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2017 dates confirmed

Well, I was wrong to go out on a limb and predict MidCon would be the second week of November this year. That's certainly the weekend we asked for but someone at the hotel goofed and booked in a wedding for the Saturday.

So, we'll have to make do with the following weekend, which is the 17-19 November.

We are still arguing the toss over how many convention rooms we think we'll need and therefore we are not yet in a position to set registration fees, which means we are not in a position to accept bookings, but it should not be long now.

Car parking

I understand that this year convention attendees will be expected to pay the car parking fees at the hotel. 

One thing to remember if you are using the car park is you'll need to provide Reception with your number plate, otherwise as well as getting charged for using the car park you'll run the risk of getting clamped and paying a hefty surcharge.

Let's do it again next year

In a shock development, we have decided to hold MidCon again next year and, to put the minds of many of you at rest, it is almost certain we will be staying at the Hallmark.

Quite a few of you were vehement in your advice that we do not move the con away from its current location, and I can assure you that the committee is just as happy with the hotel as you lot appear to be, but we have to make contingency plans based on the growth rate of the con.

As it happens, numbers were fractionally down this year so running out of space will probably not be an issue for a while.

While I am here, I might as well go out on a limb and predict that next year's con will be held on the second weekend of November next year, but that is not official. I only mention it so Jonty can book the wrong weekend off at work again ... :(

John Dodds collection

Just a quick word to say thanks to those of you who contributed generously to the charity collection in memory of John Dodds, paying more than listed price for the games on the charity table.

In many cases, people paid over the odds for games not on the charity table and asked for the money to be put in the Doddsy pot.

I understand that John's long-time friend, David Long, who organised the sale, raised more than £400 through the sale of his and John's games, and he was very pleased with the response.

I shall be writing to John's widow, Clare, this week, to pass on the condolences of the few old lags who turned up at the con and who were unaware of John's demise.

Con booklet

The 2016 con booklet is now available, at least a day earlier than it usually is. Feel free to print your own copy ahead of the con, though there will be a few paper-based copies on the registration desk.

We've added about seven new restaurant entries and deleted the entry of what was once the nearest Chinese restaurant as apparently it is now being converted into a residence, or several residences.

This hotel is ours

Whisper it quietly, but we now have enough people booking rooms at the hotels to completely occupy the Midland Hotel ourselves now, should we want to effectively take over the hotel for the entire weekend.

John Dodds

John Dodds, former editor of postal gaming fanzine Perspiring Dreams, founding member of the MidCon committee, died suddenly in September just days after being diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

John Dodds 

15 February 1961 - 16th September 2016

A memorial service was held for him on 20 October in London, with many hobby old lags in attendance.

Off the top of my head, we had Chris Tringham (another founding member of the MidCon committee), Adam Huby, Bart Huby, Paul Oakes, Jeff Edmunds, Colin & Marie Gamble, Ken Simpson, Chris Dawe, Mike Moor, Dane Maslen, Mike Woodhouse, Geoff Challinger, Richard Beattie, Brian Creese and maybe a few more.

People flew in from as far afield as Hong Kong and Australia to attend his memorial, which says pretty much all you need to know about the high regard in which he was held.

A proper obituary for John will be in the MidCon booklet. In all probability, there'll be a bucket on the registration desk for those of you who wants to make a donation in his memory to Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis, the charity nominated by his widow, Clare.

This being the Internet age, you can donate electronically ahead of the con. 

As Jeremy Tullett remarked upon learning of John's death, there are not so many con attendees these days who remember him, but those who do, remember him with a good deal of fondness.

It is no exaggeration to say that without John, in all probability we'd be doing something else other than attending MidCon on the weekend of November 11-13.

Bring & Buy - earlier start

With the bulk of the paperwork done ahead of the Bring & Buy event these days - sellers essentially grab "games I want to sell" sheets and post-it pads from the Registration desk and fill them out ahead of time - we are thinking of moving the Bring & Buy to a 10.00am start time (for buyers) on the Saturday morning.

The theory is that gamers will finish their breakfast, maybe linger over a coffee, and then head off for the Bring & Buy before starting their first game of the day.

Of course, an earlier start for buyers also means an earlier start for sellers. As mentioned above, you can do much of the paperwork before hand, either by grabbing the sheets at the con from the Registration desk (and returning them!) or, if you prefer, you can email John Harrington (his name's john and his web domain is so you can probably work out his email address) ahead of the con and he'll send you a spreadsheet to complete.

Make a note in your diary

The dates for MidCon 2016 have been confirmed as 11-13 November. 

As per usual, it will run from 9.00am on the Friday until 6.00pm on the Sunday. Games often continue after 6pm on the Sunday and people often turn up at the hotel a day early to play games in the bar or in a local hostelry, but those times mentioned above are the official times.

Some people stay at the hotel on Sunday night and should you wish to do so, please be aware that the Saturday room rates also apply on the Sunday.

We're still negotiating room rates for Thursday night, but I think it very likely there will be a special MidCon rate for those of you who want to turn up a day early so you can be at the gaming table on Friday morning at 9.00am to have a fighting chance of finishing that game of 18? finished.

The booking form is now available, so I guess that means we are open for bookings.

Room for expansion

The con continues to grow in popularity at a rapid pace and that means we have had to hire more convention rooms.

I understand we will have the use of the Hallmark Inn dining room for two days. I think the idea is to use this for tournaments but don't quote me on that.

We'll also be using the Tansleydale (cracking cheese, Gromit, etc.) and the Dovedale rooms, plus a syndicate room.

The con booklet is still available

Brought to you by Last minute (and then some) productions, the 2015 con booklet is still available to download. It is much the same as last year but with a few updates, include the location of new gaming rooms.

There is also an updated version of the Beginners' Guide. Judging by the number of queries on the MidCon thread on Board Game Geek there will be quite a few newbies turning up, so if you see someone looking lost and confused, clutching a game you have never heard of, give them a helping hand.

Finally, there is a crib sheet for those who do not want to download the booklet and just want to know the essentials, such as times & locations of events.

The Kniziathon

Ben Bateson ran the first Annual MidCon Kniziathon on Sunday between 10am and 4pm in the Milldale room. That suggests he's going to be running it again next year (across the road in the Hallmark Inn).

Here’s some information from Ben about this:

What is a Kniziathon? It's an opportunity not just to play your choice of Reiner Knizia's best games, but an opportunity to do so and win prizes! Play the games, submit the winners, and I'll manipulate them through an overcomplicated Excel algorithm which will produce a running score. The people who score the most will win some games, kindly contributed by

The Kniziathon appeal: There are currently well over 30 games that I am planning to contribute to the Kniziathon. Obviously, the more games the better, so if people are able to lend copies of Knizia games that are not on the list (and, even better, hang around and teach them), I'd be very grateful.

Let there be beer!

Once again, the Derventio brewery will be providing a selection of ales that look (and taste) suspiciously similar to the ales on offer last year.

Please note that the bar in the Garden Room will only be manned until midnight but if you are a resident you can still get a drink of the proper stuff by going to the main bar and asking them to serve you in what Smashy & Nicey would call a "room service-mungous type way". This means paying for the drinks by card or putting it on your room bill.

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

Games stall

The Bring & Buy games room will take place again across the road at the Hallmark Inn. 

This year I will once again have sheets printed with unique game ID numbers on them. They will be in a folder marked Bank Statements (it's not a long story but it is a dull one) located on the MidCon Registration desk in the Garden Room. 

Feel free to complete these and then grab the requisite number of post-it notes of the correct colour that should also be located on the registration desk, and transfer the relevant info (game ID, selling price) from the sheet to the post-it notes; the post-it notes should then be affixed to the games, which you then bring along during the sellers only phase.

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.

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.