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Origins – First Day!

What’s happening on the first day of #Origins2017 ~

GrogHeads Staff, 14 June 2017

The first day is usually a quiet time of preparation as vendors set up, gamers play pick up some free play opportunities, and registration lines extend into the Short North (OK, OK, the third one was just last year).

However, with more and more organized games – and vendors! – in the main gaming hall, which opens at noon on Wednesday, the first day is now a blur of action.

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Origins – Vendor Support!

Wargamers are awesome ~

GrogHeads Staff, 12 June 2017

As we ramp up for Origins, we’re in pretty regular contact with our vendor partners about the games we’re going to use in our events and how we’re going to support them at the convention.  We’ve always made it a priority to showcase their newest and coolest, and then work in others that support our special events, like the Team COIN games, or (this year) the tournaments.

For our participants, those vendor partners have always come through with some excellent prizes – we give away at least one wargaming prize at every single one of our ticketed events, often full copies of games.  

This year, we also reached out to some other companies who were not able to attend Origins, and ask if they were able to offer a couple of games in support of the Central Command for us to use as prizes for gamers, and for our end-of-convention raffle.

HOLY.  COW.

A Look at the Nexus Game Fair

If you’re a large plains-roaming land mammal, or a driving cat, and you just can’t make Origins, there’s always the local convention  ~

Jim Owczarski, 31 May 2017

Milwaukee has missed GenCon since the day it changed lodgings in 2003.  I know.  I’m from here.  The mass of local gamers that were left behind have created other events and some have seen remarkable success, but none have approached the grand madness that is the mother of all American gaming conventions.

Still, I love the convention experience and was looking forward to checking out the Nexus Game Fair when it rolled into town late last week.  Most importantly, I was wondering if there would be anything at all for a grognard to do.  What follows are a few thoughts and a fair number of photographs documenting the experience of Friday and Saturday.

Hosted primarily at the downtown Hyatt, evident on the Milwaukee skyline by the spaceship-like restaurant perched at the top, Nexus seems to have kept its ambitions modest.  Attendance ran to the hundreds rather than thousands and there was rarely a press of crowds despite the smallish space.  It was, however, a professionally-organized operation with a well-designed program and a strong staff of workers managing registration.

Two beautiful days and I’m going indoors to play with little soldier men. (That’s the new Bucks’ arena going up.)

Origins 2017 Coverage – Your Opinions, Please!

What do you want to see from this year’s Origins? ~

The GrogHeads Team, 22 May 2017

As we ramp up for our coverage of Origins this summer, we’re doubling the number of journalists we’re bringing to the show, so we’ll have a dedicated photographer, plus a dedicated writer, in addition to the staff pitching in their thoughts.

But we’d like to know your thoughts on where you’d like them to focus on coverage.


also, we’ll be posting live/real-time updates to our Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/grogheads/


Chat about it below, or in our forums, or hit our FaceBook page >>

Battle Lab: Headquarters in Wargames

Originally published in Battles! Magazine, here’s a look at HQ units on your tabletop ~

Brant Guillory, 3 May 2017

How are headquarters units implemented in wargames, and what functions do they serve? As wargamers, most of us have enough appreciation of history to understand the value of a headquarters in combat and its ability dramatically affect a battle as it unfolds. There are a variety of ways in which headquarters units can be portrayed on the tabletop.

But first, let’s look at what they do in real life (as always, “the disclaimer”: the doctrine being discussed is American; it’s what I know).

Origins War College 2017 Schedule

What’s on tap for this summer’s lectures at Origins? ~

GrogHeads Staff, 29 April 2017

The Origins War College has been folded into the overall lecture/seminar program at the convention.  But they’re still sort-of separated out into 2 distinct program tracks, each in their own rooms.

There’s plenty of interesting talks, and many of them staffed/hosted by the NSDM crew.

GrogHeads Central Command Origins Events

What’s coming up at Origins this summer? ~

GrogHeads Staff, 8 April 2017

Per GAMA, event registration goes live on 3 May.

What’s on tap this year?  Plenty!

  • Tournaments!  We’ve got afternoon/evening tournaments for Lock’n’Load Tactical, Quartermaster General, Spearpoint 1943, and Twilight Struggle
  • Team / Group events!  In addition to our Command Post Wargaming, we have a pair of Team COIN games back this year, plus big team games of Old School Tactical, Sergeants!, and Crucible of Force (Slaughter in the Snow).
  • Kids!  We’ve got a special wargaming program this year for the kids – yes, KIDS!  We’ve got 4 games that we’ll be running all weekend, in shorter 1-hour sessions.  And for any kid who plays all 4 games at least once each, we’ve got a special Junior General prize.  These games are for kids age 7-14, and they must have an adult come to the table with them.

Which companies are here with us?

  • Griggling Games!  Quartermaster General, and some expansions
  • Flying Pig Games!  Mark’s got 5 (five! fünf! cinco! V!) different games over the course of the weekend with us
  • Enterprise Games!  With their support for our GMT events again this year, we’ve Fields of Despair, Wing Leader Supremacy, some COIN events, C&C Ancients for the kids, and the Twilight Struggle tournament
  • Collins Epic Wargames!  We’re running Spearpoint 1943 events (for the kids, too), but look for Polyversal, also
  • Lost Battalion Games!  The always-awesome Sergeants! games are back, and look for their award-winning tiles, too
  • Proving Ground Games!  Bringing the lead to the battle, with their minis wargaming, and a special movie-monster scenario for the kids
  • Lock’n’Load Games!  Nations at War, LNLT, and tanks for the kids

Over 65 events across 4 days, for all your wargaming goodness.  Plus, show up Wednesday afternoon and see what the staff has on the table just for their own fun 🙂

When you’re looking for our events in the Origins master event grid, they all start with “GrogHeads Presents”.  We did that to make it easier to find when sorting through a giant spreadsheet with over 6000 events, however we stripped it out of the names on our event grid here just to simplify the listings.

Don’t forget that everyone who plays in our events gets a discount with our vendor partners, and gets entered for some great Sunday-morning raffle prizes.  There’s also at least one prize for one of the players at every one of our events.

Note that the kids’ events – as noted above – have a special prize for kids who check out all 4 of the different games, and do not have prizes for each individual event.

Click through for the sortable table of events

A Look at the Playthrough Gaming Convention

We sortied out to the local game convention for a load of photos, and more ~

Brant Guillory, 26 February 2017Playthrough-Logo

Raleigh, NC has a pretty thriving game community – 2 local colleges have digital game design programs, there are at least 4 pretty active game clubs, and all three major game stores are packed most nights for any combination of D&D Encounters, minis warfare, Friday Night .\\agic, or general board gaming.  The Triangle Simulation Society runs 2 minis-focused conventions each year, but this year the Playthrough Gaming Convention took over one of the exhibit halls at the Raleigh Convention for a weekend of digital, tabletop, and live-action gaming, as well as seminars, tournaments, and a costume contest.

Looking over the gaming hall. Booths in the front, video games on the right, and tabletops in the back.

Looking over the gaming hall. Booths in the front, video games on the right, and tabletops in the back.