Gen-Con 50 (Post event)
Season 7 - preview (D&D 5e - Adventurer's League)
Not a bad game. Looks like the new adventures from the Tomb of Anihillation adventure are going to be very 'mission' based. The mission I went on was both challenging and level-appropriate.
Phlan 2-1, 2-2, and 2-3
Very interesting premise. Some of the modules (Phlan 2-3) were poorly thought out or (2-1) poorly written. I did end up having fun, however, mostly due to the caliber of the players in the game with me. Each of the three adventures was a different group, which made it a little mind-bendy to justify, but it was a lot of fun to meet players from all over and try out some really high-powered combos
Engle Harry Potter
Went into this with no idea what it was, but it was very easy to pick up. It was an almost-no-rules RPG/Storytelling framework using pre-established characters (in this case Harry Potter & company). It was fun and we basically rewrote the entire Prisoner of Azkaban novel in our game. Fun, but not something I really wanted to spend a lot of time on. I had a later Engle Firefly game that I chose to blow off.
Bowling for Zombies
I spotted this game in the dealer room and decided to skip it. I had signed up for it because I like the name but when I saw it was a push-your-luck dice rolling game I dropped it from my schedule. Not a huge fan of push-your-luck games or dice-rolling.
Doctor Who:Time of the Daleks
Since I had dropped a couple of events I had some time and Gale Force 9 has put out some of my favorite stuff so far. This is their Doctor Who game. It uses a dice-matching mechanic and is semi-cooperative which can make for a fun game. It plays very much like the TV show with Daleks and lots of planets and monsters tumbling through. We failed to complete the game within an hour, but if we'd had another 30 minutes we probably would have. They seem to be dispensing with huge boards and the playing pieces are big cardboard circles that come and go as the game progresses. It was fun to have mix-and-match companions. And when a regeneration occurs it is just madness all around!.
Giant-Sized Catan Star Trek Federation
The Star-trek themed Catan is a lot of fun with a few minor changes to the familiar game. It was a tense and close-fought game which I lost in the end. I was in the lead for much of the game until the other players decided to pool against me. I ended up losing by a three points 9after I lost my largest army card). The Giant-sized version was great because the foam dice we used were VERY random which always makes for a good game.
Arcane Academy Tournament
Only nine competitors instead of the 16 that they planned for so we played 3 x 3-person games instead of 4 x 4-person. I won my first game (mostly be the 5-point pencils down bonus) but lost the following two games (although not by much). In the end they decided to run 2x 4-person games for the final and sadly I was in 5th place. Which meant I was was not in the lowest 4 (which played for a copy of the game) or the top 4 (who played for a 'prize pack' of AA plus some other stuff). Later I stopped by thei Th3rd World booth and they gave me a bunch of stuff for being a loyal fan, player and...frankly competing. No complaints.
A few Good Men, Women and...things
Another almost-no-rules RPG this one set in a super-hero world. The "old guard" heroes have set up a test for their replacements. Character generation consisted of "What is your name?" and "What is your (single) super power?". Mine was "Granite" (pronounced Grah-NEET) and "Invulnerability". I said I was basically a "rock monster". We had a lot of fun taking the 'tests' that the heroes set out for us which went sideways thanks to the interference of some of the villains in the city. But we prevailed in the end and most of us were named the new heroes of the city. Had a good time with a group who were really good and open improvising players. I am not sure anyone felt like they got stepped on. My only gripe was one of the players, after hearing all of the other players powers and abilities, chose "earth moving powers" which felt sort of vague and undefined. I noted that the GM marked that player's powers as "tunnelling" which felt like he (appropriately) narrowed it to one power. But I also felt he missed an opportunity to keep with the 'elemental' theme that we had going and could have chosen an ice or water based power. But that's a minor quibble.
This is the new skirmish-level tactical miniature game from Gale Force 9 (who make the Firefly Boardgame). This was a real preview since the game is not due for release until October sometime so we were playing with prototype sets. They were so prototype that they were still tweaking the scenarios and rules as we were playing. But the game was fun! It was fast-play. Even with five players (the maximum for the base game) it ran an easy hour. It was quick to learn and they used a clever system for 3-D tactical maps with detailed figures that allowed it all to fit in a single box (with room to spare). I will definately be buying the game when it comes out.
Fiasco "Rock Band 2"
Straight-up Fiasco Madness. The basic premise is a group of aging rockers "get the band back together" for a final tour. Each of us had our own reasons for going back in, and in true Fiasco fashion, things went completely sideways. One of the players had the worst possible miserable fail you can have. Another had the best possible result you can get. My character broke even. The wrap-up stories were both sad, infuriating, and completely bonkers. Great game and great players both!
Nerdlesque presents d20 Burlesque
I was not about to miss this, and once again managed to score front row seats. The ladies (and guys) of D20 put on a great show and I managed to Live blog most of it on Facebook. My phone was dying right towards the end so the last couple of acts didn't get recorded. But it proved an awesome night and I went home in a great mood.
Phlan 2-S (D&D 5e - Adventurer's League)
A sort of 'mini-epic' event where all of the tables work together towards a single goal. Got a chance to play with some of the best players I met on the Phlan 2-(1,2,3) adventures which was a lot of fun. The adventure was kind of 'grindy' but we were being creative in how we dealt with threats and so it didn't feel like we were just pounding on things. Good wrap up game to end on.
Over all Observations
Having a roommate was okay. It alleviated some of the financial burden and I didn't hit him up for parking costs since I was moving around each day and we missed our connection to head back to the room twice of the four days. Riding in together was easy, making the connection to ride back proved to be the hardest part. He wasn't great company but that's not what I was looking for. Might try it again, probably not with him.
The hotel was a little overpriced for what it offered. It was under renovation and their 'breakfast' offering was pathetic. But the rooms were clean and spacious and their staff was very polite and helpful. Might try to get one of the closer hotels next year.
I spent a lot more time in the dealers room than I thought I would. I'd originally planned to spend a couple of hours for the whole thing but I ended up doing it in three different sessions of about 45 minutes each time. It was a big crowded, noisy, busy place and was a little overwhelming. I think this way worked better and I might try to plan it that way next time.
I didn't pre-book my parking because I could not remember what parking cost nor what I'd save doing it that way, and by the time I went to do it, it was gone. I will not make that mistake again. I will pre-book my parking next year. Also I did my registration at will-call and I am not sure of my reasons now (I think it was the only mail option they had was priority mail which was pricey) but given how long I stood in line on Wednesday when i could have been doing other things, I'll probably have them mail my registation next time.
Given how many comments I got on my Third-Eye Games shirt, I may have to hit up Steve for a free shirt in exchange for distributing some literature to the crowd/game companies in attendance. I got a dozen comments or so on the Motorhead-esque "Live and Win" shirt. I'd also like to see about organizing a bus of folks from this area. There's enough of us that I think it might save a few bucks to travel in a pack and register as a store group. We'll see how that develops.