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Subject: GenConSoCal report rss

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EGG Head
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Hmm, could it be possible the boardgame portion was worse than last year? Unfortunately yes! Next to no boardgames in the exhibitors hall, and almost no demos. The good news, if you wanted to win a tournament this was your chance with almost no other opponents!

Thursday the rooms were nearly empty. I had scheduled myself for some RPG stuff knowing it would be a slow day and hoping a few gamers might show up by Thurs night.

My Friend and I tried to "rent" a game from they game library for which there was a $1.50 charge! and was told no games were available as they were scheduled tobe played in the next time slot. My friend had another event scheduled and I was left to search for more gamers.

After wandering around and waiting an hour I managed to scrounge up to players for St Pete. Next they were up for a game of Mermaid Rain.

Friday afternoon my luck was no better when a local Cal friend arrived. Since they were no games to be rented and no games of note for sale in the exhibit area we drove to a local game store and picked up Jambo. Jambo turned out to be an adequate 2 player game with a bit of "take that" but nothing too evil or destructive. I'd certainly play it again but don't think I'll buy it at this point. Then we tried and played bootleggers but it seemed to be a bit stuck at the beginning and we did lots of rule seraching. My friend played it again later and liked it by I passed after that. I din meet some other local gamers my friend knew and we were able to play Through the Desert and Ithink we played one other game but I can't remember.

Sat rolled around and I managed to get in one game of Reef Encounter and thus ended my boardgame experience at GenCon SoCal.
 
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skippen
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Greeley
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Too Bad
Wow, that is too bad. I wondered how So Cal was different from the Indy one, and I know I partially know.
 
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Dave Shapiro
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Timing
When I heard the dates for SoCal I was surprised as it is simply the wrong time. First it is too close to the Christmas holiday. Many people have to much to do and no time to do it at this time of year. The adults are lost to shopping or year-end work related activities ( inventories, quarterly reports, etc.). While many of the potential college and high school attendees take Christmas jobs in order to earn extra money. Finally, Many universities will be ending the semester this week or next and so there are term papers due as well as exam preperation.

Just the wrong time to hold it.
 
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Snooze Fest
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Hillsborough
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Wow, ...
...that is bad! I was there last year, and Thursday (and I think Friday, too) were very slow. It got better after, but of course was never great. I thought that was just because it was the first time out there, and I suppose that may still be true. Did you have to leave early Sat, or was the entire weekend that bad for board games?

As far as game library goes ... was it run by Game Base 7? It was last year's SoCal (and also at GenCon Indy this year), and I've heard many complaints about their system. At Indy, for example, 4 of us signed up for a game (Merchants of Amsterdam? the one with the clock) but a part was broken, so we wanted to get a game for the library. They still wanted to charge each of us $1.50, even though (1) they gave us a bad game that was scheduled to run, (2) there was no one who could run them game (teach the rules, judge, etc.), and (3) we lost time sitting around waiting to get this all worked out, and also reading the rules to the new game. We ended up all returning our tickets, and then one of us spent $1.50 to rent the game.

The dealer room last year was definitely better than you describe, though. I'm not too surprised it got worse - probably not enough gamer attendance to support what they had last year (where I got a bunch of free stuff, from some nice large booths ). Same deal for the tournaments, probably - last year, I won my Magic sealed deck tournament, beating the other 2 players who had signed up (for nice prize support all around!).

I think there is great potential - good location (city and convention center), experienced con staff - but they'll have to do a lot to put together 1 good show, to start the ball rolling.
 
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Goo
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Yorba Linda
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Good thing
I live right next to Anaheim and thought about going to the convention. I had alot going this weekend because of the holidays and family birthdays and stuff, so I never made it. After reading your post, I'm glad I didn't make it.

What game store did you drive to? Brookhurst Hobbies? That would probably be the closest.

Anyway, I feel better about being too busy to go.


-goo
 
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Ken Just
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Yorba LInda
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Saturday report
I was there on Saturday. Boardgames, what boardgames? There were almost no boardgames being played in the hall. This was a CCG event. Magic, L5R, and more had huge crowds. In the exhibit area, Fantasy Flight games had a great exhibit and Wizards of the Coast was amazing. WOTC had most of their games setup for demo with someone there to explain the rules. They had D&D, Star Wars CCG, D&D Minis, Betrayal and others. After you played the games you got to roll a d20 for free stuff including Axis and Allies, Risk 2210 and Betrayal at House on the Hill. I spent all my time at WOTC. It was really fun with lots of people to talk to. It was very nice of WOTC to give away free copies of their very best product. Nobody else that I saw was giving away stuff like they were. The lines were so long that they ran out a boardgames and the end. Wow!
 
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EGG Head
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timing
Yeah, the timing is really poor for this con. I think next year it's being run the weekend before thanksgiving. Isomehow doubt that is a better time. I did hang around till Sunday since my plane wasn't leaving until then. SUnday afternoon we tried to check out a game again but was told no again since it was too close to closing! I wandered the hall several times and mostly it was empty. There were a few of the scheduled games going on but not much of note. It was nice to meed the few local gamers I played with though.
 
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J Jacy
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almost went...
But had other obligations. But from the sound of it, I didn't miss much.

Did anyone pick up Twilight Imperium 3rd Ed. while there? (I thought they were going to have some copies to sell there.. [could be wrong] as the real release isn't until Jan. [could be wrong again])
 
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Cha Meleon
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I was there on Thursday
I attended Gencon SoCal on Thursday. This was my first Gencon, so I didn't have anything to compare it to. It wasn't that crowded, but I considered that a good thing because I was there mainly to see the games in the exhibits area, and I didn't want to fight the crowd. I'm sure the crowds were bigger on the weekend.
 
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Matt Slowiak
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Howdee
Howdees Lorna!

I was one of the two players who joined you for St Pete and Mermaid Rain. I was to your right. My name is Matt.

Considering I am used to GenCon Indy I was amazed at the size difference from Indy to SoCal. But after hearing the figures of 6,000 people at SoCal vs 30,000 at Indy I quickly adjusted my logic. Saturday seemed to get pretty busy, but the boardgaming never filled up as much as it does in Indy. However, This actually let me wander more leisurely and play games with some of the others I met up with at the convention.

St Pete was fun and I thought you had me for while. Mermaid's Rain was very fun. I was glad I wandered by while you guys were looking for players.

I just hope people don't give up on SoCal. They really seem to haev a great foundation. Location, setup, nearby hotels, etc are great and as long as people keep going and hopefully bringing others I think GenCon SoCal could truly be a really good Con.
 
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