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Monday, February 18, 2013

OwlCon 2013

   On Saturday, I decided at the last minute to go into town for OwlCon, the annual gaming convention held at Rice University in downtown Houston. Overall, I had a good time, so I thought I would share my thoughts.

   I played in two games, one in the morning and one in the evening. The morning game was Dystopian Wars. Each player was given a force out of the naval battle group box set. I had a Federated States fleet. I enjoyed the game overall, enough so that afterwards I went shopping for rules and minis (more on that in a minute). We ran out of time, but my fleet had only lost two frigates and my opponent's was down two squadrons, including his cruisers.

   I then had several hours until my next game, so I hit the dealer area. This was pretty disappointing. There were only three booths directly selling games, and two of them were more focused on board games. There were three or four steampunk costumers, and they offered some nice things, but nothing in which I am really interested. The Mechwarrior pods were back, and that's neat. But, overall, I was disappointed in the options. No one had any Dystopian Wars rules or minis, which I would have probably dropped $100-150 on.

   I spent an hour or so at Reaper Miniatures' sponsored Paint N Take. That was fun, and I now have a mouse Indiana Jones mini, which is kind of neat. Had a good conversation with my fellow painters about technique, style, and life.

   Steve Jackson, of Steve Jackson Games, gave a Q&A session, including a demo box of the upcoming OGRE 6E. It is huge, and I can hardly wait for my Kickstarter copy to arrive. That took up an hour, but well spent.

   The food was better than usual. There was a Greek grill that made gyros, shwarma, and falafel. The gyros was okay - the tzatziki was disappointing - but the chicken shwarma was fantastic. The dolmas were tasty, too. Back to gaming...

   My son Dane was dropped off by the memsahib at 8:00, to partake in the game of Gutshot! Mike Mitchell, a friend and one author of the game, was game master, and we have something of a tradition of playing in his OwlCon game. It was a last man standing free for all. Sadly, Dane and I were the first two eliminated. At least this time I put some lead into someone, even if I failed to take them down. When Feelthy Sanchez, bandito and pistolero extraordinaire, bit the dust, we headed out.

   My only purchase at the convention, other than entry fee and food, was a copy of Arkham Horror. I got a slight discount, and have had my eye on it for a while. We are hoping to play sometime this week.

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