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Gen Con 2011

I had hoped to chronicle our Gen Con experience each day while we were there, while the details were fresh in my mind.  Unfortunately, evil internet gnomes had a different idea, rampaging through the blog and messing everything up while I was gone on vacation.  Luckily, now everything is fixed and I can regale you with the escapades from this years “Best Four Days in Gaming”.

Firstly, for us it wasn’t the best four days in gaming, it was the best six days in gaming.  While I had to work on Tuesday at my boring nine to five job, my cohorts were free to go down to Scotty’s Brew House downtown  and start gaming!  I joined them that evening and we romped through laughter filled games of Telestrations and Zombie Dice, but you can read all about that on my “Gen Con Day 1” blog, the only daily episode that made it up.

One of the Mavens in their funky garb (consequently also a member of the Game Paradise team!)

One of the Mavens in their funky garb (coincidentally also a member of the Game Paradise team!)

Wednesday saw the kick off of the first official Gen Con event:  The Stink.  The stink is a meet and greet party with fun party games and lots of swag.  It’s hosted each year by the Indy Mavens, and started as a simple meet and greet for Gen Con Forumites.  While a lot of forum folk still attend, this is an event where everyone is welcome.   This years theme was “Funk”, which got a lot of the Maven’s in silly 70’s costumes, and still went along with the silly “smelly gamer” theme.  (Which consequently, we began catching whiffs of “Gamer Cologne” the following morning.  Bathe people!  Bathe!)

Thursday was the first full day of Con and started for us with a VIG run through the dealers hall.  We were VIG (Very Important Gamer) companions and one of the many perks of that was to get first crack at the dealer hall a full hour before anyone else.  It’s so peaceful in there when there are only 500 of you roaming around, rather then thousands.  We saw a lot of cool games that we wanted to go demo, but we wanted to make a full pass around the hall before it got super busy.

And super busy is exactly what it got.

I felt down right sorry for the folks who were waiting in the “Will-Call” line Thursday morning.  It was the longest I had ever seen.  It stretched the entire length of the convention center and then doubled back on itself, stretching all the way back to registration.  Apparently that wait was upwards of three hours.  I heard through the grape vine that the fire marshal had some problems with this (can you blame them?), but I didn’t see this first hand.

The captured D20 pendant I made in class.  The necklace it is attached to was made by a close friend of mine, but the pendant was my work!

The captured D20 pendant I made in class. The necklace it is attached to was made by a close friend of mine, but the pendant was my work!

Chain mail classes were also a big part of my Thursday, and a portion of my Friday.  I took three classes in total.  By the end of the classes I was able to walk away with two very cool dice bags.  One made of “Oriental 6 in 1” and one made of “Scale Mail”.  I also had an opportunity to learn to make a captured D20 pendant.  I was more impressed with the folks running the dice bag classes, but I enjoyed all three.

The end of Thursday night was work for us.  (Work?  On your vacation?) Yes, we worked Thursday night, but don’t feel too bad for us.  We were running board games for the “Fight in the Skies Society”.  So “work” really is a very subjective term.  The Game Paradise crew ran games of “Kingsburg”, “Nightfall“, “Modern Art“, “Agricola“, and “Wasabi“.   Everyone seemed to have a really good time.

Friday was more chain mail class (which I mentioned earlier), and a “Magic: The Gathering” draft for my husband.  While I was satisfied with my chain mailing, he couldn’t say the same for his draft.  (I know I know, I said we gave up Magic in the “Breaking the cardboard crack addiction” blog, but I still let him play once a year… I mean, it’s just once…. how much damage can that do, right?) .  There are some new rules that have recently come into MTG that seem less then balanced from his view point and further push the game into a contest of “who has the most money to spend on cards?”.  Specifically he had issues with the Planeswalker cards.

Saturday we played a lot of demos in the hall, and talked to several folks about reviewing games.  You’ll get to see some of those on here in the weeks to come!  We also got into a game of “Dungeons and Dragons: Adventure Board Game”.  We were really excited about this, because we heard the combat was streamlined and it played more like a cooperative game, rather then a role playing game, meaning we could pull it out more often when there was just a small group of us for the evening.  We were less then impressed with our experience however.  It really wasn’t any fault of the game, but the people running it.  When we got to the table the game was in complete disarray from the last group.  The GM simply came over, collected our tickets, and left.  No setting the game up, no explanation, no nothing.  It was slated for a two hour event, and it took approximately an hour before we could get anyone to our table.  We were then told conflicting things about how the game was played and what the objective was.  Really not cool.  I might try this one again some time on my own, without the really bad GMs.

We survived this year!

We survived this year!

Saturday was also our True Dungeon run.  I love True Dungeon!  This year we did the “puzzle run” against the Sea Lich, and guess what?  We lived!  I was our Rogue again, and was very happy with my performance up till the last puzzle box, which I failed almost immediately.  We passed all of our group puzzles however, save for the one with the ropes, but I hear everyone had a tough time with it.  Overall we had a really good run, and worked together as a team really well.  This years run had 10 people in the party, rather then 8, and I have heard that the added revenue that a bigger party brought in is going to allow True Dungeon to have it’s own facility next year.  Hurray!

Our group sharing a meal together

Our group sharing a meal together

Sunday was the end of the con.  We were all exhausted and running on the last wisps of steam we had left.  We picked up our demo copies of games for reviews, and trudged off for our wrap up dinner.  It’s traditional now for our group to get together on Sunday after the con and talk about all the things we loved and all the things we didn’t.  We went to the “Old Spaghetti Factory”, for an inexpensive yummy meal, and unwound a bit.  Of course we still had to trudge back to our car after that, but that short 10 minute walk was nothing after all the walking we had done over the previous six days.

We had a blast during our Gen Con.  It’s always great to see the geeks out in force, showing our dork pride.  On the flip side it’s always sad to see it end and for us all to return to the “real world”.   We are already looking forward to next Gen Con,  but we’ll have Who’s Yer Con in approximately seven months to help tide over our geeky appetites.

This entry was posted by The_Null_Entry on Wednesday, August 10th, 2011 at 7:56 am and is filed under Conventions, Events and Tournaments .
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