This years Great Canadian Board Game Blitz Toronto event is being held this weekend at a downtown bar. Details can be found at the Facebook event. There have been a couple changes to the format this year to shake things up a little. They've shifted almost entirely to new games (either to the Blitz or in terms of recent publications) and they're handling overflow by doubling up on games instead of adding a wider variety of games. As I understand it the switch to newer games is to encourage people to learn new games and provide an advantage to people who are keeping up on new releases.
Unfortunately for me I haven't really been getting out to play the newest games. Of the 25 games being played this time around there's only one (Vegas Showdown) I've played a reasonable number of times. 16 of the games I've never played at all. The remaining 8 are games I may have played once or twice. I have no delusions about my ability to do well this time around. Normally I go to these sorts of things planning on winning but that's simply not plausible this time around. So the question then becomes if I want to wake up early and spend a day in a room crowded with strangers to learn games I may not even want to play. There are certainly some games on the list I want to learn (Ora and Labora at the top of that list) but generally I know people who have those games who would teach me them if I wanted. Without needing to wake up early and travel half an hour on the subway. Without having to skip playing Diablo. Without having to enduring endless ribbing from people when I don't win games I've never played before.
There's a minor issue with doubling up on games in that you can't try to attack the leader in the last round. (Normally if you pick the game they pick you can try to knock them out. Now you only have a 3 in 7 chance of sitting at their table assuming two 4 player games.) Historically this strategy doesn't seem to get used anyway so it's probably not a big deal.
I donno. I may not go, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't! If you like playing games with random cool people this is a great way to do so. Check it out!