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TravCon 12 Report

This is a short report that I originally prepared for the Tavern about BITS excellent convention, TravCon. Slightly amended.

I had a great weekend. Arrived on Friday night fully planning to update the scenario characters from CT and MT to Mongoose Traveller and ended up being persuaded by Tom Z to come and play Striker 2 instead. I suspect that he may have regretted that when his G-Carrier popped up to be hit with a missile under opportunity fire from my hidden hover tank. The G-Carrier made an impressive addition to the swamp it was flying over. I enjoyed the game, even if I did end up being wiped out.

Saturday saw me up early to convert the characters. This was unusual. I normally write new scenarios for Travcon and BITS but this time I decided to run a scenario from Challenge called 'Snowblind' and the classic White Dwarf scenario 'Tower Trouble'. I am also usually more prepared. It was also amusing when I got a text from the con team at 08:55 checking I was okay to run when I'd been up since 07:15!

I spent the morning running the game, and the players seemed to enjoy it even if the ending was somewhat anti-climatic (in the sense we all agreed to narrate the big show piece combat rather than play it out). The scenario also reminded me how long starship combat takes - but it was kind of fun.

Saturday afternoon was one of my highlights. I had a quick trip to the pub with a number of old friends for some food, and then went and played Tim Collinson's excellent 'Signs and Portents'. This was the first con scenario he had run and was truly awesome. Absolute classic Traveller style and a rare gem in being a science based scenario with lots of human interest. It was a scout mission to carry out an in-depth survey. This is one I anticipate that BITS will publish. The draft copy that Tim had went in the charity auction and made £70 for 'Help for Heroes'.

Saturday evening I cried out of games to complete the characters for the game the next day. This meant I skulked in the bar with a laptop and access to the real ale brought to the con by Derrick Jones (Continuum - you should get this man to come and visit!). After I finished the game we played Mag*Blast (the annual BITS championship in which Andy Lilly - BITS director - was destroyed first and me soon after) which ended up being the longest game ever. We also played Star Fluxx which was a great variant on (duh) Fluxx and a group tried out my copy of 'The Stars are Right' which had been gathering dust on my shelf for far too long.

Sunday morning was more leisurely and I ran Tower Trouble. It's a Marcus L Rowland heist scenario built around raiding an orbital tower. The team included the Guvnor (a transport expert) and a number of others who decided to avoid the main thrust of the scenario (stop the shuttle car on the beanstalk) and instead hack and do a really clever heist that involved a cargo switch at the down port terminal. Brilliantly done, but I hope it wasn't too much of an anti-climax. It was also the second scenario at a Travcon when the players have planned their approach with a flip chart!!!

Sadly, it was time for the awards ("Starburst for Extreme Heroism" and "Ping F**k It!") and auction which went well and then the con ended and I spent the next 125 miles running up the A1 away from the grim cold wet and snow South to the sunny North.

A great weekend, all in all.