Event Report: Colorado Springs City-Wide Gaming Event 2011

On Saturday, 21-May-2011, I had the opportunity to attend the 2nd Annual Colorado Springs City-Wide Gaming event and had a blast. Though it wasn’t quite what I expected, it was tons of fun and showed off the diversity of gamers in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

For an overview of the event, you can check out my post from last week here. I didn’t make it to all five stores, but did make it to Petrie’s Family Games, Gamer’s Haven, Compleat Games & Hobbies, and The Yellow King and took a few pictures that I’ll share…

First stop was Petrie’s, where I decided to try my hand at the Civilization (2010) board game from Fantasy Flight Games. With four players, it took us about 4 hours to finish it off. I played Rome, while China, Russia, and America rounded out the board. I’m not much of a board game player usually, but am a known Civ addict on the PC, so was curious how it would translate to a tabletop game. Honestly I was quite impressed. The mechanics were pretty simple and elegant in some ways even though there were a million pieces to keep track of (plastic pieces, little card stock markers, and cards of a variety of types).

I really didn’t expect to spend more than a couple of hours at Petrie’s, which put a bit of a hitch in my plans for the day but didn’t dampen my spirits any. Once we finished the game (Russia won, but China had a shot and my Roman legions fought valiantly and died upon the battlefield), I grabbed a quick bite to eat in a drive-thru and headed to Gamer’s Haven.

Once there, it appeared that miniatures were king. Gorka Morka Gran Prix, a miniatures game, was in full swing at one table. And on another table was a different miniatures battle between tanks and giant robots. I’m always fascinated by the amount of detail that goes into such tiny models – but the folks involved were having a great time and there were even a few spectators at the Gorka Morka table.

After that I bounced to downtown Colorado Springs and Compleat Games & Hobbies. A serious game of Pathfinder RPG was going on at one table with probably 10 players – a huge group in my estimation. While they were adventuring, I had a long chat with Carl, one of the folks who works at Compleat. We had a great chat that ranged wildly from gaming stories involving Deadlands and a few other rules systems to history, literature, and even fairy tales.

Quite honestly – next to the Civilization game earlier in the day, the chat with Carl was my favorite part of the day. It never ceases to surprise me at the depth of knowledge and intellect that most gamers have on an absolutely wide array of topics. Young or old, it’s typically easy to get into a conversation on everything from popular media and games to current or historical events and anything else you can imagine.

Lastly I headed down to The Yellow King, also near downtown Colorado Springs. I’d heard of the place but hadn’t had a chance to get down there. In a little storefront, they have set up a small retail counter, space for a few tables, and then some comfortable couches. I’ve never seen couches in a gaming store before, so I was quite impressed.

On a big table just inside the door was a recreation of the Battle for Hoth from Empire Strikes Back. Once again I was blown away by the detail – from the tiny Snow Troopers to larger guns and the huge AT-AT walker dominating the landscape. These folks were using a tape measure to figure out exact distances for weapons fire and damage. Such dedication to detail is amazing.

I don’t know what the turnout was on Sunday, but if Saturday was any indication it seemed like the City-Wide Event had quite a good number of gamers come out to play all sorts of games. A huge thank you to the stores who participated and the Gaming Events in the Springs Meetup group. They were even giving away a SWAG bag at Petrie’s to the folks who attended events there, which was great – coupons for local stores plus some Magic the Gathering cards and other goodies.

The event was even covered in the local paper – The Gazette! They had a great article in yesterday’s paper.

Plus, the weather was beautiful…

Hopefully the turnout was good enough that we’ll see a Third Annual event next year!

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