Dom, BITS Webmaster
Andy meets a Cyberman
Dragonmeet 2009 happened, in its original London configuration, over the last weekend of November. As usual, it was held in Kensington Town Hall, which has good facilities. BITS were there, as we have been since the convention was re-launched, with the trade stand, a demo of At Close Quarters, and a number a scenarios for Traveller including the latest instalment of the Angel’s Share campaign which has nearly reached a conclusion.
The Ad Astra in all her Glory
The trade hall was busy, but noticeably emptied when the seminars were on, and the At Close Quarters game grabbed a lot of attention thanks to Nick Bradbeer’s latest masterpiece model, an Ad Astra liner. This was built from foam board, and looked excellent. Scaled for 15mm, it was perfect for an exciting skirmish game.
We had a number of worried people looking at the notices of reduced prices and ‘last ever’ for some of the 101 Books and other products, but they went away reassured when we explained that this was tied to a planned PDF release of our back catalogue in 2010. We’ll also hopefully have the first volume of Angel’s Share ready for a full release in the New Year, possibly followed by some smaller adventures, and – if the playtesting works out – something for Power Projection.
The adventures we ran went well, and seemed to be popular, with both Simon Bell and Dave Elrick GMing. Andy and myself manned the trade stall, which was constantly in demand, even in the quiet times.
From a personal perspective, this was my first return to Dragonmeet after a 3 year break for a variety of reasons, and I was really glad to be back. It’s one of my favourite cons, and has quite a frenetic pace, which is unsurprising as it starts at 10:00 and ends around 19:00! The trade hall was buzzing, and there were lots of new and shiny things to look at such as pre-release copies of the Doctor Who Roleplaying Game on the Cubicle 7 stand, the proof copies of Triple Ace Games’ core Hellfrost books for Savage Worlds and the Collective Endeavour’s latest game, Umlaut, in which get to be a rock band.
I was also quite pleased to finally see the Power Projection miniatures by Ad Astra Games and a real (non-PDF) copy of the Power Projection: Fleet book in its US guise. Mongoose Publishing also had a huge stand with lots of Traveller front and centre, both for our much loved setting and for the 2000AD settings such as Judge Dredd and Strontium Dogs.
Finally, it was great just to catch up with the rest of the BITS team, including the people like Simon and Robin who I’ve only met by email. The fires of my enthusiasm for Traveller are well and truly relit, and now I must properly finish my adventure for release in 2010! And I'm happy to report that Andy escaped from the clutches of the Cybermen by the end of the convention.
Dom, BITS Webmaster
All friends now!
On Saturday September 5th, Mongoose is throwing open its doors for fans of Traveller. Taking place at our offices in Swindon, it is completely free to attend, and everyone is welcome, whether you have played Traveller before or not!
Doors open at 9:30, and games begin at 10am, finishing at 5pm - and we have some special games lined up for you!
Rumble at Bay 13: It's your ship, so no one's going to take it from you. A miniatures skirmish.
Judge Dredd: Enforce the Law in the world's most violent and crime-ridden city.
Masks: Settlers are on a poor frontier planet under the watchful eye of the Imperium. What could possibly go wrong?
Seek and Destroy: Take the part of Elite commandos rescuing hostages on a starliner.
Strontium Dog: Be the first to take part in this new setting for Traveller, where everyone plays a mutant bounty hunter.
Noble Blood: A noble retinue searches for a family heirloom.
Cold Dark Grave: You have one last chance to make enough money to keep your mining company running.
As always, the Mongoose store will be open all day, giving you the chance to pick up the latest goodies for Traveller and our other games.
Directions to Mongoose's offices can be found at;
See you there! BITS are supporting this.
In the northern sector in Edinburgh, BITS will be attending Conpulsion 09 on both days running a Mongoose Traveller powered RPG scenario - "Masks" in Slot 1 and on Sunday BITS will be helping out with a game of Power Projection running over Slots 4 and 5. Avenger Enterprises will also be there running games and seminars so it will be a Traveller packed weekend. How can you stay away? Join us at Teviot Row Students Union, University of Edinburgh.
Meanwhile in Southern sector the BITS Trade Delegation will be plying their wares at Salute 09 at Excel London on Saturday . Demonstrations of At Close Quarters using the 25mm scale Starship Excalibur and our starship combat game Power Projection will be on hand to keep you Traveller Happy! Catch us at stand TH15.
SABRE (St Andrews Big Roleplaying Event) is a cosy mini con over 2 days with daily numbers of about 50 held within the confines of the Students Union of that most Ancient University. Apart from RPG's, a mix of CCG's and wargaming seemed to be the agenda for the day.
Invited by local shop-owner, David Wright, himself about to open the new games shop Kingdom of Adventure in nearby Kirkcaldy, SABRE turned out to be a pleasant event with a very relaxed atmosphere.
Built around a single 6 hour timeslot this gave me the opportunity to run some longer adventures and after discussion with the players opted for a session of "Masks", a self written scenario set in the Fifth Frontier War.
The players started off well until the first encounter when the tenets of their religion seemed to be overshadowed by the need to shoot things! Needless to say this put the scenario on a whole new level but with some skilled ideas and a healthy dose of hilarity the players worked their back round to the main objective.
Added to the excellent playing abilities of Sian, William, Caz, Miles, Chris and Emma was the buffet lunch provided with the ticket price of £5.00. Fuelled by the food the players wrapped up the scenario in good time for the close of SABRE at 6pm. If only for the frequent rolling of 1's and 2's on the dice and the demolition of an entire farm by home made nitrate explosives, this session will be fondly remembered.
I couldn't make the Sunday event but will be placing myself in the fray next year at SABRE 2010 for more fun and food!"
BITS Demo GM
Should be pretty much over as I post this, and it sounds like it has gone well. I’ll be uploading the reports and pictures once the team get them through to me.
Meanwhile, over in Milton Keynes, Concrete Cow was running as well. Graham Spearing ran “Cold Dark Grave” at the con, and got some good feedback from one of the more demanding players and refs over there. You can find out more here, on the report on UK Roleplayers.
More soon, hopefully.
The Website may be down temporarily whilst the hosting provider physically changes the location of the servers, which will start around 10:30 pm UK time on Thursday 26th February 2009. We’ll see you when we’re back after the break.
We are pleased to announce we will be attending Conception 2009 on January 28th to 1st February 2009
More details on the convention: http://www.conceptionuk.org/
As with previous years, we will be running a series of RPG tables using the new Mongoose Traveller ruleset. Our RPG adventures will be based around the continuing saga of the trader ship Angel’s Share in a linked series of adventures set in the Spinward Marches as well as other adventures written by our ever aging stable of crack (ed) GM's.
More details of slot times and general convention details located at http://www.conceptionuk.org/
The BITS Team
Supporting Traveller in all forms since 1996
A belated (thanks to the death of the computer with the website on) report on Dragonmeet by Richard Talbot:
BITS attended the excellent one day con, Dragonmeet 08 in Kensington, London, with a variety of Traveller related games and and our well stocked trade stand.
Andy Lilly at the stand as the show opened.
Stalwart GM's Dave Elrick and Simon Bell ran the latest instalments of our long running scenario series Project 1112 involving the crew of the Angel's Share. The plot is thickening as we rolled out the 5th and 6th parts of Dave Elrick's saga – Misjump! and Storm Warning! – to entertain the players. Both games went well with good feedback received from the players back at the trade stand. If you haven't played one of the new adventures come along to one of the cons we are attending. Conception 09 is up next in January!
One of the games.
New to the BITS schedule was an At Close Quarters demo scenario written by Richard Talbot. Set in the docking bay of a local starport, the crew of the mining seeker, Dragon's Luck, come back to their ship after a few well earned drinks to find corporate saboteurs lurking in the shadows. The scenario is only one part of the demo as real-life Naval Architect and BITS member Nick Bradbeer created a 25mm scale model of a Type J 100t Seeker and docking bay. We have plenty of pictures to drool over but the results of Nick's late nights constructing the model were amazing!
The Seeker (Perspective)
We used Ground Zero Games Neu Swabian League Troopers for the corporate squad, original Grenadier Traveller figs for the crew and Tablescape industrial scenery for the game aw well as Nick’s scratch built model.
Rear detail of the Seeker.
We played through three games with one team just managing to disarm explosive charges with 1 round to go and in the second game clearing the ship of saboteurs in under 6 rounds. Never will penguins be looked on again as passive creatures!
Top view of the Seeker.
We'll be using the model for future cons so look out for updates on the website.
It has also meant that the planned review of the Traveller 5 CD that we hoped to post on the member’s pages has been delayed.
Thanks for your patience,
TravCon09 is a UK Traveller roleplaying convention being organised by BITS. It will be held near Sawtry (between Peterborough and Huntingdon just off the A1M), on the weekend of 13 to 15 March 2009. There is space for about 30 attendees for a great weekend of Traveller roleplaying.
Residential spaces for the con are becoming scarce with only approx 8 left. With the credit crunch hitting us all Early Bird prices BITS have been extended to January 10th.
Docking fees are free. No Imperial Entanglements, please.
• “Lead Character” (Friday night to Sunday afternoon, ensuite room, B&B, with entry to all games) – £99.
• “Secondary Character” (as “Lead Character”, but sharing a room with a “Lead Character” ) – £25.
• “Non-Player Character” (non-gamer, aged 18 or more, sharing a room with a “Lead Character” ) – Free
• “Non-Player Youngster” (non-gamer, aged under 18, sharing a room with a “Lead Character” ) – Free
• “Saturday Stand-In” (gamer, day ticket, for Saturday only) – £15.
• “Sunday Stand-In” (gamer, day ticket, for Sunday only) – £10.
More info and booking