CarTrunk and UnPub fame), Darrell Louder (of Compounded fame) and Ian Rosenthaler (of Legend of the Lost Dutchman art fame). This worked out very well.
Thursday I made the rounds, scheduled some meetings and played some Lucky Dice (score=20). John already had the UnPub area going with Brian Lewis and his Titans of Industry. I didn't get to play, but I watched for a good while. Minion Games was a sponsor of the show and had lots of great posters everywhere. James Mathe did lots of demos in the Board Room (mostly Kingdom of Solomon and Manhattan Project--currently ranked 424!). As you might have heard, the crowd was a bit sparse that day. Here's Corey Young's now infamous picture of that sparseness (posted to BGGN). Traffic would increase over the next couple of days.
I had dinner with the Dice Hate Me / Clever Mojo crew that night at the Mongolian Barbeque, a first for me. For those not in the know, you start with a bowl and fill it with raw meat and veggies. Then you select a sauce. Then you wait in line, kind of like at an amusement park--"You stand behind the guy in the black shirt with the goatee"--while they cook it up on a big griddle with long metal sticks. Pretty tasty. It's all-you-can-eat for an extra $2, but my stomach was crazy and I had an appointment to catch.
Later that night, I got a chance to play the much-anticipated Princes of the Dragon Throne by Fred MacKenzie of Clever Mojo. Chris from Dice Hate Me snapped a picture. I'd like to say I enjoyed the game. I can at least say I didn't hate it. First off, this was one of the first six-player games ever, so the downtime was a bit more than expected. The deck-building aspect of the game is really pretty cool--I would like to see a little more of it. This might be a case of PotDT being a decent game that just didn't happen to appeal to me as much as to others (everyone else seemed to be digging it). I guess it's a "me, not you" thing. :) Don't knock it 'til you've tried it!
After that I watched a few other cool games going on. See John's recap for a detailed list. I turned in pretty late, but far earlier than many of the others. Day One had been good. Little did I perceive the amazing day that was to follow . . .