August 18th 2005, Indianapolis, Indiana
GenCon kicked off with a bang as Axis & Allies Miniatures and Hecatomb invaded Indianapolis with a combination of action packed, hard hitting skirmishes and dark, soul stealing horror. Fans flocked to the Wizards of the Coast booth to try out the new games and the area remained packed throughout the day. Fans old and new quickly depleted the booth of the day's allotment of Axis & Allies Miniatures, Hecatomb, and Star Wars Miniatures: Universe Huge Pack.
Axis & Allies Miniatures fans played against the backdrop of a church devastated by combat, complete with an M5A1 Stuart, 1/4 ton jeep and trailer, M-2 halftrack, 3/4 ton weapons carrier, and an M8 armored car. The vehicles were provided by the Indiana Museum of Military History and had been painstakingly restored by their staff and volunteers. Inside the dark, gothic atmosphere of the church, world destroyers in training fought desperate multiplayer battles that kept players on the edges of their seats while stained glass versions of Hecatomb cards loomed eerily above them.
Players enjoyed the quick, fast-paced action of Axis & Allies Miniatures and were drawn to the accurately detailed miniatures. "The basics of the game are very simple to learn," said Rex of Ipsilanti, Michigan as he sat teaching his 8-year-old son to play. By the end of the day, almost half of the 200 seats for the Axis & Allies tournament had already been taken by players who went through the demo and were now anxious to try their skills against other players.
Hecatomb players were equally enthralled with the unique game play of the new collectible card game. Tables remained packed until the convention hall closed for the day as groups of four players battled to destroy the world. Players were pleased to find that the multiplayer mechanics of Hecatomb allowed each player to make a difference in the battle until the very end of the game. While only one could become the destroyer of worlds, everyone involved was ready to begin the conflict anew.
Star Wars Miniatures players were thrilled as they found themselves in dire combat with the dreaded Imperial AT-AT. They also eagerly utilized the new figures found in the Universe Huge Pack to fight their own battles against Rancors, Bantha mounted Tusken Raiders and the AT-ST. Other games were not left out. Strong Avalon Hill games such as RoboRally and Nexus Ops, along with Magic: The Gathering, Duel Masters, and Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures all enjoyed standing-room-only action throughout the day.