Saturday, August 11, 2007

Two Tix Forward: GenCon Countdown...1 Week and Counting

GenCon Countdown...1 Week and Counting

One week from today is my birthday (yay me), but more importantly, it's the first day I'll be at GenCon this year. For those of you unfamiliar with the various Cons, GenCon is the largest north American tabletop gaming convention. It's follows E3 (video games) and Sand Diego Comic Con (comics natch) in the summer, and is a high point for tabletop gamers each year. This is my third trip to the con, and second as a "pro" the past I had attended Origins more regularly as a player. My wife Julie will be attending with me again this year, making this a min-vacation of sorts, we really fell in love with down town Indianapolis last year, and look forward to hitting some nice restaurants again this year, as well as the occasional relaxing stroll down the river walk

Next week Two Tix Forward will be reporting live from GenCon, probably later in the day, with an update with all of the things that interested me the most for the day. I may or may not have new 'Tix related news, though I will be taking a hard look at other games that may be of interest to the average 'Tixer, and also looking for the ever present gaming accessories. The following week will be a "Get Your Gear On" that both reviews any and all purchases I made at the con, as well as a recap of existing gaming gear, particularly that which relates to 'Tix.

If you have never been to a con of this size before, it's a bit difficult to explain. The event as a whole takes over the entire Convention Center, every room converted to some gaming purpose or another. Huge halls house the CCG tournaments, the Minis events, and the RPG campaigns. Obscure games the likes of which you have never seen are played, I will never forget the navy battle I saw reenacted on blue tarp on the floor, each fleet of destroyers small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. There are friends to be made that you may only see that one week each year, and games to be played the that are prepared for and dreamt of for months on end, finally enjoyed for a fleeting few days each August. Can you imagine? There are seminars, contests, dealers, company presentations, everything you might expect. There are companies that sell only dice with 20 some tables dedicated to that most well known of gaming devices. There are popular games like Magic and D&D, and obscure games that no one has ever heard of before, making their grand entrance into the world at this very event.

Even though GenCon falls near the end of the yearly gaming circuit (following both Gama and Origins), the companies go out of their way to make it important for gamers. There are exclusives to be had and found. Their are hot new games that may be available there for the first time (Kingdom Hearts and Pokemon minis come to mind). There are also old out of print games to be found at the various dealer tables. There are artist alleys featuring some of the people that give the fantasy world it's "look". There are book signings (look for my friend Matt Forbeck of Blood Bowl fame), and all matter of entertainment to be found. This year, video games should be more on the map, with E3 having gone invite only, GenCon may or may not be picking up some of the overflow.

In any case, as you can see, this is something of a gamers nirvana. And, enough gushing from me...I had meant to write a serious article this week, but this is all I can think about, so that will have to wait a couple of weeks. If YOU are going to be at GenCon this week, look me up. I'm not to hard to find in a crowd, and I should have a blue Attacktix Staff t-shirt on. And, I should have a handful of tourney figs on hand and ready to give out, just for saying hi. :) - B

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