GenCon: D12 Fantasy and Sunday Wrap-up

D12 FantasySunday morning came all too soon, and I had just one event scheduled: a fantasy setting miniatures skirmish game called D12 Fantasy by Redshirt Games.  I roped Jenn into buying a ticket for this also during pre-reg.  Pretty much every year we play some kind of miniatures game together.  I keep hoping to find some new game that I can set up quickly on the spot for a miniatures game without roping me into collecting and painting a huge amount of new figures.  I already have tons of minis and terrain, and I really don’t need to pushed into collecting more.  I just want something simple I can toss together with my existing stuff when the mood to play a miniatures game strikes.  I was hoping D12 Fantasy might be that game.

However, the draw of one last go through the exhibit hall was difficult to fend off.  Jenn decided not to play, but I convinced myself I needed to play one last game, even if it meant not seeing the exhibit hall until later in the afternoon.  Our plane Sunday evening was repeatedly pushed back by the airline from around 5 to around 7, so there was no rush to get out, but I wasn’t sure how early in the day the exhibitors would be packing up to leave.

It turns out the game was in this weird “hallway”, which was actually a small chunk of the exhibit hall itself walled off that lead to the main CCG area.  In 2008 this was the video game exhibitor’s area, so I guess they had to do something with the space, though it did give the impression that maybe they had had trouble selling all their booth space.

The game itself was OK, though our GM was a bit distracted as other folks from Red Shirt kept coming by to distract her.  Worse yet, she told us the game would speed up once we got accustomed to the rules, and even though we did get a handle on them after a few turns she still insisted on calculating every number for us and explaining through it, which meant play did not speed up at all.  Also, it’s just a little annoying to have someone explain a complicated turn sequence to you that results in the same outcome you and your opponent already came to.

The system itself was fine, nothing too unusual for this kind of thing.  Unfortunately the part that was simplified was movement and terrain.  The battle field was split into a 12×12 grid of large squares, so there was no measuring of movement we just counted out squares.  Tactical positioning choices were thus not a major consideration.  The complexity was in the math of the outcome itself — a lot of different modifiers came to each roll from either side.  This is pretty much exactly the opposite of what I’d like.  What I like about miniatures games is when the terrain is very important and precise positioning of your mini is a big part of the strategy.  I want the math to be easy to get through quickly so I can take a lot of turns moving my guys around and make more large scale strategic decisions.

Two of the six players were a father/son team, the son a young kid of 10 or so.  Dad had a game he was personally running right at noon, when our game was supposed to end, so he had to leave a bit early to get there and prepare.  I latched onto this and told everyone at the table I would also have to leave early.  So did two other guys.  So the game came to an abrupt end at 11:30, much to everyone’s relief I think.  I’m not sure it was the game’s fault, as I said it was a fine game simply not to my personal tastes.  It probably had more to do with it being Sunday morning and everyone wanting to cram in as much convention as possible or perhaps start to get ready to leave.

I roamed the exhibit hall as soon as I left, met Jenn for some lunch, and then we roamed the exhibit hall again.  Fortunately it felt like it was in full swing, though the myth of “good deals on Sunday afternoon” did not seem to hold true, as everywhere I asked did not have any particularly good discounts to offer.  I don’t think I bought anything, but it was nice to feel like I had plenty of time to say goodbye to the convention before heading back to the hotel, where we’d sit for an hour or so before heading off to the airport.

All in all, an excellent convention.  I’m already looking forward to next year, and thinking about what smaller local cons I can attend between now and then.

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