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GenCon 2015

GenCon 2015 is a wrap. This was my first year attending and it was everything and nothing that I expected it to be. It was a record breaking attendance year for the con; 61,000 and change. I knew it was going to be jam packed, but nothing can really prepare you for what it is like being there, shoulder to shoulder with fellow geeks and nerds from all over the world.

We drove from Wichita to Indianapolis Wednesday then work up early on Thursday to hit the exhibition hall. This is where all the vendor booths are setup ready to sell all their wares. There was no line to get in the hall doors; only a mass that funneled its way through a single set of double doors once we were allowed.

See the tiny double doors we all had to get through?

See the tiny double doors we all had to get through?

Once in it is a controlled mad dash to a line for a booth. You want to get to the game you want the absolute most first. All the vendors generally had a limited supply of games; at least for the first day. Most would bring in additional shipments each day but quantities were still limited. Fantasy Flight Games was the worst in terms of line length. I ended up in the AEG line while Candace ran to some of the smaller vendors to grab some of the expansions to games we’ve been wanting. Then she stood in the Upper Deck line until I could get done with AEG; after which I took over in the Upper Deck line while she continued to hit the smaller booths. After buying a few things we then wondered around the hall just taking it all in. We got in a few demos and stumbled on some other gems that we weren’t expecting like Firefly: Shiny Dice and the Takenoko expansion.

Along the way we ran into this guy.

Fortunately, he was recruiting minions to help save him so I was safe from impending doom. While GenCon doesn’t draw the same cosplay crowd that, say, ComiCon does, there was some amazing (and not so amazing) costumes.

Saturday featured a parade with all the cosplayers strutting their stuff through the convention halls.

Probably my favorite part of the entire con was meeting one of my favorite game designers, Ignacy Trzewiczek. He’s designed games like Robinson Crusoe, Imperial Settlers, and Rattle Battle which was released at GenCon. I was able to talk to him a bit, get our picture together and he signed my copy of Rattle Battle.

I also got to meet Jon Gilmore who has designed such games as Dead of Winter and most recently Vault Wars. He won a Cardboard Carnage t-shirt during a contest we ran so I delivered his shirt and he delivered my kickstarted copy of Vault Wars.

I also stumbled across Kevin Burkhardsmeier.

You can check Kevin out in his Board Game Theater videos. He’s a super nice guy and always fun to be around.

Finally, all good things had to come to an end. We drove home Sunday and was ready to crash, but not before going through and sorting our haul from the trip.

Our travelling companions were awesome and we not only had a great time at GenCon but also on the road. Stories abounded and laughter ensued. I’m glad to be home so now I can enjoy all our new games but after some much needed rest, I’m sure I’ll be ready for GenCon 2016!