Saturday, August 31, 2013

GenCon 2013 (Part 2)

Would have posted sooner but I have been dealing with Con Crud that took the form of Bronchitis... Joy.

Day 2 [addition]

One of the things I love doing is finding miniatures for D&D. This year was a mix of both D&D Mini's and figures from the Pathfinder Battles game. I got a lot of player character models and that made me pretty happy. I am usually finding it hard to pick creature mini's I might use so it usually ends up being character heavy picks.

Day 3

We sat down to demo a new game coming out called Hegemonic. I dug it a lot because I understood the mechanics having played other games that had similar mechanics. My friends though not so much. I spent much of this day wandering around and taking pictures of things I saw that I liked and found interesting.

In all honesty I think the Demo could have been preformed better, the booth was small and they were trying to demo two games there. The guy who taught us was not the best at teaching the rules and he named examples from games my friends just never played. It was uncomfortable and my friends put on a good front.

I still want to get this game and play it, even if they will never play it. I can try it at Fair Game.

I had seen this on Friday, meant to take a picture but forgot to run back past it as I was late for something. Star Trek Attack Wing in large scale! It is a shame that they show off this game with beautiful models and then give us crap miniatures that Hero Clix players would use. No offense to the Clix players.

I walked through the D&D Play area quite a bit and snapped some pictures while I walked through there.

I saw Brian James playing Lords of Waterdeep and I believe that is Erik Scott de Bie, and for some reason on the left and cut off was Matt James but you can see his badge, trust me it is him and no I was not stalking I just happened upon this moment.

Then there is the Demon Queen of Spiders herself.

 The plaque at the base of Lolth's statue.

Baldur's Gate giant map.

The only thing I had planned for this day was the Q&A with R&D from WotC. On the pannel that day were Rodney Thompson, Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford and Chris Perkins. It was a full 2 hours of Q&A. There were a few people who missed 4e because of the power structures. A few still had not kept up with the packets. 

Even fewer still thought the goal of the game system was to allow a player with a 1e character and a 2e character and someone with a next character and play together at the same table. We got a lot of good info and I even asked a question about Backgrounds.

Pathfinder continues to have a strong presence at the convention. Good for them.

Fantasy Flight Games showed off more new Star Wars RPG and X-Wing Miniatures game models.

Saturday night came and we played the new Firefly boardgame.

I saw a table for Dungeon Command from Wizards of the Coast that had created 3d versions of some of the tiles. Pretty cool.

I got in a little DM prep for my D&D Next game
 Saw a cool game of Twilight Imperium from Fantasy Flight Games
 There were a lot of X-Wing games happening late into the night.

 Card Halla

At 3am the main entrance is empty.
I attended one more Q&A session with R&D with Wizards of the Coast on Sunday and that was it for my weekend at Gencon.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

GenCon 2013 (Part 1)

Another GenCon has come and gone and this was probably my best one out of the 28 years of going. This year I went with my constant GenCon travel companion Dennis Brown in addition to long time friends Neal Adamski and the Twins (As we call them and better known as Jesus and Julian Zamora.) They also felt this was a great GenCon and we had to pull teeth a bit to get the Twins to go.

This year we stayed at the Omni which is just a block away from the convention center. It is a nice hotel and I like it a lot, it is not our first time there. It was a tight fit getting 5 guys to fit comfortably in one room but it is GenCon and this kind of thing is normal.


I spent the day in the exhibit hall and walked around a lot, this is nothing new as I usually spend my entire convention just walking constantly. Now going into this year I knew that Wizards of the Coast was not going to be in the Exhibitors Hall and it was an absence that was felt all around.

I can only think that this year besides working on the next edition of Dungeons and Dragons they have plans for a big celebration for the D&D Fortieth Anniversary. If they miss the chance to have the biggest presence at GenCon next year that will be a damn shame. They should return the castle back to the Exhibitor Hall properly and have huge events all weekend.

My first days Loot was a nice haul: Star Trek Attack Wing from Wizkids; Star Wars Age of Rebellion Beta from Fantasy Flight Games; Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle from Wizards of the Coast (GF9 Booth) and a Drizzt tee-shirt.

Let me say that this year was a first for me in 28 years. I bought not just one but two tee-shirts. I actually hate tee-shirts with pictures and crap on them but something about watching The Big Bang Theory has softened me up to it and I kind of enjoyed wearing them at the convention.

My first official event was "A Night with D&D" and the Indiana Ballroom Rooftop. This was the party for D&D to kick off The Sundering, launch of the new adventure Murder in Baldur's Gate (Also on sale there). There I scored a copy of R.A. Salvatore's new book The Companions which kicks off The Sundering event. I got several art prints signed by the authors present and had my copy of The Companions signed. Also I picked up Gale Force 9's new Drizzt miniature they had for sale in the ballroom.

My friends were in the Hyatt playing games with another group of friends also here. When I got there many fine spirits had already be consumed and one group played X-Wing from Fantasy Flight Games and my friends I was there with were trying to learn how to play Gears of War from Fantasy Flight Games. It was then Bed Time.

This year there was not a lot of stress as we were not trying to load our plate with events nor trying to pack our nights with a rigorous time frame. I had my Thursday Night booked with my event and the rest was open to do whatever.

Day 2

I spent my 2nd day acquiring even more loot from the Dungeon Hall. I found some nice deals on things like Dungeon Command Tyranny of the Goblins and several D&D Mini singles from dealers like Cool Stuff Inc and Strike Zone Online.

There was a mix of Mini's from WotC and Paizo (WizKids) and I must say the quality of the minis from Paizo are really good. I am looking forward to future releases.

We got to play D&D Next in the adventure Confrontation at Candlekeep. It was fun and I enjoyed it a lot, (I played a Cleric) my friends also enjoyed themselves. We managed to do a lot of damage to the Dragon that attacked the various tables around us representing the various towers of Candlekeep we needed to defend to erect a shield to save the important location. Cudos to Baldman Games who organizes all of the volunteers, I can only imagine it is a stressful task.

At night I chose not to do the D&D Next meetup that got organized and hung out with my friends.

I want to state what GenCon means to me. It is a place I go to see the latest and greatest in this years new releases, demo games in the convention hall and play games with my friends after hours in the gaming area of the convention.

My memories of GenCon are filled with doing just that. From playing Star Wars Miniatures to Lords of Waterdeep and even doing some RPG pickup games in the past. It is about socializing with the people at the con and having people walk up to our table to see what game we are playing.

It is not sitting in a hotel playing games away from everyone, there are exceptions but for the most part I think if we are not in our room sleeping or resting we should be in the con hall. This year a few of my friends agreed with me, there was no arm twisting or appeasement to me, this second night in Indy I was going to be elsewhere and my friends knew that.

I explained my opinion about the convention to them and they chose to go to the hall and I chose to then hang with them and play some freaking games.

We played a new game I picked up on a good deal. DC Comics Deck-Building Game and my friends liked it which made me happy. This is not the typical game that you would see them playing.

We started slow, fighting a few bad guys until finally in the final game with all five of us we played through all of the villains. It was great because those bad guys mess you up when they first appear and Dennis kept saying he did not know how he was going to recover.

Guess what? He ended up winning in the end. He was playing Batman and all that damn equipment he had won him the game.

I used Green Lantern in that game and I really do not like his super power. It is pretty hard to use it early in the game if you are not able to buy cards to solidify the deck you are playing. I was constantly ready to fire off a decent set of cards only for someone else to knock out the bad guy and ruin it for me. It was frustrating but fun!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mekton Zero Kickstarter

Mekton Zero!

So R.Talsorian Games has gone and started a Kickstarter to fund a new version of the Mekton RPG. Mekton Zero as it stands right now I am not sure I will back it, at first I was excited. The first stretch goal made me sad. For those who spent $200 or more they get a bunch of mecha miniatures! Really? You make it a point of calling out the RPG focus and then the real rub, you need to spend a lot of money to get those mini's.

Never fear though, you can buy on for the mini's for a just $10 a figure! I can not help but feel the goal of this Kickstarter is to fund a new miniatures game and not just an RPG. Damage dice markers are $2 a die.

Maybe things will change, but as a long time player of Mekton since Mekton II I am a bit bummed.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Macross-Robotech Re-Image RPG Campaign: Style

So as I go about and make my version of Robotech as I mesh the current Macross concepts into Robotech I am picking and choosing which parts of both universes will make it into my take on a modern day version of Robotech. Do I call it Robotech or do I call it Macross? Zentradi or Zentraedi and Inbit or Invid? It is my choice since it is my game right? Will my players enjoy the game based on my choices?

The Image:
While I work on what makes it into the game universe I also am thinking of the visual look. Right off the bat I will state that in 1985 I got to see Macross Do You Remember Love and fell in love with the change in the art work. In the cannon on the Macross universe this 1984 movie was actually an in-universe movie depicting the events of Space War I but back then that was not the case. Robotech was all the rage in America (Before Akira and Ghost in the Shell overdose) at the time. Macross Plus was years out still and Macross was a TV show in Japan and the first part of Robotech.

The look of Macross DYRL changed slightly. From the first moments on screen we are shown the Zentradi and they look radically different. More organic and at first I do not think I cared for it, but next was the look of the SDF-1 Macross. Gone were the two ships the Prometheus and Daedalus and were replaced by those space ships we saw in the first episode of Macross, the ARMD Space Platforms.

The flight uniforms, the HUD of the Valkyrie, the missile launchers on the wings of the fighters. All the Valkyries had FAST PACKS as a common attachment! Everything looked similar but different and new. The hands of the Battroid went from the rounded TV version to more of an angular mechanical look. Some subtle and some radical like the technology of the Zentradi.

In my game this is the look that sets the Macross portion of my version of this universe. So the Zentradi will look like the DYRL versions, they continue that look in the Macross 7 and Frontier portions of the series so I will stick with that. I like it and just seems cooler. Plus I like that the Males and Females have different technology and ships.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Macross-Robotech Update: Game Systems and Vehicle Sheets

Game System Chosen!

My Macross/Robotech moves along while I come up with ideas [see my previous post] going into this I knew what game system I was going to use and it was more because it is something I familiar with as much as it was suggested by one of my players. While I am using the cover for Mekton II the actual system being used will be Mekton Zeta. [I love the cover art, Ben Dunn is a great artist]

Sheet as a Work in Progress

Specifically I am using the combat system that was contained in the Mekton Zeta GM screen to give a Theater of the Mind combat system as opposed to hex combat. It is quick and fast and used it in the past when I ran my Jovian Chronicles games YEARS ago.

Update: I completed the sheet for it to be functional for me.

Completed Sheet
 I will make some changes I am sure but for right now it looks nice when it prints and will give me everything I will need to run a decent campaign. I decided that the art from the movie, Macross: Do You Remember Love?

About Me

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I am Regional Coordinator for the Great Lakes Region for D&D Adventurers League. Worked for Best Buy as a Project Team Specialist were I did store remodels, support Vendor displays and set merchandising standards for the stores in the Chicago market. He also enjoys playing games (PC, Console, Board Games, RPGs and Miniature Skirmish Games), reading, watching movies and listening to music.