Cabin Con 2013

Cabin Con 2012 was the first year to resurrect a cabin getaway of gaming in southern Ohio after a six or seven year hiatus. We had so much fun last year that we decided to get the same six of us back together for another go of it this year. We managed to get a cabin very near the one we had the year before but this one had a different layout that was much better suited to gaming given that one of our members brought a huge table that all six of us could easily play one large game or we could split up and play two games at once. This allowed us to reserve the kitchen table for eating and we could all sit near the fire while we played into the wee hours of the morning.

We had some trouble with getting enough lighting over the long table and we had way too much food but those are very minor problems to have when you’ve got dozens of games stacked and ready to play and six of you ready to dig in. We did find that as the six of us grow closer as a group that we spent more time chatting and enjoying each other’s company talking about work and just life in general but that’s kinda what the whole getaway is about. The games provide a nice backdrop and excuse to bring together good friends for a couple of days. The general consensus is that we’d like to try to add a day to the getaway and try to coincide with MLK-day since we all have that off from work anyway. The cabins are relatively inexpensive so adding another day wouldn’t pose any sort of financial burden on us.

I know getting a getaway like this organized, getting strong commitments, etc. can be tough for a lot of groups. I know years ago, many in my group were casual gamers and could not see the value in spending time and money to go play games that could have been played for free at somebody’s house. I sympathize but with the right group, you really can’t beat escaping the trappings of work and family to relax with some time for yourself and your hobby. I can’t wait until next year.

Pimpin’ the Tzolk’in Gears

Pimping out a game, making special and/or enhanced pieces for specific games isn’t rare in the board gaming community. Some gamers spend a surprising amount of time and money making laser-cut replacement pieces, wooden animal “meeples” (animeeples), even hand-painted resin-casts for Settlers, Notre Dame, and others. I’m not one to go all out on pimping out a game but I have done it before.

Back in November when I played Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar for the first time, the relatively plain gears screamed out to be painted. The satellite gears have a great texture and the center gear has minute detail that is lost in the light brown of the plastic.

Within the last month, there have been numerous image uploads of gamers pimping out their gears, providing how-to’s, and videos on different techniques and when my copy came I started getting the itch.

Without having done anything like this before, I watched several videos about washes, dry-brushing techniques, and spraying so I headed off to Michaels, bought some acrylic supplies, and set down at the kitchen table to apply my first wash of straight black to all the gears. I kept the paint very thin, especially on the tooth sides so that I wouldn’t create teeth that bind when meshed with their companion.

The details of the main gear immediately popped out and after applying silver to everything with a dry-brush technique everything was really looking nice.

I decided to go with yellow and red accent colors and just painted whatever felt right given the extreme detail of the main gear. There’s no right or wrong here and I just kept going until I felt about 3/4 done then I felt I should stop. Less is better.

After a second light silver/black dry-brush over the main gear and a light acrylic spray over all the gears, I mounted them and I’m ready to play.

Painting the gears was a fun little project and I’m proud of how it turned out, especially since it was my first time painting something like that. If you’ve painted your gears or have pimped out a game of your own, I’d like to hear from you.