Monday, August 20, 2012

GenCon, Day One

I woke up early, went downstairs, ran a quick couple of miles (I am a daily runner, and have not missed a day in years.  Day Four of GenCon marked the end of year four - today marks the beginning of year five.), got cleaned up, ate a quick breakfast, and headed over to the hall.

First event was a demo of Heap.  Heap is the new card game from Privateer Press, for 2-4 players, aged 10 and up.  Frankly, I can't see it playing well with only 2 - the PG who demo'd it described it as "Uno on steroids."  The description is fairly apt.  Basically, you have four vehicles that you are trying to upgrade with different parts.  You place two parts per turn, and then, once everyone has gone, you start playing the remaining cards in your hand in the scrum - winner getting extra parts to add immediately to their vehicles.  (I'm giving a very condensed version here, obviously.)  When someone has three parts on all four vehicles, the game enters its final battle as soon as that turn is completed.  Had a great time, and resolved to pick it up at some point during the con.

Hurried from there to the Lego Robo Rally.  Roborally was a game from long ago, where each player controls a robot.  You get cards every turn, which you have to use to maneuver through a maze, complete with conveyor belts, crushers, pits, pushers, walls, and other robots - all of which carry lasers and shoot at whatever is in front of them.  Everyone plots their entire turn at the same time, too - so where you end up may not be exactly where you planned, when some other bot runs into you and pushes you along the conveyor belt - and then you drive forward 2 squares, and fall into a pit.  It was an expensive game, and lasted only an hour, but it was worth it.  They had some technical glitches (since it was their first game of the con), but it was a lot of fun.  I'll be doing it again.  I had to leave, due to a hard break, but I was able to stay and program in my final turn.  I ran upstairs and grabbed a chair for the Privateer Press Speed Painting competition.

 Behold, Lego geeky kewlness!

The yellow one looks familiar.

 As does that one.

Now, first off - I am not a fast painter.  I can be, but I don't generally like the results.  They seem really sloppy, I feel frustrated the entire time, and it's just not the overall relaxing, zen-like state that I can experience on a good day of painting.  But - speed painting forces me to be faster, and every time I do it, I learn some tricks that can be applied to future projects.  We were painting Menite scum, and, while I did not win, I managed to get a Wild Card slot to the finals.

From the speed painting it was a mad dash to the exhibitors hall.  There, I found out about The Line.  When the doors to the hall opened at 10:00, the Privateer booth had only a couple of VIGs present buying copies of the IKRPG.  By, oh, 10:02, there were several hundred people in line; a line which wound around the Privateer Booth, then stretched back past the Kenzerco booth, and then past the next three of four rows of booths, turned right at the Tardis, and head back toward the rear of the hall.  The line got capped, and slowly worked its way back down.  But, I got told that the line was still capped, and would be for a while.  I wandered around a bit, checked out the Wyrd booth, talked to some people, and came back to the PP line.  Wandered again for a bit.  Finally got into the line about 1 pm.  I stood in line but, when it hit 2 pm, I had to make a choice - stay in line, and possibly get a copy of the IKRPG, or leave for a "Leave how to play IKRPG" event.  I stuck it out, and walked out of the booth with a copy of the IKRPG, along with some other things.  (A full and complete accounting of what I picked up will be in the last post.  It's a long list.)  I wandered around a bit, checked out the consignment store for a few minutes, then headed back to the hotel, dropped off my purchases, grabbed my figs, and headed to the Iron Arena.

Iron Arena is a 24/7 event.  (Technically, it is 24/4 or so, but it runs through all of official GenCon.)  The idea is that you pay two generic tickets, then play games of Warmachine, Hordes, and now Heap or Level 7. and you earn "skulls," or points.  These points can be redeemed for various prizes.  You earn extra  skulls by playing different people, or people from different states, playing at various point levels, theme forces, fully painted, and so forth.  I had to judge the event from 5-9, which consisted mainly of registering new people and taking reports from old ones.  I had a lot of fun, and Stubs, who is an old hand at this kind of thing, helped me out a lot.

Once it was done, I got in a game with Andreas, from Stockholm.  His 3Vlad army just crushed my poor pigs.  It wasn't close, but it was a lot of fun.  By that time, it was pretty late, and I had to work the next day, so I went back to the hotel, vowing to return to the Iron Arena.  Some of the prizes looked pretty sweet.
 My pigs can handle that.

 Those guys might be a problem, though.

 Yep, they are.  Say good-night, pigs.

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