Wellycon 2010 Photos

New photos from Wellycon 2010 are up on BoardGameGeek

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Many thanks to Jim Simmons for a bunch of these.

The Wellycon 2010 Report

Wellycon weekend was a cold grey drizzly Wellington winter weekend. I hoped the weather was miserable enough to encourage people away from outdoor pursuits but not so bad that they would stay at home, and I think my wish was granted.


Call to Arms (a miniatures wargaming convention we were sub-leasing space from) occupied three quarters of the school hall plus the stage with their large green tables covered in hand painted miniatures. The Wellycon area with its plain tables initially looked boring by comparison, but once people started playing games we looked more colourful and more crowded.

Over a 100 people made it to Wellycon 2010 and played over 70 different games. We started with 15 gaming tables but ran out by lunch time and had to put out more. There was a good mix of beginners who were keen to find out about games, casual gamers who wanted to wanted to increase their experience and try stuff out and the “usual suspects” – people who play games regularly and were our main source of games and rule experts.

Due to the number of people wanting to learn games we had to rely on impromptu teachers pitching in to help out. We might have to be better organised next year as learning new games is one of the things that people going to Wellycon are very keen on.

Last year Wellycon scored a coup by having the first copy of Endeavor in New Zealand. This year Andrew Rae and Jarratt Grey organised an Endeavor Tournament (Wellycon’s first tournament). Twenty people entered and the winners in the first round got to play in the final (on the left). The scores in the final were:

Jarratt 53
Anthony 52
John 45
Sam 42
Juliet 40

Jarratt also brought along prototypes for a couple of alternative boards for Endeavor and a set of alternative counters to replace the original blue extra action counters. Shem Philips conducted a play test of the prototype of his game Selandia. Last thing on Saturday night Andrew Rae brought out the prototype of Extravagances, a Pit-like negotiation filler game to finish off the evening with. This play testing of prototype games by local game designers is becoming another Wellycon tradition, and provides the designers opportunities to test their games with a wider audience and give attendees a chance to see what may end up in the shops one day.

The food and drinks being sold from the Hall kitchen for reasonable prices ($1.50 for a hot drink, 50c for a refill, $3 for a hot pie etc) by Call to Arms were a popular lunch and snack option.

The $2 Family Session organised by Minty Hunter and Andrew Rae, helped by Minty’s son Sam, attracted about 14 kids. They played three games of Halli Galli, one game of Happy Sheep, three of The Adventurers and lots of Toppletree. I’m sure there were other games going on too. The session went on an hour and a half longer than planned and Minty saw two young kids learn Adventurers and then go on to teach it to some adults, and he saw one adult sit down alone with Toppletree obviously thinking “Hah, how hard can it be to build a tree?”. A few seconds later he was picking up pieces off the floor. The noise of happy children and sound of Toppletree falling over was obvious evidence of how successful the session was.

After dinner Quiz Master Andrew Rae ran a team game of Wits and Wagers involving everyone (about 40 at that time) with simplified rules and New Zealand oriented questions. He ran into controversy and lack of nerve over how many NZ mountains were over 3000m.

The rest of the evening was free for gaming until 10pm.


On Sunday we arrived to a health and safety issue of a dangerously dangling light fitting. Apart from that things were less chaotic for the organisers as many of the people were returnees from the day before, and we managed to play some games ourselves.

Wellycon tradition dictates that there is a fire alarm on the Sunday. Tradition also dictates that gaming continue outside. So half a dozen of us played the push-your-luck game of Zombie Dice in the drizzle while the alarm blared in the background. The aim of this dice game is to collect more brains than other players and stop before you get hit by three shotgun blasts. The “all clear” came before we could start a second game.

At lunchtime there was a popular swap and sell session which had the feeling of a bazaar with people hawking their pre-loved games and haggling over swaps and prices. We will have to hold the trading session in a larger space next year.

One feature of all Wellycons has been the prize giving. We gave away prizes supplied by David Taylor of Seriously Board, Robyn and Graham Macgregor of All Aboard and Peter Noble of BoardGameRentals.

This year the Best and Fairest Award won by Sam Whitely. The Gamers Gamer was presented to Ceedee Doyle who scored the copy of Power Grid: Factory Manager donated by Frank Eisenhauer (ex-Wellington now Kazakhstan). Both were well deserving and enthusiastic all weekend.

All good things come to an end and as 4pm approached people switched to shorter filler games. The Call to Arms caterers came around offering free pies as people were packing up.

There were a few things left behind, so if you are missing something please contact wellycon at gmail dot com.

Let us know what you thought of Wellycon 2010 and help us make Wellycon 2011 even better. More Tournaments? Trading on both days? Another Family Session? Leave a comment telling us what you liked, disliked, what we could do better and what you’d like to do next year.

Guide to Wellycon

This guide is mostly for people who haven’t been to Wellycon before.

What is Wellycon?
Wellycon is a two day event for people who want to play board (and card) games. Games are provided and there will be people to play with but you are welcome to bring your own games and/or gaming buddies.

Cost and Registration
$5 per person per day (to cover the cost of hall hire). Pay at the registration table, which is where you sign games in and out of the Game Library.

St Patrick’s College Hall
Evans Bay Parade
Kilbirnie, Wellington
(Wellycon is sharing the hall with Call to Arms)

There is parking on both Evans Bay Parade and the school grounds.

Food and drink
Food and drink don’t mix with board games (sticky cards are no fun), so please don’t eat or drink at the game tables. You are welcome to eat and drink away from the games. There will be a vendor selling coffee and tea in the hall, and it is a short walk to the Kilbirnie shops and fast food outlets.

Who do you play with?
The chances are that there will be other people around looking for a game and if not, it is likely that one of the current games is close to finishing. Either way it is generally easy to find people to play with and the organisers will often try to play matchmaker. The more challenging problem is deciding what to play.

What games will be played?
The games played at Wellycon belong to you and your fellow gamers, so be kind to them. Generally the games are modern (from the last 10-15 years), and people often bring their newest games (the ones they are most excited about). This makes Wellycon a useful place to try out new games. There will be older games as well.

Game Library
This year there will be a game library at Wellycon. This is a table of games that people have lent to Wellycon for the weekend. To play one of these game, sign it out at the registration table and bring it back when you have finished.

What games got played last year?
There isn’t a full record of the games played last year. Its safe to say that the biggest category was 1-3 hour board games including: Agricola, Endeavor, Expedition, Full Metal Planet, Goa, Palazzo, Puerto Rico, Steam, Through the Desert and Ticket To Ride.

Card games played include: Battleline, Die Sieben Siegel, Dominion Intrigue, For Sale and Frank’s Zoo.

Cooperative games included: Pandemic and Battlestar Galactica.

There were some wargames played: Memoir 44 Overlord, Combat Commander, The Kaiser’s Pirates, Manoeuvre.

For people with a good trigger finger there were Sorry! Sliders and Pitchcar.

And Shem Philips was demoing a prototype of one of his games.

But I don’t know these games
One of the reasons people go to Wellycon is to play games they haven’t played before. So it is typical that at any given table there will be people who are learning the game for the first time.

If you or a group of you want to learn a game, it generally works best if you play with someone who is happy to teach. The organisers may be able to find a teacher if you let them know.

Kids gaming
Saturday afternoon 2.30 – 4.00 there will be a special family session, with games to play with children. If you want to attend this session only it will only cost you $2 each (if you want to stay on and play more games we can upgrade you for another $3).

Wits and Wagers team tournament
Saturday evening 7.30 – 8.30 there will be Wits and Wagers team tournament using New Zealand designed questions and the Kids version rules. So be there to test your New Zealand knowledge against other gamers.

Wargaming at Wellycon
David Rauscher has kindly offered step to coordinate wargaming at Wellycon 2010. If you are interested in this specialist area pop over to David’s thread on Boardgamegeek and let him know.

Long games
Because the Saturday session lasts 12 hours it is a good opportunity to play that long rail game, civilization game or wargame. It might be wise to at least partially organise beforehand (the Wellycon registration thread on Boardgamegeek is a good place to find other players before 14 Aug).

On Sunday noon to 12:20pm there will be a session for people to swap, or buy/sell games with other people. So bring games you have finished loving and swap (or sell) them.

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