Gencon 2016 - the Games, the Con and the Mega

Gencon - the best four days of gaming.  Well the best four days of something anyway.  Don't get me wrong, Gencon is a blast, and it is great meeting old friends and new players.  It is a wonderful, exhausting time.  However, in my opinion, it feels like they are forgetting that they are a gaming convention, and it seems the games are getting left behind for everything else going on.

Picking up our badges on Wednesday night took a little while as the staff apparently told Pat that they did not open until 6 when he showed up at 5, so he went back to setting up the booth and planned on coming back at 6:30.  Yet when we checked out the game master HQ at 5:10 the line was all the way down the hall and around the corner.  However by the time Pat got there around 6:30 there was almost no line - so he (at least) didn't have to wait long at all.

This year (as opposed to last) we managed to convince the venue staff to actually let us in on Wednesday night to set up - since we had an 8 am game on Thursday.  My minions (well one of them, Jon) helped me bring in the terrain and get it set up ahead of time.  The location for our Learn To Play events was great - we were actually on the main walk way through the main gaming hall - so got a ton of interested people stopping and checking out the games.
Kings of War Learn to Play area - Hall C - Purple 4-6
This year Mantic wanted the Kings of War tournament to run on Saturday during the day to be more visible, as well as to be finished before Mantic night.  Because of this we compressed the schedule to get in the same amount of Learn to Play sessions (10) as we have done in the past - this meant we had four on Thursday, four on Friday and two on Sunday.

My son Jon helped me run the four sessions on Thursday, and Kara and Amy took over for the 11 am and 2 pm sessions on Friday to give me a break to go and explore (i.e. spend money at) the vendor hall.
Thursday 8:00 am
Thursday 11 am
Thursday 2 pm
Thursday 2 pm
Thursday 5 pm
Sunday morning, 8 am sessoin
final session, Sunday at 11 am
Of course we had our Mega-Battle on Thursday night.  This was a little different as we did not do our traditional good vs evil battle - instead we played Manticon-Go!  It was also a bit different as we only had one person who had ever participated in one of my mega-battles before - we had a full slot of 12 people (though we didn't have anyone show up with their own army).  After each player picked an army they randomly drew a blue or red token - blue for team Mystic and red for team Valor.  Each team was attempting to capture the poke-fiend (an archfiend) who would appear on random towers. After a slow start, both teams starting capturing him - with the score tied at 3 captures each after the top of the last round.  It all came down to the goblins on team Mystic - they were the only ones who had a shot at the fiend - do they shoot it with their war engines hoping to roll well enough to hit it? Or charge in with the regiment of Trolls and depend on the stupid brutes sheer strength to take the win?  The final decision as for the Trolls to charge - 9 attacks ended in five hits, and only needing 3's to wound (due to their CS(2)) the trolls managed to roll three 1's and two 2's - not scoring a single wound.

Thus the game ended in a tie - so team Instinct got the win!

Team Valor
Team Mystic
The battle is joined
checking wounds
Near the end, the goblins charge the tower with the Poke-fiend.
Like EVERY year before, Gencon was both exhausting and a lot of fun.  As always, it was great to meet new people, and I really enjoy teaching people to play Kings of War.  Overall, we had 102 players in our Learn to Play sessions, 18 for the tournament and 12 for the mega-battle - so 132 players at all our Kings of War Events (not including the free Mantic night).  I was truly surprised at the number of people that came by asking for more demos on Saturday during the tournament. Unfortunately I can't run both at once, especially as they use the same terrain :-) .

Amazingly enough I even had a bit of my voice left afterward.

So now is time to start planning for next year!

Because it is all fun and games . . .


  1. I was there and you and your son showed me how to play. It was really fun and thanks for the lesson. This is a great game and cant wait to play at my local store. I wished I had known you ran this blog in addition, because i read it all the time.


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