“The Third World: Yorkshire”
“The Third World: Yorkshire”
Thus decreed Monty Python in their 1983 film The Meaning of Life. And while I dare say this sentiment elicits a chuckle or two south of Sheffield I can confirm without doubt that this is a thoroughly unfair assessment. Having spent my university days living in the city of York the county has found a fond place in my heart with its beautiful country side, vibrant cities and homely pubs.
And while Messrs Chapman, Cleese, Palin et al found Yorkshire an appropriate place to set a large scale musical number regarding the sanctity of male reproductive cells, Ben, Mark, Rick and Nabil have chosen the town of Harrogate in North Yorkshire to be the home of AireCon for its 5th year.
So, from Friday 9th of March through to Sunday 11th The Unlucky Frog crew will be embarking on an adventure south to indulge ourselves with a weekend of gaming. The trains are booked, the airs have been B&B’d so all that’s left for us to consider now is how we are going to be spending our time at AireCon.
Therefore, without further ado, I present to you (in no particular order) the top 5 things that I am most looking forward to about AireCon 2018:
1. Meeting some familiar faces from the internets
Given that Harrogate is, in the grand scheme of things, a relatively small place I was pleasantly surprised to see how impressive the guest list for AireCon is. Chief amongst these has to be Rodney Smith of Watch It Played, one of the largest board gaming channels on YouTube. They are an excellent resource for learning any new games or figuring out which ones are right for you. Rodney will also be guiding us attendees through some of the mega games that are taking place such as Karuba and NMBR-9 which promises to be chaotic and fun in equal measure.
The folks from Polyhedron Collider will also be in attendance. As well as being fellow podcasters, Polyhedron Collider run a website with all the latest table top news, reviews and features and is well worth checking out. They will be hosting a seminar at 4.30pm on Saturday where they will be interviewing all manner of table top bloggers, vloggers and (as is described officially on the website) ploggers.
2. A Trip to Bettys Tea Rooms
I actually had to explain to Ben and Charlotte what Bettys Tea Rooms was. It’s not their fault. Up here in Scotland anything goes for a hot beverage. Coffee, Hot Chocolate, Bovril - heck, I’ve even witness people heat up whisky. And while I cannot deny that these all have a time and place there is nothing quite like a traditional cup of cha.
To those who don’t know so much tea is consumed in the county of Yorkshire that the most common blood type has become Earl Grey. And for those looking for a little more class, a bit of luxury with their brew, it’s hard to beat Bettys Tea Rooms. Bettys harks back to an era forgotten; a chain of traditional tea rooms throughout the county, with the original being right here in Harrogate.
So, for those looking for a break from the gaming to recharge the old grey matter you may well find me sat in a corner munching on a scone and sipping on a cup of English Breakfast tea. I’ll probably be sticking my pinkie finger out too.
3. Games, games, games!
OK, I’ll admit that this seems a little obvious. However, thanks to their partnership with Travelling Man, AireCon will boast a library in excess of 350 games ranging from classics to some of the latest releases. Simply leave a deposit of £10 and you can play to your hearts content (or until the convention centre shuts, whichever happens first).
If pretending to be an elf and swinging an imaginary sword is more your thing (and let’s face it, who doesn’t want to do that?) then there will also be over 20 RPG tables running loads of different games. Spaces are limited so be sure to buy your ticket and book your place at the main ticket desk to avoid disappointment.
4. Getting beardy in some tournaments
Now, if you’re looking for something a little more competitive then there are a number of different tournaments being ran throughout the weekend for various different games including Guild Ball, Four Elements, Carcosa and Yogi. I’m particularly looking forward to Yogi, although the last time I played I ended up tying myself in knots only to lose by failing to pick up my next card with my mouth. Maybe I’ll just sit on the side-lines and watch this time.
However, the granddaddy of them all has to be Super Board. This is a knock-out tournament over the whole of Saturday for teams of four and consists of many of the classics that you know and love such as Ticket to Ride, Catan, Love Letter and many more, culminating in a head to head final of Pandemic Survival. Not only this but the prize is frankly amazing; not only will the winning team receive free tickets to AireCon 2019 (along with free entry to Super Board in 2019 of course) but they will also receive tickets to UKGE 2018 and tickets to Essen Spiel 2018 along with plane tickets to Essen to attend too. I’m pretty sure I saw a kitchen sink among that list of prizes somewhere as well.
There are 32 spaces available for Super Board so if you and your friends think you have what it takes book yourselves a place on the AireCon website.
5. Meeting you
Yes you! Since we started the podcast we have been overwhelmed by the response we have had so far. As of writing this article we are fast approaching 1,000 downloads which is, quite frankly, 995 more than I was anticipating. AireCon will be the first convention of 2018 that we’ll be attending, and we can’t wait to meet some of our listeners and hopefully make some new friends.
Looking forward to seeing you all there!