While comic books and cosplay ruled the two-day Long Beach Comic Expo, there was enough tabletop action to keep us board gamers happy. The gaming area was bigger than I expected and there were demos going on all day from Steve Jackson Games, Cool Mini or Not, AEG, Looney Labs, Brotherwise Games, Slugfest Games, Atlas Games, Iello Games, and Haba Games.
My gaming experience at LBCE began when I met Bill and Sarah of Ravensgate Games, who gave me the rundown of their game Villains & Henchmen. Somehow I’d missed these kind folks at Orccon a few weeks earlier, so it was nice meeting them and going through the V&H basics.
Next I stopped at the AEG table for demos of Flock and Smash Up. Brian was an excellent presenter; he was passionate, knowledgeable, and patient, which are three things I appreciate when somebody’s teaching a game. When I mentioned I was a fan of AEG games, he excused himself for a minute and came back with a black pouch. I didn’t have to use the Force to know that it contained something special:
Star Wars Love Letter, straight from Russia!
I managed not to drool over the cards, which were absolutely gorgeous, and it’s a shame that it’s not available in the U.S. market. Just handling the over-sized cards made me want to spend the extra money for my own copy, which of course would require me to learn Russian on Duolingo. Da!
Other titles that were on the tables included Munchkin, Zombicide, Blood Rage, The Grizzled, Arcadia Quest, Animal Upon Animal, King of Tokyo, Boss Monster, Red Dragon Inn, B-Sieged: Sons of the Abyss, Guilds of Cadwallon, Infamy, and more. On my way out of the tabletop area, I picked up a Munchkin Zombies bookmark so I’ll have an extra +4 the next time I get talked into playing Munchkin. Great promotion!
My gaming urge satisfied, I wandered around the convention center, soaking in all of the comic book culture, cosplay, and con-related craziness. I took selfies with droids and other characters, resisted the urge to burn through my entire back account on all of the comics I’ve missed over the years, and marveled at the Columbia Memorial Space Center Exhibit. The Long Beach Comic Expo was a fun-filled throwback to my youth since it reminded me of the good ol’ days of the San Diego Comic Convention, before that event became the overwhelming and unwieldy pop culture fest that requires lottery-type luck to attend. The LBCE offered a fun and relaxed atmosphere, filled with plenty of cosplayers, comic book creators and their fans, and overall geeky goodness.