We had a ball at Epic Diem in 2013 (albeit as Brisbane Tabletop Gaming News) so it’s no surprise that the team was absolutely fired up and keen for this year’s “Nerd Culture Expo” serving. Coming up from Brisbane it was an hour and a half by car, but the drive was an enjoyable one with perfect blue skies in every direction. We had the radio up and the sunroof open as we bopped all the way to the University of the Sunshine Coast sports precinct.
I’ll admit we got a little lost last year, so thankfully the Epic Diem had instructions up on their Facebook Event this year which really made the whole thing much, much easier. Although last year, I personally, was also taking up a truckload of product and setting up a stall, I was looking forward to attending this year as a patron.
Walking into the main hall I was immediately surrounded by cosplayers in a variety of fanciful outfits, but I was here for one thing and one thing only – tabletop gaming!
The Card House
I decided to take 10 on a perception check, I was after all in no hurry, and explored the hall thoroughly. For those with a diverse palette there was plenty on offer beyond tabletop gaming; many stalls had cosplay clothing and other handmade crafts available such as jewelry and stuffed toy action heroes. A number of stalls were devoted to the electronic media; a League of Legends tournament, Oculus Rift demonstration area and more were all available for hands-on entertainment.
The largest areas of the hall though were dedicated to tabletop gaming, which was great to see!
Returning stall holder ‘The Card House‘ was on site and in force with a large tabletop area devoted to a variety of trading card games. During my time at the expo I noticed both Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon being played. They also had a number of TCG products available for purchase including the recently released Khans of Tarkir for Magic: The Gathering.
A relatively new store to the Sunshine Coast area (Open for about 12 months now) was ‘Urban Fiction’. Their tabletop gaming area, from what I could see, was more dedicated to miniature war games and Living Card Games (Sadly no Call of Cthulhu for me though). I was assured though that the store plays plenty of Magic: The Gathering and other TCG’s on a regular basis. The lean towards miniature war gaming in the area probably had something to do with the fine people from ‘2nd Legion‘, a group of dedicated tabletop game players on the Sunshine Coast who seem to have a penchant for miniature war gaming in particular.
With such a long drive between Brisbane and Sunshine Coast it’s great to see tabletop gaming flourishing up there and multiple options now presenting themselves for the avid tabletop gamer.
Sadly though it must be mentioned that the attendance at Epic Diem (at least while I was there) was down considerably from last year. The large venue looked quite empty in some parts and I couldn’t help but notice the amount of stall holders was down from last year as well. I was informed that, sadly, one of the store holders had their truck break down on the way up that morning. Perhaps it was simply a case of calamity after calamity but no doubt the significantly smaller attendance will have an impact on next years Epic Diem event.
I got the feeling that last year there were a great many more people coming up from Brisbane, including store holders, whereas this year seemed to be more populated by Sunshine Coast residents. This isn’t a bad thing but perhaps the organisers may need to re-focus their targets for next year.
I enjoyed watching some wrestling in the hall and archery out on the field while consuming some trail rations before preparing my equipment for the long journey home. Oh and of course I had to snap a picture of the Dalek and Tardis before leaving, being a huge Whovian nerd myself.
I’m looking forward to Epic Diem 2015, hopefully the organisers can find a way to bolster morale and push on with an even bigger and better event next year.