GenCon, Day #1

August 18th, 2005 by Rory

Just got back from my first day of GenCon and boy is my dice-chucking arm tired. Ha. It was a needed break and it is only beginning.

Started out the day meeting up with John H. and Nathan B. We both went to the nerd-filled Steak and Shake down by the Arts Garden and discussed events that we wanted to go to. After that we went to the exhibitor hall and spent the next two or three hours looking at various boardgames, RPGs, and card games.

Our first demo was “Xig,” a puzzle/strategy/card game made by a company located in Tipton, IN. Kind of a combination of jigsaw puzzles and card games. I watched a game being played and it looked kinda confusing. Great artwork.

The second game we played was “The Shadow of Yesterday.” This game is one of the many RPGs published by The Forge, the same people who made the “Kill Puppies For Satan” that I bought last year. As far as RPGs go, most of the stuff pales in comparison to the size (read: merchandising) of anything D&D or d20 related, but they tend to have rules that are very original and well-suited for their settings.

Sometime after finishing this game, I stumbled around a corner and saw Ron Glass from Serenity/Firefly. I also saw Mary McDonnell, Dean Haglund (Langley), Fred Williamson, and Rob Van Dam. It was kinda sad to see that RVD had the biggest line imaginable whereas other people (like Mr. Williamson) had no line at all. I don’t thank anybody knew who Fred Williamson was, to be honest. I had only heard of him because he’s on this B-rated kung fu movie my dad bought be for Christmas two or three years ago.

The next demo was Chrononauts. This was hosted by the actual makers of the game. These guys made Fluxx so I knew the game was going to be a lot of fun. And it was. I ended up buying a copy from one of the game stores later on in the day.

Due to other obligations, John and Nathan had to leave so I was alone for the later part of the day. I visited the Blizzard booth and played StarCraft: Ghost for a little bit. I didn’t get to spend much time with it, but I thought it was decent. I am not a fan of the weapon-selecting system. RPGs work well with menus where you can fiddle with your items/spells and select from various weapons. FPS/stealthy games don’t. I was mauled to death by several zerglings and kindly passed the controller to the salivating gamer behind me. Damn zerg rushes.

At 8:00pm I went to the boardgame HQ and was prepared to play a great Cheapass game called Kill Dr. Lucky. Now, I thought I was going to actually play the real game at a table but this was not the case. I was seated at a computer with what looked like a Kill Dr. Lucky board on the screen in front of me. What was normally an opportunity for nerds to socialize and bicker about who’s going to spend their failure cards became a silent, online-poker style game where each player sat stone-faced and stared at their screen with the intent to fucking annhilate Dr. Lucky and not laugh about it one bit. I suppose this was more fitting to the violent nature of the game. We were all hired killers try to finish off Dr. Lucky with chainsaws, cannons, and pool cues so it seemed only natural that we should be playing the game over far reaches of the internet… five feet from one another. I tried to break up the silence with some messages to the chat box. Sadly, no one responded in the game or in real life. I set myself up so that I was always one step ahead of Dr. Lucky; raiding the deck for cards for at least five turns in a row before offing Lucky with a duck decoy. That showed him. I ended up winning a quarterly membership to and a copy of Battle Cattle. I thought it was pretty funny that I won considering that a player tried to explain the rules to me halfway through the game because he thought that I was unaware of the goal of the game. Funny how my strategy of relentless attempted murders paid off.

Proud with my winnings I headed off to AEG‘s gamer appreciation night for free hot dogs, cotton candy, potato chips, popcorn and soda. Tomorrow starts early — an 8am D&D campaign that will undoubtedly last until early afternoon. So tired, I haven’t slept a wink.