First of all, I wish to apologize for the delay, usually I write these things the day I get home. It’s been a busy week at work. Long story short, I went to the 1d4con event in Martinsburg, WV last weekend, Saturday and Sunday, is is an AAR of sorts, with some observations and impressions at the end, plus some coverage of a game of OGRE version 6 I played. If you’ve been reading on along faithfully, you know OGRE and I are old, old friends, so I wasn’t going to devote a lot of space to a game I was already quite familiar with. At least that was the plan, we’ll see!
1D4Con is an event I’ve meant to attend for years now. I think there’s been 4 or 5 of them, starting in Winchester and moving farther out to Martinsburg a few years ago. This is a smaller venue than HMGS conventions and definitely a modest site compared to them– just 2 major ballrooms and a few conference rooms. The very capable staff did a great job maximizing the space they had, though, and they were both courteous and innovative. I pre-registered for this convention about two weeks out and pre-registered for events. 1D4con is apparently part of a group or chain of conventions that share the same registration system which is a bonus. By this, I mean there appear to be other 1d4cons in other states. The venue, being on the smaller side, was actually filled up for hotel rooms when I called almost 3 weeks out, which was sobering. However, I did get a room in the Quality Inn next door, no muss, no fuss and half the Holiday Inn rate. Not bad. Decent hotel, too.
For someone schooled in the HMGS convention model, which featuring huge staffs and big infrastructure investments, the simple approach the 1D4Con people took to event scheduling was kind of refreshing. Events went up on the wall, on the hour, by the hour, but they were mostly in standard time slots. Get this, no tickets! Just a sign on the wall with the players who signed up for what and blanks for any open slots.
On the tables were table toppers that featured inserts to show you what would be running on that table for that day. Ingenious and elegant.
A great system for smaller conventions, but I’m not sure it would scale upwards.
1D4Con is primarily a RPG game convention. That means, lots and lots of games that look like this:
The problem with roleplaying games is that a bunch of people staring at a DM screen isn’t the most colorful subject for photography, no matter how fun the game is. There were a few miniatures games, for certain… but they were teeny things that I don’t regularly play:
The convention was set up to raise money for a couple of local charities, via Extra Life and a few other local funds. I was impressed– even Bake Sales raised money. I loved that!
I didn’t’ come up to 1D4Con to play just miniature skirmish games, so the focus on RPGs is just fine by me. I’ll play just about anything once… except, maybe, LARPing (which was present btw). I meant to get into something conventional, like D&D Fifth Edition or Pathfinder, but instead ended up playing Cthulhu Wars (which is a miniatures heavy boardgame), OGRE version six (more on that below) and The Quiet Year, (which is kind of sort of a RPG, I guess). I wanted to play Call of Cthulhu (RPG) but didn’t really have a handy time slot for it. In general, I really liked the convention– I wish they had more vendors, but it was okay that they didn’t. I did end up buying some Reaper Bones figures from one and the new version of Zendo from the other, so I feel like I gave them some business.
Saturday night I played OGRE version six. Now if you know aught of my tastes, constant reader, you know I know this game already, and have played this since I was an actual teenager– so I won’t be breaking this out into a separate post. What was a treat was playing in the super duper expanded size deluxe counter style that is a product of that line after it got kickstarted some years ago. This isn’t the coffee table sized version that came out in 2011, but a more compact version that just has some similar components but not all. It also isn’t OGRE Miniatures, although we did end up playing with those later instead of counters. I played two games.. one a one-on-one with a very good OGRE player, another with a multiple player four on four game. I really enjoyed both games.
I got crushed (eventually) in the first game with the traditional OGRE map, and the second game was kind of a draw. I love seeing the miniatures get out.
So that was my 1D4Con. I really enjoyed it. I discovered Martinsburg really isn’t that far. It’s only an hour and a half’s drive from my place, and it’s a beautiful drive. I’d go again, and run miniatures games for this gig (which it sorely needs). Maybe I’ll bring War Rocket and Frostgrave next year.
If you want to see the slideshow of all the pictures I took, and there are a ton of them, click this link.
Here’s a little audio narration.
And finally, in the words of a gentle cosplayer..