5 Reasons I loved ConQuest 2018…

I got lost at ConQuest. And while yes, this does mean Lachlan and I were wandering the streets of Melbourne pointing at buildings speculating where we were (and an accidental detour into the very Australian sounding town of Nar Nar Goon)- it also means once Google Maps got us where we needed to go, I was lost among the various worlds we got to partake in at ConQuest.

I wrote about many of the vendors and events going on at ConQuest, but I need to acknowledge there were things I barely caught glimpses of.

We snuck in as observers to a Lazers & Feelings game. The table were in absolute hysterics, to the point where it took me awhile to work out the coherent plot. Their absolute joy was infectious and I’m seeking out this system to give it a go.

There was a fascinating 200 Word RPG Challenge which I want to look more into. The players were talking over each other in parts which seemed chaotic and confusing. But as the GM explained to us after, one of the players was a Young Woman and the other players were her Burka which would talk to her, and she could raise her hand and silence various voices at a time. I’m honestly enthralled but such a fascinating idea. So I’ll be checking this one out further too.

I dont think there was a single thing I can point to as not wanting to partake in. Sure, I occasionally looked over at the Miniatures gamers playing Star Wars X-Wing, Star Wars Legion, and some military looking game. But my lack of engagement had nothing to do with not wanting to play, but my absence of miniatures of which to play with (plus they were competing in tournaments and I didn’t want to barge in all I WANNA PLAY WITH THE COOL TOYS!)

I want to say another big thank you to ConQuest for providing Lachlan and I with weekend passes into your convention in order to check it out. We had a blast.

It’s not really a surprise I enjoyed my time at ConQuest. I’m a gamer at a games convention – no need to roll a D20 insight check. But today I wanted to pinpoint 5 reasons I loved ConQuest 2018.

1. Caters to a wide variety of gamers

If you’ve read the articles I released over the weekend, you will see so much variety in the types of gamers at ConQuest – LARPers, Miniature Gamers, Tabletop Roleplayers, Board Gamers, Card Gamers, Freeform Roleplayers, Platform Videogamers, Simulator Gamers, Virtual Reality Gamers. And this barely touches on the artists, programers, designers, and other fascinating elements.

Within each of these categories of gamers are various subgroups in and of themselves – those who like crunchy roleplay systems, those who want a more narrative driven roleplay system, those who like dog fighting spaceships over ground troops. The combinations and variety was astounding. You could spend all day or weekend engrossed in your favourite games, or take part in a wider cluster of things. We were there to taste test it all and didn’t manage it.

We did manage to put together a small video of Lachlan, my younger brother Josh, and I playing the Virtual Reality version of Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. Kinda a cross between videogame, party game, communication game… lets just call it a game.

 

2. Inclusion

The tabletop community never ceases to amaze me with how inclusive they are. On one level it makes sense, gamers need people to play with. So to them it’s more important to play a fun game with friendly people than literally any other characteristic about a person. But on another level… there were so many people there playing each game. People COULD have chosen who they play with, what games they participated in, and how they treated each other. But I saw people of every background huddled around tables sharing a laugh. The biggest sign of this to me was watching mature gamers at tables with younger gamers. I mean gamers who I’d speculate were older than 50 playing with gamers as young as 12 with every age group represented in between. And all were treating each other as valued members of the group with something worth saying and contributing.

I think ConQuest’s focus on respect and the way they conduct themselves sure contributes to this. But it makes you realise how great of a community we really have here.

 

3. Seeing the cool new stuff

Hey did you guys see my thing about Arkenforge? You should totally go check out my thing about Arkenforge. All my friends now know about Arkenforge (I may have shown them lets of videos and talked about it incessantly.. they say too much but it’s important they know about Arkenforge).

So yeah… I became a fanboy of Arkenforge over the weekend. You can tell because this is the fifth time I’ve said Arkenforge (sixth) in this section.

What I love about conventions more than anything is seeing all the cool new stuff. Like Armoured Digital, and CatTube Famous. You always walk away with one or more upcoming or new projects which you can’t help but think about. In my case it may have been Arkenforge. Have I told you about Arkenforge?

 

4. Embracing New Experiences

Before ConQuest, I’d never heard of Starfinder. And to be honest I probably wouldn’t have tried it. New RPG systems are expensive. And knowing it was based on Pathfinder which was based on D&D 3.5 which is a system I dabbled in and didn’t like… without ConQuest I’d have never discovered a system I have since bought three books for (well two books and a pdf. Can’t find the bloody Alien Archives anywhere!)

My point is, ConQuest gave me a chance to test out things and see what I like. Kinda of like an “All You Can Game” buffet. You rock up, see which games appeal to your appetite and then dive right in and game to your hearts content (and then some more… because it’s not like they charge per serving and I’m determined to keep consuming until I’m sick. We all buffet the same way right?).

5. The laughter

I know it’s a bit cliche. But the reality is ConQuest was full of laughter. There was so much joy, so many people we met with whom we shared sidesplitting laughs with. I was never long without a stupid grin on my face.

We made new friends at ConQuest 2018. Even if we don’t meet again (I have no doubt we will), I will remember our journeys together. The saxophone playing Jazz Bard. The Githyanki who spoke in 3rd person. The useless yet smooth talking Rogue. The minecart riding Vesk. And all the people who smiled and laughed with us. (Excuse me… I’m cutting oni…(crit fail) crying).

Conclusion

Going through all these photos, I feel a bit nostalgic. Something which was only a week ago feels simultaneously to be so far in the past, and as recent as yesterday. I long to return to ConQuest, knowing even if I were to return to the place it was held it won’t be there. There’s a beauty in that. A sense of fleeting joy which will stick with me in the photos and memories. Knowing ConQuest is an event which takes place for four days over Easter weekend, knowing it exists for a time and for that time only. It honestly makes it as magical to me as the worlds I explore with my d20.

But what keeps me excited, what keeps me happy, is knowing ConQuest will return in 2019. And I’m very much looking forward to it!

If you enjoyed this then share the joy on social media so others can enjoy it too. And check out our other reviews. They’re always good for a laugh. 

Please comment, lets get the conversations flowing!

 

Check out the ConQuest Website HERE

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