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Gamesmeet 2.0: Announce


Message-ID: <abuj8t$vgv$1@library.lspace.org>
From: Leo Breebaart <leo@lspace.org>
Newsgroups: alt.fan.pratchett
Subject: [F] NL Gamesmeet 2.0 Meet Report
Date: Wed, 15 May 2002 21:17:17 +0000 (UTC)



NL Gamesmeet 2.0 Meet Report
----------------------------

Date:

    Thursday 9 May 2002

Locations:

    LaserQuest, | Chez Eelco,
    Eindhoven   | Geldrop
        The Netherlands

Players:

    Boris Bret
    Corinna
    Cybercat
    Eelco Giele
    Flexor
    Gerbrand van der Zouw
    Iris Maessen
    Jelmer "Snow"
    Jeroen Burger
    Jos Dingjan
    Kimberley Verburg
    Leo Breebaart
    Maarten Kreuger
    Martin Wisse
    Michael "The Roach" Janßen
    Patrick Dersjant
    Rolf Milde
    Sandriana
    Uwe Milde

Absent With Official Leave On Account Of Feeling A Bit Under The Weather
But Sending A Perfectly Serviceable Proxy Newbie Minion In Her Place:

    Arwen Luné

Absent With Official Leave On Account Of Not Actually Being Anywhere
Near This Country Or Indeed Even This Continent At The Time Of The Meet:

    Laurabelle

----------------------------

A year ago, we held the very first NL Gamesmeet at Eelco's parents'
place in Geldrop, near Eindhoven.

  <http://www.lspace.org/fandom/afp/meets/benelux/2001-04-15/report.html>

That meet was a big success. Everybody has been rooting ever since for
Eelco's parents to go on holiday again, and for him to then use the
opportunity to organise another afp gamesmeet. They went; he did; and
Geldrop was once again visited by a horde of afpers, bearing cardboard,
cards, and coffee trifle.

We met up at the Eindhoven railway station, where the fact that nineteen
people arriving from wildly different locations managed to all be on
time was surely a positive omen. (Nineteen turned out to be the magic
number for this meet, and kept cropping up about every nineteen minutes
or so ("In 2002 the average number of gamesmeet attendants was
n-n-n-n-nineteen")).

The meet largely followed the same pattern as last year, and we started
off with the most Traditional item of them all: LaserQuest. We had the
entire floor to ourselves, and much infrared violence ensued. Eelco --
sorry, I mean: "Cyclone", bestrode the arena like a Terminator, and led
the green team to a clear victory, with four of the five high-scorers in
their ranks.

The long walk to the University car park cooled us down and brought our
adrenaline levels back to normal. By car and by bicycle we made our way
towards Geldrop, pausing only to look at the horsies ("Ah, if only Arwen
were here to see this").

The weather was excellent and summery, so we were able to spend the rest
of the afternoon outside in the garden. Once everybody had settled down,
and drinks and crack had been distributed, we began by playing a few
rounds of _Werewolf_, billed as "a party game, except that it's a game
of accusations, lying, bluffing, second-guessing, assassination, and mob
hysteria".

   <http://eblong.com/zarf/werewolf.html>

It's also one of the few games I know that can actually be played by
nineteen people at once, which came in handy.

After everyone's trustworthiness (or lack thereof) had been firmly
established many times over ("I *told* you I wasn't a werewolf!" --
"Shut up, you're dead."), the moment had come for us to fight it out in
smaller-sized battles, and we split up in subgroups. Many people had
brought favourite or new games along, and where last year we had about
ten or so different games to choose from, we now literally had entire
*stacks* of boxes; a right embarrassment of riches.

For that first round of gaming, we had a group settling down to play
_Vinci_ (last year's big success making a welcome return appearance),
while other groups took their chances with newcomer board-games _Der
Grösse Gallier_ (eventually won by Boris, who is, after all, our
resident Frenchman, so that was nicely satisfying) and _Tikal_. A couple
of lone wizards got out the _Magic: The Gathering_ decks, and Eelco
started preparing dinner for nineteen, which I suppose qualifies as a
game of sorts, too.

By the time the excellent pasta Bolognese had been devoured like so many
innocent villagers encountering werewolves at night, concentrating on
our gaming was made difficult by the squadrons of local mosquitos who
had decided that if any bloodshed was going to take place on their turf
they were damn well going to be causing some of it. We admitted defeat
in the face of superior numbers, and retreated inside.

>From here on, this recollection of events may start to get a bit
unhinged, as your humble war correspondent was increasingly caught up in
attempts to win his own victories, with only occasional snatches of
conversation and glimpses of game boards intruding upon his berserkered
and increasingly sleep-deprived mind.

Many, many games were played. For starters, there was more _Magic: The
Gathering_ on the kitchen table; the low table favoured _Munchkin_
("When do you want me to say 'booga-booga'?"); the dinner table went for
the cute word association game _Apples to Apples_ ("Gandhi was *not*
cuddly!"); and a bit later some of us even dared brave the mosquitos
again and ventured back into the garden to discuss politics and science
fiction.

Eelco was doing his usual double duty as gamer and host, constantly
rushing to and fro, unearthing new white beer or cola supplies, showing
people where things were to be found, providing the assorted nuts with
assorted nuts, and generally ensuring that it wasn't just our minds that
got fed, in which he was superbly aided by Corinna and her already
legendary (at least to the attendants of last month's cooking meet)
coffee trifle.

For the first time during an afpmeet, an actual, deliberate Elite Clique
was formed, as a cerebral by-invitation-only game called _Lord of the
Pen_ (given to Eelco some months earlier as a graduation present by
friends, and based on the _Lord of the Rings_ board game) was played by
the five people present who were either already in the possession of a
PhD -- or else confidently (in some cases admittedly more confident than
others) expected to obtain such a certificate in the foreseeable future.

It turned out that in order to succeed at _Lord of the Pen_ you do in
fact need a higher education, for it was an excruciatingly complex game
-- (most often overheard quote from people coming over to watch our
attempts at progress: "Am I supposed to *understand* this?") -- in which
humble PhD students have to fight funding problems, coffee shortage,
hardware failures, dark-robed adversaries and, ultimately, the Evil
Deadline. We managed to beat that deadline and cast down our Pen -- but
it was a close call.

There were more games: _Vinci_ got reprised, _Hellrail_ was not very
well liked, but _Carcassonne_ remained a favourite; people kept queueing
up to play _Munchkin_ ("Your pantyhose are mine!") as soon as a current
game had ended; the complex _RoboRally_ was for the late-night
perseverers only -- and some just simply opted to curl up in a comfy
chair with a good book and a nice cup of tea.

There was also room for continued conversation: more politics in the
living room (as well as "meaningful toilets" -- or so my notes say.
Please don't ask me what it means, because I haven't got a clue. I had
had a trying week, and am not normally at my brightest at 3 am anyway),
while the kitchen area opted for social chit-chat and
getting-to-know-you sessions with Jelmer "Snow" ("There's wonderful
things Arwen's forced me to do."), a veteran of IRC who was experiencing
his first ever afpmeet, and seemed to take it all pretty much in his
stride.

As the evening gradually turned into night and then into morning, a few
people unfortunately already had to leave: Iris was the first to go
("Um, are we in trouble?"), much later followed by Gerbrand, Cybercat
and the Roach. The rest of us eventually got out our mats and sleeping
bags and attempted to manage at least a few hours of sleep. A few
diehard young'uns did not need sleep at all, and had to resort to
roaming the streets of Geldrop in order to be able to continue talking
without running the risk of waking others and becoming the subject of
domestic violence.

Such hardcore dedication was not for me, although trying to sleep was
not a particularly easy option either, what with some people continuing
to play, of all things, _Jenga_, and other people engaging in tandem
snoring a short distance from my right ear. It must have been close to
four in the morning before I finally drifted off.

By the time the Jehovah's Witnesses (no really) rang the doorbell at
8.30 the next morning, I was already awake and taking a shower, so I did
not get to, ah, witness them being dispatched by Eelco (although I don't
*think* there were any signs of bloodstains on the pavement outside,
afterwards). As nobody else was showing visible signs of awakening yet,
I went outside to join the all-nighters, and we did some more healthy
walking around the neighbourhood (twice!), where we listened to the
bullfrogs, were given dirty looks by the natives (who probably thought
we were Jehovah's Witnesses or something), stood in the middle of a
field shouting "all gods are bastards", and completely failed to find
the forest that was rumoured to be located close by.

It wasn't until way after eleven-ish that more people started Coming
Forth and appeared in the garden blinking against the light of day.
Jelmer turned out to be a valuable backup Sanity not only as far as
hair-length was concerned, but also when it came to leet egg-scrambling
skillz.

After breakfast we went back inside (the weather wasn't quite as nice as
the day before) for a final few rounds of gaming: _Carcassonne_ again,
and the complex but interesting _Princes of Florence_, and undoubtedly
some others I forgot to write down. People were gently persuaded to
record soundbytes for the A Files (where, in case you are curious, you
can now have a look at and a listen to most of the meet's participants:

    <http://www.lspace.org/fandom/afp/a-files/> )

After the last game was finished, we helped Eelco clean up and bring the
house back to a habitable state. Goodbyes were said, final conversations
took place, more goodbyes followed, and the second gamesmeet gradually
came to an end.

I can't speak for the others, but I had tremendous fun, and my sole
regret is that there were once again so many games left that I did not
get a chance to play. The solution to that, of course, seems clear to
me: 2003 -- NL Gamesmeet 3.0.

Right, Eelco?

-- 
Leo Breebaart  <leo@lspace.org>



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