Justin goes to Gencon!

Big Blue at the Privateer Press booth.

My comrades and I arrived at the Indianapolis Convention Center at 9:00am. We had an hour to kill before the main hall opened and the running of the nerds commenced. Thousands of gamers rushed towards their favorite booths to get in line for those convention-exclusive goodies. I, too, had a booth in mind, and I joined the masses in a brisk walk/run to the Privateer Press booth. PP makes a miniatures game called Warmachine that I like to play, and this year they had some minis I wished to acquire. The line wasn’t too bad and I was back to roaming the hall within the hour, albeit with a lighter wallet.

We wandered around the vendor hall for a few hours. I stopped and said hello to Emily Fieganshuch who I interviewed last year when she was promoting her book The Explorer’s Guide to Drawing Fantasy Creatures. After a perusal of her fabulous art and a quick photo, I stopped bothering her and went on to visit other notable fantasy artists such as Tom Lockwood and Jason Engle. I also spotted Pat Rothfuss and Wil Wheaton who both looked busy being awesome. The line for Brandon Sanderson‘s book signing was enormous. He’d have another sequel out before I’d make it to the front, so I moved on.

Emily Fiegenschuh

Emily Fiegenschuh

Next: The Gaming Hall, one of the largest parts of the convention. The Gaming hall is where most of the actual gaming takes place, though there are other games spread into smaller rooms throughout the convention center. My comrades and I quickly found a table in the miniatures section and set about engaging in mortal combat in the world of Warmachine. After being soundly defeated, I left my my opponent to his conquests while I explored the rest of the hall.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsGaming clubs and companies will often bring their own displays, and some have to be seen to be believed. Take for example the burnt out Washington D.C. map pictured on the left. I am not sure what the game was, but the board was amazing.

We spent the remainder of our time that day playing games and watching demonstrations. On Saturday we wrapped up Gencon 2012 by taking a couple of painting and terrain modeling classes. This was the first year I spent more than one day at the convention, and I still left wishing I could stay longer.

Gaming Hall

One half of the gaming hall… the dude on the right has some seriously spiffy pants.

I hope you all enjoyed the first of our Gaming Gateway columns. It’s my hope to make this a regular feature. I want to use the column to promote quality fantasy-based games to gamers and non-gamers alike. I was introduced to fantasy gaming late in life and developed a passion for it that I hope to share with the FanLit community. In honor of our very first  Gaming Gateway, we will be giving away your choice of a book from the Stacks. Please leave a comment below for a chance to win. Tell us what fantasy-themed games you like to play or might be interested in. If there is anything you’d like to see covered in The Gaming Gateway let me know that, too.

update: Justin has temporarily retired due to pressures at work. We hope he’ll be back soon so he can continue with this column. For now, it will be irregular only.


  • Justin Blazier

    JUSTIN BLAZIER (on FanLit's staff since September 2009) is a Cyber-Security Analyst/Network Engineer located in Northern Kentucky. Like many fantasy enthusiasts, Justin cut his teeth on authors like Tolkien, Anthony, and Lewis. Due to lack of space, his small public library would often give him their donated SFF books. When he is not reading books he is likely playing board games or Tabletop RPGs. Justin lives in a quiet neighborhood with his wife, their daughter, and Norman the dog.