DGS Games

Category Archives: Conventions

Origins – The Newbie Report

Avery’s #Origins2017 Newbie Experience ~

Avery Abernethy, 20 June 2017

My Origins knowledge goes back to playing Avalon Hill wargames in the 60s and 70s and their sponsorship of Origins in the distant past. Many grogs attend annually. I looked at the event list for the last two years before making the plunge. I went for the first time last week driving ten and a half hours from Alabama to Columbus, Ohio.

After this article was submitted, Origins released attendance numbers, and there were over 17000 unique attendees.

Origins is huge. There are more than six and a half thousand scheduled events spread over five days. I spent hours figuring out what I wanted to play when the program was released this Spring. I purchased event tickets for many Call of Cthulhu RPG events. About half of the program is tabletop events. Second in number are RPGs with many D&D, Shadow Run, Pathfinder, and Call of Cthulhu events. But less common games such as Paranoia, Chill, Trail of Cthulhu and many others have at least a couple of games being run. There are also many card deck games and even multiple LARPS (Live Action Roll Playing). There are also a number of miniatures games.

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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Origins – Vendor Support!

Wargamers are awesome ~

GrogHeads Staff, 12 June 2017

As we ramp up for Origins, we’re in pretty regular contact with our vendor partners about the games we’re going to use in our events and how we’re going to support them at the convention.  We’ve always made it a priority to showcase their newest and coolest, and then work in others that support our special events, like the Team COIN games, or (this year) the tournaments.

For our participants, those vendor partners have always come through with some excellent prizes – we give away at least one wargaming prize at every single one of our ticketed events, often full copies of games.  

This year, we also reached out to some other companies who were not able to attend Origins, and ask if they were able to offer a couple of games in support of the Central Command for us to use as prizes for gamers, and for our end-of-convention raffle.