Saturday, August 17, 2013

GenCon 2013, Day 3

I made it a point today to do some actual playing. Next year, I want to have a shirt that says "Impress Me With Your Demo" and wear it to the various days. Because I had the most fun with demos.

I started my day with Asmadi games and their "We Didn't Playtest This At All". It was kinda fun, but the cards were so random that it was not even a pick up game... in both games I played, there was no possible strategy, because the game was decided by another card saying "Ok, everyone loses." Now, you could play this several times, and it would go quickly, but they may want to make the game name a lie and cut some of the "Your gameplay is irrelevant" cards.

I also sat down with WinningMoves USA for their game Five Straight. I've been trying to avoid buying things at the con that I can get elsewhere, but I was very tempted to simply hand them cash for this game. It's very simple... 100 squares, 100 cards. Each card gives you the number of a square, and you can put a peg either there, or in any higher square. Your goal is to get 5 pegs in a row, either straight or through a 45* corner. You start with 4 cards in your hand, and each turn, you can either draw a card (up to 4 in your hand) or play. It's simple for kids, but there's a bit of strategy to the placement that made the game fun. I had a lot of fun with it in my demo, and want to look into more by them.

I also sat down to Spartacus by GaleForce 9. I didn't whip out my wallet to buy this one, but I did whip out my phone to put it on my Amazon list. You play a gladiatorial house, gaining money from the slaves you own and spending it on Gladiators. You intrigue with and against the other houses, stealing money, freeing slaves, and, of course, fighting in gladiatorial tournaments against them. The game was really fun, and the son of one of the demo folks sat in the 4th chair, and showed that a 10 year old can play and even excel at the game (he had a very money-centric approach to the game that worked well for him, at least against all newbies). You might want to leave it to your FLGS for this one... even the con staff said the box was heavy. But it was fun, combining the social maneuvering and intrigue with bloody gladiator battles (on which everyone can bet, increasing their money).

I did sit down to WotC's "Learn to Play Magic" system they've got on the XBoxes, and picked up my first hit of flat crack complimentary half-deck. I've played Magic before, many moons ago, and the Learn to Play didn't include any rules I wasn't familiar with (though the dragon had an effect, Haste, that I didn't know what it did, but it never came up), but it was interesting to see how they're teaching the game these days.

Lunch was at the Claddagh Irish Pub in Downtown Indy, about 2-3 blocks from the Con. The food was good (I had a fried fish sandwich, pub chips and mac'n'cheese), and I really liked my cider, but service on the patio was REALLY slow. Long wait for a server, long wait for food, long wait for check, and they didn't seem that busy. Friendly, but I felt they could've stuck their head out a few more times to see what was going on.

After that, I went back for my traditional nap, followed by heading up to the con for a bit of people watching and a pick-up game of Cards Against Humanity. It was fun, but the table was too damn big, and I didn't like their "include a random response" rule. And WAY too many slow, unclear readers for that game. But, it was CAH, and it kept me occupied until dinner at Noodles and Company, which is a block from the Con. Good food (I had the beef stroganoff), but they're popular... close, cheap, and with a no-tip policy that makes cheapskates happy. They're also pretty fast, and will let you call a take-out order in, rather than wait in line for a dine-in order. There's a reason they're popular.

One other place I should mention, and it's a place I didn't eat... walked in and walked out. Harry and Izzy's. I could TASTE perfume upon entering. Yuck. May not have been their choice... maybe there was someone who was marinating instead of misting... but it put me right off my feed.

Another good day, and I've got one more left. I am TIRED, but it's been a good tired. I had fun people watching, playing games I called "Starling cosplay or tattooed chick in a corset" and "Security Guard or Paramilitary Cosplay", and resisting the urge to shout "Bro, seriously, bro!" at people dressed as Hawkeye or Mrs. Hawkguy. I love a lot of the cosplay I'm seeing, and if I'm not getting pictures of it, it's because I'm developing a rampant hatred of anyone stopping in the middle of a walkway to take pictures. I swear, many GenCon attendees are toddlers. They don't walk well, and they have trouble using the toilet without making an ungodly mess.

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