Friday, July 3, 2009

Origins Review

7:00 a.m. Saturday, June 27, 2009, yours truly, middle goofy face, and origin virgins Fitz, pictured left and his nephew Keenan, pictured right, mad the trek to Columbus, Ohio for the Origins Gaming Fair. We also picked up our friend Keith in Kentucky who has been to Origins many times. Having the guys along made the trip go faster. Fitz and Keenan have attended the smaller Char Con, our local gaming convention in Charleston, West Virginia, but had not been to a larger event, we were all very excited to be going to Columbus.
I attended Origins two (2) years ago and have to say it seemed a little more mellow and perhaps less crowded. This could be a reflection of our economy, however we had a fine time. The miniatures room and vendors rooms had changed positions this year, the vendors were in the smaller room, interesting. The vendors room had your usual assortment of board games and miniatures lines but not much for the 18th century war gamer. I did pick up a football board game for my brother and uncle and some of the old Pirates of the Spanish main ships to run the long anticipated rescue of Dukas scenario. To the left is the Battle of Little Big Horn (LBH).
Here is a close-up of some of the U.S. Cavalry. The LBH area was ran by a Uncle someone group that had been in attendance the last time I attended origins and they always bring the excellent terrain and miniatures. They had a Martian, gaslight, steam punk thing going on several tables and a large medieval castle siege game.

Do not adjust your computer this is the red landscape of Mars.
The first time I went to Origins I played in a Normandy invasion game, Piquet Field of Battle Napoleonics and some board games. This year we arrived a bit late 10:30 a.m. and I did not see many historical games other than flames of war being played.

Medieval battle outside a fortification. This game was starting later in the day. We ran into our friend from the Kanawha Riflemen gaming group out of Charleston who were running demo games, we talked shop a bit. We played a new game by Steven Jackson games that was very European in flavor, i.e. resource management, and higher quality board and pieces than most Jackson games. I also played a quick tutorial of Attack Vector 3-D space combat, I was under the impression that one needed a Ph.D. in physics to play this game but we picked it up eventually.

WWI trench warfare game. Picture did not do this game justice, but I have to wonder why build such a long table when all of the action takes place in the last third?

Mech warrior pods that were linked to a live action video game that you could play in. Origins also offered live role-playing, lectures and independent films. I missed the lecture on the western theater of the civil war and board game design. Seems everything happens early in the morning or later in the evening at Origins.

The highlight of my trip was getting to meet Tod Kirshner, pictured standing, writer of Warfare in the Age of Reason. I did not get a chance to meet him at the SYW convention this year so I was quite pleased to get to meet him here. He was very nice and even gave me his card to discuss any future games I might play. Mr. Kirshner was running his napoleonics rules.
I also got to meet Richard Borg writer of one of my favorite board games, Battle Cry, he also produced Memoir 44, Command and Colors Ancients and the new Attack Yahtzee, which is actually quite fun. Very nice guy.
All in all a nice time, however next time I will have to organize my day a bit better as I failed to play any miniatures and forgot to pick up the DVD on Frederick the great from the 1930's. Next Con for me will be Char Con in the fall and I hope to run a game. I would recommend Origins very highly if you have children as there is plenty of games, events, etc. to involve the entire family.
Got some painting done this weekend and should have some posts on new units this week.


Fitz-Badger said...

Nice report! Thanks!

A J said...

An excellent report, thanks! I hope to make it to the next Origins. Meantime, GenCon seems a more distinct possibility than I dared hope.

Bluebear Jeff said...

I love that first photo of you! Great animation in your expression.

-- Jeff