Sunday, May 1, 2016
St Michael's Con 2016
Set up started on Wed night when Steve came over and we were able to baptize his new gaming table with it's inaugural game of X-Wing!
One thing I did decide early in the planning was to go with low set up / take down games (X-Wing / Armada and other board games.
Satruday dawned to a pancake breakfast cooked by your's truly and yet more bacon.
I got to play a lot of new games but the one that stuck out the most for me was "Lords of Waterdeep" - what a fantastic game.
Gaming Saturday night stretched again to 3:30am with very raucous games of "Bang" and "Panic on Wall Street". Three nights in a row staying up to 3:30am is an impressive streak for me.
As Sunday morning dawned it was time to close out the con and I bid a fond farewell to my guests.
So what did I learn?
Hosting a gaming event like this is the most fun I've had gaming and I will definitely do it again next year and increase the size to 20 or so.
Things that went well
Everyone seemed to be well fed and there was enough options to keep everyone happy regardless of dietary restrictions - The group BBQ on Saturday night went really well and was a lot of fun.
(2) House Wear and Tear
My house sustained no damage - while we may all play rather silly war-games, this group of friends are class acts and knew what fate awaited me from my wife if they broke something in the house. My lovely, yet fierce, wife was both impressed and surprised at the lack of damage
(3) The Participants
All 11 of my guests were a joy to host and I'm grateful they decided to give this whole experiment a go. Most of them are associated with the WWPD "gang" or put on convention games with me. I kept the initial guest list pretty restricted as I didn't know how many would show up and if they'd have fun
I'll post a group picture of the participants as soon as I track one down. I'm pretty sure Chippendales has nothing to fear from us.
(4) The Location
I think people really liked St Michaels. It's a bit off the beaten path but is a nice vacation spot and offers a lot to do if people one day bring their wives and/or kids to next years event.
Perhaps the most important indicator of success is that everyone appeared to have fun. No one was left out of any gaming opportunities and there was a lot of laughing and high-jinks. I didn't keep a formal tally but my best guess is that there were at least 60 games played across 6 or so game types.
Things that could have gone better
(1) Game planning
I really didn't do any and it worked out fine but next year I'd like to have more historical games and maybe a tournament of some sort. That requires more advanced planning and, more importantly, enlisting volunteers to run different types of games. I don't think we'll have a detailed PEL on online registration system but I do think a little more effort here on my part will pay real dividends
We have a relatively nice place in St Michaels and the pool was open. but it was straining at the seems to sleep 11 adults. If I moved the event back a few weekends we could setup canopy tents for some outside gaming and even get the heartier souls to camp on the property. It will also still be off season so I can also negotiate a cut rate hotel cost for those with more discerning tastes.
(3) Healthier food options
Next year I need to make sure there are wider array of healthier food options (fruit maybe even a vegetable of two). While eating charred meat is fun and all, three days of a carnivorous buffet can take it's toll on ones waistline.
I had a blast doing this and will definitely put on another one next year with a larger size and a good bit more advanced planning
Ok here's the real reason I put this show on - left behind gaming stuff - I got two tokens from X-Wing, an empty plastic dice box and the timer from "Panic on Wall Street". I'm sure I'll have full games after only a few years of hosting these events - Muuuhawwhawwahaawww.....