Ziggurat Con - A Recap


SPC David Amberson, Ziggurat Con Chair, writes to tel us that Ziggurat Convention 2007 is finally over. "To everyone who helped us, we, the participants of Ziggurat Con thank you for all your help," he said. "Without you, there wouldn't have been a convention to support." Gamegrene is proud to have been the website that truly broke this story open. I personally hope that there won't have to be a Ziggurat Con 2008 - it would be nice for everyone to come home and just go to GenCon next year.

In SPC David Amberson's own words:

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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 you 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 "Men 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.

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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 and 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 you 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!!!

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us"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 in 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 absolutely 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. However, 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 that 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 it" 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 various 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 this sort of thing in the future." - PFC Samuel Dickerson

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us"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." :-D - Justin A. Creech

It is heartening that so much went well, from those who could give to those that could receive. Kudos to all involved. ;-D

"I personally hope that there won't have to be a Ziggurat Con 2008"
It is a beautiful thought, but these situations don't disappear when they fade from the news. There will be service people out there when all has "returned to normal" just as there have been service people out there before most ever thought about it.

Okay...so one of the things that we can do is keep up the effort to boost the spirits of our fellow gamers out there in the trenches.

I'd like to challenge every one out there to get with your local gaming group or game/comic shop and adopt a gamer soldier. write him/her letters, send em care packages....once a month try to do a little something- anything that might brighten their day.

Just an idea I thought I'd throw out there.

Oh..and if you don't have much in the way of cashy money - band together with others - see the above statement about game groups, comic shops etc. Writing doesn't take much of anything but time . and you can always have little stuff drives and postage raising tourneys at your local shops.

I would love to promote something like this. I think it's a great idea!

PS: Never got the pictures... send again to jaegamer AT gmail DOT com, pretty please?

Jae Walker
Of course the game is rigged, but if you don't play, you can't win.

Never got the pictures... send again to jaegamer AT gmail DOT com, pretty please?