thank you for hanging out with me and gaming together.

I'm telling you straight up--whether it's Trashfest South, or ConnCon, or Gencon, or wherever F:ATties gather, you absolutely must get your ass to one of these events.  I don't know how F:AT attracted such an insanely high ratio of cool people, but you get a group of us gathered, and you are in for the time of your life, guaranteed.



And that's going to do it for this Trashfest Wrap-Up edition of Next of Ken.  Eventually, I'll catch up on my sleep debt...eventually.  Until then, I'll see ya in seven.




Ken is a weekly columnist for Fortress: Ameritrash and a member of our staff.  When he's not knee deep in playing games for review, he's most likely opening the boxes and getting high off of the plastic vapours.
Click here for more articles by Ken.

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