During the first week of March we were able to attend SaltCon, The largest boardgame convention in the Utah, and kind of our home turf. This is also one of our busiest conventions of the year. We run over 20 different events including a wide variety of board games and some larger events such as, Werewolf, Blood On the Clocktower, our Annual Game Show. However, this year was a little bit more sobering than the years past. We still had a blast, with good friends who drive or fly into the Salt Lake valley to attend this convention. However, we also mourned the loss of one of our good friends Nicole Boheme.
Nicole was part of the first group of ladies from HUGG (Herriman Utah Gaming Gals), a close knit group of gamers who are very much like us. They gather together often. Their group is very close with each other. And the bonds they hold have grown and go beyond just the game table. What makes these awesome friends similar to us is the fact that this is a group of players, who play games. They play a lot of games. From the fun to the very heavy, brain burning game. However, just like our group, these gaming gals from Herriman have spouses who are very dis-interested in games. Sure our spouses will join us for the occasional couples game night, sure they will play a nice easy game here or there. But, none of our spouses would ever be showing up to any regular weekly game night.
So, when we met with, and started to talk to, the members of HUGG it was very fun to hear our tales of woe echoed but in a different light. Friendships grew over our love of boardgames and tales of frustrations about getting games played at home. But one of the big things for me was the HUGG ladies shared love of “Big,” “Fun,” “Party Games”. Games like Werewolf, and later our shared love for Salem 1692. In fact the year Salem 1692 released, 2015, is the year we meet HUGG for the first time, and the following year is when the friendships were sealed. The first year I brought my oldest daughter Ashley to SaltCon was 2016. She was amazed at all the weird adults who were gathered together to play board games, but we sat down at a round table in the middle of the convention hall and played our first game. A 12 player game with myself, Ashley and 10 ladies from HUGG. Nicole was part of this group and her and all the HUGG members made this convention a huge hit for Ashley and convinced her that SaltCon was something she wanted to come back to again and again.
Salem 1692 is a hidden-role witch hunt game where players are assigned a role of either a common townsfolk or a witch. Each player has four cards that are in front of them which read Witch, or Not A Witch. Throughout the game some of these cards will shift from player to player. The catch is, if you ever had a Witch card in front of you, you are and will remain a witch for the entire game. This allows a small number of witches to slowly take over the town and grow in influence until they are in complete control.
I have many memories of my times moderating Werewolf from SaltCon that include Nicole and many of the other ladies of HUGG and times at Julie’s home when were there for our HUGG-A-Meeple CON. This last time we were able to play with some of HUGG’s spouses. Most of the husbands were there for the food, but we did get to play Werewolf with this unique group. In fact it was fun when Nicole’s husband walked in and I am like, wait. I know you. Many years prior. I had worked with her husband. All these experiences combine for fond and amazing memories.
HUGG offered a very touching tribute to Nicole at SaltCon. She passed a few days prior to SaltCon and she had planned on attending up until near the end of her time. But at the SaltCon check-in desk there hung her badge and her picture alongside a basket of rubber pink wrist bands that all read “Not A Witch” on them.
Nicole, we missed you. Nicole, we will always accuse you of being both a werewolf, and a witch.
Until we meet at that game table in the great beyond, know we miss you.