As a kid, I have fond memories of heading to CanCon - Australia's largest gaming event, held in Canberra each Australia day long weekend - and diving head-first in hours-and-hours-and-hours of non-stop D&D. These days, CanCon is largely tabletop games and miniatures, though there is a significant Patherfinder and D&D group present. However, CanCon has lost none of its buzz.
A highlight of the Con is the open games library: game fans and the general public alike walked in, grabbed a game and found like-minded players. The laughter, cries of joy and howls of defeat were testament to the success of this event. I joined in and played Splendor (an amazing game!) and Race to the Galaxy (won, but I don't quite know how!). I'll be back next year to join in.
I took a camera and wandered the halls, snapping up shots of miniatures on the field of battle. No 'keep in the glass case minis' here. These are working minis... one's that don't mind getting bloody in the heat of battle! Check out the gallery.
Another high point where the stalls: great big fat discounts on many tabletop games and wargames, minis, and collectible goodies. For me, the highlights were the Level Up Dice folks, whose luxury gemstone dice left me breathless (and a little lighter of pocket.) The titanium dice were scary tempting, but probably not worth the divorce that could ensure if I gave into the temptation.
I did, however, grab a copy of Daemon Dice, a collectable dice game that plays in about 10min and is brutally good fun. I also grabbed a copy of Muskets and Tomahawks for Deniable author, Stuart McDermid. Personally, I'd have named this game 'Muskets and Mohawks' as alliteration's awesome!
Another amazing store was Geek Cakes. The name of the store says it all. I did not buy a cake. Tempting, but then I remembered the cake is a lie. (Check out the Game of Thrones Wedding Cake!)
All in all, it was a wonderful few days of being immersed in all manner of geek style, culture and fun. It was fantastic to see the families with excited, smiling children, to see strangers becoming friends over gaming tables, and to just feel like I belonged here.
I'll be heading back to CanCon next year.