Sunday, July 06, 2008

GenCon Oz Part 1

Ever since I was a teenager I wanted to attend a GenCon. Back then, in the early eighties, I was heavily into roleplaying games like Dungeons and Dragons and subscribed to TSR's Dragon Magazine. They'd publish the list of GenCon events in those pages and I remember wishing I could attend all the cool game sessions, visit the traders and see all the exhibitors.

Well, fast forward 25 years or so and now GenCon has come to me in the form of GenCon Oz. It would be a GenCon gaming convention run by Australians and held in Australia. By pure coincidence the organisers of GenCon Oz also resided in my home town of Brisbane and chose to run the event here. Due to other commitments I could only attend on the final day of the 'The best four days in gaming".

So this morning I caught a train to the station at South Brisbane which is only a 5-minute walk to the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre at South Bank where GenCon Oz was being held. I arrived at 9.15 am and after a quick registration ($22.00) made my way to the event booth to register for the Memoir '44 mini-tournament which would run from 10.00am to 2.00pm. This is one of my favourite games and I was aware they had some great Memoir '44 expansions as prizes. There were only 12 places available for this tournament and I feared that when I got there there would be none available. Luckily I was able to enter ($6.60).

Part of the Trader area. This booth was selling miniature terrain for war games.

On entering the vast hall I found myself in the Trader and Exhibitor area. I wandered around looking at the various stalls and booths and took a lot of photos. Unfortunately, due to the lighting in the venue (or maybe it was just my camera) I found that most of my photos ended up being blurry.

After walking around for about 20 minutes I made my way to the main hall where the miniatures games, board games, roleplaying games and card games were being played. There I met some people I knew like BGG users cyberkev63, Friendless and Harley22. I even got to meet Tyndal from Adelaide whose copy of San Juan I received in the recent Australian math trade.

Part of the main hall early in the morning

By this time it was almost 10.00 am and I walked over to where the Memoir '44 mini-tournament was being held. It was being run by Keith Done from local Brisbane games group The League of Extraordinary Gamers (or LXG for short). In speaking with Keith I was disappointed to find that I was only one of three people who had registered for the tournament. They needed six people to run it or it would be cancelled. One of the other entrants told me that there had been a problem with the online registration for this event and he assumed that was the reason for the low turn up. We waited for another 20 minutes or so before being advised that the tournament had been cancelled.

Keith did mention they'd run the Memoir '44 mini-tournament at LXG's "Legends of Winter" two day tournament weekend in August when they were sure they'd have the required number of people. I may consider attending this.

Part 2 tomorrow.

1 comment:

Ken Lee said...

Sounds like it was a fun time. I'm eager to find out more about your experience there. I'm thinking if GenCon OZ comes round next year again, I'll probably attend.