This weekend sees the thirty-second annual Manorcon board games convention at the John Foster Hall in the University of Leicester, near Oadby. (The event gets its name from its original home, the Northfield Manor House at the University of Birmingham.) From 2pm on Friday 18th to 2pm on Monday 21st, probably a couple of hundred attendees or so will be there. The majority of games played will be from the last 20 years or so, but there will be plenty of classics as well – most notably, the late-’50s negotiation classic Diplomacy, though no one game comes close to dominating the event.
It’s reliably a great event – I went every year from about 1994 to 2002 or so – and registration will still be available at the door. (Some single rooms should still be available too if you want to stay over.) It’s particularly relevant to this site because every year since 2001, there has been a puzzle-based Treasure Hunt, normally for three hours or so on the Sunday afternoon. I ran the first event in 2001 and co-ran the second one in 2002; since then, it’s often been the previous year’s winners who go on to run the next year’s event.
This year’s ManorCon Treasure Hunt is being run by Dave Durant, Mark Fox and Annie Percik. This year’s theme is a Pirate Quest located in the island city of Bandar Lanun, famed for its cliff-side rope bridges and hanging prison cells. Trust in your crewmates and come armed with your wits. Five teams of up to six welcome – put yourself down on the sign-up sheets displayed all weekend.
A delightful theme, and Dave and Annie enjoyed learning what types of puzzles are suitable for team solving at DASH 6. If you’re not far from Leicester, you might well enjoy turning up between 2pm and 5pm on the Sunday for the Treasure Hunt – and, if you like board games, it’s very likely you’ll enjoy the whole weekend. (One other particularly interesting event is the Pop Quiz at 10pm on Saturday in the bar, run by site co-writer Phil Hannay. His event last year was delightfully off-beat, imaginitive and yet very accessible; it’ll be interesting to learn what he has this year…)