It has taken me a week just to recover enough sleep to write the end of our Gen Con saga. But even as the best tasting link of grilled boudin has a finite end, the Best Four Days of Lack of Sleeping had to come to its glorious finish.
After the long night of gaming and dehydrating at The Secret Cabal meet up, the Krewe was slow starting on Sunday. But by exhibit hall opening, we were ready to make one last tour.
I learned that at Gen Con the list of things you don’t get to do — that you really, really wanted to do — is a much, much longer list than the things you do get to experience. Ah, well, c’est la vie.
Sunday morning started bright and early with Mass at the nearby cathedral. Beautiful Mass, and the bonus was that the priest was a huge gamer who came in for the week. He and his brother priests gave the local priest the week off, while they gamed and covered all of his Masses.After an early morning Mass, nothing beats fueling up. Phillip and I jaunted over to the breakfast at the Westin Hotel. While I loved the hotel, I was not that impressed with the breakfast. I give the buffet 2 out of 5 cayenne peppers (for the fruit and oceans of orange juice.)
Check out those awesome pre-painted figures. Great detailing and painting on each color. The well made package comes with enough to replace all of your architects, and even a free little variant so that you can still use your originals as part of the game. Plus, Blue Orange printed up the expansion / variant designed by high school kids in an after school game design club. I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks very challenging and breathes some new life into the game for those that have played it multiple times.
I just knew that by Friday or Saturday Blue Orange Games would be sold out, and they were! That’s good news for NY 1901 fans craving for a new board, right? Let’s get on the horns (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and convince them to green light any future enhancements to the game.
Ah, now the doors to the dealer hall finally opened. The gang spread out, in hopes of catching the last of our to-do list. First up for Dustin and Dave was trying out Merchants & Marauders.
Phillip went to the Pokemon booth to pick up something for his daughter, while I checked out The Dice Tower’s corner booth in a back alley. And there, I ran into this guy…
Eric Summerer was kind enough to visit with me about the Board Game Gumbo segment. He shared with me that his number one hottest game at the con was Harry Potter:Hogwarts Battle. That’s not surprising given the IP, but what was surprising to find out was how much the few people who have gotten their hands on it (it sold out its very limited release early each morning of the Con.) It is such a rich intellectual property that I hope this is the first stage of a long road of good quality Potter games.
Then it was off to Portal’s booth. By this time, Dustin had already gotten his minis problem from Cry Havoc taken care of. Even though the game had long sold out, Ignacy was able to find a damaged copy and traded out all of the good miniature figures for the mad amount of robots in Dustin’s game. Dustin was one happy camper at that point. Again, big props to Ignacy’s team at Portal. They were wonderful people to meet and provided excellent customer service even under trying times.
Anyway, I asked Ignacy to give me a good pitch for Imperial Settlers. I liked it so much, Phillip and I ran back to the board game area to watch a game. I liked that so much that I ran back to Ignacy’s booth and promptly bought the game from him:
Ignacy is much, much taller than he looks on video. He joked that he has to scrunch down when he does photos with Stephen Buonocore so that they don’t look too incongruous together. If you ever get a chance to watch a demo by Ignacy or even just talk board games, you will see (1) his command of English is rapidly improving; (2) he has an enthusiasm for gaming that is unmatched in the industry; (3) his work ethic is legendary and well deserved and (4) he is just a fun guy to be around.
There were a few more stops, all quick hits for us. We looked at the very nice but very expensive Kingdom Death Monster new sculpts. We watched demos of The Networks and Trekking the National Parks (very close to buying the latter, and will buy the former as soon as it hits retail). We even snuck in a great demo from Adam Rehberg who had been pitching a new craft beer game called Brewin’ USA.
You can tell that Adam loves the theme because it shines through in his presentation and in the components. If I had not been so tired and a little ready to hit the road, I might have hung around that booth longer and picked up the game. It looks very intriguing.
That ended the tour of the hall. While waiting for the Krewe to assemble for the long trip home (a pirogue can only be paddled so fast), we grabbed a quick few turns of King Chocolate.
Here is a game that I am puzzled by the BGG fan reactions. Yes, the box is a little plan, and the artwork could use a boost. But, the game itself has some interesting mechanics in how you chain the chocolate production. It would seem a reach at two players, but we found there were a lot of strategy calls with three. I am not ready to buy it, but I would certainly play it anytime someone brought it out to the table.
That wraps up our Gen Con tour for 2016. I will have one more post with my final thoughts and Top Ten News Events at Gen Con.
Until next time, Laissez les bon temps rouler!