GenCon 2011

Another great year at GenCon, IN as a demo model for Cryptozoic’s World of Warcraft TCG. I got to see tons of cosplay, tabletop game accessories, and even got to get myself some fun gifts from the many vendors that are there. Above all, I got to show off my mad skills with the WoW TCG.

Day 0

Today has been a rough day. It was hard to sleep and even harder to get up at 5:30am. I packed the night before–work clothes, fun clothes, laptop, camera, and snacks. My MP3 players were charged–one for the plane, one for backup–and the airport was only 15 minutes away. We arrived at 6:15am and I was so thrilled by short time it took to get there I completely missed the 25 minute security check line that trailed out the door of the airport….

Thankfully those 25 minutes were not in vain. I wore slippers that made my check through effortless and it turns out that the check point led me right into my gate! What a convenient coincidence! I slept through most of the flight and the next as well. Got to the hotel by airport shuttle and found my room in a very roundabout way. The kind only a fatigued bleached blonde could do.

There was not much else to do so I ate a packet of dry Ramen and hung out with some con-mates for a little while at P.F. Chang’s and went fast to sleep I will be in a matter of minutes. Early to bed and early to rise they say, even though I’m terribly exhausted. I hope I rest it off well enough cause I need to be getting up and ready at 7am and down in the lobby by 8:15 to get badges, decks, and to our blackjack tables by 9am.

Gonna be a long day tomorrow.

Day 1

GenCon day 1 was busy and buzzing. We started the morning early, before doors even opened at 9am this morning. My demo partner and I got our decks and kept to the blackjack tables all day right outside the tournament hall. I must admit I was a bit rusty, but after my first take with Bill I got my groove back.

We worked with the Cryptozoic produced starter decks and then played with some fantastic decks made by Bill himself. It was not soon after the start that I was rolling high cards and showing off my luck and strategic card playing.

It was the longest day we would be working, but it seems like there might not be much time for any convention experiencing with how many demos we will be playing. I am hoping to use my mornings to roam the halls and catch any cosplayers.

Today was a fantastic day for cosplay! I saw a Bell as well as a decent serving of Bleach school girls, Trigun characters, and of course the ever popular Star Wars and original RPG characters. The day was fascinating to witness with the cosplay culture and the bards singing their stories with medieval instruments around the convention hall. It was overall a light hearted and delightful day, despite the sore feet. Spending the hours playing WoW TCG straight was a huge selling point too. 😉

Day 2

Day 2 seemed much shorter and was much less busy around our booths. There were fantastic and very comical TCG learners today who even partook in a couple of group battles. Nevertheless the day was much calmer than the previous opening day.

Cosplay today was many! I learned the costume contest is the third day of the convention and they even have a cosplay parade that marches the hall before the contest. Unfortunately I found out that there seems to be no evening events, so the contest will be during my last working hours. 🙁

The contest will be held from 4pm until 6pm just as I get off work so I am highly banking that the parade will hopefully go past my blackjack table. I will be carrying my camera with me to snap some photos while I work so I can at least get a few more photos taken for the site!

Today I was able to capture only a couple photos of cosplay. There was even more anime costumes! I was thrilled to see Sailor Scouts, Dr. Horrible, more Trigun, Bleach, Pokemon (Rockets and poke-jin), old school American cartoons like Inspector Gadget and an Abe Lincoln cosplay whose artist wore 7 foot stilts! That was quite a site to see roaming the halls. It was a fantastic day for cosplay!

I ended this night with a bang too when I was treated to a front row fireworks show from my hotel room window. They were gorgeous! I have no idea what it was in relation to or what was being celebrated, but I like to think it was in honor of GenCon. Indiana is very welcoming and enthusiastic about their conventions. It is phenomenally refreshing.

Day 3

Today seemed remarkably shorter than even the last. The demos were sparse, but I managed to get some very valuable playing lessons in with Bill and his custom decks. I must say, I do get the hang of things quickly. 😉 He battled me with his wicked Shadow Priest deck while I used his amazing Destruction Warlock deck. Second time around I won, but both matches were agonizingly close. This was at the end of the day of course–on my break I was able to run around to take photos and buy an adorable bracelet!

Today was the costume contest and my were there some brilliant costumes. Though I was not able to attend the contest I did manage to get photos of the winners! The cosplay parade was not friendly to my camera, so while those pictures are sub-par I got to roam around on my lunch and find some great cosplayers lingering the halls for me to take pictures of.

Cosplays were my first priority, but I also remembered those adorable dragon bracelets from the first day so I hunted that booth down. The owners were very nice and the dragons up close were even cuter than I expected! They are a resin/rubber like mold with a bendable spine that come as plain as you like or with wings and ornate armor. They have a variety of colors as well as facial features. I got the one that reminded me of Toothless from “How To Train Your Dragon”. :3 He hung out on my arm and then around my neck for the rest of my shift. He now resides on my purse strap.

The day has left me with great ideas for decks and costumes that I plan to make just as soon as my latest projects are finished. If I am lucky I will have the materials needed to construct some killer decks that will hopefully get me in the top 8 of some Dark Moon Fairs (coming from a Sailor Moon junky, you know it’s a win for me). I hope to win them in a Dragon costume as well. 😉

Day 4

The day at the blackjack was very uneventful and pretty chill. I met some very fascinating and informative people who stopped to play and gush over fandom and games, which was a great end to a wonderful convention. I took my lunch near the end of the day which only left me with 30 minutes till 4:00 to finish the day when I got back. I thought it worked out brilliantly as well as redundantly. 😉

I managed to ring up some more loot as well as find some more cosplays while I was running around the hall! Later in the evening I got to demo the pre-released PAX TCG, which I will get to later.

I celebrated my last day of GenCon by buying two amazing metal wine chalices from Red Dragon Shoppe who also have several over medieval interests which I unfortunately could not afford on my limited budget, but is definitely going to stay on my radar for when I have spare money to indulge in my renaissance infatuation. The owner also makes gorgeous blades which I drooled horribly over.

My main goal was foiled by this distraction as I originally stormed the hall for a fabulously macabre gamer shirt which apparently is only a fable among the dealers. I was told it was bought right inside, but no one had heard of it when I went to every T-shirt stand in my path. The chalices were a great way to ease the pain of failing my mission.

As tradition still holds, after we all retreated to our rooms to tear open our brand new packs of WoW trading cards we went to a local Italian restaurant for a Cryptozoic celebratory group dinner. Once dinner was over, Jo-Jo, Sijia and I lingered in the lobby with Matt to play the pre-released PAX TCG.

It was very easy and very fun. You begin with a total of 12 cards (6 power cards, 6 quarter cards) as well as your unique character card. There are rows of stacked (power and token) point cards you can use your designated cards to buy and build your deck. At the end of each row there is a boss for the red (power) stack and green (token/quarter) stack.

Certain cards have special abilities that gives extra value to its suit or has special meaning when played.

The game goes around, buying more cards per turn and drawing 6 each round until either 6 stacks of the cards in the row are depleted or a final boss is completely bought out. At the end, cards with a points value is tallied up and the one with the highest score wins.

I won. Halla.

After that game we played a few rounds of skulls and roses bluff which turned out to be far more intense and entertaining than is legal. After a few rounds of friendly bluff-filled banter we joined some other Cryptozoic team members and played a fun art directing/drawing game. There have certainly been some great ideas for game nights back home. My plane leaves tomorrow in the evening and I miss my family horribly. Traveling always sucks but this convention is well worth it.

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