September 7, 2012

Gateway 2012!

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Written by: Dr. Bustos
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This past weekend, Strategicon had its final convention of the year — Gateway — at the Sheraton Hotel near LAX airport in California. Strategicon is made of OrcCon, Gamex, and Gateway, and they are each four-day celebrations of gaming in all its forms, whether it be a board game, cards, a console or computer, role-playing with dice or dressing up to act out what you do, moving miniatures across a tiny landscape, or anything else you can think of for games. Strategicon will have games for four days, three times a year.

This latest one I was only able to attend for two days, but I was able to get pictures of people enjoying games of all kinds, and hope to get some of you interested in checking out the games and the people involved.


He even has the Master Sword!

There wasn’t that much in the way of cosplay; most of the people in costume were in the LARP areas. That didn’t mean when you did see it, it wasn’t fantastic, like this Minecraft Link. When not being worn, the outfit was on display like a suit of armor over by the miniatures tables.


Here, there be dragons.

Kimi of Happy Jacks Podcast was running a game of Wild Talents set in the world of Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. Now, if you think it’s barely different from Dungeons and Dragons, think again. The group was made of the dragons, and they had to deal with the people of Skyrim and be the best dragons possible. More games where I’m the dragon, please.


All sorts of stuff for your nerdy desires.

There were many shops available with games and other such odds and ends. Did you want a shirt that said wizard? Or a cape? Maybe some metal dice? The shops here carried one or more of these items. You could get dice that weighed enough to be considered a weapon in their own right, or you could get yourself a wizard hat. Capes were very popular at this event; I saw kids and adults all wearing them, they were from Wayward Ware.


This is made of actual chain mail.

Happy Jacks not only played games, but held a podcast and recounted about the games they ran. The one that seemed to get the most laughs was Dead Presidents 3: Preside Harder. The former living, former presidents try to save the US economy by finding the lost city of El Dorado. It’s sillier than you are probably imagining, and that’s the best part. You should go listen to it.


The group talking to an audience member.


The folks from iO West Theater and Pizza, Games, and Zombies podcast showed up and decided the only way to handle that much awesome was to battle to the death with Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre. Chaos ensued and everyone had a good time. I got to hang out with both groups during my short time at the convention, and they are a great group of folks, go check out the theater and the podcast.



I found the LARP group of Houses of the Blooded by John Wick, and they were nice enough to let me snag some photos. They were having all sorts of meetings and goings on that I couldn’t even begin to comprehend what was happening; it looked fun, though.


We heard you like D&D so we put some D&D in your improv comedy, so you can realize this is a played out joke.

Drunkards and Dragons and Doctor Who Live were on hand for shows. I once again missed Doctor Who Live (UGH). I was glad to see Drunkards, though, as they whipped up yet another gaming session in an hour where we got to watch the Lego god Hasbro do battle with a Tortoise Necromancer. There was even love as the Necromancer and a half-frog phrenologist went off into the sunset towards Wally World; they will be missed.

So the convention certainly had a lot of fun with all sorts of great people and games all around. I’ll end this article with a collection of photos of people playing games and just being awesome.


The audience rolls for the fate of Drunkards and Dragons.

A Mexican stand off!

My final sight of the convention was a bunch of kids playing Werewolf.

Alexander Bustos



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