Going to a convention with a young family at home is tough enough anytime of the year, but with overtime and weekend hours starting in September through Christmas, it's downright non-existent.
I have enough clout and time right now to block off one weekend in October to celebrate my wife's 25th birthday (plus a two or three), as well as our eigth wedding anniversary. In addition to that, I'd scurrying to find coverage in November to attend attend a local convention.
Here are the options:
Fall-In! is November 7-9, 2014 at the Lancaster Host on US 30 in Lancaster, PA. Wargaming, 90+% historical, although it would be great to meet up with the Stout Gnomes and play some Gnome Wars. The theme this years is the Great War: Back Before the Leaves Change, and since I enjoy that time period, there should be some great games to jump into.
Mepacon 27 is November 14-16, 2014 at the Ramada at the junction of I-476/I-81/US6/US11 in Clarks Summit, PA, a hop, skip, and a jump away from Scranton. It's mostly D&D with a lot of board games, I hang out with my clique of "old timers" who remember the series of cons in the 80's that spawned the series of cons in the 90's that spawned Mepacon. It's my normal local con.
What other criteria needs to be considered? It's has been brought down from on high by my eldest daughter, Maja, that the whole family needs to go to the con. Whether it's overnight or a long day trip is immaterial, she had so much fun at her first full con that she wants Mommy and three-year old Millie to enjoy it too!
I, being the benevolent father, will try to accommodate this either way.
I will also run something to gain free admission to the con (I am an HMGS member for Fall-In!) to help offset the shopping spree my wife will find at some point near either con.
So, people of the world, where should I go, and what should I run?
Fall-In! - Samoa, 1899 - Contemptible Little Armies - I ran a formal battle from the Second Samoan Civil War at Cold Wars and it was well received. This time, I'd like some more skirmishing in a coastal village. I may avoid American/British/German forces and tweak the rules set
Fall-In! - The Battle of Yellowstone - Gnome Wars - The story of the US Cavalry occupation and development of Yellowstone Park in the 19th and early 20th centuries, just with gnomes. I ran this at Fall-In! a few years back and handled 10 players for an 8 player game. My long term goal is to run this with "real" minis (and run it exactly the same), but I've got enough on my want list and painting queue to begin with.
Fall-In! - Great War - Gnome Wars - To keep with the con theme, I'd love to put together a battle around a village with infantry and cavalry, just that the cav is riding bunnies.
Fall-In! - Gnomish Space Marines/Awful Cheese Hulk - After confirming schedules, I would collaborate with my friend Mike to offer space gnomes, mice, scrunts, and squats on an alien battlefield.
Mepacon - Attack of the Fifty Foot Princess - Burning Plastic/OGRE - A nicer version of the game I ran here, but we would stick with shoebox houses and birdhouse buildings. Rules would combine my own Burning Plastic rules for the army men and a few facets of OGRE for the princess.
Mepacon - Cthulhu Comes to Springfield 2 - Yog-Sothoth Boogaloo - TOON - The Simpsons meet Cthulhu in a Toon game. I've run this on an off now for almost twenty years. Always a full table. NOT kid appropriate. A few new hour-long "episodes" might need to be written.
Mepacon - "Home" - D&D - A sort of reverse dungeon using a classic D&D module everyone has owned and some Dread. Not sure if it would be true "Basic" D&D, Classic (Rules Cyclopedia), or if I'll get enough time to tinker around with the new rules.
Mepacon - The Pirates of Pago Pago - Contemptible Little Armies - Not that minis fare well, but take off any historical label and just have US Marines and/or British raid a "pirate lair" in a pulpy style.
Mepacon - The Lost City - D&D - Another reverse dungeon, where the PCs are the crazy inhabitants of module B4. The last time I ran it (using Hackmaster) I had ten players and the rowdiest table at the con. I was thinking of either running the original plot (backwards and on hallucinogenics) or advance the story to include the far ends of the giant caverns that no one ever explored back in the day.