|Meanwhile in the dealers' room|
|Mage-Something demo game|
|It never ends|
After the seminar, I connected with David Olsen (see the Mystara Reborn page on Facebook.) He and I had a talk that went on nearly an hour. Never a dull moment when talking about Mystara and old TSR! Now, if more Mystara fans show up at Gen Con, I promised to run a game just for them. Gotta show up though.
Later on, I had two more events scheduled for Battletech. One was the “Bootcamp,” necessary since I'd never played the game before, followed in the afternoon with “The Grinder.” The latter was an on-going combat arena. You'd start with a light mech, and if you got blown up, you'd pick another, heavier machine, and so on. Of course, I played this for a couple of hours and only made it to my second tier mech. There were another two or three tiers above that, inferring you'd have to play session after session (days?) to get totally eliminated.
This is how it went. I entered the arena, a wide-open expanse with rock outcroppings and small forests affecting line of sight. A real “baddie” stood nearby who'd played the game since much earlier that day and ran a humongous mech with guns and stuff out the wazoo. In a blaze of flames and smoke (sorry for the colorful fluff) I ignited my rockets to jump into a forest. Not that I'd thought that would save my worthless steel-clad patoot, but a gosh-darn +1 bonus is better than no bonus at all. Gears whirring and grinding, I rotated my top half and brought my ordnance to bear.
|An entire city made of cardboard elements|
|Another fancy-looking demo display|
Hah! We'll see now! The guy who'd just blown up my wimpy Jenner-Yugo still towered twice my size and nearly untouched. But he had to leave and gave me some pointers on dealing with my fast-approaching neighbor. The other player enjoyed the same machine as mine, although he'd been running and his internal heat was building up. I opened up on him with much of what I had, and lucked out big-time. My shots blew away one of his legs, a few gyros, and some other inglorious innards. The moderator gave me a few more pointers and suggested I keep dishing out as much damage as I could, since heavier mechs are hard to “kill.” Besides another bandit was approaching.
|How about some gear to carry the miniatures?|
New mission instructions flashed on my dashboard: Janet to tactical mech operator. . . rendez-vous at HQ for dinner out in Indianapolis, on the double. I left the bemused attendant at the hotel's valet parking put away the mech, connected with Janet, and proceeded toward our selected dinner haunt. A motorcycle convention was taking place in Indy that weekend, so the streets were very, very noisy with engines roaring and rock bands playing here and there. Terraces outside restaurants and pubs were packed with bikers, Gen Con gamers, and a few odd tourists lost somewhere in the middle.
|At the Claddagh Irish Pub|
|Janet offering a tantalizing bite|
A great convention was nearing an end, already. Tomorrow would go just as fast or faster. Before I post another series of random pictures from the convention, I'll show the illustrious members of the symposium still hard at work after a fruitful convention. My apologies for those I missed. I'm still hunting for all the names.
|Patrick Tomlinson, foreground|
|Kelly Swails & Brad Bealieu|
|Steven Saus, standing|
|Marc Tassin, right|
|From Left: Steven Saus, Elizabeth Vaughan, Patrick Tomlinson|
|From left: John Helfers, Kerry Hughes|
|Back to the dealers' room: I forget what this demo was.|
|Swords and helmets|
|Leather goods, none too bad|
|Neat stuff. I wanted the mask.|
|More swords and weapons|
|No idea. Some sort of mechanical warrior|
|That's gotta be Lolth|
|Notice the stick-on, self-adhesive AC +10 bra|
|My Normandie-Niemen Russian Yak fighter at the demo area|
|Wings of Glory demo area (South is for WWII, North for WWI)|
|Got spare Magic cards? Build something cool!|
|Came back later, and someone had built a huge tower, 8-10 feet high.|
Click HERE to continue. . .
::Trying to post again since I don't intend to by anonymous, but apparently, I have no choice::ReplyDelete
A pleasure talking to you Bruce. Thanks for taking the time out of your very busy schedule to chat with me. We'll have to do it again some time.
::In support of fluff::
Oh, and that guy on the panel was totally wrong :)
Hi David! I'm glad you agree with me. You aren't the only one.Delete
I'm not sure what's up with Google not recognizing registered users. Herve Musseau, a regular on this blog, has the same problem.
I'll chime in with you and David in the whole fluff vs crunch debate. Rules are great... but if the designer of those rules can't even come up with some colorful descriptions/scenarios to wrap them in, then what's the point?
Also not sure about your dietary restrictions (if any) but one of my favorite places to go in Indy was a steak house called St Elmos (they also served up a pretty amazing shrimp cocktail ;) ).
This guy's point was that players create color by applying the game's mechanics. Mine was that in-text color helps illustrate mechanics in the first place so players can better create their own feel for the game, but also that well-calibrated narratives have an entertaining value of their own. A mental image at the onset can go a long way to get people started in the right direction. Either way both styles exist with successful results, including either extremes, so there's room for both approaches.Delete
Re. restaurants around Indy's convention center -- yeah, there are plenty of good places to haunt!