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Post-Pennsic 37 notes

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  • Mike Knauer
    Greetings! Another Pennsic has come and gone, and for another year the Games Tent has proven to be a successful and popular addition to Pennsic. A big thank
    Message 1 of 10 , Aug 11, 2008
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      Greetings!

      Another Pennsic has come and gone, and for another year the Games Tent
      has proven to be a successful and popular addition to Pennsic.

      A big thank you to all of our teachers!

      We held 18 classes, taught by six different teachers. With luck we will
      be able to increase the number of teachers next year (and give Istvan a
      bit of a break :) )

      Our larger tent worked out *very* well as far I could tell. Did anyone
      notice any crowding issues? We always seemed to have space for the
      classes without needed to bump out folks who were playing other games.
      Five tables looked like a good number, and I didn't see us run out of
      chairs (though I would have expected to need more then we had).

      The shift in hours seemed to go fine, opening sometime before the first
      class and closing at 6.

      Chess continues to be the most popular game for folks who just stop in,
      but we got a few of them playing the other offerings. Go on Friday had
      a decent sized group playing or learning all day. I think we should
      continue with that in the future.

      On my list for things to change/correct/look into for next year are:
      - Seeing about getting a water cooler
      - Getting lights and power (missing this year, but used in the past)
      - Getting the trash set up and collected (by someone other then us)
      - Make sure our teachers are on the University list (I checked in as a
      teacher but wasn't listed)
      - Get the game bins into Pennsic storage
      - Get the game class schedule sent out to all teachers as soon as
      possible (usually the Univ staff does this, but I can do it as well to
      make sure everyone gets a copy).

      Does anyone have any other thoughts on what went right, what went wrong,
      and what they'd like to see different next year?

      - Michel
    • Brian Campbell
      ... This was the first year I ve actually stopped in and played games in the period game tent. I stopped by once a year or two ago, and it was so crowded and
      Message 2 of 10 , Aug 14, 2008
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        --- In pennsicgames@yahoogroups.com, Mike Knauer <mike@...> wrote:
        > Our larger tent worked out *very* well as far I could tell. Did anyone
        > notice any crowding issues? We always seemed to have space for the
        > classes without needed to bump out folks who were playing other games.
        > Five tables looked like a good number, and I didn't see us run out of
        > chairs (though I would have expected to need more then we had).

        This was the first year I've actually stopped in and played games in the period game tent. I
        stopped by once a year or two ago, and it was so crowded and cramped that I didn't feel
        like staying, so I'd say that the larger tent was a very good thing.

        > Chess continues to be the most popular game for folks who just stop in,
        > but we got a few of them playing the other offerings. Go on Friday had
        > a decent sized group playing or learning all day. I think we should
        > continue with that in the future.

        I definitely appreciated the Go day, though I spent some of it learning a bit about chess
        strategy from a VDK whose name I don't recall.

        I think I'd like it if there were actually some more classes on strategy; classes that go
        beyond simply teaching the rules of a game. I know that's what interests me about Go, is
        that it is so deep and there's always so much more to learn. I could probably teach a bit
        about basic go strategy (I'm around 11k KGS, so not great, but I can give pointers to
        people in the 18-30k range; I know some people who are closer to 1d who might be able
        to offer a bit more). Would anyone else be able to teach classes that go deeper into the
        strategy of chess, draughts, tables, morris, tafl, or alquerques (or any other games; those
        are the ones off the top of my head that I'd be most interested in learning about)?

        Also, I'm wondering if it would be possible to make the period game tent a little more,
        well, period. It feels a bit off to just have cloth boards (or was it paper? I don't recall)
        under plastic, with those ubiquitous colored glass beads in plastic storage containers. I
        realize that this is probably the cheapest way to get a lot of boards and pieces, and no one
        wants their nice wooden sets to be damaged in the rain, or stone pieces to be lost by kids,
        but I'm wondering if it would be possible to go for a slightly more period atmosphere.
        Someone did bring a nice goban with them on Friday, and I appreciated that; would a few
        people be able to bring some nicer looking or more period games and pieces with them?

        Anyhow, I'm on this list now, so I'd certainly like to try and help out next year, either
        teaching classes or just volunteering for shifts. I can teach Go, 9 men's morris (or other
        sized variations), and alquerques (just learned it this war, but it's pretty simple, so I'd feel
        pretty comfortable teaching it). I know the rules for draughts, Chess, and backgammon
        (and some other tables variants), but since those are more popular outside the society, I
        feel like there are likely some people with more experience who would be able to teach
        them a bit better. Next year (or in the intervening time), I'm going to have to learn some
        period card games.

        -- Joris de Tolosa
      • Daniel Adler
        ... This was the first year in a long while that I DIDN T teach game classes while at Pennsic (My merchant space was having sewer problems and being worked on
        Message 3 of 10 , Aug 14, 2008
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          On Aug 14, 2008, at 4:46 PM, Brian Campbell wrote:

          > This was the first year I've actually stopped in and played games in
          > the period game tent. I
          > stopped by once a year or two ago, and it was so crowded and cramped
          > that I didn't feel
          > like staying, so I'd say that the larger tent was a very good thing.

          This was the first year in a long while that I DIDN'T teach game
          classes while at Pennsic (My merchant space was having sewer problems
          and being worked on pre-Pennsic, I couldn't commit to a class or
          classes before the deadline passed). I will resume next year, now that
          everything is better.
          >
          > > Chess continues to be the most popular game for folks who just stop
          > in,
          > > but we got a few of them playing the other offerings. Go on Friday
          > had
          > > a decent sized group playing or learning all day. I think we should
          > > continue with that in the future.

          I agree there. I will continue to stock Go books and Go problem books,
          go-ban and stones of varying qualities, and bowls for stones. I'm glad
          to see increased interest here. If there's something in Go books or
          equipment anyone wants to buy that you didn't see this year, let me
          know well before Pennsic, and I'll order it in - there are very few
          retailers of quality go equipment. Much of what I bring I order from
          overseas months before Pennsic.
          >
          > I think I'd like it if there were actually some more classes on
          > strategy; classes that go
          > beyond simply teaching the rules of a game. I know that's what
          > interests me about Go, is
          > that it is so deep and there's always so much more to learn. I could
          > probably teach a bit
          > about basic go strategy (I'm around 11k KGS, so not great, but I can
          > give pointers to
          > people in the 18-30k range; I know some people who are closer to 1d
          > who might be able
          > to offer a bit more). Would anyone else be able to teach classes that
          > go deeper into the
          > strategy of chess, draughts, tables, morris, tafl, or alquerques (or
          > any other games; those
          > are the ones off the top of my head that I'd be most interested in
          > learning about)?

          I have written, and offered in the past at both Pennsic and EKU/Schola
          events, classes on more advanced strategy for Backgammon (BG for
          Beginners, It's Not Just Luck, and Make Your Own Luck), Chess (Chess
          for the Lost Non-Beginner, The Royal Game for Common Players), and a
          couple other games. 95% of the time, the people who attend them are
          really looking for an introductory level class (and that is what they
          are most in need of), and I get a sea of blank looks from the attendees
          5 minutes into the class. The other 5% of the time, I get one student,
          or no one shows up (That is usually at smaller events). We had a
          dan-level Go instructor offer a higher level class a couple years ago,
          he had the same 95% experience I mentioned, and ended up teaching a
          simpler class on the spur of the moment. An additional factor, is that
          it is hard to offer much instruction in a one-hour time slot, or to
          retain student interest and attendance for longer classes.

          I generally don't have much time nowadays away from my booth, but I do
          play with people there, and it is certainly possible to get more
          advanced individual instruction from me there, during Pennsic. A few
          people did come play games with me during the day (and some played
          non-medieval games at night on the table outside). Individual
          instruction appears to be the best solution for me here - several
          people I've talked to have the same idea, and do teach hands-on,
          one-on-one classes at Pennsic (and get your minds out of the gutter,
          all of you! :+)...)
          >
          > Also, I'm wondering if it would be possible to make the period game
          > tent a little more,
          > well, period. It feels a bit off to just have cloth boards (or was it
          > paper? I don't recall)

          Both.

          > under plastic, with those ubiquitous colored glass beads in plastic
          > storage containers. I
          > realize that this is probably the cheapest way to get a lot of boards
          > and pieces, and no one
          > wants their nice wooden sets to be damaged in the rain, or stone
          > pieces to be lost by kids,
          > but I'm wondering if it would be possible to go for a slightly more
          > period atmosphere.
          > Someone did bring a nice goban with them on Friday, and I appreciated
          > that; would a few
          > people be able to bring some nicer looking or more period games and
          > pieces with them?

          The problem here, is that the tent's equipment is stored all year out
          at Pennsic in a household's trailer's extra donated space, so any
          quality equipment, tables, pillows, etc. would be most likely
          destroyed. While I do like the idea, I think it will be hard to
          implement with current budgets and storage options (paper boards are
          redrawn every year on new paper).

          What may work better, is to perhaps schedule a game-playing night, or
          even tournaments, at a separate location such as Your Inner Vagabond
          Coffeehouse, though there may be a problem with young children playing
          at night.
          >
          > Anyhow, I'm on this list now, so I'd certainly like to try and help
          > out next year, either
          > teaching classes or just volunteering for shifts. I can teach Go, 9
          > men's morris (or other
          > sized variations), and alquerques (just learned it this war, but it's
          > pretty simple, so I'd feel
          > pretty comfortable teaching it). I know the rules for draughts,
          > Chess, and backgammon
          > (and some other tables variants), but since those are more popular
          > outside the society, I
          > feel like there are likely some people with more experience who would
          > be able to teach
          > them a bit better. Next year (or in the intervening time), I'm going
          > to have to learn some
          > period card games.
          >
          > -- Joris de Tolosa

          Thanks for posting, Joris, and for offering to teach - The Period Game
          Tent can use the help! Don't forget to register your class(es) in
          advance next year with the Pennsic University, to get your nifty
          instructor token to add to your medallion cord.

          YIS,

          Galen Mac Byrne

          Daniel Adler
          Game Gnight - Games for all Ages
          20 Quaker Ave.
          Cornwall, NY 12518
          (845) 534-8187
        • Stephen Tihor
          ... While I am responsible for starting the paper boards and plastic covers and colored stones those are baselines to deal with the harsh environment and lack
          Message 4 of 10 , Aug 14, 2008
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            >Also, I'm wondering if it would be possible to make the period game
            >tent a little more,
            >well, period. It feels a bit off to just have cloth boards (or was
            >it paper? I don't recall)
            >under plastic, with those ubiquitous colored glass beads in plastic
            >storage containers. I
            >realize that this is probably the cheapest way to get a lot of
            >boards and pieces, and no one
            >wants their nice wooden sets to be damaged in the rain, or stone
            >pieces to be lost by kids,
            >but I'm wondering if it would be possible to go for a slightly more
            >period atmosphere.
            >Someone did bring a nice goban with them on Friday, and I
            >appreciated that; would a few
            >people be able to bring some nicer looking or more period games and
            >pieces with them?

            While I am responsible for starting the paper boards and plastic
            covers and colored stones those are baselines to deal with the harsh
            environment and lack of security. If you or others want to
            volunteer to bring lots of wooden boards, 10 or so for each game we
            are teaching, 1 or 2 otherwise plus pieces plus spare piece for the
            ones that get lost in the grass or misplaced year to year I am all
            for using them. Pieces should be heavy enough not to get blown away
            in the wind and weather sealed.
            Things may well last year to year and we are looking into storing
            them with Pennsic supplies as well as an alternate storage box
            solution.

            So anything that works in our environment is a good idea. I am all for it.
          • James McAdams
            ... How are the games/supplies stored overnight, and how much of a problem would it be to pull some parts out during the final packing? I made some simple go
            Message 5 of 10 , Aug 25, 2008
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              Daniel Adler wrote:

              > The problem here, is that the tent's equipment is stored all year out
              > at Pennsic in a household's trailer's extra donated space, so any
              > quality equipment, tables, pillows, etc. would be most likely
              > destroyed. While I do like the idea, I think it will be hard to
              > implement with current budgets and storage options (paper boards are
              > redrawn every year on new paper).

              How are the games/supplies stored overnight, and how much of a
              problem would it be to pull some parts out during the final packing? I
              made some simple go boards this year for teaching, and wouldn't have a
              problem leaving those and stones around during the war, but we shouldn't
              make extra work for the staff either.

              > What may work better, is to perhaps schedule a game-playing night, or
              > even tournaments, at a separate location such as Your Inner Vagabond
              > Coffeehouse, though there may be a problem with young children playing
              > at night.

              I like this idea. If we can get subtle lighting and volunteers,
              would it be possible to have the tent open evenings? Would anyone be
              interested in trying this on Wednesday night?

              Xavier
            • Stephen Tihor
              ... If people are around its not hard. ... We tried it one year and had no visitors. No reason not to try it again if someone else feels like volunteering to
              Message 6 of 10 , Aug 26, 2008
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                >
                >How are the games/supplies stored overnight, and how much of a
                >problem would it be to pull some parts out during the final packing?



                If people are around its not hard.


                > I
                >made some simple go boards this year for teaching, and wouldn't have a
                >problem leaving those and stones around during the war, but we shouldn't
                >make extra work for the staff either.
                >
                >> What may work better, is to perhaps schedule a game-playing night, or
                >> even tournaments, at a separate location such as Your Inner Vagabond
                >> Coffeehouse, though there may be a problem with young children playing
                >> at night.
                >
                >I like this idea. If we can get subtle lighting and volunteers,
                >would it be possible to have the tent open evenings? Would anyone be
                >interested in trying this on Wednesday night?


                We tried it one year and had no visitors. No reason not to try it
                again if someone else feels like volunteering to do it.
              • Mike Knauer
                ... Most are stored in a bin in the tent, a few are brought back to camp each night. At the end of war it is pretty easy to separate out the stuff that isn t
                Message 7 of 10 , Aug 26, 2008
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                  Xavier wrote:
                  > How are the games/supplies stored overnight, and how much of a
                  > problem would it be to pull some parts out during the final packing?

                  Most are stored in a bin in the tent, a few are brought back to camp
                  each night.

                  At the end of war it is pretty easy to separate out the stuff that isn't
                  going into storage.

                  > I like this idea. If we can get subtle lighting and volunteers,
                  > would it be possible to have the tent open evenings? Would anyone be
                  > interested in trying this on Wednesday night?

                  We usually have decent (but not great) lighting available. Wednesday
                  night is tricky with midnight madness going on, but the real issue is
                  volunteers. I'd love to get a larger pool of people to work with and
                  have manning the tent during the day before thinking too much about
                  being open in the evenings.

                  - Michel
                • Tinker
                  And just a FYI..those ubiquitous glass gaming pieces are period correct for many games. I ve actually started making my own glass gaming pieces and sets. CLoth
                  Message 8 of 10 , Sep 2, 2008
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                    And just a FYI..those ubiquitous glass gaming pieces are period
                    correct for many games. I've actually started making my own glass
                    gaming pieces and sets.

                    CLoth boards are period correct as well. I love being able to fold
                    up and slap into a bag 30 different games. Or multiple boards to
                    teach on. THey are also an inexpensive way to get people interested.
                    I give mine away if I see someone really enthused about a game they
                    just learned. (I buy linen and cloth napkins at the thrift store for
                    pennies apiece and use a sharpie for quick and dirty boards for
                    teaching.)

                    The only suggestion I have for future Pennsics - have a Gaming
                    Tourney. Challenge the Knights to a chess tourney. Challenge the
                    Norsemen to a Tafl tourney. We could go on and on with time periods
                    and personas. Women vs the Men and so on. Start talking to your
                    peerage and royalty at home. I know crafstmen in my household and
                    Barony would contribute prizes. Games as prizes are nice - but other
                    types of prizes may draw more people in.

                    My Barony is starting to get behind the idea of having more games at
                    their events (finally)

                    I'll volunteer to man the tent one night if we try it.

                    Tinker
                  • James McAdams
                    ... What does anyone think about a tournament where the specific rules are randomly selected? Pick a variety of rules for chess or tafl, and have the players
                    Message 9 of 10 , Sep 8, 2008
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                      Tinker wrote:

                      >The only suggestion I have for future Pennsics - have a Gaming
                      >Tourney. Challenge the Knights to a chess tourney. Challenge the
                      >Norsemen to a Tafl tourney.
                      >
                      What does anyone think about a tournament where the specific rules
                      are randomly selected? Pick a variety of rules for chess or tafl, and
                      have the players draw a variant before starting.

                      Xavier
                    • Christine Stewart
                      Oooh, I love that idea. So many people only know one way to play a game and this would mix things up a bit. Of course, you d have to be careful with certain
                      Message 10 of 10 , Sep 9, 2008
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                        Oooh, I love that idea.  So many people only know one way to play a game and this would mix things up a bit.  Of course, you'd have to be careful with certain games since some variations clearly favor one player over the other.  (Or maybe that would be even more fun!)
                         
                        I don't really attend Pennsic anymore but if this tournament does happen, I think I might have to make a special trip next year.
                         
                        Cristofana

                        On Tue, Sep 9, 2008 at 1:54 AM, James McAdams <jmcadams@...> wrote:

                        Tinker wrote:

                        >The only suggestion I have for future Pennsics - have a Gaming
                        >Tourney. Challenge the Knights to a chess tourney. Challenge the
                        >Norsemen to a Tafl tourney.
                        >
                        What does anyone think about a tournament where the specific rules
                        are randomly selected? Pick a variety of rules for chess or tafl, and
                        have the players draw a variant before starting.

                        Xavier




                        --
                        "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him
                        absolutely no good." - Samuel Johnson
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