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Author Topic: "Brave Little Belgium " Undone by the Wit of "The Dice Tower"  (Read 32254 times)

panzerde

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going back to my comment above....  if we've got our own weekend set aside for gaming - big table, big map, counter-pushing, bourbon-quaffing, dice-slinging games for a solid weekend at a hotel ballroom somewhere, are folks interested in getting together for a good weekend of games with each other?

B/c I've already got a few RFQ's out there with some local hotels here about getting us a place for exactly that: bunch of tables, a couple of hotel rooms, invite some locals who might want to game, too, and anyone who isn't staying at the hotel pitches in $5-10 at the door to help cover the cost (I'll get my kids to work the door).

No vendors or exhibitors, no special guests, no seminar track, no prize giveaways unless someone offers us some door prizes raffle off (but no expectation of it).  Maybe a designer or two bringing in a playtest game (David Thompson mentioned hoping to attend) or maybe Bayonet Jr hooks up his Xbox in a corner to a projector for some multi-player HALO games.  Maybe we get a couple of RPG sessions going too.  But nothing formal, structured, or organized beyond posting in the forums here to say "hey, let's play _____!"


Whadday'all think?

I would do this over going to a con.

I actually don't really like games.

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bob48

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Going back a good few years, the UK distributor for SPI (SPUK) did exactly that for several years - called it 'SPUK ORGY' and it held in a hotel in Altrincham near Manchester. They were very well attended and games were going on for pretty much the whole time, with folks crashing out in the rooms and then back for more gaming. I only managed to attend once, but it was an absolute hoot.

We took part in a multi player umpired game of 'Sniper'which was awesome :-)

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panzerde

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And Kriegsspiel.

ALWAYS PLAY THE KRIEGSSPIEL.

I'm more than halfway serious about setting up a Midwest Kriegsspiel Society and doing 1-2 meets a year plus PBEM/online stuff.

I actually don't really like games.

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Cyrano

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Yep.  The demand for PBEM KS is real.

Not massive, mind.

Just real.

And I'm convinced there's a way to do it live over something like Discord, but that's a whole 'nother conversation.

Jim

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Silent Disapproval Robot

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I feel pretty lucky.  We've got two major cons here in Vancouver that are heavily slanted towards wargaming and several other smaller cons with a healthy wargames/minis presence. 



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And I envy you all that like going to cons. I joke about it but I really don’t like people. I’m actually painfully shy, so I don’t like meeting new people cold.
I’ve originally signed on to go to Origins with you lot because I “knew” most of you and thought teaching games I know well to strangers would be good for me... turns out I still don’t like strangers.  :P

So I Ben if there was a local con I probably would not go because I would play with strangers.  :Loser:


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bayonetbrant

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Absolutely none of which does anything to "better concentrate fire on supporting (and bringing in more) existing wargamers" at a con that is decidedly not wargamer friendly.

I mean, look...  I get that it's an uphill fight and all, but I've been submitting and running events for a decade.  I was an exhibitor for 3 years.  I brought in, what... 8? 9? companies that hadn't been there in forever and have a few others I'm still working on.  I talked GAMA into even giving us a wargaming program to try, and I've either written or posted upwards of 100 articles about the show, not counting all the social media discussion before the show each year. 
We tried a kids' program that didn't quite pan out the way we hoped; sometimes that happens.
We also tried an open gaming area for others to come play in our space, and it didn't quite take off, but we also never went back to it.
So it's not like I haven't been trying to "better concentrate fire on supporting (and bringing in more) existing wargamers" going back to 2005....

I've got a call early next week with John Stacy to talk about option on how we can make the show more wargamer-friendly and bring the grognards back into the fold, and Paul & Ian know my number by heart that when I call the office, the greeting isn't "Thanks for calling GAMA" but "Hey, Brant, what's up?"

I get that one course of action is packing it in and walking away.
I know that we were operating under a vendor-centric model w/ the John Ward regime that probably isn't sustainable anymore, and we likely have to jettison.

We've also learned that over the past 5 years, we're unlikely to convert a ton of wargamers, so what can we do to support & encourage those that are there, and/or bring crossover wargamers (or lapsed ones) back into the fold?
And how can we do it without burning ourselves out?

Yeah, we can channel our inner Frenchman and wave the white flag.
I'm not quite ready to do that yet, but I'm also not going to pretend I have all the answers, and I'm willing to take all sorts of suggestions on what we can do and we don't want to do.

I totally respect the position of those of you that aren't interested in working Origins anymore.
I get it.
It's a lot of work and if you're not enjoying it, then what's the point?
I totally understand it and I appreciate all the hours of effort and (especially) the small personal fortunes y'all've sunk into being there to wave the wargaming flag and proclaim the gospel of wargamedness.
It really does warm my heart that y'all believed in the program enough to be a part of it, and while it saddens me that you guys might want to do other things, I absolutely get it.

I'm also not ready to give up the ship yet, and I'm looking for ideas of other ways to steer it, and hoping to get some good dialogue going with GAMA about how they can calm the waters for us (is that enough naval metaphors for y'all?)

And I'm willing to do all of that while also kick-starting our own wargaming weekend that might grow into more of what we all want, which is a chance to game and carouse with our friends we've made along the way.

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mirth

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For the record, I wasn't dumping on Origins. I was glad I went and I wouldn't rule out going again, but it's never going to be an annual thing for me. I was also just giving an honest assessment of what seemed like as a wargaming experience compared to other cons I've attended.

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panzerde

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Yeah, we can channel our inner Frenchman and wave the white flag.
I'm not quite ready to do that yet, but I'm also not going to pretend I have all the answers, and I'm willing to take all sorts of suggestions on what we can do and we don't want to do.


Or we could do our thing at a con that actually is full of wargamers, because such things exist and are well attended. Maybe not 21K people attended, but when 20, 980 of those 21K wish you weren't there maybe that's something to consider?

I actually don't really like games.

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besilarius

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I realise that most foks here are not miniature gamers, but the Historical Miniatures Gaming Society, hmgs.org, is having thier big summer con in Lancaster, PA, this month.
Also, the regional HMGS groups put on their own cons.  If the Midwest is the area craving a con, why not partner up with them?
Whether it is cardboard you move, or lead, it's all gaming.

https://www.hmgs.org/?

http://www.hmgsmidwest.com/

« Last Edit: July 06, 2019, 02:57:48 PM by besilarius »

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mirth

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Reply #100 on: July 06, 2019, 02:57:08 PM
Historicon is a great wargaming con. Went in 2018 and hope to go again soon.

Being able to Google shit better than your clients is a legit career skill.


Cyrano

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Reply #101 on: July 06, 2019, 04:26:32 PM
I've mentioned elsewhere that's very high on my list of Origins replacements if that's what my family decides to do.

Historicon is honestly the one con I've ever been to where I legitimately felt I had to explain my obsessions to no one.

There was one day in particular, probably eight years ago, when I signed up for a game of Sharp Practice in the early morning and was then invited for a sequence of Napoleonic games using various systems for 14 hours straight.  I became very ill...probably exhaustion.  I smile still to think of it.


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bbmike

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Reply #102 on: July 06, 2019, 05:30:00 PM
Historicon is a great wargaming con. Went in 2018 and hope to go again soon.

I'm planning to get to that one soon.

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Adam

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Reply #103 on: July 06, 2019, 09:39:13 PM
We've also learned that over the past 5 years, we're unlikely to convert a ton of wargamers, so what can we do to support & encourage those that are there, and/or bring crossover wargamers (or lapsed ones) back into the fold?
And how can we do it without burning ourselves out?

I think you guys are a bit down on the amount of "wargaming" happening at Origins.  Hall A had several minis games of all slices (fantasy, historical, sci-fi).  Both Hall A and Hall C had quite a few light "wargames" (e.g. Axis & Allies) being played in the back of both halls.  And I saw, and personally participated in, "wargames" in the roped-off game area in Hall C.  Perhaps a strategy moving forward would be to group these activities together?  While the overlap wouldn't be 100%, I bet someone interested in A&A could be enticed to play a medium/light complexity WW2 game.  After all, it's a common refrain to hear A&A being a person's first foray into "wargames".  Likewise, there's a lot of overlap between hex-and-counter wargamers and minis wargamers.  There's an opportunity for cross pollination there as well. 

So, rather than having all of these activities spread out across the convention, clumping them together might give more presence and allow these disparate groups to discover each other.  Add a few open play tables and advertise the space as "the place" to play pick up games throughout the convention and suddenly a less traveled space becomes lively. 

Another angle would be to somehow cross promote with "wargames" being promoted in Hall B.  Both Dust 1947 and BattleTech seemed to be getting a lot of interest at the con (to be fair both games, especially Dust, look really cool).  GF9 had a busy booth with a bunch of minis for sale - one for a game called "Tanks" which I presume to be some sort of "wargame." Again, not 100% of people who like to play battle games with cool minis will necessarily be interested in playing other sorts of "wargames", but there's certainly some amount of overlap (I'm in that group). 

Use Origins to highlight the wide rainbow of "wargames."  Entice the Euro crowd with euro-style "wargames" (e.g. Root, COIN, others that include "wargame"-style player conflict).  Catch eyes with cool minis.  Impress with huge hex maps with stacks of chits.  Hopefully if you build it, they will come.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2019, 09:53:06 PM by Adam »



Bison

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Reply #104 on: July 07, 2019, 09:57:23 AM
Good insights Adam. Co-locating the wargames play areas makes a lot of sense and could help to bring gamers with similar tastes together.