21 August 2010

SydCon 2010 report (or what the hell just happened?)

Back from a long day at SydCon which started out in utter chaos, you would believe you had entered the Eye of terror or some similar piece of the galaxy where things are really bad.

Apparently the staff had not double but triple booked the room in which we were going to have a field store and demo tables. The two other store managers were not only surprised by already having to share the room with each other but all of a sudden there would be 5 more people and a shitload of merchandise and table and demo games - in a room no bigger than 10-12m by 6m.

Luckily, we (the demo players) finally brokered a deal that allowed us to be in the room where all the "board game people" were hanging out, at first they were not fond of us demoing a miniature wargame but after I jokingly said "well.... at least it's not GW" we were allowed in and were pretty much welcome.
Anyway, so after 1,5 hour we had unpacked, I had brought along my laptop and managed to hook it up with some constant power supply and ran my Incursion/SoTR YouTube videos on it for the duration of our stay.
I think that was probably the best thing we came up with, it spawned some interest since you could see the computer from the entire room.

Other than that, I have to say that it was warm, I hate conventions, my feet are killing me and I'm happy I had some people I could relate to (Anton/Naymari and Calle/Millmir were also holding demo's). My throat is sore and I think I sound as if I've smoked 5 packs of cigarettes a day for 40 years. We ran a few demo's and I think there was some interest, but in general I see SydCon as kind of shrinking in importance, size and good organization from year to year over the last 3 years when I've been around. I think most pushing of the SoTR was done by explaining the setting and the story of the game itself rather than doing demos.

There is something that happens with people when you start talking about the game, and they nod along, and you see the transformation when you start talking about all the things like Soviet invading Sweden, mechas, nazi zombies and werewolves, genetic experiments and stuff like that. And see that description of escalating madness really brings a smile to their lips.

I did have some fun moments of holding SoTR demo's, in one game I was playing the US side and had one man left in a squad - so I thought I would show how grenades work. And threw a single grenade at the advancing zombie horde, the guy testing the German side rolls snake eyes and manage to pick up and throw back the grenade KILLING my model - LOL! Very funny. He also managed to tear up an entire fire team with a werewolf attack. I believe he was quite pleased with the game as he went for his brother(?) and they tried the scenario again, this time they both controlled the two sides with me supervising it all.

Oddly enough there was almost no one trying out Incursion, contrary to last year where it was the main source of attraction. Odd because this was after all the "boardgame room". Calle is going to demo the game tomorrow again so I'll check with him and see how it went.

That was pretty much SydCon for me. There were of course tournaments in WH40k, Warmachine and Flames of War going on, but these were held in a separate building - and I'm telling you now - I believe all those who participated had to be zombies since there was no way in hell a normal human could have sustain regular respiratory functions in the damp place with zero oxygen. I started sweating like even as we approached the main hall, the mass of bodies just generated that crazy amount of heat. Thank God we had a huge room with lots of oxygen for our demos among the boardgame crowd.

The weirdest shit today happened during lunch. Oh man! I wish I had taken pictures of it, it is almost impossible to explain in good enough detail but I will try, it was really hilarious.

Lunch, now for those Swedes following this blog - I would NOT advice on eating at this place called "Heleneholmsgrillen" if I recall the name correctly located in Malmö. If they ever make a proper "Gordon’s Kitchen Nightmares - Swedish edition" I think Gordon Ramsey would have had a field day with the owner. I think I would be madder about it all, if not for the pure insanity of how awful and stupid the whole thing was. It's like when you watch a movie that is so bad that it actually becomes good and you start laughing instead of cursing about wasted money.

We were 3 people that went to this place, the guy running the shop when we arrived move with the agility of a sedated Sloth creature, and he had this perfect system where he only took the order from 1 person at a time - and finished that order before asking for what the next person wanted. This soon resulted in a line of 8 people. At some point a woman got a nervous breakdown and yelled - "For fu** sake, you have 2 more people in there?! Why aren't they helping out!!?"

I was like, "What, there are more people working here?". True enough, things started moving - a tiny bit faster. But in general it was just more confused. Anyway, the funny thing was that when the food started to arrive, it arrived one at a time. So Calle got his good first. Then I got mine, at which point Calle's was not warm anymore, when Anton got his food Calle's was cold, mine was not warm and Anton's was fresh.

Calle and Anton ordered burgers and french fries, normally you would expect some kind of paper wrapping around the burgers and a paper bag - not here. No wrapping, and everything thrown loose into a thin garbage bag- tied in a knot as if it WAS garbage. I guess in the end it proved pretty accurate. I ordered Kebab, usually I don't order Kebab from places I've never been too, as sometimes you get meat that tastes like roadkill. This time the meat itself was good, BUT, (beside the fact that it was stored in a bucket....? ) I think the guy had never cooked food in his entire life as I have never seen meat that burnt. I was basically served french fries garnered with lumps of coal. Covered in garlic sauce that tasted of nothing, but Calle said my breath was smelling of pure garlic - good thing he said that or else I would have kept doing demos without flushing my mouth beforehand lol.

Of course, we were all hungry as hell at this point, so we took our chances with food poisoning, the Kebab was kept in some bucket in the back ?! and my styrofoam food container had a 1" big hole in the bottom - I think it looked as if it either had been gnawed by rodents or had been dripped on by some acid. And the burgers were said to taste like crap.

I hope you guys enjoyed reading this little description of my "adventures" from today.


  1. Fyfan så sjukt, jag skulle aldrig våga äta på såna små skitställen man inte vet något om!

    Du har förresten just beskrivit anledningarna till att jag inte vill gå på konvent; mycket folk, varmt, dåligt med syre, dåliga möjligheter till bra mat etc...

  2. Hehe, kul att prata med och visa upp spel för folk dock. Den biten gillar jag, men resten är verkligen inte något för mig. Jag vet ärligt talat inte hur folk överlevde i turneringshallen som hyste alla 3 spel (Warmachine/WH40k/Flames of War). Det var svårt att andas redan i korridoren innan spelhallen, och jag kände mig klibbig efter 2 minuter stående strax utanför.

  3. Satan vad svårt det ska vara att kommentera då. Nåja, tycker du tar i rätt mycket när du säger att Antons hamburgare var fresh. Det är väl det enda man inte kan säga om de burgarna...

    I övrigt en ganksa kass dag, som dig gillar jag att visa spelen men när man börjar med en sådan kalasdålig start har jag lite svårt att hämta mig. Nåja, vi får väl se hur det går imorgon då skulle jag sitta närmare butiken tydligen får se om det är på gott eller ont.

  4. Gav upp konvent för längesen, av ovan nämnda anledningar. går iofs på minst en mässa om året men då känner jag personalen och kan smita "backstage"för friskluft.

  5. Trevligt att du tittade förbi Dennis, jag undrar hur det är på konvent utomlands, där det är riktigt stort. Det kan inte vara lika kaotiskt, trångt och varmt. Har faktiskt bara varit på SydCon och RydCon. Båda två är små konvent, RydCon hade en schysst luftig lokal året jag var med. Dock skulle även den vara skitvarm i år när konventet hölls mitt i sommaren då det var runt 30 grader och sol ute.

  6. So, having played the demo scenario a few times how did it work out? Any tweeks you would make?

  7. The Germans won in this scenario, I think the people testing the game were out for more fun than actually winning though.

    For instance they packed the zombie horde really tight around the pinger and just marched after the nearest enemy unit. In my first run as the Americans I held back a bit and did stuff that I normally don't do - mostly for demo purposes of different weapons and rules. It would be really easy (if you wanted to) to outrun the zombie horde if deployed in such a tight formation instead of being deployed in a long line covering the entire board.

    The Snipers proved quite good, in my first demo as the Americans my opponent inflicted a disorganized result on the unit escorting the submarine captain, that unit didn't regroup until after 3 turns!

    Don't know if this was perfectly balanced, but I think it worked for the purpose of showing off some rules, some of the weird units and a mix of template weapons (grenades/flamethrowers) etc.

    I think I would run it again next time I do a demo. It takes about 10 minutes to get going and about 30 minutes to finish.

    Last year I ran a demo that was "Brainwurst" but with 3 werewolves instead, that one was real fast and lot of fun. But of course I like when both players have some ranged weapons so I made these changes. Brainwurst with werewolves is something you can play in 15 minutes and explaining takes about 5.


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