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Basically, go there for only 1.5 to 2 days, staying over for 1 night.
Does Thursday and Friday have comparable stuff going on vs. Sat. and Sun.? From the (mostly similar) conventions I've been to, Thurs. and Fri. are relatively dead days, with Sat. being the peak, and Sun. you do a bit and then head home.

I think this'll be unique enough to drive 4 hours one-way, but this puts me on the fence now.

My main attractions will likely be:
1) soaking in the ambience of a 40K con
2) check out the more unique stuff that such a con can have
3) check out any panels/seminars
4) play some badly needed video games (boardgaming is still easier for me to do in my current situation)
5) Play 1 to 3 games of Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game WITH the new Daybreak exp
6) buy a copy of the new Daybreak exp, even if I won't be able to play it for a very long time.
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Mike C
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tldr; go so long as you aren't paying out the nose for a hotel

Thurs and Friday are not dead at Gencon. Sunday is a "slow" day, mostly in the afternoon.

The big breaking point for me (for you) is the "cost". If you were flying... no way, not worth it. Since you are driving, then probably yes, so long as the hotel isn't killing you. Big cons like GenCon are more about the big tourneys and the exhibit hall than playing games. A day and a half is perfect for maxing out the exhibit hall and playing a few specific games (what you are looking for in BSG).

For those that do it year after year, playing games becomes more of the focus, but it would seem from the questions that GenCon will be new to you, which means you haven't registered for games yet, which means most of the good ones are full. My best advice is prep for 2014, go for all 4 days and hit it hard (early). BUT, a day and a half to get the big picture before hitting it hard next year is excellent advice!!!

Of course, go to Teton Con 2014, which will be way sweeter! www.tetoncon.com
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Paul Hackman
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Saturday is pretty crazy. If you like ambiance, then Saturday will give you more than enough.

Sunday, if you care, is when you can sometimes get some good deals on games. Cool Stuff tries pretty hard to get rid of everything that isn't a brand new release before the con ends.

Thursday and Friday are far from dead days.
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canavm2 wrote:
tldr; go so long as you aren't paying out the nose for a hotel

Thurs and Friday are not dead at Gencon. Sunday is a "slow" day, mostly in the afternoon.

The big breaking point for me (for you) is the "cost". If you were flying... no way, not worth it. Since you are driving, then probably yes, so long as the hotel isn't killing you. Big cons like GenCon are more about the big tourneys and the exhibit hall than playing games. A day and a half is perfect for maxing out the exhibit hall and playing a few specific games (what you are looking for in BSG).

For those that do it year after year, playing games becomes more of the focus, but it would seem from the questions that GenCon will be new to you, which means you haven't registered for games yet, which means most of the good ones are full. My best advice is prep for 2014, go for all 4 days and hit it hard (early). BUT, a day and a half to get the big picture before hitting it hard next year is excellent advice!!!

Of course, go to Teton Con 2014, which will be way sweeter! www.tetoncon.com
huh... usually, quoting a post can lead to stuff getting cut off, not being added! wow

Hmmm, that reminds me, not just the hotel, but I should calculate the gas that's gonna be eaten up by all this. An up to 2 hour trip one way wouldn't phase me, but with this....
 
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John Bobek
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I would definitely say "yes." I too, can only spend two days this year so I'm only running five games. But, so what? Would you ask is it worth it to go to the Super Bowl? It would cost a whole lot more with a lot less to show for it. GenCon is the SuperBowl of gaming.cool
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Robin Breeden
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Ok lets break it down.

THURSDAY - 2nd lightest day of the con. 2nd heaviest day of the dealers hall. Busiest day for will call and on site registration. Unique event opening ceremonies. #of costumes moderate-2nd lightest day. If you're coming to the con for an early release, a con exclusive or the newest hotness this is the day to hit the dealers room. And do it as soon as possible. CIP Netrunner was sold out by 11 am last year and the dealers hall opens at 10.


FRIDAY - 2nd heaviest day of the con. 2nd Lightest day of the dealers hall. On site registration is moderate... Will call is light. Special Event: Zombie Walk at 9PM- A few hundred people dressed as zombies wlaking through the streets @ the ICC.

SATURDAY - Heaviest day for attendance and dealers hall. Saturday is packed. Very heavy day for onsite registration sometimes heavier than Thursday. Costume density is at it's heaviest concentration. Special Events: costume contest in the afternoon. Dance in the evening.

SUDAY - Least attended day of the convention in all respects.

Some things to note. If you don't have a downtown hotel booked yet you're not going to get one. This means you'll be commuting from 10-20 miles away. Get a reservation NOW!!! Due to another major event in town (see below) West side hotels will also be hard to come by. South and East side ate your best bets.

The Motorcycle Grand Prix is also in town this weekend and will be having some downtown events on Friday and Saturday. If you like Motorcycles this is a good thing because there will be a couple thousand of them 2 blocks east of Gencon. This however, means more crowded restaurants, and hotels and less parking. But if you like bike stroll over to Meridian St, and check out their event... it's free.

Parking- figure about 10 to 30 dollars a day for parking... even if you have a downtown hotel. Meters are only free after 8 and on Sundays.

Star Wars- The State Museum (about 3 blocks from the back of the ICC) has a really cool Star wars exhibit there runs through september... check it out if you have time.


Buying tickets. Buy them now and have them waiting at will call. Yhis will save you time... lots of time. People have waited as long a 6 hours in line to buy on site... not as common as it used to be but it still happens if there's a lot of day trippers... especially thursday and saturday...


Venues- the convention isn't just in the ICC (Indiana Convention Center) it is also in several outlying hotels. Most of the RPG's, LARPS, Seminars, and Movies/Anime events happen in the hotels. Board games. Card Games. Minis games, video games and True Dungeon happen the ICC.



That should help a bit... most importantly do your research before you go an you'll have a good time.









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This is a good place to browse the Gen Con event listings:

http://gencon.bloodbowldigital.com/index.php

You may have a hard time getting into a Battlestar Galactica game at this point, so I would suggest getting a game library pass for the evenings (after the dealers hall closes). The library passes are under the Isle of Misfit events.
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Chris Funk
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RBree wrote:
Star Wars- The State Museum (about 3 blocks from the back of the ICC) has a really cool Star wars exhibit there runs through september... check it out if you have time.


http://www.indianamuseum.org/visit/exhibit/star-wars/

I saw this in Columbus a long time ago at COSI. It's incredible. Completely worth the $20 alone for being able to see Luke's landspeeder in person and to see Vader's actual costume from Ep. 4. You have got to see this if you're a SW fan.

Now that I know about it, I may have to make a stop early Monday just to see it again before I go home.
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I don't mind a 10 to 25 miles away lodging. However, I've never done this, but I'm seriously considering just sleeping in my car instead.


Zaphod wrote:
This is a good place to browse the Gen Con event listings:

http://gencon.bloodbowldigital.com/index.php

You may have a hard time getting into a Battlestar Galactica game at this point, so I would suggest getting a game library pass for the evenings (after the dealers hall closes). The library passes are under the Isle of Misfit events.
Yeah, I read up on this in advance, but couldn't make my move b/c of... well, what I've described in this thread. I presume people can still just show up w/o a ticket and hope for the best, but I take it this is truly rolling the dice here.
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William Chew
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Since you are flying solo you might be able to get into some BSG games. Just scout the schedule and hang around fantasy flight's spot in the hall they run games in. Its gigantic. My friend got into a couple games with me he didn't have tickets for last year. However I don't remember seeing many of them using the daybreak expansion so that might be harder to do.

There are some cheap hotels with $15 minute drives. I paid around $60 pre-tax last year for one with a free breakfast even and in a reasonable area.

It is probably worth it if you can handle the expense. Badge and hotel can be a chunk of change. My friends and I did a last minute gencon trip last year, but we went all day friday, saturday, and a few hours on sunday. It was worth it, but we split lodging, gas, etc. 4 ways.
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Ryan Stapleton
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I would say Yes. I always have a blast at GenCon and am very glad to go. So much to see and do its amazing! Enjoy it and be careful not to totally lose track of time cause well thats possible...
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