The Cast Are Dice is back! One of the friendliest UK game conventions (known as ‘Cons’), it’s run by Sue & Nick Fisk. They have a lovely games shop in Stoke-on-Trent called Shire Games and do a lot to support the hobby in the UK (our club members get a nice discount from them online). Sue & Nick started TCAD a few years ago, but had to put it on hold for a while. This year, it’s back on in Stoke at a new venue, the 6th Form College just next to the rail station. It’s over the weekend of 20th-21st August 2011, which Nick admits does conflict with BM! but they had no choice. You can get all the info from the CATD website and buy your tickets in advance. Get the weekend ticket and you get a door prize as well. It’s common as well for gamers to gather on the Friday evening, and they’ve also arranged a nice hotel deal on the website too, if you need a place to stay.
If you’ve never been to a Con, it’s really just a big gathering of gamers. They have a game library, you find something to play and people to play it with, just like at BM!. Some Cons have quizzes or puzzles, some run tournaments with prizes too. You might even get to try prototype games before they are published. Some Cons are too insular and smug for their own good, but you’ll find The Cast Are Dice is much more modern and open to strangers. If you want to try a Con out, it’s a good place to start.
Phew! Managed to get that done without mentioning Stoke losing the FA Cup Final to Manchester City 1-0. D’oh!