Friday, August 21, 2015

Critical Role and Me: How Watching Inspired Me

I had heard about Geek & Sundry's Critical Role when it came out. The snippets I kept getting on it was Roleplaying and it kept showing people dressed up in costumes, so I thought it was something more akin to Larping. What also might have happened was that I confused both the Geek & Sundry show LARP and Critical Role. Additionally, it was this Twitch thing and I have some reservations about Twitch and it's "Big Brother" style "watching." Like... things on Twitch don't feel like a show, they feel like I'm spying on you while you do stuff.

It might not be a surprise to anyone if I reveal I first watched Critical Role because Wil Wheaton was going to be on it. After my love for Titansgrave and Wheaton as a GM, I thought it would be awesome to watch him as a character. So when I saw the tweet, I clicked the link and BAM, I was chromecasting it onto the TV!

So I put it on and I struggled just a smidge getting into it and then all of a sudden, things were moving forward and I was hooked into what was going on. I fell in love with the characters, the GM (I am an adoring fan of Matthew Mercer now), and the world! It made me feel great about some of the GMing I'd done and it made me really excited for continuing forward with RPGs.

While this was part 3 of an ongoing adventure, it was part 1 of Wheaton being part of the group. I would have to wait a week to see how things would end, and, well, the day came when I was going to see if the crew was able to complete their contract!

As I watched, I couldn't believe I was staying up so late, but each moment was so enthralling. My husband actually stayed to watch and we started lamenting our own RPG plight! The two of us came up with the idea that the two of us and our friend should take turns running our own RPGs.

One month, my husband would use two Saturdays to run his Marvel RPG. I would use two Saturdays the next month to run my Pathfinder (or Fantasy Age... haven't decided yet) RPG. Then the third month our friend would run his ShadowRun adventure for two Saturdays. We'd all get to be GMs and characters and we'd have time to work on our own RPG.

The reality behind the idea that was spawned was amazing! Now we're on our way to embarking on the most massive, dedicated activity the three of us have done since we used to do HeroQuest back in the day. Check back to see how things unfold.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

IGGPPC Camp 2015 - Solo Photo Scavenger Hunt

1. Favorite Writing Instrument

2. Camp Stickers

3. Camp Snack

4. Cool Stick
Ok... see that stick dangling there all renegade? Yea... I like that stick. HANG ON BROTHA!

5. Show off something you made.

6. What is the one thing you NEED to take with you to camp?

7. Something Green

8. Gather Four Different Kinds of Leaves

9. What does it look like outdoors where you live?

10. Favorite Piece of Geeky Clothing
Didn't say it had to be on me. Her shirts are images taken by the Hubble Telescope and are totally gorgeous! Love it!

11. Spell Out IGGPPC With Objects

12. Show yourself participating in a camp activity.
Filming for the Iggle Blair Witch Movie
13. Flashlight

14. Camp Outfit
My shirt, some gold and my glasses. Sure there are shorts down below, but I'm ready for a party!

15. Nature!

Monday, August 17, 2015

IGGPPC Camp 2015 - Camp Reading Game

1. Read with a child - We read with our daughter almost every night. Today her Ranger Rick, Jr. arrived in the mail and we read through it and she worked on her spelling and word recognition. Good times!

2. Super Hero Comic Book - I read Ms. Marvel, again, as part of the Comic Book Bootcamp Day 1.

3. Listen to an Audiobook - I'm listening to Armada by Ernest Cline (Ready, Player One) and it's read by Wil Wheaton. Seriously a fan of Wheaton's audiobooks. Started with his own publications and then I listened to him read Ready, Player One and Redshirts by Scalzi.

4. Read your favorite Kids Book - I read Calico Captive, which was one of my favorites as a kid. I remember laying in bed at night and my mom would read it aloud to me. I remember being snuggled under the covers and the big comforter and my mom was laying on her side on the left side of the bed reading it until I fell asleep. I can't remember how many times I read that book.

5. YA Novel - Calico Captive is a young adult novel. I can't wait to get it into my classroom.

6. Book with an animal on the cover - My daughter asked me to read her one of her Jurassic World books on her Kindle. She LOVES dinosaurs right now. So we read through it together.

7. Poetry - I have been rereading Shel Silverstein's Falling Up. Looking for some fun poetry pieces for Forensics this year.

8. Graphic Novel of your choice - March Book 1 by John Robert Lewis. A power graphic portrayal of one Civil Rights activist's struggle in America from his childhood through some of his most influential moments. Lewis shares the shocking details in a way that will grip young readers who are unfamiliar with the reality of what happened in our history, but also enforce the injustices suffered for those who are familiar with the events. Worth the read and a share. On to Book 2.

9. Book that deals with Diversity - March Book 1.

10. Non Superhero Comic Book - I've been participating in the Comic Book Bootcamp! Read Manifest Destiny and Lazarus. Loving the new comics. Totes inspired!

11. Goosebumps or Are you Afraid of the Dark? Book - Goosebumps #45 - Ghost Camp  I can't believe I did it! These books became really popular at the tail end of my appropriate reading age for these, so I wasn't ever really super into them. I was the Christopher Pike and R.L. Stine (um... pre-goosebumps) kid. I watched the show, though. Again, I was a little old at the time.

12. Book that takes place at camp - Goosebumps #45 - Ghost Camp. I now feel bad that I didn't read the watch-along selection.

13. Short Story #1 - The Hunter by Wil Wheaton

14. Read with a Pet - I read The Hunter with my Lessa-poos by my side. She's so cuddly and we share the bed together at night. Granted, she fell asleep while I read and snored like a chainsaw.

15. Short Story #2 - The Monster in My Closet by Wil Wheaton
After I had read The Hunter, I saw there was another short story by Wheaton, referenced in a review of The Hunter. Since I enjoyed The Hunter, I turned to this one. It was pretty twisted. The resolution was a bit too quick and could have been drawn out a little more, but the plot thread was really enjoyable.

16. Read an Essay - I read an essay about the importance of social skills to the success of students and how schools, especially for Kindergarten, should be focusing primarily on social skills and put academics more to the back burner. Social Skills are important, but social skills are life itself. School is for academics and studying. The social skills and social activities happen, but it shouldn't be the focus of school.

17. Post your pic of a book and your drink 

18. Book with a Pirate in It - As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride  It's a club book I've been meaning to finish! :-)

19. Read Outside - Finished reading As You Wish outside on the patio in my snugglie hammock!

20. Book from the Library - I checked out Fullmetal Alchemist. It was a manga I've been wanting to read and now was my opportunity. Loved it bunches and bunches. Want to keep reading!

21. Manga - Fullmetal Alchemist. I'd watched it on TV, but now I had the chance to read it!  Thanks library!

22. Book of Choice - Um.... You're Never Weird on the Internet.... because it's awesome and I've been waiting for it and literally purchased it on my kindle, hardback, and audio. I just like to have my reading bases covered!

23. Book with more than 300 pages - THE ABOVE! I mean, seriously, at this point I've been reading like a crazy person!

24. Read in your blanket fort
You can't really see us, but we were in our little blanket/table/pillow fort reading. I don't fit very well, but that's alright. Bed time stories are the best!  We've been reading My Little Pony: Pony Tales, Vol. 1.
(Picture didn't turn out and you can see certain bits that I'm not okay with....)

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Triple Dare: Dare Devil Loaded Grillers

Sometimes you just need to be overly silly and that is exactly what I did.

It's been a week with some, just. . . weird stuff. I've been up and down and left and right and adjusting to any number of things.

So today my husband helped me get out of the house to run a few errands and we ended up having fun. Our definition of fun varies, but I had FUN!

I'll spare you the details of silliness at the bank and Target, but we chose Taco Bell as of lunch location. I don't care what you say about Taco Bell, we always enjoy having a small meal there and the service at OUR Taco Bell is always amazing!

I have been joking about taking the Triple Dare Challenge with the Dare Devil Loaded Grillers. I mean, really just joking, but today. . . I went for it. I ordered one of each and intended to have a little tasting.  Here are the results.

The cup of milk was to cleanse between each tasting so that flavors and heat didn't mingle.

Mild Chipotle - There is next to no heat on this one. Very mild. A standard Loaded Griller flavor. Actually considered asking my daughter if she wanted a bite or two. She's 5yos and likes nothing but cheese, meat, and sour cream on her tacos.

Hot Habanero - This one has a little bit of kick, but nothing major to report home about. The flavor is slightly fruity or flowery. The Habanero has that type of flavor, though. The perfect combination and rather enjoyable. The most enjoyable, on its own, of the three.

Fiery Ghost Pepper - Clearly the most heat, but it doesn't just hit you and obliterate your taste-buds. Instead, it has a tangy taste upon first bite. Then the heat slowly settles in. Sneaks up on you like a ghost (.... ghost pepper.... ok... it had to be done). The heat is a bit intense after a few bites, though, and I found adding a little sour cream made the whole griller come together. Quite flavorful and enjoyable! Would order again!

And there you have it. I took the dare and had an enjoyable lunch. To be honest, I only ate the Habanero and Ghost Pepper grillers after tasting. The Chipotle one was saved for later, because else it's just too much food. A fun little adventure for the afternoon.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

GenCon: Trade Day Teaching

As an educator, I like to take advantage of Trade Day for GenCon. It's held the day before the official convention starts and there are tons of seminars hosted for educators, game store owners, and librarians. I went last year and had a great time learning about what other people were doing with games in their classrooms and being able to validate my own practices.

This year I was encouraged to run my own seminar on how to start a middle school game club, since I have a pretty successful club. Last year my husband was talking to some people while I was in a seminar and he nabbed some info on what they want out of a seminar. Thus was born my Middle School Tabletop Seminar.

As if that wasn't enough, my co-teacher totally fluffed my ego and encouraged me to do a seminar on my Lucy Calkins Cumulative Tabletop Unit. Feeling successful and wanting to have faith in my epic skillz, I submitted to run a seminar on my sixth grade Literacy unit for Tabletop Games.

GenCon gave me the opportunity to share the work I've been doing in my career field with other people who actually care about what I'm doing in my career field! I worked hard to create meaningful and informative powerpoint presentations and I used my performance humor to try to deliver a reasonably well-done seminar.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again. . . I have no issues getting up in front of my students every day and teaching them. I can hear myself say "Showtime!" when I hear the bell ring and the kids stomping up the stairs each morning. I'm on, turned up to 11. Humor is my teaching tool and it works for me. Banter and inside jokes. I'm good to go.

Put me in front of my coworkers to present something or share ideas. . . I go cold fish and, on my last presentation, I was literally shaking by the end of the presentation. It's intimidating. At least here I didn't know any of the people. But I put pressure on myself, because I felt that if some of them had to pay for that Trade Day badge and were attending, they deserved to get their money's worth!

My first presentation was at 10AM and focused on How to Start a Middle School Game Club! Everyone is going to run their club differently and bring different strategies to the table, but if I can help someone just get organized and have an idea of where to go, then I'd be doing what I needed to do. My husband and our friend were with me and helped me get my projector setup and distribute handouts.

My keypoints were:
    1. How is a Tabletop Club Different from Other Clubs?
    2. Preparing Expectations to Pitch Your Club
    3. Approaching Your Administrator
    4. Getting Games
    5. Plan Your Year
    6. Create Student Expectations
    7. The Role of Teaching & Being Taught
    8. Hosting Events
    9. Community Participation
    10. Enlisting Parents
    11. Making it a REAL Club (Add some BLING)

If you're interested in some of this information, check the end of the article for how to contact me to learn more about starting a club.

During the presentation I used my humor. I had to make several Wisconsin references, because, seriously. . . teachers are in a bad way in Wisconsin. So much so that several of the funding suggestions that were made involving Unions or Government/Private Grants, I had to say were great ideas, but weren't for me. I know how much schools in general are struggling to find funding for their CLASSROOMS; the places where children are learning and need supplies and materials. I love my club, but it's a club. It's supplemental to the learning in the classroom and should not trump the needs of the classroom. Until things in Wisconsin are better, I would feel guilty seeking funding from government and private grants. I do, though, chose to do fundraising. . . fault me, but candy bars turn the biggest profit! I've had lovely game designers offer games to the club and the rest is just out of my pocket as a labor of love.

There was also a joke at the expense of a student I really treasure having in my club. It was demonstrating how it's important to work with kids on how to behave while playing games. Ways to enhance a positive gaming experience. Certain expected standards of behavior for gamers (personal space). But I had brought up playing Shadows Over Camelot with my students, which has a traitor option. As we started playing, one of my kids decided they were only going to draw black cards. First of all, this draws attention to you and is somewhat challenging others to call you a traitor, which then also hurts the cooperative nature of the game. It also hurts everyone else, because you're drawing black cards instead of taking a hit-point or two. The point of this little story was that, it turned out they weren't the traitor, they were just being a jerk! How do we handle this kind of behavior with club members? I know the students, so I understand what's going on, but when you're doing clubs like this, you have to be prepared to handle these kinds of issues.

The presentation was progressing and I felt good. I was doing well until I realized I'm not going to finish my presentation. I tried to cover basic points, but one of the things I wasn't prepared for was there being no transition period between presentations. My room poster said there was not a presentation after mine, so I figured I had time to strike-down, but with 8 minutes left, a lady busted into my presentation and said she's next and needs to setup. It was really quite embarrassing for me and I tried to wrap-up as she started setting up her stuff.

My husband and our friend swiftly removed my projector and I removed my crates. I was visibly shaken when I left the room. No one was after her, because there was a lunch hour, so would it have killed her to have been polite about the situation and just taken 3 extra minutes into the noon hour?

Being the overly self-critical person that I am, I felt my presentation was disappointing and could have been better. A learning experience for the future that I can use to develop and grow. Then my husband and our friend, who don't dole out compliments freely, said it was really great, even with the snaffoo at the end.

My husband always says when he's in my classroom watching me teach, it's like seeing this other person. I just transform into this confident person. I always say, my classroom is my safe space. I am confident and I have no fear in my classroom. The minute I step out of my classroom, the confidence cloak just fades away. But when I'm teaching I need to just know that I'm doing an amazing job.

The second seminar I had organized was at 1PM so after some downtime and mingling, I went to my next room to set up. The problem I was having with the projector was that the walls were not white. My first presentation denied turning the lights "off," but the second presentation, they all approved! YEA!

Last Spring I was able to create a cumulative unit for my Literacy class using the Lucy Calkins writing program. My students made some amazing games, but the focus of the unit was on writing and the vehicle was Tabletop Games. It allowed for a real world application to the writing skills they've been learning all year!

The presentation was laid out following the weeks that I covered and what we covered each week.

  • How to Prepare for a Unit
  • Unit Outline
  • Where to Begin
  • Creating an Idea
  • Narratives, Instructions, and Components
  • Publishing
  • Presentations & Sharing Final Product
  • Scoring

This was the presentation I was meant to present! I was confident. I knew the information that I wanted to share and get across. I was able to discuss everything within the time allotted AND had time to clean up and get out! Immediately I was thanked by people for my presentation (which didn't happen in the other one) and people were asking me lots of questions. I was an expert!

It was liberating and made me feel great! I remember walking back to the car and I could literally feel the swagger in my step. Yea... I'm cool. One audience member said something like, "your seminar was exactly the type of information sharing he was looking and had hoped for." I don't want to direct quote, but that's almost exactly what he said. Seriously wow.... A few more people approached me through the con commenting on my seminars and thanking me for the amazing handouts and presentation. Really made me feel great. So next year I'll be back with one or both presentations.

I wasn't the only one to overhear or be directly told compliments. Another lady approached my husband, who I involved in my presentation, because he acted as my volunteer Game Developer for the kids (and is my rock during the unit). She said to him it "was the best seminar she's seen not just this year but in multiple years" (potentially not a direct quote). Blessed++ when I hear amazing compliments like this, because if you saw me stressing out about my presentations and preparing them and wanting to make them worthy of GenCon you'd think that was my plan all along.

Was my goal to help people achieved? I think yes. Starting with these two seminars gave me an extra boost for the next teaching experiences I would be participating in at GenCon.

If you're interested in the work I've written about above or would like more information, you can tweet me at @TabletopEdu or @AdventGeekGirl or adventgeekgirl [at] gmail.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Happy Womb Exiting Day: Or How My Daughter Turned 5

Happy Birthday to my little Midgiekins! I can't believe it's been 5 years! I still remember the day we went in and your insistence to do things your way, even when the doctor's were unhappy with your choices.

I know parents tend to say the same cliche things about their kids, but I hope you realize how important you are to me. Being adopted, I don't have any blood family to help me understand who I am and what I come from. I never cared much about knowing, until I met you and watched you grow. I see so much of myself in you; your personality, your tenacious spirit, your independence. You are so smart and interested in learning and understanding things. I can see what influences you to make you who you are and what is in you through and through.

My hope for you is to not take on the baggage I have to deal with. You have such a wonderful daddy to help you when I fail to live up to my own expectations. I'm sorry I can't always be everything you want or need me to be, but I try to do my best to show you I love you and support your dreams. You're going to be an amazing person and I am so proud of you for that.

As for your special golden birthday, it's been a wonderful one. You got the games you wanted so badly! You ate at your favorite restaurant and got your giant dessert and you saw your Meemaw! I love you my little Midgiekins! Happy Birthday!


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

GenCon: The Games and How I Need New Shelving

There are so many games at GenCon! Isn't that the point? But let me say. . . there are so many games. . . I don't know how anyone flies home! We drive for several reasons, the biggest reason being that there is more room for games! It's not like I have publishers or designers sending games to my house so that I don't have to grab a ton at GenCon. (We're open to this option. . . winkwink.)

This year, when we drove to my mother's house in Southeastern Wisconsin, we had a pretty full car. Our dog, and her kennel, and our daughter, and her stuff, needed to be packed into the car with our own stuff, since they were going to stay with my mom while we were away. Already we were concerned about how to get everyone and everything home afterwards!

After our first day at GenCon, we knew that we couldn't pick up our daughter and dog on the drive home and we'd have to drive back down to get them. Our necessities were our suitcase, extra bag, dirty duffle, and our two computer bags. . . the rest of car was full of games! Luckily my mom drove her to our house after we got home so all the things we love could finally be under one roof.

There were so many amazing games being showcased at GenCon this year. It would have been a miracle if we had gotten copies for all of them, but I think we fared rather well. Some of the big names to keep an eye out for to get for yourself are:

    • Artifacts, Inc. (Red Raven Games)
      • Using the always exciting world of artifact collecting, you are on a mission to collect amazing artifacts! Roll dice and place them on artifacts to collect them, sell them, and then find more. The goal is to build your reputation and the first to 20 wins the game! Only then can you wear the hat!
    • Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn (Plaid Hat Games)
      • Purchased and eager to play. The artwork is gorgeous! Draft cards and manage your hand to defeat the other Phoenixborn to win the game. Draw your cards, play your actions and use dice to help achieve the goal. Game play, while simply laid out, offers layers of complexity. Unlike other mage battle games, the players go back and forth spending/acting instead of it being purely turn based. Reactionary versus waiting.
    • Blood Rage (Cool Mini Or Not)
      • A viking-area-control game that uses cards to develop strategies for glory! Immaculately crafted minis to use in battle. Within injury and death, your clan will find glory, since this game does not punish you for taking risks and being aggressive.
    • CodeNames (CGE)
      • A party/word game for 2-12 players. It's all the rage and everyone is talking about it. Made by Vlaada Chvatil.
    • Champions of Midgard (Grey Fox Games)
      • Let the viking trend continue! Players work towards garnering favor from the gods by defeating mythical beasts using dice rolling/working placement strategies. 
    • Discoveries (Asmodee)
      • I could have had this, but had a brainfart at the booth and mentally confused it with the other Lewis & Clark game (shakesheadinshame). Essentially you play a specific character and you have to try to discover as much information as possible while on your expedition. Roll dice and use cards to achieve your end goal of filling your journal with as many discoveries as possible! It's a dice rolling, worker placement, set collecting game that is all the rage.
    • Elysium (Asmodee)
      • This game uses the Greek Pantheon as the thematic base. You're using card drafting as well as set collecting. You can put your cards into your Elysium to score points, but once you've put them in the Elysium, you might not be able to use the special ability. You're managing your cards to maximize points, while also using special abilities. You want to collect certain groups of cards. The game uses a special purchasing mechanic with columns and strategy reigns to achieve the best Legend at the end of 5 rounds.
    • Five Tribes: The Artisans of Naqala (Asmodee)
      • This expansion adds new djinns, wooden pieces (mountains, meeples, tents, and item markers), tiles, and tokens. You can now craft precious goods and magical items. 
    • Graveyards, Ghosts, & Haunted Houses (Rather Dashing)
      • #2 in the Drawn & Quartered Series. The first being Pirates, Ninjas, Robots & Zombies. It has a new mechanic to make the tile laying a bit more interesting and is great for gamers of all ages. Again, the artwork is charming and visually engaging. 
    • The Grizzled (Cool Mini Or Not)
      • It's rare for a game to be set in WWI, but we finally have one that is taking the game scene by storm. Cooperatively, you work together with the other players to survive the trenches! Meant to draw on the real horrors of trench warfare and instill the live together/die together mentality of the military. Another game where the artwork is stunning, enhancing the game.
    • Imperial Settlers: Atlanteans (Portal)
      • An expansion by Ignacy Trzewiczek. Add a new faction, a fifth player, and new resources. An interesting aspect is that the Atlanteans' buildings sink at the end of the game and don't score points, so it's important for the resources to be used. Oh the levels of settling that will be achieved!
    • Legendary: Secret Wars - Volume 1 (UpperDeck)
      • Do you already love the Legendary series? Then you'll LOVE this Marvel Legendary expansion focusing on the Secret Wars storyline. 14 new heroes, 6 new villain groups, 3 new henchmen groups, 4 new masterminds, 8 new schemes, 30 ambition cards, 15 sidekick cards, and 3 new bystander cards. So much new for this addition to a great series!
    • Medieval Academy (IELLO)
      • We're all squires and we are in desperate need to prove how chivalrous we are! Draft cards to help you achieve ultimate chivalry in six rounds and be knighted by King Arthur himself!  A great family game with an accessible theme for everyone.
    • Mission: Red Planet (Fantasy Flight)
      • Mission: Red Planet is one of two games fans have been clamoring for a reprint of for years that Fantasy Flight has finally brought back to life. Fury of Dracula was available for demo at the FFG booth but Mission was boxed and ready to go and it is an outstanding second edition. Everything about the game's production is stunning and the game itself is an outstanding blend of area control, hand management, and simultaneous action selection as players race to launch rockets to Mars and stake a claim on its untapped natural resources.
    • Mysterium (Asmodee)
      • The must-have game for my husband and I. We played it with our friend back at the hotel and it was amazing! One player is a ghost who uses Dixit style cards (I called them my Tarot deck) and silently gives visual clues to the other players who are mediums trying to solve the case. Players have to decipher these clues, so hopefully you know your people and they know you! Can't wait for more plays of this!
    • Pack O Game (A Kickstarter that is now released)
      • Chris Handy put out an adorable selection of micro-games that are the size of packs of gum, but pack a huge punch of fun. The games range from pattern recognition to cooperative word creation to dexterity. The variety is amazing and the mechanics are engaging. A must have.
    • Pathfinder (ACG): Wrath of the Righteous (Paizo)
      • My friend and I demoed the new base set and loved the new addition of the Mythic path item. They wanted to keep the game lined up with the RPG story and have the adventures align. More new characters. More locations. More awesome dice rolling where I can hose the villain! YE-AHHHH!
    • RYU (Asmodee)
      • This game uses dice placement, bluffing, and negotiation to help groups of humanoids be saved from dragons who are flooding the planet. Work cooperatively to earn resources. Work competitively to build your mothership. Another beautiful game from Asmodee. I was watching kids demoing it on Family Day and even the kids were into it, despite it's slightly complex nature. 
    • Space Cadets: Away Mission (Stronghold)
      • This is the third standalone addition to the Space Cadets series. You work cooperatively with the other Cadets to complete campaign style stories. Roll the dice to help equip your crew to destroy the aliens and other oddities you encounter in SPACE! 
    • Takenoko Chibis (Asmodee)
      • An expansion for Takenoko that adds mama panda and baby pandas. It changes the dynamic of the game using additional tiles, new tokens, and new challenges. Plus the adorable mama panda figurine and baby panda tokens.
    • Tides of Time (Portal)
      • 2-player only drafting game that is deceptively deep. Play it again and again and then look back up to see how deep the hole you've dug into the tide of time really is! 
    • Titansgrave (Green Ronin Publishing)
      • The published adventure for Geek & Sundry & Wil Wheaton's RPG show. It guides you through the adventures and introduces you to the world. Don't, though, forget to purchase the Base book for Fantasy Age so that you understand the system.
    • Viceroy (Mayday)
      • This game looks interesting and is based int he universe Beserk CCG. Your goal is to become the ruler of the fantasy world, Laar. Bid on noble cards that provide you with more resources and special abilities depending on their placement in your court. Despite being a very different game, it gives the feel of a beefed up sibling to the 2014 hit Splendor.
    • The Village Crone (Fireside Games)
      • Worker placement, resource management, and witchery! Who needs more than that? You're working towards being named the Village Crone by using the resources you're dealt to earn up to 13 points. A clever and unique game that will be great hitting the table. 

We only were able to get about half of those to bring home with us, but we were able to raid the consignment store and grab some really great games. Then there were a few older games that we couldn't resist purchasing. Finally, some of the purchases were for my middle school game club. I tried to find some unique titles in the shop and to snag some smaller games at some of the booths. Trust me, though, some of the larger games are going to make a stop in the club, but aren't going to formally join the shelves. Maybe they're more for our weekend gaming sessions where we can ensure the games stay in great condition and have more time to play them.

By the end of the Con, we hauled home 32 games and 5 expansions plus 3 RPG books. Lots of cool promos, too.

Due to this. . . we immediately ordered another set of shelves. . . Going to be honest, we ordered them through Wal-Mart and they're the Better Homes and Gardens 8 Cube Organizer. Perfect for all the crazy sized games. It'll be our third and after next year, who knows! We might just have to move to a house with more rooms. . . or a basement. A basement would be nice. Dreams can happen! For now, we're really pleased with the direction our collection is going and my husband is super proud of his color-coding. When our new shelves arrive tomorrow and everything is organized, I'll post new pictures of the newly color-coded shelving.

This should keep us tied over until at least the holidays. We are so excited to share our new games, we squeezed one more game club meet up with my kids before school starts so we can share the awesome. It's going to be great!

Happy GenCon 2015!