GenCon Haul

Ah, September.  Time to get back into the routine.  Hopefully, we’ll get some fairly regular posting action over the next few weeks, along with some larger projects near the end of the month.

First off, looking back over the busy summer, a bunch about GenCon and Fan Expo.  Today: the GenCon haul!

When I go to GenCon, it’s about two things: socializing with great friends that I see once a year, and buying lots of stuff.  This year, I went fully intending to spend more than I have in years past, and get a really great haul from the exhibitor’s hall.  John, who came to the con this year, described the GenCon Buying Game:

Pick up something that has caught your interest.  Count to 10.  If someone offers to sell that to you before you reach 10, you buy it.  If you reach 10 before someone in the booth talks to you, put it down.

This isn’t to slag anyone working a booth for being too busy – believe me, I’ve worked a booth and know the effort required – it’s just an example of how we get caught up in the moment - a frenzy of buying – but really, we’re looking at things that we don’t need or may not have practical use for.  In previous years, I probably counted to 5, as consumer guilt kept me from a spending spree.  This year, I probably counted to 30.

That said, here’s what made the cut:

Adventure Time hats for my kids (always trying to find gifts to bring home), Savage Worlds Deluxe and Deadlands RPG, Descent 2nd Edition, Dungeon Command launch sets, and Get Bit – as featured on TableTop.  My wife and I watch that youtube show, and she’s expressed an interest in some of the friendlier, simpler games, and again – another fun thing for the family.  That will become a recurring theme.

Lego guys, for my daughter.  Not a joke – could be the most expensive thing I purchased.  This was early in the frenzy, when I told myself that money was no object (relatively-speaking) this year, and I was going to get all that I desired.  My oldest is a big Lego nut, and I’m doing everything I can to encourage nerd habits.

Rio Grande had a massive discount sale.  Race For the Galaxy is a game that I’d had on my list to try for a long time, so I bought it along with two of the expansions (the only ones they had left in stock) for an awesome price.  They had just about every expansion for Dominion on sale too.  Dominion is a game I own, but haven’t played yet (and really want to!), but didn’t know which expansions to get and couldn’t justify buying them all.  I looked for my friend Rob to steer me to the right choices, but ended up making the count to 30 while searching for him, and talked myself out of the additional purchases.  By Day 4, they had pretty much cleared through all the stock they had.

Adventure Time figures for my kids.  They also requested that I go back and buy 2 more hats, so they wouldn’t have to choose which one they wanted.  Again, they caught me during a spending frenzy, otherwise I would have refused and told them to work it out.  They get lucky, because I miss them while I’m away and feel guilty and end up spending a lot of time and money to buy ‘em off when I get home.

I’d been hearing about the GUMSHOE RPG system for some time, and also about how awesome the Ashen Stars setting is, so I picked it up.  Trail of Cthulhu was another game that I’d been interested in, just because everything is better with Cthulhu.  Once they pitched their “Buy 3 Get 1 Free” plan, I was suckered in to finding 2 more books.

There’s a lot of hamster love in our house, at least in my daughter’s room.  There’s no good reason to buy these, but they made me laugh and looked a bit like her hamster Ringo, so I bought them.  The booth team was on me quick; I don’t think I even made it to 5 in my count.  Smart sales people!

Unlike some of my companions, I don’t buy dice every year.  I think I’ve picked up – maybe – one set over the past 10 GenCons.  This year, I was on a mission.  Instead of glittery, shiny, swirly dice that may have attracted me in times past, I wanted SIMPLE dice that I COULD READ! Yeah, it’s a product of being over 40, but I’m really happy with my Green-Yellow-Red sets, and my collection of orange d6s for all occasions.  The black-on-yellow are particularly awesome, and very very clear.

I’ve picked up every “10 Days…” game for my wife, with the exception of USA, so I completed the collection this year.  She’s a geography teacher, and they play this in their staff room after school sometimes.  With all 5 sets, I believe she can get a whole class playing.  The Days of Wonder booth staff were clever – they got me quick after I picked up 10 Days in the USA, and gave me enough time to find another game that looked like fun for the family while they “searched”  for a bag.

Pentago is a game that I’d been looking at for a while.  The booth had two or three different versions, and this seemed the most family friendly/portable/complete and so I grabbed it in hopes of playing something simple and strategic with my family.

The final hour of the buying spree, purchased on Day 4.  I’d had 7 Wonders on my list for some time, and seemed to have money burning a hole in my pocket.  Hoping to play this one with my sister and her boyfriend in the near future.  Speaking of burning, I’d heard about Flashpoint from my friend Claudio, who’d played at a recent con in Brazil.  Looked around for it for three days, and then just stumbled upon this game at the end of Day 4 and picked it up right away.  Easiest sale the vendor had made.  Flashpoint is one of the few games I bought that’s been opened and played since my return home – in fact, we actually played at the show!

I’m missing a few small things – I bought some more dice and another 2-player espionage game – but this is my overall haul from GenCon 2012.  Over the next few months, hopefully I’ll actually get around to playing all of these games and writing about them on the site.  Fodder for future posts.

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