Sunday, August 02, 2015

What? No Post Yesterday?

Got back to the room crazy-late.

Shot some video (with my phone) of the exhibit hall doors opening to the public.  Much crazy ensued.

I'll upload that video when we get home.  Too tired/incoherent right now.

Asmodee's Demo Team continues to be the best in the business. I'm hearing scattered reports that other (single game) booths have team members who don't know the games they are selling.

Seriously?  Who does that?

Either way: We are awesome.

One more day.  Then teardown tonight and a team dinner. And then we all go our separate ways. Until next year.

I hope most (if not all) of this year's team is back next year.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Day Two

Still here.  Still alive.  Still loving it.

I was right about Metal Adventures, I think.  It's not a bad game, but it has a narrow target audience and it's a difficult game to demo because there are a ton of things you need to explain before game start.

Starfighter continues to be (IMHO) the best game in the booth.

Met a handful more people in person for the first time.

Acquired Chill (the new one), some dice, and a bunch of t-shirts.

And one can of real Canadian Maple Syrup. And one jar of Bacon Marmalade. Now, if only I had some decent pierogies to put the marmalade on ...

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Day One: Survived

I demoed Starfighter all day.  The game is better than I had expected, and I had been really looking forward to it.  It's a game that received little or no fanfare or buzz - but which needs some. It's phenomenal. No-one that I demoed it to seemed to dislike it.

The team is better than I'd expected, too. More organized, just to start with.  The choices they made as team leads were good ones. Pete and Liz and Alex are all really awesome people.

There was some PR event this afternoon, so all of the teams were running a tiny bit short-handed, but you really couldn't tell. No PR tomorrow, so we should be at or near full strength all day.

As expected, Mysterium sold out.  Well, today's batch of it did.  They are doing one batch per day on Friday and Saturday, as well. It will almost certainly sell out.

Discoveries sold out, too, which I think caught everyone off-guard.  It's a dice game themed around the Lewis and Clark expedition. I've read the rulebook, but not had a chance to take it for a spin, yet.

I saw David Miller of Purple Pawn today. Chatted for a few minutes (which was all either of us had). I also met Tim Norris of Grey Elephant Gaming. He seemed to enjoy Starfighter.

This is the first GenCon since Asmodee bought Days of Wonder last year. The DoW games have been smoothly integrated into the booth. I realized that there aren't many Asmodee games in the booth.  It's nearly all Asmodee partners - Ludonaute, Matagot, Repos, Queen, Ystari, and so on.

The booth is huge. And it didn't click with me just how huge until after the show had started and the stampede began.

Barony was in the booth right behind me.  Demos for it seemed to go well.

And now, I need to go track down some food.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Day Zero: Complete

The booth is set up.

My head is packed with game rules.

My stomach is full of PF Chang's (because we had a gift card and there is no way we are going to suffer through the hour or more's wait we can expect tomorrow).

I had three Random Encounters with people I know in the convention center. +Erik Jensen+ASH LAW, and +Wolfgang Baur.  One of those three is not extended-local to me when at home.

Tomorrow morning at 9:00 AM, the VIGs are let loose upon the exhibit hall. An hour after that, all the Hounds of Hell the rest of GenCon's attendees are allowed in.

It's going to be a ton of fun.

A ton of work, yes, but also a ton of fun.

I look forward to this moment every year.

Mostly Done

Setup is mostly done. My part is done.

Time for about fifteen showers and 10,000 mg of Ibuprofen followed by alcohol and/or dinner before being on location by 7:45ish tomorrow morning.

Big team this year. Enthusiastic team. There are people I'll miss from previous years, but this team has as much (if not more) potential for greatness as last year's team did. And last year's team was phenomenal.

Setup

They never turn the AC on for setup.

We all look about like this.

Game of the Year

Before I get too deep into this, let me remind you that my Game of the Year isn't necessarily the best game I played that year. It's not necessarily the deepest or the simplest or the zaniest. It's the game that, when I'm getting read for GenCon, I look back on and say, "I can't wait to get home and play that some more."

It was a tough decision this year - there were some really good early front-runners and some really good games that appeared late in the year.  In fact, this is one of the best years for games I've seen in a long while.

This year, the winner is the game that best filled an odd gap in my collection.

This year, Nations: The Dice Game best fit the needs of my regular Wednesday group.



It scales well from 2-4, takes a surprisingly short amount of time to play, is easy to learn, and everyone seems to like it.

It's not the deepest game in my library - but it's a LONG ways from being the shallowest, because there are decisions that need to be made and they're not all as easy as you'd expect given its ten-twenty minute play time.

The rules are straightforward with no edge cases that we've been able to find so far.

There are multiple paths to victory, and most of the die colors emphasize two of these paths.

Dice - for the record hate me.

Like crazy a lot.

But these dice?



Well, I don't win very often, but I've only felt screwed due to die rolls once. Most of my losses, I can point at decisions I made. "I should have drafted [Tile] instead of [Tile], so that [Player] didn't have a shot at it." And the like.

All in all, this game was a pleasant surprise - especially when compared to its (much) heavier older brother, Nations (which is phenomenal, but not nearly as fast or easy).