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My Plans For BGG.Con 2011

Jesse Dean
United States
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BGG.Con is currently my favorite gaming convention. Granted, I have not been to them all, I have heard good things about the Gathering in an undisclosed location, Origins in Ohio, StrategiCon in San Francisco but none of them have sounded interesting enough to tempt me to visit. I have, however, visited Gen Con (many times) and the WBC (2009) and both of them fell short for various reasons. Gen Con did not have enough game play of titles I found interesting and the WBC was a gigantic pain to visit in comparison to either Gen Con or BGG.Con. Now I could see going back to these other conventions again (I suspect I will make another attempt at the WBC in 2012), but if I only get to choose one convention per year it is going to be BGG.Con, for the simple reason it has the perfect combination of convenience, friends, and brand new games.

While I know it is madness to try to put together a specific, structured schedule at a convention focused on open gaming, I do like to have a rough idea of who I am going to be playing with, what I am going to be playing, and when I am going to be playing it.

So this year, as last year, I expect most of my gaming time will be spent with:
Jerry Hagen
United States
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United States
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I had a blast gaming with them last year, they have pretty similar tastes as me, and have expressed a desire to spend time gaming with me this year. At least a quarter of the reason I am so excited about going to BGG.Con this year is to game with these crazy kids.

Additionally, I expect to be spending a reasonably large amount of time gaming with:

United States
Ann Arbor
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As he is a long time geekbuddy, who is part of an extended discussion group I am a member of.

Will Pirnasch
United States
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As he is a fellow Orlando gamer and my roommate at the convention.

I’ve also planned specific games with:
Michael Giron
United States
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Seth Jaffee
United States
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United States
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I am sure I will also end up gaming with a bunch of random people that I am not currently expecting throughout the convention. If you would like to be added to this list, please let me know!

Earlier in the year I stated I wanted to spend my time this year on Essen Games and 18XX. Since then I’ve played a lot of 18XX and admit I no longer have a particularly strong desire to spend my BGG.Con time on 18XX, though I will get in at least one obligatory 18XX game while I am there. (Last year it was 18Mex, this year it will probably be 1856.)

I do plan to spend time playing Essen games, both those that I already own and want to teach to others and those that I have not gotten around to trying and want to cement my opinion on. Currently this list will probably include Belfort, Dungeon Petz, Feudality, Helvetia, Pret-a-Porter, Trajan, and The Village, but I imagine I won’t play them all due to time constraints and the fact that I will probably want to replay certain games multiple times.
Jerry and I have also decided we want to spend one day playing 4X games, with the day including games of Space Empires 4X, Eclipse, and Twilight Imperium 3, so that we can get the full gamut of experiences and decide, in a one day smorgasbord of games, which one is the current champion of 4X games. It should be a blast.

If I have any time outside of those broad plans, I will probably spend it on even more repeats of Essen releases or playing some older favorites (both Le Havre and Race For The Galaxy have been mentioned thus far)

I arrive early on Tuesday and already have a pre-planned game of Urban Sprawl with Michael that afternoon. We kicked off the convention with Dominant Species last year, and figured it would be fun to do the same this year with Chad Jensen’s latest eurogame. The rest of the day will almost certainly involve plays of other games that people have brought along.

Wednesday will be new Essen games, both because it is an exciting way to start the convention and also that people can decide which games they want to buy and bring home before the on-site stores run out. I doubt there will be very much deviation from this plan.

Thursday will be even more new Essen games and replays of particularly impressive or curious specimens from the previous day.

Friday is going to be kicked off by some sort of 18XX game and will continue with whatever follows. This day is a bit indistinct in my mind, but that is okay. It is good to leave at least one day almost completely open to track down games that are getting buzz at the convention or get dragged into games you are not expecting.

Saturday is going to be 4X day, where we start with Space Empires 4X, transition into Eclipse, and probably finish off the day with Twilight Imperium 3.

At this point Sunday is mostly focused on scavenging up any gaming I can find, simply because people start leaving at this point and it tends to be more difficult to get any real gaming together.

So yes, it should be another most excellent convention, even more so since I am seeing a continuation of previous traditions and will almost certainly see the foundation of some new ones. I can't wait!
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