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Thread: Hosting My First Convention Event

  1. #1
    Midshipman
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    Default Hosting My First Convention Event

    I just signed up to GM a game of SoG at the Midwinter Gaming Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where I live.

    https://tabletop.events/conventions/...0/schedule/195

    Anything I should know about doing something like this?

  2. #2
    1st Lieutenant
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    I would go very basic. You have 4 players and 2 hours so you want a basic scenario with no land masses (maybe for looks on the edge of the board). Four frigates. Use basic rules but I would add in ammunition types and sail settings. Do not use crew actions unless you have experienced players. I tried it with a convention game once with 8 players and it bogged the game down. Also new players tend to have collisions and I would recommend not using the friendly collision damage in the game. For collisions simple is better just allow the ships to pass after the initial hit. Veer is also something I would not use for a demo type game. Also go to BGG and download some of the fan made play sheets with the turn sequence. Special damage is another consideration. Fire in the RAW is deadly and the dragging mast cards can be confusing. You may want to try a game without the special damage so bad luck doesn't cripple a ship early. Spend 15 minutes explaining the rules but have the ships start far enough away so the players can have a turn or two of maneuvering to get used to the cards. Don't be afraid to reset the battle if one side looks to be in bad shape.

  3. #3
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    I made myself a set of extra large cards with all the moves for the Basic game. It cuts down on the explaining of the game if you can show your flash cards and explain them to the whole group at once. I can send you a SET by E- mail if you would like them. Also learning the game using Frigates, and having only one movement card chosen at a time instead of the usual two makes for a quicker game.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  4. #4
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    I agree with what has been said above except ammunition. Just ball is fine.
    I have my players choose movement cards and place them at the ships so everyone can see when all has plotted. I admit that it's more useful when there's more ships than players, but it's still good as everyone can see if all is finished. I usually have collision damage just be one chit instead of burden just to lessen the impact. (...of collisions... ) It's a bit too easy to collide with the big bases.

    As I usually have drop in it's good to have a shoreline to draw people in as it's nice to look at but have the wind come from land or all new players will end up on the beaches.

  5. #5
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    This is becoming a very useful thread for help and ideas. Even an old stager like I am will be adding a couple of new ideas from what you two shipmates have suggested here.
    Thanks and please keep them coming chaps.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  6. #6
    Midshipman
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    The convention is four days long. Do you think I should sign up for multiple games throughout the weekend?

  7. #7
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    I would pick and choose with breaks in between so that you get a chance for a look around.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  8. #8
    Midshipman
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    I just applied to host three more games.

  9. #9
    1st Lieutenant
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonb View Post
    The convention is four days long. Do you think I should sign up for multiple games throughout the weekend?
    I usually do 2 games in a three day show. Those are normally larger games though - 6-8 players and a 4 hour time slot. I also make sure I meet the requirements for free entry to the show! I am usually pretty tired after doing just two though! Last time I did a Sails game it was a large historical battle with 8-10 ships (Either Battle of Lissa or Strachen's Action) and one game was enough!!

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    I usually do a full day of drop in early on and then a bigger battle later on. A day of rest in between is definitely good to gather strength and it lets you do other stuff too. Having the drop in also makes it easier to get players with some knowledge of the game for the big battle.

  11. #11
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    I did a five hour game on Saturday at Donny aided by Sven, and was surprised to feel no after effects. How i would have been after a repeat the next day I am not sure but it would probably tired me out.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  12. #12
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    I think two hours should be a good amount of time for a couple of beginners with maybe two ships each or more with one apiece, not too long, probably not too short. Even if we don't quite finish the game, I think everyone will be able to have a good time.

  13. #13
    Midshipman
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    I have one game on Friday, two on Saturday with five hours in between, and one on Sunday. With the tote system I've put together, it shouldn't be too hard to carry everything around if there's no place for GMs to stash stuff.

  14. #14
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonb View Post
    I think two hours should be a good amount of time for a couple of beginners with maybe two ships each or more with one apiece, not too long, probably not too short. Even if we don't quite finish the game, I think everyone will be able to have a good time.
    I would say you should be OK. Did I mention my big flash cards so that you can instruct the rules to every punter at once instead of flying round each individual like the proverbial blue based fly. It saves ten minutes on the game.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  15. #15
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    Just checked your dates. If you don't have the facilities I'd be happy to print off a set and send them on to you. There is bags of time even with the mail system as it is.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    Just checked your dates. If you don't have the facilities I'd be happy to print off a set and send them on to you. There is bags of time even with the mail system as it is.

    Rob.
    Shoot me an email. I believe I still owe you some articles as well.

  17. #17
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    Do you?
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  18. #18
    Midshipman
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    There was definitely one about teak ship construction. I'll have to find the email.

  19. #19
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    E-mail sent in two parts. Let me know when you get it.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  20. #20
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonb View Post
    There was definitely one about teak ship construction. I'll have to find the email.
    That would be most interesting to me as a cabinet maker Jason.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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