March 2, 2011

Warparty - The Hidden Gem at Total Confusion XXV Part 1

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In a tucked away little corner of Mansfield, Massachusetts stands a modest looking Holiday Inn hotel. However, from Thursday February 24th to Sunday the 27th, the inside of the hotel was anything but modest. It was at this hotel and at this time that the Total Confusion XXV convention was held. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the entire duration, but was fortunate enough to get to spend my Saturday there. The convention was great, with about a couple hundred gamers coming together for friendship and for a weekend of RPGs, miniatures, eurogames, ameritrash, war games, panels and tourneys. Unless you were in the bathroom, then a game session was taking place with intensely focused faces. Also, for a industry that thrives on competition, there really couldn't be a friendlier group of people.

At Total Con, I was lucky enough to have two specific encounters. The first was a panel on Gaming & Media featuring Tom Vassel and Eric Summerer from The Dice Tower. Anyone who has listened to their podcasts understands that these two gentlemen know their board games and their media. They had some great insights into the different types of media a publisher should invest in for a successful product launch. For any aspiring game producer, this will make for an excellent listen. The second encounter was less of a spectator activity and a much more hands on experience.

Strategically positioned directly outside of the convention registration room stood a folding card table and Warparty (what was most definitely a game in development). The table was unmanned as I approached to check out what the game was all about. I grabbed the game overview flyer from the holder and began to read while looking over the board that was spread across the table. As I was examining the different starting cities, a taller gentleman appeared from the game room and took his place behind the table. "It's a fantasy based war game", he explained to me, "where the armies of the Dwarves and the Humans are pitted in a battle of survival against the evil forces of the Goblins and Undead." Like a good salesman, he read my name badge and began to address me by first name. As a counter to his tactic, I followed suit; his badge informed me that I was speaking to Larry Bogucki.

Larry then proceeded to explain how Warparty is a combination of an RPG, RTS, and war game. The RPG aspect involves heroes that level as you play the game, from defeating enemy army units, exploring strategically placed dungeons, or through town mechanics. The RTS aspect involves city building through resource expenditure, extending the influence of the city with smaller towns, and unlocking new units through expansion. The war game mechanic includes armies crossing a sectioned map to conquer the enemy. The objective of the game is to capture either of the enemy cities or to get the other team to surrender. With a basic knowledge of how the game functioned, Larry asked if I was interested in getting in some play time and I agreed, so he signed me up.

To be continued in part 2...

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Posted by Critical Gamers Staff at March 2, 2011 8:20 PM

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