John Barnes
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I'm thinking about attending a gaming con for the 1st time, with the primary goals of meeting like-minded folks and learning to play some medium-heavy games I haven't been able to play with my usual gaming group.

So, what do you think, sirs (and ma'ams)? Which con would I be more likely to accomplish my goals at?

Thanks in advance for your input!
 
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Jeff Coon
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I say this having not attended Origins.

If your priority is meeting people who play some of the games on this site, and playing a lot of games that you haven't gotten a chance to play, I'd suggest BGG.con. The con is all about open gaming for 4 days, and it's relatively easy to get a game of anything going. Bonus: there's no extra costs for tickets (or whatever they are at Origins) for just sitting down to play a game. Pay for entrance to the con, and you can play whatever you want, whenever you want, with whoever you want.

You won't get that "big con" experience of Origins / GenCon. But if your goal is just to sit down, play games and meet people, I don't think you can beat BGG.con.
 
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Charles A. Davis
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BGG.CON for playing games.
Origins for playing games and all the other stuff.
Your priorities seem to fit BGG.CON better.
 
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Scott Russell
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barneshome wrote:
I'm thinking about attending a gaming con for the 1st time, with the primary goals of meeting like-minded folks and learning to play some medium-heavy games I haven't been able to play with my usual gaming group.

So, what do you think, sirs (and ma'ams)? Which con would I be more likely to accomplish my goals at?

Thanks in advance for your input!


You could more easily drive to Columbus, not sure if that's a factor.

I am commenting from not having been to BGG.con. (Maybe next year, if minimum age is adjusted.)

Check out the thread about CABS boardgame room at Origins.
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/1295678

They are currently scheduling teaching games of:
Andreas Seyfarth's Puerto Rico
Reiner Knizia's Tigris & Euphrates
Friedemann Friese's Power Grid
William Attia's Caylus
Richard Borg's BattleLore
Wolfgang Kramer's El Grande
Wolfgang Kramer & Richard Ulrich's The Princes of Florence
Karl-Heinz Schmiel's Die Macher
Ananda Gupta and Jason Matthews' Twilight Struggle
Martin Wallace's Age of Steam

I suspect that it's early enough that you could add some suggested titles. So this would have the advantage of scheduled times to learn games of interest.

I don't think you can go too far wrong for company at either location.
 
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heh heh. I registered for both last year, then realized I'd...um...overextended my financial self, and had to cancel both. soblue But, FWIW, I've given lots of thought to both, and I've been to a gathering similar, but smaller than bgg.con.

Origins is essentially a commercial event. It is a way for the industry to market directly to you, the gamer. If you want a chance to go to a booth run by Fantasy Flight games and talk to them about their stuff, and to play their games, and do the same with lots of other game companies with 12,000 other people, that is what you will get a Origins.

At bgg.con, or any other of the same sort (there are lots), the focus is spending 4 days with other people that, like yourself, want to do nothing but game for 4 days, and only stop to sleep and eat because it'll let them have a better time gaming tomorrow. If that sounds like a dream to you, than do it.

Now, having said that, I see you are from Charlotte. You need not travel so far do go to a small Con. Up in RTP, we've got a nice gathering (Called That Board Game Thing or TBGT) that happens once a year at the end of the summer. It's 4 days long, has had 60 or so attendees in the past, and is full of really nice people that have a great time gaming together. We get several folks from the Charlotte area, in fact, and a bunch from VA. You should clear your calendar for it.

You've also got the Atlanta Game Fest the other way down I-85 from you. (http://www.atlantagamefest.com/) They have multi-day cons as well as single day events throughout the year. I've not been to that but I bet it's a similar experience.

Check 'em out! You can geek mail me if you want more info on TBGT.
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I've always preferred bigger conventions over smaller ones because of the whole experience that it entails. There is direct contact with the companies, free demo's, free swag, prizes, exposure to tons of different types of games as well as new releases, tournaments, more potential opponents than you can imagine, and a lot of other perks. Thus, I recommend Origins. I've been going for years, and I always have an amazing time.
 
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I attended both Origins and BGG.CON and have to say that they both would suit your needs fine so long as you purchase a Board Room Ribbon at Origins. Personally, I enjoyed both, but found BGG.CON to be more relaxed and friendly. Just about everybody who is anybody in games is there and it does not have the commercial overtones of Origins. Origins was also very good and had all of the commercial stuff as well as exposure to other types of gaming. I would attend Origins again if it did not conflict with the local con. I will attend BGG.CON again regardless of other conflicts which may arise.
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You cannot beat the SWAG at BGG.con. I've gone two years and I got Caylus and Amun-Re. Free (well, minus registration). Everyone get's something usually something pretty nice.
 
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John Bohrer
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WBC in Lancaster, PA
 
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Glenn Ironhat
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Based on your stated goals, do not go to Origins. Again based on your goals, you will have more fun at BGG. Why? Because you will actually be able to do what you want and you will have more control over what you can do. Origins is too big (overwhelming) for your first con.
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Kaarin Engelmann
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It all depends on what you mean by medium-heavy games. Are you talking Euros? Or wargames/longer more complex boardgames? And do you want to focus on playing or are you really wanting the swag? Do you like tournaments or open gaming? Do you like a mix?

My favorite convention, by far is WBC (http://www.boardgamers.org; Lancaster, PA, in February). There isn't much swag. It's all about gaming--there are lots of tournaments, demos, plenty of open gaming, an auction, and vendors. There is a mixture of games--from Euros to sports to train to wargames. It gets about 1500 people who are focused on boardgames.

My next favorite is PrezCon (http://www.prezcon.com; Charlottesville, VA, in February) It's similar, but not quite as large.

I have friends who go to Origins. One likes the Puffing Billy railroad game tournament. Pretty much everyone else says that if you are in the market to game there are better conventions. As other people have said, if you are looking for a more commercial atmosphere and many, many people, it is the place for you.

I've heard great reviews about BGGcon in terms of open gaming an Euros.

I'd say you'll need to decide what you want out of the adventure before you buy any plane tickets

 
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I went to BGG.Con last year, and it was an absolute treat. It was also the first time that I've ever been to a con, much less one in the States.

BGG.Con is really quite well suited if you're keen on more "pick up and go" games, as the whole set up is quite casual and open. There are plenty of games available for loan from the library so you needn't worry about that. Most importantly, there's always plenty of people to play, in all hours of the day. The entire time I was there, I only loaned games out of the library twice, and I didn't get a chance to play them cos I was constantly being invited to join another table.

In that manner, you'll most defintely be able to get into many games. And given the friendly casual nature of the event, you'll have a low-pressure situation in which to enjoy yourself and meet many new people.
 
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Now first off I am a CABBIE and the rep of the ORIGINS BOARD ROOM ... I also GM at the WBC and helped with the auction and up until last year attended PREZCON and GMed and helped with the auction at PREZCON there also. I have not attended the BBG convention ...

My guess is that you will have fun at any of the conventions you attend ... Each has it's own focus and each "feels" different ... You must decide on what you want to get OUT of the convention before you decide to spend the money to go ... Is it just playing games ??? is it for the total experience of the gaming industry ??? is it a vacation and you want some other things to do ???

Decide what you want out of the convention then decide on the convention ...

I remember my first con and it was tough. I went with friends so that made it much easier ...

==============================



 
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Good question. Convention information is readily available on the web, but it can be tough to decide what applies to you and what you would enjoy when you've never been to a Con. I have only been to GenCon, Chi-TAG and a few local cons (KitCon, Wolf Con).

If this was an either or propostion for you, then I don't think you could go wrong with either convention. Once you narrow down a little more what you want out of a con - just play games (BGG.Con) or play games and mingle in the dealer area (Ribbon Room at Origins - extra $15 one time fee and Origins) - then it might be clearer. Cost might be an issue too - fly vs. drive. BGG Con just sounds like a blast for any board game player.

Some background: I had never attended a con until GenCon Indy 2006. Now I searched BGG and the GenCon websites and blogs and tried to have as good an idea of what GC was before arriving. I was going with a group of guys from my local game group so I knew I'd have some friendly faces around. Looking back - I did meet some new gamers, but I could have met many more with a little more effort on my part. GenCon was big and the board game playing area information was a little confusing. I could not figure out why I needed to pay $1.50 to play Ingenious or any other game in the ticketed area. Where was the "open gaming" pickup game area? I did have some succes setting up Phoenix (2players, bright colors, 20 minute game play) which attracted a few people to sit down and learn the game and play.

It was great to go to GenCon and see what it was all about. I had a good time doing as much as I could. This year I am trying to focus on smaller cons - KitCon in the Spring and Fall, Geekway to the West (June), Great Lakes Game Con (November) - so that I can focus on playing games with other board game enthusiasts. I am also trying to help out with the Chi-TAG (November - Chicago)open game playing area in 2007 to make this a better event for BGG's and spread the word about board games to newbies.

I was thinking of Origins in 2007- I hear a lot of good things about the CABBIES and the Ribbon Room - we'll see if I can squeeze it in.

One BGG member Mark Taraba is trying to make open gaming more open at GenCon and trying to eventually get GC to have a Ribbon Room for board game players like they do for the Puffy Billy members. Search the forums for his thread.

Good luck deciding and happy game playing.
 
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John Barnes
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Thanks for the input! Based on everyone's comments, I think I'll end up opting for BGG.CON this year. While seeing all publishers would be kind of cool, my primary focus is playing the games.

Plus, it turns out I have a scheduling conflict for Origins. We'll be beginning a grueling 7 day stretch at the beach on the same Saturday as Origins. I don't think I could let my family face such an ordeal alone.

Maybe I'll make it to Origins next year.
 
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Or you could just drive to... Charlotte for ConCarolinas. http://www.concarolinas.org/
Way less cost to try it out (since it is local). The variety of games will not be as good as Origins or BGG, but if you are flexibile in what you will play, you can actually play non-stop from 3:00 p.m. Friday until you collapse or until Sunday at 5:00 p.m. (whichever comes first).





gtatters wrote:
heh heh. I registered for both last year, then realized I'd...um...overextended my financial self, and had to cancel both. soblue But, FWIW, I've given lots of thought to both, and I've been to a gathering similar, but smaller than bgg.con.

Origins is essentially a commercial event. It is a way for the industry to market directly to you, the gamer. If you want a chance to go to a booth run by Fantasy Flight games and talk to them about their stuff, and to play their games, and do the same with lots of other game companies with 12,000 other people, that is what you will get a Origins.

At bgg.con, or any other of the same sort (there are lots), the focus is spending 4 days with other people that, like yourself, want to do nothing but game for 4 days, and only stop to sleep and eat because it'll let them have a better time gaming tomorrow. If that sounds like a dream to you, than do it.

Now, having said that, I see you are from Charlotte. You need not travel so far do go to a small Con. Up in RTP, we've got a nice gathering (Called That Board Game Thing or TBGT) that happens once a year at the end of the summer. It's 4 days long, has had 60 or so attendees in the past, and is full of really nice people that have a great time gaming together. We get several folks from the Charlotte area, in fact, and a bunch from VA. You should clear your calendar for it.

You've also got the Atlanta Game Fest the other way down I-85 from you. (http://www.atlantagamefest.com/) They have multi-day cons as well as single day events throughout the year. I've not been to that but I bet it's a similar experience.

Check 'em out! You can geek mail me if you want more info on TBGT.
 
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When is BGG.CON scheduled for 2007? I can't seem to find the info. anywhere on the site.
 
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For straight out boardgaming, I can't imagine anything better than BGG.con. Enough gamers so that you can play pretty much any monster game you'd ever want, and copies of most games you'd ever want to play just 1 or 2 rooms away.

Being able to meet hundreds of people you've already chatted, argued with, and even some times lynched! is just icing.

And yes, as far as swag, you won't beat BGG.con. our 2-person loot included:

Pieces of Eight
Heroes Incorporated
Duel of Ages
Funny Friends
Settlers of Catan 3D aniversary edition
$150 Gift Certificate at Funagain

I think that beats most promo items you'll find at Origins/GenCon.
 
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Ummm... Does everybody at BGGcon get $500+ worth of free stuff? If not, how did you obtain such at huge haul? That much loot might be worth me paying for a plane ticket.



hibikir wrote:
For straight out boardgaming, I can't imagine anything better than BGG.con. Enough gamers so that you can play pretty much any monster game you'd ever want, and copies of most games you'd ever want to play just 1 or 2 rooms away.

Being able to meet hundreds of people you've already chatted, argued with, and even some times lynched! is just icing.

And yes, as far as swag, you won't beat BGG.con. our 2-person loot included:

Pieces of Eight
Heroes Incorporated
Duel of Ages
Funny Friends
Settlers of Catan 3D aniversary edition
$150 Gift Certificate at Funagain

I think that beats most promo items you'll find at Origins/GenCon.
 
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Stephanie K.
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Quote:

Re: Origins or BGG.CON - which is better for newbies?
Ummm... Does everybody at BGGcon get $500+ worth of free stuff? If not, how did you obtain such at huge haul? That much loot might be worth me paying for a plane ticket.


No, not everyone does. Jorge and Ava (right?) got lucky and won some of the bigger prizes off the prize table.


BGG.CON 2006 was my first con ever and I had such a good time. I'd recommend it to anyone. The people were great and there was non-stop gaming, literally all night long.


AND - They haven't announced the dates for the 2007 BGG.CON just yet. I'm hoping they do soon!! It'll be marked on my calendar right away!!

Stephanie
 
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