Another cold grey February has come to the Denver Metro area but with that comes a ray of bright gaming fun and fluorescent lighting in the form of the annual gaming convention that is Genghis Con XXXII! Gamers . . . check! Games . . . check! Tables and chairs . . . check! Mountain Dew and girl scout cookies . . . you know it! Then game on!
This years Genghis Con XXXII has come and gone as of last Thursday through Sunday and from the turn out and local gamer involvment, I would say it was a huge hit. I spent most of the day, afternoon, and evening on Saturday moving from room to room at the Red Lion Hotel, where the local con was in full swing, interacting with our local Denver Metro gaming communities, reviewing games with participants and creators, speaking to local retailers, snapping a few photos, and of course, doing some gaming myself.
My personal gaming preference for Saturday and Saturday evening were to play a couple of heated piracy filled games of Merchants and Marauders while also taking in some 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons as well. As always, the day and night went by too quickly and I was left with a ton of ideas and wish lists of games I wish I would have signed up for, tried out, knew about before hand, or budgeted time to try out. I found myself intrigued by the passion a group of Savage Worlds players put into their round table of role playing action all afternoon, wondering how I could help them with some character find the cannister of gas they were searching for. I felt my eyes being pulled towards the dark light setting and painted props behind black curtain back drops of a Tron arena table top game demo and play through game session. I watched and walked around time and again at a massive table filled with tropical settings, ferns, massive rock shoulders and caves, cave men, giant sloths, and herds of mammoths, as almost a dozen die hard gamers and their host, a local gaming master, Bill Daniels, laughed and battled nature and each other in a massive Ice Age / Cave Man hunter – gatherer table top game. The dice, the mini’s, the war games, and the infinite amounts of girl scout cookies were indeed intoxicating at times. Too much to do, never enough time to game.
Before I go too much further in my commentary and re-cap of this past weekend excellent convention, I want to take a moment to thank my gracious hosts, the Denver Gamers Association. I approached them this weekend about allowing me to poke, prod, snap photos, ask questions, and finally, do a couple of reports and articles on the events and they were very willing and gracious to allow me to report on their event. Their only request was that I not bug anyone who did not want to be bugged and I of course agreed to such easy terms. As a gamer myself, the last thing I want is for someone to harass or snap shots of me and distract me from crushing the snot out of my opponent while my Dutch Captain roves the Caribbean doing Merchants Raids against the Spanish Gold Fleets! So again, I take off my hat to the DGA and say thank you!
Since I have quite a bit to talk about in regards to Genghis Con XXXII and many photos to sort and post, although I wish they had turned out a little better, I will be breaking down my coverage into several posted articles this week and into early next week if necessary.
As I arrived Saturday and got settled in at Genghis Con XXXII, my attention right away, from the badging and registration room was drawn quickly to the painting room. At heart, I still have a fondness and passion for miniature painting. Although I have not painted in some time, the Genghis Con was the first and only time I have had one of my painted miniatures win something, taking first place in a fantasy single mini contest more than a few years ago. But, like any hobby, miniature painting is something that takes tons of time and practice. So, I was dying to go take a look at this years entries and see what creative imagry our aspiring painters had on display. I was not disappointed.
This year’s painters and entries were amazing. The display case of entries were brimming full of fantasy miniatures, scaled war gaming platoons, gorgeous scenes and dioramas, etc. The first thing that quickly draws you in is the brilliant and varied array of colors to gaze upon. Then you begin to see the endless blending techniques of creamy fades, melted skin tones, and crisp line distinctions to seperate details. Then as you look closer, you can begin to pick apart details of faces, eyes, scales, teeth, flesh tones, hair, weapon details, cloaks, beards, bases, terrain, mods, and more. Miniature painting is a beautiful craft and the finished product is truely a work of art for your display case, your gaming table, or anywhere else you choose to show or use your finished mini with.
Some of my personal favorites were a gorgeous violet Dragon piece, his wings extended as he stood on two legs. The shading and blending was beautiful and the highlighted and accompanying colors of fushia and greens really colored well for the beautiful dragons color scheme. I also loved seeing a small and finely detailed Mimic Treasure Chest piece up in the front row of the display case. The Mimic mini was small, about the size of a halfling mini or so, but the action of its leaping bite showed dynamic movement and the colors and detail on his teeth and front area was amazing! I also kept staring at a beautiful piece in the back that had a couple of adventurers near a finely crafted and painted ship figurehead. The ships figurehead had a winged helmed woman as the center piece, or at least her torso, and the color transitions, shading and blending, etc, were so smooth and creamy to look at, it was just beautiful to take it. I am sure our local judges had their hands full with the many top flight talented entries submitted this year.
Aside from the excellent displays of finished mini’s being entered and submitted in this years contests, there was also painting and fun being had in the mini room. There were familiar faces to be seen, such as the always smiling Lili Troy, a local painting master, judge, coach, mentor, etc. Lili was not only helping any who asked, but this year she was judging I believe, as well as participating in both group and one on one painting technique classes. If you have not met her, you should. I have sat in with her on one of her local classes at a gaming store here in Denver and she helped me a ton on priming mini’s and getting a good blending technique and mix on metals. She is amazing! There were others in the room teaching and taking tips on mini scultiping and modding, as well as technique on other parts and phases of miniature painting and detailing. As I stated at the beginning, I probably could have spent all day in the mini room, but, the fun was just beginning.
Next, I was making my way into the Table Top War Gaming and Large Scale gaming area . . . to be continued!