This weekend I got over to Bloomington, Illinois for FlatCon, a young and enthusiastic little convention. My very first con experience was in Bloomington, at the Frontier Wars convention held annually right up to around the time that GDW went under. That was a good little con. I got hooked on BattleTech there, bought my original Call of Cthulhu boxed set, and even played in my first AD&D tournament at Frontier Wars. I also played my first game of Traveller at Frontier War, which went so badly I didn't touch the stuff again for a decade or so. Ah, the opportunities missed.
Anyway, this was the first game convention both my daughter Elizabeth and my nephew the ninja were allowed to attend. we all played a great minis game called The Battle of Playmobiletoyetic. The three of us played the ghost pirate faction. Cameron killed a shark with a laser beam made of octopuses. Elizabeth and I wound up at the bottom of the ocean, visiting our old pal Davy Jones. Cameron traded the treasure he had found for safe passage from the vikings, who won the battle after sinking both the British Frigate and the Pirates of the Caribbean.
Upon our arrival my daughter insisted that we immediately hit the snack bar for a hot dog, which she considers to be the food of the gods.
Playmobile Bay prior to the start of the game. We ghost pirates took out the French garrison in the small fortress and pressganged the piratical prisoners in their dungeon. Talk about going from the frying pan into the fire. One of the three prisoners, the disheveled fellow I had dubbed Pirate Pete, was later marooned on the scary face island in the middle of the map.
My daughter swears vengeance upon the opposition.
The game was played using simplified Savage Worlds rules and you got an extra benny if you wore a silly pirate hat. I opted for the mask instead of the Long John Silvers hat.
You can't really tell from the pic, but this Death Star had to be at least 4 feet in diameter. Those two little thingies just to the left of the main emitter dish are TIE Fighters from the collectible minis game. The whole thing had been constructed with magnets or velcro or something so that a 2-D space battle could occur on the spherical surface of the station. My sister says the same guy who did this also has a globe where they play Risk the same way.
The shopping was better this FlatCon than the last one I had attended. More game stores in attendance, fewer niche outfits and anime vendors. (Nothing against the hardcore anime fans, I just want game crap at my game conventions.) Cool Illinois game shops Castle Perilous and the Game Room both showed up with a hearty selection of gamer crap. The nice folks from the Game Room had the two Knuckleduster books I was wanting to get on sale, so I snagged 'em both. I'm totally digging the Knuckleduster Firearms Shop. Yay, cowby gun porn! The oddest thing about the vendors were that between three or so places they had 2 complete copies of Avalon Hill's old fantasy RPG Powers & Perils and two modules for it. I'm not sure I personally know anyone who has even read that one, much less played it. Yet at this particular FlatCon if you were into P&P they could hook you up.
One other cool thing happened at this con. As we were heading out to dinner Colin Orendorff was heading in to the con. I hadn't seen that dude since maybe 1993. He was part of my original grade school/junior high/high school game group and we plain just lost contact after graduation. It was cool seeing him. Stupid me, I forgot to get his email address. My sister stayed later than I did and on the way home my wife called her and asked her to track him down and get some contact info. I hope that panned out.
The Infinite City on the Water
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