The morning of Gen Con Indy 2015 day two started a little later than usual. After a long night of gaming in our hotel room, we decided to sleep in a bit and hit Gen Con at about 9:30 a.m. We took a quick trip around the event hall to get a look at some of the costumes and vendors. That’s when we saw my favorite costume at the convention: a steampunk version of Doctor Octopus from Spiderman.
Our first planned event of the day was a Battletech Boot Camp. Battletech is a miniature game in which the user controls a mech or set of mechs to do battle with other players. Mechs are essentially piloted fighting robots. The boot camp was designed to allow players to become familiar with the current ruleset of the game. We were familiar with the game already but did still learn some of the new rule changes and discovered some things that we had been doing incorrectly.
We followed up the boot camp with a Battletech Grinder. The way this worked was that a participant started out with a lower weight class mech and did battle with several other people. As you went further along in the game and your mech was destroyed, you were allowed to upgrade to the next higher weight class. This was a lot of fun. On top of getting to see how the system works in real gameplay, you had the joy of destroying the mechs of your friends and force them to upgrade.
We finished the grinder at 2 p.m. and grabbed some lunch. Our next scheduled event wasn’t until 7 p.m., so we decided to take some time and play some games in our hotel room. We played a couple of games of King of New York. This is a game produced by Iello Games in which the players play as monsters attacking New York City. I can’t recommend this game enough. It is a king of the hill-style game where one monster tries to control a particular area of the city and acquire 20 victory points to win. Your monster must overcome the other players and the military to be the top monster on the board.
At 7 p.m. we started our final event of the day, a special Pathfinder event called The Sky Key Solution. I have to admit that, as an avid player of Dungeons and Dragons, I was a little skeptical going into this one. I would like to say that the game surprised me and changed my mind but, unfortunately, I just didn’t enjoy it. It is essentially just a repackaged version of D&D 3.5 Edition that didn’t bother hiding it. The event placed 1,000 players in the same room working on the same quest. Unfortunately, it never felt like your particular group of adventurers was actually contributing to the overall mission. I’m sure there were people who enjoyed it, but it just wasn’t for me.
That wrapped up day two for us and put us at the halfway point.
Gen Con Day Three
We didn’t plan a whole lot for day three. Our gameplan was to wander the vendor hall during the early part of the day and find game demos to try out. This plan didn’t end up working out for us. It turned out that most of the vendor hall games had waiting lists, and they were pretty much full by the time we got there. We did take the opportunity to pick up a few things in the vendor hall. I have a tradition every year of picking up a new set of d20 dice to use for our games at home. This year, I went with a set of metal dwarven-themed dice from Q-Workshop. They were a bit pricey, but I love them and plan to use them a lot.
Our planned event for the evening was a visit to the Gen Con game library. You could spend every moment of Gen Con in the library and never play every game in there. We tried a few games that night. The highlight was Bang: The Walking Dead version. In this game all of the players are different survivors from “The Walking Dead” comic book universe. Each player is trying to eliminate all or some of the other players based on what faction you belong to. This game was a ton of fun and one that I am definitely considering picking up.
The lowlight of the evening was the game Abyss. Let me start off by saying that the artwork on the game is beautiful. From the box to the cards, the art is exceptional. The positives pretty much end there. The worst part of the game is easily its insistence on using “pearls” or little balls of plastic as the currency in the game. This flaw was easily recognizable as soon as you opened up the box and had to gather up all of the little white balls rolling around inside.
Gen Con Day Four
Our final day of Gen Con is often the shortest, and so it was for us, too. Typically we just make our final purchases for the weekend and take one final lap around the convention center before making our way home. This year, however, my friend’s wife surprised us by bringing his three girls up for family day. We checked out of our hotel and met the girls at the convention center.
We started by giving the girls a tour around the convention. We showed them some of the cosplayers, the various gaming rooms and the vendor hall. My friend picked up a few items for the girls before we went to get some lunch. When we came back we made another trip to the game library and played a board game called Hirelings: The Ascent. This was a fun little game about a group of hirelings who had accompanied heroes into a dragon’s lair. The heroes were dispatched by the dragon and your hireling characters are now trying to make their way out of the lair one their own.
That pretty much ended our day and our Gen Con. Only 368 more until the next one.
Be sure to check out more photos in our Gen Con Indy 2015 Facebook album.