Wellycon 2012 Countdown, Part 1

I first went to Wellycon in 2010, I could only make it for the Sunday afternoon, and it became part of a day out with Ann and my daughter Michaela.  Back then it was jointly held with a local wargaming convention, and being a a wargamer it had dual appeal.
Being part of another convention, the boardgamers felt lost in the space, that and the tables were rather narrow for some of the larger boards and bits.  We were warmly welcomed by a guy called Andrew, who I found out later was the prime organiser.  Invited to look at the library or games, we decided in the limited time we had left to try Ticket To Ride Europe, we were just 5 months into starting board games and already had the original game which we enjoyed.
We sat down to play and were immediately approached by a friendly woman who wanted to know if she could join in, she had not played either.  We quickly got the game underway, the play was fun and interesting, we immediately felt part of then crowd as we lay train tracks across Europe.
Our time was not long enough, there was lots to see, boxes in the library to open and check out the games inside, games being played we had only heard of, and many we had not.  There was a sense of magic, a little awe at allthe games and gamers in one spot.  Choice was everywhere.
It was a paradise we could not spend enough time in.
Yet it also gave us a feel of what we could look forward to.  Andrew took our contact details and we had an invite to the Mini-Wellycon 2011, Waitangi weekend that year and also rugby sevens weekend in Wellington.
Mini-Wellycon 2011 was held at Thistle Hall on upper Cuba Street.  Up the stairs we found Andrew at a table, white labels at the ready for name tags.  We had arrived early, well on time, with a larger crew.  This time we had Ann;s daughters Sarah and Laura, and a friend of ours, Sonna-Ra.  In turn, Sonna-Ra had arranged to meet up with some non-gaming friends later in the day.
With name badges attached, our bags of refreshments put aside, we rushed the games library table, eager to see what was new.  I quickly struck up chatting to a kiwi gal and an American, and within minutes I was sitting down for my first game of Agricola.  I had heard it was good, and big, and long, and deep.  I was unprepared, first game of the day without a warmup and it was looking like a monster!
As we finished the monster I felt drained, I had really needed a warmup first, yet my thirst was not quenched (it was in part once I remembered I was dehydrated and downed a coke).  After a quick snack of nibbles I threw myself into another game, and another, once I get going I am hard to slow down.  I had 12 hours of gaming time and I intended to get as many games under my belt as possible.
Ocassionally I popped up for air and a coke, some nuts and seeds from the lunch box.  The kids played hard, and also took a walk down Cuba Street.  Ann kept it all together and squeezed in a number of games I missed.  I ended up coaching some Dominion, learning Endeavour, and played many other games.  The night arrived and all to soon the clock was saying ‘game over dude’.
The drive home was full of interesting talk of the games we had all played and seen, bragging children of what they had done or won.  There was talk of what were the cool games we had tried, what we might like to buy.  The trip home to Raumati South was over before the talking was.
The day was incredible.  We were still buzzed the next day.  Tired, we contemplated the next Wellycon, just a few months away, with the promise of two such days in a row. Wow!
Over that same time we also acquired a number of the new games we had sampled, or put them on our ‘to get’ list.
Those first two conventions are still with us.  We have come to know a number of gamers that attend, we have played many of those same great games many times over and enjoyed them more.  They are memories of a happy family day out where we all had fun both together and with new friends.
Andrew and his team have given locals and kiwi gamers across the country a place to come and meet, play games, and chill out in the company of like minded people.  It is unofficially our national board gaming Mecca, and if you have not made the pilgramage then you are missing out on a gaming spiritual event.
Next up is what happened at my first full 2-day Wellycon and Mini-Wellycon 2012.


One thought on “Wellycon 2012 Countdown, Part 1

  1. Pingback: This Weeks Update « kapitiboardgamers

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