After Action Report On New MexiCon
  • After Action Report On New MexiCon

    Running for three days (April 21–23), New MexiCon marked its fourth year of putting on a plethora of indie RPGs and LARPs for gamers from New Mexico and points beyond. Like many smaller cons, New MexiCon raised its seed money via Kickstarter. The campaign this year was successful enough to pay for a trio of game designers to attend: Michelle Lyons-McFarland, Matt McFarland, and Kenneth Hite. Additionally, Magpie Games and John Wick Presents were present, their respective crews running games and generally enlivening the con experience.

    New MexiCon uses the "Games on Demand" model to schedule events, blocking out four-hour slots (one on Friday evening, three on Saturday, and one on Sunday morning). For those unfamiliar with the format, anyone is free to propose a game they would like to run just prior to the beginning of the time slot. If enough people are interested, the game is run. In cases where there are more interested players than available slots, a priority system based on registration time sorts things out.

    Games run this year included The Sprawl, Apocalypse World: Fallout Shelter (run using Legos!), Dungeon Crawl Classics (featuring the Goonies as pre-gens running through a death-trap dungeon!), Masks, Tragedy in Five Acts, Star Wars (both FATE and D6 System versions), Dread, Velvet Glove, 13th Age, and, for the first time, two LARP events (7th Sea and Slayer Cake). In all, there were 75 registered attendees present playing 38 different games.

    New MexiCon draws more and more attendants each year but so far remains a boutique affair. This ensures a smaller, more intimate feel, an impression further reinforced by the fact that every game had its own private room in the hotel (the Ramada East). That being said, attendance was up 100 percent over last year (from 38 registered attendees to 75) and the convention organizers are exploring options for a larger space next year. Con Chair Nicholas Hopkins states, "We were really excited with how things turned out this year and are already looking forward to 2018!"

    The format is also great for game designers, who use it to play-test ongoing designs or take half-baked ideas for a spin. Your humble correspondent was lucky enough to participate in a play-test of Sarah Richardson’s Velvet Glove ("Take exploitation movies like Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill! and Switchblade Sisters, plus a little exploration of coming-of-age movies like The Outsiders, add in a gender twist, and you get Velvet Glove.") with Ken Hite as a fellow player. The private room and four-player limit made this a much more intimate and exciting experience unlike your typical con game; this felt much more like a typical home gaming group.

    Reports from other tables reinforce this impression, with an overall excellent level of play from all involved.

    After four years, New MexiCon appears to have really hit its stride. As the only convention in the state currently devoted exclusively to tabletop gaming, we certainly hope to see many more successful years to come!
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. Zarithar's Avatar
      Zarithar -
      Good to hear... because when I lived in Albuquerque back in the early 2000's there was no tabletop or RPG gaming scene to speak of. Nice to see this happening.
    1. Doctor Futurity -
      @Zarithar I moved here in 2005 from Seattle and have found gaming in Albuquerque to be much more robust than I did in Seattle back then....although could be I was able to network with gamers in ABQ better than I did in Seattle?

      That said, I had no idea New Mexicon was taking off like this, kudos! Now maybe one year it will happen at a time when I can actually try to attend.
    1. Zarithar's Avatar
      Zarithar -
      Just the opposite for me... but gaming has really exploded in popularity here with places like MOX, AFK Tavern, and of course PAX and other smaller cons.
    1. Elf_flambe's Avatar
      Elf_flambe -
      I lived in Albuquerque 1994-2001, but was busy w/ other activities so didn't game much. But I had the impression that there was a somewhat-active gaming community around the UNM campus that took a big hit when Wargames West on Central Ave closed down. Also, a big Warhammer group was centered on the Starbase 10 game shop (at Montgomery & Juan Tabo, next to the Page One Too used book store), which may not be there anymore, either. Unfortunately, haven't been back in years. Glad to hear about New Mexicon and its growth!
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