Strategicon’s OrcCon, held over President’s Day weekend, featured open gaming and lots of tournaments, with Richard Breese as the Guest of Honor and yours truly as Special Guests.
OrcCon was the first convention in our West by Southwest Tour and a great way to kick off the Southern California leg of the trip. It all started on Friday with new evening dealer hall hours, which meant we got in on the fun early. Saturday saw the crowds really grow and the open gaming tables were filled quickly. That evening, we were honored to be a part of a Q&A panel with Richard Breese and hosted by Eric Burgess, the Special Events organizer. The questions were great, and hearing Richard’s insights as a veteran designer was a real treat. The podcast of the entire interview will be available on Boardgame Babylon in just a few days. We’ll let you know as soon as it’s posted.
Our tables in the dealer hall were constantly busy as we met tons of our existing fans, introduced our games to a whole new group, and signed copies of games for all comers. We had some great demo games of Castle Panic with young players, which is always fun for us. We especially love it when kids who can barely see over the table are slaying monsters and trading cards like pros and diving into The Wizard’s Tower with huge grins on their faces. The convention also attracts many up-and-coming game designers. We met several gamers who had lots of questions about breaking into the industry, how to get games published, or advice on playtesting. It’s always nice to be able to pass along any input we can, and Southern California seems to be a hotbed for new game design.
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Sunday saw more demo games and a Bears! tournament in the afternoon. The competition was fierce as our starting three tables quickly came down to the three winners, who moved on to the final round with Anne-Marie. After lots of sleeping, shooting, and running, the dust settled and our winner, Jenny, went home with her victory copy of the game!
That evening, Anne-Marie was asked to fill in as a partner in the Tichu tournament. It was her first time playing the trick-taking game and while her team came in fourth, she had a blast! Afterward we were drawn back to our latest addiction, the cooperative starship bridge simulator, Artemis. This computer game has been a favorite of ours for a while now, and OrcCon featured a special room setup just for this purpose. We joined in for a few battles and even got to go up against some Klingons in the latest Star Trek mod for the game. The universe was saved thanks to Captain Anne-Marie and her faithful weapons officer, Justin.
Monday was a short day, and the crowds were definitely thinning as everyone headed home. We sold our last copies of Castle Panic and even sold the demo copy right off of our table! We said our goodbyes to the new friends we made, packed up the van, and made our way out to our new hotel, where we’ll be coordinating the rest of our L.A. trip. Overall it was a great convention, and we were glad to be a part of it. Stay tuned for details of our upcoming in-store appearances!