Sunday, 28 January 2018

Cancon 2018

Yesterday I headed down to Canberra for Cancon 2018. It's nice to go down to look around the games and stalls and chat to random people, but these days I go down for the annual bloggers' meetup as well. Only three of us managed it, but here we are. That's me on the left, Millsy of Canister and Grape in the centre and Barks of Wargaming with Barks on the right.

We met up again in the evening for food and drink, and a better chat, covering issues as diverse as the history of the Boxer Rebellion and domestic chickens as apex predators.

Cancon has now grown into three halls, which gave a lot more space and also made each hall a lot cooler than they seemed to be from previous years. Especially good was the extra space for the bring and buy.

There was, indeed, tons of stuff to be had on the bring and buy, but I confess I only saw one thing which excited me; an enormous pile of 54mm plastic ACW toy soldiers, including infantry, cavalry and artillery. All unpainted, but just the kind of toy soldiers you wouldn't paint. Of course they were in the category of Awesome, But Would I Use Them?, so I hesitated. They were still there at the end of the day, unsold. I resisted. But I was staying overnight and, whilst I had no plans to go to Cancon for a second day, I decided that I had to drive past on my way home, so I'd pop back in and see if they were still there. If they were then I was meant to have them. It would be fate.

They weren't. I don't know if they sold or not. If they didn't, and they're yours; I'd like to buy them.

I found little else to excite me on the other trade stands either, although I'm on a tight budget these days and also trying to resist buying stuff that I know I'll never paint (on the grounds that I currently loathe painting with a passion). Here's my loot:

This will fit right in with my giant monsters.

This? It's a Reaper Bones figure, but I have no idea what I'll use it for.

More Reaper Bones. They were going for a dollar each, so I picked them up on the grounds that if I ever do paint any more figures they can join my Mantic Elves.

This little beauty might be worth a quick hate-paint; he'd fit right in with my Battlesworn Dwarf warband.

I also picked up this delightful little family game.

It's a game of dexterity and a kind of reverse Jenga with elements of Uno. You have to rid yourself of a hand of roof cards by building a high building which obviously becomes more and more stable as the game progresses. Scaling the building, in a quest to fight petty crime, is Rhino Hero, who is strong, clever, brave and, sadly, very heavy. He's a wooden piece who sometimes gets moved from one roof tile to another, requiring a steady hand and a stable building. 

Catherine and Maya were keen to play it when I got home today. So we did.

Maya won the first couple of games mostly, it has to be said, by virtue of going first and none of us having quite got the knack of the (admittedly simple) card-play.

(You can just see Rhino Hero on the second level from the top if you look closely)

After a couple of games our building skills got more impressive.

This was one of the highest buildings we managed.

Sadly Rhino Hero hadn't thought to track down corrupt building inspectors, and his crime-fighting efforts initiated a disaster (with Maya's help).

There are two sizes of this game. I got the smaller one, because it has great pub potential for when we go away. Look out for Rhino hero coming to a rural NSW pub near you!

Returning to Cancon, I did have an issue with the handful of demonstration games. I visited each one, and stood quietly watching them, or looking at what was on display. I chose not to speak to anyone, but not a single person at the tables took the time to speak to me. Guys, the point of a demo game isn't to spend the day playing with your mates. It's to engage and communicate with the other people at the event. I'd like to see more of that next year.

Anyway, that's Cancon done for another year. As you can see I took the step of attending as the lovely Rachel, which was a first for me for any wargames event. Whilst I seem, and am, very confident about such things, it was still a big step, but one I'm quite happy to do again. 

A big thank-you to John and Cathy for putting me up for the night, as well as everyone else for simply putting up with me.


  1. Replies
    1. It would be great to see you. And you could join the blogger-meet as well!

  2. Can't go wrong with a con where you end up with a pile of random figures :-)

  3. I've heard of Rhino Hero, looks great!

    1. The way it was being promoted by one of the stalls you would have thought it was a new game, but it's been around for quite a few years. But there are two sizes of the game (I bought the smaller, as it was cheaper and is pub-portable), so maybe one of the sizes of the game is new.

  4. Did you make it to the Wings of Glory participation game? Alas, I didn't see you. Possibly because I suddenly lost the sight in my left eye and so had to be driven to Canberra Hospital. My son took over, but you really need two people, one to referee, the other to greet rubberneckers.

    1. I saw it, yes. I walked slowly around the table looking at each of the planes. There were a number of quite unusual ones I didn't recognise. I looked at them quite closely.

      No-one approached me. So I wandered off.


      (Sorry to hear about your eye. I had a massive migraine at Cancon a couple of years ago; it's not a fun place at which to be feeling poorly)

    2. But I agree about having enough people on the table to deal with people watching. There should always be a to least on person whose job it is to talk to them.


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