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The Gathering of Some of The Gathering of Friends – in Toronto!

WOW! What an amazing, exciting, fun month April has been!

Last Friday a large group of people from The Gathering of Friends (an exclusive gaming event created by Alan Moon, designer of Ticket to Ride) took a break from their 10 days of gaming and came up to visit Toronto, attend a Blue Jays game and visit Snakes and Lattes (College) for a while before the ballgame started.

Sam Healey waves hello during a game at Snakes and Lattes

The event was attended by publishers, reviewers, board gamers and board game designers from all over the world. Most of the biggest names of the industry attend The Gathering and many of them made the trip to Snakes and Lattes, including Eric Lang (designer of Blood Rage, Rising Sun, The Others, Chaos in the Old World and so many more loved games), Jonathan Gilmour (designer of the Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game), Tom Vasel, Sam Healey, Zee Garcia and Jason Levine of The Dice Tower, Gil Hova (designer of The Networks), Tony Serebriany (Director of New Product Development for USAopoly), Fabio Del Rio (President of CSE Games) and so many more.

Eric Lang (being sad Eric), Sam Healey from The Dice Tower, me (Chris Cormier) and Jason Levine from The Dice Tower at Snakes and Lattes

I meet so many interesting people and was fanboying all over the place and got to cross a really Big Bucket List item off my list - more on that shortly. It was such a thrill to be there amongst all the creative, enthusiastic people involved in my favourite hobby and meet so many people in real life that I’ve only ever chatted with online.

Before everyone arrived we got a chance to play the brand-new game Sagrada, by local Toronto game designer, Daryl Andrews (designer of Fantasy Fantasy Baseball, Fantasy Fantasy Football, Space Invaders Dice, The Walled City: Londonderry & Borderlands and more) taught to us another local designer, Daniel Rocchi (co-designer of Bomb Squad Academy). I loved Sagrada and will be buying it for sure!

I got to play my first game of the 2016 Spiel des Jahres Nominated Karuba (designed by Rüdiger Dorn and published by HABA) with Chris Chung (designer of Lanterns: The Harvest Festival), Tim W. K. Brown (designer of Gridstones and Quartex) and local board game podcaster and author Jamie Maltman (

Karuba is a puzzley game with a "bingo style" mechanic

I’ve been a fan of Tom, Zee and Sam from The Dice Tower for so long and have chatted and interacted with them online for a while now and had met most of them once before.

I am such a fan of Tom Vasel

This time I got to meet The Great Sam Healey (@SamHealey74 on Twitter) (for the first time in person) and chat a little more with him and Zee Garcia (@Zee_Garcia on Twitter). Both are such great guys!

Zee and me!

Playing Mission: Red Planet with Tom Vasel!

Mission: Red Planet

And I got to cross off one of my Bucket List items: I played a game with Tom Vasel (@thedicetower on Twitter)! Tom taught a group of us a fun, chaotic 6-player game of Mission: Red Planet (designed by Bruno Cathala, Bruno Faidutti) which was made so much more fun by Tom’s jokes and presence at the table. Such a thrill!

Playing Mission: Red Planet with Tom Vasel!

A few of us had Stephanie Straw (@InsertStrawHere on Twitter) teach us Strike (designed by Dieter Nüßle) which was great silly fun, made so much better by the hilarious play-by-play commentary provided by fellow-Canadian and game designer Sen-Foong Lim (@SenFoongLim on Twitter).

A game of Strike draws a crowd. Me, Brent Lloyd (from Fallcon), Sen-Foong Lim doing play-by-play commentary for the game, Daniel Rocchi, Jamie Maltman and that's Stephanie Straw behind Jamie)

My wife and I got to play The Godfather: A New Don with the co-designer of the game, Sen-Foong Lim (designer of Junk Art, Belfort, Akrotiri, But Wait, There's More, Dungeons & Dragons: Rock Paper Wizard and many more) and Chris Chung. The Godfather: A New Don is a great area control game where the dice you roll offer multiple paths to victory. Loved it!

We had to snap a photo of Sen-Foong Lim consulting the rulebook of the game he created

Las Vegas was such a blast! Must buy this one!

We ended the day playing quick games of Las Vegas (also designed by Rüdiger Dorn) and the dexterity game Villa Paletti (designed by John Payne) which tumbled down very early due to my overly shaky hands.

Chris Chung during our game of Villa Paletti

Sen-Foong Lim smiles while pushing his luck in Villa Paletti

I apologize to everyone who I met and didn’t include here. It was a whirlwind of fun and a little dizzying at times. Thank you to everyone who came up to say hello! I feel so honoured to be part of such a vibrant, welcoming and growing community of gamers here in the Toronto area. Such a fantastic, exciting day!

#SnakesLattes #GatheringofFriends #DiceTower #TheDiceTower #TomVasel #ZeeGarcia #EricLang #SamHealey #JasonLevine #DarylAndrews #GoF #AlanMoon #JonathanGilmour #GilHova #CSEGames #USAopoly #Sagrada #Karuba #ChristopherChung #DanielRocchi #TimWKBrown #StephanieStraw #MissionRedPlanet #SenFoongLim #Strike #TheGodfatherANewDon #DieterNüßle #BoardGaminginToronto #Toronto #LasVegas #RüdigerDorn #VillaPaletti #BucketList

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