Category Archives: Conventions

A Look Back at Gen Con 2010

It’s Gen Con week! Or at least it would have been. For the first time in over 30 years, I won’t be traveling with my fellow gaming geeks to the mecca that is Gen Con.  So I thought I would take a look back and share some Gen Con past.

GenCon 2010
It’s the most wonderful time of the year..

GenCon 2010 was a blast. I did a ton of gaming and brought along some new friends since John and Ben decided to ditch me this year. They were replaced by Proxy John and Proxy Ben, I’ll refer to them as Ty and Josh for the rest of this story.


Proxy John (Josh) and Proxy Ben (Ty)

Leading up to GenCon, I of course didn’t leave enough time to get everything ready so I was up painted and modeling right up to the night before, and didn’t really start packing until Wednesday morning.


Day 0 – Wednesday 8/3/10 – Travel to GenCon

The excitement was palpable as I loaded up the truck, picked up Josh, then Ty and we headed for Indy. Five hours later we were pulling into the Hilton. After unloading the truck and hitting CVS for supplies, we made our way to the convention hall to pick up the swag bag and convention program.

Then it was time for dinner. I recommended Scotty’s Brewhouse. John, Ben and I found this place to open last year’s con. They have a great outdoor patio but it was so hot and humid nobody wanted to be outside. We found a spot at the end of the bar and enjoyed a couple of pitchers of Fat Dragon scottish ale and Ty discovered the wonder that is “the shewman special”: half-pound, hand-pattied, grilled burger, peanut butter, jalapeños, cheddar cheese and bacon. For dessert, Ty was talking with the manager and got us some samples of “Dragon’s Milk”, a %12 alcohol bourbon aged stout – very good.


Scotty’s Menu

We wandered back to the hotel and broke out DungeonQuest (1987) and a few more beers. We were joined later by Josh and Ty’s friends Matt and Alayna. More on them later.

Day 1 – Thursday 8/5/10

The first official day of GenCon! I roll out about 9:00 to start the con out with a Flames of War game. On my way to the game I pass by the mass of people starting to queue up waiting for the exhibit hall to open at 10:00.


The masses waiting for the exhibit hall to open

Flames of War is a WWII miniature game. The scenario was a simulation of the German invasion of Stalingrad. I was commanding a group of light armor, anti-tank guns, and a pioneer platoon on the left flank. Across the table, I was facing a unit of Russian tanks. The tanks had good cover and the Russian player wasn’t going to move out unless I forced him to, so I made an unsuccessful attempt to dislodge him. By the end, my tanks and anti-tank guns were gone and the pioneers were in retreat. The game ended up being a victory by the Russians, as they were able to push across in the center of the table and on my flank. We (the Germans) were able to take the right flank and made an attempt to take back the center but too little, too late.


Opening of Stalingrad Battle


End of Stalingrad Battle

The game was run by a group from the Indy area – Able Kompanie of the Game Korps club. Great terrain and miniatures, and very well run by David and Chris. This was good news because these guys were also running the game that Josh, Ty, and I were all going to play in on Friday.

Back Camera

David teaches us how to play FoW

While I was playing FoW, Josh and Ty explored the exhibit hall. Josh was nice enough to stand in line to get the new Deathwatch book for me and get it signed by designer Ross Watson!

After FoW we all grabbed some lunch at Champions, I spent a little time in the hall and then headed for my evening Lord of the Rings game.

I had only played LoTR once a few years ago at Adepticon and that was a huge re-creation of the battle of Helm’s Deep. This scenario was the skirmish battle at the end of the Fellowship of the Ring when the fellowship is attacked by Orcs and Frodo is trying to get across the river to head to Mordor alone. This was a lot of fun, a small game with just four of us. Me and another guy playing the heroes and the other two playing the orcs. I controlled Frodo, Legolas, and Aragorn. The cool thing about this game is that the heroes play like heroes killing lots of orcs and able to overcome the odds. We were able to get Frodo across to the boats but he had to go on alone since Sam ended up getting captured by the orcs…


Boromir fighting off the orcs


Frodo on his way to Mordor

Friday night was beer and pizzas back at the hotel room. Matt and Alayna joined us to play Zombies!!!. Matt went on a zombie killing spree to win.

Day 2 – Friday 8/6/10

I was up and out early since you can always sleep after GenCon. Grabbed some breakfast and checked out the auction store. I then spent some time in the exhibit hall once it opened. Not much exploring, as I decided to stand in line for about 25 minutes at Fantasy Flight to pick up the new DungeonQuest and Death Angel games.

I then rushed over to the Weston to see Wil Wheaton (Star Trek:NG, Big Bang Theory) It was standing room only but I really enjoyed getting to see Wil live. I’m just a little older than him so I really identify with his stories of growing up and playing games in the 80’s. Here is some video I recorded of his talk.

You can also find better video of his whole speech on YouTube.

I then picked up Josh and Ty for lunch. On the way back to the convention center I had to break the truth to them that there really wasn’t a “SELF PARK”.


On Friday this still said SELF PARK


The other “Elf Park” sign

After lunch, Josh and I dropped into a quick hour demo of Malifaux. I wanted to try out this skirmish miniatures game that has crazy miniatures and uses cards instead of dice.

Friday afternoon was my second Flames of War game and one of the highlights of the con. The scenario was The Bridge at Remagen. The board and minis were amazing, and the game was run by the guys from Able Kompanie again. Josh, Ty, and I all were playing in this event. There were eight players, five American and three German. We decided that three guys with last names Toepfer, Weis and CoopmanKoopmann should probably be the Germans 🙂 We were joined by Mike from Able Kompanie who helped run the game and provided us some coaching as the “German High Command”. The Americans were coached by David, who is Scottish. His accent certainly added some atmosphere to the game.


Our Bridge


The real Bridge at Remagen

Our goal was to keep the Americans off the bridge for as long as possible. We even had an armored train that showed up midway through the game. We were doing well but then had three platoons fold all at once. In the end, we did squeak out a win. Mostly by preoccupying the American tanks, slowing their advance, and some strategic late-game artillery fire that kept the closest American troops pinned down. Special thanks to Mike for helping us out and making it a great experience!


Train and approaching Americans


Ty and “our General” Mike

After fighting off the Americans we were hungry and thirsty. The “Shewman” was calling Josh’s name so we headed to Scotties again for more peanut butter burgers and Fat Dragon.

We caught up with Matt and Alayna again for Friday night gaming. Matt is a Magic the Gathering God. He was working at GenCon with another group running Magic tournaments but has worked for WOTC at Magic events all over the world. Because of this the brand manager for Magic, whom Matt knows, stopped by the room for a beer and a quick chat.

We had let Ty roam the exhibit hall unsupervised again and he had bought more games. One of those was Last Night On Earth, so continuing our zombie theme we broke that out for the late-night gaming. This a cooperative game with one person playing the zombies (Ty) against everyone else and it incorporates all the classic zombie movie themes. It’s a lot of fun but that night the zombies won.

Day 3 – Saturday 8/7/10

I was up and out early(ish), swung by the auction store but didn’t pick up anything. Did an hour demo of Firestorm Armada by Spartan games, just to check out this miniature starship combat game. A solid game similar to their Uncharted Seas game.

After that, I had some time to roam the exhibit hall. I took the SPEW-AI test for Outbreak Undead, and stopped by to see Alayna who had a booth in the artists’ area. She’s a digital painter from Madison who has some really cool art. I brought a print of “Mountain Castle”.

Saturday afternoon was my Space Hulk game. This was a reworking of last year’s game with the same board. I had a repeat player from last year and someone who watched his friend play last year so he wanted to play this year. The game was a rout for the Genestealers, who played well but had some incredible luck in shooting the Terminators. They did find the Inquisitor but the Marines took too many losses and were never going to make it into the control room.

We did have a good location for the game, in a wide hallway between the exhibit hall and the CCG hall so we had lots of walk-by traffic.

After Space Hulk, Josh and I jumped in the BattleTech simulators, and Josh, who had never played before, kicked my ass.

We then met up with Mike, who works with Josh and John at Kohls, for dinner.  Mike was at GenCon playing Magic all weekend. He heard about our Space Hulk game so we decided to do an encore game with Mike, us, and a couple of his friends. We set up in the hall area again and got tons of traffic and people stopping by to check out the game. Since I was trying to play and teach, Ty took over as PR person and answered questions about the map, games and models. One guy who stopped by was Tom from Check out his site for information on all kinds of miniatures and tons more GenCon coverage.


Saturday night Space Hulk

Late Saturday night we stopped by the CCG hall see Matt. He was playing Magic so we watched him surgically destroy his opponent. But he did it in a fun, entertaining way. Amazing.

Back at the room we tried to finish up the last of the alcohol and played another game of Last Night on Earth. We had a chance, but the Zombies (Ty) won again…

Day 4 – Sunday 8/8/10

The last day of GenCon is always a little bittersweet as you know the fun is going to come to an end soon. We made our last pass through the exhibit hall for any final purchases and then finished our GenCon experience with lunch at The Ram.

GenCon 2010 was great, I think this was my 23rd GenCon and easily ranks in the top 5. Played a lot of games, met new friends, and had a great amount of fun. I was so busy playing games that I didn’t have a lot of time in the exhibit hall to buy stuff, but that’s not a bad thing 🙂

Back Camera

GenCon 2010 purchases

I’m already looking forward to GenCon 2011, and have the hotel room booked…
I hope you enjoyed this look back and I can’t wait for Gen Con 2021!

#36 – Playin’ and Slayin’ – A Gen Con Icarus Meltdown


Another Gen Con in the books!  The guys share everything that was the “Best Four Days in Gaming”.  We are honored to be joined in-studio by “the Intern” Brice. He and Ty recount their adventures at Midwest Meltdown (congrats Wisko Kings!).  Finally in Play it or Slay it we review the storytelling game Icarus.

Download here or find us on Itunes or Stitcher or Google Play and now Spotify!

Follow us on twitter @PlaynSlaynShow and Facebook @PlayinAndSlayin

Our theme music is by FADEBACK

Segment Timestamps

00:13:00: Midwest Meltdown
01:08:30: Gen Con 2019
02:18:50: Icarus Review

Things we’ve been playin’ and slayin’ (show notes)

Upcoming Events

  • NashCon Aug 23-25
  • DragonFall Oct 25-27
  • GameholeCon Oct 31- Nov 3
  • Holy Havoc Nov 2-3

#35 – Playin’ and Slayin’ – Aetherium RPG Interview


The Terrible Trio becomes the Fab Five as Aaron Darland and Paul DK from Anvil 8 Games join us to discuss the brand new Aetherium Roleplaying Game.  The guys also give a preview of what they will be up to at Gen Con next week.  And if that wasn’t enough Ty also attempts the long-awaited growler challenge.  Enjoy the ride.

Download here or find us on Itunes or Stitcher or Google Play and now Spotify!

Follow us on twitter @PlaynSlaynShow and Facebook @PlayinAndSlayin

Our theme music is by FADEBACK

Segment Timestamps

56:25 Aetherium RPG interview
1:52:17 Gen Con Preview

Things we’ve been playin’ and slayin’ (show notes)


Gen Con

  • Anvil 8 Games – Booth 1520
  • Alayna Danner – Artist Alley Table #09
  • Brotherwise Games – Booth #237


Upcoming Events

  • Gen Con – Aug 1 – 4
  • NashCon Aug 23-25
  • DragonFall Oct 25-27
  • GameholeCon Oct 31- Nov 3
  • Holy Havoc Nov 2-3

#34 – Playin’ and Slayin’ – Summer Time and the Livin’ is Easy


It’s the first episode of the summer! We talk about some recent conventions we attended, Nexus and Origins.  Reveal more about our lists of 10 games we love which we shared on Twitter and in “Play it or Slay it” we review the D&D GM Accessory Treasure Decks from Nord Games.

Download here or find us on Itunes or Stitcher or Google Play and now Spotify!

Follow us on twitter @PlaynSlaynShow and Facebook @PlayinAndSlayin

Our theme music is by FADEBACK

Things we’ve been playin’ and slayin’ (show notes)

Upcoming Events

  • Midwest Meltdown -July 27-29th Bloomington, IL
  • Gen Con – Aug 1 – 4
  • NashCon Aug 23-25th

#25 – Playin’ and Slayin’ – Ministomp Interview


We’re back and we’ve been busy.  This episode we cover our visits to Essen Spiel, DragonFall, Holy Havoc and GameholeCon.  We also have a conversation with the incomparable Landmine from Ministomp and discuss the greatness of the miniature gaming community, hobby projects, and of course beer.  Finally, we have a Play it or Slay it/Resurrection review of The Resistance.

Download here or find us on Itunes or Stitcher or Google Play and now Spotify!

Follow us on twitter @PlaynSlaynShow and Facebook @PlayinAndSlayin

Our theme music is by FADEBACK

Things we’ve been playin’ and slayin’ (show notes)

Upcoming Events

  • Board Game with Beverages  Nov 30  Milwaukee WI
  • Midwinter Gaming Convention – Jan 10th – 13th, 2019
  • Adepticon 2019 – Mar 27th -31st
  • Brewcity Brawl 2019 – May 17-19

#21 – Playin’ and Slayin’ – Gen Con Champions


Another Gen Con has come and gone.  The guys recall their adventures at the greatest four days of gaming and review a few of the games they played there: Reef, Tiny Epic Zombies, Shogunate and many others.  In “Play it or Slay It” this time they review the new Age of Sigmar themed TCG released at Gen Con, Warhammer: Champions.

Download here or find us on Itunes or Stitcher or Google Play

Follow us on twitter @PlaynSlaynShow and Facebook @PlayinAndSlayin

Our theme music is by FADEBACK

Things we’ve been playin’ and slayin’ (show notes)

Upcoming Events

Chaos GT Oct 6-7 Huntsville AL
FlatCon October 12-14 Interstate Center, Bloomington, IL
RockCon Oct 19-21
Dragonfall – Oct 19-21 Elmhurst, Ill
Essen Oct 25-28
Holy Havoc  – Nov 2-4th
GameholeCon Nov 8-11