Airecon – Day 0

This trip has been 3 years in the making! Iain Chantler and I were planning to visit Airecon in 2020. Then there was this weird virus coming out of China and we made the decision not to go. With one thing and another its taken till 2023 for me to actually get to visit the convention. I’ll be posting a daily update of what I’ve been getting up to at the convention, impressions of games, and of course the people I’ve met!

The Thursday of Airecon is a new addition to the convention. In previous years its been by exhibitors to setup but this year a couple of the halls were open and ready to receive eager gamers!

I arrived about lunchtime, checked in to the Old Swan Hotel which I was delighted to find was even closer to the convention than I thought. The convention wasn’t open until 4pm so I needed something to do! Thanks to some kind souls on the Airecon Community page I knew there were some gamers meeting at The Starling pub nearby. They were a very welcoming lot and I ended up playing a couple of games with them before the convention started.

First up was one of the games of the moment Scout! This is designed by Kei Kajino, published by Oink Games and distributed in the UK by Hachette Boardgames UK. I can see why people have been taken with it so much. Scout is a relatively simple trick taking game, where you are looking to constantly beat the last player by playing a better sequence or value of cards. As you do you gain cards as points. If you can’t play anything, you can ‘Scout’ and grab one of the cards they’ve played, giving them an extra point as you do.

Scout! in play

The wrinkle in Scout is that you can’t rearrange your hand and that the cards are double ended, having a value top and bottom. When you start you decide which way round your hand will be, hoping that you have sequences and groups of numbers that you will be able to use. When you pick up cards you can put them anywhere in your hand, and any way up allowing you some amount of manipulation. It’s a clever puzzle and one I hope to play a bit more for a more indepth review.

After Scout I taught some Lords of Vegas and it delivered its usual rollercoaster of push your luck decisions! Love this game and hope to show it to more people over the weekend. Lords of Vegas completed I headed to the convention centre to grab my pass and see if I could see any familiar faces. First person I ran into was Robert from our Discord and played a game of the finished Overstock with him and his friends. It’s great to see that game out in the wild, and it’s still a lovely little puzzle game.

Overstocked in play
Overstocked mid game

In the evening I met up with Adam from Punchboard who I had mentored through the Tabletop Mentorship Programme but we have never met in real life! We had a nice chat, and a beer or two, before the beer tasting at Major Tom’s Social. I had lovely chats with some of the folk at the beer tasting but my long day eventually caught up with me and I tapped out around 9:30 and headed to my bed.

I’m up early on the first day of the convention proper and went out to check on the car this morning. They weren’t kidding about the snow! If you are coming to the convention today, I hope you get here safe and I look forward to seeing you!

Quite a bit of the white stuff!

Iain McAllister

Tabletop games reviewer and podcaster based in Dalkeith, Scotland.

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