Gen Con 2000: Fat Messiah Games

Reported by Neal Sofge

10 Aug 2000, 3:00 Central Time, USA

Sofge here, at cruising altitude over Las Vegas. As usual, our intrepid Messiah team all boarded the Midwest Express red-eye to Milwaukee on Wednesday night. I found it quite difficult to sleep on the plane for some reason, so this page may not be completely coherent.

7:00AM

Line for badges

Well, that wasn't so bad after all. Against all odds, we've managed to check into the hotel, and now we're waiting outside the convention center for the doors to open. If you look closely, you'll see that there are actually three different lines here, all into the same foyer. Which allows us to play the first game of the day -- "Doorway Lotto."

7:05

Welcome to Gen Con 2000

And we're in! Registration after this point was surprisingly painless, though admittedly we didn't have to go through the hassle of getting event tickets. Now we can go back to the hotel and get in some sack time.

11:00

How the heck are we going to find the Insecta game in here?

The new MECCA wing is big. It reminds me of the warehouse from Raiders of the Lost Ark. If you don't have a native guide (i.e. the guys at the front of the room with a map) you could probably wander for hours in here. At least you wouldn't starve -- there's a snack bar in the back.

Right about now we discover that though our events are in the book, they aren't in the time matrix. Uh-oh.

12:00: Insecta

Insecta players

Our concerns about the matrix appear to be unfounded -- shown here is Keith Sealy getting ready to build Rainforest bugs. Cristiana Ratti is right outside the picture frame. (Tatyanna Wilkinson, also pictured, decided not to play).

Cristiana made a Gyan variant, a spiny flying pheromone bug. Keith went with an unorthodox venomous design, with jumpers, a bee stinger, urticating setae, elytra and a nasutus. They were joined by Ian Zeilstra after the photo was taken, who went with a standard bombardier beetle (bomb butt, legs, sickles).

Four hours of tropical fun followed, with the mutants doing remarkably well against our poor sleep-deprived Hivemaster (me.)

Quote for the day: "He didn't eat it, it's just in his stomach." Bet you don't hear that when you're playing D&D 3e.

When time was called, our mutant team stood among the wreckage of the arboreal ants, having withstood a chemical onslaught and dealt out one of their own. Keith won by a hair, with what ended up being a surprisingly dangerous jumping bee. (Cristiana would like to lodge a complaint about the tournament scoring penalty for large projectors, which will we'll have to modify for the upcoming Insecta 3e.) As Keith headed for another event, Cristiana and Ian bravely decided to keep playing in hopes of escaping the Hive.

And escape they did. Cristiana ran the gauntlet past the poison dart frog and hummingbird, barely escaping with her life. Ian took a more direct route with his crab-like Instar 4 armored bug -- he smashed his way through. Five turns later, after disabling the bird with his eversible labium, blowing up the frog, and ignoring the pill millipede, Ian walked out the door and joined Cristiana in happily reproducing in the wide expanses of jungle above.