I don't recall overly much of interest about friday morning. If my memory is correct, I actually got up early and wandered down to wait outisde the exhibit hall before 9am. If I was smart, I would have taken the extra time for more sleep, but when has smart ever entered into the picture?
One reason I know that friday was the day I got up early is based on the pictures I took. Along the main hall, there had been set up a minis expo of sorts with some really unbelievable models and terrain. I wish I had taken a picture of the poster in front of the display, but as I recall, it was in tribute to someone's 50th year in wargaming or something along those lines. I bumped into Randy (Keeper) coming the other way and he mentioned that he knew the guest of honor and had gained greatly by their association. I, of course, ventured closer to take some pictures.
I'm always amazed at what wargamers can churn out when it comes to their games. The meticulous care that must be necessary is amazing. The closest I've ever gotten to something like this is I once put together a model airplane. I couldn't get one of the pieces to fit right and...well, it's probaly best not to ask what happened to the plane after that. I've always subscribed to the idea that if someone's not working it might start working if you smash it into something. That might be one explaination why broken electronics in my care never seem to recover.
It's when viewing things like this that I also think it might be fun to try some more wargaming. I'm pretty hamfisted though and I always have nightmares of reaching for a piece and then knocking over the entire formation or having some other dexterity-related SNAFU.
Not only is that an issue, but there's also the cost. Oh my, the cost. It's almost behind belief sometimes. I remember last year when mock26 and Richard (a mutual friend) were playing in a wargame set in a village. The terrain was beautiful and I got to talking about the person running the event about the buildings. It turned out that they were molded rubber and hollow on the inside. When I inquired how much one small house no bigger than a 1' cube cost, I was told over $100. Holy crap. It's no wonder wargamers all seem to be older. No one young could find the disposable income for something like that. If one building was around a hundred, the entire setup must've cost over a thousand.
All in all, it's not something I could do anyway. I've never given miniatures painting a try, but that's only because I know I would fail miserably. I have not a drop of artistic ability and I've always lamented that a bit. I've always thought it would be great if i was able to sketch or doodle. As it is, the only way I could get my miniatures painted is with the easter egg method. Namely, dip and dry. Oooooh! Another green elf.
Alright, I'm starting to run out of commentary here for these pictures. I should remind myself in the future to not take so many so I don't feel this need to ramble on about the topic. Ummm, what's left. I've covered dexterity, attistic ability, money, and my lack of all three. If I did have the latter though, I think I would be more of a dwarven forge person anyway. I dunno why I would spend time to make something when someone else's effort would be so much better.
Last model picture, and last bit of rambling commentary. This thing is just amazing. It reminds me of those old make-a-volcano science projects we used to have as a kid. I'm pretty sure this isn't just paper mache slapped together nillywilly however. Or, if it is, it's much better than I was ever able to do with time and effort.
After taking these pictures I walked over to the exhibit hall, near which they had set up a small stage and podium. I had my bouncy foam d20 with me and was entertaining myself by bouncing it along as I went. I was stopped by 3-4 people who asked where I had purchased it and of course I directed them on to starwind designs. I even thought about heading back to the booth to buy a few more. The fact is though, I have enough clutter and wouldn't have a good use for it anyway. My collection of dice is getting out of control. Large dice, small dice, metal dice, plush dice, etc. The saddest part is that I use my dice like I'm conserving them for a rainy day. I never use complete sets. I tend to use 'ugly' dice exclusively as if I'm saving the 'good' ones. It's ridiculous. The more dice I acquire, the less dice I use. It's almost to the point I should just buy myself a nice glass vase or something and use my dice as a display piece since they're serving no functional purpose.
While on my way there, I found myself whistling a tune. I don't even recall what it was now but it was an 'oldie' for sure. A man stopped me and said that the song I was whistling was the last good song anyone had come up with and that everything they played nowadays was atonal crap. We chatted a bit about that and I found that he also had a booth in the hall and was the person selling the d5 dice I had heard so much about. I told myself I would pick one up just for the novelty of it and then proceeded to sprawl out on that little stage and wait. To pass the time I would toss my d20 in the air and then catch it. Well, that was the way it was supposed to go. I found my hand-eye coordination lacking on a few throws and ended up having to get up and scrambled after the thing. When the exhibit hall doors finally opened, I marched into Mecca and proceeded to browse about again. Marcelo was using the hour pre-crowd to wander and browse and I decided to join him. I hadn't done a booth by booth scan.
I ended up buying a set of 10 wooden pins of which a few are displayed here. They were all laser cut and the messages were pretty spiffy. I picked up ones that I thought would fit the members of my DnD group back home and grabbed a bunch more besides.
My shopping trip caused me to lose sight of Marcelo and I just spent the rest of the time wandering around. I had been scheduled to play Journey to Jupiter with Jeff Bellinger, but accidently made a scheduling snafu. I was also chalked down to run a KB game for playroom and responsibility won out over fun. It's a pity too since it'd almost become a tradition of sorts to do both the masters game and JtJ at origins. I passed my ticket on to someone who wanted it and waited for my game to start. While I was at it I quick demo'ed a couple other games and, it was inevitable but no one showed for the KB game I was supposed to run. June stopped by we chatted for a bit and then a mother and her two kids wanted to learn how to play KB. June decided to stick around and I ran through a demo before it was time for my amorphous blob RPG event.
I was really looking forward to the RPG. I had such fabulous experiences from the previous year and I had been very disapointed at the oversell the day before. In all though, I was horribly disapointed by the way the event ran. One guy who was playing was a joik and it colored everything for me. He was just a whiney little snot and grated on my nerves like crazy. There just wasn't that sense of meshing with the group that I had in past years. Second, it always bothers me when groups of people who know one another play in an event. It's just a personal pet peeve of sorts, ecpsecially when the event's 'winner' is based on group vote. Overall, less said about the whole thing the better. The fact that Mr Annoying was also going to be in the 3rd round decided me on the fact that I was going to ditch the event. Oh, this time around I got to play a bard and did manage to compose quite a few obnoxious songs to sing. I don't think my teammates were impressed.
There was just enough time after the RPG to head back to my room, freshen up, and grab my NBC cards. It was tourney time!
Okay, so there was a bit of a moral dilemma about this whole thing. I wasn't exactly a 'beginner' after all. I hadn't been planning on entering the tourney for that reason, but Andrew said that he thought it would be just fine. I figure when the designer of the game gives you the a-ok, that's like a burning bush, right?
It was also a pretty good crowd and not only was sherilyn70 there, but two of Chelle and Todd's friends as well. I gave the latter two a good rundown of the game mechanics and then it was time to mix it up in halloween town.
I was pretty amazed at how good everyone else. The game certainly never came so smoothly to me the first time I had played but many people were actually maxing out their decks, getting the most points possible. This actually made me feel a little bad since the first two games I won, but only through tie-breaker. Both me and my opponents would max out the decks and through maneuvering I would obtain the most active locales and win.
Because of the big crowd, the number of rounds had to be increased and so it was quite late before it wrapped up. It got late enough that sherilyn70 gave up the ghost and decided to go to bed instead of duking it out. In the end, instead of actually playing one final round, I decided to offer the other undefeated player a draw. We could split the prize box and he could get his tired daughter to bed. It was near midnight by the time everything wrapped up. I was able to fill some major gaps in my collection with the half box and also passed out a crapload of spare cards that I had. I basically dumped the whole thing into a pile and it was a free-for-all.
Here's a picture of Anni and Doug who ran the event. After everything was said and done and Andrew had passed out all the promo cards and other goodies, I went along with the entire crew to the food court. There I proceeded to order the heart attack special, a chili-cheese dog and chili-cheese fries. At 'dinner' we also found out that Andrew's game Pathenon had won an origins award! Pretty spiffy. I'm planning to order a copy with my next game order for sure.
So with the food sitting in my stomach like a lump, I stumbled off to my room with the intention of collapsing. On the way I bumped into Chelle and some of her friends. They had obviously had more than a few drinks and were quite heavily sloshed from what I could tell. The words three sheets to the wind immediately come to mind. When I wandered up, they were entertaining themselves by tossing a velcro dart at Karen's sweater, trying to hit nipples. I decided to stop off for a bit and got to hear her interesting theory that there was nothing unusual about drunk women (namely herself) going up to a group of gamers at the bar and telling them that they were hot and then not expecting them to take that as some sort of green flag. Bzzzzz. Thank you to for playing. Enjoy your parting gifts. With the male-female ratio and general dynamics, anytime a woman at a gaming con approaches a guy and says more than 'hello', 'do you know where ____ is?' or something along those lines, it's like throwing open the gates to the barbarian hoards. A good chunk of the rest of the conversation was about me explaining what furries and plushies were to her amazement and then it was off to bed. BTW, did I mention that she's a teacher? Her students probaly wouldn't believe it.
Anyway I got to the room and went to bed but for some unknown reason, I woke up a couple hours later and sherilyn70 was also awake. That started a long and lengthy conversation which was pretty far ranging but had a good share of irony considering the earlier talk with Karen. It was quite a sharefest and frankly, I was certain that when I got back to bed I was going to have some of the weirdest dreams. I'm pretty sure exhaustion took care of those however and by the time I got back to sleep it was pretty darn late. By the next morning I was completely wrecked.