Sunday, August 28, 2011

Nip it in the Bud

Can't avoid the thought of the essentially gentle yet fierce-when-needed Barney Fife and how well that fits President Obama. Even without the ears.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Final report from Iraq and Ziggurat Con

Amberson, David B PFC A/86 SIG BN Supply Specialist wrote yesterday....

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, as 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 a 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 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 Demos 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.

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!!!

"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

"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

So to everyone who helped us, we, the participants of Ziggurat Con thank you for all your help. Without you, there wouldn't have been a convention to support.

SPC David Amberson
Ziggurat Con Chair

Flikr photo stream

http://www.flickr.com/photos/98564151@N00/sets/72157600374605702/

Friday, May 25, 2007

But Wait, There's More!



20 pounds, 11 oz. of rattling Stuff, from the very generous Ancient Wonders, is winging its way to troops. The Loot was Substantial, and worthy, so make sure to thank them, and the other Dice Depots!

If you have Loot of your own, it MUST mail TOMORROW to make it there, and it MUST go Express Mail. Other services will not make it there in time.

A filled out example of the customs form is below, for your convenience.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The World Wide Web is wide, indeed

From Down Home, 2,400 miles from Portland (and 200 miles from my hometown of Collier County, Fla.) is a report from RPGA-TAMPA. Go, Bucs!

RPGA Tampa
From: Dominick Trascritti
Date: Tue, 22 May 2007 12:24:11 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [RPGA_Tampa] Tampa Area Gamers step up for Ziggurat Con

Tampa Area Gamers is supporting Ziggurat Con, June 9, 2007, in Baghdad Iraq.

http://operationdicedrop.blogspot.com/

We put together a package and shipped it out, Eric put it in the mail today. We hope it will get there in time. It had donated gear from TAG members, Emerald City and Pendragon Games. The value was estimated at some where over $240.

I am very proud that TAG works hard as a group to take time to donate to important causes. These guys are over there to keep us safe at home, and events like this ensure that they know that are in our minds and our prayers.

Let me offer a word of thanks to all the members who could put something in the box. If you could not, please contact Eric and slip him a few bucks for the postage.

A quick inventory was:

1 Emerald City Dice Set - Large - Opaque Red
1 Emerald City Dice Set - Large - Opaque Black
1 Emerald City Dice Set - Small - Opaque Black
1 Emerald City Dice Set - Small - Translucent Aqua
1 Emerald City Dice Set - Small - Opaque Green
1 Emerald City Dice Set - Small - Transparent Orange
1 Emerald City Dice Set - Small - Opaque Red
1 Chessex Dice Set - CHX 25311 Arctic Camo
1 Chessex Dice Set - CHX 25347 Silver Tetra
1 D&D Miniatures Battlegrid - unpackaged
12 Randomized D&D Miniatures Dungeon Tiles - unpackaged
1 D&D Miniatures Boosterpack - Underdark
2 D&D Miniatures Boosterpack - Unhallowed
2 D&D New Players Kit
1 Star Wars Miniatures: Starship Battles Starter Kit
1 Star Wars Miniatures: Starship Battles Booster Pack
1 D&D Monster Manual
1 D&D Monster Manual II
1 Wizards of the Coast Prize Box - Assorted Dice & Miniatures

Monday, May 21, 2007

Late to the party? How you can ship direct to Ziggurat Con



AWRIGHT YOU MEATHEADS!

THIS IS THE YEW-NITED POSTAL SERVICE FORM TWO NINER SEVEN SIX A, OBTAINED FROM THE RACK ON THE WALL OF YOUR FRIENDLY LOCAL POST OFFICE.

DO NOT TRY TO FILL IN AND CREATE THIS FORM ON LINE, AS THE MUTANT THUMB-BRAINED PROGRAMMERS WHO CREATED https://sss-web.usps.com/cns/landing.do HAVE YET TO MAKE THAT ACTUALLY WORK FOR APO AND FPO ADDRESSES IN EYE-RACK.

IT MUST BE SUBMITTED, ONE FORM PER PACKAGE, FOR EACH PACKAGE SHIPPED TO EYE-RACK.

PARCELS MUST BE TAKEN TO THE POST OFFICE DURING OFFICE HOURS; YEW CANNOT DROP A PARCEL IN A BOX AFTER HOURS.

PARCELS SHALL NOT CONTAIN ANYTHING TO OFFEND THE SENSIBILITIES OF THOSE FINE PEOPLE IN EYE-RACK. IF IN DOUBT, LEAVE IT OUT. YES, PHIL FOGLIO, THIS MEANS YOU.

EACH PACKAGE TO EYE-RACK MUST BE WELL-SEALED, WITH CORNERS TAPED OVER, AND A SHIPPING LABEL CONTAINING YOUR ADDRESS AS WELL AS THE DESTINATION ADDRESS, WHICH IS SHOWN ON THE FORM AS AN EXAMPLE FOR YOU DEBUTANTES.


IF YEW TRY TO SHIP BY MEDIA MAIL TO EYE-RACK, YOU ROLL A FUMBLE, AND GEE-EYE JOE AND GEE-EYE JAME GAMER IN EYE-RACK LOSE. IT WILL NOT GET THERE IN TIME FOR ZIGG-UR-AT CON, AS THE DEADLINE FOR MEDIA MAIL HAS PASSED.

IF YOU TRY TO SHIP TO EYE-RACK BY PARCEL POST AFTER MONDAY 21 MAY, YOU ROLL A FUMBLE.

IF YOU TRY TO SHIP TO EYE-RACK BY EXPRESS MAIL AFTER SATURDAY 26 MAY, YOU ROLL A FUMBLE.



THE BLACK ITEMS IN THE RED BOXES DO NOT CHANGE, EXCEPT FOR BOX TEN, IF YOU ARE RICHER THAN PAUL ALLEN AND CAN AFFORD TO SHIP BY EXPRESS MAIL.

ITEMS IN RED TYPE WITHOUT A RED BOX WILL CHANGE, DEE-PENDING ON THE CIR-CUM-STAN-CES OF YOUR SHIPMENT.

BOX FIVE LISTS INSURANCE, WHICH IS OPTIONAL, DEPENDING ON WHETHER YOU WISH REIMBURSEMENT IN THE EE-VENT YOUR PRECIOUS PARCEL IS SPINDLED, FOLDED, MUTILATED OR RUN OVER BY A HUM-VEE.


SAID PACKAGE SHOULD NOT EXCEED 34 INCHES IN LENGTH, NOR SEVENTEEN INCHES IN WIDTH, NOR SEVENTEEN INCHES IN DEPTH. IF YOU DO, YOU WILL REGRET IT, FOR THE RATES FOR THOSE LARGE PARCELS ARE SPEN-DY.


ANY QUESTIONS?

AH CAIN'T HEEEEAR YEW!