Left the house around 4:30am for the flight that left at 6:40am. Me, Andrew & Adam rode together. Gustov met us at the airport. The check-in and everything went smoothly, we found our gate, had Wendy’s for breakfast and boarded the plane. Ran into Matt somewhere along the way.
Smooth trip to Indianapolis, of course I slept most of the plane ride. Got to the hotel and made it to free happy hour. Adam, Gustov and Andrew needed to pick up the badges from Will Call so we headed out to do that. The hotel was connected to the convention center. That made dealing with the heat and humidity a little easier. Along the way we met up with Dave from Cipher Studios (http://cipher-studios.com/). Cipher Studios is the producer of Anima Tactics and the guys I helped prep for the Con. Had some grub with Dave and group of other people, them more sleep in preparation of what was to come.
August 5th (Thursday) – Off to the Races
I’d planned for day one to be the shopping day. The first place to hit, the Wyrd booth. Wanted to pick up all the new Malifaux Hotness (http://wyrd-games.net/home). Me and Adam got into position at the door right across the way from Wyrd booth. When the doors opened, it was on!
This was my first realization that traveling with a big man would be very beneficial. I told Adam which direction to head in and followed in his wake. Arrived at the booth and picked up everything I needed in one swoop. To include extra puppet decks for Aaron and Ralph. I used Adam to get me through crowds on several occasions. There were a lot of people there, but things never seemed to get to bogged down.
Once my primary mission was complete, I began to wander. Holy Crap! The Exhibition Hall was HUGE! Vendors from all walks of life, tons of games, costumes, props. It was massive. There were major lines at the Privateer Press Booth (http://privateerpress.com/) & Fantasy Flight Games Booth (http://fantasyflightgames.com/). I found my way into the gamers’ hall area. This is where the tables were setup for demos of games, pickup games and official tournaments. I was wandering around when I came across an artist setting alone. Me and Adam headed over to talk to him. His name was Kekai Kotaki (http://www.kekaiart.com/) He did art for Magic the Gathering cards (http://wizards.com/Company/Brands/Magic.aspx) as well as some work for Guild Wars the video game. He agreed to do some sketches for me and Adam. So it was off to find some blank card game play mats. I had Kekai draw up a dragon on a blank white play mat. Kekai was a great guy and did a fantastic job. There was a lot more wandering about and planning to see what else I’d get into over the course of the weekend.
Some the places I stopped by:
Mercs Minis (http://www.mercsminis.com/), wanted to see what the new game was all about and if the new rule book had been released.
I’d developed a urge to find a new Sci-Fi game. Also looked at various miniature terrain products.
I demo’d a very interesting game from a pretty small operation, Zynvaded by We Have Issues! Publishing (http://www.wehaveissuespub.com/ZynVaded.html) The game is all about Insects that come to Earth to conquer the human race only to find out….. They are small compared to humans, very small. I loved the demo and the game.
So this is what I picked up on Day 1:
August 6th (Friday) – Helping hand
On Friday, I agreed to help Cipher Run Demos of Anima Tactics in the Fantasy Flight area. There were still massive lines, but nothing like day 1. I showed a lot of people how to play. I’m pretty sure many of them picked up the game. It was fun to interact with the various con-goers and talk to them about what games they play. When my shift was done it was off to the races. Time for some Con entertainment and more wandering.
Checking in with the Roberts Guild Forums, I’d gotten several requests to Ninja Shop (a term used for people that pick up items at a con for other people – it’s a geek thing ) from the Privateer Press Booth. Because of the lines I’d skipped that booth before. I stopped by the booth found the items for the ninja shop and picked up a rule book for myself.
I also took the time to have one game mat finished and got two others started. I was a race with Adam to get the coolest mat.
I had a dragon done by Amy (http://www.alashbaugh.com/blog/)
While checking out artists I came across off Chris Rahn (http://www.rahnart.com/). After talking with him, I found he was from Oregon, Portland metro. So of course I had to have him finish off my dragon playmat, giving him the biggest real estate to work with, the center.
I swung back and picked up the Zynvaded game.
Now for entertainment – First up, The Damsels of Dorkington (http://www.damselsofdorkington.com/) performing Hamlet vs. MacBeth: the Shakespearean SmackDown! This was comical! Good laughs!
Then we made our way to the late night showing of The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1522262/) This was also funny, and not what I expected. Adam is into the horror and Cthulhu mythos. I hadn’t heard much about it before this movie.
Wow what a day two!
August 7th (Saturday) – More helping & Wandering
Me, Aaron and Ralph had talked about a Sci-Fi Game Urban War. So I tracked down the rulebooks in a discount bin.
Also hit the Costume contest. It w as painful and wholly disappointing. There were so many great costumes running around the Con, it was sad more of them weren’t in the contest. There were some funny moments. And of course Little John proposing to Maid Marian was a crowd pleaser. Some of the contestants did weird and often painful performances. Lucky for me I had Adam there to keep occupied, using his series of patented dance moves, the sprinkler, the shopping card, the bus driver – he can’t dance – but bless his heart for trying! LOL!
By strange circumstance I ended up in the costume parade. I told my friend Adam, we’d better not end up on youtube, guess what? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwvtSW51ZYc at the 2:10 mark.
Had dinner with the game company crew & made it to bed early AND slept in (7am) is sleeping in for me.
August 8th (Sunday) – The Last Day
Time for Bargain hunting and last minute stuff. Picked up T-Shirts, stopped by the various peeps I’d met to say hello, thanks and good bye. I also picked up souvenirs for myself and Cyn.
This is also when I realized I was coming down with a Crud!
I spent the night in the hotel lobby, having a Capt Morgan and Coke and then playing Zombie Dice and who’s the Banana with Alex and a few of his friends. Nice leisurely way to end a jam packed weekend.
August 9th (Monday) – Return trip
Traveling Sick! Sucks! That’s about it.
I would go again and I’d say it was worth the expense (this trip was expensive). (thanks baby for letting me go!) It was a lot of fun, who you go with has a lot to do with it. I’m sure I will go again, having done it the first time. The big thing is planning! Waaay a head of time. Knowing what you want to get into and making sure you hit those things. Adam played several horror RPGs, one system hasn’t been released yet. If you skipped something because something else came up, at least you had a chance.
There’s a lot of stuff going on. The convention is actually in the main convention hall AND most of the surrounding hotels. There’s board games, RPGs, Minis, workshops, and shows. Well planned, you can pack in all kinds of stuff.
I would have liked to have played in a Shadowrun game and the WH Invasion league. But those things kinda slipped by. I didn’t make it to the True Dungeon, had lunch with Matt instead.
I also understand how the system works now. So I’d know to get signed up for events as soon as they are posted. Get my tickets a head of time and pick them up at will call.