Phoenix Comicon 2015 ended today, so it is my chance to give you a report on the many wondrous things seen and games played. Most importantly it is my opportunity to report on the state of gaming at Comicon Phoenix.
Being it is a comic-focused event, there were of course many odd things on display, including cosplayers and other, stranger things.
Here is a good example of some Star Wars cosplayers in the hallway getting ready to throw down.
At least the convention center knows the culinary preferences of their attendees.
And here is a Princess Leia in a metal bikini escorting a lightsaber-wielding marijuana spliff.
I could not make this one up if I tried. It is the essence of Comicon; a sort of controlled madness with hints of geek culture. Anyway, on to the gaming.
I am happy, no wrong word, thrilled to report that gaming is thriving at Comicon Phoenix! Phoenix currently suffers from a serious gaming convention drought. In the days of yor (10 years ago) a local convention called Hexacon filled up a good sized hotel with gamers and ran for three days in the summer. It, of course, died out. Since Hexacon’s demise there have been no gaming conventions of size in Phoenix (or endurance, a couple tried but never really lasted more than a year or two). Comicon always had gaming, but this year it seemed to really take off. Behold the Hyatt’s atrium:
This is only about half the atrium area and there were some other rooms not pictured filled with gamers. One was for Pathfinder events and a local game store (Imperial Outpost Games) sponsored another room of general gaming. There were a lot of games to be had, so many that I hope they move beyond the first come, first served sign-up process to something more formal.
I took the opportunity to get in a round of “Betrayal at the House on the Hill” and got roundly stomped. I was the betrayer, but I went evil in a bad location, next to some guys with all the gear cards and got crushed. I hope I have better luck at Gencon.
“Supremacy 2020” is a reboot of the classic (and often world-ending) war game. Think of “Risk” with more skill and less luck. It was a favorite of mine years ago and I am heartened to see its return. I did not get to play, but here is a shot of the prototype map and print and play components. Little black mushroom clouds bring back so many fond memories of nuclear winters of my misspent youth….
Monte Cook Games had a representative on site running “Numenera,” so I took a quick jaunt through the Ninth World. My luck was better in this RPG and we defeated (possibly to our detriment, it is a bit complicated) a machine attacking a local village. I freely admit that Numenera (and The Strange) are my favorite games of the last 10 years, simple to run and fun to play with minimal setup and rules. It was a full table with people waiting, so I hope there are more slots next year.
I have to give Comicon due credit, I actually prefer the Hyatt to the convention center for gaming as there is a (relatively) cheap cafe in the Atrium ($11.00 for burger, fries and a soda) that was rocket fast. Yes, that is more than standard pricing, but be thankful you are not eating in the pricey convention center. Makes for quite a pleasant gaming area and there is a lot of space to grow to some of the other rooms next year.
This year I can finally recommend paying for a badge to attend Phoenix solely for the gaming. Previous years gaming was a nice addition to the comic components of Comicon, but it was not quite worth paying the 4-day badge price solely for gaming. That time is past and gamers now have an event worthy of their gaming dollars. Phoenix Comicon is the best gaming convention in Phoenix that also has an ocean of other bizarre things to see, do and buy.
See you next year.
Trask, The Last Tyromancer