After Action Report
April 16-18, 2010
It was the best of cons, it was the best of cons.
It began as a series of BSG panels and ended as the largest and most ambitious series of events that the crew of the Stormbringer has ever produced. We started off by asking the StarLand Convention promoters if we could host an entire programming track for Battlestar Galactica instead of just running a convention table like most other clubs. As there was nothing in the way of BSG programming this year and no BSG guest on the line up, we were able to fill a needed gap and the convention organizers were elated to see what we had planned for the weekend. In fact, what I had submitted was approved across the board and both KathE and Susan were fantastic in providing us with an excellent convention room for our activities in what turned out to be the perfect location. Now all we needed were fans.
And fans we got… in abundance!
Over the course of the weekend our room was packed wall to wall with people having fun and enjoying all that STARFEST had to offer the public. Since this was the first time we had done an entire weekend of programming including an overnight drive in theater on both Friday and Saturday… some things went better than expected, while others left much to be desired. Gunnery Sergeant Peter Pound’s Marine Muster and Captain Ana "HATHOR" MacDonnell’s Speed Dating panel were standing room only and enjoyed by everyone. Fresh and exciting things were attempted like on the spot photo ID badges done by our very own Captain Gretchen "MOXIE" Oswald so that members could have a nice memento of the convention to take home with them. I’d like to also thank Saggitaron Representative John "VAMPYR" Miller and Lieutenant Dwayne "SPOOKY" Thaden for being there for us to pick up the slack and remember things that we had forgotten due to the overwhelming number of people we were entertaining over the weekend.
The room was decorated to the hilt with BSG memorabilia. Captain Todd "SCOTSMUPPET" Brugmans created the brochures and the Conference Logo Banner in addition to the 8 foot long Battlestar Stormbringer that we hung on the balcony, Major Joe "SYKO" Linden donated the Banners of the Colonies and the Flags of the Galactica that adorned the room, while Captain Gretchen "MOXIE" Oswald went above and beyond creating and printing banners, Vipers, Raptors and the handouts like Pocket Programs and Drink Guides that we gave away to those who wanted them. Ensign Angie, aka, "ESCHER" built the C.I.C. prop door from scratch out of cardboard, ducttape and spray paint that we used as a backdrop for photos and many compliments were tossed her way for the amazing job that she did in a little under a week.
Captain Christopher "HOBBIT" Winchell gets the Stormbringer Stamina Award for working registration and member processing for a whopping 40 hours straight without sleep along with backup by "ESCHER" as both greeted those who poked their heads in the door asking "What the Frak is this all about?" and they are to be thanked immensely for their hard work and dedication. Captain Richard "MOONDOG" Wetmore stunned us all by escorting Christopher Judge to the party to hang out, drink, take photos with us, drink, talk about SG-1, drink, almost beat the snot out of a disrespectful nugget, drink, talk about kilts and sporrans, drink and even have a cigar with the rest of us Colonial Misfits. Way to go "MOONDOG"!
We had a large number of members come from far away to play BSG with us such as:
- Gene, Renee and Stephen Haggerty and Admiral "PSICOP" Marr from Florida
- John Paul Gonzoles and Ensign Michelle "HYPER" Schaber from Texas
- our XO, Commander Boyd Harmon, from California
- Honorary Member Admiral Lord Martin Lessem from Sweden (via Philadelphia)
- Staff Sergeant Topaz McQueen from Seattle, Washington
- Commander Don Hayunga from Canada
- and last but not least our Guest of Honor, Fleet Admiral Nathan Gastineau, Commander of the Colonial Defense Forces from San Bernadino, California
All of them pitched in to help set up, break down, clean up and even step up to volunteer to help out running panels and events. Fleet Admiral Gastineau transferred his flag to BSG-69 and for the weekend we served honorable as the Flagship of the Colonial Fleet. It was an honor. I should add a word of thanks to Sergeant Gareth Schmale for providing personal security for the CinC and ghosting the Fleet Admiral throughout the con in full tactical gear. Ensign Danny Devore helped out with greeting the public and working the registration table and we thank him for his tireless assistance.
Good Neighbor Relations…
We spent Friday Night hosting STARFLEET Region Seventeen to their Ice Cream Social and Awards ceremony. The Stormbringer has a STARFLEET contingent aboard and Region 17 needed a space to recognize their hard working members and we were honored to help. Vice Admiral Keira Strong, Region 17 Coordinator, took the podium and entertained the Trekkies in our midst, treating them to humorous anecdotes while handing out awards and recognition as the STARFLEETERS gorged themselves on ice cream and LactAid.
The FTL Jump Party…
We started something new this year by inventing a new form of entertainment called the "FTL Jump" Party, in which partygoers went from room to room which were "colonies" to drink a shot, wait 33 minutes (or less) and then "JUMP" to the next colony. Punch cards were made so that they got credit for the jump and prizes were handed out to those who participated. Many Stormbringer Command Staff received such positive feedback from the participants that we will be doing this as a signature event at each of our conventions from here on. I cannot tell you how many people told us that the FTL Jump Party was the most fun they have ever had at a con party and that it was great to see such a new and exciting event at STARFEST.
Launching a new chapter…
Fleet Admiral Nathan Gastineau presided over the launch ceremony of the Gunstar Phantom, assigned to BattleStar Group 69 and patrolling the Tampa/Clearwater Florida Sector. Commanded by newly minted Major Gene "Toaster" Haggerty, the Phantom will be hosting its’ first convention event schedule at the upcoming Vulcon in Tampa, Florida at the end of April. I will be flying out to assist the Gunstar in her operations at the convention and helping them recruit new nuggets local to thier patrol sector.
We went into this with 225 members whose names were posted on the wall banner rosters printed by "MOXIE". These turned out to be a bigger hit than we had planned on as members who we only see once a year were excited to see their names up on the board alongside the others. Due to the efforts of the crew led by "HOBBIT", "ESCHER", "MOXIE" and Will "GASMAN" Dodd… we recruited an additional 40 new nuggets into the CDF and Stormbringer bringing our official total to 265 members. The Stormbringer now accounts for about 33% of the entire Colonial Defense Forces. We expected 40-60 members to show up and we ended up having almost 100 turnout over the weekend not counting the general public that packed the room over the course of the weekend. I think the phrase, "HOLY FRAK" would apply here. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that this group would ever become one of, if not the largest fandom organization in local Denver Fandom.
I would like to thank everyone who helped out. To list them all here would be futile because it would add two extra pages to this report. Rest assured that not only did the Stormbringer kick ass, we also took names. Names that will be submitted for awards for participation at the next Awards Ceremony. A special thanks to StarLand and KathE and Susan for allowing us to provide a programming track of fun events and panels themed on Battlestar Galactica. We hope that after all the success of this first time that they will allow us to have the room again next year as we are already hard at work on modifying the programming to eliminate what didnt work, fleshing out what did work and adding some new things that were suggested to us by many of you.
Next year will be the 5th Anniversary of the Battlestar Stormbringer and the 5th Annual International Colonial Conference. As has been suggested by many, we are going to ask KathE and STARLAND if we can call it "BATTLESTARFEST 2011" next year as it will be even BIGGER and BETTER than this year (if that is possible).
We are gathering photos and videos that we will submit to STARLAND to include in their section on STARFEST 2010 and all the fun that was had by everyone in attendance, which by the way seemed to be a LOT larger than previous years and truly a sign of all the hard work that the volunteers on the STARLAND STAFF put in for us fans. THANK YOU STARLAND!!!
It was truly, the best of cons. Thank you to STARLAND for allowing us a venue to have such a great time and to provide a programming track that hundreds of people had fun participating in.
SO SAY WE ALL!
Admiral Johnathan "GUMBY" Simmons,
4th Annual Colonial Conference and BATTLESTARFEST 2010 Chairperson,