Every Gen Con has a couple exhibitors who essentially produce one-of-a-kind wares just for the big ol’ convention. Arena Gear is one such vendor and has now made Ben’s highly coveted Day One Visit List for two straight years. If you don’t hit these master craftsmen right out of the gate, this particular booth safari could be a bust. With that said, let’s see what unique specimens Ben brought back from Indy.
Pre-done, high quality water terrain is always a priority for Ben. His home base is Arizona and all that heat rains havoc on these types of DIY projects. The dry air forces multiple water effect applications on a single piece, creates unwanted bubbling effects and lends itself to unnecessary leakage. Not to mention Woodland Scenics Realistic Water material isn’t cheap. Thus, Ben tries to nab these types of pieces in person or via postal mail during the winter months (never ever order this stuff in the summer).
So here it is: Day 1 of the Con. The dealer hall doors are about to open. The record crowds have gathered. No need to fret. Ben already knows his booth number (1944) and has double checked the area map. Still, if Ben doesn’t get there soon enough, other veteran accessory poachers will certainly thwart him.
Gleefully walking up to the Arena Gear booth, he sees a tiny shelf with a small pile of water terrain pieces (that their booth guy humbly called, “some fun prototypes”). Ben immediately grabs a stack: two green swamps, and one clear pond at $14 apiece. Oh yes – these “wet” modular pieces will do quite nicely. They have the right d20 size proportions, sit flush on the table and show a nice flock balance. Targets successfully acquired and all certainly within his budget.
Ben also picked up a nifty farmer’s field piece and a few smaller rock foam terrain pieces for fun. As his game group finally moves out of a long underground dungeon setting (in Thunderspire Labyrinth), outdoor accessories grow ever more appealing.
Be sure to like Arena Gear’s Facebook page. They photo diary a lot of their creations (including those swamps Ben nabbed) and like to do fun stuff with lights. There’s also plenty of content/product for the fantasy war gamer out there.
So let this be a lesson to ya: don’t judge every website by its color. Most RPG vendors live two separate lives: a 9-to-5/pay-the-bills-job and then a fun, dreamer gaming job. Instead make an effort to find the little guys and always have a plan get their primo stuff!
Questions to Ponder: Do you make your own water features? What is your water material of choice? How much foam terrain do you use in your hobby? Ever snagged something from Arena Gear? Ever seen their Pirates terrain map?