Monday, August 20, 2012
It was a great trip, as it always is. Attendance numbers aren't in yet but the estimates put it at 40k. 40k people and I didn't see or hear one altercation. Everyone waits their turn, no pushing no shoving. Amazingly congenial and sociable for 40k nerds crammed into a room. Several rooms actually but you get the idea.
People from all walks of life were rubbing elbows and rolling dice, all ages, colors and creeds. Not one unfriendly incident, although I estimate 3.7million needless npc deaths.
A quick rundown of some of the game highlights and I will be done with yapping about GenCon for a year.
Penny Arcade Gamers vs. Evil/Rumble in Ryleh: A pretty fun deck building game with simple mechanics and lots of PA themed fun. A bit steep at $40 each, especially considering the Fantasy Flight Penny Arcade: The Card Game is available for about $15 and a better game, in my opinion, unless you hate card games that are not deck builders.
Some Fucking Mouse Game: That isn't the title I don't know what it is called. You play as mice..with swords, kind of like Redwall by Brian Jacques. It isn't a roleplaying game, more of a dungeon running board game, but apparently it was hot shit. 45 minute waits just for the demo. It releases later this year.
X-Wing: George Lucas is a hack. Avoid this.
Leviathans: Pick it up.
D&D Next: I didn't get a chance to playtest this, but the keynote left me hopeful. 4.0 is a trainwreck. Ever since the combination of D&D and AD&D into one product I have felt WotC tries to hard to make D&D everything for everyone while dumbing it down considerably. D&D next should streamline the game without dumbing it down.
Ninja Era: Watch for this on Kickstarter, a simple map exploring ninja fighting game. Nice artwork, easy to learn and quick to play.
Lyssan: Kingdom ruling game with diplomacy and intrigue. Great game and a lot of fun. Best for three or more players but the two player alternate rules are interesting. Lots of bluffing.
Netrunner: This appears to be the new hotness, judging by the amount of copies I saw sold and the lengthy lines for the demo. Watched it played, but didn't have a chance to play it. Nice artwork.
Battles of Westeros Baratheon Expansion: This expansion solves the main flaw of the original by adding rules and support for more than two players. If you like BoW this is a must have.
Easter Island: Super simple ruleset with challenging strategic gameplay. Destroy your opponent's Moai with the power of the sun. That sounded kind of stupid when I reread it, but it might be the best $5 game purchase ever.
D-Day Dice: Publisher gaffe aside, this is a fun game. (The publishers included a kickstarter only expansion that will never be reprinted. Only problem is they refer to it several times in the core rules. That has apparently pissed off vendors.) Kind of pricey for a dice based game, but enjoyable and challenging. You can pick it up as print and play, but the print and play scenarios are far less balanced and much, much tougher.
Trailer Park Wars: Manage the traileriest (coined that one too) trailer park to win. Great fun, great laughs. Any game that has a random chance to name your park "Gypsy Park Dumpster World" is a winner in my book. (goddamn gypsies)
The Current Number of the Beast: Match the current number of the beast with your die rolls, or the number of the neighbor of the beast, or the stepson of the beast, or the business acquaintance. Pretty fun with great artwork.
Nigel Sade: Buy his artwork, seriously right now.
Wil Wheaton: Stand up dude.
That is it fuckers, have fun.
Sunday, August 19, 2012
First things first, it is the final day of GenCon. It is 2 o'clock and the line to register and buy a Badge stretches down the hall around the corner, down another hall and into a large conference hall. The last events begin at 3 o'clock and the exhibition hall closest at 4. The estimates wait time is an hour and forty-five minutes. What the fuck are these people looking to do? Why are they buying day passes for 15 minutes to an hour of experience. Not to mention if they do get in before the last events start the chances of those events having open slots is definitely on the shitty end of the spectrum. To each their own I suppose.
Fantasy Flight released the House Baratheon expansions for Battles of Westeros, it adds support for epic battles with more than two prayers. That was the limiting factor or BoW, the two player limit. I will be scooping it off Amazon where it is almost 30 bucks cheaper.
Some of the sale in the exhibition hall are crazy today. One booth had buy one get three free. Not to be outdone the booth across the aisle started selling everything for a dollar.
The entire exhibition hall is a wonderfully chaotic mess of half feral needs fighting over the dessicated corpses of booth and straggling remnants of sales. It really is a wonderful display of capitalism at its finest.
I spoke with a few of the guys from Gamers: The Dorkness Rising today. If you haven't seen that movie yet it is pretty funny. They were also quite funny, and spoke about the way people of vastly different backgrounds and beliefs come together over the shared experience of gaming.
That sounded lame as Hell when I typed it but they are right. As you gave out over the halls of table filled with people playing games ranging from uno to giant games of Axis and Allies, you realize that everyone is having fun. Even the losers have a good time.
I am popping over to chat with Nigel, and will post a little more about the types of people here shortly.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
I picked up some prints from Nigel Sade today, I now have all 8 available prints from his Modernday Atrocities collection (Moderday [sic]) Nigel is not only a brilliantly twisted artist, he is a bloody pirate and another super fucking cool guy. Chatted with him for a while in the morning, and although I didn't get done what I had planned on getting done due to a late start and chatting up Nigel at his booth, radness was still achieved.
SHITTY PHOTODUMP FOLLOWS:
I apologize for the late post on Day Two of GenCon, but sometimes gaming sessions go late. Deel Widdit.
I had one goal for today: Get Wil Wheaton's autograph on my laptop. I figured this wasn't a request he received on a regular basis, so I brought a white paint pen with me.
I chatted briefly to Wil while he graciously signed my laptop. If any of you are wondering what Mr. Wheaton is like in real life he is a super chill dude and an all around excellent human being. A little bit of chit chat, he commented on my Penny Arcade hoodie and then started to hand the pen back. I explained that it was his to keep and I had autographed it for him. He looked at it and said, "Of course you did." We fist bumped and I departed. Before any of you dickbags start griping about the fist bump let me explain something to you. I am a big fan of the fist bump over the handshake. It is more sanitary. I assume Mr. Wheaton washes his hands after he touches his dick, but I have no proof of this. So the fist bump is the perfect replacement for the handshake.
Here is the laptop.
I demoed quite a few games today. I tried Travesty Games newest game "DeathFear". I have KillBall and PsiDuel from travesty and those are two solid games. PsiDuel is an excellent card game that plays very quickly, check it out if you can find a copy. DeathFear was alright, nothing special. To be perfectly honest the best part of it was the packaging. It came in a distressed wooden box with arcane symbols on the top. The board itself was cloth. The rest of the pieces were serviceable, but nothing special. Kind of like the game itself. You play as crypt robbers collecting parts of a long dead demon, collect 6 parts and you become the demon. The demon countdown then begins as the demon tries to kill the rest of the party within a time limit. The combat is simple and done purely through cards. If any of you readers are fans of Travesty Games it may be worth a spin, if you have never heard of Travesty Games, you should probably skip it.
They did have an interesting game concept at their booth called "Shindig Machine" I didn't play this, but may pick up a deck (it is in alpha) just because the concept seemed interesting. The cards are nothing but pictures and playing through the game tells a visual story. No idea if it is any good, but it was certainly intriguing.
The star of the day,(with the exception of Mr. Wheaton.) and the reason this post is so late is a game called Leviathans.
It is an alternate history hex grid based strategic naval battle game with a twist. (fuck you m. night) In this alternate history a Polish scientist discovers a goo that levitates objects when electrified. Kind of steam punk warships that fly. This is the first game that I purchased immediately after demoing.
The minis are quite detailed and rather large.
The base game is England vs. France with four ships per side. A battleship, a cruiser and two destroyers each. There are several different stat cards that add variety to the ships and require different play styles. The two available expansions (one English, one French) double the ships for each side and add even more ship stat cards. Planned expansions are Germany and Italy next, with Russia, America and an advanced Captain's rule book coming after that. There is a preview of some of the advanced Captain's rules included in the base game.
A nice addition to the game is the lore, the box comes with two novellas, and plenty of flavor.
The quality and artwork are excellent, and the game itself is a blast to play. Plenty of depth and strategy without becoming overly complicated.
On a completely unrelated note, the first season of Power Rangers has 60 damn episodes.
Gotta love a Dalek
Not enough Farscape cosplay going on.
Not sure about this, might be Halo, might be something else. Whatever it was the quality was excellent. If you know let me know.
The Dungeons & Dragons booth (WotC) is all Underdark themed this year. Here is a little Drizzt.
Warmachine is kind of like 40k, but steam powered and far more affordable to play. I haven't played it yet but the steam mech was wicked awesome.
I haven't seen a lot of quality costumes yet, but the costume contest is on Saturday so I expect to have plenty of cosplay pictures tomorrow.