Gen Con 2011 - First visit for my Son and I
Greg Syferd
United States
Hilliard
Ohio
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My son (age 8) and I live in Columbus, OH meaning that we get the joy of hitting Origins every year (see my Origins 2011 geeklist). This year, we made our first trip to Gen Con for two days. We had a great time and are already counting down to next year!

Beyond the gaming, we did so much more. We took tons of pictures with people in costumes, spent time in the vintage video gaming hall, built a tower for the Cardhalla event, played the new Space Hulk video game, watched musicians and our favorite, Christopher Yates as Rusty Balls (in which he got to be a prop!). There was so much to do, but I'm glad we paced ourselves.

As before, I'm sharing this as an example of how much fun you can have with your child at a convention and still manage to get some grown-up time in.
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1. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:73] [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked]
Greg Syferd
United States
Hilliard
Ohio
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Since this was our first visit, I wasn't sure how far in advance we should arrive for everything. After waiting in a line Wednesday evening for our badges (note to self, never do will call again!), we arrived about 90 minutes early to grab our spot in line for the exhibit hall.

I had packed some pre-made Dominion decks to play, and we managed to get two games in. It was a close game, I managed to win by 5 points when, on my final turn, I drew a 5th garden which took me from 39 to 40 cards.
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2. Board Game: Quarriors! [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:709] [Average Rating:6.79 Unranked]
Greg Syferd
United States
Hilliard
Ohio
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Having played Quarriors at Origins, getting our copy was the primary mission. When the doors fling open at 10:00, we rushed as fast as we could to the back where WizKids was located. I was terrified that there wouldn't be copies since they said there would be a very "limited" supply available.

My son was so excited to be #3 in line at one point saying it was "worth it" to be there so early. Ends up they had enough copies to last into the afternoon, but the "thrill of the hunt" made it a fun experience for both of us.

We ended up playing over 15 games of this already, about a quarter of which my son has won!
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3. Board Game: Elder Sign [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:476]
Greg Syferd
United States
Hilliard
Ohio
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Having accomplished our main goal, we rushed back up front to Fantasy Flight. I wasn't sure what to expect since there was mixed news on what was going to be released.

FFG had an amazing booth, far bigger than anything I've every seen at Origins. Games, meticulously stacked, cases full of miniatures, tons of demo space, and an army of extremely helpful people. Let's just put it this way, FFG put a hurting on my walltet...but I loved every minute!!!

First item to pick up was Elder Sign. Lovecraft Mythos, Richard Lanius designing, cards, and dice...4 easy ways to separate me from my money!
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4. Board Game: Blood Bowl: Team Manager – The Card Game [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:245]
Greg Syferd
United States
Hilliard
Ohio
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I loved Blood Bowl back in the 90s, so this was a no brainer pickup for me. Will be interested to see if my son is able to pick it up and like it. He is really starting to get into fantasy stuff and also has an interest in football.
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5. Board Game: Gears of War: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:364]
Greg Syferd
United States
Hilliard
Ohio
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My son and I both really like Wrath of Ashardalon and Star Trek Expeditions, so I decided to grab our first space marine title. Saw lots of people playing this and everyone I talked to really enjoyed it.
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6. Board Game: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – Conflict at the Carrock [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked]
Greg Syferd
United States
Hilliard
Ohio
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I'm a big LoTR LCG fan, so I was happy to see the second expansion available in very limited quantities. My son has recently become more curious about this one as he's watched me play it several times. At the moment, I think this one is a little past him, but I'm hoping he can pick it up soon.
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7. Board Game: Rune Age [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:907]
Greg Syferd
United States
Hilliard
Ohio
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Another surprise release for me was Rune Age. I'm not all that familiar with the RuneWars world, but have been interested in it. My son and I really like Dominion and I like the scenario idea from LotR LCG. This one looks simple enough that we could play together.
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8. Board Game: Heroica: Fortaan [Average Rating:6.00 Overall Rank:4509] [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Greg Syferd
United States
Hilliard
Ohio
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After waiting in line to pay for our FFG items, we headed over to the Lego area. They had a nice, open area with a bunch of games setup. We sat down at a Heroica table and began playing after about 3 minutes of instruction.

This isn't a deep game by any stretch, but assembling the board and fighting Lego monsters is fun. We decided to grab a copy, especially since my other son (age 5) would be able to easily play with us.
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9. Board Game: Heroica: Nathuz [Average Rating:6.03 Overall Rank:5472] [Average Rating:6.03 Unranked]
Greg Syferd
United States
Hilliard
Ohio
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We also grabbed one expansion...really like the bat Legos.
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10. Board Game: Summoner Wars [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:380] [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked]
Greg Syferd
United States
Hilliard
Ohio
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Grabbed a few factions we didn't have from Colby and the guys at Plaid Hat. Was disappointed that Dungeon wasn't available, but my wallet thanked me for the small reprieve.
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11. Board Game: Star Wars: The Card Game [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:474]
Greg Syferd
United States
Hilliard
Ohio
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On Friday, we went back to Fantasy Flight to demo the upcoming Star Wars LCG. Having watched others play, it really did look like LoTR LCG. After playing a few rounds though, I did find it to be a different game. yes, there is some crossover, but not enough to make you think you're playing a rebadged LoTR. Within 5 minutes, my buddy and I were hurling cheesy Star Wars quotes back and forth.

According to the guy teaching us, we had the worse draws he'd seen...2 Star Destroyers, the Devastator, and Vadar all came at us immediately. We managed fend off the space attack, Chewie killed Vadar, but then in one turn a lowly Stormtropper managed to kill both Chewie and Luke, then Boba Fett forced us to discard 4 more characters off the tops of our decks.

Great fun, looking forward to the 2012 release as I think this will be a big hit.
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12. Board Game: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:66] [Average Rating:7.80 Unranked]
Greg Syferd
United States
Hilliard
Ohio
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We also looked at X-Wing, FFG's new miniatures game set for release in 2012. It's very much Wings of War in concept in that you have free form movement with templates controlling your turn and travel. The mini's themselves were fantastic as well as the numerous support cards and informational items.

I wasn't a Wings of War fan, but my son and I may take a peak this one when it comes out next year.
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13. Board Game: Say Anything Family Edition [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:3850]
Greg Syferd
United States
Hilliard
Ohio
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We visited Northstar, as we were looking for a family game to play with mom. We tried Say Anything first, a game in which you try to guess who another person will answer a question then place bets on which answer they will choose.

Our first question was "what's your favorite game", which my son had to choose the answer. I guessed Quarriors...and was right!
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14. Board Game: Wits & Wagers Family [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:1213]
Greg Syferd
United States
Hilliard
Ohio
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After trying Say Anything, we went for Wits and Wagers family. A person reads off a question, then everyone guesses at the answer. Then each person places a wager on which answer they think is closest, without gong over.

We LOVED this one, and ended up buying it. The questions were all things that my son had heard of and were challenging, even as an adult.
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15. Board Game: Thunderstone: Dragonspire [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:575] [Average Rating:7.38 Unranked]
Greg Syferd
United States
Hilliard
Ohio
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This had been hovering on our wishlist for a while, so we decided to grab it. We both really like deck building games, and as I mentioned my son is starting to get into the fantasy genre.
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16. Board Game: Thunderstone: Thornwood Siege [Average Rating:7.62 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.62 Unranked]
Greg Syferd
United States
Hilliard
Ohio
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Also grabbed Thornwood. Need to go back and grab the other titles.
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17. Board Game: Lord of the Rings [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:719]
Greg Syferd
United States
Hilliard
Ohio
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My buddy brought is copy of Lord of the Rings, with expansions. We had a great time, as my son and buddy jumped up to 7 corruption almost immediately. I played Sam, and in true Sam fashion had to decide twice who lived and who died. I had to toss Frodo to Sauron at Helm's Deep, then when inside Shelob's lair, my son was sacrificed so that I could live...which was only 3 more turns.

I want to like this one, but it seems impossibly hard to win. My son isn't crazy about it either.
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