Saturday, August 06, 2011

Gencon Day 2: Part 2 

After a wonderful lunch, we returned to the convention center and encountered some of the denizens of the event (see photo). Then off to the Fantasy Flight hall for some Dust Tactics. Heleen and I played the US against a pair of gentlemen as the Germans. The Allies took the day as Heleen's napalm tank rolled up the German left flank toasting an entire squad and then roasting a tank! Much fun was had by all. The miniatures are terrific but the game price point probably still beyond us.

We then wandered back to the hotel for some rest and supper while watching Minority Report on the hotel TV (surprisingly engaging, watched until the end). A brief trundle downstairs to the hotel lounge and we gave Prosperity a try, So far interested but we hadn't finished the game when we ended for the evening. Heleen retired while I met up w Andrew Smith and discussed all things Rolemaster (well, at least some stuff about combat).

And so ends day 2.

Next time: Civilization Rises and an Old Friend appears.

Gencon Day 2: Part 1 

Today was Belgian Waffle day at the Hampton Inn. Well, for us at least. After that tasty feast we headed over to the convention center for two seminars. The first (see photo) was about the merits of Kickstarter and Patronage for launch of game products. It was quite well attended and very interesting. The panelists included Wolfgang Bauer (of Kobold Quarterly, whose products I am a patron of), Daniel Solis (who uses Kickstarter regularly) and two others (whose names I will edit into this post later). In the audience was the fellow doing the Kickstart of Far West (A wuxia, western FRP mashup that I am considering Kickstarting as well).

We went from that enjoyable hour to a disappointment as the host of the World-Building seminar no-showed (apparently he had no-showed yesterday as well, perhaps didn't make the event?). With free time before lunch, we took a swing through the dealer room to check out all the booths who had provided coupons in the Coupon Book. Picked up a copy of Dominion Prosperity for a song.

From there to one of our favorite yearly dining destinations, Bucca diBeppo, for lunch. The food was quite good (especially the antipasto) and we ended up with a lot of leftovers (including cannoli due to a delay in our appetizer). Heleen and I noted the staff there has invariably been quiet friendly and accommodating. Four out of four forks (or whatever food-associated scale you choose to use).

Coming Next: Flame and Dust

Friday, August 05, 2011

Gencon Day 1: Part 3 

Rounding out the day, we departed the hotel and encountered the rather unusual vehicle in the first photo. We did some last minute puttering about the Vendor Room, passed by Cardhalla on the way out (second photo) and eventually to Scotty's Brewhouse for dinner (though we're not drinkers). The burgers were quite good, the placemats had an adventure printed on them and we picked up a commemorative die.

Leftovers in hand, Heleen and I retired for the end of a very busy day 1. Day 2 we have a couple seminars, a demo of Dust Tactics and perhaps we'll finally be able hook up with Andrew Smith for a game or two.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Gencon Day 1: Part 2 

Well lookeethere, its Andrew Smith at the Alliance/Game Trade Magazine booth. Well, the two Andrews proceeded to natter about Rolemaster while eventually Heleen continued to poke about. We adjourned the pondering of "why the heck is this rule in there" and I caught up with Heleen.

Back to the Hampton where we discovered Heleen's coughing fits, which happened last night before sleep, benadryl and cough drops, returned. Something wrong w the room. Fortunately the front desk has openings, we grab a cart and move. Room two seems to be much much better and slightly better arranged as well.

Lunch, a short rest, and then back to the Vendor Room (tried the new Rune Wars cooperative card game) and the Auction (1st pass through the Auction Store, found a Pathfinder module and Drizzt Graphic novel). We're managing to cram a lot of poking and demo-ing in the first day alone.

Next episode: Its the Rooster Ride ...

Gencon Day 1: Part 1 

Up at the crack of dawn? Well no, but not weekend late either. We took in the breakfast at the Hampton which was surprisingly good and a surprisingly short line (we'll see how we do later into the weekend). Then over to the Convention to join the VIG line.

We milled about outside the lounge and then they lined us up, two wide, and the line snaked through the convention center and in the far west side of the vendor room. Ah, vendor room peace and quiet for that coveted first hour. Heleen and I even enjoyed a quick demo of a Final Fantasy Games prototype of a Star Wars miniatures/space combat game. (X-wings vs. TIE fighters)

Did some more poking about and a little shopping (hit one booth's 3/$10 sale and hit another to finally get Dragon #220 - the one w the Vlad Taltos stats). We looped about and voila - a familiar face.

To be continued.

Gencon: The Arrival 

This year we decided to make the drive in one day, with stops, from home to Gencon. It went surprisingly well. No major construction snafus (I-94 in Kalamazoo was closed during rush for a bad truck accident but it was long clear) and the drive was smooth as a whistle (ignore the TripTik recommendation to take a tour through downtown and used last year's Google maps direction).

Along the way we stopped at Coldwater, hit a Dairy Queen for a snack and the Swallow's Nest bookstore (http://www.swallowsnestbooks.com/) for a poke about. Heleen found a couple of paperbacks in series she has been reading. Stopped by the Gamestop at I-69 exit and then off to Fort Wayne. There we hit the Golden Corral for lunch, poked through a Toys-R-Us and back into the car for the last segment. Overall just 6.5 hours including both stops.

So far the Hampton Inn has been pretty good. Our room is nice but we changed on day 1 (more on that later) and the breakfast/lounge was nice. A surprise was the "no-self-parking" aspect, the hotel parks everyone in their lots (fortunately our car was accessible even when  parked) and you use a ticket to get to the car (which I needed to do as I could not carry everything in one load).

VIG badge pickup was smooth and quick but as per last year, swag bags were still being filled and would be available some time on Thursday. So we picked up our tags and retired for the night.

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