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GenCon 2016

All discussions regarding Electronic, Board, Card, and RPG Gaming, including industry discussion, that don't belong in one of the other gaming forums.

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Zarathud
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GenCon 2016

Post by Zarathud » Sat Aug 06, 2016 5:02 pm

It's Saturday. I escaped after getting trapped by the costume parade in the Main Hall this year.

Today I demoed a "learn to play" game of Scythe that let us play only a handful of turns. It felt like jumping into a lake and having the water drained just as you got over the "Oh crap, I'm going to drown" phase. The different player abilities take some getting used to, but I can see how this will be a lot of fun. Getting an engine started takes focus given the many tradeoffs, but I can see where I went astray. Can't wait to try again after buying on Thursday.

This morning was a few rounds of Hoplomachus Origins from Chip Theory Games. Putting units on poker chips is a great idea and marching a stack 10 tall against his 6 tall stack was very satisfying. The unit abilities make the game very fast.

Just sitting down to play Legendary Big Trouble in Little China. Been through the dealer hall three times and still haven't seen anywhere near enough.

Last night was a great run at X-Wing Last Man Standing, but it's time to play with Six Shooter in Chinatown.
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by YellowKing » Sat Aug 06, 2016 7:31 pm

Looking forward to hearing your impressions of Big Trouble in Little China.

I just started back going through Legendary Encounters: Aliens again solo, and enjoying it immensely. I skipped out on Predators since thematically it was too similar, but I could probably be persuaded to take on Lo Pan. :D

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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by $iljanus » Sat Aug 06, 2016 10:19 pm

Are they running a demo of Legendary Firefly at Gencon? I'd love to hear any impressions if anyone gets a chance to play it.
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by hentzau » Sat Aug 06, 2016 11:21 pm

$iljanus wrote:Are they running a demo of Legendary Firefly at Gencon? I'd love to hear any impressions if anyone gets a chance to play it.
I picked up a copy, I may try and get a game in tomorrow.
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by Zarathud » Sun Aug 07, 2016 12:38 pm

Played the first two episodes of Legendary:Firefly last night. It was hard. Each episode (based on the show) has a fixed number of cards before the inevitable end. You buy cards based on the characters not in play. Characters in play have special abilities triggered by "talent" cards, but will take "flaw" cards when bad stuff happens. I was Jayne, and I could get a +3 fight (not scan) on a talent or give everyone else a wound. Unfortunately, there are only 5 brownshirts with "coordinate" abilities to buy -- so starting out your deck can be difficult.

The ship can be attacked, and you lose when the ship takes too much damage. The ship can be upgraded for bonuses--until that part of the ship is damaged.

So this is looks like it is made for gamers looking for a challenge. The art isn't very good. I would have expected frame captures from the episodes, but the art quality is poor. Some of the characters are barely recognizable, which is a shame since Firefly fans are the target audience.

But Firefly is an Encounters game, and it felt better than Big Trouble in Little China. Sure, there were mindless fights with minions. But the heart just isn't there -- it's a just a competitively coop fighting game. Hopefully they'll do better with Buffy next year.
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by hentzau » Sun Aug 07, 2016 4:33 pm

Actually spent two days there instead of one, which was a blessing because we barely made it through 3/4 of the dealer hall on the first day.

On Thursday, we got to the con by a bit after 10. Spend the lion's share of both Thursday and Friday in the hall, with the following highlights:
  • Got to see the new 7th Sea edition. I was a Kickstarter backer, and according to the emails all of the new copies were mailed out before GenCon, but unfortunately I must have been at the tail end of the listing, because I still don't have mine. But the book is absolutely gorgeous and I can't wait to try playing it with it's new streamlined rules.
  • Played a demo turn of Battle of Britain, a re-issue of the old TSR game by Richard Borg. The new publisher was assisting us with the demo, so it was nice hearing some of the history behind the new edition. The one turn we played was fun, which is good since Tommy backed this one.
  • Had our traditional Friday lunch with John Kovalic. It was nice catching up with him, and he picked up the tab since we talked a lot about business so he could deduct it from his taxes. :)
  • Spent a bit of time at the Arena Rex booth. This was a game Kickstarted about 2 years ago, that I was really tempted by. It's a gladiator arena game that borrows heavily from the old LucasArts game Gladius, which I am a huge fan of. The miniatures (professionally painted) are absolutely gorgeous. But...even with a 15% off GenCon special, it is beastly expensive to get into, and the minis look really fragile and would be (I think) a nightmare to assemble. So after a lot of deliberation, I decided (once again) to pass on it.
  • Spent about half an hour talking to one of the designers at 4Ground, talking about current and future terrain releases. Had a great conversation with him where it was revealed that (at least for the old west buildings), because they are partnered with Great Escape Games, not all of their design decisions are their own. Many times the building that comes out is the way it is because of requests from GEG. Specifically, the Train Station. GEG wanted a big multi-room monstrosity, where 4Ground wanted a smaller more subdued station (closer to what I was wanting.) The designer asked me to send him comments and ideas and pictures of my layout, so I have to do that today before I forget.
  • The highlight of the con has to be the Blood and Plunder preview. Blood and Plunder is a new historical pirate miniatures game that hit Kickstarter earlier this year. I made a beeline straight for their booth when we hit the floor. They had large booth, and it was always packed with people playing demos and oogling the minis. I got my free pirate mini (actually got two since I backed at a captain level twice) and talked to one of the booth guys there. The enthusiasm of everyone in the place was really amazing. I managed to get into a demo of the game on Saturday morning and I am not disappointed in the least. The rules are great, after the first turn we had them down and were running ourselves without the demo guy needing to get involved at all. I spent some time talking to the guy that painted their ships, and we got into a discussion about using an airbrush for mini painting, so now I have to go out and buy an airbrush (of course.) I am now SO excited for this game it's not even funny.
Purchases from the Con:
  • Star Trek Panic! - bought after I watched some folks playing a couple of rounds. Different enough from Castle Panic, plus the 3D Enterprise is cool.
  • Saloon Tycoon - I had been interested in this since their initial Kickstarter, and after seeing the quality of the components plus talking gameplay with the designer a bit, it came home with me.
  • Legendary Encounters: Firefly
  • - I could have waited for retail, but it was there, they had some, and...Firefly!
  • Pulp Alley - miniatures rule set for pulp adventures. I have some plans, oh yes, I have some plans.
  • And lastly, my 1.5 wave of Shadows of Brimstone. Now, as far as I can tell, the 1.5 wave is the last of everything I was promised for the Outlaw level pledge. I did not get Tredarria, nor any of the other character packs.
Today, I've been recovering, and thinking about pirate terrain and buying an airbrush.
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by Blackhawk » Sun Aug 07, 2016 5:12 pm

hentzau wrote: [*]Pulp Alley - miniatures rule set for pulp adventures. I have some plans, oh yes, I have some plans.
A Lost Empire Called Zenda?
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by coopasonic » Sun Aug 07, 2016 7:59 pm

Zarathud wrote:Played the first two episodes of Legendary:Firefly last night. It was hard.
Have you played Aliens or Predator? These are not remotely easy games. The initial Legendary was way too easy unless you are running 4 players. The encounters games totally change that. I have Firefly pre-ordered and it looks like the Ashes stuff I have the order will push it back to September, but Firefly is probably the one I am most excited for. Very sad to hear the art isn't good. :( Hopefully the gameplay makes up for it.
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by hepcat » Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:13 am

I got back yesterday afternoon. Overall, it was fun. But I think they screwed up my event registration because I truly believe I scheduled quite a bit more than what they had me down for. I'll need to see if their online event system is still available to view so I can take a look.

My favorite purchase by far was Star Trek Ascendancy. It's (almost) everything I wanted in a Star Trek 4x game. And it's amazingly thematic to boot. The Feds get bonuses to exploration and diplomatic take over of worlds (Hegemony...a word I simply cannot pronounce, no matter how many times folks remind me), Romulans get sneaky stuff, and Klingons Klingon...that is, they fight). The floating map and the race expansions are a thing of beauty, in my opinion. I can't wait to play more!

I also picked up Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu. Although I'm not sure if there's enough in there to warrant the reskin. I'll have to play it to find out.

Playing Hoplomachus: Origins reminded me how much I enjoy the Hoplomachus series, so I picked up Hoplomachus: Rise of Rome. They're a bit expensive (75 bucks with tax and the 5 dollars off they gave me for playing Origins), but they're a very small company and they don't sell through retailers, so it's a game I couldn't get any cheaper. I probably should have grabbed the first game in the series, The Lost Cities. But I like the addition of coop against Titans. I'll probably get the first one some day, but I think I've got enough to keep me going for a while.

I also found the first game in the Hostage Negotiator series and all the expansions at their booth in a bundle sale. So I cancelled my kickstarter for the sequel and all of the first game in favor of getting that. Now I can play it sooner.

I also was able to pick up my kickstarter for Strife. It's a fun little card game that is deceptively deep. I like that the discard pile is an integral part of the game. I also love the tie breaker mechanic: a 12 sided die set to its 1 side is given to the first player on the first turn. Whoever has the die loses ties, but they can pass it to the other player to win a tie, although they have to increment the die up 1. Whoever owns the die at the end of the game gets the value the die is at in victory points. It's a nice touch, I must say. And the artwork is absolutely fantastic.

I played Legendary: Big Trouble in Little China on Saturday, but I think I'm just burned out on the original Legacy system. Plus, the artwork that Upper Deck is using for their games seems to be getting worse and worse with each successive release. I played Legendary Encounters: Firefly with Harkonis, his better half, Zarathud and Hellspawn on Saturday night, and while I really liked the game, the artwork was even worse for most of the cards. Just awful in many cases. However, I enjoyed it a great deal because of the new mechanics (ship damage, talents, etc.) and the difficulty (hard...even harder than Aliens or Predator, imho.). So I'll probably end up getting it.

My big box o' Shadows of Brimstone was also picked up. It's astounding how much we're getting for what we paid. While I still think they screwed up the kickstarter quite a bit, this goes a long way towards cutting the edge off. Unfortunately, I had two outlaw levels on my pledge as I let someone piggyback onto my pledge, and they just mixed them all together in the box. So I need to sit down and separate them all out this week. That's going to be fun...
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by Zarathud » Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:50 am

I have played the Legendary Encounters Alien and Predator. They were hard, but lasted long enough to build an engine. Getting that engine is MUCH harder with the short episodes in Firefly. Maybe too short, or we're playing something wrong.
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:08 am

hepcat wrote:(Hegemony...a word I simply cannot pronounce, no matter how many times folks remind me),
He - like Christopher Lambert's laught
gem - like Jem'hadar
mony - money, like all the stuff you spent at GenCon.
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by hepcat » Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:21 am

Thanks. At one point I just gave up and started calling it "the H word". This was after Seppe corrected me at least 4 times, after which I'd immediately say it correctly...then 5 minutes later mispronounce it again.

I swear to God, it's like my mind refuses to accept that it's pronounced that way. I cannot think of any other word that I have that issue with. :?
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by baelthazar » Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:36 pm

That's alright Hep, I have a PHD and cannot, for the life of me, pronounce Scythe. Which made this weekend gaming awkward.

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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:40 pm

baelthazar wrote:That's alright Hep, I have a PHD and cannot, for the life of me, pronounce Scythe. Which made this weekend gaming awkward.
Go play Grim Fandango. You'll get plenty of exposure.
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by Zarathud » Mon Aug 08, 2016 1:35 pm

My acquisitions were Scythe, Mystic Vale, Celestia, the chibi D&D cartoon characters from Impact Minis, 3 small bits boxes from Broken Token, and a collection of plastic pawns.

It wasn't too hard to avoid temptation this year. I still haven't played half of my games from Origins. X-Wing and SeaFall sold out. Vast:Crystal Caverns is coming in the mail, and I couldn't buy Too Many Bones. I'll put in a KR Multicase order after evaluating my space needs. The temptation remains to buy Star Trek Ascendancy even though hepcat has a copy.

Evolution and Super Dungeon Explore are coming to steam in 2017 and October 2016. There is an interesting "mage simulator" adventure is in Early Access, along with a Tunnels & Trolls choose your own adventure.

The prototype of Joking Hazard looks better than Cards against Humanity.

Dragon & Flagon involves building a tavern then rushing around in a bar fight. You place standup cardboard bits around the bar. A good looking game worth a try.

CMON has some amazing looking kickstarters planned, but they're jumbled together in my mind.

Hitting the water park in Ohio with the family afterwards is very nice. The kids had fun at their first Con. My youngest wanted to see the Yo Kai and Pokemon, the oldest liked the anime and leather books. The youngest wasn't too scared, and tried to run off to look at the real swords! Nightly planning on how to get them through the dealer hall helped.
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by Harkonis » Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:54 am

Zarathud wrote:I have played the Legendary Encounters Alien and Predator. They were hard, but lasted long enough to build an engine. Getting that engine is MUCH harder with the short episodes in Firefly. Maybe too short, or we're playing something wrong.
it's still hard, but we made it a bit harder than it needed to be fwiw. With 5 players we should have done the 2 turn prep with no movement of the cards into and through the 'verse. was tired and forgot that
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by Harkonis » Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:05 am

I picked up
Legendary Encounters: Firefly
Legendary Big Trouble in Little China
High Caliber Ops expansion for Shadowrun: Crossfire
United expansion for Star Realms
Vikings by Catalyst
Wrath of Dragons
Valiant Universe
Shadowrun: Encounters
Bunch of discounted Krosmaster minis and games
ridiculous amount of sleeves

My oddest moment was probably when I finally got to sit down to demo Hero Realms with one of the devs of it. He was supposed to be at a meeting but since we know each other he wanted to teach me as quickly as he could before the meeting. He starts explaining how to play and his fiancee/manager reminds him to go to the meeting. It's similar enough to Star Realms that I think I can do it so HellSpawn and I start playing against each other. My SO is next to me and some random guy sits across from her to demo and the dev's fiancee tells him I can demo it for him. I switch seats with my SO and proceed to teach 3 people to play a game I hadn't ever played technically. Then the third game at the table kept asking me rules questions as well. Think I got them all right thankfully. She apologized for putting me on the spot though and I got some promos so it's all good.

I'm quite excited for HR and if you like Star Realms for anything other than the space theme you should be too imo ;) At it's core it's basically a more tweaked and tuned version of SR, so almost SR 3.0 (with Colony Wars being 2.0). Once the class packs come out though it diverges quite a bit from SR in feel and the scenarios and campaign stuff will take it further.

My brain is a bit fried overall from the games though so I haven't learned any of the truly new games I got yet.

We played a bunch of Star Realms, Shadowrun: Crossfire and LE:Firefly today though and had a blast. I know Hep isn't a fan, but SR:CF is one of my favorite games at the moment. Lots of little things that made me like it more than some other deckbuilders from putting bought cards directly into hand to being able to hang on to cards between turns. Also the expansion had a couple more 'noob' scenarios that aren't quite as brutal as the original one the core shipped with so that combined with the dual class cards was a welcome addition.

There is a lot of character customization between the racial differences, role differences and the upgrades you earn as you play more games.
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by hepcat » Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:15 am

I would've been willing to give it a go. I felt the theme was too loosely applied in the base game, so if the expansions address that, I'd probably like it.

I went through my box o' stuff for Shadows of Brimstone last night in order to separate out the stuff for the other outlaw level pledge backer who piggybacked on mine. My god, there's a lot. And the figures seem much better than the first game(s).

I love the addition of ranged combat and spellcasters. That should make for some fun adventuring. I also think I'll grab the Tedarra expansion when it shows up at coolstuff or miniaturemarket. Adding cover to the ranged combat will take it to a new level, I believe.
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by Blackhawk » Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:52 pm

There is a possibility I may be going next year. A friend who lives in Indy and goes every year has offered to share a room at one of hotels across the street and pay the fees for me. Of course, that's a year out, and I'd still have to save up quite a bit of money, plus make arrangements for the kids, but it is at least a possibility.
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by Harkonis » Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:24 pm

Image
Hepcat, Zarathud, HellSpawn and myself (and the woman who makes it all possible. ;) )
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by Chrisoc13 » Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:46 pm

I'm actually looking at taking some vacation time to make it to Gen con next year. I've been in the past but only on the closing Sunday. I think I would like to go for the whole weekend and next year the dates actually work well.

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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by hentzau » Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:47 pm

Hepcat didn't take a picture with me. :(

And I missed that you were there, Harkonis. Sorry I missed you!
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by hepcat » Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:49 pm

Sorry. In my defense, I rarely take pictures...ever. Seeing my bulbous head in the above shot, I remember why.
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:50 pm

Chrisoc13 wrote:I'm actually looking at taking some vacation time to make it to Gen con next year. I've been in the past but only on the closing Sunday. I think I would like to go for the whole weekend and next year the dates actually work well.
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by Harkonis » Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:21 pm

so which of those will you be at Had?
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:33 pm

... One of them. It's still on my list.
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by Chrisoc13 » Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:34 pm

Yeah those mid August dates work best for me. Eyes set on next year...

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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by Blackhawk » Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:26 pm

If the plans come through for next year, I'll be there for the whole shebang.

I'm kind of excited. I've been wanting to see GenCon since it was still in Lake Geneva. And had an official D&D presence.
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by hentzau » Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:36 pm

I do miss the D&D presence there. The last time that I attended GenCon for the full four days was the last time they had a booth there.
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by Harkonis » Tue Aug 09, 2016 6:23 pm

Yet another increase in attendance this year, but it felt odd because they greatly expanded the size of the venue. As a result it felt about half as crowded and a lot of the cosplay were away from the dealer hall this year. I'm not sure all the expanded space was communicated as well as it could be though, I never was pointed or guided that way at all and ended up never going over to all the stuff at the stadium instead of the convention hall.

Good news is that we still have room to grow
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by baelthazar » Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:09 pm

Harkonis wrote:Image
Hepcat, Zarathud, HellSpawn and myself (and the woman who makes it all possible. ;) )
Who is who in the pic?

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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:12 pm

I believe Hark was posting from inside a mirror, so reverse the male names.

Source: I've met the two on the right, and know the hairstyle that Hark favors.
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by baelthazar » Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:01 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:I believe Hark was posting from inside a mirror, so reverse the male names.

Source: I've met the two on the right, and know the hairstyle that Hark favors.
That makes sense, because somehow I just could not picture Hep having a mohawk.

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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by Zarathud » Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:35 pm

Hellspawn and I have no facial hair. I wear glasses and apparently have started to grin like a toothless jack o'lantern.

More updates tonight from me now that I'm back home from visiting a friend in Sandusky, Ohio.
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by Zarathud » Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:56 am

Let's take the wayback machine to last Friday.

1. I started the day with hepcat playing Folklore, a Kickstarter adventure board game with a touch of horror and RPG. My character was a stabby lady mage, while hepcat played the exorcist. We were joined by a madman and an hunter wielding a crossbow. The adventure was rather straight forward -- mysterious wolves, a hostile town and a quest to find a missing priest somewhere in the dangerous north. After quelling the rabble in the tavern with our fists, we realized that taking the roads would be the long way. Instead, we risked a shortcut across the river on the border and braved many skirmishes. It seemed our exorcist was more adept at angering mobs than motivating them to depart in peace. Along the way, we learned that wolves apparently hide in the tall grass not the forest, and searching must happen during combat or never. Motivated by this arbitrary rule, we located a two handed cleaver and decided that it made sense to give to our only mildly insane madman who could stand toe to toe with the enemy. Or 2 spaces away now that he had extra reach, which left hepcat and me as the party front line.

Having explored the farm, we tiptoed through a graveyard on our way into a dungeon. There, we faced off against a lycanthrope determined to devour the ring hepcat had discovered. Unfortunately, he was wearing it because that's what you do when you find a mysterious ring. Behind the lycanthrope were two mages with our priest immobilized during a ritual. The hunter and madman charged the mages in an attempt to solve our quest, leaving hepcat and me alone. It wouldn't have been so bad if we could hit more often. Combined, I think we rolled under 20% about fourteen times on the percentile dice. When either of us did hit, we did amazing damage with magic/holy water.

Eventually, the choice came down to whether I would help rescue the priest or save hepcat. So hepcat died and turned into a ghost, increasing his effectiveness in battle and making him officially the Anti-Exorcist. :mrgreen: With our team able to finally work together, the dice finally cooperated and we quickly put down the lycanthrope.

I'm not a big fan of % RPG systems, and the loot is quite stingy. I'd almost rather have skirmishes than place down a map to play out the tactical fight. It also faces a lot of competition but luckily hepcat back this on Kickstarter, not me.

2. Paranoia followed across the street. The players were all Star Trek characters in an adventure to Rescue High Programmer J.J. Abrams from the evil Rommies (aka Romulans, Rahm Emanuels and Rommney). Since secrecy was necessary, we were sent on a televised Nancy Grace survivor-style game show through the Star Wars universe. The mission was incredibly fun, with an amazing GM and 3 of my favorite players from the past few years at Origins. One of them became Captain Picard and was Captain Janeway, so we teamed up immediately as the "Loyal Captains." I played the role of patsy quite well as the #2 Emergency Backup Captain (of course). The other guys were "Pointy Ears" and "Weasely" who easily slipped into the role of annoying know-it-alls. Other players were Feelies (Troi) and Bones (the Doctors), and Pointy Head (Wharf) and Scotty (the Redshirts). Klingon security guards were more than happy to administer serious punishment for slight infractions.

We engaged in an Episode One podrace (crashing an Escape Pod just shy of the finish line), a round of ghostbusting Pokemon Go style (Godzilla, King Kong, Staypuff and Apache Chief), a rounding chant of Sci-Fi karaoke (when I found it nearly impossible to sing "Glory Hail Computer" to the Next Generation theme song, but at least didn't work in a line revealing our HIGHLY SECRET MISSION on live telecast), 80-90s charades (with the assistance of Newt from Aliens, Peppermint Patty and other cartoon characters), and other mischief. We even tested experimental equipment -- the best being the GENESIS device, which unleashed the Snake from the Tree of Knowledge (Old School!) who heckled stupid decisions by players and GM alike for the rest of the game -- an incredible running gag for the rest of the game.

Eventually we found our way to wander through Dagobah where we discovered the lost High Programmer Lucas who claimed to be merely lost, not exiled. His offer to join the Dark Side was to make us Stars in the next big Alpha Complex Movie. Apparently, it was the young 20 year old playing Bones who had his childhood ruined by the Star Wars prequels and dug deep into the bowels of his hatred for George Lucas to unleash a spellbinding torrent of movie criticism on his failings.

The true enemy turned out to be the rodents -- not the Rodents of Unusual Size in a call-back to Princess Bride who devoured poor George just after he suggested that the Force resided inside everyone. When we discovered the Power of Imagination, we faced Mickey Mouse himself, sorcerer's apprentice style. The new offer was to become Gods of Alpha Complex if we would only join the Disney Empire and overthrow the Computer. They were bound to win, but we would save the lawyers some work. Janeway never liked rodents, so it was time to throw down with the stars of the Disney pantheon--Janeway vs. Elsa from Frozen, Weasley vs. Maleficent (who became his new mommie and turned him), Spock vs. Hades (who ended up getting pulled by Mickey after getting taunted into making non-PC jokes), Picard vs. Gaston (who retreated when Picard started to read Shakespeare from a book), Bones vs. Baymax (who declared a medical competition), Troi vs. Mary Poppins (who was done in by the worst English accent ever), Wharf vs. Mulan, and Scotty vs. (don't remember). Very beautifully run, and well play tested. Definitely the best session of Paranoia I've ever been in over 25 years, and I consider myself a pretty damn good GM.

3. Tyrants of the Underdark followed. Hepcat wasn't impressed with this at Origins, as the theme matters only if you enjoy the D&D lore about dark elves. He apparently never channeled his inner Drizz't. The board is clean, but leaves much to be desired in graphic detail. The card quality is terrible, you have to sleeve them. The art is very nice, featuring drow, spiders and dragons.

It's basically Ascension with area control. That was about the extent of the rules explanation we received, so we dove right into the game. You score points for key territories totally controlled each turn, based on the cards in your deck (or upgraded out of your deck for extra points), on territories controlled at the end of the game, and enemy units killed. There is a fixed number of units to play, and you need those units to extend your presence and control territory. 1 Fight to place a unit, 3 Fight to eliminate a unit, and certain powers let you place/replace units anywhere. Gold (aka webs) buys better cards, and you get +1 for each city where you have majority control. There is a mechanic to upgrade cards out of your deck, and to place/remove spies anywhere on the board. Spies are excellent ways to deny other players total control of an area, and to jump over routes to directly take over control of territory.

It plays quick and adds more options to Ascension. But I'm not sure it's a better game. There is such a premium on efficiency in using your units that it makes sense to skip over the connecting routes to directly contest control of cities and zones where you score points. There's no benefit to controlling routes, except as a buffer and ending the game by using all of your units. But once your enemies start placing spies into your cities and zones in the late game so they can assassinate or replace your units, you'll want them! Maybe it's great once all the players know the strategies, but I'd rather just dive into Ascension or Star Realms for deck building and then break out a more tactical area control game.

4. The night ended with an unofficial X-Wing tournament for 4 hours. We ran 3 hour-long games of Last Man Standing with 4 players on a game mat. 60 points with a maximum of 2 ships. I flew 2 TIE Defenders (Delta Squadron), one with the TIE x7 title (1 evade when moving speed 3-5) and one with the TIE/D title and Flechette Cannon (attack with secondary for 1 damage + 1 stress, then attack with primary weapons). Getting a K-turn plus an evade was just evil, and everyone focused to eliminate the extra firepower from my Flechette cannon. Throwing down that stress was very helpful. What was not helpful was every 10 minutes, we had to roll for damage on each surviving ship. But my goal was to get experience flying with new players, since my brother-in-law and sister know me well enough to anticipate my maneuvers at Octocon.

The first match was against 2 Y-Wings, a VT-49 Decimator and a Ghost painted like Rainbow Dash (seriously). The Decimator went down quickly because it always took hits. I ended up flying beautifully in the aftermath, flying just in front of and between the other players to maximize maneuverability and firepower to eliminate one player (the Y-Wings). I then survived to the end (2 points) trying to down the Ghost.

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The second match was against a set of TIE Defenders (x7s), and a Shadowcaster + Khiraz flown by a competitive player who was very annoyed at facing two players with TIE Defenders. He flew the Khiraz right in front of me, so I shot it up and then misread his Shadowcaster's move (it being an unfamiliar new ship) and decided to keep flying in formation with my TIE Defenders to avoid getting picked off. That kept me out of the fight until the end, when I flew in to finish off the Shadow Caster with 5 damage. Slow ships with 0-1 evade have problems against close range when I was able to roll up to 9 damage (1 from the Flechette, 3 attack + 1 for range x2 ships) a turn. I was down to my last ship at the end, so I scored another 2 points.

That put me into the Second Table, where I faced off against the same TIE Defender team again, this time opposing a fully loaded IG-88 and a TIE Advanced and TIE Defender pair. Knowing our capabilities, the other TIE Defender decided to play it safe and avoid risks by spinning K-turns for the first 2 turns. The other 2 players went straight for each other, and the IG-88 dropped a bomb to strip both TIE's shields. As they raced away from each other, I flew in to score two quick kills to eliminate the TIEs. That put me in the crosshairs of IG-88 who was able to manipulate dice to do automatic damage and evades. The other TIE Defender came in to take advantage of the scrum. It was hairy, and I ended up breaking formation to escape and that left me with reduced firepower. The inability to use my 3 evade dice was frustrating, but I held on long enough to get eliminated only in the last 60 seconds. That netted me 1 more point (2 points, minus 1 for losing all my ships), giving up 2 points to IG-88. The other TIE Defender and my victim didn't eliminate anyone, leaving them 0 points.

With some very nice flying, I was feeling very good before ranks were announced. My 5 points in the tournament were enough to rank #5 out of 48 (or something). The IG-88 who defeated me was ranked #3. One of the players at the top table must have died quickly to drop a few ranks. I won two extra homebrew custom cards and two tokens, and had one of my most fun days at GenCon.

I even spent some time exploring in the Dealer Hall, finding a chibi series at Impact Miniatures based on the old D&D Cartoon characters.
"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." - Albert Einstein
"When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal. - Nixon
"I don't stand by anything." - Trump

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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by hepcat » Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:52 am

I'm not a big fan of % RPG systems, and the loot is quite stingy. I'd almost rather have skirmishes than place down a map to play out the tactical fight. It also faces a lot of competition but luckily hepcat back this on Kickstarter, not me.
I really hope they make some changes before the release. There really wasn't anything there that screamed "play me, play me!". It's not horrible, it's just vanilla coop in a fantasy setting. I'd rather play Galaxy Defenders, Myth or Shadows of Brimstone. They all at least bring something new and different to the table.

But, they're still working on it, so hopefully they'll tweak it some more before release. If not, I'll ebay it. The figures alone for the stretch rewards should help me make my money back if it comes to that.
I beat a camel to death with a monkey. Can I do that?
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by Blackhawk » Sun Oct 23, 2016 8:34 pm

Blackhawk wrote:There is a possibility I may be going next year. A friend who lives in Indy and goes every year has offered to share a room at one of hotels across the street and pay the fees for me. Of course, that's a year out, and I'd still have to save up quite a bit of money, plus make arrangements for the kids, but it is at least a possibility.
Blackhawk wrote:If the plans come through for next year, I'll be there for the whole shebang.

I'm kind of excited. I've been wanting to see GenCon since it was still in Lake Geneva. And had an official D&D presence.

Yeah. Looks like that's happening. Same friend I made a speech for yesterday.
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Re: GenCon 2016

Post by hepcat » Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:01 pm

You can join zarathud, seppe, hark and I for some after hours gaming then!
I beat a camel to death with a monkey. Can I do that?
-Mr Bismarck

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