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
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.
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
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.
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
Actually, I can organise the latter, but more of
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:
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 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
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
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
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: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/guild/1872
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
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
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: www.facebook.com/midcongames
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.
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
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
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.