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Arms and equipment guide: Gadgets and gear from Gen Con 2016

Four days on the cutting edge of the tabletop gaming hobby

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Gen Con, the United States' biggest tabletop gaming convention, is in its 49th year. While there are thousands of events, from wargames and role-playing games to board game tournaments, the epicenter of it all is the vendor floor.

This year in the cavernous Indianapolis Convention Center, hundreds of artists and craftsman were on hand to hang out their shingle. There were so many applications that Gen Con had to expand the vendor hall into the neighboring exhibit space, and even after that, the organization said there were still dozens and dozens more left on the waiting list.

Sure, the major landmarks were the sprawling booths for the big names like Fantasy Flight Games and Cool Mini or Not, but there was so much more to see than that. Every few steps was a tiny, independent company with something few had ever seen before.

I walked the hall for four days in search of the best gadgets and gear I could find. Here's what I found.

Polygon will have more coverage from Gen Con 2016 all this week, and you can find all those stories here. For more tabletop gaming coverage, see our dedicated section here.


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