Happy new year, you bunch of nerds! It was great to get a new year of GeekOut Meets kicked off with you guys, and true to form we only got bigger and better, more people, more new faces, more new games, and yet another unapologetically brutal quiz to test even the deepest of nerdy knowledge.
No more talking! On with the gallery… (more…)
We came, we saw, we drank and hoo boy, was it ever loud? On New Years Eve, 41 amazing people came together to enjoy a night of fun and games, with festivities galore! We had an incredibly loud quiz; we counted down until midnight and we all shouted Happy New Year together on Facebook Live for the first time. Now that 2017 is behind us, let’s move forward and focus on the fact that we’re still one of the biggest and geekiest social events in Bristol. We’re going to try and do even more this year, so keep your eyes peeled!
So long 2017! You were mostly terrible but there were a few redeeming qualities, not least of which the advent of GeekOut Shrewsbury. On Thursday we rounded out the year in true geeky style, a mountain of board games, Callum’s Nintendo Switch (thanks man), and our first super secret santa.
The Little Dessert Shop Pre-Meet
This was my first trip to the recently opened Little Dessert Shop, and I am not disappointed by what’s on offer, I thought I’d grown sick of sweet foods over Christmas, enough to skip the waffles, but not enough to resist a brownie and custard. The table size was a little small for some serious gaming, but there’s always space for a quick game of Love Letter between coffees. Thanks to the lads behind the counter, you were nothing if not entertaining.
A Very Busy Montgomery’s Tower
To say that Monty’s was busy is an understatement, in fact we had a while to wait before we could claim our seats, and no other table was available for us apart from the little ones we use to rack up the games. But we’re nerds, and never short of something to do. Callum and Murray settled into a Pokemon battle, while I played some pinball and chatted with Ben until we managed to occupy some furniture and bust into a game of Magic.
I also broke out some of my new Christmas presents, including new favourite Rhino Hero courtesy of our very own Timlah (cheers Tim, expect your presents soonish) which will need to be expanded upon at some point; and the DC Deck Builder Heroes Unite, featuring the D-list of DC heroes, but some of the better mechanics from any iteration of the game I’ve played thus far. I did not get to try the Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle deck building game brought in by Harley, who ran an RPG later in the evening.
Around 21:30 the music began, because it’s the bizarre half-formed space between Christmas and New Years where time is irrelevant and no one has to work unless they’re retail, service or emergency services. I neglected to consider this possibility, and may have to restructure next December’s GeekOut Shrewsbury to account for it. Still, it didn’t stop the progress of the Christmassy roleplay taking place in the corner, which I hear involved a murderous reindeer, and Mad Max elves. No doubt I’ll hear the rest of the story another time.
Thanks to everyone who put in to the Super Secret Santa, especially whoever brought the Trumpisms book, which shall take pride of place next to my volumes of George W. Bushisms. I can also say that whoever put in the Ferrero Roche, your present was equally well received. We wound down early as the music only got more intrusive, squeezed in a quick game of Surakarta on a custom board made by John, which cracked spontaneously in the middle of the game surreptitiously moving my pieces allowing me to gain the brief advantage I needed to turn the horrible losing streak I’d started on.
It seemed like such a long wait for it to be all over so soon…
One last gasp for air before we dive into the cold waters of Christmas Cheer, November 30th was GeekOut Shrewsbury, and we have had the biggest turnout since the beginning, way back in… um…
March! Wow, my memory is terrible. Let’s get into what little I recall of the gloriously blurry hurricane of geekiness that was GeekOut Shrewsbury the ninth, complete with photographic evidence. (more…)
Increasingly our Shrewsbury Meets are earning their 18+ requirement, and less for the venue’s legal limitations and more about what happens when our regulars get into a Bucket of Doom. It’s been another month of madcap hilarity, new faces, old faces, new games and a failed attempt at playing NYET! and after a busy month, a bustling Kitacon, and all the extra work that came with it, I was glad of GeekOut this Thursday. It was another great turn out, another great competition, and some new ideas for the future.
Let’s get into this, shall we? Here are the pictures from GeekOut Shrewsbury #6.
Sadly no time to take a proper poll for the pre-meet as the latter half of August was rather consumed by work, but as a snap decision the Boiler House coffee shop turned out rather nicely indeed. A handful of us gathered for a couple of games of Magic which proved my new deck to have… inconsistent effectiveness, and Murray’s premade decks to require little work to become fully operational killing machines. Ben brought some short lived cakes and joined us for a free-for all and a coffee, and we had a visit from Anni of Space Station Centaur who joyously sat with us and chatted sci-fi while we played.
We highly advocate for joining a role-play as big as the ongoing Star Trek online groups like Centaur and Outpost Eden, and any and all of their memebers are very welcome to join us too. That’s not an advertising pitch, I just think it’d be cool to hang out.
Anyway, we moved on to Monty’s to find extra space reserved for us despite the fact that I only asked for it after 18:00, but as it transpired it was probably better they laid out the signs, as people started to join us sooner than expected. We dug into a well timed game or three of Resistance before Anni had to leave, because how better to meet new people than to spend an hour accusing them of deceit and treachery?
A few games before the Bigger Geekier Pub Quiz:
Tsuro and food became the order of the day as more and more people filtered in and began to splinter off into new groups and play other games. Thanks to Harley for bringing in Escape, I heard a lot of people enjoying themselves from the other side of the room. We wrapped up one of the more hilarious games of Bucket of Doom before people divided into teams for the quiz: challenging but not quite so daunting, as reflected in the better scores, and it seems like you all enjoyed the new picture round. Expect yet more from the October Quiz, in the mean time I’ll ponder a competition for September for you to duke it out over in hopes of a disappointing prize. This month’s disappointing prize was:
The beatific winners were kind enough to share out the spoils, but never forget that they had all the power!
Next month is term-time, so a lot of our regulars may struggle to join us, but we can help them get their geeky fix for the rest of the month. Though Tuesdays and Thursdays seem to be the foundation of Shrewsbury’s geek-calendar, we need to find those groups that operate at the weekends and the rest of the week. This is a call to action and if you know of any groups for gamers, geeks and nerds anywhere in the Shropshire area we have some very keen members who want to know. And hey, while you’re on the job, maybe tell them about us!
Chris covered some of the RPGs on show in his article last week but while he covered what was on the shop floor, I wandered the Hilton, who had mostly filled their rooms with tables equipped with DMs, GMs, Storytellers, and enough rulebooks, character sheets, dice and assorted other accoutrements to keep dozens – maybe hundreds – of people entertained all weekend. As someone who is obsessive over tabletop roleplaying it was amazing to see so many games going off at once, I mean just look at this:
Most of these photos may look like identical rooms, honestly it’s just the decor and layout. People were flooding into the sign up room, and I had to edge my way around the queue to get a photo inside.
Competitions and Tournaments
One of the NEC main halls was given over fully to competitions for the more popular games, on a national and international level. Wandering that hall I think I heard as much German, French and Polish cast around as English. There were games I expected, like the Magic tournament, the Pokemon tournament, I even fully expected to see people competing in the X-Wing miniatures skirmish game, but I wasn’t expecting to see Infinity or Dropzone.
I already talked about what these guys got up to, here’s a few images from the guys over at the Living History Camp, and the time they went to war against a pillaging horde of small children:
Yeah, the best part is just wondering around wherever we pleased (up to a point at least). This has only been my second occasion as a member of the press so I’m still never certain what I can and cannot get away with, but dammit if I’m getting all-access I’m going to work hard for it.
It was incredible wandering the hall before and after the horde joined us. The difference was simply astounding, the freedom to walk the floor reduced to swimming through a crowd; strange echoing silence turned to a cacophony of voiceless sound. These events are made by hard working people who put their livelihoods out on trestle tables to be judged, exhausted staff and volunteers fighting to keep every moment organised and controlled for the good of everyone involved, and by the people who keep coming back year after year to make it all worthwhile.
Here’s what we saw:
Pictures will be on Facebook soon enough, if you see yourself, tag yourself. In the mean time, so long UKGE, see you next year.
Y’know what? For a first try that wasn’t bad at all. Quite the reverse in fact.
Let 30th March 2017 go down in history as the day we finally got round to bringing GeekOut to Shrewsbury! It sounds like we had a lot of competition for the day, and certainly lots of curiosity if not overwhelming attendance, but who cares about numbers when everyone had a damn good time? It’s worth mentioning that Shrewsbury does not want for board gaming groups, but for the first meeting there’s nothing wrong with falling back on familiar territory.
The party started at noon in the basement of the Shrewsbury Coffeehouse, which was a little warm, extra air-circulation will certainly be brought in as the weather gets warmer, but damn if those brownies aren’t worth it. (more…)
A ‘smaller’ GeekOut Bristol Meetup took place on New Years Eve, to celebrate in the new year. Each time the year adds a one to its digits column, you know you need to do something that’s bigger and better than the year before. It’s like an incredible race to be as good as you can be – But we often get waylayed by unforeseen circumstance, or we just get bored of making the best of ourselves. It’s inevitable for us as humans to do this too… But that’s not necessarily a bad thing! So, for one day of the year only, we forget all about everything we know and love… We stop working, we get to a party, or we have a quiet indoors affair, snuggle up as best we can and just enjoy the fireworks: Literally.
Sometimes writing for this website can be tricky, sometimes it’s just really hard or near on impossible to put into words how a film or game makes you feel. Then there are the times there is a definitive feeling that goes with it, and I could easily sum up In A Bind in one word and that word would be “hilarious”.
Thanks for reading, feedback in the usual places
Love and rockets
What? Do you want more? You’re such a demanding audience. In order to not produce the shortest review of a product ever on GeekOut, I’ll explain a bit more. I came across In A Bind via Kickstarter where the campaign for it had already finished but reading through the synopsis of the game and it’s tagline of “A game of physical restrictions” just was too good for me to turn down. To me, it screamed, “Buy me for a MeetUp”. So I dropped £15 down for a copy of the game with the expansion pack and then waited for the postman to arrive. No, seriously I sat by the letterbox and didn’t eat or sleep for nearly four days waiting by the letterbox like a loyal dog waiting to bring it’s master the morning paper. Okay.. I may be exaggerating a bit, I admit I didn’t wait by the letterbox for four days but I was very happy when it turned up, even happier that the designer (Bez) had customised my package. All I needed was a group to play it with.
I took the game to our Halloween meet up and introduced it to a few players as “Twister with cards”. There are 56 cards in the standard deck and the expansion has another 50 or so cards that you can add in as many or as few as you see fit. Each card gives you a simple instruction like putting a card in your armpit or putting one hand on your knee which you must follow, the rest rules of the game are simple and you can play it in one of two ways.
- Each player takes a turn to draw from the deck
- The player reads out the card and places the card in front of them unless the card instructs otherwise
- The player follows the instruction on the card and continues to follow the instruction
- Any player not following all of their instructions is out
- Any player that cannot draw from the deck is out
Slow & Sadistic Gameplay
- Each player is dealt an initial hand of two cards
- A player decides which card to give to which player and places the card in front of them face up
- The player receiving the card must follow the instruction on it immediately
- The player who gave the card then draws a card from the deck so they always have two in their hand
- Any player not following all of their instructions is out
- Any player that cannot draw from the deck is out
If there is a card game that you need to sleeve it’s this one. Cards end up under armpits, and all sorts, if you add a little booze to the game I am sure it can get super messy so for those people who like their cards pristine may want to double sleeve. My only other criticism about the game is the cards themselves, I guess that due to funding Bez was not able to get a premium stock to print on. The card stock is not bad but for a game like this where cards get placed in all sorts of situations having a heavier card stock would have been really beneficial. I think it only took a few minutes for us to accidentally bend one of the corners of the cards.
If the above are my only criticism’s then that’s pretty small. £15 is a great price for this game including the expansion pack. Spending the extra money to sleeve them is well worth it in my opinion.
The artwork on the cards are great with very clear direction, each game takes around 15 minutes so if you get knocked out early in the round you don’t have to wait too long before you can join in again.
In the meantime, it is great fun to become an enforcer of the rules and call out any player who is currently failing to obey all of their cards. That and you get to laugh as the players try harder and harder to stay in as they get more physically restricted. It’s a great game for a great price. Take a look at our gallery to see what sort of shenanigans took place when we played it at our GeekOut meet up.
We’d like to congratulate Bez on his game and encourage anyone who wants to buy it for themselves to go and do so while stocks last. He has mentioned to me that he is working on something else and might be able to release us an early beta, we look forward to it. Did you play In A Bind with us? What did you think of the game and the price that Bez is asking for it? Feedback welcome in thew usual places of the comments section, Reddit, Facebook and Twitter