Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Tacticon 2016: The Bad

As mentioned in my previous post about Tacticon, I decided to split the Tacticon convention review into two.  Every gaming convention has it's issues, but something is just not working at Genghis Con and Tacticon.  There are less and less historical miniature games.  There are lots of local historical miniature gamers that can put on games and attend, but the list of complaints continues to grow.  Also, I know there are lots of serious boardgamers in Colorado, but don't attend.

Looking back at Tacticon 2000 (at Denver Marriott Southeast) historical miniature games, there were three tournaments and 19 other games.  This was my first Tacticon I attended.  Sixteen years later there were two tournaments and maybe a half dozen other games.

Saturday morning around 10am.
Here are some negative observations from Tacticon 2016:
  • The Tacticon/Genghis Con web site(s) either provide barely any useful information or force you to go through a maze to get at what you are looking for.  Guess what, a simple PDF of events listed by game type then date/time on the main convention page is all you need.  This PDF could be auto replaced with any updates daily.
  • This year, only one historical miniature game was put on Saturday morning and then Saturday afternoon.  This is terrible.  I have been attending Tacticon and Genghis Con for 16 years, and this is the worst yet.  Yes, I can blame fellow gamers for not supporting these local conventions, but I understand their gripes.  I struggled to get my game host this year.
  • Lack of communication with regards to those of us wanting to run a game was bad.  Every effort should be made to get games.  The more games put on, the more interest gamers will be in attending.
  • Two conventions in a row there was a scramble to located chairs for games.  What?  Do I have to bring my own folding chairs for my game?  Don't blame the hotel, if the hotel can not guarantee chairs then do not book that hotel.  This was a different hotel from the last convention.
  • I requested a 5' x 6' table setup.  Once again, just like chairs, had to make due with a 4' x 6' table.  I chose to not make an issue about it, but when I submitted by game, someone could have told me that all the tables were setup to a maximum width of 4'.
  • Why should a gamer who is only putting on one game and not playing in anything during the convention have to pay full attendance minus only $5?
  • No convention booklet.
  • No map of where all the different areas (RPG, Miniatures, Dealer room, etc.) are located at the hotel.
  • The paper list of events/games at the convention was only sorted by time.  It would have been better organized by event type then time.  Course, stacks of paper conventions booklets with useful information in them like was done in the past would have worked just fine.
  • Historical miniature gaming received low support by the convention organizers.  Cosplay, computer gaming and tournaments received support.  I don't know how I feel about the convention paying for Cosplayers around the U.S. to fly in.
  • Tournament events were posted fast on the event listing before the convention started.  Those of us running a single miniature game did not show up until after the deadline for submissions had passed.
  • Does anyone in the dealer room make any money?  I guess if they come back then it was worth their while.  Generally no one thinks the dealer room is any good.
Tacticon is always a low attended event, maybe because of the date, although I think most people do not attend due to entrance costs.  There was plenty of space for more to run games.  I hope to continue to attend and support the convention because I want to promote the hobby and bring awareness of our gaming club Colorado Military Historians.  Having been to BGG Con in Dallas and Fall In in Gettysburg, I am disappointed to not see more boardgamers and historical gamers attend.  The dealer room content at these conventions are amazing as well.  The Genghis Con and Tacticon organizers need to reach out and work with local clubs.  Even though I don't play train games, I also miss seeing the Puffing Billy room.

I welcome any feedback (even rebuttals) to my thoughts.

11 comments:

  1. There seem issues which is a shame. Even in the UK I have hard of Gengis Con (the name sticks in the mind) and had thought that US games conventions might be highly organised and run in a professional manner. When you can afford to fly in Cosplayers but not supply sufficient tables space and seating you have to think some one has dropped the ball!

    But on te positive I have enjoyed both of your reports.

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    1. I have heard of and attended a number of conventions that are well organized. These keep struggling. The recurring issue is always Registration.

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  2. 1 Historical game?? That's really bad, I mean each to there own but that's ridiculous!

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    1. 1 historical game on a Saturday afternoon...which should be the busiest time of the convention. Maybe I need to run a historical game tournament, but I'm just not into tournaments.

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  3. It's very clear the owner of these convention want to change the demographic of the show and he wants to make money doing it. They have no experience running a Gaming Convention and it shows. You need Game Masters, to put on games for the attendees. Charge them to run a game for the Convention is ridicules.

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    1. They need an option for gamers who just want to run games, but not play in any games.

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  4. My opinion is that DGA sold us out, but I wanted to give the new board a chance. Virtually every criticism you laid out excited my own thoughts. They have turned me off from even going due to no apparent visitors badge which is go with to at least shows up and buy stuff from dealers.

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    1. They have visitor badges. They do not advertise it. It is $10 at the convention.

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  5. It sounds like the current owners are trying to become the Rocky Mountain version of ComicCon. They are wanting to make the conventions profit-making ventures. Does anyone know what they paid for the rights to the names?

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    1. I don't have a problem with them making a profit, so long as everyone is having a good time.

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    2. Well, just from a pure financial standpoint, if they don't turn a profit, they don't run the con again. A labor of love only goes so far before it bankrupts you.

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