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Q-Con / DreadBall Northern Ireland Regionals 2013

QCon1

I made the 1000km+ road trip from West Cork to Belfast and back again last weekend.  The main motivation was to play DreadBall, but it also gave me an excuse to visit Belfast, a city that I had never been to before.

Q-Con is run by Queens University and while it started twenty tears ago as a gaming event, at some point in the intervening years the Queens anime societies annual get-together was incorporated into it.  At this point Q-Con is more of an anime event than a gaming one.

Mario & Luigi play CCGs

Mario & Luigi play CCGs

I spoke to a few wargamers at the event who would rather that the anime aspect of Q-Con was not as heavily associated with their hobby, but I thought that the exotically dressed crowds added a good atmosphere to proceedings.  I have been to many gaming conventions over the years but only few sci-fi/anime/comic cons, so maybe the novelty was what made it work for me.

Another effect of the combined con was that the percentage of female attendees was dramatically higher than that at any of the gaming events that I have been to.  That has to be a good thing really as wargaming is traditionally very much a boys club.  Paradoxically I do find it difficult to think of another environment where teenage girls dressed as cartoon schoolgirls actually pay to be in the same room as sweaty old fat nerds, but thats a side issue really.

I think that having the anime crowd there added to Q-Con rather than detracted from it, even from my gamers perspective, but YMMV and all that.

The trade hall.  Busy.

The trade hall. Busy.

Wargaming and boardgaming were well catered for, with the usual staples being played.  I took a few quick photos of the games that appealed to me most (usually the ones with giant robots in them).

Dropzone Commander

Dropzone Commander

In another dimension there is an alternative version of me that is completely obsessed with Dropzone Commander, I am sure of it.  The scale, the terrain and the beautiful models are very appealing, but in this universe I simply cannot commit to the game for scale and financial and lead mountain reasons.  It does look fantastic though.

Bay of Pigs (in Space)

Bay of Pigs (in Space)

One visually arresting game being played was 15mm scale Battletech using mecha toys and the like.  I think that the game was a reenactment of the Bay of Pigs, except with giant robots.

More Bay of Pigs (in Space)

More Bay of Pigs (in Space)

I am a big fan of Space Hulk, so I quite liked this…

Multi-level Space Hulk

Multi-level Space Hulk

Im not really one for playing participation games at conventions generally, so I didnt take part in the multi-level Space Hulk scenario, although I did have a chat with the guy who put it together.

Deep Wars

Deep Wars

I dont know very much about Deep Wars except that it takes place at the bottom of some ocean or other.  My sub-par phone photo doesnt do this table justice as the vibrant colours and aquarium pieces really made it look quite technicolour and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea to me, which was cool.

Deep Wars Faction 1

Deep Wars Faction 1

I am guessing that the guys shown above are the undersea invaders while the guys below are the natives…

Deep Wars Faction 2

Deep Wars Faction 2

While the idea of playing games with fishmen and divers sounds like a bit of a laugh Im not sure that I could ever really get a game like that off the ground.  Its a little bit too niche.  At this stage in my lifelong toy soldier obsession I reckon that I should stick to a few eras/settings to game in/paint miniatures for and underwater skirmishing isnt at the top pf that list.  A pity in some respects.

The DreadBall event was fun, although I didnt get any photos of it: too busy playing.  I placed third with my freshly painted judwan team, the “Rupture Farmers” (photos in a few days).  Playing standard was high and I was a little sorry that I hadnt had a few practice games with the judwan in advance as I made a couple of errors that I wont make again.  I would rather have learned those lessons in friendly games than at a tournament, but it was a pleasure to play against nice people who knew what they were doing.  The winner and the runner up were well deserving of their places.

Judge Dredd - The Forsaken Pt3, p2, prog 1832

Judge Dredd – The Forsaken Pt3, p2, prog 1832

Lastly, a big highlight of the weekend was meeting the 2000AD artist PJ Holden and buying a page of recent Judge Dredd strip from him, which he also autographed (an unexpected bonus of the con having a broader scope).

When buying pages of comic artwork the price increases the more images of big names like Spider-Man or Batman appear on the page.  At least, thats what I have heard.   So this page does quite well with three pictures of Joe Dredd.  I quite like the one in the last panel too: its quite a definitive shot of old stony face with his best “my candy floss just blew away” frown.

A quick snap of the page from the recent issue of 2000AD, about a month old.

A quick snap of the page from the recent issue of 2000AD, about a month old.

Added value comes from the bearded male character, ex Judge cadet Dolman.  As you all know, Dolman is also a clone of Eustace Fargo – the father of justice – just like Dredd.  Dolman has had cosmetic surgery so as not to look like Fargo clones, but that still adds a lot of extra badass per page.

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2 Responses

  1. Good to meet you at Qcon. Thanks for the dreadball tips

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    • Thanks for babysitting my wingman-less self during Q-con. Im sure that I will run into you again soon at something DreadBall related. Gaelcon or Warpcon maybe.

      See you around 🙂

      Like

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