So I spent the better part of the last two weeks on vacation in Seattle. My wife was really anxious to go somewhere, and we have some long-time family friends in the area, so it seemed like a good/cheap place for a vacation. And if it just so happens that PAX Prime is going on around the same time of year, what can I do?
Well, I’ll tell you what I did: I flew home the day before it started.
PAX just doesn’t hold my interest. Granted, I’m guessing the fact that I’ve never been to it (or any other major convention) has something to do with it. My long time friends all love it and have gone every year for more than a decade (even when it meant buying plane tickets and renting a hotel room every year–of course, they don’t have to do that anymore since they live locally). I think the problem is that they’re all still very much into computer games (mostly first person shooters), and I fell out of love with them before they started going to PAX. So, perhaps in my mind it’s just a big FPS shoot-em-up, and that isn’t my style.
Of course, I know better than that. They do major MTG games, 40k tournies, and board games–all of which are in my wheel house (except the tournament thing). I don’t play in tournies because the idea of playing against competitive people for 8+ hours at a stretch seems more like work than fun to me. And for that reason, I found myself travelling home the day before the convention started, hence I was PAX adjacent.
The good news is that they actually held a local convention of sorts as well, which also started the day after I got back. I didn’t bother going to it the first night, but I did swing by on Saturday. That convention was called “Alaska Battle Brothers” or “AKBB.” Granted, it’s nowhere near the same scale as PAX, but I was pretty impressed to see so many gamers in one area. Frankly, I didn’t think we had that many 40k players in Anchorage–though I guess they came from all over Alaska to play.
Allegedly they were going to have a trade section upstairs, but nobody was up there. Just as well, since I didn’t bring much to trade/sell. Actually, in response to this, I did create a couple of videos of some of the crap I have yet to unload. You can see those at the links below:
Of course, that’s not everything, but that’s a good chunk of it. I’d say it’s at least 75% of what I have left to sell. And, like always, if you want any of it, feel free to message me and we can make a deal. I’m generally looking to get about 50% of retail for most things if they’re in good condition. Beat up stuff sells cheaper, and rare/hard to find stuff sells for more.
Anywho, while I was walking around AKBB, I stopped by one of the booths run by a local store. That store is called “Tier 1” and it has become the defacto place to play 40k in the area. It’s been in operation for a couple of years now, but it’s 45-60 minutes from my house, and I’m a nasty combination of lazy and pessimistic about finding cool gamers to play with in stores. So, for those reasons, I’ve never been to the place (though I have ironically purchased a couple of Fat Mats from them, but I wound up having my wife pick them up when she was in that neck of the woods).
So, I’m at the booth, and there’s a mature woman manning it, so I go up and introduce myself.
- “You must be Jean,” I say.
- “Why yes I am, and who are you?”
- “I’m Rob.”
- “Rob who?”
- “Nobody you’d know.”
But then she proceeds to tell me my full name, despite never meeting me, and never setting foot in her store. Apparently, my comments on the local facebook group (particularly the recent videos) left a bit of an impact on the community. That parlayed into a nice little conversation about how she got into the business, how I got into the hobby, etc. She really seems like a swell gal.
By the way, I didn’t mention that in the facebook group, her store is known as “Jean at Tier One Games” so that’s how I knew her name–and everyone who goes there says she’s pretty hip. I’d have to agree with them.
After that conversation, I excused myself and made another trip around the room taking a few pictures before I left. I have to say that seeing so many hardcore lists (packed with flyrants, admantine lances, etc.), I’m glad I wasn’t participating in the tourney, but maybe I’ll make a go of it next year?
Well, that’s if I’m not attending PAX…