Wednesday, August 11, 2010

GenCon 2010 Breakdown!

Well, I just regained consciousness from my GenCon recovery phase, and yes I've been going to work this week, and I thought I'd update the ol' vorpalchainsword with how the Con was.

To sum up: It was awesome.

That's us caught in a Gelatinous Cube, obviously.  Chris of our WFRP group took some epic pictures of the event.

In the picture immediately below you can see two important nerd items:  1) My idiotic smile of pure GenCon-induced joy, and 2) Paul and I are wearing our power rings.  During ScanCon2010 (my birthday), I gifted my out-of-town buds with a specific power ring color (a la the Green Lantern/Blackest Night crisis DC Universe event), and everybody brought theirs to GenCon!  W00t!

I, of course, have the Green one.

One of the traditions we do at GenCon every year is go through True Dungeon a couple times, one on the combat run and one on the puzzle run.  This year Lazlo got an extra Golden Ticket for the early extra-special VIP combat run on Thursday morning, and Paul and I rolled-off for it.

Needless to say we had a good time.  Some of us escaped the dragon, some were killed by the dragon, we all defeated an ice demon, and we freed an elven priestess of Pelor.

We celebrated our victories at the Red Dragon Inn, of course.  Wizard and Pooky won the drinking contest.

During the first (non-GT) run-through we all put on light-up Wizard Hats (also awarded at ScanCon, for going through Wizard Quest), paraded around the Convention center like idiots, and rocked the Dungeon again.

Here's a crappy video of the magic hats in action:

As for the dealer room, releases were kinda slim this year, at least of stuff I wanted.  A lot of stuff was delayed, like the Hollow Earth Expedition Revelations of Mars, Flying Frog's Invasion from Mars, and Wizard's Castle Ravenloft Boardgame.  The Revelations of Mars is delayed until next year because they want it to be perfect, which is fine with me because Exile Games puts out great stuff, but the Castle Ravenloft boardgame is being held to be released August 17th, and they had a bunch of copies right there so people could demo it.  Now, I don't have an MBA or anything, but it seems to me that when you have a convention hall full of over-caffeinated dorks with money to burn THAT'S the time to release your new crap, not a week-and-a-half later when everyone is regretting all their unnecessary purchases.  Its not like they're releasing it on Halloween or something to get the holiday crowd.  Is that not wierd?

In any case I DID get the new Pathfinder Advanced Player's Guide (even though I have yet to actually play Pathfinder, I like to support them over 4e) and a boatload of cast-off resins for miniature terrain (thanks Chris!) and a bunch of cheap loose blisters of pulp minis I might paint someday.

And of course I drooled over the Dwarven Forge stuff.

We also saw all the folks from the Guild, including the infamous Wil Wheaton!

No I didn't wait in line to talk to any of them.  I was too busy gaming it up, and the line was ri-donk-u-lous.

Oh, what games did I play, you ask?  Well, I'll tell you I hit the jackpot this year.  Me and Devin actually got into a game of Paranoia this year, which was totally ZAP-style.  Getting into Paranoia at GenCon is like winning the lottery, but after 4 years of logging in at noon on event sign-up day in April I finally got 'em.  It was totally worth it.  Also I played my tride and true Hollow Earth Expedition twice, once with Travis and Devin and the other time with Paul.  In the second game the DM brought minis in the form of Legos.  They worked particularly well actually and makes me second-guess my inner drive to constantly craft woodland scenes and paint little crumbling castle ruins:

That's our rag-tag team fighting giant arachnids on Mars.

We all also played Terrorwerks for the first time this year at GenCon, and it was extremely fun.  Its basically recreating the movie Aliens using airsoft rifles, and you would be surprised how fun it is to shoot people dressed as aliens with high-speed plastic pellets.  Its really fun.  If you ever go to GenCon you NEED to check it out.  It definitely has become one of our new GenCon traditions.  Sadly, I couldn't get any pictures because I was busy dodging alien pirate attacks.

Against my advice, Travis and Paul went down to check out the zombie walk, and were of course subsequently zombified.  I warned them.  What did they think would happen?

We also played our fair share of boardgames at GenCon, including Fantasy Flight's new DungeonQuest boardgame.  Now, FFG is a fine company, and probably the #1 dealer that comes to GenCon.  But for the love of god they certainly like to complexify their games with excess cardboard chits and crap.  DungeonQuest had a lot going for it, it was extremely deadly which made for a hilariously depressing game, but it the combat is just TOO. FREAKING. COMPLEX.  The combat basically requires a separate table set up so you can play an entirely separate card game each time a monster attacks (combat area not even shown in pic below).  Fortunately for me, Travis picked it up and I was fortunate enough to play it once with him and decide never to play it again before I dropped any cash on it in my purchasing frenzy.

Seriously, FFG.  First the World of Warcraft boardgame (epic fail at GenCon2007) and now this?!  I don't know who's greenlighting this crap but boardgamers don't mind simplicity in the rules.  We like it because it means our friends will play it more than once.  You know what game we had an absolute blast playing at GenCon and wins the Vorpal Chainsword's Coveted Best Boardgame Cory played at GenCon2010 Award?

That's right, good old Red Dragon Inn.  If you've never played it dear reader you owe it to yourself to pick it up.  That's right, just buy it, don't even demo it.  I'm telling you right now you'll love it.  Its simple, totally fun, and even non-gamers will enjoy it.

We played some others too, like Cave Troll, but Red Dragon Inn takes the cake.

Welp, that's all I can remember for now about GenCon2010.  We had a great time and played some excellent games!  Now its time to get back to running my own campaign (and start preparing for GenCon2011)!

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