With below freezing temperatures this past weekend, the UNH Meeple Cardboard Syndicate event, “Syndicon 4: Gaming Through the Fourth Dimension” provided a place of refuge to escape the cold and spend a weekend full of tabletop gaming. Approximately 200 people attended the gaming marathon, which was held in the Granite State Room (GSR) of the Memorial Union Building (MUB) and ran from March 4-5.
The event was open to the public, allowing members from the community and all over New England the opportunity to attend.
“People come from all over, from Rhode Island to Maine,” Meeple Cardboard Syndicate President Ben Shalek said. “This event usually has more community members than students.”
Adam Foss, a CVS customer service representative from Auburn, Maine, drove the hour and half to attend. He and a friend stayed at a motel in Dover in order to attend both days.
“This is my first time and I already like the atmosphere,” Foss said. “Opening to the public was a great idea.”
With food and refreshments, raffles and endless gaming, Syndicon 4 was a fitting way for students to take a break from their weekend study sessions and relax over cards, board games and dice. Many notable games such as Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering and Risk were being played. However, attendees also had the chance to learn new games, and some even brought in games of their own design to teach others and test the game mechanics.
“You won’t find games like Monopoly here,” senior anthropology major and public relations officer for Meeple Cardboard Syndicate, Ellis Codd, said. “It goes past Monopoly-type games, people come in with their own made-up games and wait for others to want to try them out.”
Besides the well-known tabletop games, players could find more obscure games such as Seven Dragons, Dixit, Castle Ravenloft and Tokaido. Attendees could walk around and join a game that caught their eye, or set up a game at a table and invite others to come play.
“I like to go around and teach people new games,” freshman statistics major and public relations officer in-training for Meeple Cardboard Syndicate, Ben Gildersleeve, said. “It is fun having regulars come in and show newbies how to play, I enjoy observing new players having fun and learning new games.”
A collection of cards and games, donated by Diversions Puzzle and Games of Portsmouth and Jetpack Comics of Rochester, were raffled off. With $1 raffle tickets, players had the opportunity to win and add new cards and games to their collections.
Meeple Cardboard Syndicate encourages students from all walks of life to come geek out and roll the dice with them every Friday evening, 6 p.m. til midnight, in the Wildcat’s Den of the MUB.
“We strive to promote education through board gaming by strengthening social skills, promote communication and sharing and develop skills relevant outside of the university,” Shalek said.
Such skills, he listed, are active listening, communication, logical and critical decision-making, risk versus benefit analysis, self-confidence, emotional coping skills and resource management.