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Subject: First Con Recommendation? rss

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Sara Grace
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I am sure this has been posted before but I couldn't find it.

I have a friend who has agreed that maybe we should attend a board gaming Con next year. YAY! I love learning new games and the idea of taking a weekend away to spend playing games sounds like a stellar vacation to me!

I live in CA and my friend lives in MD, so anywhere we go will require some travel on both sides. While Essen would probably be super fun, I suspect our preference would be to stay in the US or possibly Canada. The board gaming Cons I am aware of are - Gen Con, Dice Tower Con, & BGG Con.

Any suggestions about where to start? Which Cons have you attended and enjoyed most?

I would also be happy to hear any tips you have for navigating Cons.
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Richard Shay
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When might matter.
Totalcon is a great first con. It's in February near Boston. Not just boardgames, but you can do just boardgames. I do. Structure or open gaming. Even tournaments if you like. Not much vendor action, though. Plenty of games taught.
Origins in June. Kinda big, so you might be a little overwhelmed.
I like them both.
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Scott Bartel
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Kubla Con is right in your backyard. From what I hear, it's a great con. And Aldie goes to that one...

http://www.kublacon.com/

But the Dice Tower Con was indeed fun and small enough that a 1st time con goer wouldn't get overwhelmed.

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Kent Reuber
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homiefud wrote:
Kubla Con is right in your backyard. From what I hear, it's a great con. And Aldie goes to that one...

http://www.kublacon.com/

But the Dice Tower Con was indeed fun and small enough that a 1st time con goer wouldn't get overwhelmed.



Yes. KubalCon is on Memorial Day weekend in Burlingame. Pacificon (http://conquestsf.com) and Celesticon (http://celesticon.com) are over Labor Day. Last year, Celesticon was in East Bay which might be convenient for you.
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Sara Grace
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I think we are pretty open on the "when" question. I suspect Feb will be a little too early because my friend and his wife host an annual Oscars party that we try to fly out for each year. So we would probably be looking for something in early Summer forward in 2013.

I should have suspected there would be local Cons. I will definitely check those out.

Where is Origins typically held?
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Scott Bartel
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Fran_Kubelik wrote:
Where is Origins typically held?


Columbus, OH
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Jerry Martin
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The only answer go big or go home. GENCON!!!!!
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Marty Sample
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Your friend is in MD - WBC in Lancaster PA is pretty close.

http://www.boardgamers.org/
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Rishi A.
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If you're primarily looking to play board games, you can't beat BGG.CON. It's small compared to the other cons and is almost exclusively focused on playing board games. Also, the focus on open gaming means that you won't be as distracted by the big events. Plus, I've been to quite a few different gaming conventions (including Origins and Gencon) and you just can't beat the friendliness of BGG.CON.

Now, if you're not interested in playing RPGs, miniatures, CCGs and dozens of other things but you like the idea of the energy those games bring to a convention, then by all means go to Gencon or Origins. But I know that if you've never been to a gaming convention before, they can be overwhelming depending on how you feel about crowds.
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Chris Funk
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Rishi wrote:
If you're primarily looking to play board games, you can't beat BGG.CON. It's small compared to the other cons and is almost exclusively focused on playing board games. Also, the focus on open gaming means that you won't be as distracted by the big events. Plus, I've been to quite a few different gaming conventions (including Origins and Gencon) and you just can't beat the friendliness of BGG.CON.

Now, if you're not interested in playing RPGs, miniatures, CCGs and dozens of other things but you like the idea of the energy those games bring to a convention, then by all means go to Gencon or Origins. But I know that if you've never been to a gaming convention before, they can be overwhelming depending on how you feel about crowds.


If you heard most peoples reviews of Origins this year, overcrowding wasn't an issue.

For a traditional con that's not overpowering (like GenCon), Origins isn't a bad place to get your feet wet. It's not as expensive as GC, either.

I've never been to BGGcon, but I get the feel that it, like some others, is mainly a player's convention for playing. Your Origins and GenCon are that and stronger vendor/publisher presences that yield a different experience as a total package. Being in California, however, Ohio and Indy are a little far away (as is BGG, really).
 
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Rishi A.
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FunkyBlue wrote:
I've never been to BGGcon, but I get the feel that it, like some others, is mainly a player's convention for playing. Your Origins and GenCon are that and stronger vendor/publisher presences that yield a different experience as a total package. Being in California, however, Ohio and Indy are a little far away (as is BGG, really).


Well, the vendor area at BGG.CON took a giant leap forward this past year and I think there were 25-30 vendors there. It's nowhere near as big as Origins and Gen Con, but they're actually developing this area.

As I said, I've been to all three cons and don't think you can go wrong with any of them.
 
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Chris Funk
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I saw the pics of the vendor area, so that's looking much better.

I've been to a bunch of Origins and a couple GenCons. GC, even for me, is sometimes almost overload.
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Sara Grace
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After all the positive reviews, I think I am leaning toward BBG con. (I would got to KublaCon but I think I will be out of town that weekend.) Seems like BBG has the best combination of game play/learning focus & low intimidation factor. Most everyone who reviewed it this year said BBG was well done. I am pretty sure I can just get a direct flight to Dallas too!

Seriously, thanks for all the recs! Let me know if you have any con experience words of wisdom. :-)
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Chris Funk
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Fran_Kubelik wrote:
After all the positive reviews, I think I am leaning toward BBG con. (I would got to KublaCon but I think I will be out of town that weekend.) Seems like BBG has the best combination of game play/learning focus & low intimidation factor. Most everyone who reviewed it this year said BBG was well done. I am pretty sure I can just get a direct flight to Dallas too!

Seriously, thanks for all the recs! Let me know if you have any con experience words of wisdom. :-)


Sleep, shower, eat. If you do at least one of each of those things each day, you're going to be ahead of 60% of everyone else.
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Tim Robinson
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BGG Con is a great idea. Myself and one of my gaming group members went this year. It was both of ours first gaming con and it was a blast!It was very well organized with very friendly people wanting to just play games. The library is worth the trip alone.

The vendor area had more than enough choices for me and my friend to both spend money on new games.

I'm already planning on going back next year. See you there!
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Sara Grace
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Hey Tim!

Your the guy responsible for getting me a Geek avatar! You were giving out GG to said Geeks without avatars. It took me more than half the year to realize that you had actually given me GG but I finally caught on!

Thanks so much!
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Bill Powers
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Prezcon is an excellent small con in Charlottesville VA. (prezcon.com) It is consistantly my favorite week of the year. And it is coming up in Feb.

The WBC in Lancaster, PS is another con I attend every year.

You will have a great time at either.

Good Luck!
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Sara Grace
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Oh wow! We have so many friends in the Charlottesville area. We were thinking of extending our Feb trip to MD to include some time down there. Maybe we could shift our dates to a week earlier and attend some of Prezcon...

Now to sell my husband on that idea.
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Tanks Alot
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bpowers wrote:
Prezcon is an excellent small con in Charlottesville VA. (prezcon.com) It is consistantly my favorite week of the year. And it is coming up in Feb.

The WBC in Lancaster, PS is another con I attend every year.

You will have a great time at either.

Good Luck!

Seconded!
 
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