Thoughts on GenCon 2013 Part Deux
You came back! Awesome! I should really stop using exclamation points so often! Let’s get down to it, then, shall we?
The score never interested me, only the game. Mae West
GAMES!! Oh man. I love me some games. For those that know me, you know that’s like a crackhead saying they love them some crack. I ended up coming home from GenCon with 11 new games and 2 new expansions. And that’s primarily from one big shopping day in the vendor hall.
Here’s the full list of what I came home with and some, hopefully, brief thoughts on them. I may or may not go into more detail on each title individually in other posts. I’m so noncommittal, isn’t that great? Or maybe it isn’t great? Maybe it sucks. I don’t know. (Psst, see what I did there??)
- Rise of Augustus from Hurrican/Asmodee – I played this game at Origins this year and loved it. If you can play bingo, you can play this game. Super easy to teach, but not too light as to be monotonous. The Asmodee booth was my first stop upon the vendor hall opening, specifically for this title and possibly…
- Spyrium from Asmodee – …this title. I’ll be honest, I’d seen some video reviews of it, and knew it was from a designer of one of the mostly highly rated worker placement games, Caylus, but this was a pseudo-impulse buy. It has some very interesting mechanics that I’m really looking forward to trying out.
- Rialto from Tasty Minstrel Games – I am an unabashed Stefan Feld fan. I own five of his games now. He could design a roll-and-move game, and I’d probably buy it site unseen. So, naturally, my second stop of my first vendor hall foray was Tasty Minstrel Games to pick up this beaut.
- Kings of Air and Steam from Tasty Minstrel Games – If there was anything in my GenCon purchase list I was hesitant about buying, it would be this one. Not that I think it’s a bad game, but this was flat out an impulse buy. But the components look beautiful and I’ve got this weird pick up and deliver itch that needs to be scratched from time to time.
- Legacy: Gears of Time and Legacy: Forbidden Machines from Floodgate Games – At this point in my opening day salvo, I was getting into things I would’ve been happy to get, but wasn’t necessarily expecting to be available. It was kinda funny to walk up to the Floodgate booth and before he could start his pitch/demo/spiel, I said “I’ll take it and the expansion, please”. I gotta admit, walking up and buying a game from one of these smaller publishers and seeing the reaction on their faces to not having to win me over to sell it, is a really good feeling 🙂
- Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords Base Set from Paizo Publishing – This was another super hyped game, heading into GenCon. It was at the bottom of my list, because I was assuming it would be long gone by the time I hit my other must visit publishers. But after visiting Floodgate I thought “Eh, let’s see what’s going on with Pathfinder” I got to the booth and saw there were copies still available so my brain in its infinite wisdom said “OMG GET IT! GET IT NOW!” So I grabbed a copy, along with an expansion character pack and started looking for the line to pay. After walking almost the length of the vendor hall and actually ending up outside the hall, I found the end of the line. Just to be clear, this line was TO PURCHASE THINGS. In all honesty, I could’ve just walked right out of the hall with the game and not looked back. But I didn’t. And neither did hundreds of other people. And that is, I think, a legitimate testament to the kind of people who pursue this hobby. They will take a product from a booth and stand in line for almost an hour, for the right to purchase something they already had in their possession. Seeing as I had bought five games and an expansion, and this title not being a small title in and of itself, I couldn’t quite feel my hands by the time I checked out. I did, however, have some fun with a little toddler in a stroller behind me who was very interested in the fact that she had shoes on her feet!
- Smash Up: The Obligatory Cthulhu Set from AEG – Honestly, I was pretty meh on this one when it was announced and wasn’t planning on playing/buying it. After playing it with my friend Eric from GamesAndGrub.com (@GamesAndGrub) I was intrigued. The Madness cards added more to the game than I had originally expected. I was considering buying it, when it ended up being in the big AEG swag box, so that was a nice surprise.
- Trains from AEG – A fairly controversial GenCon release. There appeared to be quite a lot of hype over this title, and while I feel that it’s a really good game, some of that hype was overblown. Woah, woah, hold up, now. Hype. Overblown. That NEVER happens. This was the only scheduled event that I actually attended (Note to self: STOP SCHEDULING SO MANY EVENTS). This was my most played/taught game of GenCon but I wouldn’t necessarily call it my favorite GenCon release…
- The Downfall of Pompeii from Mayfair Games – …because that’s reserved for this title. During one of my many aimless meanderings through the vendor hall, I stumbled across a demo of this game. I’d heard from some people that this was on their to buy list, so I decided to hang out and see what it was all about. The table had three people already, and when the demo’er asked if I wanted to join and I said “No, that’s ok, I’ll just watch”, one of the other people at the table started yelling “WE NEED ONE MORE FOR POMPEII!!” so I proceeded to sit down mostly to stop the dude from yelling and causing a scene. After a very enjoyable demo, I immediately went over and bought the game.
- and finally Maximum Throwdown from AEG – I don’t want to sound dismissive of this title, because I think it’s a really sweet game and I’m a fan of Jason Tagmire (@jtagmire) but if anything was treated as the red-headed stepchild of my GenCon purchases, it would have to be this one. I don’t even think I opened the card packs inside the box, which for me is fairly sacrilege after getting a new game. I still think highly of it, however.
Ok, so this post also went long on me, and I really need to do some domestic stuff, like get groceries so I can continue to eat for the rest of the week. So, it looks like I’ll be making this a three parter! Look for the people who had the most impact on my GenCon 2013 experience in my next post. Or not, I’m not gonna hold you to anything.