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Gencon tips

By geoff.engelstein - Posted on 14 May 2010

I'm making my first trip to Gencon since (gasp) 1987 this year -- just booked my plane tickets.

For boardgaming is it best to sign up for events?  I typically prefer open gaming, but is it easy to get pick-up games going there?




sconway's picture

Great to hear you're coming to GenCon. Hope we can connect for dinner and/or games at some point!

My advice is to skip the events and focus on open gaming. From what I have heard, the official GenCon board game library will be run similar to last year. You can pay a fee for a "library card" which will allow you to check out games from the library all weekend long. It isn't as impressive as the CABS library but there are plenty of games from which to choose. It ran $20 last year if my memory is correct.

From around 10 AM to 10 PM, several publishers have their own open game areas setup where you can play without even the need for a library pass. Rio Grande, Mayfair, and Days of Wonder did this last year with great success. I hope the rooms they get are larger this year because it got *very* crowded and very loud in these spaces.

Late nights, you can hit the library or generally find players looking for games in the large boardgame room. Some of the GenCon people get very uppity about where you play (which I think is ridiculous) but suffice it to say, there's plenty of room as the night wears on.

geoff.engelstein's picture

I'd love to meet up -- that would be fun.  We should coordinate when we get closer.

Is the 'library card' one of the things you can pre-reg for?  Or do you just get that on-site?


sconway's picture

We purchased our library thing on-site last year. Since it is essentially a 24-7 event during the con, I am not sure if it is something you can purchase in advance. There are plenty of times when the lines are short or non-existant where you should be able to sneak in and get one.

We'll be posting info on our GenCon dinner, and agenda when it gets a little closer to the date.

As said, the open boardgaming room is usually percolating, and as the evening wears on, it usually gets more crowded.  There are also a few lounging places around the convention center with some boardgaming, and the hotel just north... name escapes me... sometimes has open boardgaming on the 3rd floor.

Gencon does unfortunately have some turf issues around boardgaming, I'm hoping my tax dollars funding the expansion to the CC remedy this.

I'm often hanging out there as well, and yet somehow never cross paths with the Spiel dudes.  Some sort of space time rip.  Will be pulling in stray gamers to play the prototype of Ninjato along with Adam West (not that one) this year.

Dan (Crosscut Games)


Well I'm heading to GenCon this year as well.  This will be my first "megacon" since Origins 1995.

I was looking at it before I got here and found this:

So you can prereg the library card.  What I'm curious about is do you need a card to play the games or just check them out?  And with the card how many games can you check out at once?  I'm coming witha group of 4 and I'm not sure how many of us actually need the "cards"...



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