Castle TriCon 2020 was a measure arranged by three publishers to accommodate board game fans to join a convention digitally. Honestly, this was my not very first digital exhibition during COVID-19 pandemic. However, I was lying if I said it didn’t amuse me. Why was it different and why it matters for us? Well, here’s what we thought of Castle TriCon 2020.
The event and its organisers
What exactly was Castle TriCon 2020? Well, for starters, this was not your usual digital exhibition. Most of the format nowadays is you are moving from one digital table to another through one mouse click, right? Some attendants think that this kind lacks direct interaction. To solve this problem, the organisers for this event went extra miles by holding Castle TriCon in a virtual world. Not only you are clicking tables and rooms, this time you could fly, run, and teleport in the convention! Even better, it was free of charge.
Three publishers were working behind-the-scene of Castle TriCon 2020. They were HeidelBÄR Games, Czech Games Edition, and Horrible Guild. Since they were the organisers, I already expected that this convention was exclusively their showcases. Castle TriCon 2020 was open for public on September 26-27th. I attended the press day only on September 24th. It was pretty quiet, but I think there were more audiences during the weekend.
Castle TriCon 2020 used Tabletopia to provide the table to try the game. By accessing the digital table in the virtual world, it redirected you to the Tabletopia’s room directly. Someone from the publishers accompanied me to explain the rule of the games.
HeidelBÄR Games’ new releases
They brought two new games in Castle TriCon 2020: Anansi and Coyote. Coyote is a new bluffing game reimplemented from an old game of the same name. You can see all cards from other players except yours. Another card is put in the middle face down. The cards have numbers on them and during his/her turn, he/she must announce a number less than the total of all cards. The next player then must bid a number higher than the previous one. Coyote is another game in the same line as Spicy.
You can see all cards from other players except yours. Another card is put in the middle face down. The cards have numbers on them and during his/her turn, he/she must announce a number less than the total of all cards. The next player then must bid a number higher than the previous one. Coyote is another game in the same line as Spicy.
Anansi, on the other hand, is a trick-taking game. Each trick represents a story, and players must decide which one they want to get. The untold story matters less because it does not bring many points. With this, players will try to inspire their followers. By doing this, you can get bonus points.
Both can be a good light game you want to bring to your group. For me, Coyote feels lighter than Anansi. While Coyote can be a good filler, Anansi offers more depth in decision making. If you are interested, you can try these games in Tabletopia, too.
By the way, while I was strolling in HeidelBÄR Games’ world, I saw this statue made of gold. Do you know which game it represented? It is one of my favourite game!
Unicorn?! Well, it must be Horrible Guild
Teleporting to the next world, I found out Horrible Guild’s (not so) new title, Unicorn Fever, that got funded in Kickstarter last year. This game involves bluffing and betting and takes a set on a unicorn racing tournament. Players need to place bets in four rounds, trying to win gold as many as possible. Sometimes, that means they have to take a dirty measure to keep their gold away from others.
It looked interesting, to be honest. A cleverly designed AI determines how the race goes by. Then, what can players do besides being spectators? Before each race begins, you can perform 3 actions. These actions include placing bets, hiring shady characters to gain skills, and fixing the race result. Your limited actions force you to observe and see through other players’ intentions and bluffs.
Last but not least, Czech Games Edition
This publisher is one of my favourites! In this digital convention, they brought two new games I haven’t heard of. The first one was Under Falling Skies. It looked like that classic game Invaders I played a few years ago. The cover looked pretty serious, and the board seemed a bit wide. I really need to look at the actual size to comment more.
This game uses a new dice placement mechanic. You are defending your city from the alien’s siege. When you pick an action, you will also let the alien’s spaceship to descent. The bigger the die’s number, the deeper and faster the alien’s spacecraft descends. You can expand your underground bunker to get more powerful effects.
Under Falling Skies comes with multiple campaigns that (in my opinion) contribute to this game’s replay value.
They designed the game for solo players. Yes, you read it right: this game is only playable with one player only. Due to this reason, I think I will pass this game. Hopefully, they release the multiplayer version later on.
Their next title is Lost Ruins of Arnak. This is a combination of deck-building, worker placement, and resource management in an exploration. As you explore the landscape, many worker actions will become available. Sometimes, these actions need resource instead of workers. Your limited one action per turn also forces you to choose what you want to do next wisely. This game looked pretty fun. It definitely went to my wishlist.
What I think about Castle TriCon 2020
It sucks not to be able to attend the real convention with real human interaction. Castle TriCon 2020, although cannot substitute that experience, have given all their best effort to cover this issue. With the virtual world and the virtual body, you can interact with others in this convention. It gives me hope and faith in the future digital board game conventions.
I am a full-time food technologist during weekdays. However, when the calendar hits weekends, I transform into an avid board gamer. I am a hardcore Legend of the Five Rings (L5R) LCG player from Fantasy Flight Games (FFG). Current hobby: buying board games. My shelf of shame’s list is getting longer, thanks to you, Kickstarter.