A lot of people have their favorite holidays each year. There is Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years, Easter, Independence Day, and plenty of others. However, just from a pure fun standpoint, for me none of these make the cut. My favorite holiday is more like a holiweek and that week is GenCon! In less than two weeks, I’ll be attending my 7th GenCon Indy and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve been going since 2004, with a small break for the year I got married, and I imagine I’ll continue to go for a long time. Since I’ll continue to celebrate Thanksgiving and I like GenCon even more than that.
Maybe later on I’ll write a blog about my history at GenCon, but this year I’m excited about several games/events that will be there, and so would rather write about them. Compared to last year, where I was only interested in Heroes of Graxia and no events, this year I’ve got at least half a dozen titles and a couple events that are trying to worm their way into my collection and schedule.
First on my list, to at least play and possibly purchase, is 7 Wonders: Leaders. This is the expansion to the game that has dominated the gaming world since last December. I love the game, my wife loves the game, our families enjoy it, so this probably is a slam dunk as far as expansions go. The one thing I’m worried about is adding even a few minutes extra time by selecting 4 leaders. It is almost like adding another ½ round. Part of the draw of 7 Wonders is the short play time, so we’ll see how this plays out.
Next is Ninjato and this one is going to be the tough one for me. There are only going to be 50 copies at GenCon and so I won’t have the opportunity to play it before purchasing. I’ll have to get there first thing just to be able to buy it and even then I might be late. It is a new game designed by a couple guys from right here in Indianapolis, I’ve seen it in person, I’ve read the rules, and it looks awesome. It is about Ninjas.
The Ascension expansion one that I really want to try out as well. Ascension debuted at last year’s GenCon and was the only game I purchased at all from the Con. It impressed me that much. I’ve been looking forward to an expansion all year and am glad they waited a whole year to do one. However, I’m hesitant about it. I was hoping they wouldn’t just add more cards to the main deck and just call it a day, but it appears that is what they’ve done. So this will be a try before I buy for sure.
Smallworld: Underground is the latest expansion/stand alone game in the Small World series. If you read my Top 25 Games blog, you know that Small World is in my Top 10 Games of All time. This expansion is also a stand alone, with a new board and enough races and powers to play on its own. The only problem I have with this is that it comes with a stand alone price. Since Krista isn’t a huge fan of Small World, it doesn’t hit the table as much as I’d like, so I might pass on this one. I’m still excited about it though and will try to get a play in for sure.
I’m going to play in the World Championships of Warhammer: Invasion. That’s right, the World Championships. I haven’t played game tournament, since Vineta in 2008 and that wasn’t a serious tournament. This one is scheduled to last 8 hours, but I’m guessing it’ll be more like 4 or 5 for me if I’m extremely lucky. Most of the players will have all the cards, I don’t, but I hope my deck plays well enough to get me one win.
A second event I just learned about, which I understand is free, is the North American qualifiers for the World Championship of Dominion that will be held in Essen, Germany later this year. If you win the tourney at GenCon, they’ll fly you to Essen, pay for your hotel, and your ticket into the Speil, and if you win THAT tournament you get 1,000 Euros! So, I’m telling myself, why not play. I love Dominion and maybe I’ll get a chance to play some of the Cornucopia expansion.
Finally, the GenCon Math Trade is looking great this year. This is sort of like a before GenCon event, but I’m counting it. I have 9 games up for trade, all of which I got for free or have had for a very long time or just don’t like, and hope I get a few games I’m interested in. This is a fun way to meet other gamers at the convention and also try out a game I would never buy, but I’m willing to trade something I don’t play for.
So all that is what I’m excited for when it comes to GenCon 2011 here in Indianapolis. After the convention is over I’m sure I’ll do a write-up of my experiences and at least cross post it here.