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GenCon 2015 Day 4

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The last day of GenCon is always a little bitter sweet.  It’s been a great convention.  I’ve played lots of great games, saw some old friends, and made a few new ones.

Iron Wind Metals

I finally got around to doing my shopping at the Iron Wind Metals booth.  They had an impressive display as always.  LAMs were in abundant.  Convention exclusives lined the shelves.  TRO Lance Packs were packaged and waiting to be bought.

Also on hand were lots of different resin terrain packs.  Some from XMarxs and more from other sources.  Always good to see a variety of options.

I ended up picking up a Poseidon PSD-V2, a few Rabid Coyotes, a Mortis, and a few shipping containing/building models that looked interesting and easy to paint. Expect to see a few future posts on these hobby projects.

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A Friendly Sign

One thing I forgot to mention, while playing in the Alpha Strike game I was admiring the paint jobs on the ‘Mechs we were using.  Honestly it looked almost familiar if you could say such a thing about painted ‘Mechs.  Sure enough I flip over the ‘Mech to see the underside of the hex base and I see the signature of a friend from New Jersey, Friedrich Haas.  If you are are reading this, it was great to play with your minis at GenCon!

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Wrapping Up

I spent what little time I had remaining in Indy to playtest a game in the First Exposure room.  I played a quick little card game called Farms and Factories.  It was fast playing and had some very satisfying game play.  On that note, I have to say that this playtest area was a fantastic idea fantastically executed.  That room was well organized and run.  I love the idea and to see it done so well really felt good.  I would love to see this similar concept spread to other conventions.

After that, I got a chance to demo a few more games prior to heading off to the airport.  I got to sample the Portal game from Cryptozoic (fast paced game with some interesting mechanics, I’ll be watching for it in the fall), Dark Moon by Stronghold Games (fun but requires a good bit of skill to avoid suiciding as the non-infected), and M.E.R.Cs Recon from MegaCon Games (Co-operative objective based urban combat with loads of minis).

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I had a great time and I only hope I can make it out again soon.  Time will tell.

Posted under Convention

GenCon 2015 Day 3

Saturday is often the longest and most rewarding day of GenCon.  I started bright and early and took in a playtest game in a special area of the con devoted to games that are not yet fully baked.  This was a great idea.  I had a blast playing The Coterie, an in-development dungeon crawler with a rather unique combat dice resolution mechanic.

I managed to play a lot of games today and had a lot of fun.  GenCon never seems to disappoint.

Alpha Strike

Around mid day I took in a game of Alpha Strike.  A Marik and Kurita company faced off to take over a bridge in the center of the battlefield.  For a two hour time slot I felt the game went wonderfully.  The Marik side lost on the last turn by a single point.  From the force balance to the objective based scenario we were able to battle things out to a very satisfying conclusion inside of the two hours we were scheduled.  Kudos to the demo team for a great event.

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In the evening I settled down for a side mission in support of the Tukayyid storyline game.  I played a Clan Wolf star against a reinforced ComStar lance.  I fought bravely but alas, the dice were not with the poor Clans.  Congrats to my opponent Elliot for securing victory and allowing the Inner Sphere forces on the main board to receive a repair action (even though it was too late in the evening to make use of it.).

Expect to see a full After Action Report in the near future once I have some time to catch my breath from the weekend.

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Battle the Masters

The Masters were on hand to take on the best and brightest the fan world could muster. I did not stay late enough to see the conclusion but everyone seemed to be having a blast.  Add to that an ample supply of free pizza supplied by Catalyst and you have a recipe for a memorable end to the convention.

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I spent a good amount of my time wandering the exhibit hall taking in the sights and demoing new games that caught my eye.  There were lots of neat looking miniature games but I feel I don’t have the time to play what I have to justify bringing in any other minis into the mix.  There is only so much time for BattleTech as it is so I tried to keep my eye out for board games and the like which did not have the same need for hobby time.

There were a lot of new companies and unique games to see.  The one board game that I felt really stood out was Fantasy Flight Games’ Mission to Mars.  It is a secret role selection and worker placement/manipulation game where you are flinging astronauts into space and moving them around to conquer the vital resources on the planet Mars.  Lots of fun and ample opportunity for shenanigans.

Runner up was Nevermore, a fast playing set collection card game where your death may be only the beginning of your opportunities to screw with your buddies.

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Posted under Convention

GenCon 2015 Day 2

GenCon 2015 Day 2 - 14GenCon ramped up for Friday and I kept super busy as the weekend marched along.  I scheduled myself for some more non-BattleTech events during the day but stopped by to check out the Catalyst game section from time to time so keep an eye on what was going on.

Events (Grinders, Boot Camps, Tukayyid, Oh my!)

All of the Catalyst events seemed very well attended.  I was glad to have gotten the chance to enter the VR Pods on Thursday because the line to get a mission was steadily increasing over Friday.

The terrain looked great and the BattleTech tables looked busy as ever.  I am looking forward to doing some gaming Saturday night as the convention reaches its apex.

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Iron Wind Metals

I plan on having a more in depth review of IWMs presence after the convention closes.  I did get a chance to chat up some of the IWM insiders and there is a lot of great stuff on tap at the booth.

Tri-Pod super heavies are in ample supply as well as certain primitive designs, LAMs, and the LE Mortis.  I do love the jumping LE variants and the dynamic poses they bring to the table.

Behind the tables you can find a cornucopia of small scale LE or online exclusive content in the form of infantry, Battle Armor, and micro aerospace.  IWM puts on a great show everywhere I see them and I could not be happier to have the chance to shop with them.

More Diorama

Because reasons.

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All the Rest

I started my day playing in a DoomTown Reloaded qualifying tournament.  I went 2-3 with a Sloane Gang hex deck.  Regardless I had a lot of fun and finally had the chance to play against some really great competition.  I had a blast,  If you have not taken a look at this game you should.  It is an under appreciated gem in the gaming industry today.

I followed up my travels with a game of Giant Urbania and an hour of Two Rooms and a Boom.  I will probably have more to add to these titles after the con comes to a close.  For now here are some shots of the action today.

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Posted under Convention

GenCon 2015 Day 1

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Day one in Indy is in the books.  What a day.  I had a lot of fun exploring the con and playing in some great games.

My day started at the Catalyst Booth where I was able to snag one of the limited Beta versions of Interstellar Operations.  I am really impressed with how big this book is.  It is a certified monster.  Flipping through the PDF is one thing but when you finally get to hold it in your hands you really appreciate the work that must have gone in creating it.

Catalyst Game Labs

The Catalyst booth was hoping all day and there were some products that were flying off the shelves.  Wrath of Dragons was down to about a dozen or so copies, The IO Beta were cleaned out, and other various product lines were being whittled down to low quantities.

Convention exclusives included faction dice, metal faction dice, pins, and T-shirts.  I was pleased to see an ample supply of dice available.  Even later in the day there seemed to be an opportunity to grab a few for those who wanted a pair.

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The crew from CamoSpecs were showing off this years diorama set in the Succession Wars.  Really great work and a few easter eggs thrown in for good measure.  The pictures speak for themselves so here you go.

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What’s Up With Catalyst

The What’s Up with Catalyst was missing more than a few notable personalities.  Loren Coleman headlined the discussion and Q and A.  Randall Bills did not end up making it due to some prior commitments which I was disappointed in.GenCon 2015 Day 1 - 32

I would have taken notes but I was busy holding a video camera.  When I get a few more moments of down time I will upload the whole chat to YouTube for everyone to see for themselves.

All the Rest

Ah yes, there is all the rest.  GenCon has a lot to do besides BattleTech (not that there is anything wrong with that).  I saw a lot of cool stuff in the Exhibit hall, played in a M.E.R.Cs tournament (and lost), played a seven player BattleStar Galactica game with ALL expansions, demo’d Wrath of Dragons, and even took a ride in the Virtual Pods.

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Posted under Convention

GenCon 2015 Day 0

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After a long hiatus I have finally found my way back to Indy for the best four days in gaming.  I have not been able to get out to conventions as much as I like lately so I am very excited about this year.

On the BattleTech front there is a lot to be excited about.  The Interstellar Operations Beta will be available in soft cover form while supplies last.  I have my eye on scoring a copy for myself.  Iron Wind Metals never dissapoints and I’m sure to drop some heard earned cash on some new miniatures to add to the collection.

And of course there is all the rest.  I will be participating in a few tournaments this year (M.E.R.Cs and Doomtown Reloaded) as well as a smattering of board games.

Here’s to a great convention and all the fun and people who will be a part of it.  Stay tuned for daily debriefs as the convention continues.

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Follow the fun on Flickr for all the latest as it happens.

Posted under Convention

TotalCon 2015

Deep within the snow banks of the North East, Total Con 2015 stumbles forward to provide good games and good times for all.

TotalCon 2015 was held in Mansfield Massachusetts and marks a return to the convention scene for myself after a bit of a hiatus.  There was a lot of BattleTech on the agenda with lots of different people running events.  Lets take a look at all that TotalCon had to offer.

BattleTech Games Galore

I was impressed with the volume of games offered.  As I remember I think there were at least four different people running games ranging from scenario driven big battles to lighter grinders.  All of the events were well attended.  It was not uncommon to see upwards of twelve players surrounding a table throwing dice and marking record sheets all convention long.


Battle of the Clans

The Inner Sphere makes a stand against the technologically superior Clan invaders.  Can they stop the tide of war sweeping the Inner Sphere or will they be swept away by the might of the Clans?

This battle put on by James Kirtley saw an Inner Sphere company fighting against a Heavy-Assault Clan Nova against the back drop of a hydro electric dam.  I will feature a full after action report on this battle in the near future.


More Snow More Problems

One of the more annoying and disturbing elements of this convention was the abysmal condition of the parking lots at the venue.  The snow that had piled up over the last several weeks was obviously still quite present and made a mess of all attempts to find legal parking.  It was bad.  Really bad.  For Saturday I had to find parking at an adjacent building (worrying the entire time if I would be the target of the tow trucks searching the area) and hoofed it over in the wind and cold.

The venue just seemed to strain from the volume of humanity it tried to contain.  Even inside and aside from the BattleTech events I overheard frequent complaints about scheduling errors, wrong tables, incorrect time slots and more.  Lots of frustration all around.  Just the full gamut of errors and calamities was on display.  It felt from the outside-in that this convention was at a tipping point.  From my perspective a venue change may be warranted to properly service the convention goers in the years to come.

Sometimes conventions can be the victim of their own success.

All the Rest

While I spent one really good game recording the action for the blog I tended to stray from my usual fare of BattleTech games.  I ventured out and tried a variety of board games and wandered the halls taking in the convention as a whole.  Not quite the same as my normal schedule of dedicated Heavy Metal Mayhem but enjoyable none the less.  Gaming is a diverse hobby and it is nice to try out new things from time to time.

One thing I noticed right off the bat was the volume of podcast celebrities that were in attendance.  With them they brought demo copies of several games that were not yet available for retail purchase.  I had a chance to see Trickerion (which is still finishing up its Kickstarter campaign) as well as a quick chat with the designer of Specter Ops (a very nice guy) which is available for preorder from Plaid Hat Games as it makes its way across the Pacific.

All together a nice selection of games to be had for the enterprising gamer.




The dealer room had absolutely nothing related to BattleTech.  A bit disappointing.  Board game were the deal of the day as well as the odd vendor hawking copies of Dead of Winter for $20 over retail.  I decided to save my money for another time.  I think my past trips to conventions like Historicon and Cold Wars run by the HMGS and attended by Iron Wind Metals have spoiled me rotten.

I took in a brief demo of a Mech inspired game with 3D printed components called Mech Deck.  It seemed like an interesting concept not entirely different from a game like BattleTech.  I’ll keep an eye on it for the future.  Details can be found at


I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and get some gaming in during 2015.  Here’s hoping to a great year!

Posted under Convention

GenCon 2012 Wrap Up

GenCon 2012 is in the books and we the gamers begin the slow stumble back to our normal lives.  GenCon was great as always.  Due to my late registration I was at no risk of being over scheduled.  That gave me more time to search the exhibit hall for all things news and notable.  Catalyst and Iron Wind Metals put on a great show and I’m already looking forward to next year.

Catalyst Game Labs

The best and most important news item I gathered from GenCon was the fact that Interstellar Operations was going to get a lot of playtest time before it’s release.  Straight from Randall Bills himself, he promised everything would be released in some form before the book went to print in order to receive feedback from the fans.  And he emphasized the word everything.  That includes the new edition of the Inner Sphere in Flames that I am most excited about.  Getting a chance to kick the tires is going to be awesome.  Hopefully we will all take full advantage of the opportunity.

Catalyst isn’t just about BattleTech and Shadowrun and hasn’t been for some time now.  Catalyst had multiple games to show off for the first time in print.  The biggest news was Leviathans, but other games were also available under the Catalyst brand including Hex-a-gon, Balance of Power, and Merchants.

In addition, multiple new games were available for demonstration to show what was in the pipeline for later release including Linear and The Duke.  Those who took up a Duke demo were treated with a cut and play version to take home.  I liked the Linear demo, which plays fast and seems like it’s a great game for 5-6 players.

Iron Wind Metals

Iron Wind Metals is always a delight to see at a convention.  There is just so much available from them that it is hard to not find something to like.  They were packed with convention LEs, battle armor, terrain, Fighting Piranha Graphics decals and more.

With all of the new releases there were a few items that were brand new and unannounced.  We all knew about the XMarx massive resin ‘Mech hanger but few knew about the smaller and much more economical ‘Mech repair bay for sale at GenCon.  I plan on posting detailed pictures of this sub $25 terrain piece when I get a chance to build and paint it up.

Battle Armor in every form were available at the booth.  From the new 28mm Hauberk and the Nighthawk to the old Clan Elemental they had you covered.  Like the original scale?  Take a gander at their sorted bins of their entire battle armor and infantry selection (and also microfighters for the aero buffs).  All of which were ala carte so you can buy only the minis you want and not a pack of 30 you may not be able to use.  Nothing is better than being able to shell out just a few bucks to get a horde of unique infantry to spice up your armies.

The convention racks were stocked full of the usual fare but also included many archived units that you would have to pay high fees to get otherwise.  If you have a hard to find item in mind, you have a good chance of seeing it at a convention IWM attends.

The best part is the opportunity to talk with the owners and their minions.  These people love what they do.  They will talk your ear off about what games they would like to see run at the convention and what new miniatures they would love to see sculpted.  They have a fan mentality to their business and are as excited to see new releases as any BattleTech player I know.

State of the Games

I was not impressed with everything at the convention this year.  There is always room for improvement and Catalyst slipped in a few key areas.  GenCon is the premier convention in North America and it should show in the presentation and quality of the games being played.  Here are a few ways Catalyst could raise the bar.

The games that I played from Catalyst could have been better organized.  I tried out the Flight School and the Grinder and both had rough edges.  The Flight School in particular.  There were eight players involved who were chomping at the bit to start rolling dice.  The explanation of the rules was rough.  The Demo Agent running the event didn’t have a mastery of the rules in use and spent lots of time checking things in Total Warfare and second guessing himself.  Gameplay was slow and the game was unfulfilling.  We started the game late trying to setup but were promptly kicked out when our two hour slot was up to make room for the next event.  All told we played three turns in two hours.  I don’t feel that I got my moneys worth for my $6 of tickets.

The Grinder was loosely monitored by a Demo Agent which led to myself and a few other players guiding the action and keeping the game moving.  I don’t mind helping younger players play the game.  I would have done so anyways.  I just feel that the Demo Agent could have guided the action better and helped to make the experience great for everyone.

The game terrain used in many games left much to be desired.  GenCon is the epicenter of gaming.  It is the pantheon of gaming excess and epic games.  Why then must we be forced to play on bland mapsheets or lackluster hex terrain with sparely arranged heroscape hexes?  Catalyst had their moments for sure.  The game with the lance plus of Omegas was a sight to see.  But can’t we do better with the terrain?

To contrast, the guys at Wild Child Gaming held a few games over the convention that were gorgeous to look at.  Just by looks alone, I would much rather play in WCG’s games than Catalyst.  They had dropships and buildings and gorgeous 3D terrain that wasn’t prepainted heroscape.  Catalyst has been taking the easy route to put on games and it shows.

(on the left a Catalyst grinder, to the right Wild Child Gaming event)

Mapsheets are needed for games like the BattleTech Open.  But when it comes to a Grinder or Flight School or the canon events, they can do so much better.  GenCon should be the time to bring out the best; not slap together the mundane.  I can play on heroscape terrain at home.  I want the wow factor to come back to GenCon BattleTech.  It’s worth the extra effort.

Ticket Prices

For some reason, Catalyst decided that the standard price for a two hour gaming block was too low for BattleTech and ratcheted up the price to $6 per two hours.  The GenCon catalog clearly states that the normal price is $2 per two hours of games.  That is the way it’s been in the past and that is what other games from companies such as Alderac, Fantasy Flight Games, Wild Child Gaming and others were charging.  I asked around but nobody was able to provide a clear answer to explain the change.  I think it is imperative to get people playing the Grinders and Boot Camps.  Charging over the mandatory minimum after fans have already shelled out for an expensive badge, hotel and travel is insult to injury.  It shouldn’t be this way and Catalyst should bring prices back to normal for future cons.

Who Wasn’t There

One surprising thing I noticed this year wasn’t something I found but rather who I didn’t find.  Notable no shows include Crocodile Games, Armorcast, and Reaper.  All of these companies provide great products and are well known in the industry.  I’m sad to see them not attend.  I always enjoyed visiting their booths in the past.  Shame to see them not in attendance.

The Convention in Pictures

I take a bunch of pictures of the convention and not all of them make it into the first few reports on the blog.  Here are the rest of the best in pictures!

Posted under Convention

GenCon 2012 Day 3

The best four days of gaming continue on into the last and best evening of the convention.  I played in a huge variety of games in the exhibit hall and filled my evening with BattleTech goodness.  While I stayed mostly in the exhibit hall during the day, I made a point to swing by the BattleTech games to see how things were going.


Miniatures Competition

I saw a single BattleTech miniature in the Machines of War category this year and it managed to win third place.  Not a bad showing at all but a far cry from the near sweeps we have seen in years past.  The photos I was able to get are not the best and I was not able to find the time to follow up to find the painter who painted the mini.

Battle the Masters

I managed to sneak my way into the Battle the Masters game with generics and took my 13C Longbow against Paul Sjardijn and Lauren Coleman.  Next to me was Mr. and Mrs. Arbiter of Arbitration Studios facing off against Randall Bills and company.

My battle did not start well.  On the first turn I took a large laser to the face and suffered two criticals.  The first knocked out a laser while the second destroyed my sensors.  With damaged sensors on turn 1, I was always scrambling to try to make my shots count.  As the battle progressed I finally was able to start scoring some meaningful damage, including a revenge head shot.  But it was not my day and I was the first ‘Mech to be rendered to slag.

Not all was lost though.  Through a slightly confusing and ultimately enlightening rules question, the Masters lost one of their most powerful (if not annoying) assets when partial cover was taken away from Paul Sjardijn’s quad ‘Mech.  From there the match went back and forth evenly until the fan side of the battle began building up steam until the Master’s Mechs were ruined.

Despite being the first to fall in the battle the winning players split the spoils and each walked away with a ‘Mech from the Masters side.

All the Rest

I got in plenty of demos and mini games on Saturday.  Here are some of the highlights.

I played the new Gale Force 9 game Spartacus which pits players against each other as owners of gladiator houses per the popular Showtime series.  I was very impressed with the demo and the gameplay looked very good.  This is a great cutthroat game of deception and treachery.  Don’t play if you have thin skin.  An integral part of the game is to deal your influence and wealth to back stab your neighbors.

I played Linear at the Catalyst booth which is a very very quick game of line building strategy.  Each player takes turns building rows of beads on the play map with the intention of creating combining lines to score big points in all of the three possible directions on a hex map.  You also have to play carefully to disrupt your opposing player’s ability to complete their own rows.  A very quick game as I’ve said before.  This game hinges a lot on the price point and the quality of the game box organization.  For such a quick game it had better be super easy to setup and breakdown.

Level 7 is a new game from Privateer Press where you play the role of a test subject deep in a subterranean experimentation facility.  You use your wits, strength and speed to evade or defeat the guards and alien clones while you try to find a way out.  There are seven missions in the game each representing a floor of the test facility.  I liked the mechanics and the resources each player uses to survive.  However, while there will almost always be a player that first randomly finds the exit, there is still a way for others to lose.  In this way, you don’t play Level 7 to win, you play not to lose.

Nexus Ops is a risk like game of planetary conquest by Fantasy Flight Games.  This game is a reprint of a very old game with updated mechanics and a bunch of plastic miniatures.  I though the gameplay was a bit bland.  Without having been able to dive too far into the game, my first impression made me think that the game was a bit mundane and suffered from pile on situations much like in Risk when a player hits a critical troop threshold and rolls through the opposition.

Other games I tested out were Quarriors, the Mageknight board game, and a few other odds and ends.  It was a great day with lots to do.  All the same it will be good to get home and recharge the batteries.

Posted under Convention

GenCon 2012 Day 2

Day 2 was a furious day of gaming which ran way later than expected but was more fun than expected.  I played fewer demos today due to the Catalyst seminar and my own personel shopping at IWM, but still found a few gems.

Whats Up With BattleTech

The BattleTech seminar was split this year into talking about the tabletop game and the new Mechwarrior Tactics collectible online game.  I was a bit annoyed when Tactics took up the majority of the one hour time slot.  That said, the crowd seemed to enjoy the presentation (and the Beta keys that currently don’t work) and did not mind that there was only 20 min left for Q and A.  Most of the questions still ended up being MWT related anyways.

To be honest I’m not impressed.  It’s still very early in development but collectible nature of the game and the need to purchase in game booster packs makes me squeamish.  Bottom line is that it does not replace MegaMek and it is not a tabletop emulator.  It is its own game that borrows the universe and a few crunchy bits when it is convient.

Enough of computer games and back to BattleTech.  Here is a synopsis of what Herb had to say about the near future of the game.

  • The Jihad is finished! (cheers)
  • There are a few more Star League books to finish off the year.  Liberation of Terra will cap off the series.
  • Interstellar Expeditions will delve into the beginning of the Dark Age and cover questions from the Inner Sphere as they learn where the remains of the WoB went, what happened to the Clans, and the deep deep periphery.
  • Hand Book House Kurita is slated for the end of the year.  For real.
  • A Time of War Companion is due in PDF form after GenCon.
  • Into 2013 we enter the Dark Age which will have some fiction support in the form of the new Blitzkrieg series.  “Don’t worry there won’t be click dials.” -HB
  • Interstellar Operation will happen next year.  “If China will leave me alone.” -RB
  • At the end of 2013 the Dark Age should wrap up and we begin charting new territory in BattleTech canon.
  • Historicals will continue to be produced including another Brush Wars volume and the 3rd Succession Wars.
  • Expect more Total Chaos type material due to “positive feedback.”
  • TRO 3150 will cover all of the Dark Age Mechs that we currently don’t have stats for.
  • Plastics are still in the pipeline with the Clan Box Set.
  • Hero Lab is not planned for A Time of War at this time.
  • Battle Value is still planned to be killed.


I played a round in the Flight School and made a good effort of blowing up opposing planes as we raced across a low altitude map.  This event was a bit disappointing but still a good time.  I wish there had been more preparation for the event.  Perhaps a little better focus to make the event enjoyable and valuable.

The Grinder saved my 8PM slot.  I tried to wander the FFG and AEG tables to try out a new game but was turned away at every attempt.  Nobody seemed to be able to find a spot for me in the vast sea of gaming tables at their disposal.  Thank goodness for Catalyst and the Grinder.  Even with three plus tables going there always seems to be a chair available.  It was fun, fast and provided just the right amount of gaming to fill in my evening.

A group of Super Heavy Omega Mechs made it out for GenCon to punish convention goers.  I’m not sure of the mission or objectives but it looked awesome to see so many new Mechs out and about to stomp players.


More pictures cause its awesome.

All the Rest

I played the demo of Decent 2 at the Fantasy Flight booth and liked what I saw.  I only played the original a few times and I liked the new separate objectives.  It certainly would go on my short list of things to pick up in the future but would not knock off some of my top choices.

Also from FFG, I played Rune Wars a deck building game that borrows heavily from Dominion.  The rules were fun and builds off of Dominion’s core.  The theme is high fantasy and includes more resources to manage and objectives to make the game a little bit different depending on the wants of the players.

I liked the combos and it felt fun.  I’m not sure it would replace Dominion in my collection but I can’t say that I would not buy this game if I was able to knock off a few top items from my list.  A fun game with some cool mechanics.

I ended my day with a lengthy game of MageKnight Dungeons.  I had an absolute blast playing.  It is proof that despite the years, this light weight dungeon crawler has legs and I’m looking longingly at my collection again.  Kudos to the game runners who made a massive dungeon seem conquerable while still providing just the right amount of danger to keep everyone honest.  The Heroic Teams were balanced and fun.  The enemy selection was well thought out.  And to boot, the small house rules they implemented really pulled it all together.


Posted under Convention

GenCon 2012 Day 1

In a stunning turn of events I managed to find a way to Indy at the last moment.  I had to call in some favors and made last minute reservations but it all worked out.

There were some trade offs to be made as I had to leave a bit earlier than I would have normally.  Still, I’m glad I have the opportunity to go and be a part of the best four days in gaming.


Catalyst is in their usual place near the entrance to the exhibit hall.  Catalyst remains a fixture in the hall to rival other manufacturers like Fantasy Flight and the like.  Leviathans is prominently on display and for sale.  There certainly is an air of excitement that they were able to bring the game to GenCon for the first time.

The usual suspects were available for BattleTech.  I was able to see print copies of the Tactical Kit, the new Battlecorps Anthology, and the latest Jihad (Total Chaos, Jihad Final Reckoning) and Field Manual SLDF.

Rumor has it that the faction dice quickly sold out leaving a few customers empty handed.  If you managed to snag a set congrats.

The standard run of games were available in the gaming hall Including Grinders, Solaris Melee Challenge and the standard storyline event.  I did not have much time this day to play as I arrived a bit late and spent most of my limited availability doing demos and getting settled.

Iron Wind Metals

IWM had an impressive array of miniatures available including most infantry, battle armor, micro fighters, bits, archive figures, buildings and much more.  A plethora of LE miniatures are available and a friendly staff pointing to anything you may need.

I’m always impressed with the available selection at all of the conventions that IWM attends.

CSO Diorama

This year the diorama is on Solaris 7 as contestants battle it out for fame and fortune.  No word on how this year’s diorama ties into potential Catalyst products.  I’ve heard mention of an upcoming Solaris 7 product from Catalyst.  It may be pure speculation but perhaps if Catalyst has an ace up their sleeve, the diorama would be an awesome companion.

The arena is a new addition to Solaris sponsored by the Republic of the Sphere.  Several new stables are also on display to keep things interesting.


Check out the first day podcast from Arbitration Studios!

Arbitration Day 1

All the Rest

I played quite a few demos in the hall and had a great experience so far.  Even so, there are quite a few games I’d still like to get to and will hopefully be able to play them in the coming days.

First up was King of Tokyo, a monster battling game for up to 6 players where you vie for control of downtown Tokyo to score victory points, kill your enemies, or both.  The game has a push your luck mechanic that ensures there is an ebb and flow to the game as Monsters inevitably take and relinquish control of Tokyo on the path to finding the one true monster.  It was a lot of fun and is a game that

I played Cool Mini Or Not’s upcoming Relic Knights skirmish game.  I had my doubts before playing but was pleasantly surprised by the game mechanics and the overall feel of the game.  Still not something that I would be picking up in the near future but I was impressed with the demo.

I also took in demos of The Duke, Balance of Power, Summoner Wars, and Dust Tactics.  Not bad for a short first day.  I’m looking forward for what the next day has to offer!

Posted under Convention