Gen Con Indy 2006 - August 2006

So what does the Midwest have to do with gaming? Just about everything! Gen Con Indy is the longest running, best attended, gaming convention in the world. Last year, more than 26,000 attendees experienced Gen Con Indy. The biggest complaint from hard-core gamers and fans is that there is simply too much to do, see, and experience in the gaming world. Besides the gaming aspect of Gen Con Indy there art exhibits, panels, costumes, actors and actresses that you can get an autograph from, you can meet the people who run the gaming industry.

Something new this year for Gen Con Indy is the presence of Gentle Giant Ltd. For the first time at Gen Con there will be an exclusive Star Wars mini bust, the second one of the year. This mini bust is none other than Mara Jade – The Emperor’s Hand.

Thursday August 10, 2006
Since I live in Indy it would only be natural for me to attend Gen Con Indy. First off I am not a big gamer but that has never stopped me from attending in the past since Gen Con has come to Indy.

In the late afternoon made my trip to the Indianapolis Convention Center. Upon getting there I saw large crowds of people wandering the streets of downtown Indy most likely all gamers and fans that will be attending the convention.

I made my way inside and walked around to get a feel of the layout. It is pretty much the same layout as every year. I walked around and walked around some more taking in all the sights and the ungodly smells of unwashed gamers. Sorry gamers but have you ever heard of deodorant? Maybe AXE needs to set up a booth and give out free samples. Ok now I am being harsh not all the people in attendance have a B.O. problem only those who stayed up all night gaming. You know who you are… just because it is raining outside does not mean you have to skip your bath or shower.

As I walked around I partook in some game demos to get the little free gifts and whatnots that were being handed out. I picked up several free items from tables and those that were being handed out. All the while taking some pictures of the event. I went by the Gentle Giants booth and pick up my Mara Jade mini bust. Shannon McCrandle is a guest signing various Mara Jade pictures who of course has a Mara Jade bust sitting at her table.

Out of all the little game demonstrations I partook in today I really like the Horror Clicks. They are just like the regular Hero Clicks but with a Horror Themed twist. After the demo I think I am not hooked on this game. I like horror and this is a game that is easy and fun to play. I got all six of the free Horror Clicks miniatures that are being giving away. Now I need to decide if I want to get into this game and purchase the booster packs when they come out in the fall. I know some of my friends who are big time gamers and horror fans will play. The other decision is do I want to buy the 13” convention exclusive Cthulhu (pronounced KaTu Lu, not Ka Thu Loo) statue that goes along with this game and comes with some of his minions for $85.00? When released to the public in the fall it will retail for $125.00 and not come with minions. Decisions, decisions… I do not know maybe on Saturday I will pick one up.

Today was just a day for me to explore and have fun and try to meet up with some people. Being a member of the 501st I ran into some people I knew and they asked me if I was going to suit up this weekend? I will not be suiting up in armor this time around. On Saturday the 501st are going to be meeting at the RAM restaurant and brewery in downtown Indy. So Saturday at 7pm I will make my way to the RAM to eat and hang out with other members of the 501st. The RAM is located 140 South Illinois Street Indianapolis, IN 46225 for those of you in the 501st who are in Indy. In case you do not know the RAM is very friendly to the 501st.

With my friends Wade and John I was talked into playing in the tournament for the Horror Clicks game on Friday afternoon at 2pm. One in Four will win prizes and have a chance to win a Cthulhu. Since I am new to the whole gaming thing I am not holding my breath in winning any prizes or the Cthulhu.

Friday August 11, 2006
This morning I went to Toys-R-Us on my way to Wade’s home since he decided to drive us to the convention. I was hoping to find the X-Wing but did not, only the AT-AT which I already has purchased earlier in the week. We arrived at the convention around 11am. We met up with John and we started to walk the exhibit floor to see what little free things we could snag today. There were more people in attendance that the short time I spent there the day before.

We wondered the exhibit hall and met up with Shannon McCrandle and Wade had her sign his mini bust. I thought that was really cool. She is in good spirits and is having some fun. She departs Indy on Saturday afternoon.

Me and Shannon McCrandle (Mara Jade)

I stumbled into the Mushroom Kingdom.

After that we went and got a bite to eat before we had to head on over to play in the Horror Clicks Tournament at 2pm. Due to some miscommunication, the lack of organization, and what not starting the Horror Clicks Tournament did not start until sometime after 3pm. By the time they passed out the starter and two booster boxes of miniatures and explained the rules it was already 4pm.

So the first game started. I was doing fairly well until the guy I was up against started kicking my rear end. I now saw what I was doing and getting a better comprehension of the game and started to play a bit more ruthless. About twenty minutes into the game the officials made everyone stop due to the time frame. They made up count up our points and of course not expecting to win I did lose. There was a fifteen minute break and the second game began. This time the looser of the game would be thrown out of the tournament. The first game was just to get everyone familiar with the mechanics of the game. I was beaten. Wade and John also lost in round one. It was worth it. We had some fun and learned a new game.

It was now getting close to 5pm so I left the convention center and made my way to the party that I was invited to. Tomorrow will be another day but a day of walking around and exploring the con.

The Party! Many friends were there and I met some new ones. It was a lot of fun and I gained an experience point (Ha! Ha! Gamer Talk) tonight. Do not ask how I got a cookie from Mike. ;)

Saturday August 12, 2006
Well today I woke up and made the trip back over to Gen Con Indy 2006. When I got there my friends Wade and John were not yet there so I walked around taking in the things that I might have missed or ignored from the previous two days.

I brought my Mara Jade mini bust back to the convention to have Shannon sign it. After I saw here sign my friend Wade’s the day before I thought that was really cool so I had to copy the action. Well I walked around since Shannon would not be around until the afternoon. After about an hour I ran into my friend Mike. So I walked around with him and I got in line with him to meet some people. We first met and talked with Gigi from Farscape (Chi or Chianna). Mike brought his work in progress of Rigal or “Sparky.” Gigi liked it very much and took some pictures with it. She said the likeness was far better than she has seen before. So after an autograph and some talking Mike and I walked around.

Our friend Scott showed up so we met up with him and walked around for a bit. He wanted to meet William Katt (The Greatest American Hero). So as we met him we found out he was doing autographs for free while promoting an independent movie he was in called “Gamers”. William Kat was a really nice guy and he chatted with us for a bit. He told us other people involved with the film were at the con and we should go say hello to them. By the time we were finished there Wade showed up. So we walked around together for a bit and found the other people involved with the “Gamers” film. We met them and they were all really nice people. Amongst them was Michael Bell. He is know for his many cartoon voices such as Major Blood or Duke from GI Joe, Plastic Man, Wonder Twins, to Grumpy Smurf and many others throughout the past twenty or more years. We got a free autograph from him as well.

Me and William Katt the Greatest American Hero.

The guys from "Gamers" and Michael Bell on the far right.

By this time we were getting hungry so some of us went off and got a bite to eat at McDonalds. There we met up with Liz one of Mike’s friends. So she hung out with us for a while as well.

During the day we broke off to do our own little things. I got my Mara Jade bust signed by Shannon, picked up the 100th Special Edition of the Silver Colored Boba Fett Bust-Up from Gentle Giants, got some more pictures, and wondered around. I ran into my friend Mary Franklin form Lucas Film and said hello and got my convention hug from her. She was there for a few hours at a booth that had been empty all weekend that had a banner saying “Star Wars Celebration IV.” She talked to the people and answered questions that they might have had. I did learn at Celebration IV for those who volunteer in armor there would be a special room set-aside for you to change in and leave your belongings in while you troop around and do what you need to do.

Now some people know I am an animal lover. At conventions there are dealers who sell animal / foxtails and ears for people to wear. I think that the tails are very sexy on certain people. As I was talking with a nice young lady I noticed the auburn foxtail she was wearing and told her how I liked it. She asked me if I would like one. I said they are really neat but I was not going to pay $30.00 for one. As we talked she asked me to follow her. So I did. She took me to a booth where some of her friends were and they attached an all black foxtail to my belt and playfully spanked me and said that I was now initiated and part of their foxtail group and said I have to wear it to conventions for now on. I wore my foxtail all day with a smile on my face. So now I will have to wear it at DragonCon 2006 since the girls from this foxtail group will be there.

After that I met up with Mike, Liz, Scott. And Wade. We walked around a bit until 6pm in which the exhibition hall closed. We took out belongings to our cars and met up in front of the convention center. Wade had to take off. So the rest of us walked down to the RAM and met up with the 501st group.

At the RAM members from the 501st all talked and met each other, etc. Some had drinks some ordered food, it was just a big get together. All in all it was fun and I had a decent time. I was just tired from the weekend with all the walking around so I left around 9pm. I said my goodbyes.

Gen Con is now over for me. The convention is open again on Sunday until 6pm but I will not be making there. Until next year have fun, play your games, and be kind to each other.