7th annual Vienna Fantasy Gaming Convention Pt.1 and 2

Fall is a crazy time for modelling and fantasy games (and of course the combination of both – tabletop wargaming) around here. There’s three big events going on within four weeks and after the model expo I talked about in my last posting, Fantasy Gaming Convention (a.k.a. Harrycon, named after the guy who owns one of the awesomest gaming and comics stores in the region and who started the convention), took place this Sunday, 31st October.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this event and to be honest, I wasn’t even very eager to go there the day it took place (being Sunday, the weather getting cooler, me being a very lazy person on Sundays and so on) but once I was there, I immediately changed my mind. It’s probably as nice as such an event can get.

As often with these events, the venue was a public school due to the lack of other available and affordable halls. No problem with that. The whole setup was basically one huge room and the hallway that leads to it. All stacked with tables and benches with people playing games and selling second hand games, miniatures, magazines, and so on, gaming clubs saying hello and some stores presenting new merchandise. But for the most part, it was a big gaming fleamarket with the opportunity to play games as well and oogle at a few new stuffs.

The overall theme of the event this year was H.P.Lovecraft with the main focus being Cthulu of course. This has two reasons: First, Lovecraft was born 120 years ago this year and second, the Vienna sourcebook for the Call of Cthulu pen&paper RPG was released recently. Which is pretty cool. The only other RPG of which I know that has a Vienna (or Austria) sourcebook is Shadowrun 2.0. That sourcebook wasn’t all about Austria, it also covered Switzerland (just a few pages) and I think it was the SOX, but the main focus clealy was on Austria. AND it had a Bubblegum Crisis (2032) reference which makes it double fun. The reason why I’m not talking about the new release presented at the event but rather about some obscure sourcebook from the 90s is because I just don’t have all that much to say about Call of Cthulu. I never played it. Would have loved to but back when I was into regular pen&paper RPG playing, we never got to play it. But I did read about the and of course I read the Lovecraft stories (none of the later, non-Lovecraft stories about the Cthulu mythology though) and the RPG really sounds compelling.

My local gaming store of choice, Damage Unlimited, had a massive presence at the event, doing promo games for Anima Tactics, some new card games and displaying Mantic Games’ very own miniature game – Kings of War.

Unfortunately they weren’t able to set up promo games because they got the merchandise very late. Looks fun though; I was told it’s supposed to be kind of like “Apocalypse for Fantasy” which makes sense looking at Mantic’s miniature range.  They gave away free sprues too (hooray for Mantic games and Damage Unlimited of course!) so I may do a review of these minis soon.

The thing that was the most interesting to me was of course the second hand stuff given how rarely “garage sales” or stuff like that happen around here.

Here’s a shot of one of the games stands. Starquest (Space Crusade for you Britannians and U.S.’ers), Heroquest, tons of old Dark Eye books and boxes, the old original D&D red box, tons of AD&D books and just tempting things in general. I did restrain myself though. Didn’t even get me a plushy Cthulu. Talk about discipline. B)

Still, all the second hand stuff was very tempting. Multiple original D&D red boxes were tempting but of course the real lookers were the older GW products like a ton of old White Dwarfs, WHFB 4th edition boxed sets and so on. Looking forward to next year’s event already.

Here’s some more impressions from the convention:

There was less LARP’ing going on than I thought it would be, especially with the con being on the same day as Halloween but there were a handful of people in costume:

There was also a guy in a huge Snoopy costume. That was rather unsettling.

Infinity Promo game (on a rather nifty cast gaming terrain):

AT-43 Game:

Brick Quest (I’m getting used to see Lego at each of these events):

Looking pretty cool actually.

There were also tables at which artists sold various works of theirs and last but not least, there was a table by Torstn Low Publishing who are not only very nice people but also specialize in fantasy and horror literature.

I planned to get some literature of theirs but, as I shamefully have to admit, simply forgot in the end. Fixed that by ordering some stuff online lateron. Make sure you have a look at their website (German only, I’m afraid): I haven’t read into their stuff much yet but it looks promising:  http://www.verlag-torsten-low.de/

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