GenCon 2006 – Day Two
The boys and I made the trek to the convention center for the 2nd day. I rolled for my prize at the WotC booth (after finishing my card yesterday, the line was closing). I rolled high enough to pick from all the prizes and selected a copy of Vegas Showdown. From the general buzz on BGG and other sources, Vegas Showdown sounds like a good game from the Hasbro/WotC/Avalon Hill behemoth.
The boys and I played Knizia’s Great Wall of China at FFG’s booth. It’s another light auction style game from Reiner that reminds me of Loot. Decent little game but it’s too high at $20. Fifteen feels more like what this game should cost. A table of Blue Moon City finished just as we wrapped up Great Wall and I wanted the boys to try it out but they wanted to move on.
We wandered a bit mostly window shopping the booths. Eventually we settled at the Ban Dai booth where Tristan and Logan learned how to play the Naruto CCG. It’s based on the Japanese martial arts cartoon currently airing on Cartoon Network. Naruto is Tristan’s favorite show right now. Watching and helping Logan play, I found the design to be clean, straight forward and different enough from what I’m used to seeing in Magic that it held my interest. Caleb and I played a game and enjoyed it. I don’t think I’d play regularly but an occasional match with one of the boys will be fun. Each of them purchased a different starter. I found out later that this game is not in general circulation yet. You can only purchase product at tournaments and conventions right now.
The unfortunate part of GenCon being hosted in Indy is the fact that the office building I where I work is connected to the mall that is connected to the convention center where GenCon is held. And I did have to make a quick side trip to the office for a couple of tasks. We had a long lunch with Bob & Dave, a couple teammates and lunch time running buddies.
After lunch, Caleb and Tristan tried out the Full Metal Alchemist CCG. This one seemed more fiddly and not as straight forward. The boys said they enjoyed it but we didn’t purchase any product. After a little more browsing, they went home with Jill and I was solo for a couple of hours.
I went back to the FFG booth and played Blue Moon City. It’s a Blue Moon themed board game by Knizia. You move around Blue Moon City using cards from your hand to contribute to the reconstruction of the buildings in the city. Whenever a building is restored that you contributed to, you receive a reward, usually some number of crystals. The crystals collected can be spent to pay tribute to the obelisk in the center of the city. The first player to pay the required number of tributes (4 in 4 player; 5 in 3 player) is the winner. Another solid game from Herr Reiner but it is a tad dry. Most (all?) of his designs are pretty dry but I generally find them very interesting. This one didn’t grab me right away. Maybe I need to play it a couple of times to pick up on the subtleness that is sure to be there. Regardless, this one is really pricey at $40. The components are top notch FFG stuff but it sure doesn’t seem like a $40 game to me. Retail should be $30 in my mind. Is the price of oil pushing up the price of new games that much?
There are a few more FFG games I wanted to try but all the tables were busy. I ended up at the AEG booth and decided to give L5R (Legend of the Five Rings) a go. I’ve always been a little interested in this CCG for as long as it has been around. The asian/samurai story and theme is a draw and it is one of the older CCGs still actively being published. Played the demo with the one of the staff and enjoyed the game. Different than Magic but intelligent. I normally wouldn’t purchase any product but they were selling the starter kit at half price. It contains 2 full size decks. Since Tristan (and Caleb and Logan but to a lesser degree) enjoy martial arts style cartoons right now, I decided this was something we could try as an alternative to Magic.
I went over to the Asmodee booth to see if Mission: Red Planet had arrived yet. I would like to try this game but it still has not arrived. Ironically, the same thing happened to this group last year with the english version of Dungeon Twister. Ran into Kieron near the Asmodee booth and we talked for awhile before heading back out to the convention.
I went to see if I could get into the Britannia event at 6pm but it was full and nothing was a strong enough draw to keep me around so I called it a day and headed for home. Tomorrow I’ll be solo at the con but I won’t arrive until late because Caleb has football practice and the other 2 are testing for their next Taekwondo belts. I’d like to get in plays of Cleopatra (DoW), Britannia (FFG), Game of Thrones CCG (FFG), a playtest of Tide of Iron (FFG) and Mission: Red Planet (Asmodee).