While it may seem comparatively small to some con-veterans, OzComicCon is by no means tiny.
Covering a ‘Con’ like OzComicCon is difficult. This is because we at ATGN understandably limit our coverage to tabletop related topics. As the result, we have to act like tabletop enthusiasts exist in a isolated vacuum in pop culture when it’s not necessarily the case. This means I can’t tell you at length about how hilarious Mark Sheppard’s panels were, though a large number of you are probably fans of Supernatural and Firefly. I can’t ramble on about the quality of the cosplay or share anecdotes about the ‘Just Dance’ stage, even though some of you would be interested in that. What I can do though, without any difficulty or reservation, is recommend this convention to any tabletop enthusiasts regardless of your level of interest in pop culture.
Vault Game’s Tabletop Area with the diverse selections of games you can borrow.
The main draw of OzComicCon for any tabletop fan is Vault Game’s Tabletop Area. The awesome people at Vault Games, which include our own webmaster, Dylan Shearer, brought a large and diverse selection of card games and board games that you can borrow and play in the provided gaming area. They also had a variety of activities running during the whole weekend to keep you entertained, such as board game tournaments, and ‘toss the pig’ with a chance to win discount vouchers and gift cards for their online store. The friendly staff of Vault Games were also more than happy to teach and play some games with those who needed the help.
There was even space prepared for a variety of miniature games.
Wizard’s massive Magic the Gathering area was truly deserving of the term ‘Megabooth’.
Just Joker and Harlequinn enjoying a game of Magic the Gathering.
The biggest tabletop presence at OzComicCon had to be Wizards of the Coast with their Magic: The Gathering Megabooth. The Megabooth had appeal to fans and newcomers alike with ‘learn to play’ areas as well as regular starter deck and draft tournaments. The booth was also giving away a large variety of great loot for MtG players, including some exclusive foil promotional cards. If you went through their ‘learn to play’ program on the day you were also rewarded with the intro deck you played with, plus a discount offer for your first starter deck. They also had an area set up for people to try out the latest ‘Duels of the Planeswalkers’ on the iPad. Even with its massive space and dozens of staff members, the MtG Megabooth was fairly packed and busy for the whole weekend.
Every game lasts about 3 hours but most of it is players staring each other down and screaming.
If Magic isn’t to your liking and you wanted to try out other trading card games, OzComicCon also had you covered. While the variety was not as diverse as last year, largely due to OzAnimart’s noticeable absence this year, you still had a chance to relax, kick back, and learn a new card game. My Little Pony and the latest DragonBall Z card games both had tutorial tables set up to recruit more players.
From left to right, Jason Wesley Kotzur-Yang from End Game Games, Allen Chang from Rule & Make, Ray Williams from Munji Studios, and Dylan Shearer from Table Tyrant Games and Vault Games.
OzComicCon is also a great place to be if you happen to be interested in the development of tabletop games, the local indie tabletop game scene, or designing your own tabletop games. Local game developers usually have a presence at the con and most are happy to have a chat, give advice, or just show off their latest creations. There’s usually a very informative panel scheduled for players and designers alike. This year, it was manned by Jason Wesley Kotzur-Yang from End Game Games, Allen Chang from Rule & Make, Ray Williams from Munji Studios, and Dylan Shearer from Table Tyrant Games and Vault Games. The panel also opened up to a Q&A session towards the end. With panelists being a mix of designers and publishers, there were a lot of helpful information imparted to any aspiring designers listening.
Some stalls even had staff in costume!
Of course, no cons are complete without the stalls and OzComicCon had its fair share. There were a fair few stalls dedicated to tabletop products while a lot of general pop culture related stalls also had sections for board games and card games. The show floor is a great opportunity to stock up on your tabletop collection with many stalls pricing competitively with each other. A helpful tip is to make a final round around the stalls toward the end of the con to grab those last minute discounts.
Even with OzComicCon’s weakness, (The relatively small size which might disappoint some cosplayers and con enthusiasts) it is appealing for tabletop enthusiasts, due to the relaxed atmosphere it creates. All in all, OzComicCon is an enjoyable weekend for any tabletop enthusiasts with or without passing interest for other aspects of pop culture.
Likes: the Emperor and purges.
Dislikes: Heretics, Mutants, and the unclean.