Thursday, July 03, 2008

Origins Blog 2008! Entry Five--The Swag!

No con is complete without the Swag! I was good, and kept to my vow of not spending more than $100. I even came under budget this year, spending only about $90. But that said, I was more than pleased with my purchases.

(Koplow Dice Tray)

I said I was going to get it, but this ended up being my last purchase. No surprises here—I’ve needed one for a while, and now I have it. The pleasant thing was seeing Bob (Don’t Call Him The Diceman!) at the booth. He seemed rather receptive about coming back to WittCon, which is a great positive—it’ll be great to have him in our corner again!

(Ironwind Metals—Fantasy Miniatures)

With the advent of 4e, and the tactical feel of combat, I set out for the Origins auction to look for some used minis that I’d be able to use when running the game. While the auction didn’t have what I was looking for, Ironwind did! At $2.00 an ounce for loose minis, I was able to pick up quite a selection (including a Cyclops, which is the spitting image of Craig T. Nelson’s monster in Flesh Gordon). Not too bad at all, particularly for $18.00 total.

(Sorting Chips—250—Multi-Color)

If it’s one thing I’ve noticed in many of the games I’ve been running recently, it’s that status conditions are getting more and more numerous. WEGS has its “Lost Action Phase”, and that’s to say nothing of Sure-Shot, Catlike-Tread, Magic/Mystic Sense, and more. D&D 4e, in addition, has “marked” targets, Warlock curses, “Hunter’s Quarry” targets, and much more. Having a way to keep track of these seems like a good way to go, and this was a cheap way to do it. At $4.00, you can’t beat the price—it’s great!

(Hex Hex; Smirk and Dagger Games)

Demoing this game with Curt Covert, while talking shop, may have been one of my most favorite sections of this year’s Origins. Hex Hex is a fun little game of backstabbing, which really runs when you’re sitting around with some good friends, just having a good time. It’d make for a stellar drinking game, too…but that’s another story. I was so impressed that I picked up the expansion, as well, Hex Hex Next, which has some even more lethal cards to toss in.

(Mutants and Masterminds 2e, Green Ronin Publishing)

Free is absolutely the best price, but this was an unexpected find. While I still love Palladium’s Heroes Unlimited, quite a few of the Witt-Weggers (Ebbs, for one) are all about the M&M. Reading through this, I can’t say I blame him too much—it’s a sweet little system. It may never replace my nostalgic favorite, but it’s a solid rules-set, with a lot of support behind it. None too bad at all.

So, I guess that, if you’re reading this, you’re wondering where are my reviews on Black Industries’ Inquisitors’ Handbook and the Kingsport Expansion for Arkham Horror. Well…I bought neither. But, this is for two different reasons.

I didn’t really find a good deal on Kingsport, and Bookery Fantasy is still offering their 15% off sale through the summer. I’d rather support my FLGS and get a sweet discount than simply get the expansion at a con, just for the experience of buying it there. I may even hold off for a tick, as Kingsport will be there for a while, and we typically play AH over at Lionel’s, so my set would go unused.

As for Inquisitors’ Handbook? Well, it’s a matter of cost. I paid $45.00 for the Dark Heresy core rules, which are in full-color and a beautiful matte hard-cover. Expensive for a book, but not unheard of. The Inquisitors’ Handbook, concurrently, is the same price, but is a soft-cover and only in black and white with red-borders. While I’d love to have it and use it, I just don’t think it’s worth it right now. Particularly when one considers that Fantasy Flight Games is expecting to put out their version in July, which will be in both hardcover and full-color. Thanks, but I’ll wait for that.

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