GenCon 2017: Saturday

Today continues with the weird and wonderful world of games.

First we start with a board game about Donuts!  And a Bacon promo card.  Need I say more?!

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Master of Orion the classic computer strategy game is now a deck building board game.  Made by catalyst (a respectable company) it plays like sci-fi Dominion.  I'd recommend it.

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Next I was in the family fun area and came across this game where Vegetables fight against Meat.  Playable 5+ (3+ according to the designers three year old that helped play test it with them) I like how it is relateable for my four year old to play.

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Ral Partha is the original miniature maker for D&D and Battletech back in the 80's.  They went bankrupt and were sold off a few times and still manage to stick around.  It's so great to see the old minis still available for sale.  And they have bins of bulk bits/minis for sale too!

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No where else can you buy wings by the pair and raptors by the pound! :-)

No where else can you buy wings by the pair and raptors by the pound! :-)

As I wrote about the first day, i'm a sucker for game bitz.  Game Crafter had a booth where you can buy common game bits by the gram!  It's like board game candy!

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This next one is important as it represents the future of tabletop gaming.  Everything you see in the next 3 photos are made by 3D printing: miniatures, modular terrain, and more.  They don't sell you the bits, they sell you 3d models you can print yourself.  They are doing a kickstarter soon and you can get a whole wack of stuff for cheap.

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Next I went to panel on RPG Fantasy Fiction with 4 New York Times best selling authors including Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman the creators of Dragonlance.  There was quite the line to get in.

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Trace is 2nd from the right and Margaret on the right.  They told great stories of the early days of TSR, the start of game fiction, and how TSR screwed them over as artists with royalties.  

Trace is 2nd from the right and Margaret on the right.  They told great stories of the early days of TSR, the start of game fiction, and how TSR screwed them over as artists with royalties.  

And then I got to meet Tracy Hickman and chat.  For those that don't know, Archmage Rises is inspired by Raistlin and the world of Dragonlance.  Now that we're practically BFFs, we'll see if he wants to help out on the game. :-)

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Leaving the panel i walked past a ton of cosplay.  Much of it is impressive, but this one i just had to take a picture of: Female Pink Vader in a Tutu.

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This guy wins for Most Innovative Entrepreneur.  He is a one-stop emergency repair shop for cosplayers.  Awesome!

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Here is the completed balloon dragon from yesterday.

Here is the completed balloon dragon from yesterday.

I suppose the thing I like about GenCon is how completely it is dedicated to all of gaming.  Like video games too?  There is a massive lan party going on in one of the ballrooms.  Hundreds of computers playing League of Legends, Overwatch, and many more, including betas of new games like Gigantic.

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This card game is like the Civilization tech tree turned into a 4 player game.  Very strategic, very interesting, i had to get it!

This card game is like the Civilization tech tree turned into a 4 player game.  Very strategic, very interesting, i had to get it!

Then there is the weird games like Pinball Showdown.  Yes it is pinball as a board game!

Then there is the weird games like Pinball Showdown.  Yes it is pinball as a board game!

Goonies the board game!

Goonies the board game!

This is where the first ever Archmage Rises booth was last year.  Such fond memories <sniff>.

This is where the first ever Archmage Rises booth was last year.  Such fond memories <sniff>.

This is an awesome monster: a Sharkbear.  We're so getting that into Archmage Rises because it has two natural habitats!

This is an awesome monster: a Sharkbear.  We're so getting that into Archmage Rises because it has two natural habitats!

There are many booths for LARPers and cosplayers to get their stuff.

There are many booths for LARPers and cosplayers to get their stuff.

This is a cool app allowing you access to a large assortment of background music and sound effects for your game.  It provides multiple mixers for making your own arrangement and cueing plot points or combat effects.  Its really well designed.

This is a cool app allowing you access to a large assortment of background music and sound effects for your game.  It provides multiple mixers for making your own arrangement and cueing plot points or combat effects.  Its really well designed.

Now you are wondering why there hasn't there been a Bob Ross painting game until now.

Now you are wondering why there hasn't there been a Bob Ross painting game until now.

Rising Sun by Cmon looks great.  It reminds me of the old Milton Bradley game Shogun but with more Japanese fantasy twisted in.  

Rising Sun by Cmon looks great.  It reminds me of the old Milton Bradley game Shogun but with more Japanese fantasy twisted in.  

This game is designed by Weta Workshop, the place that did all the effects for the LOTR movies.  It's big giant robots killing each other.

This game is designed by Weta Workshop, the place that did all the effects for the LOTR movies.  It's big giant robots killing each other.

The game isn't out yet, but it looks pretty good!

The game isn't out yet, but it looks pretty good!

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RPG themed coasters.  Finally!

RPG themed coasters.  Finally!

I love the breaking bad tv show and i love board games, so how great to see them come together.  And the blue crystal bits used as "Sky meth" is clever.  I watched this handsome group play for a bit and I feel the game theme is too "pasted on" for what could have been a great in depth game.

I love the breaking bad tv show and i love board games, so how great to see them come together.  And the blue crystal bits used as "Sky meth" is clever.  I watched this handsome group play for a bit and I feel the game theme is too "pasted on" for what could have been a great in depth game.

Next I tried The Red Dragon Inn which I've never played but has been out for 10 years and has 6 expansion packs, including a new one where you play Villians.  

Next I tried The Red Dragon Inn which I've never played but has been out for 10 years and has 6 expansion packs, including a new one where you play Villians.  

The game is what happens AFTER the adventure is complete and the party returns back to the inn for drinking, gambling, and reveling.  Each player has Fortitude (red gem) drunkenness (clear gem) and gold (coins).  Each turn you take an action, buy a drink, and take a drink.  You lose if your drunkness ever meets or exceeds your fortitude, or you run out of money.  The cards are clever and funny and the game plays very well.  Very Munchkin.  I can see why it has lasted so long.  Each character has their own deck, so the expansions add new character types with their own themed cards.

The game is what happens AFTER the adventure is complete and the party returns back to the inn for drinking, gambling, and reveling.  Each player has Fortitude (red gem) drunkenness (clear gem) and gold (coins).  Each turn you take an action, buy a drink, and take a drink.  You lose if your drunkness ever meets or exceeds your fortitude, or you run out of money.  The cards are clever and funny and the game plays very well.  Very Munchkin.  I can see why it has lasted so long.  Each character has their own deck, so the expansions add new character types with their own themed cards.

JRPG is a board game version of every JRPG ever!  Overland maps, leveling up, cheesy dialog, boss monsters.  It's everything you'd expect.  Coming to a kickstarter near you!

JRPG is a board game version of every JRPG ever!  Overland maps, leveling up, cheesy dialog, boss monsters.  It's everything you'd expect.  Coming to a kickstarter near you!

Unearth is the board game of Monument Valley.  I didn't know that was possible.

Unearth is the board game of Monument Valley.  I didn't know that was possible.

Pop-up 3d miniature terrain for RPG or wargames.  Laminated for wet/dry erase markers.  Each piece folds down and fits inside a sleeve in a 3 ring binder.  Pretty clever.

Pop-up 3d miniature terrain for RPG or wargames.  Laminated for wet/dry erase markers.  Each piece folds down and fits inside a sleeve in a 3 ring binder.  Pretty clever.

Two games that blow my mind: one about a cottage garden and the other of being a Nascar pit crew.  Why are all the good ideas already taken!

Two games that blow my mind: one about a cottage garden and the other of being a Nascar pit crew.  Why are all the good ideas already taken!

This is Evolution the board game.  It looks pretty good and there are several versions.  Creation the board game was too boring to make: first there is nothing, then there is everything and everyone wins.

This is Evolution the board game.  It looks pretty good and there are several versions.  Creation the board game was too boring to make: first there is nothing, then there is everything and everyone wins.

There are a ton of new miniature games at GenCon.  Squad based ones like the one based on Game of Thrones called Fire & Ice, the pirate one from yesterday, Descent type ones, and more.  Frankly I got sick of them and didn't bother photographing any of them because they all blur together.  Then i came across Arena Rex, a gladiator combat game based on roman gladiators with some ancient mythology mixed in.  I don't know why i felt this one really stood out from the crowd, it just seems well suited to the theme.

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This game Networks is about running your own TV network, from picking the shows to assigning the commercials.  Just the kind of thing I always wanted to play!  Unfortunately I was out of cash and they wouldn't take any other form of payment or i would have grabbed one.

This game Networks is about running your own TV network, from picking the shows to assigning the commercials.  Just the kind of thing I always wanted to play!  Unfortunately I was out of cash and they wouldn't take any other form of payment or i would have grabbed one.

Then there is the Pizza board game.  Of course.

Then there is the Pizza board game.  Of course.

In the play hall i happened upon Secret Hitler.  Clearly they should keep it more secret.

In the play hall i happened upon Secret Hitler.  Clearly they should keep it more secret.

I have to get something off my chest: I love giant robots.  Battletech is my all time favorite miniatures game, and mechwarrior my favorite RPG.  In the GenCon play hall they have something I have always wanted to play: Battletech in a real virtual combat pod.  It first came out in 1996 and a series of pods were run at the bottom of the CN Tower.  When i worked in Toronto i tried to go but they had decomissioned them by the time i got there.  Then, suddenly, there they were!  For $8 one gets to play in one of 14 pods for 7 minutes.  I played 3 times.  It is awesome, and though the game is pretty dated, it would have been absolutely mind blowing early 2000s.

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There are 7 LCD screens and lots of physical buttons to press inside the cockpit.  It was really fun!

There are 7 LCD screens and lots of physical buttons to press inside the cockpit.  It was really fun!

And finally I managed to get into a board game version of a favorite computer game of mine Orcs Must Die; a combination of tower defense and FPS.  The board game version plays very well.  There is a rule in game design called "looks hard, plays easy" and OMD does this very well.  When the first wave of baddies shows up and we think "how will we ever survive?", and then when the traps go off and take out many of them it suddenly looks winnable and makes us feel good.  

Two versions can be put together to create 4 vs 4 where one side sends orcs to the other side and the other sends soldiers to the other side, in a final showdown.  Pretty innovative.

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And that my friends is it.  12 hours of straight gaming goodness today.  I'm exhausted, my family is tired of sitting in a hotel room, so we're heading home tomorrow with all my ill gotten loot.  Until next year GenCon, i'll be thinking of you!

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