Monday, May 14, 2018

HUZZAH! CONVENTION GAME PREP

This is a quick post to share the madness that is my game preparation. This week is the lead up to the excellent Huzzah! gaming convention, where I'll be running my aforementioned Loot the Baggage Train scenario on Saturday morning.  For our friends across the pond, this is a participation game, as are all the games at US conventions. Normally, at this stage of the process, the game is ready to go and it's just a matter of final inventory and pack up. This year, however, I'm behind where I normally am in the process (for many reasons). Thus, I am on a tight schedule to wrap up the remaining prep between now and Saturday morning. Thankfully, I don't have to actually paint any figures, but there are other things to be done. Tonight, the time was devoted to adjusting the terrain for the six player convention game (the playtest only had three), as well as getting the figures sorted and ready.

The geometry of the terrain will be important given that there will be six players converging on the baggage train, so the relative distances, the placement of baggage guards, and the cache locations must be equitable. I spent a good amount of the evening working out these points.  The playtest didn't help with these since it was  only with three players and on a smaller table.  Once done, I was ready to take the next step, which is to mark and label the terrain outlines with masking tape (above)...
...this particular game has fairly complex terrain, so there is more up front work than normal in this step.  The picture above shows the table in the process of terrain removal....
...Once the game mat is marked, I then pull and bag the terrain.  I combine this with digital photos of the setup as well.  When I get to the convention, all I have to do is roll out the battle mat, pull out the bagged terrain, spot it in on the table in the marked location and configuration, and yank the tape: poof, all set up! I double check things with the digital photos or use them as a backup in case something comes undone.
I also broke down the figures and separated them into player-commands. This step really brought home that the convention is nigh!

My goal was to take care of the figures and terrain tonight, to include packing them up. I didn't get that far. I'll be packing the game up tomorrow and then shifting emphasis to getting the components of the game system ready--my friend AJ has a laser and we spent the day on Sunday producing some player tracking boards to support game play. These will replace the paper tracking sheets seen in the post on the playtest, and I believe they will really help to facilitate play (both for the players and for me running the game).  I'll need to stain, paint, and put labels on those this week. To get that done, I'll have to really manage my time well.  I'll have a separate post showing those later.

So there, dear readers, is a window into my over the top convention preparation.  I find that time spent in preparation like this more than pays for itself when setting up a game under convention conditions. Your mileage may vary, of course.
Excelsior!

8 comments:

  1. You are a model of organization, Ed!

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    1. Ironically, much of this is borne of laziness. My pre convention self does all of this so that my convention self can have as easy a time as possible.

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  2. I've been a little unsettled since yesterday morning when I packed up my game. Don't think I've EVER had everything packed 2 days before I hit the road. Hard to shake the feeling that I must have missed something......

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    1. I managed to box up the terrain and figs, but then had to break into them whilst searching for something, anyway.

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  3. I’ve found over the years that ‘winging it’ seems to be the norm at most of my demo games...
    Myself and careful organisation are mere acquaintances...

    Have fun ...

    All the best. Aly

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    1. The trappings of organization sometimes are as good or better than the real thing: worked for Potemkin :)

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  4. Very nice organizer for a convention game. The tape is a really good idea as well. I might borrow that idea. đŸ˜€

    Good luck at the con.

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    1. Thanks, Stew, I hope to remember to get some pictures of my game.

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