Gen Con day two started super early for me. After waking up and buying a new toothbrush to replace the one I left at home, I headed out to the JW Marriot to play in a science fiction RPG, called Starship Adventure, that was written by my friend Matt Lucas.
Starship Adventure is set in a hard sci-fi universe, uses a D6 dice pool mechanic to resolve conflict, and utilizes hex maps for both ground, and space combat. The current version of the beta rules is available for free right here, and Matt is planning a Kickstarter campaign in the near future to help publish a physical copy of the book.
The Starship Adventure scenario we played was called Brave New World. The story was that a new star system had mysteriously appeared on the periphery of the known galaxy and our characters were off to investigate. I was playing a character who was a member of the insect like humanoid race called the Quadrellian and who’s name was an unpronounceable series of clicks (his ship mates ended up nicknaming him “Clicky”).
This ended up being one of my favorite events that I attended this year. The other attendees had a play style very similar to my own, meaning that no one took anything too seriously. Matt was a fantastic GM who really let us dictate the direction of the story. The best example of this is that I checked the time at one point and realized that we had been playing and having a great time for over 3 hours and hadn’t even come close to landing on the mysterious star system. When I brought this up to the group, Matt just kind of shrugged his shoulders and said “yeah, but you guys are having fun, so whatever”.
After lunch and a little more shopping, my brother-in-law and I played in what is, without a doubt, the best BattleTech event: The Grinder! The Grinder is a free-for-all battle on a HUUUUUGGE map, where every player controls one mech. Everyone starts The Grinder with a light mech, which inevitably gets blown up pretty quickly. When that mech gets destroyed, you upgrade to a bigger better mech, and when that mech gets destroyed you upgrade to yet another bigger better mech. When you leave you take your “report card” with you so that if you jump into another Grinder, you can start up again with the type of mech you left with during your last session.
After a few hours of blowing up mechs and getting my self blown up, I headed over to the Rogue Judges area to play Conquest of the StarLords. From what I gather, Conquest of the StarLords is a game developed by Roger Snow of Rogue Judges which is only available to play at conventions, and no commercial copies exist. The simplest way to describe the game, is that it is kind of like Risk mixed with Monopoly in space. Here is the event description from the Gen Con event catalog: “Chose from 18 different races, build your empire, then take down a rival. Conquest of the StarLords: a fleet-based space strategy game combining warfare, fog of war, diplomacy, economics, and backstabs. JOIN THE WAR!”
Overall, I enjoyed Conquest of the StarLords. My only complaint was that combat was a little bit clunky, and due to the “fog of war” aspect of the game, if you weren’t involved in combat, all you could do was sit and wait patiently for everyone else to finish up. Which could sometimes take a while. But, this is definitely a game I would like to get a chance to play again (especially since I almost lost early on just because I was eager to try out the combat system).
After Conquest of the StarLords wrapped up we tried to avoid as much One Direction traffic as possible and headed back to the hotel room for another couple of hours of sleep