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Category Archives: Conventions

MACE 2017 Convention Report

Our intrepid conventioneer checks out another of the South’s excellent game expos ~

Avery Abernethy, 15 November 2017

MACE (Mid-Atlantic Convention Expo) was held for the 21st time in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 10-12, 2017. I had a great time. There are a number of MACE events annually in North Carolina with MACE being the largest.

MACE is a gaming convention. There is no costume contest, concert, film show or game shows. MACE is about gaming. Except for two live action role playing games (limited to a single room) and three game panels, everything was RPGs, Board Games, Miniature Games or Tabletop Games.

There was a lot of gaming going own. There were a total of 174 RPG sessions, 121 Board/Table Top Games, 101 Card or Deck building games and 22 miniature games. This does not include the “play to win” games, pick-up games from the game library, demos, or spontaneous games started by attendees.

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Convention Report – Spiel 2017

What did you miss in Essen this year? A special report for GrogHeads.com ~

Eddy Sterckx and photos by Ann Therie, 4 November 2017

Spiel is a boardgame convention held every year in Essen, Germany. There are 2 things you need to know about it :

  1. It’s big – really big – over a thousand new boardgames got premiered there this year
  2. It’s not a boardgame convention in the US sense of the word : people don’t go there to play games 24/7, they go there to get a demo and buy games – it’s more akin to a very large gamestore with a huge inventory and plenty of staff than anything else.

A tiny subset of the games getting presented there are wargames – or close enough – what follows is an overview of what managed to get my attention.

Phalanx Games

This Polish publisher managed to get the rights for doing the 20th anniversary edition of the famous Hannibal : Rome vs Carthage. It got overwhelming KickStarter support and was supposed to be delivered there, but got a bit delayed – they did have the final production version there though.

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Report from LibertyCon 30

It’s a limited-attendance show, which might keep out some of the riff-raff? ~

Avery Abernethy, 17 July 2017

click images to enlarge

LibertyCon is a small SF literary, gaming and whatnot convention.  They limit themselves to 750 attendees and have sold out for years.  LibertyCon is held in Chattanooga, Tennessee at the last weekend in June.  This was year 30.

LibertyCon is different from every other convention I’ve ever attended.  It is very small, but has an amazing guest list.  This year literary guests included SF (and wargamer favorites) John Ringo, David Drake, David Weber, Charles Gannon, and Michael Z. Williamson.  Also attending (an incomplete list) were  Robert Buettner; Julie Cochrane; John Hartness; Sarah Hoyt; Chris Kennedy; Tom Kratman; Van Allen Plexico and Cherie Priest.  I own probably fifty books written by various author attendees.  Baen Publishing loves me.

The strong author list is partly due to LibertyCon being the local convention for David Weber (who always brings his wife and three kids) and John Ringo.  A huge number of Baen Books authors always attend.  Baen’s publisher Toni Weisskopf is from Wake Forest, NC and they do a two hour “what are we up to” talk every year where they also give away books.  They have a Baen author dinner and probably do quite a bit of business.  They publically give book contracts to authors at the Baen Show.

The Southern Fried Game Expo Experience

Games aplenty in Atlanta ~

Avery Abernethy, 8 July 2017

The Southern Fried Game Expo (SFGE) is an annual Pinball, Arcade, Console and Board Game convention held annually in Atlanta Georgia. I attended the latest Expo the weekend before the start of Origins on June 9-11, 2017. This is an inexpensive, family friendly and fun event.

Arcade Row

Origins 2017 – Cthulhu

Our intrepid horror-gamer tackled a long weekend of Cthulhu-themed RPGs.  Did he escape with his sanity? ~

Avery Abernethy, 3 July 2017

H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu and other horror stories were not very popular during his lifetime and he died a pauper. His heirs did not maintain the copyright to his works which made his stories and the world they inhabited common property for anyone who wished to use them. All of Lovecraft’s works can be obtained free in ebook format.
As Lovecraft’s works grew in popularity, many authors either wrote additional stories and books in this world or adapted his work into other series. Noteworthy examples are the Monster Hunter series by Larry Correia, Princess of Wands by John Ringo and The Laundry Files series by Charles Strauss.

Because the work is in the common domain, there are a lot of Cthulhu games, game systems, supplements and books. Two different RPG systems are based on the Cthulhu mythos (Call of Cthulhu and Trail of Cthulhu). Many other game systems incorporate elements of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu world including Chill, GURPS Horror, and Munchkin Cthulhu to name but a few. For people who like a little horror in their gaming, there are a lot of options out there and Lovecraft’s mythos is probably the most popular influence.

 

Origins – Raffle Winners

Who went home with their prizes from #Origins2017? ~

Brant Guillory, 27 June 2017

Photos by Corrinne Mahaffey

One of our highlights every year is the end-of-Origins raffle.  Everyone who plays in a ticketed event with us gets their names thrown in the cup for a raffle prize, to go along with the table prizes we’re giving out all convention long.  Some of those guys are in there 4 or 5 times, too!  Why?  Simple – we’re rewarding the wargamers who sit down and play a bunch of games with us!

More accurately, the vendors who donate their kind and generous support to our events are rewarding those gamers that are sitting down to game with us.

This year we had prizes for the raffle from Enterprise Games/GMT, DVG, Dust Tactics, Academy Games, Flying Pig Games, LNLP, and more, to go with a bunch of GrogHeads t-shirts.  We would’ve had more to give out from the great folks at LPS, High Flying Dice, Collins Epic, Lost Battalion, and Proving Ground, but our gamers had already snatched up those prizes earlier in the show!

This year we even experimented with live-tweeting the raffle, which went about as well as you’d expect it to, based on a last-minute decision.

So without further ado, our winners, and some scenes from the raffle itself.

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Origins Convention Report – Lock ‘n Load Publishing

Catching up with David & the crew at #Origins2017 ~

Michelle Owczarski, 26 June 2017

We’re still working our way through our Origins 2017 reports, even though we’re over a week past the show!

With a staggering release of 30 new or updated titles, Lock ‘n Load Publishing earns this reporter’s “Most Ambitious” prize for Origins 2017.

Due to shipping issues from the printer, David Heath said he had a limited number of each title air shipped to meet expectations for his booth. Even so, response has been strong with approximately 40% of convention stock sold on the first day.

Brand-new to Lock ‘n Load Publishing is the Lock ‘n Load Tactical Solo set,  a card-based tactical rules AI, called AEO, or Artificial Enemy Opponent, allowing a player to enjoy any of the Lock ‘n Load titles in solitaire mode.

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Origins – Costumes!

The costumes at #Origins2017 took on an extra bit of ‘oomph’ this year  ~

Corinne Mahaffey, 25 June 2017

In addition to our annual gallery of costumes, this year’s Origins also saw something special for the GrogKids, as two of them entered the kids’ competition in the costume contest – and placed 1st (Ian) and 3rd (Edward).

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More costumes within…