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GenCon was a blast again this year. Probably not the best one I've been to, but still a ton of fun. It always goes by so fast. One minute I'm waiting at BJ's for the cab to take us to the airport, and the next I'm riding the cab back home. Sigh.

This year I brought my fancy new camera, which is unfortunately much larger than cameras I've brought in the past. I only toted it around on Thursday, so I don't have many photos to share. Well, it's starting to get that you can't really tell one year's GenCon photos from the next anyway.

Here's a link to my schedule for this year. Here's a recap of how it played out:

Went to my Warhammer game first thing, which was OK. The GM wasn't very organized or focused, which made the game drag a bit. I met a nice guy from Germany there (Steve I think?) who I would bump into several times later in the con. Next I cruised the dealer's room, and then made my way up to speed painting. I took third, as I seem to do each year, and contemplated whether I would ditch my Cat game early to show up to the finals. A little more time in the dealer's hall, and then it was time to run my first session of Smuggler's Song, the pirates Savage Worlds adventure I brought. The table was full and highly energized. I had a really good time, and I'd rank this as my second favorite game of the con.

Friday morning I went to the Pinacle Seminar, where I got to put some faces to various staff and forum posters, which was pretty cool. Chaos Steve gave me some coupons to hand out at my next game, and Shane leaked the fact that the MMO he's working on is indeed Deadlands. I then had some more time to roam the dealer's hall, and ended having lunch with the sales guy at Geek Chic, makers of the $10,000 gamer table. He was nice guy, and I really hope they do well. That's a really nice table. Someday when I have a house with a proper finished basement, I might have to look those guys up again.

Next I played a cave-man miniatures game that used Savage Worlds based rules. It was moderately fun, but again the GM was distracted and not on top of thinks. This lead at one point to a heated argument between two guys in the game. Pretty lame. That night I ran the 2nd session of Smuggler's Song, which wasn't nearly as good as the first. I only had four people show up, and one of them was a bit obnoxious. I didn't have the energy to take him to task, so mostly I just let him get away with whatever he wanted. I hope it didn't have too bad of an impact on the rest of the players.

By this point I was really looking forward to playing in a good RPG. I spent the morning roaming the dealer's hall some more, and then met up with Jenn at the mall for lunch. I had two games lined up, one from 1-5 and the next from 5-10. With no break for lunch, I tried to pick up an extra sandwich to carry with me, but the line at Subway was huge. Hoping my first game might end a tad early, or that I could live with the granola bar and banana in my bag, I headed to my game. There the GM told us he was very sorry, but he was needed at his publisher's booth. He gave us all CDs full of product (they sell PDFs) and sincere apologies. It's probably the best I've seen a cancelled game handled, but still, I was looking forward to playing something I thought would be good. So I immediately took off for the dealer's room to Pinaccle's booth where they were organizing pick-up games on a chalk board. And wouldn't you know it, there was an opening in a game from 2-5. I took it. This gave me just enough time to head back to the mall, grab a burrito for later (Subway's line was still insanely long), and head over to the game.

The game itself was pretty fun, though short. Basically just a quick explore and then fight game. It was Savage Worlds with a modern setting and the gritty damage rules (no soaking!) The really interesting fact though -- out of the six players I was the only one who was not British. Yeah, I was the Terry Gilliam of the group. Just a weird coincidence too, as the Brits were two different groups of guys who didn't know each other.

That game ran right to 5, but fortunately my next game was right across the hall. It was Cthulu, and it was completely awesome. The game was set around the Franklin Expedition. Basically, we spent the adventure aboard ships that were locked in ice in the Arctic. The game was held in a small room with two tables. We sat around one, while one of the two guys running it sat at the other playing sound effects with a laptop and a set of speakers. The lights were low, a lantern sat at the center of the table, and room was markedly cooler than the rest of the hotel (this I found later to be a happy coincidence, due to having the door shut and the lights out all day). We were given large mittens to wear while we played, and when no ther sounds were appropriate, we had a loop of whisteling wind sounds. The ambiance was just terrific. My only disappointment was that my character never went completely over the edge into insanity. Sigh, maybe next time.

As usual, Sunday was pretty chill. Jenn and I played in a game of Cat together, which was moderately fun, but again plagued by an unfocused GM. We had 8 people at the table, which would have made the game horrible, but fortunately two of them bowed out. One left before we even got going, the other slipped out unnoticed during a bathroom break. I considered bailing to go participate in the Speed Painting final, but I felt bad that two people had already left, and didn't want to ditch Jenn. Also, I figured the game would end earlier than the speed painting, and wanted to take one last spin through the dealer's hall.

My Stash
Here's what I brought home with me:

  • Last Night on Earth
  • -- A board game that I had heard a review of before coming the con. Jenn and I got a demo of it on Thursday, and I liked it enough to buy it. I'm looking forward to bringing this one to Helga's soon.
  • Tomb
  • -- My other board game purchase from AEG, I only witnessed the beginnings of demo. It's a dungeon delving game where each player assembles a party and whoever finds the most treasure wins. I'm hoping it'll be fun, or at least live up to the claim of being a fast game (the box claims only 1 hour).
  • Miniature Building Authority Stuff
  • -- These guys make some real nice pre-painted terrain and buildings. I bought some wall sections and their rope bridge. Guess I'll have to run some miniature heavy pulp stuff soon.
  • Warhammer FRPG Books
  • -- Fantasy Flight has taken over publishing WFRPG, and they had some books there. I picked up a few I was missing. I wasn't able to get much info on what they're going to do with the line going forward, but at least the stuff is still in print.
  • Tunnels and Trolls
  • -- My last minute impulse buy as the convention was closing was a copy of T&T 7.5. I hear the older version is actually better, but I was curious to see what the latest edition has. Meant to use it at airplane reading, but I still haven't read it.
  • Reaper Minis
  • -- I just can't seem to avoid picking up some more miniatures at GenCon. As if I didn't already have enough of a back-log for assembly and painting. At least the pre-painted purlple worm won't need any attention from me, just an excuse to use it.
  • Dice
  • -- Bought some more dice from Chessex. Now that I'm off my giant dice kick, my bag of normal size dice seemed kind of skimply and old. I especially wanted some more d10s and d4s, which I didn't seem to have too many of.

That's it. Can't wait for next year. I've already got some ideas of what to run at HelgaCon.
August 18th, 2008 - 12:19 pm | Comments (0) | PERMALINK

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