Another year, another Dixiecon. This time it was Dixiecon
22, but for a change I was not there for the Thursday night gaming. My son was in a show that night in Hickory, so I
did not make it to Chapel Hill until after 2am (with Steve Koehler in tow.) The report I got about midnight as I left
Charlotte with Steve said that Dave Maletsky, Rich O'Brien, Bruce Allen, Bruce's friend George, and at times a very sober
Graham Woodring played Imperial and "some numbers/math game like Samurai."
That's it for the Thursday
night gaming report.
Friday morning saw the first of many meals at Con favorite Time Out, which is next door to
the tournament site, and features good chicken and biscuits along with various vegetables available for purchase "24
hours a day, 365 days a year." It's like a Waffle House, with lima beans and collard greens.
gamers began to drift in as the afternoon approached. I saw Brass being played, for the first of many times over the
weekend, as well as Power Grid, Railroad Tycoon, Storm Over Holland, and that screwy little AH game from yesterday Twixt.
We have had Candyland played at Dixiecon before, but this was a Dixiecon first with the Twixt...
We usually have
afternoon basketball, but this year we had little interest. So Kevin O'Kelly, one of the five Chicagoland "Weasels"
who invaded Chapel Hill this year, joined me for a shooting clinic. After I declared both of us winners of the Dixiecon
BBall Tournament, we went inside where the gaming had already spread to most of the room.
Friday night began with
the usual Hood prattle and announcements, as well as the wonderful sight of awards given from past years. This time
it was the 2005 Prezcon awards for I Got Hammered and for Best Russia, both won by Roy Rink who only had to come by plane
3 years later to a different state to claim his prizes! I also awarded a Best Germany to Ed Turnage from an even earlier
year, this time a Dixiecon plaque, from like 2004 or something.
Then I pulled out the grandaddy of them all - the
1999 Best Russia that was never picked up by that year's winner. So Tom Kobrin claimed it on general principle.
It was time then to dive in to.... not the Diplomacy tournament, apparently, but the Iron Man tournament for non-Dip gaming.
This was the first year we had more people playing those games than the Dip! There were three Dip games, important mainly
because Turkey got destroyed early in all three of them, earning the three players in question a joint Brick award on Sunday.
Iron Man gaming Friday night included Container, Puerto Rico, 1861 (we had more than the usual crowd of 18XX gamers
this year), Princes of the Renaissance, Princes of Florence, Here I Stand, and the everpresent Twixt.
morning the Dip round was one round bigger, due to late arrivals on Friday night and to some REALLY old Dip retreads brought
out of retirement for the round. I am very proud to say I got Jim Yerkey, certainly one of the best I ever saw play
the game, to come out of serious retirement to play in Game 2D. Yep, the one that proceeded to last about 12.5 hours
and end with the stalemate of Andy Bartalone's win attempt. From what I can tell, this was a very good game, including
some other really good players (three past Dixiecon champs in all). Jim would later receive the Player's Choice award
for the weekend, which I freely admit including ballot-stuffing from people who did not get to play with Jim but thought it
was really cool that he was playing, and that he was playing on the board in question.
Iron Man gaming on Saturday
included two more boards of Brass, 18West (told you that guys were active this time), 1960, Railroad Tycoon, 1846, Puerto
Rico, Campaign Trail, and my own introduction to the game Goa. If you have not watched Bruce Reiff and Ken Gutermuth
play Campaign Trail, you have not lived. I think they were just taking turns at the same time or something. Bruce
was playing faster than he talks, which is obviously pretty fast.
The BBQ started at its usual time of 5pm, this
year with a different vendor and with fried chicken instead of the usual BBQ chicken to go with the Eastern NC style pork
BBQ. It was very popular. One quick note for locals reading this - the things people say about the hush puppies
never cease to amaze me. One guy assumed they were fried potatoes, and was complaining about them being undercooked...
Saturday night gaming was so extensive, since there is no Dip that night, that we literally outgrew the space we were
in. Take a look at the list I compiled on games played that night - Axis and Allies (twice), Attika, Rome vs. Rome (Justin
Thompson had shown up by then with this Columbia game), St Petersburg, Manifest Destiny, Through the Ages (twice), Transamerica,
Finster Fleur, Power Grid, Container, Puerto Rico (twice), Imperial, Twixt, Titan, Outpost, Airship, and some insane Eric
Grinnell game called Cash N Guns where he and some other folks were pointing foam handguns at each other.
morning saw no hobby politics, just the usual slimy, inexorable, inevitable trail of Dave Maletsky polluting young minds with
his dangerous ideas. In other words, the usual. The normal game of Sechs Nimmt before Round Three did not get
played this year because a rousing game of Bang started up instead. Yes, the rumors are true. Bruce Reiff forgot
which guy he was playing, and killed the Sheriff to make the Outlaws win. He was, of course, not an Outlaw but the Renegade
so he LOST.
Three rounds of Dip. Thomas Haver captured his second big three-way draw to edge Buffalo Bartalone
for the Dixiecon title. Both Andy and Thomas had close-but-no-cigar attempts at a win. This was in contrast to
Dixiecon 21 last year, which featured three outright wins, two by Doug Moore alone...
Yes, there was non-Dip Sunday
as well, again with more players than the 21 playing Dip. A few new titles got play on Sunday - San Juan, Race for the
Galaxy, Age of Steam, 1830(Reading variant), The Bulge, 5th Fleet, Twilight Struggle, Settlers of Catan - to go along with
repeat products like Power Grid, Imperial, Railroad Tycoon, Transamerica, Manifest Destiny and Puerto Rico.
awards ceremony was followed by two different dinner groups (which was not entirely intentional but probably sensible since
we had a combined 30+ people staying for Sunday night dinner this time) after which it was back to the basement study
lounge for even more gaming, including more Manifest Destiny, Here I Stand, and gobs of other stuff I did not try to keep
This was a big Dixiecon, largely because of the influx of non-dip gamers. It was a blast, at least
for me. I hope everyone enjoyed themselves, and will consider a return trip for 2009. Also, don't forget our fall
roving housecon Hickcon, now in its 17th year itself. This year it will be in Boone, NC - email David Hood for details.
No date set yet, but will likely be in October.