On October 19 and 20, 2018 gamers from all across Utah, Idaho, and probably other places descended on the Utah Valley Convention Center for the first annual Timpanogos Game Convention. Or affectionately called TimpCon.
This two day board and tabletop gaming event was the first of its kind in Utah Valley, but not the first gaming convention in Utah. TimpCon’s older brother, SaltCon, has been around since early 2009. And has been growing exponentially ever since, proving that Utah’s gaming community is alive and well. In fact there are four gaming cons in Utah now with SaltCon, STGCon, BryceCon and now TimpCon. Who knows there may be ones I don’t know of.
TimpCon was the brainchild of gaming friends Kevin Carter, David Robinson, Kolby Reddish, Bryce Robinson, and Eric Simmons. These guys eat, sleep, and breathe board games.
I got a late start on Friday, not arriving until noon with two of my kids and a fellow EBG-er in tow. The crowds at that time were light so it gave me time to go check out the exhibitors which included Red Raven Games (Ryan Laukat himself), The Game Crafter which was manned by local game creator Mark Hansen, Eden Sanders Art, Toxic Rat’s Dungeon Terrain, Paint My Game, and many more.
After making the initial rounds it was time to get our game on. To my great surprise the board game library was excellent! I am not sure what the final tally was, but I am guessing well over 250 games. The library was made up of games from the convention’s founders, and a couple local game stores; The Game Grid and Paragon City.
In addition to the game library and exhibitors there were 96 separate events including tournaments, learn to plays, RPGs, a spontaneous mini proto-alley featuring publishers like Realm Warfare and Elixir Games, and much more.
I really enjoyed being able to play the games and see everything there was but the best part was the people. I saw some old friends, met some new ones and even saw someone I haven’t seen since high school (20+ years ago).
I had the opportunity to play several games including some new ones and some new-to-me ones.
Potion Explosion from Horrible Games and CMON
This is a two to four player game of set collecting with marbles. What makes this game fun to play is how you collect the marbles. Each turn players get to pick a single marble (potion ingredient) from a really cool looking dispenser that sits in the middle of the table. If the action of taking a single marble triggers two other marbles of the same color to collide then the player gets to take those marbles as well. This continues until all the chain reactions have ceased. Also as players finish their potions they will have access to special powers which will increase their abilities to take marbles and finish potions. When the game ends players tally scores for their completed potions and the player with the most points wins!
Gizmos from Asmodee
I was so excited to check this one out and was not disappointed. Oddly enough this is also a two to four player set collecting game using marbles. Gizmos also includes a really cool tableau building element which was very satisfying. Players are again taking marbles (energy) from a center dispenser and placing them in their energy rings to be used for building machines. Each machine you build will be added to your factory making it more efficient and causing chain reactions. the game ends after someone has built twelve machines and the player with the highest score wins.
Scythe from Stonemaier Games
Most everyone knows about Scythe so I won’t say too much here except how much I enjoy this game. It was technically my second time playing but it had been a while since my last play so I was reading the rules a lot. It is a super slick area control game with a cool worker placement mechanic. Not to mention it is gorgeous on the table!
Flip Ships from Renegade Game Studio
This is a super fun cooperative dexterity game for one to four players. It reminds me a lot of old school Space Invaders. The enemy ships are moving their way down the table towards your base and you must destroy them before they reach the atmosphere. To do that players will “flip” their ships at the enemy ships. If your ship is on top of an alien ship then it is destroyed and removed. You can also take shots at the mothership. Get enough hits against her and you win the game. Take to many hits and you loose. This was a really fun game for me and the boys.
Camel Cup or Camel Up (depending on where you are from) from Z-Man Games
This is another light family game where players are wagering on which camel will win different parts of the race and the overall race. You can even bet on the losing camel in each heat and overall race. My kids kept getting confused thinking they were the camels. My youngest son (4) must have asked me ten times which color he was. This game is a blast for young and old alike.
Clank! in Space from Renegade Game Studio
I am no stranger to Clank!, however this was my first experience with Clank! in Space. And I must say it blows the doors off the original. This is a deck building race game between two to four players. The premiss behind Clank! (the original) was to go into the dungeon, avoid the dragon, get the loot, and get out as fast as possible. The same thing applies for Clank! in Space however there are a few variations to the original rules that makes the game play better. First is the amount of interaction between the players and “boss” monster. In the original Clank! you never have a real fear of the dragon. It seems like the cards that triggered his (or her) arrival were few and far between. Clank! in Space is a different matter, Lord Eradikus comes out a lot and the wounds pile up. In our game three players never made it out alive and I won almost by default). The other noticeable change is the end of game trigger. In Clank! players would get out of the dungeon and start a “timer” mechanic counting down to the end. In Clank! in Space when a player gets out there is no countdown, instead players are adding more and more clank to the bag making it more dangerous for the other players to hang around in the spaceship. There are other changes too but those are the ones that made the big difference to me. I love this game!
Other Games Played: Shaky Manor, Pitch Car and Maki Staki.