Latest News

Thursday night room rates confirmed

An increasing number of people are now turning up for the con one day early to take advantage of the fact that the con starts on Friday much earlier than it used to.

The numbers are not large enough for the Hallmark to offer the same cheap rate they offer for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but the hotel has agreed to offer a discount on the its regular rates.

Long story short, the room rates for Thursday are 5 above the standard con rates. You can book directly via the hotel; phone 'em up and ask for the Thursday night room rate and, just to be on the safe side, check what that room rate is. I am assuming it is +5 per room, but it might be per person.

Hats off to ManorCon

The recent ManorCon in July was another terrific affair, as smoothly run as ever. Even the weather was not as sweaty as it sometimes is, and the only downer was not being able to rib jovial Aussie and ManorCon committee member Steve Jones about the cricket - ManorCon coinciding with the one weekend this year where the Aussies bothered to turn up.

MidCon open for business

We are now taking bookings. A booking form is available for download - see the menu on the left. As of August 9, registrations were slightly ahead of 2014.

You can register for the event online. You will get a message about a security certificate. Just ignore this; it is Microsoft's way of trying to control the world. 

Life gets a bit complicated if you are trying to book a room online and involves remembering a password, or something. I'll have more details on this soon. If in doubt, send us an email using the Queries box in the menu on the left.

MidCon sets new record

We may be biased, but we think the 2014 event went very well, notwithstanding the leaking roof in one of the satellite gaming rooms, which seemed to be sorted by the traditional remedy of placing a bucket underneath it.

Registrations totalled 210, up from 186 last year and 169 the year before, so we are sticking by our claim that we are the fastest growing games convention in the UK, though I suppose there could be a con that last year only had two people turn up and which this year had three, so it is a difficult claim to prove.

So far as we know, the number of registrations was a new high. The con has been going for well over 30 years and records from the early days are a bit sketchy, but I would be very surprised if MidCon has topped 200 registrations before, though there was a period for a couple of years when the con was held in Birmingham when we had to book an overspill hotel; then again, that hotel in Brum is not as big (or as nice) as the hotel we currently use.

MidCon booklet

The con booklet for 2014 is still available to download and print and probably won't change much, save to add a few restaurant reviews or amend existing ones. For instance, Cucina (which is probably Italian for kitchen) has been wrongly listed as a Spanish restaurant, when it is, in fact, a middling Italian.

A number of us dined in the Hallmark restaurant on Sunday night and found it very acceptable, and reasonably priced.. 

Dates for 2015

MidCon will almost certainly be a year later next year. Jeremy will probably tell me off for announcing this before it is official, but I've already mentioned it on Boardgamegeek, and so long as you do not try to book until the dates are officially confirmed, there is probably no harm in letting you know the dates.

Games stall

The Bring & Buy games stall has become a bit of a victim of its own success, and I apologise for the slight delays caused by my inability to organise a p*ss-up in a hotel.

Actually, I can organise the latter, but more of that anon.

I am already working on a better system for next year, which will probably involve a longer gap between the end of sellers bringing in their games and the start of the games going on sale.

Games that will be on offer

If you want to give punters advance notice of the games you will be bringing along to sell, contact John by rearranging the following elements into the right order for his e-mail address: 

  1. john 

Clue: Put them in the following order: 2-1-3, with no spaces in between!

This year I will once again have sheets printed with unique game ID numbers on them that I can hand out to those sellers who will, to use a technical term, be selling a shed load of games.

They can then put details of the games they have for sale on the sheets, take note of the game ID numbers and put the appropriate numbers on post-it notes and attach them to the games. That way we might streamline the booking part of the Bring & Buy.

The real ale bar

We switched to a different beer provider this year and while I don't think people will be moving house to Derby in order to be able to enjoy the Derventio brewery's fare on a regular basis, the general consensus was that the beers were eminently drinkable.

Drinkable to the tune of about 675 pints, in fact, with the Hoplite and the Mabon going down especially well. The Mabon is one of the brewery's seasonal beers, which is a bit odd, seeing as it is a bog standard copper coloured medium-to-low strength session beer.

The final pint was drunk at about 5pm on the Sunday, which is an hour before the con officially closes, so that is pretty good, though perforce the selection of beer was narrower on the Sunday as the barrels (well, plastic bags inside boxes) than for the rest of the con.

I did have one tricky moment when con veteran Paul Oakes found one of the beers not to his taste. This is akin to Mr Creosote turning down a wafer-thin morsel at the start of the meal, but happily others rated the beer in question (Cleopatra) highly, and we managed to blast our way through 20 litres of it.

Someone letting the side down and ordering a soft drink instead of one of the available ales (see the boxes behind the barman)

You for coffee? 

The good news is that this year we did not lose several hundred pounds on the coffee, which was available from the real ale bar and in one of the satellite gaming rooms.

The bad news is that some people did not think the quality of the coffee was particularly good.

Luckily, this is a board games con, not a coffee con!

The above is an in-joke at the expense of me and my fellow real ale bores, and not meant to decry the opinions of the coffee drinkers, whose feedback we value.

Lighting in the garden room 

Talking of feedback, it has been pointed out that the lighting is a bit gloomy near the garden end of the garden room (the main gaming room), which is why we locate Spirit Games there.

We are going to raise this issue with the hotel, but we want to avoid lamps, trailing leads and trip hazards, so we might be allocating miners' helmets next year for people sitting at that end of the room.

We have a Boardgamegeek guild

In fact, for all I know, we have two (see Facebook entry, below).

If we'd created the guild 42 guilds earlier we could have got the coveted 1830 number for our guild, but as it is, the URL is:  

Please join the guild because currently I am Nobby No-Mates and the only guild member.

The guild has a calendar - just one entry on it at the moment - plus a forum (empty) and an images library (ditto).

Take two Facebooks into the shower?

It seems I was a off the mark with my previous comments about us not having a Facebook page. I might have known that young Dave Simpson had already set one up. Unfortunately, I only found out after I had also set up a Facebook page.

So, now we have two. We are the Janus of the Facebook world.

The original and much more populated page is here and has been for yonks.

The new MidCon Facebook page, which had better become a page dedicated to the Bring & Buy games sale, is:

There is not a lot on it at the moment, and nothing that is not already on this web site but that may change at some point in the near future. We may even get around to publicising it at some point.

Next stop, Witter (sic)


We still have some T-shirts on the Settlers theme, in various colours.  If memory serves we were banging these out for 12 a pop. E-mail us (via the Queries button on the left) if you want one.

The T-shirt design is below.

Absolute beginners

If you are new to MidCon or games conventions in general, Paul Oakes has bashed out a guide for newbies.

Advance orders with Spirit Games

Spirit Games will once again be running the official games stall. If any you have any specific games you'd like to buy from him - including those released at this year's Essen games tournament - phone him on 01283 511293 or e-mail him to see whether they have it in stock and, if they do, he will put it to one side and then bring it along to the con. 


Directions on how to get to the con by coach, aeroplane or winged chariot are now available in two flavours: Word document or PDF file.

Paul Oakes, noted ale enthusiast, playing Concordia. Note he is wearing a white badge, which means he is not a committee member; committee members have green badges and a slightly harassed look.