The Herald Bulletin

May 30, 2012

Origins haven for serious tabletop gamers

Five days of games start today

By Rick Teverbaugh
The Herald Bulletin

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Today marks the start of the Origins Game Fair excursion here to find the latest news, sample games as well as work for one of the top companies on the planet.

Origins, along with GenCon in August, is one of the premier places for devotees of tabletop gaming to gather to get in games, sample new and existing product and have contact with some of the industry leaders.

Though some of gaming’s best skip this event, which runs through Sunday, such as Fantasy Flight, Wizards of the Coast, Looney Labs and Twilight Creations, many of the biggest names will be here.

Asmodee will be on hand, offering Dixit Journey and Divinare as highlights of new product. Z-Man Games will bring Tournay as a few offering. Cryptozoic Entertainment brings expansions for Food Fight and Penny Arcade non-collectible card games. Wiz Kids should have the second Quarriors expansion, Quarmaggedon on hand.

Some companies, like AEG with Smash Up, will show new product that’s not quite ready for release. Most of the time this is to amp up interest for later in the year, often a GenCon release in Indianapolis.

This is also a time for smaller companies to shine in the Exhibit Hall right next to the more well known brethren. Crash Games will offer Rise. Mayday will bring Lemonade Stand.

Most exciting for me is the Redshirts Card Game, with art from former Herald Bulletin employee David Reddick. He will be there at the WeaselPants booth, hopefully to sign copies of the game or individual cards.

Much of my week will be spent employed by Rio Grande Games. I will be in the company’s game room showing off the wonders of the world’s best game, Dominion. Gamers can go there to play many games, but for me, Dominion is the focus. The award-winning game, including all of its expansions, will be available for games. Also, the upcoming electronic version will be shown.

There are always special guests as well at the gaming conventions and Origins has several good ones. The highlight for me will be Wil Wheaton. Many will remember him from the movie Stand By Me as well as the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation. He has ventured into the gaming world with both feet and is now producing some videos showing games being played with many of his famous friends.

Hopefully I will be able to meet him sometime during the five days. The time has come to pile into the car and get going. Reports on my experience, along with some new gaming stories will follow soon.