Thank God. I mean really. After two abortive attempts at gaming, I finally got my 4E Sandbox campaign off and running.
The group hasn’t gotten exactly the hang of a sandbox, but the bait of having a vast treasure hidden somewhere in the region got them thinking about heading out an exploring. I do want them to “bulk up” a bit before heading out into the really scary stuff, so the players who came (five, three from my established group and two new ones) started a level one quest: “The Sunken Fort.” I may post the write up from it later, although it is mostly goblins, goblins, and more goblins.
How did the 4E mechanics shake out? Having the optimal gaming group size helped. It seems like the encounters were challenging without being overly punishing, and the group suffered it heaviest losses when their opponents began to exert superior battlefield control (e.g. if you’re going to clump together, you’re going to get sprayed by two fire beetles).
My only concern is that other players who haven’t made it may be free in two weeks, which may mean the group is jacked back up to an unreasonable size. I may also have a schedule conflict–I’m not sure yet.
But the important part? I went and played. With friends. In my own home. And had a great time, which regardless of edition is the whole point.