Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Origins 2012

I arrived in Columbus early afternoon, the drive is a fairly easy one from Toledo, as long as rush hour is avoided. GAMA could not tell me which hotel they had me in (brilliant minds) so I first had to check the Drury before ending up at the Hyatt where my reservation was. The thing that sucks about the Hyatt is the fecking bell hops that hound you if you actually try to take bags out of your car while checking in. So, I checked in and proceeded to move my own darn car to the garage where I could unload in piece and gratuity free.

I went down to the convention center, got my badge from the GAMA show office, and then proceeded to the Tabletop Games HQ where I would be spending most of my time. The job is actually quite simple, but can be very boring. We just direct the gamers to the tables they need to be at - either a section where groups like Asmodee or Steve Jackson may be running their games, or to numbered tables where an independent GM can run his or her events. This was my view for most of the con.

Despite what GAMA may or may not say, the attendance was definitely down. I think this was a picture from Saturday. The hall is quite big and this is only a small portion of it. The tables directly ahead in the image were for the WWII miniatures game 'Flames of War' which was unfortunately not very well attended. In the hall was a van that artist Ed Beard had been working on which was pretty cool.

I also worked at the auction (as usual). This year, there was a silent auction on Friday and a live auction on Saturday. As usual, silent auctions suck and how to handle the end of one with 15+ tables of items is always a challenge. This year, Katie and Soren (the Auction coordinators) decided to go with letting 5 people in at a time for 2 minutes for the last hour of the auction, which actually worked quite well. I hate silent auctions - there are always a few people that will get pissy with eachother as they one up a popular item one dollar at at a time, then complain about not winning the item. We only had one 'gentleman' who was in the last group go crazy when he found out he did not win the 2 items he was bidding on. He said he would have paid $50 more for each and there was no way he lost those since he was in the last group. He started questioning our ethics and was being quite jerky. We explained to him that there was indeed a person that was behind him and overbidding his last bids that he did not see. He came back multiple times to yell at us, apologize, then yell some more. Eventually he gave up. If you are willing to pay $150 for something in a silent auction, then fecking put a bigger bid on something to scare away the vultures. I HATE SILENT AUCTIONS.

We only had enough items for about 5 hours in the live auction. I handled the item description for family games and board games for the first 2 hours (Ohio law requires a professional auctioneer, unlike Indiana where I can actually auction the items at Gen Con). I did get 2 things in the live auction.

$11 - I think

After the live auction, I was sitting in the free WIFI area when I looked up to see two of the media guests (Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day) being show how to play the Big Board Settlers of America by my friend Alex who works for Mayfair games.

In the dealer hall, picked up some miniatures for my Zombie game I am working on, as well as some animals for Irelynn to paint...

... and also got my free Reaper miniature from the paint and take. I also got non-painting friends John and Ed to get me a few more of the miniatures - the new Reaper line of plastic minis that are ready to paint and very affordable. Well, free is very affordable, but these minis will normally run about $2-3 per instead of double for their pewter counterparts.

On Sunday before I left, I also picked up a boxed set with more zombies and other survivor type minis in a very discounted copy of 'Final Days' by Kenzer - only $20.

Other than a zombie card game that I playtested while working at the Tabletop HQ, I only played in one game, but it was a good one. Thursday morning, I played in a T&T (Tunnels & Trolls) game with the creater, Ken St. Andre. I will have more about this posted on my T&T blog site later in the week.

Maybe next week I will talk about my issues with GAMA and why I may never work for them again.

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