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Author Topic: Anyone attending GenCon (board game convention) Aug 4-7 in Indiana?  (Read 3483 times)

mouser

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Because it's so close to me, it looks like I will be attending GenCon, the large board game convention, on Aug 4-7 in Indiana.
If any other DonationCoder members are going, send me a message so we can meet up to say hello and play a game or two.

Screenshot - 7_16_2016 , 12_01_30 PM.png

wraith808

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Re: Anyone attending GenCon (board game convention) Aug 4-7 in Indiana?
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2016, 09:39:48 PM »
I consider it more an RPG convention (especially started by TSR) than a board gaming convention.  It has board games, and miniature games and even pc gaming.  But the roots are in RPGs.

But no, unfortunately I've never gone.

mouser

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Re: Anyone attending GenCon (board game convention) Aug 4-7 in Indiana?
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2016, 09:13:18 PM »
No one else attending? I can bring some free DonationCoder coffee mugs as incentives :)

Shades

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Re: Anyone attending GenCon (board game convention) Aug 4-7 in Indiana?
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2016, 11:26:13 PM »
It has been years I visited such a type of event. But, unfortunately, not able to attend now or in the near future. No amount of mugs will cure that (for me)  :(

wraith808

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Re: Anyone attending GenCon (board game convention) Aug 4-7 in Indiana?
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2016, 10:18:17 AM »
No one else attending? I can bring some free DonationCoder coffee mugs as incentives :)

I'm planning to try to attend next year.  But this year is a no go.

That said, I say that often, and it's not happened yet :(

mouser

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Re: Anyone attending GenCon (board game convention) Aug 4-7 in Indiana?
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2016, 07:51:58 AM »
im at gencon! pretty cool and pretty huge.

wraith808

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Re: Anyone attending GenCon (board game convention) Aug 4-7 in Indiana?
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2016, 09:50:38 AM »
im at gencon! pretty cool and pretty huge.

 :Thmbsup:  Wish I could be there!

mouser

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Re: Anyone attending GenCon (board game convention) Aug 4-7 in Indiana?
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2016, 02:26:20 AM »
It's been really really really fun. i'll be back next year.
Helps to go with fun people, but the atmosphere is so great -- just people being themselves, having fun, with their own tribe of freaks just really loving what they do.

mahesh2k

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Re: Anyone attending GenCon (board game convention) Aug 4-7 in Indiana?
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2016, 07:00:13 AM »
Images?

mouser

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Re: Anyone attending GenCon (board game convention) Aug 4-7 in Indiana?
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2016, 05:11:33 PM »
Just got back. It was really really good. I will post a much longer report with thoughts later.

mouser

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Re: Anyone attending GenCon (board game convention) Aug 4-7 in Indiana?
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2016, 05:49:44 PM »
I suppose I better post my thoughts on gencon 2016 before I lose them.

First and foremost, it was great fun.

I went with 3 other people, two of whom I knew casually from game night.  The most pleasant surprise was that we all got along great and spent almost the entire convention together as a group, laughing and making jokes, etc.  It was the first gencon for all of us.

We all drove down from Champaign, IL (about 2 hours away) on friday morning (2nd day of convention) and left on sunday evening.  We stayed in an apartment that was found on airbnb, about 10 minute drive from convention center, which cost $160 per night total (which we split 4 ways).

Gencon was very big and the exhibit hall was quite crowded.  The whole place has a disneyworld vibe to it.  But the hallways and other rooms were fine, and most of all everyone there was just in a good mood and happy so it was a pleasant experience, even for someone like me that doesn't love crowds.

Lots of great people watching opportunities and tons of people dressed up as their favorite game/tv characters (cosplay is the term for that).

We played a bunch of demo board and card games (Bloodborne, Monarch, Not alone, Kaleidos, Herorealms, etc.)  Nothing all that memorable (though Kaleidos is a perfect give for my nieces so i'll be picking that up).  I got some free promo cards for a couple of the board games I like (Boss Monster, Star Realms).  I picked up my copy of Evolution Climate that I had kickstarted.  We also spent some time in the game "library" playing board games that I knew how to play and could teach.  We also attended a few events, two live youtube podcast recordings from some popular game reviewers (The Dice Tower with Tom Vassel, and Shut Up and Sit Down).  I got a chance to talk with my favorite board game playthrough channel folks (Game Night). We tried a session of Pathfinder RPG since one of the other people is interested in GM'img that, and that was fun too.

But really the thing that stuck with me the most, the most lasting impression though of the whole experience, was just the very positive vibe I got from seeing so many people who might otherwise be out of their element, letting their hair down and being themselves and having so much fun with kindred spirits.  While it's certainly true that being a nerd/geek has become so much more accepted/embraced than it was once upon a time, I could still sense the excitement that all of these people around me felt at being in a place where everyone was so accepted, and so much in their element.  Lots of asperger-spectrum folks just thriving in the environment and talking with each other in the language of board game fanatics, etc.  I found it all quite uplifting.  So if you are one of those board game (or rpg, videogame,etc.) nerds that isn't often surrounded by like-minded people, I cannot more highly recommend you go to something like Gencon and experience what it's like to be around so many like-minded people.  And if your proclivities lie elsewhere - find an alternative convention to attend, it really is quite special to be around your own kind for a weekend :)

ps. We'll almost surely go back to Indianopolis for the Aug 17-20th 2017 Gencon, and hopefully a few more of you DC folks will join us.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2016, 08:42:15 PM by mouser »

mouser

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Re: Anyone attending GenCon (board game convention) Aug 4-7 in Indiana?
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2016, 06:49:53 PM »
A few tips based on our experience:

We drove to Indianapoplis, and stayed at an airbnb place that was a 10min drive to convention.  Convention parking was not a terrible problem, though it was a half mile walk from parking to convention.  It was a pleasant safe walk at any hour (if it were raining it might be different).  We didn't do anything in the aribnb place except sleep.  So that was a fine solution for us and obviously saved money compared to staying at convention hotel.  If you flew in, staying at a convention hotel would obviously make more sense.  There are a few things that would have been possible if we were at a convention hotel, like taking naps and going to late night game sessions, and it probably would have saved us an hour or so a day.  So next year we might try staying at convention hotel.  On the other hand if we increased our group size to 6 or 8, renting an entire house on airbnb might be even more financially smart..  And we would have saved a few bucks if we had soda and beer and water stocked up.

As for tips at the convention itself.. It was fine not having reserved many events in advance and we never had much trouble finding demo games to sit in on.  We used "generic" tickets for most things.  There were a few popular events that we will probably pre-purchase next time.

We arrived on friday (second day) and left sunday evening (last day).  I'd say that the vibe on the last day (sunday) felt to me less wonderful.  It might be because sunday is "family" day and might be more locals and less hard core gamers, or it might be because by sunday everyone is getting tired.  But I think next time I would consider arriving thursday (day 1) and leaving early on sunday.

The soda vending machines drove us crazy -- they only took singles.  Reminder to self: bring lots of singles.

The food trucks were good -- our favorite was the Balance Bowl Duo truck. So good.

Some people were desperately buying new release games at the convention.  However, costs on everything were at least as high as you'd buy online.  I didn't want to have to carry things around (especially with car so far away), so I mostly skipped buying games at the convention except for a few items.  It is true however, that some of the brand new games for sale at the convention are NOT available in stores or online yet, and it may be a couple of weeks until they are.  So the main question to ask yourself regarding actually buying games at the convention is whether you need the game in the next 2 weeks or so.  If you won't play it before then, you might as well wait and order it online.

mouser

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