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SwanCon 40 was, as always, a great weekend for me, and ended with a pleasant shock that I won’t be forgetting any time soon.

The Good: Most of It

This won't end well... (and  it didn't) :)

This won’t end well… (and it didn’t) 🙂

I had a really great time at SwanCon this year. The atmosphere was great, the panel items I got to were excellent, and I had a lot of fun supporting the gaming program.

I spent a fair bit of time teaching[1] Splendor and Tsuro[2], with the latter producing a few spectacular “uh oh” moments in the end game.

I still got to play some new games this year with Diamonds and Camel Up moving on to the “to buy” list. I’m less certain about Roll Through The Ages: Iron Age, and might need to play that a few more times before deciding.

John Scalzi was an excellent guest, and I hope to see him at another Australian convention in coming years.

The Bad: No Printed Program

There was only one major issue with SwanCon 40: No printed program.

LiveCon on a tablet would be an effective substitute IF everyone owns a tablet, AND is willing to carry one everywhere for the length of an Easter convention.

That just isn’t the case, and the issue is exacerbated by the phone UX being well short of an effective substitute.

LiveCon is a great app, and one I’ve been using for years and will cheerfully continue to use.

But LiveCon should exist in parallel to a printed program, and in my view at least, suffers when that doesn’t exist.

The Could Be Better: The Auction

As usual I helped out with the auction this year, and I have to say it could have been better. Organisation was thin on the ground, the lots weren’t as effectively marked/indexed as they could have been, and tracking the funds was harder than it needed to be as a result. The auction was also late in the convention after many fans had expended their funds earlier.

Personally I was happy with the overall result, raising $187 for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation from selling Hanabee review copies[3], but I do have to admit that this wasn’t the best SwanCon auction by a long way.

The Great: The Mikey

This took me totally by surprise in the closing ceremony, and winning The Mikey is something I’ll remember for a long, long, time.

Well, once I believe that it really happened.

The Usual Suspects

Here’s the gang of the usual suspects that made SwanCon 40 such a great convention. Thanks to everyone here for working so hard, for so long, to give WA fandom such a great weekend.

The Usual Suspects

The Usual Suspects

The Verdict

It is true that there are lessons to be learned, and things that can be improved, and I would do future SwanCons no favours if I did not mention them.

That in no way detracts from the fact that SwanCon 40 was everything I wanted it to be and more.

SO. MUCH. MORE.

So thank you to the committee, to the guests, to everyone who attended for making this weekend one of the best SwanCons I’ve ever been to.

[1] And playing. 🙂

[2] Note to self: I really need to write reviews for Splendor and Tsuro at some point.

[3] Which I doubled as promised and then rounded up to $400 for the final donation.