It is getting late but I still want to get my report out. This report will be shorter on words but I'll keep the pictures. Matthew (my 6 soon-to-be-7 year old) joined Jacob and I for the morning. We met my parents at a great deli near downtown called Shapiro's, and they took him back to Shelbyville from there. Jacob, Matthew, and I started our day with a partial learning game of the "A Game of Thrones" collectible card game. I've read the first book of the series on which the game is based (Julie's read the entire series), and it came with a strong recommendation from Steve Ellis at Rainy Day Games. One of his points of praise was that the emphasis is on game-play, not so much deck construction. I'm just not prepared to spend a lot of money buying cards to be competitive or spend a lot of time building decks, so this game is appealing to me. We only played a couple of turns and I like it so far. Too complex for Matthew I think, but Jacob picked up on it quickly.

Jacob and I at the demo for Mystery of the Abbey.

Our first scheduled game was a demo of Mystery of the Abbey by the folks at Days of Wonder (including president Eric Hautemont himself). We had a blast with this one - especially when the event card turned up that forced us to talk in Gregorian chants until the next mass. This is a Clue-like deduction game with much more depth. I'm fairly certain I'll pick this one up tomorrow at the exhibit hall. I managed to win the game with 6 points and a correct accusation of the culprit monk. This was enjoyable for Matthew, though the different dimensions of deduction were a bit challenging (fat/thin, beard/no-beard, etc.).

What would GenCon be without the costumes? Matthew enjoyed his journey around the exhibit hall as much as playing the games. And yes, you do see Matthew sporting a mohawk haircut here. Long story...

After lunch, Jacob and I journeyed back the the folks at GameBase 7 to play Ra, the Knizia classic. I'm obviously a huge Knizia fan, but this game didn't do it for me. I'm beginning to think I don't like games where auctions are the primary mechanic. Jacob and I didn't do too well in this 5-player game - he finished last and I was second to last.

One game I've been wanting to play is Domaine, the new Klaus Teuber game by Mayfair. Perhaps I'll get a shot at it tomorrow, but check out this jumbo board from the Mayfair booth! Those are real miniatures you see there. We also saw some very cool jumbo Settlers arrangements, both at the Mayfair booth and on the game floor.

Speaking of miniatures, Jacob and I took out an hour of our time to try out the free miniature painting booth near the boardgame hall. Very nice folks, very nice deal - we got some great starter tips from a professional. Jacob painted an elvish archer and I did a brawny fighter. My goal was to do better than the last miniature I painted at age 15, and Jacob confirmed that I surpassed that lofty target.

Oh yes, and we made a few purchases today: Bang!, the Settlers of Catan travel edition, some dice and glass bead counters, the Star Wars D20 rules (Jacob, Matthew and I have been playing the old D6 West End Games rules but grew tired of switching back and forth with D20 systems), and a couple of R.A. Salvatore books for the family.

Tomorrow will be a shortened day, but Jacob and I are excited to play in our first RPGA event using the new 3.5 edition D&D rules. We will also play Elfenland in the morning and plan to try Battle Cry on arrival.