Portsmouth Games Day a Success!
Monday, May 15 2006 @ 04:15 PM EDT
Contributed by: Shaun Sullivan
NELUG participated in its second Portsmouth Games Day event on May 13th 2006 in, predictably enough, Portsmouth NH. This event is organized to provide a day-long gaming opportunity for Portsmoth area youth who participate in the New Heights after-school activities, but who may want a chance to play for an extended period of time.And what a perfect opportunity it was! With torrential rain affecting most of the Seacoast region, the timing of the event couldn't have been more fortuitous. Within the New Heights campus building, there were teens playing Role-Playing Games, Card Games, Board Games, Miniatures Combat Games, LEGO Soccer, and LEGO Brikwars.
The first half of the day saw 10 teens from grades 6 through 9 participating in a rehash of the 2005 classic game "VersaillesPunk". Within the first few turns it was apparent that these kids were catching on to the spirit of the game - one player had his character scoop up a frog milling about the French Throneroom and heave it at an opponent, hoping beyond all probablility to inflict fatal frog damage on his target. To his dismay the blow was not lethal, but to everyone else's glee a frog was indeed used as a weapon. After two and a half hours of early-20th-century combat the French forces emerged victorious.
Meanwhile, Bill Bourn coordinated a LEGO Soccer tournament. Participants took part in head-to-head competition using the classic LEGO Minifigure Soccer Gaming System. Before long, any NELUGger who was challenged to an interim game found himself at the low end of a lopsided score. Naturally all such defeats were blamed on the poor management of NELUG's mindless coach, Wayne McCaul.
After lunch the Soccer Play continued, and a second Brikwars game was begun. This game was a scaled-down version of Dave Eaton's famous Post Apocalyptic Reserach Vehicle Desert Showdown scenario. Hosted by Wayne, this game showcased a large recreational vehicle tearing through the desert at breakneck speeds while being simultaneoulsy attacked and defended by equally unkempt bands of roving Road Warriors. The game ran throughout the afternoon, finally finishing up a mere 30 minutes before the scheduled end to the day's activities. Participation for this game was also about 30 kids.
All in all the day was a raving success from the perspective of the New Heights Staff, the teens who participated, and the NELUG members who showed up. There were many compliments from the New Heights staff, parents who were checking out the scene, other games coordinators, and from the kids themselves. The LEGO tables were consistently swarmed with active and energetic participants, as can be seen in the photos of the day. Everybody involved truly appreciated the time, preparation, patience, and efforts of those NELUG members who were able to make it:Wayne "Cool for a Day" McCaul
Bill "Bicycle Kick" Bourn
Jonathan ""Untouched by Fire - for Once" Dallas
Dave "1d6 Divided by the Natural Logarithmic Root of a Brick" Eaton
Shaun "Did I See You on America's Most Wanted?" Sullivan
Afterwards the members of NELUG retired to a local Irish Pub for adult refreshment and arterial-clogging sustenance. An exhausted Wayne McCaul reflected back on the day remarking "10 kids at a time, in 3-hour shifts ... it was like herding cats." By which he meant that he'd do it again in an instant! There was unanimous consensus among the NELUGgers that the youths who participated were all well behaved and great sports.
A Portsmouth Games Day event has traditionally been held twice a year, though challenges in the recent past have precluded one from happening since 2004. The New Heights staff has high hopes to resume the event on a regular basis, and expressed their hope that NELUG might continue to be a part of the tradition. For more information on New Heights and their mission, please see the New Heights Website