Convention Report: Battlemasters 2003

Convention Report: Battlemasters 2003By Newt

Battlemasters was held at Digby Hall Leicester Uni, which is the same venue as last year’s Convulsion. However unlike Convulsion or Tentacles, it is very much a mainstream con of many different games. Myself, Mick Rowe, Darran Sims and our new RHQN member Stuart Moushir-Harrision (aka Dr Moose) ran HeroQuest games, HQ release party on Saturday night and the Troll Ball game on Sunday morning.

The event had over three days a total of 350 individual delegates, with adaily attendance being 110 Friday, 150 Saturday and 90 Sunday of which80-90 were residential . The con was much busier that either myself or the rest of the organising commitee expected, especially Friday were onemoment it was quiet and then at 12 suddenly the world and his dog turned up wanting a game!!! We managed to run a total of 6 games over the con, in competion for playersagainst 4 Living D&D campaigns and the UK Cthulhu Nationals, and managed to get 10% of the delegates, around 30 individual players (35 if you count repeat players).

The con’s only trader (Hidden Fortress) brought along 10 copies of HQ, which where sold in as many minutes when he opened on Friday afternoon! There was lots of reports of people saying that their local game stores had also sold out.

The players found the games fun. They enjoyed the simple yet comprehensive nature of the contest system, and even Gloranthan Newbies got into the setting pretty quickly. The overall impression that I got is that the system is no longer a barrier into getting that all immersive feeling of play, instead it is an almostinvisiable doorway into Glorantha. The biggest thing that impressed me was the way that the system gets even the most quietest of players up and roleplaying their character. I had a magical moment when a group of Lunars, all from very different cults, went into a poor district bar to find out where the local master of theives was hiding out. They all used their various personality traits, to roleplay out the various rolls they made using the skills/magic they where using to extract information from the barkeep and regulars present. Like GenCon UK we had a lotof very posistive feedback from players who we’re glowing, wide eyed and very physically excitied. Almost 100% said they would be getting the core rulebook when they got home. The nicest story I was told was from two of our regulars who had brought along a friend Diane, who had never roleplayed before. She played in one of Mick’s games, and then also in Call of Cthulhu and D&D. Of the three games she liked Mick’s HQ the best.

The release party went well, and we ended up in the main bar, so a good portion of the con got to see us physically holding the new rulebook, and one lucky attendee won a copy for his 100 word character description, which he like the other five enterants read out in front of their peers. A brave act that got everyone a copy of either Orlanth is Dead or Barbarian adventures. The party also gave us the chance to answer questions about he game, which is always useful since Glorantha has a huge following here from the RQ days, but people are quite offten here to play CoC or DnD. There was also lots of reports of RQ nuts who don’t come to cons because nobody runs games any more, but haven’t heard of HeroQuest. After impressing their friends at BM, hopefully these people will turn up next year

Trollball on Sunday morning was fun of the MGF varienty. Most of the organisers where playing excitedly, and want to make it a regualar feature of BM. They also videoed it for a promotional video!! Since Trollball==Glorantha another good result.

Thank you all so much for the generous amount of prizes you gave us to give out. They all found homes as we had enough prizes to give one item to everyone who played in the HeroQuest games, as well as the enterants of the 100 word Hero Description comp at the Release Party. This lead to me repeating what is becoming our catch phrase (since we did pretty much the same at Gen Con) “with HeroQuest everyone’s a winner” which got a big cheer from the End of Con prize giving.

As special prizes we gave the copy of HeroQuest to the winner of the 100 word Hero description at the release party, Anaxial’s Rooster and Introduction to Glorantha to two players who have been to every con we have attended this year and played in multiple games at each, and a Winner of Winners prize ( a bundle of 1st Ed Tarsh in Flames +UW supplements + Wyrms Footnotes) to a chap who played in multiple games and while being a Gloranthaphile , helped all the new players get into the setting and assisted the Narrators good naturedly when we were flagging a bit.

Overall I can only say posistive things about the event. Me, Mick, Darran and Dr Moose had a great time and will be doing it again next year

Mick also produced the Con Booklet, to which I contributed a Lunar Adventure which took over half of it.

Related Pages