While it doesn't appear often in my blog train board games are among my favorite. Mayfair's Empire Builder series (sometimes called crayon games since you draw your track directly on the board), the 18xx series (Started by Frances Tresham with 1829) and the Ticket to Ride Series by Days of Wonder are among my favorites. I'm also a founding member of the Train Gamers Association (TGA) which I helped start back in 1989 or '90 (I forget the exact dates, I'll have to dig up an old newsletter) with my ex-wife, Heather Barnhorst and Darwin and Peter Bromley from Mayfair Games.
I'm sadden to hear that Railcon will not be held in Denver this year. It has been a staple of Tacticon for 10 years, when the decision was made to give it a more permanent home rather than a traveling convention (being held in a different city each year). While I realize that it wasn't the ideal place to hold the TGA's National Puffing Billy tournament it was great to have it here in Denver where the Puffing Billy rules were born. Dean Washburn and his group of fellow train gaming enthusiasts spent many an hour working on set of scoring rules that would allow an organizer to get comparable scoring for any type of train game.
Tacticon will still be on Labor Day weekend, but for some reason the organizers have decided to move to Colorado Springs. My personal opinion is that this will kill the show. Colorado Springs has never been able to support a convention on a regular basis and it has been tried many times over the years. I'm very doubtful that many Denver/Boulder folks will be willing to travel to the Springs for a show when there are so many opportunities to game up here. Time will tell though. Its also somewhat inconvenient to fly into as its a dead end airport with very few direct flights. Almost everything routes through DIA up here in Denver.
I have included the relevant sections from the email I received:
First, big news about the Puffing Billy National Championship at Railcon. After ten years of partnering with Tacticon in Denver, we've decided to go a different direction. First we want to thank Tacticon and Colorado train gamers for making us welcome and helping us run many great tournaments out there. Tacticon is undergoing a number of changes, including moving to Colorado Springs and raising costs, and they are simple not able to support Railcon as they have in the past. We fully understand their situation, and wish them only the best.
The TGA is excited to announce that the 22nd Annual National Championship at Railcon will be held October 16, 2016 in Schaumburg IL. This is a very convenient travel location, near Chicago, about 20 minutes from O'hare airport. This will be a standalone event, so everything will be focused around our tournament. Our room is larger than we've typically had in Denver, with naturla light. There are numerous restaurants in easy walking distance and it's a very short drive from a major shopping mall (Woodfield). We will have a block of rooms that includes free breakfast, and we are working on a few other things.
All the details about registering for Railcon and booking sleeping rooms should be announced within a few weeks. For now, save the date and enough vacation days to make it happen!
So there you have it. I'm unlikely to be able to attned a show in IL as I'm committed to attending ReaperCon at the end of October. I know its a much better location for other players across the country. I'm looking forward to hearing about how great the show was near the end of October.