January 30, 2014
So I Accidentally Went To A Convention
While hanging out with my roommate and some of our gamer buddies, someone suggested making a quick trip up to the Armored Gopher, our favorite game shop of this area, before we started our Shadowrun game. Seeing no reason not to, we headed there only to find a sign on the door saying, “Sorry, we are at Winter Wars 2014.” Somewhat distraught about making a trip for nothing, a quick web search revealed that Winter Wars was a gaming convention being held just a few miles away, at the Hawthorn Sweets in Champaign, IL. Having already made the trip, we decided to stop in. Little did we know that we were all in for quite the treat.
Said to be “Illinois Best Kept Gaming Secret,” not to mention “The Midwest’s Longest Consecutively Running Independent Gaming Convention!” Winter Wars is a fun little convention held every year that is all about gaming. While its focus was in miniatures games and tactical board/table-top games, there was a lot of support for table-top role-playing games, card games, adventure games, and more all on display. Several game stores, including my beloved Armored Gopher Games, were all in attendance and I was given the opportunity to meet a lot of new people who shared my love of gaming. I did not stay long, but in the brief time I was there I had some great conversations about building terrain for miniatures games, strategies for playing in mass combat scenarios, and even discovered some interesting new board games that I hope to one day get a chance to try out.
Honestly, I have never been one for conventions. Being around so many people at one time is not something I overly enjoy. I will admit to being very much an introvert. Even so, I am glad I attended, even briefly. Large gaggles of gamers might seem imposing at first, but get them talking about their favorite games and you will never meet nicer people. A friend of mine kept telling me I need to, but I never really gave it that much thought. I attended Gen Con several years ago, thusly being given the chance to meet legendary gaming enthusiasts like Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day, and hope to again someday, but that was really about it as far as my Con-going has taken me. After this, however, I hope to change that. I look forward to next year’s Winter Wars, when I not only plan on attending, but also running a few games of Anima Tactics or Shadow of Omega for any interested players who might be there. So, if you live in or around the Champaign Illinois area, love gaming, and are looking for a great time among your fellow brothers and sisters-in-arms, then I invite you all to next year’s event.
Let this best kept secret of gaming in Illinois be secret no longer. Spread the word. Come on out and show your support of your local gaming providers and gaming in general. Take it from your friendly Gamemaster, this is something you do not want to miss.
As always, thank you for reading and I wish you all good gaming.