Ah, GenCon. The Christmas in August for gamers. This is the thirteenth year that I've gone to GenCon but it was my fiance Carrie's first GenCon. She does enjoy gaming and enjoys people watching, so I knew she would have a good time.
There was another reason I was really looking forward to this GenCon. A lot of my old friends who don't live in Chicago go to GenCon. That meant Carrie would get to meet a lot of my friends who she hadnt met, including most of my groomsmen.
We went down on Thursday, which have us enough time to check in to our hotel and check out the exhibit hall. It also gave us a chance to meet a bunch of my friends.
On Friday, we went through what has become a GenCon tradition for me, earning ribbons at the Mayfair booth in order to get coupons and swag. In the process, we played Pack & Stack, a game about packing trucks. I had seen it before but never tried it. It's very much a light game, almost a party game. However, we had a lot of fun with it and knew it was a game we could and would play with our families. So that was one game we made sure to get.
We also got to try out a prototype of Martin Wallace's Ankh-Morpork game. I'm a big Terry Pratchett fan, as well as a Martin Wallace fan. It was on the lighter end of the Wallace spectrum but it still seemed like a solid game. I think replay will show that there is a lot of control hidden in the random elements.
That evening, my friend Greg made reservations at the local P.F. Changs for seven of us. Greg also had to help with a show that evening which was part of the reason he made reservations since he was on a tight schedule.
And P.F. Changs kept us waiting for forty minutes. I can understand that if we were walk-ins but the whole point of reserving a table is to not have to do that. In the end, we canceled the reservations, walked across to a Champs restaurant who gave us a table then and there.
On Saturday, we went to the auction hall. I like auctions since auctions are a game mechanic I enjoy only here I got to do it in real life. That said, I promised myself to be careful with my money. I picked up a couple 3M games that I didn't have, as well as a copy of Canal Mania.
Carrie took some of the craft classes in what I heard at least one person call the gamer's widows section, which she enjoyed and reminded me that GenCon offers a lot more things than anyone has a chance to see in one convention.
I had been asked to bring 7 Wonders and we got a lot of plays of that in on Saturday. We also got in some plays of Notre Dame, which I had wanted Carrie to have a chance to play. I had hoped to get a chance to play Wallenstein but that chance didn't come.
We had some car issues on Saturday night but the magic of the smart phone helped us find a place that was open on Sunday morning. And their waiting area had the History Channel playing so we got to get some education while we waited. They were able to get the work done in time for us to catch the end of the con and, more importantly, they fixed the car.
As usual, GenCon was a lot of fun. I got to see a lot of friends who I only get to see once or twice a year anymore. I got play and learn a bunch of games. And going with Carrie let me see a different side of GenCon, which was fun too.