Monday, September 7, 2015

Tacticon 2015

Good convention!

There has been a lot of discussion leading up to Tacticon this year.  Genghis Con and Tacticon here in Denver came under new ownership earlier this year and there seemed to be a lot of doom and gloom about Tacticon.  I took the wait and see approach.  I went through the new online registration site and it seemed to work, but really that did not matter, I had to be at the convention to take it in.  I ran my ACW James river naval battle game on Saturday.  I always plan to run a historical miniature game at the convention and this year it was on the Saturday instead of Sunday.  I only attended to run my game, check out the vendor area, walk about the convention, and of course chat with friends/players.

Hunger Games
Card games
The convention was at the same location as last year.  Like a broken record, they need to leave the hotel, it is not that good.  The layout threw me for a loop this time, I had no idea where anything was and the organizers did not put up any maps.  Also, registration bungled my badge, but that was not surprising.  It seems to happen every convention.  The bungling was resolved by a coordinator and the owner of the two conventions himself before I left Saturday.

Boardgame library.  Well stocked.
The gaming was the same as other years, but the organizers (probably just the owner) decided to add video gaming and cosplay to the convention.  Apart from the Artemis game setup in it's own room, the video gaming in other main room was a waste of time.  The room had lots of wasted empty space, and was always less than half used.  In my mind, who comes to convention to play video games?  The cosplay setup I can't get my head around.  Genghis Con and Tacticon have been about gaming and cosplay is removed from people sitting down and enjoying gaming with other people.  Nothing against cosplay, but it can go and free up their display tables for games.  LARP I get, it involves gaming.

Cosplay and LARP area.

Part of video game room.
Only three gamers plus a teddy bear in the room.
Large crowd in the train game room.
Death race before cars are picked.
The vendor room was small and there was barely anything there for the historical gamer, which is not surprising these days.  Genghis Con is a bit better, at least Chessex is there.  Was the vendor area very useful for other gamers?  Probably not much.

Vendor area.
The attendance seemed okay for Tacticon.  I heard attendance was down for miniature games and boardgaming.  I think because of the new ownership there were different groups that decided not to attend.  I hope they do for Genghis Con.  Also, due to lack of advertising and poor website setup, other people (i.e. gamers from out of town) chose not to attend.

Part of miniatures area.  Crossing the Meuse in foreground.
The historical miniature gaming was hit and miss.  Tacticon is always light on players, and this year was the same.  I only had one person sign up for my game ahead of time, but was able to get two more.  The game went well and I enjoyed running it.  There were some game masters who said they had no one show up for their games.  When you run the game at a convention, you have to be ready mentally for no gamers at your table.  No shortage of good historical miniature games, maybe I'll have to play in some next time.

Two games of Battle Cry connected.
So overall I thought it was a good convention.  Always good to see fellow Colorado and some neighboring States gamers come together.

Recommendations to organizers:
  • Cosplay should go.
  • Smaller room for video games.  Keep Artemis, I'm a fan of that game.
  • New better venue.
  • Better advertising (i.e. web site).
  • Games listed before the convention on a web site without having to sign in.  Full public listing.
  • Maps to where everything is.
  • Organizers should have the Game Master badges resolved fully before Con.
  • The booklet was useless.  It needs a lot more content, like previous Tacticon booklets.  Did I mention maps?

Six more photos below.

Pulse of Battle.  Ancients Field of Battle rules.
X-Wing tournament
Chain of Command Pacific battle.
Crossing the Meuse, May 1940, Dinant Belgium
Crossing the Meuse, May 1940, Dinant Belgium
ACW game

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Oldest Book in My Collection

I was inspired by another blog I stumbled upon that had a post showing their oldest military related book in their collection.  This evening I gave my book shelves a browse and discovered my oldest book is really not that old.  It is from 1922.

The book is titled Q-Ships and Their Story, by Edward Keble Chatterton.  The author in World War One joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and later commanded a Motor Launch flotilla.  He seems to have written a number of books after the war.

I read this book many years ago, but I do remember that it is a good book.

Illustration List