July 15, 2024

Armchair Dragoons Fall Assembly 2023 AAR

Armchair Dragoons PAO, 5 November 2023

The Armchair Dragoons had our ‘stand-alone’ first in-person convention1 in October of 2023.  After kicking it around for half of a decade, we finally took the plunge and got our own event on the calendar, and made it happen.

  • In the end, we had 22 total events on the schedule, and of those, 18 of them actually happened.  In addition to that, we had another 6-8 pickup games that hit the table around those scheduled events.
  • We had just under 30 people registered, of those, over 20 made it to the weekend.

Both of those numbers were a little below what we were hoping for, but both were also above our minimum definition of “success” for the weekend.  If you want to take a look at what games were played and how it all looked on the table, you can check out our photo galleries here.

As we do with all of our events, we tossed a survey at folks to see how they felt about the weekend

 

FA23 Feedback 1 good time

This one is our key metric of success, and whenever we’re over 50% “Hell yes!” we’re happy.  Equally importantly, no one voted “nope”

 

FA23 Feedback 2 registration

Folks seem to be pretty used to how Tabletop.Events works these days.  We like it and are planning to stick with it for now.

 

FA23 Feedback 3 eventselections

With only 20 or so events on the schedule it’s tough to have a variety that puts people into a crunch for games they want to play, but as we get more people showing up for future cons, we hope to expand the range of games.  In our defense, we lost 2-3 events with some GMs that had to back out, so that would’ve at least expanded our variety.

 

FA23 Feedback 4 cost

The $40 cost was in part tied to the next question.  Cutting those out might impact this cost, even if everyone felt it it was the right price.

 

FA23 Feedback 5 tshirts

We thought t-shirts for everyone would be a great memento of the first convention.  But now we’ve got a box of extra t-shirts that are destined for future Origins raffles.  Going forward, we’ll probably have some made for a swag table, but they won’t be baked into everyone’s registration.

 

FA23 Feedback 6 october

Let’s hope this time of year works for everyone, because the Summer (Origins), Winter (ACDC), and Spring (Connections Online & Buckeye Game Fest) are largely taken already!

 

FA23 Feedback 7 swaptable

The swap table was a last minute idea, but folks seemed to like it for the opportunity to offload a few extras from their collection, and maybe grab an unheralded treasure or two.  A bunch of magazine games crossed the table, and 2-3 games were added to the small-but-growing library of ACD convention copies.

 

So what got played?

Two sessions each

  • NATO: Cold War Goes Hot
  • World at War 85
  • Struggle for Zorn
  • Triumph & Tragedy
  • Bayonets & Tomahawks
  • Maneuver Warfare
One session, including pick-up games

  • FAB Bulge
  • GCACW – Death Valley
  • Oceans of Fire
  • C&C Ancients
  • Brief Border Wars
  • It Never Snows (though it was long enough to count for 3!)
  • yet-to-be-named WaW85 air game
  • Littoral Commander
  • Shores of Tripoli

We asked folks what they’d recommend for improvements for next time.  A few of the replies

  • Maybe have more multiplayer games
  • It would be nice if the venue had cell phone connectivity.
  • Sharing site for all to share photos or video.
  • Need Coffee

 

We also asked what we should sustain for next time, and folks said

  • I think having a few games designers attend to direct their own games made it more appealing to the attendees.
  • Lunch plate was unexpected and welcome
  • Casual fun and a group dining event
  • The donuts2 and sandwiches were classy…and awesome.
  • Bring back the Designers!
  • Swap table

 

So overall, what do folks think?  Does any of this make next year’s event more appealing to you?  Any chance some more of you will join us next time?  We’re already planning for next year, aiming for early October again, so you can start blocking off your calendars now!

 


Thank you for visiting The Armchair Dragoons and mounting up with the Regiment of Strategy Gaming.
You can find our regiment’s social media on MastodonFacebook, Twitter, YouTube, and even Threads, if we could ever get an auto-post to it.
(We have an Instagram page and it’s really just a placeholder & redirect to our articles.)
You can support The Armchair Dragoons through our Patreon, also, and find us at a variety of conventions and other events.
Feel free to talk back to us either in our discussion forum, or in the comments below.



In gaming halls where grognards debate,
They argue about what’s deemed first-rate.
“True wargame!” they declare,
With a passionate glare,
Their opinions, they’ll never abate.
Some seek hexes and counters galore,
Claiming purism, nothing they’ll ignore.
Yet the heart of the matter,
Is the fun we all gather,
So let’s play and enjoy, let’s explore!

Footnotes

  1. as compared to us helping with events at someone else’s convention
  2. these were actually provided by one of the attendees!

Armchair Dragoons PAO

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