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Subject: Post-Cancon musings rss

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Michael Alexander
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Hope everyone had a great weekend! I went on Friday with some mates and on Sunday with my daughter Chloe and had a great time. One of the organisers gave Chloe a bag of dice with the Cancon 40-year anniversary on it while we were wandering the wargaming tables and she absolutely loves them, a classy touch giving those out to the little kids there!

Paid for early access to the second hand stall and it was a complete farce, but still happy that I snagged a copy of Age of Steam 2nd ed. for a really good price. That has been on my wishlist for over a decade now. Saw a guy grab a copy of Dune in there before I could get in, couldn't believe my eyes, haven't actually seen it in person until then (was it one of you?)

Expanding to the Fitzroy pavillion is a great addition, awesome to see the hobby growing. My first Cancon was probably nearly 20 years ago, back when I used to go for the ACTGN Cancon LANs and not for the tabletop stuff, and the tabletop stuff took up only a fraction of the space that it does now. Considering it's not 40 years old it's hard to think how small it used to be even before I first went.

Can't wait until next year!
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Steve Johansson
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I think 1986 was my first - I used to go for the Flagship PBM Awards. And for all you young 'uns PBM means Play By Mail - multiplayer strategy games pre-internet if you like. Usually hosted by John Tindall, a fine night was had by all. We also got to play games live with Peter Read from Dynamic Games running games for all to spend 3 glorious days backstabbing each other. Great days. Made a lot of great friends, still have a couple of PBM trophies from con's too.

But yeah, 2018, was a single day trip for me. I wasn't aware of the second hand stall "early bird" arrangement having checked out the link to MOAB before they brought up that idea. Entered the crush at 11:30 and while I was disappointed not to get the copy of Astra Titanicus I saw go in earlier I still did ok. Hornet Leader and Flamme Rouge Peloton were good scores.

The Games Library looked to be very well patronised while I was about - though I didn't have time to play this year. Bought a heap of stuff itemised elsewhere from traders, plus a few items from ACT based BGG'ers who were very pleasant indeed. Being based in the Central West with fairly limited access to a good range of games CanCon is my board game shopping spree for the year.

It certainly didn't disappoint. Just a shame that so many people were let in to the 2nd hand area at once. Still, the extra room was appreciated - hope the wifi is more reliable next year.
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Blue Mountain
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It’s great to see the growth of the event. I wonder how big it can actually get. It was good to catch up with folks and browse the stores.

It still started to smell though but I guess that’s just CANCON!
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James Webb
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Daemonsson wrote:
Being based in the Central West with fairly limited access to a good range of games CanCon is my board game shopping spree for the year.


How long have you been in Cudal? I lived in Canowindra right up until the end of 2014, and most of my gaming was done at CanCon, Dubbo or Bathurst.
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Michael Alexander
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BlueMountain wrote:
It still started to smell though but I guess that’s just CANCON!


This is why I go early and head off before lunch on most days!
 
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Steve Johansson
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Since 2003. Until recently I have been travelling to Bathurst most Sundays to play with a D&D Group but the travel was slowly killing the fun. I already do enough driving gettng to work.

Quite happy being a solo gamer now though. Even designing my own solo D&D adventure using the setting of our last campaign.
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Tim
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Daemonsson wrote:
...


Just had to say, 'Lords of Midnight' avatar made me smile too
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Torben Vang
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Franklin
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First went in 1992 for the large group roleplaying games.

Does anyone think the hideously overpriced early entry tickets to the second hand stall were worth it? I couldn't bring myself to buy one at the price they were asking. But it seemed enough people did that they'll continue it next year, sadly.
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Michael Alexander
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TorbenVang wrote:
Does anyone think the hideously overpriced early entry tickets to the second hand stall were worth it?


I got one and completely regretted it. They sold to way too many people and the rush to get in was daft. They did a countdown before letting people in too which also seemed really silly, it only increased the excitement and the crush.

I think that selling tickets might be a bit counter-productive too, I feel the sunk cost fallacy comes into play a bit and can make customers get a bit more aggressive because they feel they need to find something good because they've already invested in it.

I think they have a really hard problem to solve, the second hand stall is really popular and so many people want to get in right from the start to get a good deal. I heard someone in the line saying they wished they just went for online auctions, and I've been wondering a bit how that would work and if it might help.
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Hilda Lirsch
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One of my friends solved the hassel of the second-hand area by instead giving away surplus games to acquaintances who were playing in the 21st Century Boardgames competition at CanCon.
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Murray Fish
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They explained everything in detail and at great length. After they finished I sat, despondent, contemplating a bleak and empty future. "I’m glad you’re depressed" said one. "It means you’ve understood the situation.”
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Didn't have the time to make it to the Games Library this year, but it looked to be doing pretty well when I passed by.

It was good to catch up with chums and browse the various trade stalls which helped to part this fool from his money, htough not as much as I feared as I think I am pretty close to hitting 'peak game'.

TorbenVang wrote:
Does anyone think the hideously overpriced early entry tickets to the second hand stall were worth it? I couldn't bring myself to buy one at the price they were asking. But it seemed enough people did that they'll continue it next year, sadly.


I thought it was a bit rum being asked to pay $20 for the privledge of digging around the second hand stall a bit earlier than the general public.

That said, when I did get there it was full of unattractive/overpriced items - other than $3 for a clone of Battleship which, for my sins, the Little Fish enjoy.

I did manage to sell off around $300 of unwanted game-related items in decent condition which was good but a couple of smaler items went missing as they were sorted thematically rather than by seller and proved imposisble to locate at 'cash out' time.

Other than that, Cancon was dandy.


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Garth van Doorn
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Another great CanCon. Doing the Math Trade for the first time was a highlight for me.

Having Martin Wallace there demo-ing AuZtralia was pretty cool. Maybe we need to do what other cons do and have panels or talks with famous industry types when we have them? I'd even be interested to hear about the games retail industry from the proprietors of the games shops who are often there.

Also I'd love if there was a cheaper "one game" or "one hour" entry to the games library for if you just want to drop by for a game with a friend in between other stuff. Maybe next year I should just buy the whole weekend pass!

A friend scored a battered copy of Blood Bowl Team Manager for $15 at the 2nd hand store, which unexpectedly turned out to have the almost impossible to find Foul Play expansion in it. Score! The 2nd hand stall was a little bit feral though overall, very hot and crowded.
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Peter Sbirakos
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As a seller (I put up 43 games), the system for payouts and game checks to make sure that games haven't gone missing needs a serious re-think, in addition to previous comments posted.

It is extremely easy for sellers to not only pick up their own games but other stuff that doesn't belong to them - whether by design or otherwise. There doesn't appear to be a security system in place to check if someone is stealing. If a seller has picked something up by mistake and they realise that only after they've gone home, will their own morals get them to contact the relevant person to send it back?

I get the fact that MOAB (Sutherland Shire Gamers) is run by volunteers, however a 10% fee on all sales plus ticket sales from buyers should help fund a good system that works seamlessly. On payout, 3 of my games went missing: 2 x magazine style games and a big box brute that weighed in at nearly 5kg. So now, I have to wait for a couple of weeks until they check all items back in Sydney and resolve system errors. If the game has been stolen, nothing can be done and unfortunately, the seller wears the loss. I'm sure I'm not the only one. That to me is unfair.

Having said all the above, I am grateful for the opportunity to sell games I no longer play. Sigh... Shall wait and see.
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Brendan Whyte
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I did not attend the second hand stall on Saturday, but did drop off some items Friday and picked up the remainder (an did my own shopping) on Sunday.
I was very impressed with the stall. Dropoff was simple, fast and pleasant. No queues, no stairs.
Pickup was also simple, unlike last year's massive queue.

Upon collection, between picking up my sellers form and taking my unsold items back to the cash-register for payment, one item sold, and staff had no problem adding it to my payout.

So my experience as a seller was excellent, especially compared to last year.

As a buyer, although I went on Sunday morning, I picked up some good stuff, and the space and layout were again excellent compared to last year, and I particularly liked the bookshelves on the inside wall of the stall: an excellent and space efficient way to display stock without cramping buyers.

Overall I thought it very well run; and compared to last year, doubly so. I just wish it had been open later on Friday (say until 6 or 8pm, not 5).

Three cheers for the people who came up with his year's location and layout, and the willing volunteers to man it. I am very grateful to them all.
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Jason Matthew
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I thought selling tickets for early entry to the second hand stall was a bit rich. I was happy to make $450 selling boardgames and found the software used to be just adequate. I went at the end of the Friday to check my sales and was told that there were technical difficulties so come back tomorrow. Thankfully the problems were solved overnight and I was able to get a full payout on the Sunday. All of my items sold so I didn't have the issue of having to find my unsold games. Looking around the mish-mash of the second hand area, this may have proved to be an impossible task.

As for the rest of the Con, I spent two full days in the games library and had a blast. There was a decent offering of retailers and I picked up a few new games. All in all, a great weekend of gaming.
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Chris Horscroft

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I've been attending for only a couple of years, but have been impressed with the year on year growth. This was my first attempt to assist, and I put in a couple of shifts behind the desks at the games library, spending most of the rest of the three days playing games in it. Great to see so many gamers, of all ages, and particularly how pleasant the players were to the admin volunteers - I hope a great time was had by all, and am looking forward to next year...

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Simon "that sci-fi guy"
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madkarateman wrote:
As a seller (I put up 43 games), the system for payouts and game checks to make sure that games haven't gone missing needs a serious re-think, in addition to previous comments posted.

It is extremely easy for sellers to not only pick up their own games but other stuff that doesn't belong to them - whether by design or otherwise. There doesn't appear to be a security system in place to check if someone is stealing. If a seller has picked something up by mistake and they realise that only after they've gone home, will their own morals get them to contact the relevant person to send it back?

I get the fact that MOAB (Sutherland Shire Gamers) is run by volunteers, however a 10% fee on all sales plus ticket sales from buyers should help fund a good system that works seamlessly. On payout, 3 of my games went missing: 2 x magazine style games and a big box brute that weighed in at nearly 5kg. So now, I have to wait for a couple of weeks until they check all items back in Sydney and resolve system errors. If the game has been stolen, nothing can be done and unfortunately, the seller wears the loss. I'm sure I'm not the only one. That to me is unfair.

Having said all the above, I am grateful for the opportunity to sell games I no longer play. Sigh... Shall wait and see.


Interesting that you had this experience. Myself and three others I know who were collecting/getting payout at the same time had a similar experience. We all had a game go missing. The fact this is such a common story is worrying. This is my third year selling, and the first time I've lost something. Very disappointing.
 
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Des Lee
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Clearly the second hand stall is very popular, but I just can't see the benefit for myself compared to shifting items via the maths trade. If it doesn't move, then I don't have to go to the effort of lugging them all to cancon and potentially having things go missing. Disappointing to hear that people were losing items.

I only popped my head in for a quick look on Friday afternoon, but the only items that were there were either of no interest, overpriced, or I already owned them.
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Sam
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I had missing items. A guy from SSG told me that there was a period where the system went down and so some may have been sold and not properly recorded and they’d be in touch in a few weeks. I’m not holding my breath (had something go missing last year too).

There was also the person who had an item marked as sold that he found in the stall...

That said, the new system was a huge improvement, as was the new location. Overall still happy with the experience; I think I moved 35 items and it was quite a relief to get them gone.

Des - it’s a way different crowd doing the shopping and it’s a lot easier to move some kinds of games than it is to the picky folk with 500 games each participating in the maths trade.

There were also definitely some bargains and rare gems in with the overpriced (more than retail!) stuff. I heard afterwards about some things I would have loved to buy that went early on Friday morning.
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Murray Fish
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They explained everything in detail and at great length. After they finished I sat, despondent, contemplating a bleak and empty future. "I’m glad you’re depressed" said one. "It means you’ve understood the situation.”
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I have been contacted by Southern Battlegamers / Team MOAB who ran the second hand stall in what looks to be a mass e-mail to all sellers.

More or less it says that they have a heap of uncollected items and will sort through them over the next few weeks and contact the seller to see what they want doing with them. They will send them back to you at your expense or collect in Sydney until February 2018.

They also say they don't have the details of all sellers.

So, if you've not received this and have items missing I suggest you may wish to contact Team MOAB at their 'info at sutherlandshiregamers.org' e-mail address.



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Sam
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I did receive that email and I appreciate the spirit of your comment but I just want to be clear that I am very confident that the items were not there on Sunday afternoon. I spent a significant amount of time doing a very thorough search.

tiggers did too and was looking for a reasonably large item (a Ticket to Ride sized box) that would certainly have been found if it had still been present. The only possible way these games could have been accidentally left behind was if some idiot had deliberatedly hidden them under a table.



Edit: Just got an email from SSG confirming that they have finished their audit and I am owed some money. It accounts for everything that was missing, so that's a very good ending (for me at least)!
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