My trip to GenCon, or how I learned I need to get a new set of dice…

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go to GenCon. This is a gathering of gaming enthusiasts from all across the USA (and from what I experienced across the world). I heard that the people from HyperRPG and Harebrained Schemes would be at the convention last week. After some calendar shuffling and financial shifting I decided that I could attend the con on Thusday. I left the house a little after 5 AM so that I could get to Indianapolis well ahead of my first scheduled event. Oh, I forgot to mention that I got to play Death from Above(DFA), the Hyper RPG Battletech based tabletop game. So I pulled into Indy about 10:45 and found the place I was going to charge my car. After some difficulty with the charger (The company who owns them really needs to get a better way to.. This is a post for sparks I made my way to the Indiana Convention Center.

I had pre purchased my entry badge so I hunted up the Will Call lines. Um, the line was literally at least a mile long, there was no way I was going to get to DFA if I got in that line. I punted. I went to purchase a new badge, as they had NO LINE! (Lesson Learned, if I ever go again I will buy my Badge when I get there.) Acquiriing my badge I made my way to the HBS Booth in the convention center. It was good that I got the extra badge as I had about a 30 minute window before DFA started and I took me 10 minutes to get from registration to the booth. As soon as I got there I scoped out the place. Along with the RPG table Hyper RPG folks set up, HBS had set up a group of computers so that Conventioners could play a “Super Pre Alpha .007” version of “the Battletech Game” (I will review that in another post). I walked up and ran into Jordan Weismann, the creator of Battletech. I got to chat with him for a few minutes and he graciously agreed to be in a picture with me.
image.Shortly after this was taken I got to be a Mechwarrior in Hyper RPG’s version of the Battletech Tabletop. In this they use enormous 3D printed Mechs (based on MWO’s Mech Models) I and 3 others faced off in Mech Combat. Tyler a programmer at HBS and the Game Master (GM) ran the game and Mitch Gittleman, owner of HBS and DFA Player, assumed his Lord Commander Mason Garalack(sp?) persona. We were perspective Mechwarriors trying out for Mason’s Marauders. After a bit of Roleplaying we got into the game. The Mechs on my team were as follows:

  • Star League Era Orion
  • 3025 Era Trebuchet
  • 3025 Era Commando
  • 3025 Era Vindicator

The Opossing Team had:

  • 3025 Era Marauder
  • 3025 Era Catapult
  • 3025 Era Spider
  • 3025 Era Blackjack

We had 3 turns where no one was able to make a successful shot. It was mostly maneuvering to get into firing position. Garalack(Gittleman) was disparaging our piloting skills when I boldly stepped onto a large hill and let loose with my Autocannon 10 and LRMs on the Marauder. I somehow managed a hit a long range. I drew first blood getting the call sign of “King” because I was “King of the Hill.” Of course I skylined myself and the next 3 turns my Orion was pummeled by 3 mechs (whoops, go figure I went to the front and got hammered). I managed over the next few turns to get my Trebuchet half stripped, kicked a legged and prone spider. I never though was able to hit much of anything after that first lucky shot. So much so that the GM said “well, we can see that you have no luck with the dice.” I resolved to find a new set of dice so that in the future I might get some random number generation in my favor.

DFA ended with a massive airstrike that took out both forces ( the HBS people had run out of time). I had an absolute blast with this game. I met some guys who are as geeky about Mechwarrior as I am (I think all three of them play MWO) and got to play with some beautiful Mechs.
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I did finally manage to find a new set of dice as there were many vendors at this convention. They weren’t quite what I was looking for but as soon as I saw them I knew that they were the dice I was going to get. Dice, I have found, are quite expensive. The ones I bought were $1.54 a piece. That being said, I really liked the design that was the replacement for 6


I have used this symbol on everything from my Ordination Announcements to the Thank You notes I send out to this day so I thought maybe these will be more successful at random number generation than generic dice, here’s hoping…

On the whole this was an incredible experience, possibly a once in a lifetime event. I managed to get a video of the DFA game that once I get a chance will be going up to YouTube. Next up my Experience of the Super Pre-Alpha .007 vesrion of the “Battletech Game”.

Until then,


Father Bill