26 June 2011

Origins - More General Thoughts

Some non-staff-gaming-specific comments

- Origins + ComFest = big crowd. Origins + ComFest + Saturday night arena district traffic = big crowd with lots of traffic. Origins + ComFest + Saturday night arena district traffic + the Vice President in town to give a speech to a bunch of Democratic apparatchiks in the same f'n' convention center as Origins = absofreakinlootelystoopdid

- The biggest buzz in the show that I've been hearing is what a train wreck everyone expects Origins to be next year. Looney Labs has already bailed. The War College seems about to implode without several 'name' speakers and no publicity. At least three different vendors I talked to don't expect to be there. And all this during a year when the story should be a resurgent exhibit hall with a bunch of newer retailers and some great new games out there.

- Conquest of the Empire for $20?! It might just have to go home with me.

- A lot of wargame companies in the exhibit hall:
  • Lock'n'Load
  • MMP
  • Decision
  • ATO (also selling Legion Wargames)
  • Ferkin/Columbia
  • Clash of Arms
  • Collins Epic Wargames
  • Grognard Simulations
  • Worthington Games
and I probably missed someone, without intended to. Oh, and Mayfair, Valley Games, Atlas Games, and others were all selling war-themed games, even if they weren't all true grog-quality wargames (Engage!, Panzer General: Allied Assault, Tide of Iron, etc).

- A lot of unnecessary snarky smartassness about the wargame companies in the exhibit hall that aren't someone-or-other's favorites (paging Pason Jipes!)

- There's a LOT of boardgaming out there now. In '05, when I first went, there was a crapload-and-a-half of MtG, and the Pokemon Nationals were there. Since then, Pokemon has pulled pitch, and the CCG crowd has nose-dived. The minis hall has also steadily contracted. However, boardgaming - all manner, but especially family/Eurogaming - has has exploded, with BIG presences from Rio Grande, Mayfair, Loony Labs, and others.

- Zombie fascination has not worn off. Vampires seem to be declining, however. Pirates are virtually invisible. I wonder what the next "it" thing is going to be. People keep pushing steampunk, and while there's a certain 'cool' factor to it, without a major media license to help tie it all together, it's tough for folks to rally 'round it. Mummies? Maybe, but the movies are a bit dated at this point. Any ideas folks?

- Dad's lecture on arms control inspections seemed to go over really well, and he had a very good crowd in there for it. In fact, he had more people than any 2 of our staff wargaming sessions.

By: Brant

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