If there's a convention that I've sworn off, it's Congress of Gamers. It's not even the convention's fault or anyone involved with it. It's simply that it's an expensive drive, at almost $35 in tolls for a 6 hour round trip. Mix that with the traffic ticket that I received in the mail last year, and add the rest stop $3 ATM fee because I THOUGHT $30.00 cash would cover all tolls... and you've got one unhappy Congress member.
But what brings me back each year is the Unpub room. This is a small convention, with an even smaller Unpub room. I've barely left that room each year, just to venture to the game auction and snack bar every few hours, but inside I've seen some magic inside of that room. There have been some seriously loud and exciting games in an otherwise quiet senior center. Post Position by Aaron Honsowetz and Austin Smokowicz had the room on their feet. East India Company by Paul Owen had eyes glued to the table for every second. I've brought Pixel Lincoln, ZombieZone, Maximum Throwdown and a handful of others and always had great, attentive players at every game. It's hard to ask for more than that.
So this year I was dead set against going. The traffic stuff was just outweighing everything else, since the bad things seem to always push their way in front of the good things. But then Alex Strang and Kevin Kulp talked me into it. They both signed up and there was just one slot left so I pulled the trigger and committed to Saturday Sept 27th. I'm still not 100% sure what I'm bringing, but I'm leaning heavily towards Jinx.
Jinx is a 2 player double simultaneous reveal game with just 22 cards and a handful of tokens. Players are witches combining ingredients to make powerful potions. Each player has a hand full of ingredients numbered 1-4, as well as a hand of potions numbered 2-8. On their turn, they will choose one of each and reveal the potion, then the ingredient. Your ingredients come back to hand each turn, but the ingredient you just played is set aside for one turn. Potions stay in play until 5 have been played and then the game ends. Each potion has an effect that automatically takes place when played, allowing manipulation of cards, rules, and other fun stuff. If a player manages to play the potion that matches the sum of both ingredients, they gain points. If they manage to get 3, 4, or 5 potions in a numeric row, they gain more points. If they keep specific potions in hand, they gain more points, or even lose some points.
That's it. It's real fast, a little thinky, and coming along very well. It was first designed with Marty Cobb, then tweaked with the help of Matt Loomis and Mike Mullins. It's a top choice for me to get in front of the crew at Congress of Gamers.
Congress of Gamers
Rockville Senior Center
1150 Carnation Dr.
Saturday, September 27, 2014 - Sunday, September 28, 2014 10:00 am - 9:00 pm