Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Gencon Experience: Friday

Friday during my free time I tried stopping by WizKids booth early to play a Battle Royal, and fell flat on my face as the lines just kept growing. I had what can only be described as a sour experience, waiting in a line just to sign up for an event, only to be told I couldn't wait to sign up because they had no sign up sheets out. They also didn't know when sign up sheets were going to be put out.

It turned into a catch-22 fustercluck, and I was told to wait at the back of a new line despite being first at the table for the next wave of sign-ups. By the time it was over I got moved to three different lines and ended up so far away that no one could hear their names being called. I also got chewed out by staff for making a mistake when signing up and asking "stupid" questions, which as a first time con goer with no clue what was going on was very disheartening.

I don't entirely blame them for the situation, but rather how they handled it was pathetic. I could see their frustration levels rising at a situation they had limited control over, and I know what it's like being an overworked, unpaid volunteer. Still, I can't believe how rudely I was treated by the staff, and official envoys of WizKids in the process of me trying to give them money. If I had been a casual or new player this experience would have turned me off for life.

After nearly two hours (and most of my free time that morning) I eventually got to play in a King of the Hill event against... surprise! 2009 World Champion Ben Cheung, the maker of the notorious Nightcrawler. Ben had great pulls and played a Soldier team with 2x Steve Rogers, Maria Hill, and a Howling Commando, to my somewhat lousy pulls (I played Klaw, Phobos, Adaptoid and Bucky-Cap). Ben won roll-off and picked the Crater Map making it a shooting gallery for himself. I trudged my team up the side hiding behind Adaptoid and with my average attack roll being 5's wasn't much of a threat.

My spirits were kind of defeated already from the long wait in line to finding out Ben was my opponent to his map advantage choice, and I think it translated to bad chi for my dice which never made a successful Leadership, Super Sense, or Shape Change roll. I pushed on, hoping he'd roll a critical miss at some point, but never got that lucky and I only managed to take out his Howling Commando.

I headed off again to help run Stratego and Stomple demos and decided I was pretty much done with HeroClix for the weekend. Too much disorganization on WizKids part. Still, I had bought enough generic tickets that I wanted to burn up, and I really wanted that convention exclusive Wonder Woman LE, so I sucked it up and managed to get in a Battle Royal at the end of the day, with a lukewarm partner that wanted to drop right away from the game after opening his boosters.

We lost the BR, and I lost most interest in playing competitive 'Clix at the convention which is expensive - I plucked down nearly 40 dollars to pick up figures I already owned just for a chance to win one of those gorgeous Horsemen of Apocalypse.

In hindsight I can see where WizKids tried to be too accommodating to everyone, offering more scenario play this year at the expense of table space for grinders and battle royals. There needed to be some penalty for people that dropped immediately from play (after seeing the contents of their booster and what an opponent pulled), and a better way to sign up for events so players could manage their time.

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