Game On: Gaming convention coming to Austin

    Michael Jordal, center, explains the rules to a new game called “Flick ‘Em Up!” With friends Jesse Qualey, right, and Gary Meyer, left, during a weekly game night at Jordal’s home. Jordal will host the first ever Austi-Con this May.

Michael Jordal, center, explains the rules to a new game called “Flick ‘Em Up!” With friends Jesse Qualey, right, and Gary Meyer, left, during a weekly game night at Jordal’s home. Jordal will host the first ever Austi-Con this May.

Sheriffs and outlaws in a Western town, complete with a general store and saloon, ruled Michael Jordal’s dining room table recently as Michael Jordal and friends flicked movers and silver bullet playing pieces in a game called “Flick ‘Em Up!”

The game was a new one for the friends and their many evenings spent playing tabletop games at Jordal’s house.

Austi-Con

“I played board games when I was little and in high school, I started going beyond traditional board games,” Jordal said. “I learned about Dungeons and Dragons, War Hammer and other European games.”

Jordal has been playing board games since he was young and his 3-year-old son, Griffin, has his own shelf for board games. He said his math teacher in high school would bring in Eurogames to play after school and other kids taught him how to play dexterity games. Eurogames, such as The Settlers of Catan, are tabletop games using strategy, dexterity and game pieces.

His first tabletop game was Stratego, in the 1970s. His collection numbers about 730, including expansions.

“I like the social interaction,” Jordal said. “It’s a lot of fun to get together. They’re mentally engaging, brain burners. It’s fun to have a mix of both.”

Jordal is sharing his love of board games during the first Austi-Con, a tabletop gaming convention coming to Austin the weekend of May 13 to 15 in the Harvest and Roosevelt rooms of the Holiday Inn Conference Center.

“There’s not really a gaming convention in this area,” Jordal said. “I’ve been to other conventions and Nancy Schnable, Austin Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Director suggested hosting one here.”

Jacob Blain lines up a shot in the game “Flick ‘Em Up” during a game night at Michael Jordal’s home. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Jacob Blain lines up a shot in the game “Flick ‘Em Up” during a game night at Michael Jordal’s home. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

The idea originally sparked from his annual “House-Con” events, where tabletop gamers invade Jordal and wife Kate’s house for a whole weekend.

He has been pressured to host that event two times a year, but Kate jokes once is enough.

Jordal said this gaming convention is for general games, such as “The Settlers of Catan,” “Star Wars Armada,” and “Risk.” There will be scheduled games and players can also bring their own games.

He anticipates about 100 people to attend which he called, “good for an inaugural year,” he said. If it’s successful, he would like to continue it and grow it.

“People can just come and play games all day, all night,” Jordal said. “They can come here and run their own games, bring their own, look for players and rent games from the game library.”

Game pieces of various kinds are stored in the corner of Michael Jordal’s home. These items will be given away as prizes at the upcoming Austi-Con later this month. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Game pieces of various kinds are stored in the corner of Michael Jordal’s home. These items will be given away as prizes at the upcoming Austi-Con later this month. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

The games will start at 10 a.m. Friday, May 13, and the last game will start at 4 p.m. Sunday.

Jordal said gameplay might start in the morning and go until midnight.

Players can also check out games from the game library and there will be door prizes. Some of the games will be play-to-win, so the winner gets to take the game home if they win.

Though this convention may seem like all fun and games, it will also raise money through a silent auction with proceeds going to the Autism Day Camp program, which is run through the Hormel Historic Home. Kate runs Camp Just for Me.

The silent auction will have games up for silent bids.

 Jordan Gerard can be reached at jordan.gerard@austindailyherald.com

 Eric Johnson can be reached at photodesk@austindailyherald.com

 

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