I’m not going to lie to you, I was kind of hung-over on Thursday morning. MF Bullock and I had a few wobbly pops the night before, and I didn’t get a good night’s sleep – nor did I follow the adage of advils and litres of water before bed. Still, I was functional enough to get my butt out of bed, get some breakfast, and head over to the convention centre. It’s about a ten minute walk, and the weather was particularly awesome for this last Gen Con.
While MF Bullock went off to Will Call, me and the other Accidental Survivors crew got our passes and got access to the Exhibitors’ Hall early. That was pretty sweet, because I was there for opening every other day at 10 AM, and it’s nuts. We got the chance to walk the floor, but each had different targets, so we went our separate ways, planning to meet back up at the Comfort Suites by 11 for checkout.
If you haven’t been to Gen Con, it’s really hard to describe the Exhibitors’ Hall. The sheer density of cool shit is unbelievable. I grew up in a town of about 70K with maybe one real game store and a couple of hole-in-the-wall comic stores. Even in Ottawa, where I now live, with a population of almost 900K, there’s really only three game stores and a handful of comic shops. Gen Con is like taking all the cool shops in Ottawa, multiplying them by about 100 and then shoving them all in a large gymnasium. There’s a lot to see and a lot to demo.
While I didn’t do all the demos that day, this Gen Con I really only demo’d three games, Age of Rebellion, X-Wing and Hike. Age of Rebellion is Fantasy Flight Game’s new Star Wars RPG, a continuation of the system presented in Edge of the Empire. X-Wing is FFG’s spaceship combat simulator game, and Hike is a family card game. I bought Hike.
I got back in time to meet the dudes and move our stuff out of the hotel and over to the Embassy Suites. The Embassy Suites is nicer than the Comfort Suites, though I don’t know if it’s $90 nicer. You do have a sitting room with a pull out couch, though you only get one queen size bed, and we had two queen size beds and a couch at the Comfort Suites. Again, the Comfort Suites is not as close to the convention centre nor is it as centrally located as the Embassy Suites, and the Embassy Suites pretty much have 24 hour gaming going on in the lobby, so that might be worth the price difference for you.
In any case, while the crew went off on their merry adventures, I had a game of Centurion: Legionaries of Rome to run. My buddy JJ Lanza and his awesome sons Giovanni (who contributed art to Kiss My Axe) and Seth joined the Tribunus Laticlavius level backer Alexander Shendi, for a game set in the early reign of Marcus Aurelius – when Lucius Verus was his co-emperor – during one of the many times the Germans attacked across the Danube Frontier. I believe everyone had a good time and once again, the Centurion rules did exactly what I wanted them to do.
After chilling with the rest of the crew for a bit, we enjoyed the Embassy Suite’s happy hour (which included free refreshments, though the beer was Bud Light or something, so I didn’t imbibe). We were meeting a bunch of people at a private suite at the Colts Grille next door to the Embassy that evening. I ended up eating three times at the Colts Grille, including my last meal in Indy. It’s reasonably priced with a nice menu – standard pub food, nothing fancy, but certainly enjoyable – and good beer – including not only specially brewed craft beer but also other craft and commercial beers from various parts of the US and abroad. The beer selection is really impressive. If you are staying at the Embassy, it’s probably a good choice for nearby grub and drinks.
Part of the fun with hanging at the Grille that night was the company. There were lots of people I didn’t know, but the atmosphere was a good one, and we are all geeks with a love of RPGs, so naturally there was plenty to talk about. The Grille was also playing geek movies – the Avengers movie and a JLA cartoon – rather than sports, and my eyes kept being drawn to the screen. Luckily, once we were all engaged in conversations, that distraction lost its appeal. If you’ve listened to the podcast, you know how much I love to talk, and sometimes even converse. It was a good night for that.
We didn’t stay late, but ended up chatting in our room. We actually turned out the light at a decent hour, which meant we could get a fair night’s sleep for the next day.
I assure you, getting a good eight hours sleep really helps to enjoy Gen Con. If you aren’t a parent and generally get to sleep in on the weekends, this might not be so important to you. For me, I needed to get a fair amount of sleep – along with eating well and keeping hydrated – to fully enjoy the con. Coffee only goes so far. For this con, while I was rough on Thursday, I was functional every day, and I never again overindulged. I got that out of the way fast.
All in all, a great second day.
You can find more information on the Accidental Survivors here.
You can find more information on Age of Rebellion here.
You can find more information on X-Wing here.
You can find more information on Hike here.
You can find more information on the Comfort Suites here.
You can find more information on the Embassy Suites here.
You can find more information on Colts Grille here.