by Terence Jason Dorman
As you can probably tell from my not-so-live updates, I had an absolute blast at Gen Con. I was fortunate enough to take part in four Spoils events over the weekend (which was more than I thought I would be able to) and did well in three of them. This also marked the first time in three years that I went to Gen Con as a Spoils player and not as the Judge of Great Justice, so this was the first time since 2007 that I could enjoy The Spoils from a player’s perspective.
So what did I notice?
The crew working the convention this year, which included Lead R&D Designer Ken Pilcher and Director of Organized Play Will Clark, was absolutely fantastic. These guys and gals were all there with the sole purpose of making The Spoils look good and they accomplished that goal. With the exception of one gentleman who I overheard complaining that he was still owed a cruise, everyone who stopped by the booth walked away with positive thoughts regarding the game and usually some packs.
The team also did a wonderful job of providing in-depth demos that really helped interested players learn the basics of the game and see how The Spoils differs from the other big games. Most “newbies” I had a chance to talk to were excited by the differences between The Spoils and other games as those differences “fixed the problems of other games.” That statement is usually one I use myself to promote the game, so I was definitely glad to hear new players walk away with the same opinion.
Despite not having a booth in the Dealer Room, The Spoils stepped up its game and created a fantastic “booth” in the tournament area. Complete with gorgeous banners, Ken Pilcher’s sign made entirely of Spoils cards, and art prints that feature Spoils artwork, the booth easily drew in new and old players alike. There was never a dull moment at the booth (with the exception of maybe 3-5 in the morning, but we can forgive that) and there were always new players walking up and asking questions. To praise the staff again, they all knew exactly what they were talking about and never dismissed a potential new player or a returning old player.
Also, the booth had a great location in the card hall, centrally located between a handful of big games (including Magic: the Gathering and World of Warcraft) so that nobody could miss it.
I probably should have focused this entire post on the judging found at Gen Con as judging is kind of what my Blarg is about, but to be honest, there really isn’t much to say. The reason for this is that the judging staff was extremely competent and did an excellent job running the events. I can’t recall any major rules issues coming up off the top of my hand nor any tournament policy issues, so it seems the players were partially to thank for the smooth events.
It was also fun to be approached by the judging staff to be asked my opinion on debated rules or policies. I know I stepped down as Judge of Great Justice around eight months ago now, but it still felt cool to have my opinion sought after and valued. With that said, though, these guys did an absolutely fantastic job and I look forward to playing in more events run by them. Of course, this didn’t stop me from ribbing them while the events were going on, but they certainly knew that was in good fun.
Success! Although I would have liked to see a bit bigger turnout in the tournaments (which were about the same as last year, which is fine), Gen Con was undeniably a success for The Spoils. I can’t wait to see how many new players we gain over the next few months thanks to the great demos and how the competitive metagame will shift with the release of Shade of the Devoured Emperor.
The only downside to Gen Con was that it had to end, but at least the countdown to next year has already started!
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