Friday, 31 July 2015

Gencon 2015 #1

Here I am again, at Gencon. And spending most of my time queuing up for stuff as usual. Thankfully, FFG has no new game coming out at the moment that I'm interested in and Privateer Press has implemented a system that is reminiscent of Disneylands fast-track queuing system, which has cut down on my queuing time significantly. 

Well, this year's Gencon packs slightly less oomph from me than last years. Maybe because it's the second year in a row that I'm coming down here, or maybe because there are no new releases that I'm really looking forward to this Gencon. Even PPs usual limited edition stuff or early releases feel a bit lackluster to me. But then again, they're mostly geared towards Hordes players. 

They did have an amazing Diorama though. Basically just a lot of little detail in the diorama, from the widowmaker camping on the 2nd floor, sniping, to the mechanics fighting off troll whelps. Their queuing system didn't go without a hitch though, with the PP staff apparently giving out all the timeslots from 10am -12pm away at 8.30am. That's 1.5 hours before th convention even opens. I arrived at about 9am in the hope that I could score an early time ticket so I was quite miffed to discover they had given away the first two hours already without any notice or warning. 

Also, sadly no Reliant early release for Gencon. Seriously, why??? It's going to be out in August. Why not just release it anyway if you're going to early-release september stuff as well.

I also dropped by the Mantic Booth and quite frankly, I'm pretty impressed with their new hard plastic troops for their Kings of War series. Sure, these were painted but they seemed pretty decent. 

The Dungeon Saga is also looking to be shaping up pretty well. Gotta admit, I'm looking forward to when I receive this. 

Bought a few new games as well, chief among these being Halo from Spartan Games and Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn from PlaidHat Games. I didn't manage to get a demo of either and I mostly bought them cause I really really like Halo and because I've liked most of PlaidHats games. 

I went by the Cryptozoic booth where they had a new DC deck building game as well, except this one was based around Teen Titans and focused on on-going effects. Or rather cards that remain in-play. I played a bit of it but I found Forever Evil to be a much better core. Admittedly, I didn't play through a full game but that was just my general impression. 

Also, I discovered they're doing a Shingeki no Kyojin game, which was in a super-beta mode. At this point of time, it was more a bunch of concepts than anything solid. But I did find out it's supposed to be one player vs the others, with that one player taking the role of the Titan while the others would get to play on different levels in the game, climbing up the Titan and so on. 

The Ghostbuster miniatures were out as well. Honestly, the miniatures seemed kind of 'meh' in terms of detail and I'm not very impressed with them. 

I managed to swing by the FFG booth later on and spotted some of the new miniatures they were going to release for Imperial Assault. Including the Banta Raider, which looks like a pretty sweet miniature. 

Lastly, I tried Golem Arcana, which is a miniature game that uses a tablet app to play. Players use a stylus to click on pre-painted miniatures; ala Heroclix, that store the pertinent information on them. They then use click on their special abilities and then click on the miniature they wish to attack or the spot they wish to move to. While the app is free, the miniatures cost a fair bit. And no, you can't play the game without the miniatures as the information is encoded on them. 

A few things to note about the game that's fairly different from the others. For one thing, each player gets a certain amount of Action Points per turn, which is dependent on army size. All their actions use this AP and their attacks all have % bases to determine the likelihood of hitting. The other thing is that using the same actions continuously increases the AP cost of those actions which will only reduce after a certain cooldown period. For example, an action normally cost 4AP. I use it this turn and next turn, if I use it again, it will cost 8AP. That's a huge increase. Even moving suffers from this. Yes, apparently moving more than 1x a turn penalises you. I can understand why they wouldn't want you to constantly spam powerful attacks but moving?? Why???

Then there are the prepainted jobs on the miniatures. Let's be honest, these miniatures are HORRIBLY painted. They're really really bad, possibly even worse than Heroclix. Considering that 3 miniatures retail for 35 USD, I'm not sure I could accept this kind of painting standard. Or even sculpture standard really, because their sculpting is pretty crappy too. Which makes me wonder, if you're not going to care about sculpting or painting, why would you even make a pricey pre-painted sculpted miniature game??

The game itself was so-so in terms of gameplay, but the miniatures really turn me off. 

Overall, that was the first day. Hopefully, less queuing tomorrow and more wandering about to see the various stores.