Origins 2018 – A Floor Report

What’s Happening on the Ground at #Origins2018? ~

Brant Guillory, 16 June 2018

What?  A quiet moment to write?  Naaaaaaah….

Actually, yes.  Origins weekend is usually the same weekend as the annual Columbus Pride Parade, so on Saturday, if you want a parking space that’s any closer than the airport, you need to get here early – and that means 0730 for me, with Bayonet Jr in tow.  It also means, that since our first ‘thing’ today (family photo with the Grogs!) isn’t until 0900, there’s time to write.

What’s been going on?  If you follow us on either Twitter or Facebook, you’ve had the chance to see plenty of live video and updates from the show.  Those are giving a look at what’s happening, but only superficially.  Here’s the detail of what’s going on.

Kriegspiel – This is the unsung success story of Central Command 2018.  We had to kick staff members out of the game on Friday night.  Seriously, we had staff members who wanted to play in the game, but when we had 16 ticketed players appear, the staff guys got drafted to help run the master map.  Think about that for a second: a double-blind wargame with no hexes based on 1826 Prussian rules got 16 players to show up for a 4-hour Friday night game.  Wargaming is not dead! 🙂

Sergeants! – It looks awesome and it kills on the tabletop.  If there’s one game at the Central Command that literally stops traffic, it’s this one.  5-6 times every hour, we’ve got a crowd around the table ogling the minis and the map, and making googley eyes at the game.  We’ve filled every one of the games and had some entertaining and bloody battles, with happy players headed to the Lost Battalion booth, $20 coupon cards in hand, ready to take their own Sergeants home.

Time of Crisis – An intricate wargame about Ancient Rome, in a room surrounded by spaceships, panzers, superheroes, Cthulhu, and Warhammer is still filling up the table for full sit-down games.  Who’d’ve thunk?

The Kids’ Table – there will be more Junior General medals awarded this year, guaranteed.  We’ve not only had several dozen kids from ages 7-14 stop by to play Bitskrieg, C&C Napoleonics, and Tank on Tank, but we’ve had our own GrogKids running the games, too.  It’s a lot easier for a 9-yo kid to sit down to learn about tank battles when it’s another 9-yo across from him (and not being sexist here, every kid that’s stopped to play has been a boy. Girls, where are you!?).

(ed note – we had our first young lady sit down for a game of Tank on Tank about 30 minutes after this article posted)

Talon – It’s always fun to hear guys yelling at each other for shooting their buddy in the tailfeather.

Lock’n Load Tactical / Nations at War – Both have brought in a ton of walk-by traffic and more than a few have sat down for a couple of minutes to check it out.  With a Nations at War tournament today, we’ll either have a massive throng (because it’s an awesome game) or nobody (because it starts at 10am).

Supply Lines of the American Revolution – Hey, Doug got Katie Aidley to sit down and play!  Moreover, we’ve had full tables every time.  The Table Battles tournament had a couple hours of throw-down fun, too, and the Hollandspiele people were on hand to congratulate the winners.

Command Post Wargaming – With at least 8 for every event, we’ve filled the staff on every Command Post.  We’ve written about this multiple times before, but here’s the best indication of the success of our exercises: we’ve had at least 6 players this year who are not only multi-year repeats, but have said they’re here specifically to play in the CPX’s and built the rest of their schedule around these games.

Origins War College – We worked with the OWC to provide 4 hours of seminars this year, and despite most of them being scheduled at 9am (and all of them before lunch), we had double-digit attendance at every one, even the talk about Skirmishers in the Age of Gunpowder (I should’ve taken Doug up on the bet).

We’ve put down upwards of 30 pizzas, two dozen smoothies, and (conservatively) 79435629387462 gallons of coffee over the past 3 days.  There have been caffeine highs and sugar-crash lows.  Our kids are the reason the WotC guys keep running out of D&D tote bags to give away, and despite collectively owning enough dice to bury Toledo, we keep buying more.

Bring on Saturday!


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