Origins was a whirlwind. I met so many people while I was there! I got in a few game demos, but didn’t do much gaming outside of demos. It was so hot and humid the entire time, so after a day of chasing interviews and dealing with migraines, I couldn’t wait to crash into bed at the end of the day.
The week of Origins started out pretty rough. I was in a car accident that Monday, which left me in a lot of pain (jammed thumb, whiplash, body aches). I was really worried that I might not be able to make it to Origins, especially when I woke up on Tuesday and felt SO much worse than I had on Monday. Thankfully, I was feeling a lot better by Tuesday evening. I decided to pack light and give it my best shot.
I took a quick flight from Chicago to Columbus on Wednesday, June 13th and got there around 10:30a, which was too early for my Airbnb check in, so I went straight to the convention center where I met up with Barbara and Matt Allen. Barb and I have been talking for months online, so I was so very excited to finally meet in person. Barb runs World of Women, which is an international online community of women gamers – there’s a Discord server just for women and a Facebook group for everyone. Barb and Matt also have a podcast called Players Wanted, which is aimed at welcoming new gamers into the hobby. After checking in to get my badge, I was on my way to Big Bar on 2 to meet them.
When I arrived at Big Bar on 2, Barb and Matt were getting a game demo from the wonderful Isaac Vega (designer of Dead of Winter and Ashes)! He was showing off his new game, Starship Samurai, which he described as “feudal Japan… in SPACE.”

You can take a look at the rulebook here. Here’s what Plaid Hat Games has to say about the game:

Lead your clan to victory in Starship Samurai, an epic, fast-paced game of area control, fought among the stars of the Lotus Galaxy! Take command of the galaxy’s mightiest clans to secure your claim to the emperor’s throne.
As the leader of your clan, you will command massive fleets used to seize key locations and battle your enemies. Play battle cards to sway the outcome of each conflict in your favor and destroy your enemy’s fleet. But war is not the only path to victory. You will need to spend your resources and political influence to manipulate the lesser clans to aid you in your quest to claim the throne. Each lesser clan you sway to your Alliance Track will further strengthen your clan’s supremacy.
-Game description from

The artwork looks fantastic, plus look at these epic samurai mechs that come with the game!
Already Origins was off to a great start. I met up with Barb and Matt, I got a game demo in right away, and I got to meet Isaac Vega, who is an absolute delight and happens to have designed one of my favorite games (Dead of Winter).

Matt Allen, Rebecca Strang, Barbara Allen, & Isaac Vega. Photo by Barbara Allen.

After the Starship Samarai demo ended, Barb, Matt, and I headed over to the main convention area to check things out. We said hello to Ryan Bruns at the Mayday Games booth and then headed to the Board Room so we could sit down and play a game. Barb had Hue, from the Pack O Game collection, in her bag, so we broke that out for a quick game. Hue was more fun than I was expecting. It’s a quick puzzle-y, semi-area control game with secret goals. It’s a lot of game in package the size of a small pack of gum.
Then, I taught Barb and Matt how to play Assembly. I had a prototype of the game on me because I’d done a Kickstarter preview of it for Janice Turner of Wren Games. You can read my thoughts on it here and check out Wren Games here. Assembly successfully funded on Kickstarter and if you missed the campaign, you can still get in on the pledge manager in July 2018 by following the link on the campaign page.

After those two games, it was time for me to check in to my Airbnb and rest up for Day 2, which had a handful of interviews scheduled with publishers and designers. More on Day 2 next time!


I’m doing a 1000 Followers Giveaway via Rafflecopter to celebrate reaching 1000 followers on both Twitter and Instagram! There are four prizes — one winner will be drawn for each prize. Prizes: To Play Is Human pencil pouch, Too Many Bones character pin, Kracken Dice Mystery Set, and a copy of the graphic novel, Nimona!

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