Convention Report: BottosCon 2011

Playing Guerrilla Checkers with Michel Boucher

I spent last weekend in “beautiful downtown Burbank”, sorry, that should be Surrey, a Lower Mainland city with no downtown and precious little beauty – it’s mostly strip malls and suburbs. I was at the Compass Point Inn for BottsoCon 2011, the fifth consecutive boardwargaming convention organized by Rob Bottos. About 60 people attended, the largest yet. About half of the attendees were Advanced Squad Leader players, who usually don’t play much else (or at least, they came to the convention to play ASL only), and the other half were people playing practically everything else, from non-wargames like Urban Sprawl to Angola or Storming the Reich.

I don’t go to many conventions, and when I do I usually don’t play games – I spend my time talking to people, catching up with friends or trying to interest people in my new designs in the hope of snagging playtesters. Guerrilla Checkers ( ) proved to be a hit again, and someone expressed an interest in writing an iOS application for it so it can be played on iPad, iPhone, iKettle etc., which would be great. (Another friend, with some of his friends, has mostly completed an application for the game for the Android OS: I also played out a few turns of the brigade-level version of my Finnish Civil War game ( ), which prompted someone to say that he thought he’d seen everything now, and did a complete run-through with a playtester of a newly written 2006 scenario for my Third Lebanon War game – it worked well and concluded on time, with a marginal Hezbollah victory. A minor revision to two to the rules and they’re even better – the basic designs are quite sound.