Nuclear War Tournaments at Game Conventions

Three and four day long Game Conventions are popular world wide. Many of these Conventions hold Nuclear War Tournaments! A list of upcoming game conventions holding Nuclear War Tournaments is posted at the Flying Buffalo, Inc. Web Site - the direct link being Convention List. Attendance at some of these game conventions is huge. ORIGINS, which will be held in Columbus, Ohio the next two years has between 6,000 and 8,000 people attend. GENCON, which is held every year in Milwaukee, Wisconsin gets 15,000 to 20,000 attendees. My favorite is NANCON - here's why!

NanCon is a game convention held in Houston, Texas every August. Back in 1983, Rick Loomis called me to tell me that the NanCon convention people would like to fly me out and put me up as a guest of honor. "Nancon WHAT? WHY?" I asked. "Well, every year they have been holding this Midnight Nuclear War Tournament limited to 100 players in costume and it has become the party hit of their three day convention - Interested?"
After a couple of phone conversations with Frank Joines, sponsor of NanCon, I could not pass it up! The question was what could we do to pep this craziness up even further? Well, long time ago I helped a paraplegic friend build an all hand control motorcycle (we made a side car both to carry the wheel chair and to keep it all upright when stopped). I learned how to do wheelies in a wheelchair from that friend and as a result can balance on the big back wheels all day. MMMM - "Frank - rent me a wheel chair and I'll do a Dr. Strangelove bit with added wheelies. All I need is a dark suit, a self-strangling gloved hand, dark glasses and zee correct accent. It won't be Peter Sellars but we'll have fun!"
It was memorable to say the least! AND every five years since (1988 and 1993) I get beckoned by Frank to recreate the "Doctor". Frank and I have already talked about 1998. As yet, he doesn't have a Web Site, but you are welcome to call him at Nan's Games at (713) 520-8700 to get put on the 1998 NanCon Mailing list. If it is easier, just Email a request to me with name, mailing address etc. and I will forward them by snail mail to Frank (Got to get that boy On Line!)

Doug (left - wearing his "Dive for Cover"
- Nuclear Escalation T-Shirt) with
Frank Joines at the NanCon Game
Convention in Houston, Texas
"Dr. Strangelove" holding a wheelie, while Frank explains the rules for the Midnight Nuclear War Tournament. Staff (wearing red shirts in the background) are playing as one team. They are game moderators (judges) all day long and many of the conventioneers use this party tournament to seek revenge against the staff. (The staff doesn't mind, because after they lose - they get to go to bed - instead of having to stay up as late as 7:30 AM to reach the Nuclear War climax!)
Radioactive Mutant! Note balloons
read Happy Nuke Year!, Nuke the
Staff!, Nuke Everyone!, I love
Mushroom Clouds!, etc.
Team of well dressed Russian(?) officers
plot their teams strategy under the watch
of "Dr. Strangelove" (wearing his custom "I
heart Nuclear War" T-Shirt) and his personal
bodyguard (complete with ray gun)!

Have you ever heard of "role playing" games? These conventioneers have turned the Midnight Nuclear War Tournament into a "role playing" game. The theatrics and speeches as they bomb other teams is hilarious! They really put their hearts into their performances!
They also love the giant 8 foot wide radioactive fallout spinner that Frank built. It sounds sirens, flashes lights and even pours out smoke depending on where the spinner stops (the smoke feature has to eliminated at some of the Hotels where the Conventions take place, because it occasionally triggers smoke alarms)! They also had to eliminate the 100 megaton bomb plus Triple the Yield wipe out everyone rule because it was usually causing all teams to instantly lose much too soon.


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