Octopus's Garden

Issue Eighty-Five

29th December 2013

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HELLO, good evening and welcome to Octopus's Garden, the subzeen with its very waiting list for a 7 x 7 Gunboat Diplomacy tournament. It is a subzeen to Jim Burgess' The Abyssinian Prince, which is now a subzeen to Douglas Kent's Eternal Sunshine. Produced by Peter Sullivan peter@burdonvale.co.uk. It's also available on the web at: http://www.burdonvale.co.uk/octopus/.

Convention News

Now that the long winter nights are beginning to lighten up again, it's time to start thinking about games-playing events for 2014. One of the longer-running British games events is Baycon. I actually remember attending at least one of the first of these, back in the days when it was held in Torbay.

I did hear a scurrilous rumour some years ago that the move away from Torbay was demanded by a group of senior gamers, who had brought their wives along to the convention, enticed with the lure of a weekend down at the seaside. Said wives had disappeared off for a collective shopping session in Torbay town centre on the Saturday afternoon, whilst their husbands were playing a short game of Empires of the Middle Ages, or some such. The husbands didn't discover quite the scale or size of the aforesaid shopping session until a month later, when the credit card bills arrived. Allegedly, a deputation was sent to the convention committee to ask them to move the event to a less attractive venue for the "Diplomacy widows" – or at any rate, one with fewer expensive shops nearby.

All of which is entirely anecdotal, and I have no idea if it is true or not. As it is, Baycon has been settled down at the Exeter Court Hotel, Kennford, Exeter, for a good number of years now. It's right at the southern tip of the A38, the road nicknamed "the longest country lane in Britain." It stretches from here, just south of Exeter, through Birmingham (where it briefly becomes motorway in the run-up to the infamous Spaghetti Junction interchange), then on to Mansfield in Nottinghamshire. Ending a total of over 292 miles north of where it started. I know that Americans won't be that impressed by the concept of a 292-mile road. But trust me, in Britain, that's A LONG WAY.

The dates for Baycon in 2014 are 24th to 27th April, and the convention fee is 15 for the whole weekend, or 5 a day (in both cases, payable on the door). Accommodation should be booked directly with the hotel, but mention Baycon to get the special convention rate. More details (together with some distinctly dodgy mugshots of the convention committee!) can be found on the Baycon website at http://www.baycon.co.uk.

Meanwhile, in local news, we still have two more slots in our 7 x 7 Gunboat Diplomacy tournament:


7 x 7 Gunboat Diplomacy: Five signed up (2 wanted)

That was Octopus's Garden #85, Startling Press production number 372.

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