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Balticon '99 - another MIB triumph! 8^)

Click on the images for a larger picture.

INWO at Balticon '99

This was the first INWO game run at Balticon '99. It was One-Big-Deck style, using a deck designed by Ralph Melton. Ralph found one of the newbies later and gave him a free copy of this deck.


Tribes, Friday night. We had a small tribe, but it was a successful one. I played the role of moderator; no breeding & feeding for me!

Give me the brain!

A friendly game of Give Me The Brain! Brian is lurking behind Ralph here. Ralph Has The Brain. Obviously Brian is going to try to grab it...

Bitin' off Hedz!

Here Marcus instructs a fine group of people how to contact your inner dinosaur and play Bitin' Off Hedz!

Bitin' Off Hedz!

Marcus' disembodied arm points out "The Mire". Here we can see more clearly the rest of the players (except the photographer)...

Kill Dr. Lucky

While the game of Hedz was going on, Ralph instructs people in how to Make Dr. Lucky Fall Down, Ralph's combination of "Kill Dr. Lucky " and "Toon".

Parts Unknown

Here's a good old fashioned game of buying and selling, "Parts Unknown". Everyone you see here has body parts for sale. It's an ugly job, but someone's got to do it. 8^)

Parts Unknown!

Here's more of the Parts folks.

GURPS Traveler

GURPS Traveller, run by non-MIB John Spey. I heard that the game went well and that folks had fun. That's what we aim for!  Later on John was brought into the organization...


Brian Joughin instructs a Deluxe Illuminati player on strategy.

Illuminati Saturday Night

More DI players, plotting to take over the world.


It's tough getting old. I was too tired to participate when I saw this guy setting up Xxxenophile. I've never seen anyone play it at a convention before, and I wish I would have been able to sit in on it. (Xxxenophile was written/designed by James Ernest, who did all the Cheapass Games above.) But I had to get a picture for posterity. And what's with that guy behind him? I got three pictures of him and he's making funny faces in all of 'em.

Wa-hoo! That's it, boys and girls! Sorry I didn't get pictures of the games of Dino Hunt or the other INWO game or Starbase Jeff. Them's the breaks.

Balticon '99 Report

Balticon started Good Friday.  And it was a good Friday.  I wasn't able to get there at 4pm for INWO, but shortly after I arrived, I had 6 players.  We used Ralph Melton's "Medium Sized Deck" design, and players had lots of fun.  The winner took home a prize, and all players picked some stuff out of the bag I had handy.  The best newbie got a copy of the deck itself, provided by Ralph.

We then fired up Tribes.  We had 4 players and me, so I played the part of a moderator.  Things went smoothly, if slowly; Brian Joughin was one of the players and commented that it was a game he'd play at conventions, but probably not too many other places.  The most fecund
couple each took a book home.  As an aside, the 4 players were 3.5 males; one of the players was in the process of transgendering himself...

Awful Green Things and Hacker were scheduled for a 10pm start; neither Ralph nor I knew who were scheduled to do them (see problems, at the end of this message); we considered getting our stuff out, but both of us were pretty tired.  We decided to learn how to play Renfield; we corralled our one AGTFOS/Hacker-interested player and Terri Wells into playing, using Ralph's copy (mine hasn't shown up yet).  Terri won, if I recall correctly.  No prize was awarded; it turned out I'd given all my Cheapass prizes away at JohnCon.  Oops.  I resolved to not let that happen the next day.

We also got in a couple of games of Button Men, but the details are fuzzy at this time.

Saturday started leisurely; everyone had laid claim to the INWO game at noon on Saturday, so when we showed up we'd had almost enough sleep. Steve Brinich took over INWO, while the rest of us did Ben Hvrt and Starbase Jeff.  Steve gave away INWO SubGenius as the prize for his
game, and I gave away some doubles of Cheapass Games I'd had around the house.

Ralph and I went to Harbor Place to get some grub; turns out the Discovery Store has reopened there.  The manager from the Towson Nature Company has gone there; she gave me the store telephone number, so we'll have to do more Dino Hunt demos there, when they get it in stock.

A pickup game of Deluxe Illuminati went on around this time, but I can't exactly place the time; I think it was still going on when we came back from lunch.

After lunch, Ralph and I began doing Cheapass Games in ernest.  No pun intended.  Sessions of Give Me the Brain, Dej Sem Mozek, Kill Dr. Lucky, Make Dr. Lucky Fall Down (KDL/Toon crossover), Bitin' Off Hedz, Button Men, Lord of the Fries, and more Starbase Jeff were run.

(I especially enjoyed teaching Starbase Jeff to Dana Carson, a member of the Artemis Project.  Artemis wants to really put commercialism in space by building a space station and moonbase for profit.)  :)

We finished sometime after midnight with a game of Parts Unknown; afterwards, we got an offer to sit in on a friendly game of Xxxenophile (the first time I'd seen anyone with the guts to pull it out at a convention), but we were toast.  We called it a night and went home to sleep.

Still going on when we left were two GURPS games (not run by MIB's; I provided prizes to both.  One was GURPS Traveller, and the other was a 'normal' game, with a setting reminiscent of GURPS IOU.  Silly was the keyword.) and Brian Joughin's Deluxe Illuminati game.

Got in an hour late on Sunday (damn Daylight Savings Time) for my game of Dino Hunt.  Ran two games of DH, and tagged out during one with Ralph so that I could futilely get down to the dealer's room. Then we called it a day.  (except for playing Button Men at the restaurant where we got lunch.)

One of the prizes given away early in the convention was a new Killer book.  This turned out to be really cool, because a game of "Kill Evil Stevie" went on after hours on Saturday.  :)

Problems with this convention were small, but numerous.  As usual, Balticon had no choice but to put gaming in the Lincoln Room, which has poor ventilation at best; after you stuff 40 gamers in it, it
becomes hot, sweaty, and smelly.  At least there was no great hue and cry about it, and everyone went on with their fun.

On the plus side, it was usually pretty easy to find folks for a game when you're all stuck in a small room together... :)

Next we went to Castlecon.  Here's what happened:

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