Tuesday, November 6, 2018

What You Missed - Carnage 21

by Jon “Trent” Jessop

First a little bit about Carnage. Carnage is a gaming convention held annually for the past 21 years, most recently at the Killington Grand Resort in Vermont. Carnage attracts gamers from across the country, and includes prestigious championships for many board games and war games. Estimates for this year were 1200 people spread across multiple large rooms, in multiple buildings. This year felt full, it felt busy, but it never felt too crowded. As you can imagine, not many people are into playing tabletop games outdoors, which gives us a lot of freedom to use the paths and trails. (Disclaimer, this year, due to snow, rain and severe winds, we stayed indoors as much as possible,especially during Saturday afternoon). Carnage has a wide age range, from the youngest of children playing board games to the older folks playing war games with minis they've had for decades.

This year's concept for the convention was Space/Sci-Fi, so what could we possibly do to fit Realms into that theme? We had an idea but first, we needed to recruit. We drew people in with our fancy garb (OK,  mostly Sara (Zarine)'s fancy garb), fliers that we distributed in various gaming rooms bumping into old friends and making new ones, great looking poster boards at our info table that was staffed by Andy Disbrow and Alan Skumautz, and our great crew that was willing to basically do whatever the con-goers asked, be it fighting displays between seasoned combatants, showing them the importance of support casters (Zarine, in her fancy garb – I don't how she didn't fall and die) and showing the new people the basics of our combat system, and magic system.

Eventually we had a well trained crew, The Green Mountain Militia, a good group of folks that were ready to defend Carnage from all enemies. Which, low and behold, was a good thing, because while we were on a break a portal or gate of some sort had opened and Carnage was being infiltrated by what I can only imagine were scouts testing our defenses for a major invasion.

It was time for the Green Mountain Militia to put all their training to good use, and prevent that from happening.

There are many stories that will be told about the time fighting the aliens, I'm sure much of it that I didn't see. (Seriously, this Con is huge). But some highlights were fighting up the stairs in the hotel lobby, a plant being knocked off a table in the hotel lobby and the hotel staff not getting mad (thank you hotel staff), two families adventuring as families, flanking the Aliens using the hotel elevator, Eric Marques possibly falling into a storm drain to stop a kid from falling into the storm drain, and the best story to tell of all, a bunch of smiling kids.

At the end, the Green Mountain Militia drove back the Aliens, closed their gate permanently (but not before it summoned an alien monster that was much tougher then the scouts) and saved the weekend at  Carnage. As I thanked them for their hard work and service to Realms I was told that they didn't work for free and that they should get paid. So not only did they have a great time, but they left with heavier pockets and many memories. (and also website addresses and Facebook groups to maybe get them to come to more events.)

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