Tuesday, August 19, 2008

GEN CON 2008

Well, GenCon 2008 has come and gone. A good time was had by all. Went there with our usual group plus 2 guests. Dave (Dork), Jason (Jerk), Mike (Moron), Rob (Reject), Karl (Karl), and Andres and Josh (two friends of Jason's, Andres is from Chile):)
Here's my day by day wrap-up...

Wednesday was travel day... we left central Pennsylvania late morning, and drove allll day. Made a stop in Columbus Ohio (my old stomping ground) for some yummy Hound Dogs Pizza (Pizza for the People!)... we also stopped there to visit our friend Jason's sister.. but you know.. the pizza is good. Then we set back off to Indy! Got there around 11:30PM.. walked around a bit after checking into the hotel, and hit the sack.

Day one of the Con! We got up and headed over to the convention center and got in line for the exhibit hall to open. then, as is normal for us, we went right to the Privateer Press booth and got in line for the release of Warmachine:Legends! The line was... well... long. Don't believe me? Check out this from Table Top Gaming News:
(You can even see ME standing there in line, just as the camera begins to spin around. Stop it at 0:06)

Its a great expansion to the game.. and their booth was packed to capacity all weekend. Its great to see the company getting so much success since I got in on the ground floor. I had ordered the Khador started pack online before they even released their first book. It was a great game then, and is a fantastic game now. The usual GenCon cosplay was in effect, and these two lovely ladies made for quite the sight, dressed as two members of the Witch Coven of Garlghast (Cryx warcasters)
They also were running demos of their new CMG (collectible miniatures game) Monsterpocalypse. I'm not really into CMG's... but it looked cool. And they were running their painting competition as normal, and had on display an amazing diorama.. again, thanks to Table Top Gaming News for the footage:

After that we had a game scheduled. It was clled Conquest of the Star Lords.. a strategic board game. I have wanted to find a good space battle board game for awhile now, but haven't really found one I liked. This one was OK, but not great. It was still fun to play though. After that we had some dinner, and then headed over to the mini's hall for some Warmachine/Hordes of our own. I had a really epic battle against Dave's Trollblood army using my Morvahna the Autumnblade led Circle Orboros army in which I barely irked out a victory. (a complex web of spells and one lone Tharn Wolf Rider managed to get me the win...) We played until the un-told hour of 4 AM... and then arose for Day 2...

Day 2 was our busy day...we played a new minis game called AE-WWII. Its basically a alternate reality World War 2 game.. where occult ideas are taken to the extreme.. there were psychic troopers, monkey men, and robots fighting alongside or against some American GI's and para-troopers.... it had some cool minis.. and some interesting mechanics.. but overall it didn't excite me too much. I'm not much of a historical mini's guy.. even if it is alt-history...I played on the Allied side, and we managed to win the primary objective, but failed our secondary one. Was a good time none the less. A solid game, just not my cup of tea.

Later we played another new miniatures game called Pulp City.. a game of super heroes.. this one also had a cool game mechanic and nice miniatures, but the demo we played in had way too many people (16) who were all crowded around a small gaming table. The game, and several of the characters were pretty cool, but the demo soured my opinion of it. I played a superhero called Androida, who was a cyborg with super speed. Some of the miniatures were neat, others were just OK. The coolest thing about it was the rules allowed you to do just about anything.. throw cars, scale tall buildings.. that sort of thing. The super heroes they had for the game didn't impress me, its too bad the game doesn't have a create-your-own-hero feature...but I supposed that's not possible to do with a miniatures game (they would then need a sculpt your own miniature feature I guess)...

After that we rushed over to the movie theater to watch Star Wars:The Clone Wars! I had pre-bought our tickets on-line, but it wasn't very crowded. And I have to say, I really enjoyed it! It was action packed from start to finish, it had some cool characters (including Assaj Ventress (one of my favorite Star Wars characters) and some parts that were very funny. :) A very good film if you just want to go and have fun. And a great addition to the Star Wars mythos if you are a Star Wars fan like myself. And I loved the animation... a really cool style, and great execution... It really has me looking forward to the animated series starting this October...

After the movie it was getting late.. but this is GenCon! So we went back to the mini's hall and played some more Warmachine/Hordes until 3 Am...

Saturday we had no games planned, so this was our day to scour the exhibit hall and spend some money. This was also the day the wore our t-shirt as is our GenCon tradition. s (Dork, Jerk, Moron, Reject, Karl) We received lots of great compliments on the shirts, and even had several people ask to take our picture. I had already spent a chink of money getting my Privateer Press stuff, the new Legends book, and some new models that just came out or were on pre-release. So there wasn't alot of stuff I was looking for.. however; as always, I grabbed a few things...

Went to Paizo's booth and grabbed our copy of the sequel to The Gamers, called The Gamers:Dorkness Rising. We had all been waiting for the sequel to come out for years.. and its quite funny, and has much higher production values than the first, lol. :) Here is the trailer... I also picked up a sweet t-shirt at some other random booth (it makes me smile even thinking about it..)

And then, un-planned, I bought into a brand new miniatures game. I wasn't intending to start this game at GenCon, but Jason had been talking to me about it for a while.. its called Infinity (their site is cool, check it out). Its a sci-fi game.. best described as the creators describe it...

Infinity is a game with 28mm high metal miniatures that simulates combat and special operations in a science fiction environment with Manga aesthetics. Infinity miniatures are characterized by the high quality and detail of their modeling, the dynamism of their postures, and their futuristic aesthetic.

The miniatures are really nice looking, and the gameplay is fast and intricate.. and the model count for each army is quite low (10 for a large army) so the cost is kept down.. I choose the Yu Jing army (see the minis here), the "asian" faction... I am planning on painting them in a cool anime-style, bright colors, pink hair, etc.. I am looking forward to the painting and the playing, since it will give me a very different style to paint (apart from steam-punk fantasy style I paint for Warmachine/Hordes). I have been wanting a real "hardcore" sci-fi miniatures game for some time now, and I have found it. :)

One of the more exiciting moments of this day was meeting Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew)! He was ther signing autographs all throughout the convention. A really nice guy, and he's HUGE, in the picture he is sitting down and he is almost as tall as me :)

And of course, Saturday evening we squeezed in some more Warmachine/Hordes playing... though we went back to the hotel earlier than before... Dave, Mike and I didn't want to go to bed, since going to sleep would bring the end of GenCon 2008 that much sooner... so we just went down to the hotel lobby to hang out and talk. Thats the best part of GenCon: spending time with my friends.

Day 4 dawned.. and we had our only role-playing game of the Con to go to. It was a sesssion of Mutants and Masterminds. This is a super hero rpg using a modified D20 system. Its really a stand out porduct all around, if you want a sgood super heor game, this is it. Our game went OK, it was fun. the DM that ran it was not the best, the story wasn't superb, but we still had fun playing. I was playing a charatcer with Time Control abilites, whilst others had such powers similar to Sabertooth, some shadow walking abilites, a very Captain American type characters, ad some others... the heroes in general were not well put togetehr, I'd rather just make my own.. but it was nice to try out the system.

Then we headied back into the exhibit hall to pick up a few more things, take in some more of the atmosphere... and then we packed up and headed home. We stopped in Central, PA for the night (where Rob and Dave live) and Dave and I decided to stay up and watch the Gamers DVD. I didn't get all the way through it, got too tired.. and a loose bat flying around Dave's house got kind of distracting, and we had to cower in fear as it flew past us.. eventually we got the door open and it mae its way outside.. those a freaky little animals... but the next morning I we resumed out trek and got home around Noon monday....

All in all... a very good vacation, a very good Con, a very good time with my friends, and I look forward to it next year. :)

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