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.