This is a report I received from SPC David Amberson, the greatest gamer in the middle east. He organized a convention for his fellow soldiers who are doing the hardest job America has over in Iraq.
Apologies if this has already been posted!
Here Greetings All,
Well, Ziggurat Convention 2007 is finally over. I am sorry for the
lateness of this e-mail, but I will try to answer all your questions,
well as share some pictures with you guys so you can see what happened.
I have been getting feedback from all over post about the convention,
and have the following bits of information. For those who have loved
ones who are in these pictures, or for those of you who are publishing
story about the event, please write me privately in about a week, and I
will do my best to send larger copies of these pics to you.
First, I really want to thank those who were so supportive of this
convention. From Wizards of the Coast whose employees contributed
approximately $15,000.00 worth of products, to the Junior High School
Student who donated the one thing he could afford - a brand new set of
dice. No matter how big or small the donation, we offer a huge thank
to all who contributed to this event. We are honored, and humbled by
your generosity. Boxes of left over gaming materials will be shipped to
MWR Centers throughout Iraq with supplies for the troops to use.
The most popular events held few surprises for everyone. The Console
Gaming, Rifts, Risk, Axis & Allies, Magic the Gathering, World of
Darkness, and Dungeons & Dragons were all very popular. What did
surprise us was the popularity of XCrawl as published by Panda Head
Games. SPC David Amberson ran that game, and gave a copy of the XCrawl
main rules book to the three players who chose their characters first.
The table was quickly locked after eight players, and more wanted to
join in, but were unable to because of table size restrictions. SPC
Kathleen Hiersche ran Munchkin Demo's with a whole lot of prize support
from Steve Jackson Games. Hiersche was even confirmed as one of the
in Black," so she can run games at other conventions later. Another
surprise came from the influx of interest in ShadowRun's 4th Edition
game run by SPC John Gilbert.
Ziggurat Con had drawings for prizes. SPC Amberson disqualified himself
from the drawings as the Convention Chair, and as the one holding the
drawings. The winner of the Grand Prize - a Core Rule Book Set, extra
dice, graph paper, mechanical pencils, a D&D Tote Bag, a Gargantuan
Black Dragon, a Colossal Red Dragon, 4 boxes of miniatures, a shield
a short sword was SGT Gary Decker. SGT Decker really wanted the sword,
and after getting the sword, almost left the rest of the prize pack,
much to everyone's laughter.
The following are e-mails and letters I received from those who went to
the Convention. I did not edit or censor their e-mails to me. I want
to see what they wrote, and know how much they appreciate your support.
Because of you, this convention was possible. Now if we can only find
someone to run the convention next year - LOL!!!
"Thanks for the games I had a great time wish I could have stayed for
the whole con, the convoy I was taking to Bucca was stopped on the road
for an EFP and we never made it further than CEDAR II. I have two
question one when are you free I would love to get together and talk or
XCrawl or anything and second do you happen to have any shirts or
miniatures left? I here I left 15 min to soon and I did not have to my
driver changed the tire by himself at 1400 (I do have the best driver
the unit ) well send me a message back let me know I would love to get
together." - SSG Reichenbach
"Given what we had to work with, I am proud of the results of this
convention. We had limited time, resources, space and people--yet stuff
managed to pull off a noteworthy event. The prize support was
phenomenal and the whole thing would have been impossible without such
loving, supporting gamers back home; even the major gaming companies
themselves, pitched in to help. One of the things that pleases me most
is the fact that everyone who came in walked away with something
significant. We weren't even able to actually give everything away and
STILL everyone had something big to show for having been there.
one of my beefs with the whole thing was lack of attendance; we didn't
have enough games being run or enough to fit the games we did have.
Which isn't for lack of support--unfortunately, the problem with the
being the first gaming convention to be held in a warzone is that we
are, in fact, soldiers in a warzone. Mission requirements or inability
to travel prevented many people from showing, who otherwise would have
made it. The really irking thing about this is that we had people from
off-post saying they would show, who never did. But, I digress. I think
one of the bigger problems with attendance was a sort of resigned
acceptance of an inability to attend, so no effort was made; either
or inflexibility on the part of certain unit supervisors or commanders.
No one specifically, that's just how the Army is--the "grin and bear
attitude. Which isn't to say we didn't receive support over here.
Indeed, there were a few unit commanders actually in attendance and
enjoying themselves thoroughly. The goal of the event was achieved,
however; it got the word out, got us supplies to pass out to the
MWRs, introduced some new players to the game and, most importantly, it
proved that it was possible, paving the way and setting the bar for
sort of thing in the future." - PFC Samuel Dickerson
"First, I like to thank EVERYBODY for showing up to ZiggCon and
especially all of those who helped out! This event was put together BY
gamers FOR gamers. Without our fellow gamers, this wouldn't have been
possible. We owe each other for the memorable occasion this past
Sunday. As much as we all enjoyed this event, it would have been almost
NOTHING if it weren't for the folks back home showing their support for
us in this environment. They were the ones who donated the dozens of
thousands of dollars worth of gaming material that we ALL got a chance
to walk away with. While we had the big-name publishers dishing stuff
out for us, we also had the "mom & pop" game shops helping out, as well
as the individual gamers who were willing to donate their own gaming
gear. 20+ year-old gaming dice?! Heck, I, personally, won't forget the
feeling I got from holding that 4-book stack of old-school AD&D books
from 1978! All of that being said, it's only fair that the people, who
sent so many of their potential assets and/or prized gaming treasures,
get something back from us. I'm sending out a call to all who
participated in and all who helped with ZiggCon. Please send us any
photos you have and a review of what happened, what you helped out with
and what you thought. Essentially, this is our great big "Thank You" to
the gaming community at large and a witness to all of those who so
desperately wanted to be here. (You'd be amazed at the sheer number of
civilians and former military that wanted to actually be HERE for it!)
Let's say thanks and tell 'em how it went."
- Justin A. Creech
So to everyone who helped us, we, the participants of Ziggurat Con
you for all your help. Without you, there wouldn't have been a
convention to support.
Ziggurat Con Chair