Monday, August 20, 2007

GenCon 2007

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So I'm back. GenCon was totally sweet. Let's take a look...

That's right, life-sized dice! As well as life-sized giant monster tokens. I recognize those last two sentences don't make any sense. However, I know what I mean, and if you game you do to.

Oh, don't you worry, that's not all.

I flew out to Indianapolis on Wednesday, and the airports were full of GenCon attendees, as I could determine by their "Sith Happens" and "Magic: Leviathan Ascendant" T-shirts. On my second flight I sat next to two dudes from Salt Lake City named Allen and Jared, who were also going to GenCon and were actually really cool, and they ended up playing True Dungeon with us Thursday night, to fill in for people who canceled at the last minute. We also all drank a lot of beer and Thai whiskey every night (I brought the whiskey).

True Dungeon was a blast and we all survived like the champs we are. Fields played the Monk against my wishes, and actually ended up stunning the Beholder at the end. This epic stunning gave the party the chance to lay waste to the beast without us taking any beams of disintegration or inflict critical wounds in the process, thus vindicating Fields' choice of character. I will humbly acknowledge the Monk's value from here on out.

The convention floor was huge. We're talking bigger than PittCon huge. Many many dealers trying to get you to try their games and tons of demo opportunities out the yin-yang. Want to play a card game based on the show "24" (with Jack Bauer)? Available. Want to play a game about pirates that fight lizard-ninjas in space? Its called Encounter Critical, and it already exists. Also, plenty of comic book stuff for us Marvel and DC fans.

Delp spent a lot of time hanging with the staff folks at the Conan: Hyborean Age MMORPG booth. The booth was "NC-17 only" due to graphic nudity and violence in the video game demo, so it had to be curtained off from the rest of the "family-friendly" crowd. This meant Conan-fans like me had to wait a long time to get in. Fortunately, Delp was willing to wait at the booth, so he snagged me a staff T-shirt while he was in there.

Speaking of MMORPGs, they had a whole video game section added this year at Gencon, full of beta MMORPGs and demos of other games that haven't been released.

Plenty of Stormtroopers and other costumed folks.

The whole convention floor was a blast, and there were a ton of deals on new and old games to pick up. Fields was particularly enamored by the new Battlestar Galactica RPG, and not only picked up the very new core rulebook, but also was able to meander himself into a game run by one of the writers! Meanwhile, Devin, Delp and I found a ton of super-cheap Star Wars miniatures and proceeded to have tiny but epic battles in a galaxy far, far away...

For some reason "the Chads" wanted to check out the My Little Pony (or something like that) MMORPG. They had a huge setup and Fields even got a demo (note the average target demographic playing the game in the background).

Paul and I coincidentally dressed in accordance to one another on one of the days, so had to get a picture. Paul played GenCon Survivor and a bunch of other games he signed up for. He probably signed up for and went to more official events than anyone. On the other hand, I probably signed up for and skipped more events than anyone.

Besides RPGs and video games, there were plenty of boardgames to try out. I'm a fan of board games, especially those from Fantasy Flight Games. Unfortunately, the games from FFG tend to be overly-complicated for the non-gamer, and thus I don't get the opportunity to play them that often. Knowing this, I signed up for a demo with Fields for Taanhauser, a sci-fi/cthulhuesque WW1 boardgame, where Chad and I teamed up as the technologically-superior allies against two other dudes who played the occultisty Reich (evil germans).

The game is freaking excellent. It was especially great that the last man standing was my dynamite-wielding ninja girl character. I thought about picking it up, but its $50 and that's a little too much dough to own a game I'll never get to play outside of GenCon.

On another day of the convention the whole six of us decided to get together and play another Fantasy Flight Game, the World of Warcraft boardgame.

Holy Christ is that game complicated. We got all the pieces out and everything, read the extremely long rules, and tried to play the game for a few turns. New strange questions kept popping up, and at one point I got frustrated and said (pretty loudly) "Where the fuck is the designer of this goddamn game so he can explain to me what the hell these symbols on the quest cards mean?!" I must have said it a little TOO loudly because an actual designer of the game came over from Fantasy Flight, and walked us through it!

I was pretty embarrassed because I don't really expect the nebulous subject of my ire to actually be in the same room when I berate them (even in a general 3rd-person "Who made this POS!" sort of way), but at least he told us what the esoteric symbols meant, and we played a few more turns. As soon as he left (he was pretty nice and didn't mention my comment), we called it quits on the game because it was actually pretty boring. It took us 2.5 hours just to set it up and play 5 turns per side (3 players per side). That's too goddamn long. I'll stick with Taanhauser and Arkham Horror.

I know that we are all going next year we had such a good time. I'll probably post more pics as I get them from the rest of the good time gang. Also, check out the Brandodojo for more coverage of the event!