Operating since 1977, Cangames is one of the longest running conventions in Canada and I suspect North America. For the first time in 30 years (you do the math - it has been a while), I simultaneously have the time and money and interest to be able to attend. Unlike the British and European conventions I have heard so much about, Cangames is almost purely comprised of participation games with a small vendor area at the back of the hall. It is spread over two and a half days and runs from 2 p.m. Friday afternoon with the last games ending at 11 p.m. on Sunday evening.
The schedule features approximately 180 games with the possibility of a few more being added to open tables. Each day is further broken down into five time slots to allow players to plan out their gaming weekend. Players have four options to play a specific game. For the nominal charge of $2.50, players can reserve a slot when they pre-register on-line, through a participating game store or via post. At the door, players can purchase game tokens at the registration desk for $3.00 then use a token to sign up for a slot on the game sheet at the tournament desk. The third option is to wait until 30 minutes before game start when the sign up sheets are placed out in the sign up area for free to all sign up. I am told that the press of gamers to get at these sheets resembles gladiatorial combat. Each sheet has a cut off for number of players but extras can sign up as alternates. Finally, each game master has a small orange traffic cone they can place on their table to indicate they have slots open to walk by traffic.
After perusing the schedule, I settled on three games. The first was the Sunday DBA tournament - my first outside of a small club event, the second was the Saturday evening Saga game - I am excited because I have heard so many good things about this system and the third was a 1/2400 coastal forces game on Saturday day because I like the period. With a lot of extra time to spend and not a lot of spare cash to drop in the dealer's room, I thought I might as well volunteer and see the event from the other side. Each volunteer shift is 5 hours long and can be used to count toward the weekend's admission fees or toward the mandatory volunteer hours (yes that is an oxymoron) high school students have to perform to graduate. I will be assembling trophies, printing certificates and handing these out to the lucky winners. Unfortunately due to an oversight on my part or a last minute schedule change, my shift conflicts with the coastal game. Slightly annoying, but not the end of the world.
Last night was spent setting up tables and taking the needed of training (No WHS warnings about the glue guns though). For some reason the amount of lifting done seemed to be proportional to the age of the people doing it with the young 'uns standing around waiting for direction while the grey beards got stuck in. I have nothing on tonight other than picking up my badge on the way home from work. I will post updates and pictures as the event progresses.