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Tag Archives: Armchair Dragoons

ArmChair Dragoons Convention

The Armchair Dragoons are at it again, with their 3rd online convention within the past 12 months.

The ACDC (ArmChair Dragoons Convention) is happening 18-20 June, entirely online, on the weekend that was originally scheduled for Origins.  In addition to the usual designer-led game sessions, and industry-interview talk shows, the ACDC has focused on bigger ‘event’ style games that bring in larger groups for more unique gameplay, like the 8-man games run by Grognard of the Year Jim Owczarski, or the Kriegsspiel that’ll be hosted by the International Kriegsspiel Society.  There are epic-scale games of Commands & Colors (4-player teams) and several multiplayer Napoleonic games.  There is also a large ‘rolling’ scenario being hosted by Lock ‘n Load Publishing where the game will ‘carry over’ from session to session, so that new players will inherit the decisions made by their predecessors.

Something new that’s being launched at this ACDC is a Graphic Design contest for wargame artwork, which will include both open voting for the attendees to choose their favorite designs, as well as a judges’ panel of industry artists / publishers to weigh in on a live show that’ll unveil the winners.

The ACDC is also bringing back the Boardgame Bootcamp crew, to reach new players the ins & outs of VASSAL, Discord, and Tabletop Simulator.  Also returning are YouTube hosts Ardwulf, and Moe of Moe’s Game Table for their industry interviews and social hours.

Games include: Bayonets & Tomahawks, Brotherhood & Unity, Shores of Tripoli, Squadron Strike, Brave Little Belgium, La Belle Epoque, Almost a Miracle, Conflict of Heroes, Deadly Woods, Hands in the Sea, Iron & Oak, Lock ‘n Load Tactical, and more.

Seminars / Presentations include: NSDM’s “Global Hotspots” update, Space 1889, Forts Along the Ohio River, designers Bruce Maxwell,Tomislav Čipčić, Stuart Tonge, and George Dew, and a couple of happy hours for open chatter.

With the loss of so many in-person game conventions over the past 18 months, digital conventions have jumped in to fill the void, and offer a chance for a communal gaming experience, but in your pajamas, and with a much lower likelihood of contracting the con-lurgy.

Detailed info can be found here: https://www.armchairdragoons.com/acdc-june-2021/

Registration is here: https://tabletop.events/conventions/acdc-june-2021

Graphic design contest info is here: https://www.armchairdragoons.com/events/cons/the-acdc-wargame-graphic-design-contest/

Brant Guillory

Armchair Dragoons: Teaching game design

The latest edition of the Armchair Dragoons podcast features a discussion with Sebastian Bae, Jeff Tidball, myself, and host Brant Guillory on teaching game design.

We discuss some of the key points that they want students take away from their design courses, some of the process they use to introduce different game ideas and concepts to the students, and the toolkits (in some cases, literally) that the students use for their game designs.  As a nod to the current reality we’re in, they also discuss the challenges of teaching these classes during a global pandemic that necessitates distance learning.

There’s a lot of things discussed here, but among them are the Aftershock game(reviewed by us here), the White Box design kit, Stephen Downes-Martin’s (in)famous “Three Witches” speech/paper, the Georgetown University Wargaming Society (whose forums are hosted by us and could use some more traffic), Jeff’s consulting work, the Brynania peacebuilding game, the diversity split in their classes, GUWS presentations for our digital conventions, and the constraints of trying to get a game design crammed into one semester.

Mentioned in Dispatches: The Derby House Principles

This week, the Mentioned in Dispatches podcast at Armchair Dragoons is all about diversity and inclusion in wargaming and the intent behind the Derby House Principles.

There’s been many facets of public life that have been touched lately by discussions of diversity and representation in different spheres of public life, and gaming has been no different.  From the cancelation of Origins Online to the Twitter mob stalking designer Eric Lang to GAMA’s comms director quitting to the Diana Jones Awards at GenCon, there’s been a non-stop list of game-industry headlines all summer long.

Enter, The Derby House Principles, promoting diversity & inclusion in professional wargaming. Focused on the practitioner community that designs, executes, evaluates, and teaches the art & science of wargaming in the realms of defense & security policy, national defense, emergency preparedness, and the intelligence communities, the Derby House Principles have been endorsed by a wide array of government and government-adjacent organizations.

While the professional wargaming community is not our focus, it is still an area of interest for much of our audience.  Some of The Dragoons have worked in both the hobby and professional communities, and some professionals will look to hobby sites like us for information on the current practices of the hobby community, or creative approaches to wargaming events.

With that in mind, we reached out to some folks in the professional wargaming world who were well-positioned to discuss and describe not only their own experiences as under-represented minorities in professional wargaming, but also their thoughts on the operationalization of the Derby House Principles.  While neither were officially representing any agency or organization, both Yuna Wong and Sally Davis were have long resumes of experience in the professional wargaming world and their insights made for a fascinating podcast.  Rex Brynen also stops by at the start of the episode to discuss the genesis of the principles and their initial spread among the professional community.

This is a pretty long episode folks – well over an hour – but we didn’t want to cut the discussion short.

You can listen to it at the link at the top. Our thanks go out to Brant Guillory for recording and facilitating the discussion, and his strong support for a more diverse and inclusive hobby and profession.

derbyHouse
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