Friday, June 24, 2011

Origins 2011: Day Three Report

You can't believe everything you read on the internet.

While I'm calling this my Day Three report on Origins 2011, it's really the stuff I didn't get to post last night from Day Two. I actually didn't go to the con today due to some scheduling conflicts, but I will be back tomorrow with my daughter in tow. She gets to experience the Origins Children's Program and is very excited at the prospect!

First off, if you are currently at the convention, planning on going either Saturday and/or Sunday or are planning on coming to Origins in the future allow me to point out your best (in my opinion) food option for convention-goers: North Market.

North Market, located a very short block up Vine Street from the convention center, is a veritible food mecca. The Market houses a host of vendors offering everything from fresh produce, deli sandwiches, popcorn, ice cream, organically raised meats, seafood, baked goods, BBQ, and food items from all around the world. It's a short walk and offers considerably better food than the concession outlets or food court within the convention center itself. There really is something for everyone there (and I'm an incredibly picky eater!). Yesterday, I had a fantastic 1/2 rack of ribs from BBQ vendor Holy Smoke. Mmmm. It was good eatin'. There's several good, close food options downtown...but, for my money, North Market is the best option.

Alright, enough about food. Back to the con.

I stopped, briefly, by the Bandai booth. Bandai was busy promoting their new Resident Evil Deck Building game, as well as their Naruto CCG and doing some demos of their upcoming Star Trek Deck Building Game as seen here:

I'm not much for CCGs. I've recently picked up some Redakai to play with my daughter, as well as some cheap starter decks for CCGs like Sonic the Hedgehog and TMNT and Pirates of the Caribbean. The Resident Evil game looks nice but, frankly, I'm pretty burned out on the whole zombie genre as a whole. So RE: The Deck Building Game holds little interest. And, sadly, I gotta say at this point the Star Trek game is not calling out to me either. I'm as big a Trek fan as the next geek, but there's something about cards with stock photos or screen grabs that I find really unappealing. But, I'm willing to give the game a fair shake upon release.

Arguably the largest presence at Origins is Mayfair Games. The Skokie, Illinois-based game company is home to one of the world's most popular games: The Settlers of Catan as well as a cornucopia of primarily Euro-styled boardgames. The Mayfair booth occupies a huge space in the center of the exhibit hall and is always heavily trafficked.

Of course Catan was a huge presence. The NACC (North American Catan Championship) qualifier tournaments were taking place, and even more impressively upon tables made exclusively for playing Catan. How many boardgames can make that claim? You can check out Table of Catan for more information on the tables.

The last bit I want to cover in this entry is a new game from Bryan K. Borgman called Kaiju Kaos. This miniatures game of destructive monster action is designed so that players could use a variety of miniatures and toys they already own. However, Bryan's Baily Records (he's also a musician, having produced several game soundtracks) also offer their own line of metal and resin miniatures for use with the game. Here's a couple of really impressive resin pieces for the game, including the massive Kaos Monster!

That's it for today, folks. I gotta get outside and feed the animals, and get my daughter off to VBS! Thanks for reading!

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