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2007-04-19

Operation Dice Drop: Live, from Iraq, it's Ziggurat Con!

Z iggurat Con, where R.P.G. isn't just a Rocket Propelled Grenade, needs your help.

UPDATED 4/21 & 4/22: A message from SPC Amberson, ZC's chair, suggests a deadline for shipment to Ziggurat Con by Military Mail (and the general restrictions on what can be sent):

Saturday 26 May for Express Mail
Monday 21 May for Priority Mail - (much cheaper than Express Mail)
9 May for Media Mail -
Parcel Post takes about 2 months, so if you ship via Parcel Post, there's little-to-no chance of arrival before the con.

Here's a postal rate calculator; use 09331 as the destination zip code.





He added:

We have been so long without books, dice and such that whatever you can send will be appreciated. I think it would be best to let you know what games are actually scheduled for the event. This way you can decide for yourself what you wish to send. The best way is to send by US Postal Service (we don't get any other deliveries here).


Sunday - 1200-1600
1. GURPS
2. Shadowrun
3. XCrawl
4. Magic Tournament (Sealed Deck, Sanctioned)
5. Rifts
6. Babylon 5 RPG
7. Munchkin Card Game Demo

Sunday - 1600-1700
1. Wind up games, prepare for next session.
2. Drawings for FREE STUFF

Sunday - 1700-1830
1. Dinner - To Conform To DFAC Hours

Sunday - 1830-Finish
1. White Wolf System-Vampire
2. White Wolf System-Werewolf
3. Starship Troopers
4. MechWarrior Miniatures Demo
5. Cyberpunk 2020
6. Historic Miniatures Battles
7. D&D Fantasy - RPGA Event


Who: Donors of non-electronic gaming material (Bring out your dice!)

What: Ziggurat Con, possibly the first gaming convention in a combat zone, also described here, here and at Toys4troops.org.

When: June 9, 2007

Where: Camp Adder/Tallil Airbase, Iraq

Why: Gamer-to-gamer direct support seems like a spiffy idea.

How: Send games (e.g., Babylon 5 RPG, Cyberpunk 2020, D&D, D&D RPGA, GURPS, Historic Miniatures Battles, Magic Tournament, MechWarrior Miniatures, Rifts, Shadowrun, Starship Troopers, White Wolf System-Vampire, White Wolf System-Werewolf, XCrawl), minis, and dice via the APO address found on the web links above.

Con chair: SPC David Amberson david.amberson (at) iraq.centcom.mil writes:

The Con's historical landmark "mascot" -- the Ziggurat that gives the Con its name -- can be found on the post, and hails from the ancient city of Ur. Nearby is the house where it is believed that Abraham (a large figure in the Bible, the Koran and the Torah) was born. Cool digs for a Con -- if not for the fact that there's a war going on. Amberson, however, emphasized the need for soldiers to relax and kick back with enjoyable activities from time to time.

"There is a deeper sense of camaraderie in a war zone than you see back home," said Amberson, who is a supply soldier with Alpha Company, 86th Signal Battalion. "You eat with these people, work with them on a daily basis, and can even share a tent with the same people. When work is over for the day, we can sit back, relax, drink our favorite sodas, eat our favorite snacks, and play a bit of D&D. This helps us relax in a very stressful environment. We found a place where we can go somewhere far away from the IED's, mortar attacks, and gunfire, without ever leaving the safety of our camp. The next step was only logical."

I've asked the board of my local SF-and-gaming con non-profit (OSFCI) to support the con, by paying freight for dice ( Bring out your dice, Bring out your dice) and minis (via Parcel Post) and for RPG manuals and supplements (via Media Mail), but as a Red Crosser, I've learned a long lead time is required to get parcels to troops, so if you like the idea, start preparing NOW. And, I'm not alone:

aethereal FORGE, Sovereign Press, Final Redoubt Press, Goodman Games, Paizo Publishing and Steve Jackson Games are among those that have thrown in their support for the convention. But Amberson indicated that the soldiers could definitely use more.

"This convention is currently in drastic need of prizes and giveaways for the troops," he said. "Everything donated will go directly to the troops, or to MWR (Ed. note: Morale Welfare & Recreation) to use as loaner books for the soldiers."

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