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Subject: Questions from a First Time Attendee rss

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Ryan Feathers
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I've been wanting to attend WBC for several years, and it is looking like 2018 shall finally be my time. I'm getting plans in place and seeing if any friends want to come with.

I've reviewed information on the website and forums, and largely feel prepared about many of the different steps. But there's nothing quite like getting direct feedback from regulars about the way certain things actually go, and that's largely my goal here.

I also hope this can be a place for any other prospective attendees to stick their heads in and ask questions.

Just to keep the OP a bit more concise and easy to deal with, I'll leave it at that, and start posting some questions in later posts. Looking forward to meeting some of you in 2018! (And beating you at Terra Mystica )
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Max Jamelli
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I'm sure there will be plenty of people who can offer great advice for a first timer.

I can also guarantee you that you will not beat me at Terra Mystica. (most likely because I don't play it)
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Ryan Feathers
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So to start off with, how many days to people usually go for? I'm sure there are plenty that go for the entire 9 days, and frankly I'd like to do that but...

1) I'm not sure I can get off 9 days for this
2) I might have a wedding on the 2nd Saturday. (I'm in WI so that means I'd need to leave the convention Friday).

Therefore I guess I'm really asking if a lot of the semifinals of tournaments wrap up on those last few days. (Friday-Sunday). I mostly want to attend WBC to play a bunch of games (mostly Euros) at the highest levels of competition, and maybe reach the finals here and there. If I'm potentially going to be missing a bunch of finals because I might not et to stay the entire week, that will significantly dampen my enthusiasm for attending this year.


My other main question for now is how many events can/do people play in a day? From looking at past schedules this matters a lot on the length of events, so in my case it will be a lot of 2ish hour events I imagine. (Agricola, Terra Mystica, Acquire, Evolution, Dominion, 7 Wonders, etc would be some of my top games I'd like to get in).


For now, my only other question then is when does the schedule of events usually come out? Depending on what days certain tournaments are actually running may also heavily impact if I should attend or wait until next year when I hopefully can attend for the final weekend.
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Andrew Drummond
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Ranior wrote:
So to start off with, how many days to people usually go for? I'm sure there are plenty that go for the entire 9 days, and frankly I'd like to do that but...

1) I'm not sure I can get off 9 days for this
2) I might have a wedding on the 2nd Saturday. (I'm in WI so that means I'd need to leave the convention Friday).

Therefore I guess I'm really asking if a lot of the semifinals of tournaments wrap up on those last few days. (Friday-Sunday). I mostly want to attend WBC to play a bunch of games (mostly Euros) at the highest levels of competition, and maybe reach the finals here and there. If I'm potentially going to be missing a bunch of finals because I might not et to stay the entire week, that will significantly dampen my enthusiasm for attending this year.


A big part of this question is what sort of games you play? If you are looking at Euro games, a lot of them will have wrapped up by Friday. A few big ones (Concordia, Settlers, Castles of Mad King Ludwig, Peurto Rico) definitely do not.

War games tend to be more focused into 1 or 2 days self contained tournaments. In general, you'll be able to play lots in the 7 days Sat-Fri.


Ranior wrote:
My other main question for now is how many events can/do people play in a day? From looking at past schedules this matters a lot on the length of events, so in my case it will be a lot of 2ish hour events I imagine. (Agricola, Terra Mystica, Acquire, Evolution, Dominion, 7 Wonders, etc would be some of my top games I'd like to get in).


Everyone will have their own answer to that, but for me I play mostly 1.5 hour Euro games. So in a typical day I'll play 5 different heats (2 hour time slots) and whatever the late night game is that night. If you weren't aware there is a "silly" single elimination tournament almost every night at 11pm (Can't Stop, Liar's Dice, Las Vegas, etc). Some days you play more, others less. But 5 heats is a good average for me. More than that and I find I burnout.


Ranior wrote:
For now, my only other question then is when does the schedule of events usually come out? Depending on what days certain tournaments are actually running may also heavily impact if I should attend or wait until next year when I hopefully can attend for the final weekend.


The schedule usually isn't final until sometime in May (we won't have locked in the last few tournaments until March and the logistics of 150 tournaments to be scheduled is hard).

That said, the schedule tries to be relatively consistent (ish) year over year. So, while there will be changes, last years schedule (found here: http://boardgamers.org/wbc17/schedule.html) will be a good guide for what games tend to be earlier and later in the week.

Hope that helps! Looking forward to meeting you.
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Gordon Stewart
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Quick reply:

The busiest days for tournament heats have been Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

For years, I 've been treating tournaments as scheduled open gaming and
choosing not to keep playing in games in which I qualify to advance.

The schedule has been gradually moving heats to earlier days in the week.

Don't forget to take time to learn and try a couple new games.

Welcome to the best week of the year!
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Ryan Feathers
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ardrummo wrote:


A big part of this question is what sort of games you play? If you are looking at Euro games, a lot of them will have wrapped up by Friday. A few big ones (Concordia, Settlers, Castles of Mad King Ludwig, Peurto Rico) definitely do not.

War games tend to be more focused into 1 or 2 days self contained tournaments. In general, you'll be able to play lots in the 7 days Sat-Fri.


Awesome, that sounds great. I'd love to try and learn Concordia, but no worries there. I dislike CoMKL so no worries there either. I'd like to participate in Puerto Rico but it's not at the top of my list.

The games I pretty much have to play in:
Terra Mystica
Agricola
Acquire

Games I'd really like to get in:
Dominion
7 Wonders
Evolution

Games I'd like to play in:
Vegas Showdown
Puerto Rico
Power Grid


Quote:


Everyone will have their own answer to that, but for me I play mostly 1.5 hour Euro games. So in a typical day I'll play 5 different heats (2 hour time slots) and whatever the late night game is that night. If you weren't aware there is a "silly" single elimination tournament almost every night at 11pm (Can't Stop, Liar's Dice, Las Vegas, etc). Some days you play more, others less. But 5 heats is a good average for me. More than that and I find I burnout.



Perfect, that sounds pretty similar to me. (I might have a few more than go 3 hours, but close enough). Getting in 4-5 heats/games per day sounds like a fantastic day of gaming.


Quote:


The schedule usually isn't final until sometime in May (we won't have locked in the last few tournaments until March and the logistics of 150 tournaments to be scheduled is hard).

That said, the schedule tries to be relatively consistent (ish) year over year. So, while there will be changes, last years schedule (found here: http://boardgamers.org/wbc17/schedule.html) will be a good guide for what games tend to be earlier and later in the week.

Hope that helps! Looking forward to meeting you.


Oh yeah that is very helpful! I didn't know if the schedule stayed pretty close to the same or not. But now that I know it does that is very useful. Helps let me answer a lot of my own questions up above haha.

Hope to meet you too! (If I'm remembering some Vegas Showdown event reports correctly, you're pretty easy to spot )
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Andrew E
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I don't know that it's an intentional effort to keep the schedule consistent so much as it's that GMs have very broad power to determine when their event will be, and the GM from last year will probably be the GM this year. I put Egizia early in the week last year because I preferred that, and it'll be early in the week again this year for the same reason.

It's nice that as the con gets a higher and higher percentage of people showing up for all 9 days it gets better for people with odd schedules who have to leave early. I believe most of those games finish before Saturday.
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Curt Collins
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Here is the Schedule of games I played in 2017:

First Saturday:
Several open game titles, including a playtest for one of my own designs (something like 10-12 open games)
Love letter heat
Ra heat
Las vegas (played 3 rounds, and won the tournament that night)

First Sunday:
1 heat of auction
4 rounds of Union Pacific (finished 5th overall, missed final)
1 open game
Terraforming mars heat

Monday:
Terraforming Mars heat
Splendor heat
5 tribes heat
Vegas Showdown heat
Santa Fe Rails heat
Carcassonne heat

Tuesday:
Several open game titles (4-5) learned a new game at rio grande area
El Grande heat
Santa Fe Rails heat
King of Tokyo (eliminated round one)

Wednesday:
Vegas Showdown heat
Castles of Mad King Ludwig heat
Concordia heat
Princes of Florence heat
Splendor heat
El Grande heat
Terraforming Mars heat

Thursday:
Santa Fe rails semi and final (won event)
El Grande semi and final (finished fourth)
Splendor heat
Terraforming Mars Semi (eliminated)

Friday:
Evolution heat
Forget what I played at 11
Carcassonne heat
Splendor quarter and Semi (5th overall eliminated in semi)
Castles of mad king ludwig heat
Orient Express heat
Liars dice (1 round)

Saturday:
Something at 9
Concordia heat
Concordia semi (eliminated)
Orient Express final (finished 2nd)
little bit of a wind down day with some open games

Sunday:
Consolation heat of trans america (basically no gaming this day at the convention)

I would have done very well for myself even had I not been there for the final weekend. There is no reason you couldn't go for the first 7 days and then leave.
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Max Jamelli
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ardrummo wrote:
Ranior wrote:



Ranior wrote:
My other main question for now is how many events can/do people play in a day? From looking at past schedules this matters a lot on the length of events, so in my case it will be a lot of 2ish hour events I imagine. (Agricola, Terra Mystica, Acquire, Evolution, Dominion, 7 Wonders, etc would be some of my top games I'd like to get in).


Everyone will have their own answer to that, but for me I play mostly 1.5 hour Euro games. So in a typical day I'll play 5 different heats (2 hour time slots) and whatever the late night game is that night. If you weren't aware there is a "silly" single elimination tournament almost every night at 11pm (Can't Stop, Liar's Dice, Las Vegas, etc). Some days you play more, others less. But 5 heats is a good average for me. More than that and I find I burnout.


Andrew is correct - you'll find 100 different types of gamers at WBC. I'm one of the gamers who plays Tournaments as scheduled open games - if I win, cool. I get to play again. If not, ok - I'll go back to Open Gaming and find something there. I just want to play something with people I enjoy playing with. I've met a lot of great people in open gaming - of all ages too.

I think I averaged anywhere from 12-15 games per day ... but that's really all I do. I don't do anything else at the resort. I don't sleep very much, nor do I block off a set time to eat. I eat whenever, and I get approximately 3-4 hours sleep per night. By the end of the week I'm kinda loopy, but that's just me. This past year I ended up sleeping more which was disappointing.
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Max Jamelli
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AndrewE wrote:
I don't know that it's an intentional effort to keep the schedule consistent so much as it's that GMs have very broad power to determine when their event will be, and the GM from last year will probably be the GM this year. I put Egizia early in the week last year because I preferred that, and it'll be early in the week again this year for the same reason.

It's nice that as the con gets a higher and higher percentage of people showing up for all 9 days it gets better for people with odd schedules who have to leave early. I believe most of those games finish before Saturday.


I have to assume that if an event does well in terms of butt hours, and the GM is the same - there really isn't much of a reason to deviate from previous schedules. I try to keep mine consistent - basically from a historical standpoint where people have showed up.
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J. R. Tracy
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Ryan, if you haven't done so, check out a few of the WBC AAR geeklists, compiled here. You'll see several different approaches from all-tourneys/all-the-time to nothing-but-open-gaming, and points in between.
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Gordon Stewart
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And for a photo tour of the facility, you can glance at
these photos from the last two years:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/212277/touring-seven-...
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Ryan Feathers
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jrtracy wrote:
Ryan, if you haven't done so, check out a few of the WBC AAR geeklists, compiled here. You'll see several different approaches from all-tourneys/all-the-time to nothing-but-open-gaming, and points in between.


Thank you very much for this link--these seem to be fantastic resources as well. Gives me some great insight into what I could expect, even if I am forced to miss a few days at the end.
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Scott Saccenti
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Ranior wrote:
So to start off with, how many days to people usually go for?

My kids and I go first-Wednesday through last-Sunday. I realize that "first-Wednesday" isn't a real thing. When we got there mid-afternoon Wednesday this year, I was sure we'd be the first. We were not the first. laugh

Ranior wrote:
I guess I'm really asking if a lot of the semifinals of tournaments wrap up on those last few days. (Friday-Sunday).

There are a great many.

Ranior wrote:
I mostly want to attend WBC to play a bunch of games (mostly Euros) at the highest levels of competition...

You will get this any day of the week when at WBC. Indeed I think earlier in the week the heat tables might be at their strongest, because that is the real hard core showing up that early. But any day of the week is going to be tough competition at WBC.


Ranior wrote:
...and maybe reach the finals here and there. If I'm potentially going to be missing a bunch of finals because I might not get to stay the entire week, that will significantly dampen my enthusiasm for attending this year.

Taking you at your word then that making finals is something that is important to you, then you should know that leaving the tourney on Friday is going to be a real problem in realizing that goal. We all want you to come, but honestly half or more of all the Euro tourneys have semis/finals on Friday-Sunday.

Take a look at this year's schedule; next year's will be nearly identical. Can you live with that or not?
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Chris Trimmer
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Also keep in mind there is very limited tournament play for the bulk of Tuesday (until 5 or 6pm). Instead you get to choose between a fabulous auction/store/BPA annual meeting, open gaming, some game demos, or other alternate plans (you pick!).
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Michael McKibbin
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Ranior wrote:


The games I pretty much have to play in:
Terra Mystica
Agricola
Acquire

Games I'd really like to get in:
Dominion
7 Wonders
Evolution

Games I'd like to play in:
Vegas Showdown
Puerto Rico
Power Grid



From last year's schedule:
TM - SF/Finals Friday 9 am and 1 pm
Agricola - SF 1st Sunday 9 am, Finals Wds 9 am
Acquire - 2nd Saturday 5 pm and 7 pm
Dominion - SF/F Mon 12 and 1 pm
7 Wonders - QF/SF/F 1st Sun noon, 2 pm, MOn 11 am
Evolution - SF/F 2nd Sat 9 am and 10 am
Vegas Showdown - SF/F Thurs 3 pm and Fri 9 am
Puerto Rico - QF/SF/F 2nd Sat 3 pm and 10 pm and Sun 9 am
Power Grid - SF/F 2nd Sat 11 am and 9 pm

It looks like youu'd be good to play everything except Acquire, Evolution, Puerto Rico, and Power Grid. Depending on what time you left Friday, Terra Mystica might work for you.

That said, my biggest issue has always been how exactly to fit all the games I want to play in to the schedule. Inevitably, I will have 3 or 4 or 5 conflicts for every time slot because there are so many great games going on constantly. I almost exclusively play tournament games, mainly because I tend to be socially reserved and getting up a game in open gaming can be difficult.

One other consideration. Tuesday morning and afternoon are reserved for the auction and game Store, and no tournaments can be scheduled before 6 pm on Tuesday. There's plenty of open gaming, but no tournaments until Tuesday night.
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Simplest answer: you should try to take off the whole week, travel in on Sunday, and hit the ground running on Monday.
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Andrew Drummond
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So, I took a look at last year and things that were kinda "Euro" and where they were last year.

Assuming you'd need to leave around noonish on Friday these are the games you could play through to the finals:

Agricola
Love Letter
Las Vegas
Scythe
Union Pacific
7 Wonders
7 Wonders Duel
Dominion
San Juan
Innovation
Through the Ages
Small World
King of Tokyo
Hoity Toity
Alhambra
Can't Stop
El Grande
Russian Railroads
Ra
Medici
Thurn and Taxis
Vegas Showdown
Egizia
Five Tribes
Tin Goose
Empire Builder

It's about half of what is available.
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Dimitrios Alexis
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Alternatively, don't be afraid to pick a small amount of scheduled tournament games, and spend your other time playing in the open gaming area, meeting new people. Andrew can attest to me living in open gaming during the day, and playing Werewolf all night.

My schedule typically is:

10AM Breakfast
10:30AM - 11:30PM Playing games with strangers/a dash of tournament fun
11:30PM - 5AMish Werewolf

Just a dash of sleep is all you'll need. It's the best 8 days of the year in gaming for me.

Awooo…I mean, YEAH!

Dimitrios

PS—I did play the some tournament games in 2017: Facts in Five, Thurn and Taxis, Las Vegas, Liars Dice, and placed 3rd in Love Letter. And everything else was filling in the gaps with fun and food.
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Andrew Drummond
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dimitriosalexis wrote:
Alternatively, don't be afraid to pick a small amount of scheduled tournament games, and spend your other time playing in the open gaming area, meeting new people. Andrew can attest to me living in open gaming during the day, and playing Werewolf all night.


Dimitrios is absolutely right of course. One of the nicest things about this convention is how it can cater to so many different people's interests. My daughter also attended last year and had a schedule pretty similar to Dimitrios'.

And to the point of many above, just because you can't make a semi of a game doesn't mean you can't play the heat. The heat still guarantees you a competitive game of whatever it is with random opponents WHO ALL KNOW HOW TO PLAY.

But, if you're a tournament obsessive like me, see the list above :-p
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Marc Nelson Jr.
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You can also schedule games in open gaming. It's a great way to get in a favorite game that doesn't have a tournament. I like being able to arrange things ahead of time.

Here's last year's geeklist that folks used to propose games and meet up.

Thanks for doing that,

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marcnelsonjr wrote:
You can also schedule games in open gaming. It's a great way to get in a favorite game that doesn't have a tournament. I like being able to arrange things ahead of time.

Here's last year's geeklist that folks used to propose games and meet up.

Thanks for doing that,

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I try to run that every year for my own gaming since I open game about 90% of the time -- I've been able to schedule a lot that way. thumbsup
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Dean B
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Does the upcoming year's geeklist get posted anywhere or can I subscribe to something to get an update once it's live? I never knew this existed for previous years and don't want to miss it this year.

marcnelsonjr wrote:
You can also schedule games in open gaming. It's a great way to get in a favorite game that doesn't have a tournament. I like being able to arrange things ahead of time.

Here's last year's geeklist that folks used to propose games and meet up.

Thanks for doing that,

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Ryan Feathers
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saccenti wrote:

Taking you at your word then that making finals is something that is important to you, then you should know that leaving the tourney on Friday is going to be a real problem in realizing that goal. We all want you to come, but honestly half or more of all the Euro tourneys have semis/finals on Friday-Sunday.

Take a look at this year's schedule; next year's will be nearly identical. Can you live with that or not?


Thanks for this honest assessment. Realistically I'd like to make finals, but I know that is probably hoping for a lot especially in my first year. Ultimately I am planning to attend, knowing that I may have to miss out on some finals if I'm lucky enough to play well enough to get there. That really will hurt a little, but oh well. I mostly want to go play my favorite games competitively with other players that enjoy the same.

dimitriosalexis wrote:
Alternatively, don't be afraid to pick a small amount of scheduled tournament games, and spend your other time playing in the open gaming area, meeting new people. Andrew can attest to me living in open gaming during the day, and playing Werewolf all night.


Thanks for the advice, but at least for me I can get that type of environment at any local convention. The only advantage WBC seems to offer in this regard is perhaps a bit more serious level of competition coupled with a longer timeframe.

To me the reason I would go to WBC is for the scheduled tournaments. I'd spend almost no time in open gaming, except for those periods where there may not be any tournament games I want to play in. (Not to mention I'm actually a bit shy anyhow and far prefer having formal meet up times to play a set game for meeting people. I find gathering people to play stuff in open gaming a little further out of my comfort zone.)
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Max Jamelli
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dreamingant wrote:
Does the upcoming year's geeklist get posted anywhere or can I subscribe to something to get an update once it's live? I never knew this existed for previous years and don't want to miss it this year.

marcnelsonjr wrote:
You can also schedule games in open gaming. It's a great way to get in a favorite game that doesn't have a tournament. I like being able to arrange things ahead of time.

Here's last year's geeklist that folks used to propose games and meet up.

Thanks for doing that,

Max Jamelli
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I never thought about doing a subscription geeklist to it because it's just once a year .. maybe I'll set that up going forward.

I usually put it out around June - month and a half out. It's usually linked from the main BPA webpage as well.
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