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Subject: Advice for attending WBC rss

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Sean McCulloch
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I've gone to the WBC since 2002, I think, and I love it every year. Here are my thoughts on what to expect, how to prepare, that sort of thing.

I should say at the start that I schedule myself for lots of tournaments. I hear that the open gaming is pretty good, but I think I may have played in 2 open games during the whole convention, and that was when were waiting for something else to start.

1) Know what you're getting into. The WBC is a "tournament-focused" convention, which means that all the events eventually lead to semifinals, finals, and, ultimately, the "Champion" of the event. Some people like this (I do), some people would rather play for fun and not really worry about who wins.

While I think that the tournament structure is great, and the main draw of the WBC, it does mean that you can't choose your opponents in most games (you get randomly paired), you could be playing against someone who is much better or worse than you, or someone whose personality just plain rubs you the wrong way. I've had very few bad experiences at WBC, but the fact that you get randomly paired against people means that you never know what you'll be up against until you're seated at the table. On the plus side, that's how I've met many of my WBC friends that I look forward to seeing each year!

2) Plan your schedule. Since so many events are running, you really need to work out how to spend your days. I go through a several-stage process that takes a few days, but what I do may be overkill. Basically, though, the things you want to notice are:
- Does the game have several heats, or is it single elimination run at a single time? Obviously if the game has just one time slot, and you want to play it, you need to build your schedule around that fact.
- Do you think you might make the semifinal or final? If the semifinal is scheduled against some other event you want to play, what will you do? Personally, I schedule very few semifinals in my schedule (I don't want to "cha-ching"), but I know others who won't play in an event if there's a conflict with the semifinal or final.
- Do you know the game well enough to show up and play, or should you also schedule attending the demo? Demos are run by the GMs for many events, and often they will teach strategy ideas in addition to just the rules. It's also a good idea to attend the demo if you've only ever played the game with your local group of people. Several times I attended a demo only to realize that we've been playing a game wrong.

3) Check the preview page for the events you're planning on playing.
Many events play with slight variants, or rules clarifications. Make sure you know and understand them before you show up, so you won't be surprised.

4) Be nice! Make friends with your table, try not to be the person telling everyone what to do, and try to tune out that person if they are at your table. You're here to have fun, so make the most of it!

5) Schedule some time for at least one late-night event. Most nights have an 11 PM "Blow off steam" event. They're always lots of fun, and have a party atmosphere. Personally, I think Slapshot is the best of the bunch (Saturday night at 11!), but I may be a bit biased.

6) Check out the other parts of the convention. There's an auction/auction store on Tuesday, there are seminars going on throughout the week, there are demos of games going on, there's open gaming, there's all kinds of ways to spend time if you don't have a tournament game to play at the moment.

7) I know it's hard, but leave some time for sleeping and eating. This year I found out that there was a Five Guys down the road, so I made sure to stop by and have some awesome hamburgers. Running till the point of exhaustion takes its toll after a week. Not only do you get tired and cranky, but you'll start playing worse.

I'm sure I'm missing some things, but to reiterate- the WBC is a great convention, and one I schedule my life around. Hope to see you there!
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Greg Schmittgens
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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I didn't know about the Five Guys, but east of the Host (about a mile), there's a CiCi's. Not great pizza, but all you can eat for about $7 makes a nice mid-week change.
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Loc Nguyen
United States
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Connecticut
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I was just going to McDonalds. When I pulled up I saw Five Guys next door and yelled awesome. The other times I went to Sonic for happy hour. Also, had Fuddrucker once, and it was pretty good.

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Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
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SeanM wrote:
5) Schedule some time for at least one late-night event. Most nights have an 11 PM "Blow off steam" event. They're always lots of fun, and have a party atmosphere. Personally, I think Slapshot is the best of the bunch (Saturday night at 11!), but I may be a bit biased.


I agree with the recommendation, but an unbiased observer would say that Pro Golf is the best, because it takes so much skill.
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Kaarin Engelmann
Germany
Stuttgart-Plieningen
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BoardGameGeek » Forums » Gaming Related » Conventions » WBC
Re: Advice for attending WBC
Thanks very much! This is a nice list.
 
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