Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
9 Posts

Wargames» Forums » General

Subject: WBC and Gencon - how are they from a wargamer's perspective? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
J

Mt Crawford
Virginia
msg tools
Avatar
I am considering attending either/both WBC and Gencon. If I have the dates and locations correct...
WBC: August 3-9 (Mon-Sun), Lancaster, PA
Gencon: August 13-16 (Thu-Sun), Indianapolis, IN

Mind you the only boardgame convention I have attended in my life is the old, old OrcCon or Strategicon or some such at a hotel near LAX airport in California, which I went to a couple times back in the early 90's maybe. But in the miniatures hobby I have been to most of the Historicons and Cold Wars, plus a couple Fall Ins, put on by HMGS-E over the past 15 years (plus a few local yokel game day miniatures club 'cons').

I'd mostly be interested in a chance to spend a ton of time over the course of a couple weeks playing wargames that I am interested in but that I have not yet had a chance to play before.

My first question is (a long one) - I am essentially a wargamer. Sure there are a few Euro games I would play as part of a regular group if everyone else really wanted to but I would not be happy going to a big expensive convention where enough of the boardgames were not wargames that it made it pretty difficult to mostly play wargames and those that I played were not ones I particularly had an interest in. I never had a problem like that with the minis cons, and actually truth be told I played minis a lot at the old boardgame cons in LA that I actually went to. But am I setting myself up for a big disappointment going to a national boardgaming convention like these or are there enough wargames to go around that I should be able to feel my time and money are well spent?

Then I have some nomenclature questions about the WBC schedule. Do most games listed as regular tournaments require you to bring a copy of the game? What about demos - can you participate in a demo event without bringing a copy, and are they like playing the whole game or just watching the designer or whomever run through a couple turns? Are there other types of game events that I should know about as a con noob?

And finally, how are you supposed to access the schedule for Gencon?

But I would mostly be interested in hearing grogs' opinions or experiences of WBC and Gencons in the past and any tips they might have, including possibly "skip it", for a wargamer to enjoy these big boardgame conventions.

Thanks for reading all that.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joel Tamburo
United States
Justice
Illinois
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
From the perspective of a wargamer GenCon is basically a waste of time. It has VERY few wargames and you will not see either wargame publishers or designers there.

WBC on the other hand is a very fertile environmant for wargamers. If you have seen the schedule you know there are lots of wargames on it. In addition all of the significant wargame publishers attend and so do many wargame designers.

Now regarding WBC events, having a copy of the game is the best way to guarantee yourself a spot. You may (and usually will) be able to play even if you do not have a copy, it is just that if an event has odd player numbers then preference is given to those with a copy of the game.

Demos are one hour long teaching sessions for games, and copies of the game are never required at Demos.

Aside from the Demos, all WBC events are rated for experience. The ratings are:

A = Rules will not be taught, at least basic experience expected

B = Event preceded by Demo for teaching. Players without experience are asked to attend Demo prior to event.

C = Coached. Game will be taught to players at event.

For more in depth material I recommend reading the relevant sections at the BPA website:

http://www.boardgamers.org

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bob Moriarty
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
flag msg tools
What type of wargames do you want to play? GENCON has significant Axis & Allies and minatures players. It also has some Memoir '44 players.

There are not GMT, MMP, Victory Point Games scheduled games, therefore, for these type of games, you would have to find an opponent for a pickup game in the open gaming room. There are usually about 4 to 8 players in the open gaming room playing these type of games.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Gen Con Historical Miniatures (seem like wargames):

http://gencon.highprogrammer.com/gencon-indy-2009.cgi/type/H...

Gen Con Miniature Events:

http://gencon.highprogrammer.com/gencon-indy-2009.cgi/type/N...

Gen Con Board Game Events:

http://gencon.highprogrammer.com/gencon-indy-2009.cgi/type/B...

Gen Con Exhibitors:

http://gencon.com/files/indy/2009/IN09BoothList.pdf

Also note that the auctions at Gen Con typically have some rare and/or interesting wargames.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joel Tamburo
United States
Justice
Illinois
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Bob, Jesse:

In other words, GenCon is a waste of time for wargamers (as it has been for many years).

WBC is a MUCH better venue for wargamers, as you will indeed find a lot of wargaming going on both in open gaming and tournaments.

The other conventions out there that cater to weargaming are:

CSW Expo:

http://expo.consimworld.com/

Also HomerCon and the GMT West and East gatherings.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
IrishBouzouki wrote:
Zaphod wrote:

I would be mostly interested in the historical miniatures list out of all this, which would kind of defeat the purpose of going to a boardgame convention though, for me.
I did see "Alexander the Great" on the boardgame event list - but alas it turned out to be the Mayfair game not the AH classic "Alexander the Great".

But thanks thumbsup for the readable event list, much easier to digest than a csv file of every event.


Its too late for this year..........but Origins is probably your best bet, as they have a wargame ribbon for open play. That being said, Gen Con is HUGE, there is enough people there that you would probably be able get a good amount of wargaming in at the game library, the dealers hall, and the few scheduled events that interest you. The auction would probably also be of interest.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Byron Collins
United States
Suffolk
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've exhibited at some of the major cons including Gen Con in 08 and I'll say that Gen Con is not generally for wargamers. Gen Con caters to more the RPG/fantasy crowd, and for boardgames, Euros are most popular there. You will find the occasional wargame publisher (Academy Games, Lock N Load, occasionally Avalanche press, and I (Collins Epic Wargames) exhibited there last year) and there are also minis manufacturers there, but mostly fantasy stuff from what I saw.

Gen Con had 82,000 people in attendance last year. It's a headache to park (and $20-25/day), but it can certainly be a lot of fun if you know what you want to do and where to go to do it. Despite the headaches (esp. for vendors) there is a LOT to do at Gen Con and you may find yourself playing a type of game you never thought you'd play.

For historical minis, stick to the HMGS-East cons. You're already familiar with Historicon, so you know what to expect there (Although no one knows exactly what to expect next year in Baltimore)....

For board wargames, WBC or Origins should work well for you. I'll even be there at WBC this year for the first time showing my games- which includes a bit of minis play as well.

There's also PrezCon in VA, and myriad other smaller shows including one really fun one close to me called Williamsburg Muster (Williamsburg, VA, just started last year and was great!).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Irving
United States
Salinas
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Zaphod wrote:

Its too late for this year..........but Origins is probably your best bet,


Nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnno!


Quote:
as they have a wargame ribbon for open play.


So you can pay extra to play open gaming in a designated area.

WBC is by far the better convention for wargamers: with 150 board game tournaments (with over 50 wargame events), Open gaming which often has many wargames going, a game auction and a dealer's room with many wargame companies. ALL INCLUDED IN THE BASE PRICE. No F'ing tickets or ribbons!

Quote:
That being said, Gen Con is HUGE, there is enough people there that you would probably be able get a good amount of wargaming in at the game library, the dealers hall, and the few scheduled events that interest you. The auction would probably also be of interest.


Key word FEW scheduled events.

For a board wargamer (as opposed miniature wargamer), there is no question between Origins, Gencon & WBC--WBC all of the way.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nathaniel Hoam
United States
Fredericktown
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
Richard,

>So you can pay extra to play open gaming in a designated area.

WBC Pre-Registration $70

Origins PreReg + War Room = $75 (Plus free game and drinks in 2009)

Not much of a price difference.

As far as tournaments go, WBC is definately superior. For open game play though, The War Room is better.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.