Saturday, February 1, 2014

CanCon 2014 You have to play in the participation games.

Another CanCon rolls around. For those of you not in the know CanCon is the biggest games show in Australia held on our Australia Day long weekend. 3 days of gaming and spending money in Canberra what’s not to like. I could not tell you the exact figures as far as numbers are concerned but there are usually 100+ entries of 40K, 100+ entries WFB, 100+ entries FOW, 30 odd warmachine hordes gamers, 100 + other historical gamers Bolt Action DBA FOG Impetus, 20 or so Infinity gamers and the list goes on and on including a roleplaying section as well. Magic The Gathering the card game is also big at CanCon and the big prize for winning this is a trip to the United States to compete. As far as the general public is concerned they must get 2000+ people through the doors to check out the madness or those already succumbed to the insanity are just there to buy stuff. I have been to the Derby show a few years back in Britain and well CanCon is bigger, not as many traders (not as many small ones in Australia) but bigger numbers I feel.

 Siege Tower as used to store the gates of.........................

Eureka's new Saracens, many to be seen on our table over the weekend.
Infantry from above.

Slightly older range and painted much more nicely than mine.
One of my favourite sections has been the demo and participation games. I have played in the competitions but I really like the social and fun side. So have slowly drifted away from the real competitive nature of the weekend (I might go back one day say for DBA or something) instead my eldest son has played Shako, Dystopian Wars and all sorts of other games. Barry our Wings of Glory fanatic helps to run the participation game for Wings of Glory WWI and WWII over the whole 3 day weekend for the public.  Me well Hail Caesar, with the War of the Roses, last year took my fancy, Infinity at another convention, but this year it was a crusades campaign run using Deus Vult for the table top rules.

Bolt Action Demo.....mainly run by kids for kids brilliant.
Pegasus Bridge Demo, about the only time I saw adults running this demo.

Home brewed fantasy hold the bridge game, had a lot of kids playing at it.
Paul of the man cave blog in blue top getting snotted in a FIW using muskets and tomahawks
The lads from the Peninsular Praetorians from Victoria ran a superb weekend of dashing around the Levant as crusaders in the first crusade trying to get to Jerusalem. Using a map and basic Ideas from a game called Onward Christian Soldiers all the players took the role of the crusaders. We map marched down from Anatolia and conquered cities in sieges or just bypassed them. The deserts were tricky to cross, you had to roll for and often pay attrition, sometimes you paid in coin (fake plastic Ducats accumulated by winning games and conquering towns) or often you were forced by paying in, well, blood as it were. Yep your army was whittled away not by the rightly upset local Muslim population but by the desert itself. You lost troops, pilgrims had a bad habit of disappearing and your incredibly expensive to replace Knights became dismounted knights instead.

Aztec conquistadors participation game that was run at Wintercon last year too.
Big SYW Demo game

Barry in full flight with an air raid on a pacific island.
Battles did take place as we conducted fights against the siege relieving Saracens or just plain intercepts would take place. The beauty of it was that if your Crusader force was up for a battle then the other non-players would play the Saracens. The games were fun but had enough of an edge to keep you thinking and having an eye on the actual end game. As you beat off the Saracens the damage done to your army could cost a fortune to replace as far as the campaign was concerned.

Naps game sorry no details.

Italians in Eritrea

Chain of Command Modern Bush Wars in Africa.

More of the same Bush Wars, I came real close to playing this one instead of crusades.

Sci fi simple game on the cheap with Green Army Men woo hoo, Love it when some one gets the kids to game and proves it can be done for less than $10.00 per side!

Nice young chap joined us on day 2 for the campaign and seemed to really enjoy himself, so they really are participation games for the public!

Infinity table.

Another Infinity Table, but I missed all the action, all of it.

Flames of War Kursk game, lots and lots of tanks, looked fun.

Best use of Citadels Fortress, the walls of Antioch!
Well needless to say I loved it. The table top games system I’ll review next post (spoiler alert Deus Vult is good but we did have a few modifications) but the campaign was exactly what I wanted. What a clever way to do a campaign, 3 days of games, maps, ducats and laughter as Bedouin or Unscrupulous tax collectors took your tax horde from the towns captured. One poor chap lost his horde 4 times, (those dice were not coming out of their box for a while after that!).
Did we capture Jerusalem, no, but I did take Aleppo and Homs leaving them unsacked and Damascus was in my grasp. To sum up, if you ever want a more fun approach to a weekend of gaming check out what participation games are in order, give the organiser a ring or an email and ask to join. Often you will not even have to bring troops to the table as all is provided. You do not even have to play the whole weekend, just a game or two. For me the whole weekend was what I wanted.
Is there a negative, yep, just one you don’t get to see as much of the show as you may want to, I missed the Impetus games and Infinity games and barely had a look at the FOW section yet I still had time to spend up on more lead and plastic for the mountain, not so much this year but it has still grown.


Paul oftheManCave said...

Great post mate and love the pics - but to set the record straight I got away with my reckless column deployment and rained the hurt onto those damned Frenchies!

Paul oftheManCave said...

Great post mate and love the pics - but to set the record straight I got away with my reckless column deployment and rained the hurt onto those damned Frenchies!