Tracer Rounds: Origins Events!

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Here’s what’s coming at the GrogHeads Central Command at Origins ~

Several years ago, we approached Origins with a simple idea: bring wargaming back to the convention.  It had been withering on the vine for a while.  The first year I attended as BayonetGames was in 2005.  We were across the aisle from MMP (who said about 4 total words to us the entire show), next to Columbia (where Ferkin said about 4 words to us every other second), and within sight of Avalanche Press, GMT Games, and Matrix Games, with Decision Games, and others, all in the hall as well.  By 2010, there were almost no wargamers left in the building.  There were some folks playing over in the CABS Board Room (after its consolidation with the War Room), but wargaming had evaporated, not out of malice, but out of neglect.  So I called GAMA.  I talked to them and asked what sort of parameters they had for us to operate within if we wanted to try and bring the wargamers back to the show.  And thus the GrogHeads Central Command was born.  We were able to bring some wargaming companies in that hadn’t been there before, as well as bringing back some others.  And now we’re getting ready to launch our third year working with Origins, and here’s what we’ve got in store for you:

  • Enterprise Games, a retailer out of Indiana, will be the official rep/sponsor of our GMT events.  That’s right, for the first time, the Central Command will include official GMT events – we’ve got scheduled events for both COIN series games and Wing Leader, as well as the opportunity for some pick-up games of other titles, like Combat Commander and Command & Colors.
  • Lock ‘n Load Publishing is coming in.  Since the ownership change, they’ve not come back to Origins, until this year.  David is planning on bringing in a (literal) boat-load of new games off the press, and we’ll be running events for LNLT, World at War, and Nations at War.
  • Lost Battalion Games is back!  They’re the only company that’s joined forces with us every year of the GrogHeads Central Command, so we probably ought to get them some t-shirts to celebrate or something.  They’re going to be running some large ‘rolling’ events for both Sergeants – Hell on Wheels! and Rally Round the Flag that’ll permanently occupy a pair of our tables for the entire show.
  • Flying Pig Games is making their Origins debut.  Mark has committed to the show and we’ll be running events for both Night of Man and Old School Tactical.
  • Proving Ground Games is bringing back their Origins Award-winning minis rules, and taking over a table of their own with their snazzy terrain boards for a weekend of minis-based wargaming, both WWII and modern.
  • The ever-enjoyable Command Post Wargaming, wherein you and the rest of the participants get a quick primer on military planning, and then get to develop your own plan for keeping the red horde from rolling over the inter-German border.  And then you get to execute your plan and watch it fall to pieces in the first 10 minutes as you scramble to adjust while the war goes on!  Seriously, though, it’s an exercise in wargaming with a far more realistic approach to planning, intel, and logistics than you get out of any other tabletop experience.  If we get enough participants, we sometimes run this one head-to-head, so bring your friends!
  • For those that want the Command Post Wargaming experience, but are short on time, we also have the more scaled-back Command Post Chess events, where the principles of planning, intel, and execution are very similar, but with a simplified game that everyone already knows – Chess!
  • Because I’m the guy that puts all this together, I also sneak in a few events of my own, so we’re going to make sure that BayonetGames‘ long-discussed-and-eventually-to-be-published game about modern-day war in Ukraine hits the table (Orange Crush) as well as one of BayonetGames’ Warfighter-series games, Asian Thunder.

We’ve got over 50 wargaming events spread across 5 days, including some drop-in game times and a stray seminar here and there.  There’s something for everyone, so come join us this summer at Origins.  Detailed day-by-day schedule breakdowns are below –

Day-by-day schedule gridsclick to enlarge.

Our smallest schedule, since many folks are still arriving and setting up.

Our smallest schedule, since many folks are still arriving and setting up.


Games start in earnest!

Games start in earnest!  Our first Command Post Wargame is today, and the Flashpoint Campaigns seminar is being run by the developers of the game.


Our busiest day!

Our busiest day!  We’ve got events all over the place, including both an early and late edition of the Command Post Wargames.



Lots to do today, too, as we tried to make sure we’ve got almost one of everything in here somewhere.


Slowing down on the way out of town.

Slowing down on the way out of town.  We’ve got some drop-in games here, as well as the always-fun Games & Sims panel.  We’ve tried to schedule events on Sunday and they never seem to attract participants, so we’re making all of these no-ticket-required drop-in games.


A few schedule and event notes:

  • Event numbers have not yet been assigned by GAMA, and as soon as they are, we will update with the event numbers to make them easier to find.
  • When GAMA does release the schedule, you’ll find all of our events listed alphabetically as “GrogHeads Presents ________” so that our Central Command events are more immediately identifiable in the program guide.
  • Right now, the COIN events are expected to be Liberty or Death, but we want to confirm that Enterprise Games will have them in stock for participants who want to buy it after they’ve tried it.  If you’ve got a preference, drop us a line below and let us know!
  • We know that a normal COIN game takes more than 2 hours.  You’ll notice that there’s nothing stacked right behind any COIN game, so if they run long, we’ve got the time and space to absorb them.  But if we schedule them more than 2 hours, then they cost extra tickets to participate, and we wanted to keep that cost down.
  • The Team COIN games are currently planned to be A Distant Plain.  Each faction will have several team members, with some of our staff possibly filling in for other factions so we can keep teams together for the certain factions, which will put players in specific roles as government officials or military leaders on their teams, which will limit what they can do for their team each turn and create more of a team dynamic.
  • The specific LNLT games will be finalized once LNLP has the exact quantities in hand off the boat.  We’re expecting either Heroes of the ‘Nam or Heroes of the Pacific but that could change.  If you’ve got a preference, tell us below!
  • Sergeants! and Rally Round the Flag! take up their own tables of the entire weekend because of the boards that need to stay set up.  They’re planned as “rolling” games – i.e., what happens in a previous game determines the start of the next game.  Hell on Wheels brings vehicles to the Sergeants! series.
  • What about those “dead times” between events?  Some times we’ll have games run long (as we’re expecting with the COIN games).  Other times, we might just pull out something else from one of our partner exhibitors, like Command & Colors, or Dawn’s Early Light, or Sticks and Stones, and play something just for fun.
  • Don’t forget that every ticketed event includes at least one prize to give away for a random participant – and some of them have been really good over the years.  Also, every participant in a ticketed event gets a 5% discount card for a single item from one of our partner vendors, and most of the vendors will let you stack a few of those cards on that item, too.  So you might be able to get 15% off one time from one of our partner vendors, after you play in 3 of our ticketed events.
  • “Where’s (fill in the blank company)?” and/or “Why not an ASL/PanzerGrenadier/Victory Blocks event?” – we’re only allowed to run events in the GrogHeads Central Command for companies that are represented as exhibitors at the show.  That’s part of our deal with GAMA – we get space to work with to put on these events in a dedicated and unified area, and in return, we run events for the companies that show up to support and participate in Origins

So – ROLL CALL!  Who is coming to Origins to sling dice with us?!  Sound off below, or in our forums 🙂


The weekly rundown!

This week’s soundtrack:
This one came on in the car the other day, and I felt the need to crank it up very loud, and share with everyone else at the stoplight.  No, I’m not sure why.  But why not?


Game that caught my eye:
I was a sucker and plopped a few bucks on Villages of Valeria when the Kickstarter was about to end.  The game looks darn cool, and there’s a bunch of nice-sounding stretch goals.  But it’s honestly the first pure-impulse buy I’ve ever plunged on through Kickstarter.  Let’s see what comes through.


What I’m doing this week when I should be playing games:
It’s mid-semester here, so I’ve got a lot of grading to catch up on.  Oh, and juggling all of our Origins logistics.


Wouldn’t it be cool if…
We got some more companies to show up at Origins and join the wargaming fun?  It’d be awesome if we had enough participants that we had to go back to GAMA and ask for a larger area to hold our events.


This week’s poll:

Don’t forget to vote!


See you at the show!   Bayonet 06 – out!

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

5 Responses to Tracer Rounds: Origins Events!

  1. Clair Conzelman says:

    You’re doing great work here! I wasn’t planning to attend, but I will now…a day or two. Thanks!

  2. Grayson says:

    Any chance of Cuba Libre for one of the COIN game sessions (as it should be reprinted in April)? In particular, it shouldn’t take all that long and would be a nice stepping stone into the series. Really excited to see an official session for them this year instead of just a pickup game as we did last year.

    • Brant Guillory says:

      Whatever we run for the ticketed events will be the one we use for all the ticketed events, so as not to overly-impose on the vendors who are providing the playing copies of the games. That said, as the Wednesday night drop-in game, or one of the unscheduled/unticketed/late-night games, we could totally do it. It’s one of the few that I’ve not played (that and FITL), so I might even be roped into part of a game, as long as someone could tag in for me when official duties start to interfere…

  3. […] writing trade.  I’ve put together some events and presentations at game conventions (like the GrogHeads Central Command at Origins – product placement for the win, baby!), but they were always within the broader context of […]

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