Gen Con Indy ’04 Wrap-up: OgreCave T-shirt Throwdown – Postgame analysis

I warned you not to take me on, Steve. Your t-shirt gathering prowess is no match to my own. You went down like the Hyatt elevator overloaded with sweaty gamers (which isn’t that funny if you’ve been there, believe me).

I’ll take my victory lap now, and recount the story of your ignominious defeat.

Having rocketed to a total of six shirts the first day, I thought I could take it easy for a bit and see more of Gen Con’s exhibit hall. But slowly you climbed from two shirts to four, then five, easily within striking distance of the win. Your talk of a plan and an “untapped source” spurred me to action once more. Well, that and the need to refill my closet.

I approached Nathan at Privateer Press, having already spent some time perusing the yummy War Machine goodness. He proved sympathetic to my cause, and offered up a shirt that was slightly small for me but still counted toward my goal, as per the throwdown rules. I continued to prowl the hall for elusive t-shirts. What could the “untapped source” of Steve’s be, I wondered.

I noted the Midnight Syndicate booth’s shirts, but always came by when the guys there were behind a row of customers three deep. A pair of much smaller companies were also displaying t-shirts, but I felt bad enough about scamming freebies from more established industry folks, so I avoided hitting up first-time exhibitors who might have more trouble covering their expenses. As our Sunday departure time drew closer, I was getting more desperate.

Stopping by the Goodman Games booth, I described the competition and my growing nervousness to Joseph Goodman, who I’ve known for a while. Too distracted by crowds at his booth thumbing through Blackmoor, he didn’t quite absorb what I was saying, and jumped back into sales mode. Eyeing the Devil Lich t-shirt that tied into Goodman’s exceedingly popular Dungeon Crawl Classics Open Tournament, I decided to move on.

It was AEG that put me over the top, though I wouldn’t know it until the official tally later. Shirts for the D20 uber-adventure The World’s Largest Dungeon had been going home with gamers brave enough to take on a copy of the 400+ page bestiary-with-rooms. I was fortunate enough to receive not only the elusive uber-adventure shirt, but a SpyCraft CCG shirt as well. Piles of the SpyCraft shirts lined the end of almost every Alderac demo table, so I wagered that Steve had already gathered one toward his total. To be safe, I figured I’d need at least one more.

Zev at Z-Man Games provided my final shirt, which turned out to be the icing on the cake. It was also the strangest shirt bar none, with a depiction of Skippy the Wonder Dog from Grave Robbers From Outer Space prominantly displayed across it. I’ll have to pick a special occasion to wear this one. My next job interview, perhaps.

As Steve already admitted, my ten shirts was just enough to defeat his total of eight, making me the throwdown champion. Until next time, at least. I’m ready for a rematch, Steve, if you don’t mind more public humiliation. I’ll plan ahead and leave room in my suitcase for the dozen or so shirts I’ll rack up.

Thanks again to all the companies and individuals that kept the OgreCave T-shirt Throwdown a v-neck in v-neck race to the finish.