Guslado Goes to Gen Con 2015: Final Wrap Up

Posted: August 5, 2015 in Board Games, Gen Con 2015, Wargaming
Tags: ,

Gen Con 2015 is over, I am home and recovered from the exhilaratingly exhausting (exhilarhausting perhaps?) best four days of gaming. I’ve finally gotten some sleep, recovered my ability to use words, and cataloged this year’s epic haul.


So, where do I begin to describe what I can say without exaggeration is my favorite time of the year and give those who couldn’t make it to Gen Con the sense of what it is like to be there? I could start by saying that Gen Con 2015 smashed previous attendance records with unique attendance of 61,423 and a turnstile attendance of 197,695; my understanding of that means that there was an average of 49,424 people coming to get their game on each day.

It's also a little disconcerting when they all start to chant the same thing.

It’s also a little disconcerting when they all start to chant the same thing.

I could say that everyone you meet at Gen Con is unfailingly friendly. I would have great conversations with all kinds of different people because we were all brought together by our love of gaming; one of my favorite anecdotes from the week that illustrates this comes from lunch on Day 2. We were chilling outside by the food trucks eating our delicious strombolis when Captain America sits down next to us for lunch. Before digging into his BBQ pulled chicken sandwich he kindly obliged us in taking a photo with one of my friends. He asked me to email the photo to him, so I made sure I took care of that while we were sitting there so I wouldn’t forget to because I didn’t want to disappoint Captain America. When I get home I get an email from the Captain America cosplayer thanking me for sending him the photo; he also mentions that on the last day of the convention instead of paying the money to ship his shield home (which would cost more than getting a new one) he ended up giving his shield away to an 8-year old kid who complimented him on it. Those are the type of awesome people you meet at Gen Con.

Even Captain America needs to eat. He is apparently fond of pulled pork.

Even Captain America needs to eat. He is apparently fond of pulled chicken.

I could say that my wife and I came to Indy with one carry-on and personal item each and ended up with five pieces of luggage full of games and miniatures.

And here is the obligatory "Look at my haul" photo

And here is the obligatory “Look at my haul” photo

I could say that I had the opportunity to take part in some great events, met some cool people, and learned some new techniques I’m excited to try out.


Ultimately the best way to describe Gen Con and incorporate all of those things and give someone who has never been to Gen Con a feel for what it is like is this: it feels like home. Every year when the owners of Gen Con get ready to throw out the ceremonial giant dice they say, “Welcome home!” and each year I go this feels even more true.

Anyway, that’s enough waxing nostalgic. Time to share some of my highlights of the adventure that is Gen Con. First off, it’s safe to say that if I picked up a game to take home with me, it’s definitely something that I liked, so here’s the full list of my haul from Gen Con broken down by company:

From AEG:
Smash Up Munchkin
Junta (from Big Game Night bag, but it was a must buy after playing it at the Big Game night)
Currency of War (Legend of the Five Rings learn to play box; this was either a free promo I didn’t know about or it got tossed into my bag on accident)
Dark Seas
Game of Crowns (played this at Big Game Night with some really nice guys and one drunken asshole; enjoyed the game and I think it will play well with my regular group)
Seventh Hero (came in the Big Game Night bag)
Lost Legacy (along with its 3 expansions and the exclusive Orb of Prophecy set from the Big Game Night bag)
a Map for Trains (came in the Big Game Night bag, guess I should check this game out at some point)
Munchkin Loot Letter (came in the Big Game Night bag)

From Gale Force Nine:
Kalidasa expansion for Firefly: The Game
The Whole Damn ‘Verse game mat (basically a vinyl mat of the entire game board; I had a nice conversation with a GF9 employee who mentioned that the map for Firefly was originally designed with both the Blue Sun and Kalidasa map extensions, but had them put into expansions to keep it from being too unwieldy to start with)

From Atlas Games:
Munchkin Gloom

From Dice Hate Me Games:
Deck Building: The Deck Building Game

From Fantasy Flight Games:

From Mirror Box Games:

From Smirk & Dagger Games:

From Stronghold Games:
Survive Space Attack!

From Tasty Minstrel Games:
Cthulhu Realms

From Upper Deck:
Firefly Shiny Dice

From USAopoly:
Nefarious (the latest from one of my favorite game designers, Donald X. Vaccarino!)

From Break from Reality Games:
Damage Report character booster promo

From Wyrd Miniatures:
A LOT of Malifaux miniatures (enough to bag my 7 Miss Anne Thropes), the full listing of which you probably don’t actually want to read.

I also picked up some really cool art prints to hang in my hobby room. I found a few small prints I really like from the wife and husband artist duo Kayla and Brent Woodside; I got to chat with them and they are super nice (Kayla saw I was wearing a Cthulhu shirt and pointed out the H.P. Lovecraft print you see here which her husband made and which I would have otherwise missed) and they make great art which is right in the aesthetic I enjoy. Check out their shared website where you can order their art or the Facebook pages for Brent and Kayla as it appears they are more active there with updates. The Alice in Wonderland pieces are from a series she is working on and I hope to get more eventually. I also picked up this great print of a minotaur from Raven Mimura because I love minotaurs and I really liked his interpretation on this classic monster; Raven has done illustration for several of the big boys in gaming and if you check out the galleries at his website you may find a few pieces he created for your favorite games.

Despite appearances, I didn’t end up buying every single game that I tried out at Gen Con. I do like to pick up games at my friendly local game store when I can, so I made sure to try out some games that have been out for a little while that I just haven’t had a chance to play and some games that they didn’t even have for sale at Gen Con; it gives me good fodder to look for at the FLGS in the coming months. There were also quite a few games being demoed at Gen Con for that will be hitting Kickstarter soon. Some of these games are ones that I normally wouldn’t give a second glance to on Kickstarter for various reasons, but because I had a chance to play them I will definitely get on board to back them once they go live. Here’s a gallery of some of the games I tried out but didn’t end up picking up:

There are several more that I have added to my list of games to pick up at the FLGS, but those are the ones I remembered to take pictures of while I was demoing them.

One of the other events that I unfortunately don’t have any pictures of is True Dungeon; they don’t allow any photography in the dungeon to prevent the puzzles and secrets from being leaked out before all of the runs of the dungeon have concluded. True Dungeon is an immersive RPG experience that lies somewhere between your standard tabletop pen & paper RPG and a LARP. Basically, before you get going you spend some time with your group in the prep room where everyone picks their classes and selects gear for their character with various gear tokens you get in your treasure bag when you register or collect over time; lucky for those in my group of four I went into this with the other six people in the group had lots of gear tokens they were willing to loan us for the run. Once characters are created you get to go to the practice room where the combat classes practice sliding shuffle pucks up a board to numbered areas on a silhouette of a monster for combat. The spellcasters have to memorize different symbols, words, leaves, etc. to better empower their spells. As I am pretty good at memorizing things, the party decided that I should be a spellcaster and I decided to play something different from what I normal play, so I was the group’s cleric. This meant that I felt like I took a trip to the craft store for my memorization task as I had to memorize what various beads represented.

The entire True Dungeon area is completely immersive with beautiful decorations, actors in costume, lighting effects, and sound effects. The dungeon consists of seven timed rooms in which you have to solve various puzzles and kill monsters within the time limit to advance to the next room. This was my first time ever being a healer in any game, so I know understand the stress of watching your party get ticked away with damage and know that you don’t have enough spells to heal everyone up all the way. We may have been hurting by the time we got to the end, but we managed to make it all the way to the end of the dungeon, solved the final puzzle, and managed to only lose one member of our party! I definitely plan on doing True Dungeon again next year and recommend it highly.

In the coming weeks and months I’ll be reviewing most of the games that I picked up at Gen Con. Also, my painting queue just had quite a bit added to it, so you can rest assured that I will have some new painted miniatures to share with you all soon. I’m already starting to plan for Gen Con 2016–my in-laws are moving so my free hotel in Indianapolis won’t be available anymore, which means I need to book a hotel close to the action before they all fill up. I still have a few days left until I can swing that, so I think I’ll go take a few new games out of their shrink-wrap now…

This series of posts on my adventures at Gen Con have been the most viewed posts I have ever done, so I would like to welcome anyone who is stopping by for the first time. If you like what you see here click that little follow button up at the top and then go poke around the other corners of this blog a little bit. I have really enjoyed sharing my favorite time of year with you all. You can be certain that I will be sharing my Gen Con 2016 adventures with you next year!

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  1. […] Guslado Goes to Gen Con 2015: Final Wrap Up […]

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