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Subject: Best US convention for a UK gamer trip? :-) rss

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Jen Marshall
United Kingdom
Sheffield
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Hi all, I've spent years doing the UK cons and would like to try out some international events but I'm not sure where to start. Really I'm looking for some recommendations of things to try worth travelling for or other folk to meet up and do this with. :-)

I'm solely a board gamer really and enjoy playing through the night rather than single day events. Mainly though I just want to get out there and try some new places and meet people.

Get in touch if you have any ideas or would like to join me!
Jen
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Matt Robertson
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Regina
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I think that BGG.CON in Dallas is a fantastic event. It encompasses everything I love about the hobby.
...games, and lots of them.
...friendly atmosphere.
...a social experience that brings people together in a way that creates lasting friendships.

A high recommend from me.
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Kaarin Engelmann
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Depends on a lot of things. Do you primarily like Euros or do you like lots of different genres? Do you primarily like open gaming or would you be willing to play in scheduled events (tournaments)? Do you primarily like to play the latest game or do you like to play games with proven track records (older games)? Any time of year you prefer to go?
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William Chew
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Concord Township
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GenCon probably has the most board gaming just because it is so massive. They have an open game library which is supposed to be nice. I haven't personally used it though. It is $4 for days and $6 for evenings each day. So it adds up.

I have not been to BGG Con, but want to check it out. I heard they had 2500 people last year and it seems to be pure board gaming. It is really appealing to me, but I've never attended and know I can't attend this coming year so I haven't done more research into it.

Origins is pretty big. Not nearly as big as GenCon, but considerably bigger than BGG Con. It skews heavily towards board gaming, but it has a lot of other games as well. It has a nice open gaming library you can get into with a board ribbon($20 for whole convention). They have like 1500? or so people that get board ribbons. I was trying to find information for last year, but couldn't find it so I'm going off memory. The board room is run by a local board gaming group and they have a massive library. Its library is smaller than BGG, but bigger than GenCon's library.

I think you would get the most out of BGG Con or Origins. Both are substantially cheaper than GenCon. Although when you are talking international flights that probably adds up to more than the hotel rate. Both have huge board gaming libraries. Origins also has a lot of scheduled events if you want to get in a tournament or other heavy game. I don't know if BGG Con does scheduled events. I know GenCon does though. Origins also have other stuff like a vendor hall and other types of gamers that do RPGs, LARPs, etc. It does 90% of the stuff GenCon does but on a much smaller scale). The manufacturer support in the dealer room is mediocre at Origins though. FFG isn't there, but Mayfair, Iello, Rio Grande and some others are there.


Origins goes Wednesday through Sunday which is a lot of gaming. I believe you can still get onsite hotels which is important for people flying in. GenCon is another story. You need to be prepared before the end of January to get a downtown hotel. BGG Con I'm not sure about either, but its not until November. One last thing if BGG Con has a no child under 12 rule. Not sure if that matters. To some its a huge plus to others its a deal breaker.

I've been to 15 Origins so I'm very familiar with it. 3 GenCons and no BGG Cons although I want to go to BGG Con before I go to Gen Con again.
 
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Byron Rocher
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Jacksonville
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For a good size boardgaming con I would recommend Dice Tower Con.

1) Is a good medium size so that they do not charge for the game library, and has plenty of game demo volunteers

2) has a room of projects awaiting a publisher, last year Richard Lannius was there all weekend with all his games and projects

3) has CoolstuffInc there to order and get you games there at the booth or if not at the show they will have it there for you the next day

4) Is located at a large resort near sea world, universal studios and disney so you will find plenty of other across the pond tourists

5) It is held around July 4th weekend so all the theme parks have special entertainments

last year it was limited to 650 so the badges sold early.

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Kaarin Engelmann
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If you primarily like boardgames and you are going to spend all of the money on a plane ticket from the UK to the US for a gaming convention, I would say that your best bet is the World Boardgaming Championships. If you don't like tournaments, you can treat the schedule as open gaming, but you don't have to find someone to play the game you want to play, you just show up in the right place at the right time. If you do like tournaments, they are the best around.

Unlike large cons like Gencon or Origins, you know that there will be many people to play in those games--that is, the tournaments will actually be meaningful. Also, unlike those very large cons, the focus is all on boardgames--a fairly equal distribution of wargames, Eurogames, train, dexterity, party, etc.--with no distractions from collectible games or cosplay, etc. Around 2,000 people show up to play boardgames. Oh, and it never sells out.

We have a section reserved for "Kickstarter" games, which includes playtesting/games almost in print. There are also many demos, not only to teach games for the tournaments, but also to introduce new games. There are also some special events.

We have a large open gaming area and library. Using either costs nothing extra--only the cost of entrance to the con. (That is true for all tournaments, as well.) Many proven game designers attend and actually play games at WBC. There is an auction early in the week, and a full vendors room later in the week. A few vendors even introduce games at WBC.

In 2014, WBC is Aug. 4-10 in Lancaster, PA, which is not far from Baltimore or Philadelphia airports and is accessible via train. Nearby, you will find tourist sites (if you want to take a break from gaming), including Gettysburg National Battlefield, Antietam National Battlefield, Hershey Park, etc.

Ask if you want to know more or visit the webpage at http://boardgamers.org/landing.shtml.

There are after action reports for last year's tournaments at http://boardgamers.org/yearbook/ You can find a wrap-up of last year's convention (and previous conventions) at http://boardgamers.org/archive/history13.htm The preliminary events list for 2014 is at http://boardgamers.org/wbc/orphans.htm


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Byron Rocher
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WBC is a good option too. There are too many events here in Florida to keep on top of much less travel anywhere else, but a friend of mine from Virginia goes to WBC every year and gets to play Brittania with quality opponents and gets to pick the brain of Lewis Pulsipher while he's there.
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Jen Marshall
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Thanks for the replies! As for preferences I like euros but it's nice to have some variety to wind down with in the evenings. The cons here are all open rather than scheduled so that's what I'm used to but I guess that would make it harder for me to get into games being new. I'm less interested in tournaments and happier to just go with the flow and have fun with new folk. :-)
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Byron Rocher
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I hate to beat a dead horse but I am familiar with Dice Tower Con, it is very openly organized, most gameplay is toss a game down, hoist the matching game banner, whether you're looking for players or teachers and then watch the magic happen.
 
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Christopher Yaure
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WBC also has a pre-con the Saturday and Sunday before the official con begins. Combining the pre-con and con, it makes 9 days of gaming overload, surely a glorious thing. The pre-con mostly includes longer games like War of the Ring (Second Edition), Paths of Glory, Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization, Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage, 1830: Railways & Robber Barons (and other 18XX games), as well as a number of old AH wargames. I estimate I get in almost 100 hours of actual gaming in the 9 days. Purportedly a UK Member of Parliament won the Diplomacy tournament at WBC a few years ago.

For my money and vacation time, WBC cannot be beaten.
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Richard Irving
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actuaryesquire wrote:
Purportedly a UK Member of Parliament won the Diplomacy tournament at WBC a few years ago.



That was Nick Palmer. He wrote a wargaming book in the 70: The Comphrehnsive Guide to Wargaming. (Unfortunately less comprehensive as time as passed.)

I played a game of Up Front against him when he was there and talked about his book. It was highlight of the convention that year!
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Razor Edge
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If you look at this non-scientific Top Convention list
http://www.boardgamelinks.com/links/conventions/north_americ...

The top 5 conventions are
1. Gen Con
2. Dice Tower Con
3. BoardGameGeek.Con
4. World Boardgaming Championships
5. Strategicon

I hope it helps
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Kevin McKenzie
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dr_edge69 wrote:
If you look at this non-scientific Top Convention list
http://www.boardgamelinks.com/links/conventions/north_americ...

The top 5 conventions are
1. Gen Con
2. Dice Tower Con
3. BoardGameGeek.Con
4. World Boardgaming Championships
5. Strategicon

I hope it helps


And if you do BGG Con then you can extend your trip and do the Dallas Games Marathon convention for 6 days PRIOR to BGG Con. That is 11 days of gaming with all the new hot games from Essen!

We have had repeat visitors from the UK and Australia in the past.

Check us out at http://www.DallasGamesMarathon.com
 
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Richard Ham
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I've got a question about US conventions: which one has the most new game débuts, would everyone say?
 
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Marty Sample
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For non wargames, GenCon by far.
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Todd Goff
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rahdo wrote:
I've got a question about US conventions: which one has the most new game débuts, would everyone say?


Gen Con
 
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