So, Wednesday of last week I packed up my miniature case and headed off to Indianapolis for the biggest gaming convention ever - GenCon 2014! Despite living in the US for the last 12 years, I've never been to GenCon before. To say it's impressive is to do it a disservice. You'll note that above right there's a large sign on the floor of the arrivals hall at the Indianapolis Airport welcoming all gamers to the town. A great touch that puts you in the mood.
Given my naiveté regarding GenCon, I waited until fairly late in the day to buy my ticket, and was required to pick it up from the Will Call booth. The photo above shows the first half of the Will Call line as I joined it on Thursday morning. Around 400 people were in front of me in the queue, but thanks to the (apparently improved) processing it took less than 25 minutes to get from this point to draping my lanyard around my neck.
It was then a wander around the hallways that lead me to the mezzanine overlooking the hallway outside the Exhibit Hall. On the left you can see dozens of people taking photos of the crowd, on the right you can see thousands of people out in the crowd, just before the doors opened.
Once inside, there were 370+ vendors all ready to sell their wares, it was amazing to see the wide variety of booths and booth sizes and products on sale. It was certainly gamer geek heaven.
The main gaming hall was just as big as the Exhibit Hall, with hundreds of games being played at any one time. Apparently the gaming halls hosted over 14,000 ticketed events over the four days of GenCon.
And here's a sneaky pic of my good friend Dave Pauwels having just received a demo of MLP, so that he could teach his daughter the game when he got home.
There was plenty of cosplay going on too, here are a couple of photos I took for my daughters : )
Food was to be had in abundance. Here's a look at the Ultimate Gamer Breakfast Burger (or some such title) that could be had at the bar in the JW Marriott hotel - a massive buttermilk biscuit, with two sausage patties, bacon, cheddar cheese, a fried egg, sausage gravy, and jalepenos, sever with tater tots and a chipotle mayo. I stuck with a regular burger this day, but two friends across the table rose to the challenge and devoured one each.
And I was even lucky enough to collect a few Honorable Mention ribbons for my Death Guard Contemptor Dread and my Malifaux Relic Hunters.
Do yourself a favor. Go to GenCon at least once, and do it with friends. Have lots of fun!
Thank you to all my friends, old and new, who made it such a great first-time experience. Particular thanks go to my room-mates James, Josh, and Lionel for not snoring too much, as well as Joel (Mordian 7th) for organizing a meet and greet on Saturday : )
Anyway, back to the minis. After the Old Line Massacre event back at the beginning of June, my friend Marc Raley started to think of ideas to deal with my pesky Thallax (I ran a unit of nine at the event). He let me know that he'd bought three Rapier platforms, all with quad heavy bolters, just perfect for chewing through Thallax. My response was to order another nine from Forgeworld. They arrived with the Thanatar. Shortly after, I picked up another three in a trade and now have 21 of the automata. What could possibly go wrong?
This morning I finished converting three "special weapon" Thallax who are ready for primer. The top model carries a multi-melta, and the other two have my version of a phased-plasma fusil. I really can't wait to get these guys out on the tabletop : )
Oh, and I have a Castellax to build before I start on the paint job for them all.
As usual with my Mechanicum, the bases and cables are from Dragon Forge Design.