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Another year, another (awesome) GenCon
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Author:  Grand Moff Boris [ Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Another year, another (awesome) GenCon

Whew, what a week! I can't remember everything that happened, and there are some things probably better left forgotten anyway.

GenCon for me did not start on Wednesday, Aug. 12. GenCon for me started some where around April 9, when I began working on the Clone Wars mass battle event. I was under the impression - based on previous years' events - that it would be a 4-hour event, and worked very hard to design it as such. My sincerest apologies to all who signed up for it only to discover it was a two-hour event. I think I know how that miscommunication occurred, but it was beyond my control. Personally, I am very disappointed that it was reduced, and mores o that I wasn't aware of the discrepency until about three days before I left. That is as much as I should say on the subject publicly.

A BIG thanks to Sarah for her support of the Clone Wars mass battle effort, particularly seizing the opportunity to showcase the very first two Galaxy at War previews through that event. I absolutely could not have made the scenario as incredible as it was without her assistance, or WotC. Thank you very much!!!

So Wednesday, my friends and I headed out. The drive was about 4 hours, including a time change, and we checked into the hotel before heading over to the convention center. Following a series of "quests" from one HQ booth to the next, we were finally able to get back to the mini hall to meet up with Jim to help with set-up. When we were done, we wandered around and talked, and met someone we did not expect...

During our wanderings, Jim asks me if I am playing the Championship. Absolutely not, I tell him. Saturday is my time, and I am going to spend the day as I choose. He doesn't let it go. "What's it gonna take?" he asks finally. Thinking it would put an end to the discussion once and for all, I sarcastically say, "Are you gonna buy my ticket?" He grimaces, and I figure that's the end of it.

I head back to the hotel to freshen up before dinner, and on the way down the elevator I pull out my cell phone and call Lady Hothie, to see if she and Hothie are in town yet. If there is anyone that you definitely want to hang out with at something like GenCon, it's them. You can't find a nicer couple, and they know all the cool people. So anyway, I call her, and she answers her phone as I step off the elevator. She is standing right in front of me!
We talk for a little while and then I head back to the convention center to find Jim.

That evening, we caught up with Dean and his gang, which included Ray, Nate, and some others whose names I don't know, and met Jack (Ironlightsaber) and his wife. A large group of us went down to Ram, and then backtracked to Houlihan's when we were told our group of 14 would be waiting an hour. Sitting at dinner, Jack is across the table from me, and he is looking at me funny. I have seen this at GenCon before: someone who knows who I am, and has a soured opinion of me based on board rep. I just glance back, wondering, "Who the hell is this guy?" My initial instinct was that it might be klecser. I knew he was coming but I didn't know when, so I don't say anything. Finally, Jack asks me, "Are you Boris?" I shrug and say, "Yeah, I go by many names." He tells me who he is, and I suddenly project back through months and months of posts. No wonder he is looking at me funny!

I strike up a conversation with him about customs, and he pulls out a case of minis he has worked on. The worst one in the lot is awesome (meaning they were all very cool). Then he hands me a print he designed, and also gives one to Jim and Dean. Very cool.

After dinner, I head back to the room and grab my SW RPG book. As I leave the room, Jack walks up behind me. I say hello, and ask him if he is staying in the same hotel. Yep, he says, and tells me his room number.

"Where are you staying?" he asks. I point straight ahead to the hotel room door. We are right next door to each other!! Talk about coincidence.

He and I head down to the Hyatt, where LoboStele is running an RPG session. It was so much fun, I didn't want to leave but I had to go to the judges meeting. On the way out, Ray Becker hands me a bag of t-shirts. This was planned. On the front it says "Boris Hench squad member." On the back is a nickname for each person that got one and a number. I am "Boss Henchman." Bill's is "Elitist Jerk." I bought one for Jim that says "The Godfather" on it but he never wore it.

Some other people got one as well, and we all wore them over the next few days.

My friend Dark Jedi 21 (Jason) and I wander over to Steak and Shake for the Hall of Fame breakfast. I am handed my shirt, thanks to Bill for doing that for everyone. They looked very nice. Dean turns to me and says, "You should have a good chance at the green one (referring to the Championship shirt Bill brought to give to the winner)."

"No, I'm not playing," I retort. Jim is sitting there and his jaw drops. "What the hell?" he says. "I bought your ticket already."

"You did not," I tell him, and then both he in Dean start in about how it's all taken care of etc. etc. "Fine," I say after Jim reminds me of my "ultimatum." "I'll play."

Jim jokes, "It's only for a couple of hours and then if you're not doing well you can still drop."

At some point after breakfast, I get in line to go into the dealer hall, and wander in as soon as the doors open. Surprisingly, nothing really compels me to spend money. Except for Christopher West's maps, that is. I ask him for 3 copies of the "Mapmaker Special," something I suggested - 2 maps + a set of tiles - and he says he will do that for me. Two copies were for other people at the show, who were playing in the tournament.

Then I walk around for a while and then head back to the mini hall to watch some of the games. As it gets closer to 2 p.m., I eventually head back to the hotel to get the CW mass battle pieces. We set up for that, and have a really great time. Of the 3 mass battles, I feel this was the best. Everyone was coming by to see the preview cards of Asajj and Rex, and there is a lot of buzz over all the clones and droids running around on Teth. Jim gave away several starters to new players in all of the mass battle events, and that is the best part of the experience for me: getting more people to play this game.

I put the stuff up in the hotel and then go out to eat with some friends that have just arrived.

This was my busiest day. We start the morning at the show with the second Clone Wars mass battle, and almost as soon as it is over, I have to head back to the room to get the AT-AT materials. I had a short stint in the dealer hall, where I bought a $5 RPG book to a game a friend has been wanting to run, and then grab some food.

When I get back to the hotel, Jason calls me. "Where are you?" he asks. "In the hotel," I answer. "Dude, I just bought 20 Ugnaughts for $2 each!"
"Really? How many are left?" He has my full attention now. We both ended up with 20 each. It was the find of the weekend.

He comes back to the room and we carry the AT-ATs out afterward.

After Hoth, I sign up for the Friday Dynamic Duo, and go 3-0 in an 8-player field. (I'll try to write up the report for that in a separate thread.) I win 4 boosters, and then head back to the hotel room to crash. It's 3 a.m.

The Championship. The Main Event. I decide not to mess around and go right for the squad that Dean keeps insisting is the one to beat. I already had Teth with me, as well as Luke and Han and Leia and Rieekan due to running Hoth and due to wanting to play some casual skirmish games. I win the first round, and joke with Dean that "dang - now I have to keep playing."

Jim walks by a few minutes later and is grinning ear to ear that I won. He points at me and starts dancing a jig. I just laugh.

Round 2 I totally chicken out against a Machine Gun Boba squad with Bothans and lose, even though Boba is at 20 HP. The tournament goes south from there. I did beat James Wys, though, and at the end of our game I scream, "I BEAT THE TWO-TIME REGIONAL EVENT WINNER!!!!!"

Everyone around us laughs. I end up 3-3 and drop before the final round so I can play DD again. I go 0-2 drop with a different combo, and a lot of bad dice rolls. I can't remember the last time I rolled so terribly. Besides, I am really hungry at this point, so I leave.

I go grab some food, kick around the vendor hall, and have a very awesome chat with ILS and klecser, followed by a chance to sit in on the live stream of the Championship. Lou is a great host, and the recording of the final round was about the best thing to happen for SWM competitive play IMO. I talk to Nickname some afterward, and then head out to get my car and drive home.

I'm sure I left some stuff out, there was just so much to do and so much going on that I can't possibly tell all of it in a post like this. This year was the best so far, and I can't wait til next year.

I really would love it if there was a way for most of us to get together more times a year. It's something we should probably work on.

Author:  jew3 [ Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Another year, another (awesome) GenCon

Grand Moff Boris wrote:
I did beat James Wys, though, and at the end of our game I scream, "I BEAT THE TWO-TIME REGIONAL EVENT WINNER!!!!!"

I won't let you utter such lies on these boards. The quote was "I beat the TWO-TIME Regional Champ!!!!!"

And believe me you weren't the only one who got to say that.

Author:  Grand Moff Boris [ Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Another year, another (awesome) GenCon

Okay, well it was kind of a blur lol.

Author:  Boba52 [ Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Another year, another (awesome) GenCon

jew3 wrote:

And believe me you weren't the only one who got to say that.

I had the pleasure of playing James in the 4th round of the 150 tournament and when we sat down I was going OMG I have to play the 2 time regional Champ!!!! What I didn't know was at the same time was James going OMG I have to play this #!@?! Speeder squad again!!! lol sorry to hear you had a rough weekend.

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