Wow. Another Gen Con has come and gone. It was a busy one too, spending about half of our time doing the things we love (gaming, shows, tournaments), and the other half rubbing elbows with small game developers and getting to know product lines. All and all it was a very productive weekend. I don’t recall the order that many of the events went in, they mush together in my tired brain, but here are some of the highlights of our weekend:
I firstly have to pay some lip service to an awesome acting troupe that we met this weekend: Willie’s Wenches. They were by far the highlight of my weekend. We ended up seeing every show that they performed because we had such a good time.
The first show they performed was on Thursday afternoon. I originally arrived at their door thinking that I was there to see a movie. My friend Sho had bought tickets for this, the title was “A Midsummer Nightmare’s Dream on Elm Street 13”, and I was expecting a B movie. I was very pleasantly surprised when I found out it was really an acting troupe full of gorgeous wenches, and not just any wenches, a group of Shakespearean cheerleading wenches.
Their act was full of incredibly bawdy humor, and when they announced that they had a another different show performing the next day, it wasn’t really a question of “Will I go?” but instead “What time is it?”. So the next evening my husband Tristan, my friend Sho, and myself all headed back down to their area of the con for “Hamlet: Electric Boogaloo!”.
Their version of Hamlet was retold through really bad Disney musical parodies. That’s right, the wenches can sing. Actually the purple wench, Lolita, has quite a set of pipes on her and could probably do quite well in more serious musical theater. The other wenches held their own quite well and after all, it’s comedic musical theater, bad singing is simply part of the character, right? In the end this version of Hamlet was by far my favorite of the three different performances we saw.
Their last unique performance happened on Saturday night with “Hamlet vs. Macbeth: The Original Shakespearean Smack Down!”. We learned that this show was actually hot off the presses, being only two weeks old. It had more sword fights and stunts than the other two, but still had a lot of great bawdy jokes that us Con goers loved.
As I said earlier, these folks were the highlight of my Con. They were hilarious to watch, but almost equally important, was that they were simply great people. They took the time to talk to people, both before and after, their shows, mingled in the main hall, and if they recognized you, took the time to stop and say ‘Hi’. Simply an awesome group of people.
We were very pleased to find out that Willie’s Wenches have already been asked to attend Gen Con 2010, and next time around they will be receiving a bigger room: Huzzah! I know that I will be blocking out time to see them, and I highly recommend other attendees do the same.
X-treme Killer Breakfast
Sho also picked out this event, and she certainly knows how to pick them. The X-treme Killer Breakfast is hosted by Tracy Hickman, co-author of the Dragon Lance novels. This was certainly not my first Gen Con, but it was my first attendance to this event despite the fact that it has been running for many many years. The XKB is really very lighthearted off the cuff role-playing where everyone dies. Everyone. Character lifespans are measured in seconds, not years.
The event ran for a little over 2 hours, if memory serves, which was a little long for my tastes, however it was very fun. There were clearly some veteran players who were well prepared for what Tracy would throw at them, and then there were others who seemed to be just as green as we were. One very well prepared group of people decided that they would cast ‘instant fortress’, thus pulling out large castle wall cutouts. This group was also well equipped with cows to catapult and in the end even their own white flag of surrender. Good times.
A fair amount of our time was spent schmoozing with small gaming companies in the main hall. Several groups were kind enough to donate copies of their products to the library and we are greatly appreciative of their donations. Thus over the next several weeks you can look forward to reviews of their products (it’s the least we could do!). A few reviews you’ll see in the upcoming weeks are:
- Go Mental (HL Games Limited)
- Go Mental – FUNDAmental expansion (HL Games Limited)
- Amuse Amaze (HL Games Limited)
- War on Terror (Terror Bull Games)
- Caledea (Caledea)
- WarStone (Duncan)
- Jet Set (Wattsalpoag)
- ElfBall (Impact Miniatures)
- Nothin’ but Net (Impact Miniatures)
- Vapor’s Gambit (Hyperion)
Thank you very much to all the companies that made donations!
For the average Gen Con attendee, the swag was a little on the light side. My swag bag contained only a 1D6, some coupons, a pack of Magic: The Gathering cards, and some fliers. Very very light. Previous years have seen entire starter decks of new CCGs, among other things. So I was slightly disappointed. Although I must admit, the limited swag is likely due to the sheer number of attendees. The hubby and I was discussing how we would love to have something in the swag bag to help get our name out next year. But even so much as 1 die per bag would cost us thousands. Now I see why everyone just puts in fliers. The cost alone of having an item put in a bag is an $800 fee, plus the cost of the item. Ouch!
I could go on and on about all the details of our four days, but I will spare you. Instead I’ll leave you with a few images of fantastical things we saw:
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