Time flys when you’re having fun and this 4 days have certainly flown past. Several players are already packed and left (having 14 or even 20 hours to spend driving home). Others are still sleeping, several have had breakfast, there are only a hundful of us in the con room at this hour (09:30 local time).
As I start to pack things back into the car I thought I’d mention some other observations of the con. To begin with, the way google assumes I speak Dutch. The way there are two network switches, one at each end of the room, along with lots and lots of power cables. The background music that always seems to fit the atmosphere. The humour (Ninja, at the beggining of his duel, jumping up and waving a broomstick with a white T-Shirt tied to it shouting ‘I surrender’). The differing types of setup that people have to play the same game (from one player with full flight control system, rudder pedals, joystick mounted in front of the chair between your legs just like you’d have it in an original fighter – to some playing with basic old joysticks on laptops that struggle to maintain the frame rate at the lowest of all graphic detail settings). The way so many different languages are spoken around the table and watching English be used as a middle language between Dutch, Polish, German, Spanish and French players.
It’s been great fun, I’m going to enjoy the last few hours so this is my last blog post from the con.
Last year, the duel became an epic. Myself and Unguis faught until our fuel ran out – twice!
The duel is played as a pair of players and this year I flew with Zonix. You fly towards the enemy at the same altitude, once you have ‘merged’ (passed each other head on), the fight is on. You can do anything you like, but the goal is that you must kill both your opponents. The rules were changed this year, so that if you run out of fuel the first to crash, lose.
Our second game was against Tomkin and Unguis, just like last year. Just like last year, Tomkin was damaged quickly and was out of the fight and my partner (Zonix this year, Dhyran last year) was shot down, leaving just Unguis and me to battle it out. In an almost exact replay of last year, I ran out of fuel seconds before unguis.
Oh well, maybe next year.
Every year the Eurocon organisers find an interesting place to visit for guided tour. Last year it was the Wings To Liberation museum, this year “Fort Eben-Emael” in nearby Belgium. Built just before the second world war, the Germans captured it in just 37 hours.
The fort was designed to withstand a frontal attack and had huge cannons to defend it ant he surrounding area. To capture it, the germans landed gliders on the top of the fort (The fort is built into a limestone hill) and attacked it with infantry from above, a clever and effective tactic.
Earlier I wrote how my journey to the Eurocon had taken quite a long time. Having arrived in France so early I drove for a few hours throught he night until I felt tired then stopped to sleep for a few hours in the car. I arrived in Liege at about 9am so went looking for a swimming pool partly for the chance to swim but mostly for the chance to have a shower and freshen up before the Rotary meeting. After the swim I followed the SatNav directions to a nearby tourist attraction, listed as a Fort. Fort’s are good destinations for tourists – they normally have good views over the area and this one did too.
Just outside was a memorial to soldiers who died during the first world war. This fort, at Chaudfontaine, was also used during the second world war along with the new, larger fort at Eben-Emael