Monday, April 7, 2014

Mepacon Spring 2014

I have returned from this Spring's Mepacon, held this past weekend at the Ramada in Clarks Summit, PA, and this time, I did not go alone...

With all the craziness of life at home (trust me, BIG news is coming soon) we decided to split up the kids on Saturday.  After a busy morning and a family breakfast out, my wife took Millie for a day of Easter egg hunts and shopping, and I took Maja to her first con.

My wife was most concerned that taking Maja to any con was unsafe due to the number of, let's just call them non-conformists, participating.  Of course, I've done this long enough to know the amount of time checking on your kids at a con is directly proportionate to the maturity of them.  Mepacon is also probably one of the most kid-friendly conventions in the country, so if I did want to run to my car, or talk to someone on the other side of the ballroom, I'm not spending every second worrying about her, just every other second.

This being the first time I took one of my kids to the con, I was happy to find out kids under 10 are free! That didn't mean it was slapping a badge on her and away we go.  The con does have the parents fill out and sign a liability waiver and general information sheet for the child, including your cell phone number in case something does happen.

I was scheduled to run my Samoa game using Contemptible Little Armies in the afternoon slot, but seeing that my friends and most of the minis guys weren't even in attendance, I surely doubted that would go off. Still, Maja and I brought in the terrain and figures and we went about finding stuff for a near five year old to do.

Even a small game of OGRE makes a big impression.
Maja had an action-packed day of Play Doh, miniatures painting, coloring, a game of Trouble, and some more coloring.  When something wasn't scheduled for kids we read from a our new book, a graphic novel covering some of the lesser known fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, Erstwhile.  Not everything in it is completely kid-appropriate, but it kept her entertained.

As predicted, the Samoa game did not go off, but I did have four kids (Maja included) playing with the terrain and figures for an hour and a half.  I instituted a large scale version of my T.I.A.R.A, adding CLA's random movement as a major rule addition. The kids had a blast, gaming was executed, and most of the figures needed a touch from Cold Wars, so no major harm done to them.   After that was some more
coloring for Maja, as I kitbitzed about my birthday party with every interested person I could find.

The Battle for the Big House
A tired and hungry Maja made us go over to Damon's for dinner, and despite an empty restaurant, we had a 15-minute wait for table(?).  Needless to say, we scarfed down our food, and ran back to the hotel for the raffle.

For the few cons, the raffle has been weak and the auction overflowing with stuff.  The opposite was true this time.  Tons of quality hardcovers, boardgames, and even two copies of the 2013 Burning Plastic reprint were available.  Maja had her eye on a Egyptian scarcophagus, and Daddy's mission was clear... get the scarcophagus, increase my legend in my daughter's eye. 

Twenty dollars of tickets later, we won squat. 

The auction was rather tame, although there was heavy bidding on some "authentic" Egyptian souvenirs brought back from Egypt by one of the con-goers.  I didn't see the appeal, but it was all for charity at that time, so it didn't matter.

After the auction we snagged some t-shirts, which Maja promptly put over her other t-shirts.  No coat was required for the ride home.  Maja fell asleep before Scranton, and proceeded to sleep twelve straight hours.  A con is her most enjoyable kryptonite.

All-in-all, another great con pulled off by the staff, which lots of happy gamers, and some happy dealers as well.

SWAG:  I picked up a copy of Kobolds Ate My Baby! in Color and Radio City Knight.  Maja got THREE t-shirts, a d20 pin, and the above mentioned Erstwhile. We also discovered that our friend Gerry was friends with the woman who brought all the Egyptian paraphenalia to the con and that she had extra scarcophogi.  Maja got her mummy!

Maja with goldfish and KAMB.  What else do you need?
The most awesome moment of the con was when we found out that Maja had won the convention coloring contest.  A coloring book, a stuffed elephant, and a pack of cards later, she was incredibly happy and I was one proud papa.   She said she liked her "new friends" and wanted to come back next year!

Maja accepting her prize.
Oh, and a Lesson from Maja:  "Any dude dressed like Darth Vader is one scary dude to a little girl, no matter who it is."

1 comment:

  1. One of my favorite conventions. Sadly, it often runs the same weekend as other closer-to-home conventions and I don't get to go as often as I'd like!