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Tag Archives: Conventions

Origins – Thoughts from the GrogCrew

What did our guys bring home from #Origins2017?  What was the coolest thing they saw? ~

GrogHeads Staff, 22 June 2017

We asked our crew at the GrogHeads Central Command (AKA Fort Kickass) to chime in with the coolest thing they saw at Origins that wasn’t GrogHeads-related.  Most of them dropped us a line or so.  One of them expanded his thoughts.  And one of them wrote a bunch.

First, the loot, as photographed by some of our GrogHeads

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Bullet points!

  • Coolest non-Grogheads thing…discussing and/or playing three in-development wargames with the designers.
  • The coolest thing I saw was Rogue Cthulhu gaming group.  All of their events were very good and it was well organized.
  • Coolest thing I saw this trip was a 6′ x 3′ rubber backed carpet, that was the game board for Quartermaster General!


Some longer thoughts:

Ian won the kid’s section of the Costume contest with his Dwemer Armor (made by Ian, Corinne, plus additional help from grandma and grandpa.)  And Edward Owczarski took third place in the same event!  Yes!  😀

Origins – Day 3 Photos

More pics from #Origins2017 ~

GrogHeads Staff, 17 June 2017

With the convention in full swing, there are plenty of games on tables to photograph.  There’s also no shortage of designers ready to show off their new games in the exhibit hall.

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Don’t forget to also check out Twitter feed for other photos that were posted live from the show.


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Origins – Proving Ground Games

The award-winning minis heroes are back at #Origins2017 ~

Michelle Owczarski, 16 June 2017

Gigantaur (don’t call him Godzilla!) in the front, and Heather & Mark Brown of PGG on the left, in the background.

Even with a brisk demo schedule and booth sales exponentially better than last year, Proving Ground Games’ Heather Brown gave me a few minutes to chat.

New this year is Crucible of Force, which brings PGG’s Fields of Fire engine to World War II. It’s available for purchase now. Hive, Queen and Country will be seeing Kickstarter orders filled soon, with a full release by end of 2017. This includes materials for RPG, miniatures and a supplement for vehicles. Coming soon via WargameVault, the demo scenarios run at Origins will be released in packs for Fields of Fire and Crucible of War in PDF format.

Proving Ground prides itself on games that are easy to learn, are well-researched, and provide an enjoyable gaming experience for all players. The rules are tested against extensive “rules lawyering” as a way for their system to be an entry to historical miniatures gaming.

Heather said that Proving Ground is pleased with the 2017 convention so far. The perception is that attendance is up, people are smiling and happy and buying, and that con staff were ensuring things were running more smoothly than in years previous. She was critical, however, of the mix of available events, citing a lack of diversity in LARPS and a general lack of historical miniatures. While there are more sessions, there are many repeats, versus original events.

The best part of the convention, though, “Someone brought me a pie!” (It was chocolate, walnut and bourbon, and it came all the way from New Mexico.)

Ed note: Proving Ground’s Movie Monster Madness variant for their Fields of Fire rules was part of our kids’ program this year. 

 


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Origins – Breaking News with Academy Games

We’re bringing you a fresh scoop from #Origins2017 ~

Michelle Owczarski, 16 June 2017

Breaking News – Uwe Eickhart reveals Academy Games’ Agents of Mayhem Tie-In Board Game

During an interview with GeogHeads, Uwe Eickert explained that Academy had been working for three years with video game publisher Volition on a board game based on their Saints’ Row IP. The game is meant to expand on story and characters from the videogame.

The Agents of Mayhem videogame will be an open-world game in third-person perspective available on Playstation4, Xbox One and PC, and was announced at E3 to release in August 2017, but this is the first time Academy Games has spoken about it publicly. The board game, Agents of Mayhem – Pride of Babylon, from Academy Games is slated to launch at the same time.

Eickert said that working with the Saints’ Row IP was easier than historical games because there was less research to do. “Their writers were involved,” and were enthusiastic about the additional content the board game will include.

See www.academygames.com/aom for more information on the Academy Games Agents of Mayhem board game. Additional content from the Eickert interview to come.


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Origins Convention Report – Red Raven Games

What’s up with Ryan Laukat and #RedRavenGames at #Origins2017 ~

Michelle Owczarski, 16 June 2017

Ryan Laukat, designer with Red Raven Games took a few minutes from his busy booth to talk about Near and Far, their newest release.

Near and Far is related to, but not a direct sequel to Above and Below, released in 2015. Characters may be shared across games, but where Above and Below predominantly a village-building game, Near and Far is more about exploration and storytelling.

Gameplay centers on books: there is an atlas, which is essentially the game board, and the adventure book which is consulted according to map instructions, much like a Choose Your Own Adventure series book. Characters, cards, and resource management round out the mechanics.

Of particular interest, the design is based on a ten game campaign. In the vein of “legacy” style games, though non-destructive and replayable, you follow your character’s development across multiple exploration sessions.

This is Red Raven Games’ first booth at Origins, though they have shown at GenCon and other conventions previously, and have been Origins attendees in years past. Ryan noted that the show has grown considerably since his last visit in 2012.

Near and Far is a convention exclusive until the end of the month, when it launches at retail.


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Origins – Day Two Gaming

A big-ol’ gallery of photos from #Origins2017 ~

GrogHeads Staff, 15 June 2017

The first full day of Origins saw a non-stop melange of all things gaming, from full-scale escape-room style fantasy LARPs to hex-and-counter wargaming, and everything in between.  There were world maps as carpets for WWII, hand-crafted fantasy minis, racetrack jalopies, space aviation shootouts.

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Watch for our company interviews coming soon.


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Origins – First Day!

What’s happening on the first day of #Origins2017 ~

GrogHeads Staff, 14 June 2017

The first day is usually a quiet time of preparation as vendors set up, gamers play pick up some free play opportunities, and registration lines extend into the Short North (OK, OK, the third one was just last year).

However, with more and more organized games – and vendors! – in the main gaming hall, which opens at noon on Wednesday, the first day is now a blur of action.

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A Look at the Nexus Game Fair

If you’re a large plains-roaming land mammal, or a driving cat, and you just can’t make Origins, there’s always the local convention  ~

Jim Owczarski, 31 May 2017

Milwaukee has missed GenCon since the day it changed lodgings in 2003.  I know.  I’m from here.  The mass of local gamers that were left behind have created other events and some have seen remarkable success, but none have approached the grand madness that is the mother of all American gaming conventions.

Still, I love the convention experience and was looking forward to checking out the Nexus Game Fair when it rolled into town late last week.  Most importantly, I was wondering if there would be anything at all for a grognard to do.  What follows are a few thoughts and a fair number of photographs documenting the experience of Friday and Saturday.

Hosted primarily at the downtown Hyatt, evident on the Milwaukee skyline by the spaceship-like restaurant perched at the top, Nexus seems to have kept its ambitions modest.  Attendance ran to the hundreds rather than thousands and there was rarely a press of crowds despite the smallish space.  It was, however, a professionally-organized operation with a well-designed program and a strong staff of workers managing registration.

Two beautiful days and I’m going indoors to play with little soldier men. (That’s the new Bucks’ arena going up.)