Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The Road to Cancon I - Background

You gotta love a cool hat!
I have been involved in wargaming since I was 12 and was hooked in a public participation WWII game using "Operation Warboard" rules. When I was involved in a games club in Melbourne we focussed regularly on "Open Days" where we only had public participation games.  This is how our club grew quickly from 20 or so members to 100.
My wargaming lessened as work and young family and moving interstate intervened.  But as my boys became old enough I visited Cancon to participate in the demo games and catch up with old acquaintances.
Some of the games are really good, focussing on what a new player needs.
But many demo games - while looking great - did not attract many new gamers.  They typically required too high a commitment from a visitor in terms of time and rule knowledge.
Late last year we discovered Bolt Action. There wasn't a demo game for the rules at Cancon, but I was able to pick up a copy of the rules.  In my research about the rules I noticed that the designers had a number of sources they used for inspiration - including Commando comics, Hogans Heroes, and lots of war movies. That reflects in the way the game plays and was perfect for a new gamer.
Now we had the game we wanted to use in a Public Participation Game.
I wanted to run a game and apply all the best practices to make this a great introduction for new players and be fun for participants and players and spectators.
We had a year to plan so it was time to begin...

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