ACT News

License article

Miniature gamers have converged on Canberra for the 37th annual Cancon

They are used to being called geeks or nerds, but much prefer the monikers of miniature gamers or history buffs.

The 37th annual Cancon, a gaming extravaganza where participants embrace the spirit of cosplay, took place at Canberra's Exhibition Park on Saturday. 

Thousands of people – mostly men – packed the pavilion playing a host of various games with miniature figurines.

The miniature figurines, some as small as two millimetres in height, have been lovingly and carefully painted in the colours of its owner's army.

A $600 army is considered cheap, while some are much pricier fetching about $3000.

Canberra Games Society president Tim Sleigh, who is also the Cancon organiser, said he played with multiple armies at the event. .


He started miniature war gaming 27 years ago and he estimates his current collection would cost about $25,000.

Many people, he said, misunderstand the purpose of the games.

"The people who misunderstand are the people who don't actually know what we do," Mr Sleigh said.

"You talk to people and they think, 'oh you're just playing with toy soldiers, or your little man dollies, or whatever', but there is a lot more to it than that."

Mr Sleigh said the style of gaming appealed to plenty of people, because it just wasn't about tactics.

He said it was also about model making, painting and learning a lot of history.

"I have a German heer army, and I could probably give you a quick rundown on their history from 1938-1945 without too muchtrouble," Mr Sleigh said.

"If I'd have known that during high school, I might have passed a few more history exams."

The largest prize pool for a single game is $1400, prompting participants to travelled from across Australia and the world to attend the convention.

The event, which runs until Monday, features a space to play board games, painting classes, participation games, competition games, and cosplay.