Friday, August 15, 2008

Gen Con - One Year Later

Last year's post was no more than an observation that Gen Con turned out to be more fun than I thought it would be. I spent a part of each day walking around the exhibits simply surveying the available games. I added a few titles since then to my game library which, at the time, consisted primarily of Monopoly, Scrabble, and a checkerboard.

The much anticipated 2009 edition of Gen Con has already provided two full days of action. Besides running around the exhibition hall and picking up the items on my shopping list, I have actually played in organized game sessions. I played in a 6 man game of Fantasy Flight's Wings of War which is a WW I combat with miniature airplanes. I had a personal play through of Memoir '44 with one of the game reps of Days of Wonder. This is a game I acquired last December that offers a relatively simple way to play WW II combat game. Some of the rules were clarified for me. The dim light in my head was jacked up to its full wattage and I now fully appreciate the subtle strategies. The game's designer, Richard Borg dropped by and a I had a brief chat with him about his games. How good is that?!

Today I was allowed to get in a long session of naval mini play with veteran tabletop admirals. The ships were German and British dreadnoughts from World War I. The fun came from a discussion of the technology of the day, how the ships were given their names, and working with my British team in repelling a German raid. Very little detail was sparred , but Harry Pratt, the game master made it easy to grasp the battle system. The experience lent itself well to cementing the information I've picked up from my recent reading of many books on the subject.

Tomorrow brings Patti to the event. She's going to play Ticket to Ride and join me for some more Memoir '44 and BattleLore action. Patti wants to look at the game art on display as well as just seeing what all the fuss is about. I secretly hope she gets the bug too. A night of gaming each week would provide a "cheap date" for us in the face of this sluggish economy.

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