This one being written in the aftermath of the awesome Armchair Dragoons Digital Con ( ACDC ) January 2022.
I’ve came to enjoy the ACDC weekends – the second I’ve attended ( unless memory tricks me in my old age ).
Being a dedicated digital con it allows for the worldwide community to join and share the tables and, at least for once, play a game together.
It may not be anyone’s favourite game but that’s exactly the point of the cons – to explore titles that players are not familiar with and discover new periods, new designs, and with that new venues for the upcoming year.
With this in mind the selection of January for the ACDC is quite perfect as it hits the start of the year and hope that in the future editions there’s more prototypes being shown, so there’s maybe a window of opportunity here for half a day dedicated to “prototypes” and emergent designers to participate with a worldwide audience outside of the normal day to day “bee gee gee” maelstrom.
Another aspect of the ACDC is that it offers the wide array of the wargaming aspect, from the kriegsspiel monumental games from the IKS ( International Kriegsspiel Society ) to the professional projects, panels and exercises by the GUWS and associates. Obviously in between there’s all the awesome board wargaming and miniatures and the all important Wargames Bootcamp – a pillar in the digital cons ( and face to face ones ) as to explain how to use the platforms and how to play the games. This effort cannot go without all the praise it can get.
For reference and raise your interest for future editions the entire event schedule is available here – https://www.armchairdragoons.com/events/cons/theacdc-finalized-schedule/
As anyone can see the offer is amazing and you’ll find yourself juggling with what to attend and how long it lasts.
One aspect I do not enjoy so much is the balance act pending heavily towards panels and non interactive presentations but it is understandable that it all comes down to the availability of GMs and games being setup.
Having been my own debut as a GM in a con, even if a digital one from my comfortable chair, I must say that the experience was foundational for the future edification of an assured presence in future editions.
I had the pleasure of presenting one session of the board wargame – War of the Triple Alliance – which evolved perfectly from presenting the participants with how the game is ruled to them being able to play the game almost without the GM crutch. Obviously the interaction was constant as I kept reminding them to not forget forces in areas and suggesting strategies.
Was a blast and had good laughs and cannot by be thankful enough for a full table in a session I planned for 90 minutes and extended for well over twice that ! It attests well to the quality of the game, the immersion of the players during the session and the fun we all had.
Had the chance to sit at two tables, one on Saturday and one on Sunday and both were some of the most popular.
One was with David Thompson and his showcase of Lanzerath Ridge and was a very pleasing time. David enthusiasm is contagious and is definitely a character after my own heart as he transpires the love for the narrative about to be played in the table and I bet he could talk about the subject of the game for hours on end.
I knew I was going to hit that table and as such avoided watching any media about the game prior to it, as to not be spoiled and enjoy that “first contact” awe. As I didn’t play any title on the valiant defence series I could appreciate the game in a genuine way without being bound to comparisons and it turned out to be a very pleasing narrative experience with a lot of aspects for the player to think about while definitely learning on that particular engagement.
The other table I attended was Purple Haze by Phalanx Games. This title caught my eye before when Moe’s Game Table presented it and having the chance to be “hands on” with the TTS ( tabletop simulator ) module gave me a sense of what the game might become. It is very reminiscent of previous games, both tabletop and computer, such as Sabre Team. Command a “team” of marines in Vietnam through a fairly proto-dynamic “write your own adventure” type of experience.
Very pleasing components and gameplay presents a lot of opportunity for development – which is exactly the state in which the project is albeit coming soon in crowdfunding effort.
That sums up the highlights and not wanting to go in detail about all the panels I’ve watched and the great after hours ( literally for us EU crowd it was already before hours!! ) with the gang.
Looking forward to setup game tables using Tabletop Simulator through 2022 and I am always open to setup games or join your games. Hit me up with message in whatever platforms you may or through the Armchair Dragoons forums and I will be more than glad to do sessions of the game i’ve demo’ed in the con ( read above ) or anything else. Can also guide you through seamless usage of tabletop simulator for both 3d wargaming and how to enjoy “vassal” mode with TTS – seriously, use stack exploder and use top down camera and you’re golden.
Thank you, have a good week.
Stay strong ! Keep wargaming.