Gaming Stream

Hi, I'm Terry, and I'm looking after gaming this year.

I've been attending Swancon for some twenty-plus years, and one aspect of the program that keeps me coming back is the gaming stream. I'm aiming to make the con gaming accessible and welcoming. I want to introduce newcomers to the hobby and to make sure that everyone – from casual to hard-core gamer – has the opportunity to enjoy some gaming. I'd also like to be able to explore and discuss aspects of the hobby that don't involve actual gameplay.

With some assistance from the West Australian Boardgaming Association, we will make available an enjoyable menu of games – new and old – beyond the 'usual suspects' and supply the volunteers to teach you to play.

While boardgame-centric (I am a boardgame evangelist), there is also space in the program for roleplaying and miniature gamers to highlight their favourite gaming forms. Please let me know if you are interested in adding events to the program.

An Invitation To Game

Come and save the world from deadly diseases in Pandemic, compete to create the most elaborate sushi recipes in Wasabi or race across space in a rickety starship in Galaxy Trucker....

Modern boardgames (also called Euro- , Designer- or German-games) share a number of characteristics which distinguish them from better known games (the Risk and Monopoly of our youth perhaps. They tend to be playable in a relatively short period of time (usually 60-90 minutes), have relatively simple rules, be well balanced (it is rare for a player to be out of contention halfway through a game) and generally avoid direct conflict between players. High production values are common – these games often look beautiful.

Sessions will run from 10AM to 6PM on Friday and Sunday, at scheduled times, starting with a brief discussion of modern games and their mechanics. Knowlegeable and enthusiatic game guides will teach groups how to play a variety of games. Each different game you play during the day will give you an entry in the draw for a daily boardgame prize.

A wide selection of games will be available, and players will be able to 'book in' to play a game at a particular time.

Call for volunteers: I'm looking for gamers to take a shift or two welcoming people and teaching games. I'm putting together a menu of light to medium-weight games with a play time of 30-90 minutes – suggestions are welcome (if you can bring a copy, even better !) (Pick Me!)

Monster Game Sessions

Conquer of connive your way to the Imperial throne in Twilight Imperium, match (or lose) your wits against eldrich abominations in Arkham Horror or lead your legions to victory in Conquest of the Empire.

Some games just won't fit neatly into a short space of time. These are grand, sprawling affairs with lots of detail, that will take 3-4 (or more !) hours to play. Just getting everyone together for a game can be a challenge in itself.... but that's what cons are for !

To facilitate the larger games, players will be able to sign up to play a game each evening (from about 8PM). Games will have a host who will teach new players the rules and, to ensure they start on time, reserve players who can fill a slot if a player cannot fulfill their commitments.

Call for volunteers: I'm looking for people to host their favourite game. You'll need to be able to teach new players and preferably have a copy of the game. (Pick Me!)

Print and Play – A Workshop

Green AND greed is the motto as you make your own copy of the enjoyable (and free !) Space Junk.

The popularity of modern games has lead some designers to release them as free do-it-yourself editions, so-called 'Print-And-Play' games. Often the components are best described as 'functional'. If the game is good enough, other gamers might decide to improve the components. If the game is good enough, it might be picked up by a publisher for commercial release (as will happen with the game we will make, Space Junk).

This workshop will be run on Saturday, for 5 people, and take about two hours. In that time you will learn about 'PnP' games, where to find them and then go ahead and make your own copy of Space Junk.

Materials and tools will be provided. Sharp knives are involved, so this workshop is not suitable for children.

Call for participants: Places are limited. If there is enough interest the workshop can be run twice.

Gaming With Children – A Workshop

What board games work well with kids ? What are your experiences ? Where do you GET all these games ?

Many modern games are suitable for family play. Some companies (such as HABA) produce innovative games for children of all ages. This workshop is an open discussion about gaming with children as young as three, and will provide children (and grownups !) with an opportunity to explore and play some of these games. We'll also talk about finding copies of games that are not readily available in Australian toy stores.

Call for volunteers: I'm looking for participants to discuss their experiences and to bring along games they love to play with kids. (Pick Me!)

Wings of War – Big Aussie Dogfight

Clear your guns...get ready for a dogfight.

Wings of War is a simple miniatures game of air combat in World War One. The world record game had 41 planes on the table. There is no Australian record. Yet.

We will gather on Monday morning for the game. Players will be divided into two teams and points will be awarded for hits, kills and for surviving the dogfight.

Call for volunteers: Obviously looking for as many interested players as possible. I can get hold of 30-40 miniatures, but if you have planes of your own they will be most welcome. (Pick Me!)

First Contact : A Puzzle Hunt

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A puzzle hunt is a team event where players compete to solve cryptic puzzles. Each correctly solved puzzle earns points for the team – and the next clue in the chain. The game will run over several days of the 'con – teams can spend as much or as little time on the game as they like.

Call for volunteers: I need a couple of assistants to help with logistics. (Pick Me!)


Role-playing – Pick up and Play

In the event of there being no formal role-playing events, copies of several of Deep7's 1PG games will be available. These are simple RPG rules (that fit on a single page) along with 5 or 6 linked scenarios, ideal for organising a game with minimal preparation. Available games will include Dime Heroes (pulp), Exosuit A-OK, Six-Gun, Dashiyo, Pax Gladius, Broadsword, Medieval Mysteries and War of the Worlds.

Role-playing Events

Please contact me if you are interested in running a role-playing game at the 'con. I'm particularly interested in unusual games that players may not have been exposed to, and games that can be run over a 2-3 hour block.

Miniature Gaming Events

Please contact me if you are interested in teaching or demonstrating miniatures games at the 'con. I'm particularly interested in seeing games that haven't had wide exposure and games that allow groups or teams of players to participate.