Thursday, July 19, 2018

HCON 2018: DAK & Dragons and SOCOM & Sorcery

Being a convention Game Master (GM) is one of my favorite aspects of the hobby.  It combines two unique aspects.  First is an adult version of elementary school "Show and Tell" with the term historical miniatures replacing toy soldiers.  The second is a need to become both a circus ringmaster and carnival barker as you try to get a group of disparate people to enjoy and buy into a gaming experience.  I really enjoy that aspect and try to make a positive impression on my players.

I ran a total of 8 games over the course of the con and enjoyed every single one.  I was a bit worn out by Saturday but still really enjoyed myself.  Sadly, I forgot to take pictures of all the games!

The first game seemed to prove that the rules tweaks and movement trays really improved game play and there was a lot more desperate fighting in the catacombs sections vs last year.

The game featured a number of repeat players including Malcom (in red)..
and Matt (center) who have played in many of my games over the years

The first set of victim from the initial game
I don't really remember all of the details from the games but do recollect that almost all went down to the last turn with possession of the Prof trading hands several times.

Yes, small tanks can fit into a dungeon - why? because it's cool!

Pretty excited to win another PELA award.  To be honest since I was re-running a game from last year's HCON I didn't think I was eligible.  HMGS did do a better job awarding the trophy as a group of people came over and made a big deal about it.  They also made a big deal about some guy named Pete Panzerenie (sp?) giving me the award.  He seemed like a nice guy in a goofy calvary hat and I appreciated him taking the time.  As I asked who he was over the course of the convention I found out people have some strong opinions about him  very strong.  He seems fine to me.

More desparate fighting in the dungeons!

A dragon wipes out a DAK Squad!  This year I toned down the monsters to both speed play and get the two human sides into combat with each other more quickly

I really like how the jungle section came out

The Friday afternoon game featured John S and his son (pictured) as players.  I got an email from John a few days after the con where he told he the game was his son's favorite and he was still talking about it.  That reaction makes all the effort that goes into putting these silly things on more than worth it!

I did get a lot of requests for a copy of the rules, which are a simple spreadsheet.  I'm thinking of writing something up thats a little more formal and then posting it on this blog for anyone to download.  What do you think?
I'll do a more reflective post of what worked and what can be improved later on.  Overall I thought the game went really well and I was very fortunate to have great players for each game.

There was been some hand wringing post con about canceled games and no-shows from the pre-registration system.  I can't really speak about cancellations other than I ran all 6 of my scheduled games plus 2 more.  As for no-shows, it was consistent to previous cons.  All of my games were "sold-out" each day and I always had 2-3 no-shows out of 8 slots.  Every game I ran was full as walkups filled the gap and I often added a 9th player (monsters) to help get people in the game.  I don't think the ability to pre-register for two games really impacted my attendance.

I do want to personally thank all my players - these events are enjoyable not because of the GM (maybe inspite of the GM!) but because the players decide to make them fun.  Yet again, I got a bumper crop of great people to spend a few hours with.  Thank you very much.

I'll probably run DAK & Dragons again at either Cold Wars or Fall In but will likely retire the game from Historicon.  So whats up for next year?  I suspect there will be some hints not to long on this blog.  All I can say is think 15mm rather than 28's......


Ray Rousell said...

What a crackin' looking game Miles!

Lee Hadley said...

The games look excellent and the fact your getting repeat players speaks volumes. Nicely done sir!

Martin Cooke said...

Does look awesome. Do publish the rules, do like mash up games

Stew said...

I hope you were able to leave it out in between games! That’s such an extensive and elaborate set up. Looks incredible!
I too enjoy GMing at cons, but nothing as huge as you!

Joe Procopio said...

Had a great time in your game, Miles, and looking for future opportunities to game with you. Thanks for all of your efforts!

I would love a copy of these rules if you are inclined to write them up. I thought they were great!

I wrote a bit about your game and posted maybe a dozen photos of it over on my blog, Scrum in Miniature:

Looking forward to the next time we get to cross paths!

Walt said...

i had no idea that you were the ubergeek, Miles. really enjoyed SOCOM and Sorcery at Hcon18 with you. i posted on it in my convention AAR Great blog you have here.