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Subject: So, I just registered for my first con... rss

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Dwayne Bolt
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I just registered for my first con, (SnowCon, Bangor, Me). My family got into gaming about a year and a half ago, then more seriously around last Christmas. My wife, who is my main gaming partner, has been talking about going for months and we decided to do it as part of our Christmas gift. This is a smaller regional convention but looks like a lot of fun. What should we expect and how should we plan our time? We have registered for both days. We will have our two kids (ages 10 and 12) registered to go as well. Our 10 year old is a very savvy gamer, he keeps his own and frequently wins against my wife and I, my daughter maybe a little less, but she has created a video blog/game review site, reviewing her favorites, so she enjoys games. Thanks for any suggestions, I have been a long time lurker and finally created an account about three weeks ago!
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John Wrot!
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Congrats, Dwayne, and welcome to the family. : )
 
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Sarah Kelley
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Expect friendly people and good times.

Absolutely do the Warhorn thing! Sign up for what most interests you and that will take care of your schedule.
Early mornings are generally the slower times at smaller cons, so don't bother trying to get there when the doors open, or anything like that.
Take time to eat well and sleep enough. Food at venues is usually lousy and overpriced, if it exists, so plan accordingly.

And welcome to bgg
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Dwayne Bolt
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Thank you, we have to drive an hour to get there and we were planning on getting there early, but if it takes a little bit to get going, we definitely will get a little later start. We are thinking of getting a hotel close to the location, there are food sensitivities to deal with, so we probably won't be eating much there.
 
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Dan Mansfield
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I enjoy the small cons (actually, I've never been to a big con). A lot of people know each other at smaller cons, so there's usually a fun and friendly atmosphere.

If there are games for which you can preregister, by all means do so if it is a game you really want to play (especially longer, more complex games). Otherwise, be prepared to learn new games on the fly. A lot of cons will have people available to teach a game, and this usually goes well enough. Some people will bring their own games that they really want to play, but many cons have a sizable library from which people will just grab a game and start playing after debating with others for a few minutes. ("You ever played...?" "Can anyone teach this...?" "How long does this game take to play?" "How many players do we have?" etc.) I usually bring a bag of my own games to a con and end up playing a few of them, along with new games that I learn at the con. In the end, that turns out to be a nice balance of new and familiar games.

I can't say much about playing with kids, though. I've been to small local cons where kids joined in on a game, but that was usually with at least one parent playing in the same game.
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Sarah Kelley
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At smaller cons (the only ones I've been to), I've played rpgs with kids, only sometimes with their parents-- they've been a universal pleasure to play with.
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Dwayne Bolt
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My daughter has been begging to play an rpg, but I don't have a clue about them, for the most part, so I think that may be something for her and I to break off and do by ourselves.
 
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Martin V
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ProudGeekDad wrote:
My daughter has been begging to play an rpg, but I don't have a clue about them, for the most part, so I think that may be something for her and I to break off and do by ourselves.


Dwayne, I'm sure you and your family will have a great time.

There will likely be structured RPG events at your con, so it is a good place to give them a try. RPG's like Pathfinder or D&D usually have four hour events that you and your daughter can play. Also, there may be an introduction type of event that will provide everything you need to try this style of game (characters, dice, etc.). I would suggest such an event to see what RPG's are all about; you try out the game without too much investment, besides some time.
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CW Lumm
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ProudGeekDad wrote:
I just registered for my first con, (SnowCon, Bangor, Me).


Hi, Dwayne, my wife and I will be there. We mostly play longer Euros. If you feel like something along those lines (Agricola, Le Havre, etc.), let me know!
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Tyler Gingrich
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I checked out the website and the game listings. Looks like it should be a fun time.

The play to win event looks particularly interesting. Lots of new games to try and every play gets you an entry to win a copy.

http://snowconmaine.com/main/schedule/play-to-win-at-snowcon


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Dwayne Bolt
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Thanks. We have been trying out a lot of different games since we got into the hobby. I think, my wife and I really enjoy the Euros. We have been playing the heck out of The Castles of Burgundy we haven't moved on to the longer ones yet, we are getting Bora Bora for Christmas. I think that we would enjoy them, but haven't pulled the trigger on them yet, we don't get the chance to play with a group, so we hate to buy them and then realize that they aren't for us.
 
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What kind of stuff should you do? It depends on if you'd like "more of the usual", or to try out different things. I'll list what I've been looking for, and perhaps that'll guide you to what to look for...

For me, I try to get in games and stuff that I normally can't elsewhere (like local groups). That means heavier/more complex games, newly released games, games that no1 owns, or hardly get played even though someone owns them.

Also did a mini-panel with the creators of Viva Java: The Coffee Game and Chicken Caesar. They talked about their experiences kickstarting the game, offered tips/advice, and answered questions about their ks as well as their games.

I'll also avoid mainstream games that get played , all, the, freakin', time. Examples of this include but not limited to Sushi Go, 7 Wonders (unless there are expansions), Smash Up, Codenames, numerous party games, and Splendor.

Last but no least, I'll actually try and hit on women. Given how many couples I meet at cons, as well as cases cited here on BGG.com that they met b/c of board gaming, sharing the love of their hobby, it seems to be the place to do that (lucky you don't have this problem. Congrats on the gamer wife and children BTW kisscool )



ProudGeekDad wrote:
Thank you, we have to drive an hour to get there and we were planning on getting there early, but if it takes a little bit to get going, we definitely will get a little later start. We are thinking of getting a hotel close to the location, there are food sensitivities to deal with, so we probably won't be eating much there.

To me, half an hour 1-way is typically the limit for NOT getting lodging. If the hotels are less desirable in a combo of ways (e.g. too expensive, unavailable, inconvenient, or won't be able to drive for some types of gaming etc.), I'll extend that that 40 to 45 minute drive.

Yeah, it's nice to get there earlier just so you made more out of the time. However, it may be worth it to get there later if it means getting an errand, pit stop, or meals out of the way so that when you do show up, you're truly "good to go!". I've heard of cases where getting there at certain times is less than ideal due to factors like traffic, or lines to buy/pick up badges is longer, but I don't know enough about the con you're going to comment on that.

Although inconvenient, you may be forced to leave the gaming area for other food, as some places are strict on outside food, or simply have no options whatsoever.


gl hf!
 
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Dwayne Bolt
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We are planning on staying near the venue, there is a place giving discounts to people registered to go to the con, plus there is another place with a kitchenette that is probably a little closer (1/2 block vs 1 1/2 blocks. Staying at one of them would give my wife or I a chance to sneak over for a few more games. If we get there too early, the kids may run out of steam early.

We are a pretty rural area and we don't get many chances to play most games, a cafe in town is starting to have board game nights on Saturdays during the winter. We have been going there and it is starting to gains traction. We don't get many chances to play many hanes that we don't own, so 7 Wonders or the like would be a new game to us, but we want to try all types, we are pretty sure of what we like, but we may be surprised, so we will try any game once.
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Ms Dew
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Yay for more folks finding their way to SnowCon. This will be my fourth time attending and I look forward to it every year If you want a truly epic and eventful experience, I highly recommend participating in the Flip the Table Star Trek VHS game. It is such silly fun! I agree with earlier comments to register on Warhorn to check out the schedule. If you are a Scrabble or word game fan, there's the "option" of gaming at my table Sunday morning Sunday is also a good chance to try the play-to-wins and check out the designer showcase.
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What you should expect and what to do:

1. You should make sure you do have a place to sleep. Be it motel, hotel, friends house, whatever not too far away. Don´t ever try to sleep in a gym/library something at a convention like this.

2. Regarding food/drink/snacks, bring much of it on your own. Make a few rations up front. It will save you money. Very likely they have Boardgames for sale there for nice discounted prices. Would be very boring not to afford some of it because of the fact you spent it on food that may well be overpriced. Don´t prop yourself with too much snacks. It´s not just your body that are supposed to be gaming, it´s your mind as well.

3. If there are very popular games you truly WANT to play and be part of and if it´s possible, sign up days or even weeks in front, but don´t hesitate to sign up for multiple games.

4. Expect to show up early mornings to play the game that starts 10am where only nearly half of the group actually has shown up and other half coming wingling in one by one 15-45 mts after it originally should have started or even in some cases that specific game you´ll be told it has actually been cancelled and you have to play something else because of multiple reasons.

5. Expect to meet likeminded ppl, funny ppl, douchebags, idiots, nice ppl, crazy ppl, ppl in funny and lame costumes, ppl with sunglasses playing boardgames 9pm in the evening when it´s dark outside, highly arrogant ppl, wannabe megalomaniacs, morons, maybe a new friend or two if you´re lucky, just to name a few.

6. Always make sure you have your entry pass easily available and visible at all times. Saves you a lot of time.

7. When you play games that are/take very long hours to complete, make sure you do get a few breaks inbetween. You´ll need it.

8. If you drink coffee, get the event specific refillable mug during the whole weekend. Costs you X amount of money. Also a souvenir worth having.

9. Make sure you win one of the games or Tourneys you are participating in and bring home your winning prize with diploma and all. Like me when winning my Puerto Rico Tournament Championship back in the days.

10. Have Fun and Good Luck.
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Dwayne Bolt
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mouseydew wrote:
Yay for more folks finding their way to SnowCon. This will be my fourth time attending and I look forward to it every year If you want a truly epic and eventful experience, I highly recommend participating in the Flip the Table Star Trek VHS game. It is such silly fun! I agree with earlier comments to register on Warhorn to check out the schedule. If you are a Scrabble or word game fan, there's the "option" of gaming at my table Sunday morning Sunday is also a good chance to try the play-to-wins and check out the designer showcase.


It's tricky, this is our first ever con and there is so much we want to do. We think we are going to scout things out to see the flow of things. On one hand, my wife and I want to try out games that we may like, but on the other, we would like to try stuff that we would never buy for ourselves (we don't have any gaming groups in our town, so we would never get to play them). We will also have our kids (ages 10 & 12) with us. Our 10 year old will jump in on pretty heavy Euros and hold his own, our 12 year old likes the lighter games and has been begging to play some RPG's, so I want to do some of those things with her. I think that we will just wing our first con, we know we will be back. My daughter and I will check out your word games, that is right up our alley.

I've been meaning to check out the Flip the Table crew, I really don't find much time for podcasts unfortunately. The game seems like a blast. My wife won't go anywhere near it, but I bet I can rope my daughter into it. We are signed up on Warhorn already, just haven't registered for games.
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Jared Hunnefeld
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So as a panelist on the Flip The Table podcast and someone that's gone to every single Snowcon, I can guarantee you'll have a great time. Here's some helpful tips that I'd suggest from personal experience:

The con opens at 8AM and it'll take you maybe 10 minutes at most to get through registration. Most events don't start until 9 AM so no need to rush.

Once you're inside, all the game sign ups are plastered across the right wall. One of the neat things the con organizers do is leave one or two slots open for onsite sign up so if there was a game or RPG you wanted to play but it was full you can try to be the first one to the sign up wall.

As far as food and drinks go, there is onsite catering but it's pretty expensive. There's a Cantonese Chinese food restaurant (China Harbor) a really great pub (Geahgans), a Subway, and a McDonalds all within 2 blocks of the venue. Just keep in mind they are very strict about the no outside food/drink policy.

As far as gaming goes it seems your family is all over the map when it comes to what to play. For RPG gaming, I would suggest any of the games run by Chris Pierce or Drew Bouchard for first time con goers. If your looking for the lighter fare, any of our Flip The Table events would work. Finally there are plenty of people who spend the weekend playing heavy games so there should be no shortage of fun.

There is a local game group that donates their library to the con so make sure you only bring games you desperately can't live without. There are also "Player Wanted" and "Teacher Wanted" signs so you can easily get enough players for any game.

That's about it so I hope to meet you there and enjoy your first con!
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Dwayne Bolt
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snookieprime wrote:
So as a panelist on the Flip The Table podcast and someone that's gone to every single Snowcon, I can guarantee you'll have a great time. Here's some helpful tips that I'd suggest from personal experience:

The con opens at 8AM and it'll take you maybe 10 minutes at most to get through registration. Most events don't start until 9 AM so no need to rush.

Once you're inside, all the game sign ups are plastered across the right wall. One of the neat things the con organizers do is leave one or two slots open for onsite sign up so if there was a game or RPG you wanted to play but it was full you can try to be the first one to the sign up wall.

As far as food and drinks go, there is onsite catering but it's pretty expensive. There's a Cantonese Chinese food restaurant (China Harbor) a really great pub (Geahgans), a Subway, and a McDonalds all within 2 blocks of the venue. Just keep in mind they are very strict about the no outside food/drink policy.

As far as gaming goes it seems your family is all over the map when it comes to what to play. For RPG gaming, I would suggest any of the games run by Chris Pierce or Drew Bouchard for first time con goers. If your looking for the lighter fare, any of our Flip The Table events would work. Finally there are plenty of people who spend the weekend playing heavy games so there should be no shortage of fun.

There is a local game group that donates their library to the con so make sure you only bring games you desperately can't live without. There are also "Player Wanted" and "Teacher Wanted" signs so you can easily get enough players for any game.

That's about it so I hope to meet you there and enjoy your first con!


Thanks for the suggestions. We plan on staying nearby at a place that we can cook, my wife and daughter are vegetarians and my wife is gluten intolerant, so we are severely limited in where we can eat.

We are very much looking forward to it and have been planning for this weekend since October. We will definitely check out you guys at Flip the Table. Thanks for your tips.
 
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