A Reflection on RECON

Over the course of Friday, March 3rd through Sunday, March 5th the largest annual geeky event in Oxford was held. In case you don’t know, I’m talking about RECON. RECON is a time when the League of Geeks and all of its member organizations get together (in the form of taking over the Armstrong Student Center) to host a weekend full of geeky fun. There were many things going on ranging from playthroughs of Blood on the Clocktower with Meeples to Cosplay contests and from a Phineas and Ferb marathon to many different and themed “Beat the Geek” trivia contests. Since you’re reading this review, you may be asking the ever important question of what activities I took part in? Well don’t worry, I’m going to talk all about my time at RECON.

Sadly, my time with RECON was limited by other commitments, but I made sure to make some time to visit Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. My time at RECON started just before 7 pm Saturday night, where I was able to see the Comedians Andrew Rudick and Ben Brainard. I have looked forward to seeing Ben’s performance ever since I learned of the possibility of him coming to RECON sometime last semester. I have been following his YouTube page for well over a year at this point and I have found him to be very entertaining and I appreciated his energy. After seeing him perform live, I have to say that he lived up to the hype. He was able to riff off of the audience’s energy and make consistent references to earlier jokes in ways that fit his style of comedy well. After the show, there was a meet and greet with the comedians, where I got the chance to get a picture with Ben (see below), but that was not the end of my Saturday RECON adventures.

I ended the night joining a friend in Pavilion C to play some board games and hope to win one of the many prizes that were being given away. At the Meeples hosted freeplay, there were tons and tons of games to choose from, even with countless groups already in the middle of games. My friend and I started with a simple game of Codenames with some people that he knew. This was a great start because I’m a big fan of Codenames and it is a simple enough game to play later in the night when everyone is starting to get tired. In the couple games that we played my team was able to remain undefeated. Playing a game got everyone in our group a token which we exchanged for an entry to win a prize. I later found out that the people I was playing with had also put their entries into the same set of metallic dice that I put my entry into, but none of us won them.

After the Saturday giveaway winners were announced the pavilion cleared out a bit and we were nearing the end of the day’s portion of RECON, so my friend and I picked a random game that had a relatively short estimated playtime. That game happened to be Point Salad. As we were setting up the game, we happened to recruit someone who knows how to play, which made the whole learning process at least twenty times simpler. For anyone who doesn’t know, Point Salad is an aptly named point salad style of game that involves drafting a deck of cards, sorry I mean a salad of vegetables. Each card has a vegetable on one side and an objective on the other, so each turn you can either hoard objectives or the vegetables that make your salad. By the end we all had some peculiar salads that weren’t much to boast about, but plenty of points to go around. My salad was primarily crafted with combinations of peppers, cabbages, and onions in a way that I’m sure Gordon Ramsey would scoff at. Thankfully he isn’t the judge of this game, and I was able to come out just a few points ahead of my competition.

That game of Point Salad may have been the end of my Saturday at RECON, but I was able to make it back on Sunday just long enough to play one game of Red Rising. I chose this game and found some strangers to play it with me because it was one of the many play-and-win games that Meeples was offering. Pretty much if you play the game you get a chance to win it. Red Rising, which is based on a book series of the same name, is a hand-management, combo-building game. There were a lot of moving parts to the game that I could not find a way to optimize in my favor. Although I thought I was doing a good job, I came in a very distant second place in a group of three. All-in-all the game was very enjoyable to play and I would definitely consider playing it again. This loss did mark the end of my RECON experience, but in total my experience at RECON was more than enjoyable.

I had been looking forward to this RECON for a while and it did not disappoint. This is the most time I spent at a RECON event in my nearly complete time at Miami and I regret that I was not able to be there for more of it. I got to see a comedian that I have liked for a while and I got to play a couple of games with some people that I know and some that I didn’t know beforehand, but I missed out on a bunch of things at the event that I wish I was able to go to, such as a couple of “Beat the Geek” trivia contests that I probably would have done well in, a game show, and the Miami Mouse Club’s presentation of “Disney Songs That Go Way Harder Than They Should.” I feel like these activities could have only added to the fun that I had at RECON. I’m grateful for the League of Geeks for putting on such a great event, and especially for Meeples for having a great and open free play.