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Posted on Sep 9, 2008 in Stuff We Like

Road Warriors’ Report from Origins and Historicon

By Armchair General

Gamers at the 2008 Origins Game Fair try out new games in the Dealers' Room.

From left, Gerald Swick, Brian King, Dana Lombardy.Armchair General Web Manager Brian King, Associate Editor Dana Lombardy, and Senior Online Editor Gerald Swick packed our laptops and hit the road this summer to attend a couple of game conventions: the Origins Game Fair, June 25 – 29, in Columbus, Ohio, and Historicon, July 24 – 27, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. We learned why this hobby is called "adventure gaming."

Our first night in Columbus, around midnight, tornado sirens warned us a funnel cloud was headed for downtown, so we headed for the hotel lobby. Thankfully, the city made its saving throw and the twister lifted quickly, doing little damage, none of it around the convention center where Origins was going on.

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On the way to Historicon, our rental car, which had only some 5,000 miles on it, died just short of Lancaster, leaving us to snooze in a manufacturing plant’s parking lot for two-and-a-half hours while a new vehicle was dispatched from Baltimore. And there was much rejoicing.

The boardgame room at Origins provides tables and loans games to players.Misadventures aside, the conventions went well. There were new games and books that we’ll be reporting on in the coming weeks, and it’s always a pleasure to see so many people hyped about history and/or gaming. For a list of what historical titles received Origins Awards, click here.

Among the highlights was a chance to see how the U.S. Army is using off-the-shelf computer games as part of their training. Dr. James Sterrett led players through the planning, playing and debriefing, and allowed me to join in one of the sessions. Click here to see an after-action report.

If you’ve never been to these two conventions, Origins brings gamers together to play every genre from wargames to card games, roleplaying to general family games. The historical miniatures section has been growing for awhile and reportedly hosted over 750 events this year.

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