July 8, 2006

Origins 2006!


Carolyn and I got back this week from a whirlwind vacation to the midwest. Aside from an all-too short visit with my family, we got to attend Origins in Columbus OH.


What we did was drive down to Salt Lake City on my Birthday (yeah.....now I'm 35) and fly out to Chicago the next day (Friday). Chicago was a PITA to drive through and after a few too many hours we made it to the KenzerCo office in Waukeegan.
We met with Mark and Steve

Carolyn and I were "blessed" in getting to be the very first people (non-employees) to get a glimpse of KoDT #116! Mark handed me a copy and let me take it home. My local game store hadn't even gotten #115 yet (they should have a long before that day!) and here I had #116. Mark and Steve were busy trying to get stuff ready for Origins, and Jolly had just closed on his house, so he was out of the office taking care of that stuff. I learned later that this was actually Jolly's first house, so congrats!
We only spent about 45' in the office, talking shop......I was probably most interested in seeing the warehouse as that said more to me than anything else in the tour (and all those books not being cracked open in game play....), but when we left the office it was 5 ish. Our original plan was to drive down to Pulaski IA to see my family there. With the ugliness that is Chicago traffic we decided to avoid the Friday afternoon gridlock and head for Northern Iowa for the night. With all of the construction detours, we pretty spent the night driving through Wisconsin and crashed rather late.
The next morning we headed off to Southern Iowa, visted family there, and then back up North to visit the rest of the clan. On Wednesday we pointed the car back towards Chicago and picked up the Tolmans (from Salt Lake City). Once we had them in tow we headed off to Columbus, Ohio...home to Origins.
We only had one minor glitch....I didn't have a hotel reserved for Wednesday night. When I originally made the reservations, we were checking in on Thursday (we were originally flying in to Columbus). The staff at the Columbus Marriott Residence Inn were awesome and got us a single room for the night. They also stored our excess baggage until we could check in to the room I did reserve.....a Penthouse Suite.
Thursday all Carolyn and I had planned were two hours of Tech Support demos and the qualifying round for the HackMaster Tournament of Champions.
We didn't do well at the tournament. We didn't play as well as we should, but some of that was due to some GM issues. I won't comment further....
We did make it to the Semi-Final and played in the GMs tournament. I was aksed to help out a bit with the Learn-to-Hack session and sat in as a "ringer" for a short adventure for brand-new HackMaster players. They really needed me in that adventure, or I should say they really needed my PC in that adventure. They did fine on their own, just the party was lacking some skills my PC had.
Carolyn and I did another 4 hours of Tech Support demos....only about another hour of people actually showing up. Tech Support is not the kind of game you play for an extended time. Hell, since I'm not longer officially working for KenzerCo as a demonstrator.....I'll go out on a line and say Tech Support is a game you're better off not playing at all. Seriously...the game sucks and I have no idea why KenzerCo put it out. Since this isn't a bashing blog, I'll just leave it at the fact I was NOT happy that I was signed up to demo the game for 6 hours. Twenty minutes was more than enough. Any game you can concievably "win" one the very first card play (happened in the 1st hour of demoing) really isn't worth the time or money.
EDIT: Yes, Tech Support blows chunks........but The Great Space Race rocks hard! It's easily worth the $50 or so it costs.
Anyway, we went there and came back. Planning on doing it again this next year, but by bringing more people!

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