Board Game Bash Report


Board Game Bash 2014 was held the first weekend of August, and it was a blast! I saw several members of the San Marcos Board Gamers running around, and I hope they had as much fun as I did.

Jonathan Grabert has been running this convention for several years now, and it’s settled into a comfortable routine. Much like the larger BGG Con held up in Dallas in November, the convention is focused on opening up a few large rooms and getting people together to play in them. There are some tournaments and raffles, along with a flea market, a math trade, and a small vendor room, but they all take a firm second place to casual play.

That suited my young daughter just fine, and she gently but firmly steered me away from the Dominion tournament I was eyeing so that we could play games that she liked. It’s a measure of the convention that she had no trouble finding fun. Board Game Bash is by no means kid-oriented — almost every attendee is an adult and some of us are getting downright creaky with age. Despite a ten to fifty-year age difference, though, everyone we met at the convention was inclusive and welcoming. This is a convention that knows about the balance between serious play and relaxing fun.

The convention hotel isn’t quite as welcoming as the membership, and seems to be getting less so as time goes by. The location has never been fantastic — several blocks away from the heart of Austin, with few appealing options for food or drink — and that’s particularly noticeable when the hotel begins enforcing corkage rules. This is in no way the fault of the convention staff, which did the best it could with the situation, but it may be time to look at other locations for future conventions.

In the meantime, however, Board Game Bash is a lot of fun. We had a good time playing Splendor, Navegador, Tales of the Arabian Nights, and other games that may appear in a review soon. And once again I had to drag my daughter home to plaintive cries of “Can’t we play Werewolf just one more time?” Conventions don’t get any better than that.

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