If Saturday is the king of days at Gen Con, then Sunday is the pawn. Don’t get me wrong, I still love it with all of my heart, but it feels more like the hangover than the party. After getting to sleep around 3:30 A.M., Heather and I agreed that we would sleep until about 10:00 A.M. and head back down to the convention center. Our plan was very straightforward, we would buy the games that we had already agreed upon, her Nene Thomas calendar, and try to squeeze in a demo or two.
After grabbing her calendar, we picked up copies of London, Intrigue, and Sunrise City and went in search of a demo for Spartacus: Blood and Treachery. We were in luck when we arrived at the Gale Force Nine booth and were able to sit right down to start a demo.
We were joined in our quest for blood and glory by a nice man named Diego and the amazing guy running the demo, whose name sadly escapes me. I truly regret not being able to recall his name, but his enthusiasm for the game and the absolute glee with which he described the gore and betrayals will live on forever!
The demo involved playing one full game turn where players guide their house through schemes, open trade, the auction block, and yes the arena phase. Players take on the role of the dominus of a Roman house vying for influence. Only influence matters, and you are prepared to sacrifice honor, slaves, gladiators, and as much gold for bribes as needed to achieve this end. This game is about using every bit of leverage you have on the other players to climb to the top of Roman society. Quaint notions of honesty, charity, and mercy have no place in this struggle for power that is only rivaled by the combat of the arena for the title of Rome’s greatest blood sport! This is without a doubt, my kind of game!
As we played through our round, there we some very small bribes and threats, but for the most part people were keeping it close to the vest. When the time came to bid for the right to host the games I knew my moment had come and I bid all of my remaining gold. Fear not, as I had every intention of earning it by via extorting the other players for positions in the games. When the smoke cleared I was 9 gold richer and pleased that my wife would be sending Theokoles (The Shadow of Death) to do battle with Spartacus representing Diego’s house. What no one but I was aware of at the time, was that I had no intention of letting the loser exit the arena. As host, I had power over life and death and intended to see death! After an epic struggle, the Shadow of Death put the game’s namesake on his knees and all eyes looked to me to determine his fate. I explained to Diego that I would need gold to spare his wounded gladiator. He offered a paltry 2 coins, but when I demanded it all he caved in offering up his entire treasury. As soon as I closed my fist around his gold I called for death, and Theokoles served up the head of Spartacus with a splash of blood to the deafening roar of the crowd! See what I mean about getting into the game? Diego was so stunned, all he could manage to say was, “That was awesome!” Our demonstrator congratulated me on playing the game exactly as it was intended and I smiled from ear to ear knowing that we would be buying one more game at this Gen Con!
I would sincerely like to thank Diego for being such a good sport about my treachery. We all had an absolute blast and I could not think of a better way to have ended this year’s Gen Con!
In closing, I would say that this was one of the best Gen Cons that I have ever attended. All of the staff that we encountered provided us with top-notch customer service that was both friendly and effective. We had a great time with our floating group of friends as well as our full day spent with the kids. They both expressed interest in going for all four days next year. We shall see. We purchased four great games: London, Intrigue, Spartacus: Blood and Treachery, and Sunrise City (Our favorite game of the Con). Although we are sad that Gen Con is over, our lips curl with the faintest hint of a smile, as we know that next year we shall once more experience the adventure and excitement. After all, Gen Con is coming…