June 26, 2022

Origins 2022 ~ A Report From The Show

Brant Guillory, 9 June 2022

Is Origins back?

Really that depends on how you define “back” doesn’t it?  Origins was sort of “back” last year when we had a mini-Origins in October and while it wasn’t ORIGINS it was still the best we could do under the circumstances.  This year?  Well, let’s see…

The Good:

There are a lot of people here.  Seriously, a lot.  The exhibit hall is opened completely up from end to end and there are people everywhere.  There are games on tables in every direction and company-sponsored booths are wall-to-wall players, while the open / ‘unattached’ events are little less packed because they don’t have any ‘staff’ to keep them running for 16 straight hours.

There’s also a lot of gaming going on.  Last year, we had about 5 games in our booth rotation, but we all expected it to be smaller because it was October. But even going back to 2019 (the last ‘full’ Origins) we had about 12 games in our event rotation that year.  Between the Wednesday games-only-half-day and all day Thursday, we had 14 different games hit the table in the Wargame HQ, from both official events, and unofficial ones.  12 of those were played fully to completion, and 2 were quickie demos. We’ll eventually try to get pictures of everything, but we can’t promise we’ll succeed.

click images to enlarge

The Bad:

Origins continues to make some inexplicable decisions that create headaches for attendees1.
Why give out media badges for coverage from the event if you’re not going to provide wifi and actually provide good, worthwhile live coverage that doesn’t cost $100 to plug into?
Why are convention hall doors that lead to the gaming area (as well as the doors to the outside of the building) being locked at 7pm and attendees being forced to walk to the north or south ends of the building to re-enter, or get a friend to let them into the gaming hall?
Why are the open gaming area and The Board Room pushed to far back corner of the convention center when rows of empty ‘event’ tables are waiting for their 3 GMs over the course of the day, instead of putting the packed-and-active open gaming tables front-and-center to increase the full ‘feel’ of the show?
We’d love to have answers on any of these.

The Ugly:

We need more wargame companies in the exhibit hall, and more wargamers coming to see us for games.  We’re very thankful for the folks we have here, especially ones like the Scotts2 who game with us every year, and build their schedules around gaming with us.  We love that there’s new gamers every year willing to roll the dice and check out an event with after just a chat about it.
We need more of you.

We also need wargame companies in the exhibit hall.  We hear all the time that “GAMA doesn’t care about wargaming” but the flip side of that is that GAMA can afford not to because the wargamers don’t show up.  Why would you pay attention to someone who isn’t there?  You have a guaranteed home base and anchor event team in the gaming hall to support you and make sure we get your games on tables.  You have a built-in cheerleading squad to get the word out and try and bring in players, and then walk them to your booths to buy games.
The first year you’re in the exhibit hall won’t break sales records. But the second year, people notice the consistency, and by the third year, they’re looking for you and expecting you to be there.  Engage with your customers.  Tell your story.  Put your best foot forward.  Don’t hide behind a wall of boxes while reading a book and avoiding eye contact and expecting everyone to to just magically assume your game is the best thing they’ve ever seen.
Be your own biggest fan and make all the new friends you can.
You have to be there to do that.

 

One of our showcase games this year is Bayonets & Tomahawks from GMT Games.  The counters are, quite frankly, gorgeous.

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A quick pass through the dealer hall found several of the wargame companies that are here, so this is just a glance at Decision Games, Enterprise Games, Blue Panther, Catastrophe Games, and Academy Games, with The Deitz Foundation, Gamescience, and others coming shortly.

Oh yeah, and we were deemed cool enough for Kevin Bertram (Fort Circle Games), Tim Densham (Catastrophe Games) and David Thompson (game design savant and all-around cool dude) to join us.

 

We will have much more over the next 2-3 days as we bring you coverage of the exhibit hall, games on tables, and more.


ORIGINS 2022 COVERAGE
WARGAME HQ EVENTS ~ MiD PREVIEW EPISODE ~ EXHIBITOR SPOTLIGHT ~ CONSOLIDATED WARGAMING EVENT GRID ~ WARGAME HQ EVENT PREVIEWS
REPORT FROM THE SHOW ~ GAMEPLAY PHOTOS ~ EXHIBIT HALL PHOTOS ~ CONVENTION PHOTOS  ~ AAR
DISCUSSION FORUM THREAD


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Footnotes

  1. and no we don’t want to hear a damned thing from anyone about masks and vax cards
  2. you know who you are

Brant G

Editor-in-chief at Armchair Dragoons

View all posts by Brant G →

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