Wrapping It All Up
It was a late night and thus a relatively late morning on Sunday. I had a short list of games to demo and things to buy. Sunday is the opportunity to shop for all the items that caught your eye during the weekend.
Iron Wind Metals with all the archive figures available (at regular retail prices) and newly organized Battle Armor was too much for me to ignore. I stocked up on a few archived Solaris ‘Mechs and augmented my supply of Battle Armor. Shame that some of the Word of Blake Battle Armor were sold out. I came just a bit too late to snag them.
The Iron Wind Metals booth was being mobbed in the morning. There were a lot of people who had the same idea as I did and planned to do their shopping on Sunday.
The Iron Wind Metals crew were doing a great job getting product into the hands of happy gamers. Each had access to alphabetized product list to quickly point gamers towards their desired forces from the neatly organized product shelves. Well done by all.
After getting my fill of ‘Mechs and BattleArmor I wandered around and got in a few more demos before being forced to wrap it all up and head to the airport.
Hell Dorado takes place in the 16th century where mankind finds a way to open a portal to hell. And then someone had a great idea to try to colonize the place. Mayhem ensues.
While the story is compelling and the miniature range gorgeous, the combat rules were a very vanilla D6 system. The command and faith stats and related abilities gives a certain amount of uniqueness from other games, but not enough to redeem the system. It was fun don’t get me wrong, but like most other games I had the opportunity to demo, it lacked a hook to differentiate it from the crowd.
Super Dungeon from Soda Pop Miniatures
The crew from Soda Pop Miniatures was in a booth with Cool Mini Or Not with their lineup of products and a curiously delicious looking 3D game board (I swear it looks like cotton candy from a distance). This game had the best pitch of any game I demo’d while at the con. That’s pretty good considering this was the last day when most vendors have lost their voice and perhaps some of their motivation.
So I approach the booth interested in the colorful table and the miniatures. The vendor asks me if I have time for a demonstration and I say yes. Last day of the convention, why not?
“You’ve already played this game.”, he says to me.
I pause long enough to give him a funny look. He senses my confusion and goes in for the kill. This game is the physical embodiment of the 8-bit/16-bit classic dungeon crawls we all grew up playing on our Nintendo and Sega machines. From the heroic party to the Kobold hordes, every miniature and gameplay mechanic has a nostalgic purpose.
In the quick demo, I chose two heros (the dwarf fighter and the mage) and my mission was to knock out the two monster generators on the board. Each generator spawns up to four Kobolds each turn. Hilarious combat and gratuitous loot gathering ensues.
For every three monsters you kill on your turn you get to pick out of the loot deck. Each card has it’s stats in a particular orientation to denote its slot. A fully loaded hero can use four items, one on each of its sides.
About half way through the dungeon my Dwarf was taking heavy damage and was having a difficult time dealing with the Kobold Shaman and Knights. I needed potions in a bad way. And now for a hook. Each attack has a particular color describing a custom die to be thrown. All die have stars that indicate how much power an attack does but there are also hearts on red dice and potions on blue dice. If you manage to do damage to a monster with hearts or potions showing on other dice, you get healed or receive potions!
My choice was clear, equip a staff of thwacking (+3 blue dice) and bop all of the weakest Kobolds on the head until they spit out enough potions. My newly healed Dwarf cleaved his way into the pack giving the Mage enough time to sneak into range of the last generator and blast it for the win.
All together this was a super super cute game. I think even my wife would love to play it just for the aesthetics. The combat system is unique and has a fresh nostalgic feel that you will instantly understand and make good use of. The standard game will have one player play the Heros while the other takes the role of the Dungeon Keeper.
I had lots of fun in the brief demonstration and a refreshing break from the QuickStrike beatdown I received late last night.
The Tower of Gygax
Before leaving the convention my arm was twisted and I begrudgingly took a turn in the Tower of Gygax role playing game. My thief character lasted a whole 32 minutes before being killed by a blind Gargoyle.
Admittedly it was a good bit of fun and the money generated from the tickets will go to charity which is another bonus. Not a bad way to kill the last hour or so of GenCon.
GenCon this year was great. Part of the fun I had was just knowing my way around and using my time wisely. I think I saw and did more and had more fun this year due to my knowledge of years past.
I hope everyone enjoyed the BattleTech and non-BattleTech pictures and information. I hope that I will have the opportunity to make it next year.
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