Wednesday, August 22, 2012

GenCon 2012 Days 2 & 3

VG30 is back from GenCon 2012 and now that we've had a few days to rest, we can finally get some updates as to how Day 2 and Day 3 went for the Best Four Days in Gaming!

Mage Wars Continues to Sell Out All Weekend

Mage Wars was a great success at GenCon, selling out every copy of their game within an hour of opening.  On Saturday, the game sold out in less than 2 minutes.  Bryan Pope, you've got some dedicated fans, and we can't wait to get through a few games to post up our thoughts on your first game.

Tabletop: Behind the Scenes

It should be no surprise that we here at VG30 are big fans of Geek and Sundry, especially TableTop, a web show dedicated to table top gaming.  While attending, we were able to tell what their next few shows will be about.  We all know that Elder Sign is premiering next, but following that we have Dixit, and the Dragon Age Tabletop RPG.  Meeting one of the producers of the show and hearing how excited he was about the impact that they've already had on the market was amazing and I can't wait for Season 2.

AEG Board Game Night

If you aren't attending AEG's annual Board Game Night at Gencon, well, thank you, because that leaves room for the rest of us.  AEG's Board Game Night is limited to around 200 people, and costs $32 to get in.  What you get, however, is more than worth it.  Last year we received a copy of Nightfall, a copy of Myth, all of the released promos for Thunderstone and Nightfall, as well as a bunch of L5R cards.  This year, every participant received a Foil Box copy of Smash Up!, Nightfall: The Coldest War, more L5R cards, Thunderstone Advance Promos, and the unique opportunity to sit down with the creators of the games and tell them what we thought of everything.  This is such a great value, everybody should be signing up for this event, if only to get one of those loot boxes seen in the picture above.

Hickman's Killer Breakfast

It was a intimidating sitting with my gaming group after having tried to explain what Killer Breakfast is all about.  As Tracy and Laura opened the show with one of their songs, and I had to quietly explain in another song what T-P-K meant to a non RPGer, the show took off and was phenomenal.  My group quickly got into it, and I could hear them laughing next to me, and shouting out to kill the poorly introduced players.  Afterwards I asked them what they thought, and the only problem they had was that they couldn't always understand what people were saying.  Tracy and Laura, we need more microphones on stage!

Agents of Smersh Demo

Not everything at GenCon came up roses for VG30.  The Agents of Smersh Demo we signed up for was a big bust.  We had signed up for an 11:30 timeslot, arrived at 11:27, and found every seat at the demo table taken and the game already begun.  Why have a time sheet to sign up if you're going to just ignore it and do what you want anyway?  VG30 are backers of this game on Kickstarter, so we'll be getting our copy of the game to play and review in the next couple months.  Here's hoping that the game is more put together than the demos were.

Heap Demo

Video did get to get some demos in while at GenCon, however!  Heap is a game from Privateer Press which involves taking four vehicles and upgrading them with cards that trigger abilities as you equip them, and as you use them in the "Pile Up" which is a phase in which players play combat and defense cards in a style similar to Uno.  The last player standing gets to reap their rewards and equip new cards.  It was a fun game, and the Press Ganger who demo'd it for us was fun to work with and able to take control of what was going on quickly.

Viva Java Demo

The Viva Java demo that we attended, on the other hand, didn't go quite so well.  It was no fault of the demoer, or the game (which actually was a lot of fun), but whomever was booking the demos for the game were double booking, only giving them an hour to get through each game.  I at first sat alone while they explained everything to me, and then as we were beginning to play, the next group showed up.  Fortunately, I was invited to stay and play, which I did, but I didn't get to do much before I had to head off to my next event.  If anything, the demo made me want to play this game when it arrives from Kickstarter in the next couple months.

True Dungeon 2012

I really wish that I could have taken some pictures this year of what we saw when we entered True Dungeon, but I can safely say that it blew me away.  Jeff Martin and his team did such an amazing job of setting up the entrance and setting the mood that words cannot describe it in the reverence that it deserves. 

My group played the combat side as usual this year, and we were once again disappointed to discover that there were only three rooms involving combat (minus the one where you don't fight if you do everything right) and four rooms involving puzzles.  This is still lopsided.

The dungeon encounters felt fair this year, all the way until the second to last room in which you must have paid CLOSE attention to the banners hung in the training room and have a good memory for detail in order to successfully complete.  We managed on our second try, thanks to a small tip off we received prior to starting, but that was a bit harsh.

It felt good to get some revenge on the Draco-Lich that destroyed me two years ago.  The fight still felt a bit one sided in our favor, but I'm not complaining here having been brought down to 3 hit points.  I still find the original dragon we fought ridiculous, so it's good to see it toned down a bit for players who aren't covered in purple $100+ tokens.

I'd like to send out one last special shout out to the Living Statue that worked the combat side Saturday afternoon.  You did an incredible job, even as I tried to make you break character and laugh.  Massive props to you.

We have a few more GenCon topics to cover, including personal experiences from Video, some extra GenCon Pictures, and wrap up for the show.  We'll see you soon!

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