PAX Retrospective

PAX Acquisitions

I had a blast hanging out at PAX with my wife and brother last weekend. We crammed a lot of fun and gaming into three days and were all exhausted by Sunday afternoon. Here are some of my thoughts looking back on this year’s con.

Super Dungeon Explore

My brother and I both pre-ordered copies of Super Dungeon Explore that we should be getting by next month. This is an awesome game with fast and simple gameplay and great looking miniatures. I can’t wait for my copy to arrive.

Legend of Drizzt

When Legend of Drizzt was announced, I didn’t think there was any chance that I’d buy a copy. I already owned Castle Ravenloft and was planning to buy Wrath of Ashardalon, so I didn’t think there would be any reason to buy a third game using the adventure system especially since I’ve never read any of the Drizzt novels. After getting a chance to see and play the game though, my opinion has shifted and I think there’s a chance I’ll end up with a copy after all. As with Wrath of Ashardalon, it seems like WotC has refined the game since its predecessor and made some nice improvements. In particular, the characters seemed to have some fun bits that made them more interesting to play. For example, I played Bruenor and was able to take a damage in order to headbutt enemies as an extra attack.

D&D Delve

The D&D delve was an hour-long game of D&D with 1st-level characters. Our game didn’t go so great. First, our party had 3 players who were entirely new to D&D so things took longer than normal as rules and powers were explained to them. It was nice to see new people trying out the game, but I think the delve would have been more fun with more experienced players. Second, our DM seemed a little uninterested in the game. Third, we got cut off after an hour had passed and didn’t get to finish the second enounter of the delve.

Warmachine

My brother and I played a demo of Warmachine and had fun having our warjacks slam into one another. The mechanics are quite a bit different from Warhammer, and we both liked the resource management aspect of focus points in particular. I ended up picking up the two-player battle box, so now I have a bunch of Khador and Protectorate of Menoth minis to paint along with finishing up my Eldar army.

Panels

I managed to make it to all three of the panels that I had planned to attend, but I don’t think I’ll try to do as many panels next year. While each had interesting bits, I’m not sure any of them were really worth the 90 minutes or so of con time that they ate up and could have otherwise been spent gaming or spending more time in the expo hall. I think a lot of the problem was the panel format itself which seemed to lend itself to quick answers rather than an more in-depth presentation of ideas.

Nowhere Near Enough Time

There were a ton of things happening at PAX, and there was no way to do everything that I would have liked to do.

Failed at Meeting People

I was hoping to meet more people from the online D&D community at PAX, but I didn’t manage to do much of it. Between panels, trying games, and wandering the expo hall, I stayed very busy all three days. Next time, I’ll make a point to plan things in advance rather than relying on twitter and chance to meet up with people.

Snapshot

One of the PAX 10 video games, Snapshot is a neat puzzle game where you’re able to store and retrieve objects in the game world using photographs. All three of us played a level in the demo and had fun with it.

AirMech

Another video game that I played a demo for, AirMech was described as an action RTS. In it, you control a robot that could transform from a mech to a plane. The RTS element came in because you could transport friendly units while in plane form. The importance of your personal unit reminded me a bit of the commander in Total Annihilation and Supreme Commander, but the gameplay is more focused on the AirMech with you controlling it directly.

Fortune and Glory

One of my coworkers is friends with the folks at Flying Frog and highly recommended this game, so I bought a copy on Friday. The game is a pulp adventure game where you travel the world in search of artifacts and can be played cooperatively or competitively. We played the basic competitive game Saturday night and had a lot of fun. I was taken out of the game when I lost all of my collected artifacts after getting knocked out by a giant squid in Egypt, and my wife ended up winning the game. I’ll probably do a Game Night post on it in the next couple months.

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About Scott Boehmer

A game enthusiast and software engineer living near Seattle.

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