Monday, December 9, 2013

December / January Gaming Cons update

Ah, and so 2013 draws to a close. We've added another twenty-one conventions to the list for our December/January update. Hard to believe we went from about 500 at the start of the year and are up around 650 at this point! Thank you all who've submitted conventions to our list as well as those of you who have shared our site with others. Looking forward to a wonderful 2014!

Canada Game Cons:

  • Arkham Nights (November ?-?, Toronto, ON)

Europe Games Con List:

  • LuxCon (March 29-30, Tetange, Luxemburg)
  • LinzCon (October ?-?, Linz, Austria)
  • FACTS (October ?-?, Ghent, Belgium)

UK/Ireland Gamer Conventions Calendar:

  • Wargamer (December 1, Birmingham, UK)
  • SmogCon (February 21-23, Guildford, Surrey, UK)
  • AmberCon NI (March 28-30, Belfast, Northern Ireland)
  • MassaCon (June 6-8, Stockport, UK)
  • GemuCon (August 8-10, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK)
  • Dragondaze (September 20, Newport, Wales, UK)

Great Lakes Gaming Convention:

  • Gamer's Con (December 8, Stow, OH)
  • Cleveland ConCoction (May 30-June 1, Cleveland, OH)
  • Nexus Game Fair (June 19-22, Milwaukee, WI)

New England Game Cons List:

  • Quinni-Con (March 1-2, Hamden, CT)
  • Nor-easter (March 21-23, Boxborough, MA)

South Atlantic Games Con Calendar:

  • Jax Arcade Expo (January 24-26, Jacksonville, FL)
  • Game-o-rama (May 22-26, Atlanta, GA)
  • Southern-Fried Gameroom Expo (June 20-22, Atlanta, GA)

South Central East Gamer Conventions:

  • LexiCon (May 2-4, Lexington, KY)

Texas Gaming Convention List:

  • ChupacabraCon (January 17-19, Austin, TX)
  • Houston Arcade Expo (November ?-?, Houston, TX)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Autumn 2013 Game Con Calendar updates

After having reached 600 gaming conventions it seems the flow of cons we haven't heard of before has dropped off quite a bit. We've decided to start publishing this list of new conventions added to our calendar less frequently perhaps quarterly instead of monthly. We are also going to start announcing individual site updates convention by convention on twitter (you can follow us here: ) - in case you can't wait until our next update!

Here are the newest twelve conventions on the list:

Ireland / UK Gaming Conventions:

  • Eirtakon (November 22-24, Dublin, Ireland)
  • AdventureX (December 7-8, London, UK)

Great Lakes Gaming Cons:

  • Dan's Con of the Vale (October 18-20, Brookfield, WI)
  • Conflagration (February ?-?, Brookfield, WI)
  • River Con (April 19, South Bend, IN)
  • Milwaukee Summer Revel (June ?-?, Brookfield, WI)
  • Con in the Castle (September ?-?, New Plymouth, OH)

California Video Game Conventions:

  • BlizzCon (November 8-9, Anaheim, CA)
  • VGC (January 3-4, Burbank, CA)

South Central East Gamer Cons:

  • Extra Life – Knoxville (November 2 -3, Knoxville, TN)

South Central West Games Convention Calendar:

  • GamerNation Con (March 14-16, Plano, TX)
  • SUPER! BitCon (March 29, Oklahoma City, OK)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

September Gaming Con Listings

I hope everyone had a great summer!  We've got a double list of games cons in this month's update (we took August off from sending out this update). There are 26 new conventions on the list with 11 of them overseas.  As hinted about in the last update, there is going to be another StarFrontiers centric online convention the weekend of September 27-28!

Here are the latest additions:

New Zealand Gamer Conventions List:
  • Fright Night (October 19, Wellington, NZ)
  • Corocon (June ?-?, Coromandel, NZ)

Canada Gaming Cons Calendar:
  • External Development Summit (XDS) (September 3-5, Vancouver, BC)
  • Project Play (September 22, London, ON)

Europe Games Conventions:
  • Viking-Con (October 11 -13, Kastrup, Denmark)
  • Ciudad de Arkham (March ?-?, Cordoba, Spain)
  • Indie Gameleon (march ?-?, Groningen, the Netherlands)
  • TIG Con (May 22-25, Cluj-Napoca, Romania)
  • Gubbspel (August 21-23, Gothenburg, Sweden)

Online Game Convention Calendar:
  • Frontier NetCon (September 27-28, Online)

UK Gamer Conventions List:
  • Platform (November 15-16, Hull, UK)
  • Kitacon (March 28-30, Birmingham, UK)


Great Lakes Gaming Cons Calendar:
  • Conception (September 27-29, Glen Ellyn, IL)
  • Northeast Wisconsin Gameapalooza (NEWGame) (October 19-20, Oshkosh, WI)
  • Eerie Frequency Film, Toy, Comic, and Pop Culture Expo (November 23-24, Niles, OH)

Mid Atlantic (NJ, NY, PA) Games Convention List:
  • Cohorts (August 23-25, Allentown, PA)

New England Gamer Conventions:
  • DrawnCon (November 2-3, Nashua, NH)
  • JiffyCon East (November 9, Somerville, MA)

South Atlantic Gaming Cons List:
  • King Con (November 2-3, Warner Robins, GA)
  • Evil Con (January 3-5, Tampa, FL)
  • Omni Expo (May 23-25, Orlando, FL)

Texas Games Convention Calendar:
  • The Alamo Warhammer GT – Fantasy (November 2-3, San Antonio, TX)
  • The Alamo Warhammer GT – 40K (May ?-?, San Antonio, TX)

Upper Midwest Gamer Conventions:
  • Guns of August (August 24, St. Louis, MO)
  • Command CON (November 8-10, St. Louis, MO)
  • Cosplacon (June 12-15, Jefferson City, MO)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

July Games Convention Calendar update

We added a lucky 13 conventions this past month which if my total count is right pushed us a hair over 600 cons!  All but two of these new cons were outside of the US.

Three more online gaming cons were added to the list and it really looks like that trend is taking off.  Virtuacon will be the first offering by the people at, LUG Con claims to be quarterly (although September will be their 2nd event) and the people who ran last year's 30th Anniversary Star Frontiers Online Con are in the preliminary stages of putting together another!

Here are the new listings:

Gamer Convention Calendar for Australia:

  • Hobarts Winter Gamesfest (August 10, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia)

Games Con List for Canada:

  • Impossible Realities (September 13 – 15, St. John's, NB, Canada)
  • Unplugged Expo (October 26-27, Toronto, Canada)
  • StrDexCon (January ?-?, London, ON)

Europe Game Cons:

  • Cardboard and Sun (August 27-31, Paros, Greece)
  • OctoGones (October 4-6, Lyon, France)
  • Cardboard and Snow (January ?-?, Yllas, Finland)
  • Pyrkon (March ?-?, Ponzan, Poland)

Gaming Convention Online List:

  • Jacker Con (July 19-21, Online)
  • LUG Con (September 20-22, Online)
  • Virtuacon (October 18-20, Online)

USA Game Conventions Calendar:
Capital Region Games Con:

  • OmegaCon (September 27-29, Charlottesville, VA)

Gamer Cons List for South Atlantic Region:

  • Puerto Rico ComicCon (May 24-25, San Juan, PR)

We also added a new affiliate this past month: They run two vacation conventions each year and they are offering GCC's followers a 50 euro discount on their summer con if you book by July 15th. That con: Cardboard & Sun is in August on the Greek Isle of Paros. Use coupon code: GCC135 when booking for the discount. (They've also extended this offer to friends of our followers, so feel free to share!) More details are at their website:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

June updates to the game con list

Eighteen more conventions added to the list this month but we also removed a few that are no longer in business. I think that brings our total to a couple short of 600 so if you know any we missed, now's a great time to send them our way!

This month also marks our one year anniversary of cataloging game conventions. We've gone from about 100 to almost 600 in one year. Not bad!

Here are the latest additions:

Australia Games Con List:
  • Leviathan (April ?-?, Leviathan, NSW, Australia)

Canada Gamer Cons Calendar:
  • GenreCon (October 4-6, Guelph, Ontario, Canada)
  • N2U Anime and Gaming Convention (November 1-3, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)

Europe Gaming Convention:
  • Tracon (September 14-15, Tampere, Finland)

Ireland Game Cons:
  • Hobocon (August 23 – 25, Dublin, Ireland)

USA Gaming Cons:
Great Lakes Game Conventions List:
  • I-Con (September 13-15, Springfield, IL)
  • Chaoticon (April ?-?, Green Bay, WI)

Mountain Games Conventions Calendar:
  • MaricopaCon (August 3-4, Mesa, AZ)
  • Phoenix Comicon (May ?-?, Phoenix, AZ)

New England Gamer Convention:
  • Maine Game Con (November 1-3, Augusta, ME)

New York Gaming Cons List:
  • RetroGameCon (October 19, Cicero, NY)

Pacific Game Con Calendar:
  • Monster Con (October 19-20, Yakima, WA)
  • Gaslight Gathering (May 2-4, San Diego, CA)

South Atlantic Games Conventions:
  • Club Mace (June 29 – July 4, Jacksonville, FL to the Bahamas)
  • AndoCon (July 19-21, Kennesaw, GA)
  • MACE West (April ?-?, Hickory, NC)

South Central East Gamer Con List:
  • Hypericon (June 14-16, Nashville, TN)

Texas Gaming Convention Calendar:
  • RTX [Rooster Teeth Expo] (July 5-7, Austin, TX)

If you haven't already, go ahead and read a review for FGCon an online gaming convention using Fantasy Grounds virtual tabletop that was run over the first weekend in June.

We've also added two new advertisers this month.

The first is Noble Knight Games. They offer new and out-of-print role playing games, collectible card games, war games, board games and minis.

The second is OneBookShelf the parent of RPGNow / DriveThru(RPG, Comics, Cards, Fiction) / WargameVault. Each of these sites focuses on downloadable and/or print on demand pdfs. RPGNow focuses on Indie games, the DriveThru series focus on RPGs, Comics, Cards and Fiction respectively and WargameVault focuses on wargames.
RPGNow.comWargame Vault

Rather than paying a set advertising fee, both of these advertisers will pass back a small commission to Game Convention Central if you click through and purchase anything from them.

And finally, the summer con season kicked off today with the start of the Origins Game Fair and runs through Dragon*Con over labor day weekend.  Which cons are you heading to this summer?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Review of FG Con

Last weekend, I got to attend my second online game convention, FGCon (Fantasy Grounds Con) and had an amazing time! As I write this I’m trying hard not to compare it to AetherCon (my 1st online con) but rather to let it stand on its own. [Read my review of AetherCon here] I should note, that while the con (FGCon) and the software (Fantasy Grounds) share a name, the convention was run by fans of the software rather than the software company (SmiteWorks) itself.

There were 24 events offered all using SmiteWorks’ virtual table top (VTT) system: Fantasy Grounds. Fantasy Grounds gives each player a virtual space that includes their chat window, their character sheet and any shared documents (maps, visuals, etc) from the GM. What’s especially nice is that the character sheet is interactive. So, if you need to roll a particular skill check, you can often do this simply by double clicking the skill. If you are into trying new games (like I am) this makes picking up a new system super simple. In one of the games I played, the sheet even had check boxes for the type of damage you took. These check boxes automatically recalculated all of your rolls and stats (in this system a bad hit would stun you for a round, the effect being every action that round was at one die less).

I found the software to be fairly intuitive. This certainly made up for the fact that I skipped over the more than ample resources for learning how to use the software before the con (shame on me). In all three of my events, the GMs and other players were quite helpful as well. You need a fairly large monitor (I have two older monitors and spread the tabletop it across 1.5 of them). Unfortunately, one cannot resize the windows within the FG tabletop area. So, for example you couldn't make the map smaller, or increase the size of the combat tracker list if it was a large battle (instead you had to scroll up and down the list). A minor issue and by no means a show stopper (it was easy enough to minimize windows or slide them mostly off the edge of the tabletop until needed).

The convention had its own home page separate from the main Fantasy Grounds page Each event was scheduled in UTC time, there was a clickable master list, and that list led to an individual page for each event. The individual page included lots of information for the event as well as a registration button and a comments section.

The organizers of FGCon had hoped to allow users to automatically convert UTC to their local timezone but were unable to do so. Unlike so many other organizations and companies, they immediately admitted to the issue, apologized for it, and put out a spreadsheet of the events with the major timezones listed making it easy to cross reference and convert. It was so nice to see a problem turned around and handled so well, bravo!

Almost all of the events filled up prior to the convention start and even some of those with insufficient players as the weekend began found enough players to game. The official count is out and 21 of the 24 events happened with over 80 players. SmiteWorks, charges for Fantasy Grounds licenses, a small amount for a player only license, more for a GM license but also offers an Unlimited license which while more expensive than the other two which allows players to join a game for free. Originally, the event list included Full licensed games (which would have required a player license for the players) and Unlimited (free) events. In the week before the event, SmiteWorks was kind enough to upgrade all of the Full GMs to Unlimited for the weekend, so that all players could join the event for free (a very nice touch on their part and I suspect the reason the Con was all but sold out!)

My first event (Friday) was a Call of Cthulhu event set in Ancient Rome. The game was played over text chat rather than voice and I have to say that takes something out of a role playing game. Sitting and waiting to read what each other player wrote dragged out a bit and typing isn't as fun as speaking in character. The event ended up playing out more as a dungeon crawl with CoC rules than a horror event and had a twist at the end that sadly fell a bit flat. We had a nice diverse group with gamers from Canada, Australia, the UK and the US.

Fantasy Dice RPG
Buy Fantasy Dice
The second game (Saturday afternoon) used a newer RPG system, Fantasy Dice. The GM is also the game designer which was great. There were even videos provided before hand on how the game system worked (I watched only half of one before start time, again, shame on me). The system has a quick, brutal and realistic combat system. For this event, there were three players, two orcs and dwarf who quickly got over their racial differences to try to escape from the caverns they were lost in. We quickly got overwhelmed in our first fight and barely escaped alive from a swarm of ceiling climbing cave lizards (again, combat is realistic and brutal, you get bit on the head and unlike D&D you’re going down . . . just like my orc did). We ran from a crab-like monster that crawled out of a crevasse, overcame a couple of puzzles and traps and finally faced off and defeated a giant warrior skeleton to escape. All told it was great fun. That game saw the GM and one other player in the UK (GM was originally from Norway) and the other two of us from the east coast of the US.

My final game of the weekend on Sunday (late afternoon) was a system called One Ring. For those who are unfamiliar, the system is for role playing in Middle Earth and the world of Lord of the Rings. Our group had seven members. Seven players are a bit too many for an online event, but more about that later. We arrived in a town on the edge of the Mirkwood where some Orcs had just raided and made off with a number of the children. We gave chase, encountered and defeated a rear guard, found out they were in league with some giant spiders, tracked them to the spiders’ lair and rescued the children. We had an excellent GM and a great batch of players, heck, our Hobbit player even sounded like Martin Freeman (and certainly captured the role of the reluctant Hobbit hero brilliantly)! In the end, while the system is fine, I don’t think it is one for me. If you are a big Tolkien fan though you should definitely check it out. There were four of us from the US, three from the UK, and one from New Zealand.

As seems to be the case with online cons, you are at the mercy of when the GM is awake in his or her home country. Unlike an offline gaming convention the events aren't organized into neat time slots and tend to be of varying lengths and random start and end times. It makes it a bit trickier to put together a packed weekend but then again, easier to also get some real world stuff done in between the gaming.

One final generic online con thought. I found with both AetherCon and FGCon there is a limit to the number of players in a game on a voice chat line. Unlike an in person game where you can easily have side bars with other players or characters while the focus is off your character, in an online cone when you’re all sharing the same conference bridge it is really only one person speaking at a time. Therefore, I think the sweet spot is 3-5 players + a GM.

I was quite pleased with FGCon, impressed with the Fantasy Ground VTT software and thrilled to hear that these guys are already hard at work on FGCon 3! I’ll be back next time for sure!

Be sure to check out our full calendar of Online Gaming Cons!

There are advertisements here on GCC. If you click through to another website and make a purchase, that website may pay GCC a commission in exchange for that sales lead. However, no third party sponsored or influenced this post.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Happy 1st Birthday Game Convention Central

One year ago we went live with our game convention listings.  We had started gathering events back in May of 2012 and had a couple of test pages up before then but June 5th was the day things came together.  We only had 100 gaming cons back then (and close to 600 now) so we've come a long way in our first year.

Now onto the import part of this announcement - what to get us for our birthday!  Truth is, we do this because we love the hobby and want to connect gamers with conventions full of games.  The best way to say thank you is to help us spread the word:

  • Keep your eyes open for a con we've missed and send it our way.

That's all for now; we look forward to another year full of gaming and fun!

Friday, May 3, 2013

May Games Convention List update

Sixteen gaming cons added to the list this month.  This includes eight from overseas and a number of start-up game cons in their first year.  

Germany Game Con List:

  • AttritiCon (May 3-5, Ulm, Germany)
  • KoMiCon (August 16-18, Koblenz, Germany)

UK / Ireland Gamer Convention Calendar:

  • Gauntlet (July 6-7, Flintshire, UK)
  • Nine Worlds GeekFest (August 9-11, London, UK)
  • Fayre Times Festival (September 21-22, Billericay, Essex, UK)
  • GEEK (February ?-?, Margate, Kent, UK)
  • Vaticon (April ?-?, Dublin, Ireland)

Capital Region Games Conventions:

  • GAD-Con (May 24-26, Baltimore, MD)
  • 1d4Con (April ?-?, Winchester, VA)

Great Lakes Region Gamer Conventions:

  • Protospiel (July 12-14, Ann Arbor, MI)
  • Concentric Convention (March ?-?, Itasca, IL)

California Game Convention List:

  • ConQuest Avalon (Nov 8-11, Sacramento, CA)

Florida Gaming Con List:

  • Salty Bay Con (June 8-9, Tampa, FL)

Texas Game Cons:

  • QuakeCon (August 1-4, Dallas, TX)
  • WaCon (September 28-29, Waco, TX)

World Gaming Convention List:

  • Upcon (April 20-21, Pretoria, South Africa)

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Game Con Calendar Updates

We've added twelve new gaming cons this month including our first from Israel!  Be sure to let us know if you encounter a gaming con that we've missed on the list.  Also, please feel free to share this list with your convention going friends!

Canada Game Convention:

  • Keycon (May 17-19, Winnipeg, MB, Canada)

USA Game Conventions:
Great Lakes Region Gaming Convention List:

  • Chicago Toy and Game Fair (November 23-24, Chicago, IL)

Mountain States Games Conventions:

  • Salt Fest (May 10-12, Salt Lake City, UT)
  • GAME Expo (June 1, Reno, NV)
  • Conclave of Gamers (June 14-16, Brighton, CO)

Pacific Region Gamer Con Calendar:

  • Good Game Con (March ?-?, Oakland, CA)

South Atlantic Game Convention Calendar:

  • Recon (April 18-21, Orlando, FL)
  • TrekTrax (April 19-21, Atlanta, GA)
  • BROGFest (January 23 – 26, N. Charleston, SC)

South Central East Game Convention:

  • GMX Geek Media Expo (November 1-3, Nashville, TN)

South Central West Gaming Convention:

  • Texas Team Tournament (June 20-23, Austin, TX)

World (Israel) Gaming Con:

  • Draconicon (August 8, Tel-aviv, Israel)

Friday, March 22, 2013

From Conception to Convention by Dice Hate Me

I've been following a series of articles call From Conception to Convention on about planning and running a game convention - in their case GrandCon.  I figured I'd link out to this series:

Prelude and Part 1: How I Got Here

Part 2: The Only Ship That Won't Sail, You Say?

Part 3: Extra Life 2012

Part 4: U-con and Fanfare

Part 5: Were Going to Make this Place Your Home

They're publishing a part a month or so.  I'll update this post as they add more!

Friday, March 1, 2013

March Game Con Calendar Update

When we hit the 500th listing in our calendar last time we decided to lay off the search for more gaming conventions.  Sadly, the internet had other plans and we stumbled upon or were sent another 29 game cons pushing our total up over 550 this month!

New Zealand / Australia Games Con List:

  • Board Games by the Bay – Tauranga (March 16-17, Tauranga, NZ)
  • 33AR (April 5-7, Wainuiomata, Wellington, NZ)
  • RobzaCon (April ?-?, Auckland, NZ)
  • Board Games by the Bay – Auckland (Fall) (May 11-12, Auckland, NZ)
  • Au Contraire! (July 12-14, Wellington, NZ)
  • Board Games by the Bay – Hamilton (July 20-21, Hamilton, NZ)
  • Board Games by the Bay – Palmerston North (September 7-8, Palmerston North, NZ)
  • SANCon (September ?-?, Christchurch, NZ)
  • Freeplay Independent Games Festival (September ?-?, Melbourne, Australia)
  • Board Games by the Bay – Auckland (Spring) (November 23-24, Auckland, NZ)
  • MacquarieCon (December ?-?, Sydney, Australia)

Canada Game Convention List:

  • Legiocon (February ?-?, Winnipeg, MB, Canada)
  • Harbour Con-fusion (August 2-4, Saint John, NB, Canada)

Europe Gaming Cons:

  • ConDamned (June 14-16, Amsterdam, NL)

Online Game Convention Calendar:

  • Conopomorphic (March 9, Online)
  • ConTessa (June ?-?, Online)

USA Game Conventions:

Capital Region Gaming Con:

  • DC Gameday - Spring (March 9-10, Washington, DC)
  • DC Gameday – Fall (October ?-?, Washington, DC)

Great Lakes Game Cons:

  • RavenCon (March 1-3, New Plymouth, OH)
  • Den Con (March 23, Granville, OH)
  • Gaming Hoopla – Spring (April 19-21, Janesville, WI)

Mid Atlantic Game Con List:

  • Summer of Gamers (July ?-?, Grantville, PA)
  • Winter of Gamers (January ?-?, Grantville, PA)

Mountain Region Gamer Con:

  • Lvl Up Expo (February ?-?, Henderson, NV)

Pacific Gamers Conventions:

  • GeekGirlCon (October 19-20, Seattle, WA)

South Atlantic Gaming Cons:

  • CoolMiniOrNot Expo(May 17-19, Atlanta, GA)

South Central West Gamer Con:

  • SGC [ScrewAttack Gaming Convention] (June 21-23, Dallas, TX)

Upper Midwest Games Conventions:

  • Berserkon (May 24-26, Duluth, MN)
  • JenCon (May ?-?, Cornell College, Mount Vernon, IA)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Upcoming Convention: NecronomiCon Providence

By random chance I ended up sitting down with one of the organizers from NecronomiCon Providence at TempleCon. I happened to be wrapping up a game in a room he was setting up Cthulhu in and stuck around in the hopes of getting into the game. Unfortunately, none of his four signed up players showed up but we did spend an hour or two talking about NecronomiCon Providence.

I am a huge fan of Call of Cthulhu (CoC) the game and was already considering taking the drive to Rhode Island this summer. Providence is about 3 hours for me and driving to TempleCon convinced me this was doable (sometimes my back isn’t so great in long car rides). This conversation convinced me that this will really be a can’t miss event and I will probably book my trip this week!

NecronomiCon Providence will be held in the heart of Providence, RI the weekend of August 23-25. Overall the convention will offer literary options (panels, talks, workshops), gaming (anything Lovecraftian: CoC, Arkham Horror, etc) and external events. For the external events, they’re planning walking tours of Providence, film screenings, are considering a Pubcrawl, and even have a local brewery producing beer just for the event! Some of the CoC games will even be run by writers of previous CoC sourcebooks and modules! There are also going to be some interesting looking events including a Sunday morning Prayer breakfast as well as a number of Lovecraft themed parties.

Overall this seems like it will be an amazing time, right in the heart of Lovecraft’s hometown. I can’t wait!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Gaming Table Report: Brushfire

For those who have never played (or heard of it), Brushfire is a wargame set on a planet populated by anthropomorphic animals. It parodies earth history and culture quite a bit (Agaminople is the capital of Scyzantine for instance. Or where as the New World on earth was named America after Amerigo Vespucci, the new world in Brushfire was named Vespuccia.) While some gaming buddies of mine have mentioned it before, I had never gotten to play it until TempleCon.

Rodentian Valkyrs and Trebuchets lined up agaimst me
Each nation (or region of the world) consist primarily of certain species of animals. So armies consist of bears, badgers, hamsters, gerbils, boars, pandas, dogs, etc. Our side of the fight was badgers and mongooses (both mongooses and mongeese are acceptable plurals) and the other side was split between an army of boars and an army of assorted rodents. We ran pretty much simultaneously two separate battles so I wasn't following too much what was going on next to us.

Three of the four of us had never played before, the fourth had only played a handful of times, and then only with small squads, never a 100pt army. In hindsight, we probably should have started before the staff from On the Lamb Games headed off to bed! (And unbeknownst to me, perhaps some of us should have read the rules first too!)

Our end of the battle
On our end, the rodents led off by hurling hamsters out of a trebuchet directly onto my Badger infantry shock troops. Both hamster shots landed directly on my troops and the squad’s leader managed to hold the hamster fear effects (after all who isn't afraid of rabid dual axe wielding hamster berserkers?) at bay long enough to cut them up pretty badly. While the hamsters went down pretty easy (no armor) those who survived hit back pretty hard with their axes.

In the mean time my mongoose legionnaires traded rifle fire with the gerbil steampunk mechs managing to take one out and wounding a second fairly severely by the end of the battle. Out of hamster ammo, the mice turned to boulders to arm their trebuchets and began firing into melee. Yes, you read that correctly, “firing into melee”. [Note: there are rules in Brushfire for firing into melee, but these assume handheld weapons!]  Boulders hit everything in a 5” diameter with rules for scatter based on how far you are firing. Shots went off the board, fells short and killed their own rodent general, and bounced harmlessly off the backs of their gerbil powered mechs!

By the end of the night the mechs were fleeing, one of the two trebuchet crews was under fire and too decimated to fully man their siege engine and the hamster berserkers were all dead. My clawed badgers we rushing to come to the aid of their badger/mongoose comrades at the other end of the table (who were getting cut to pieces by rampaging boar heavy cavalry) when we called the game for the night.

Overall Brushfire was a blast! Before bed I read through their quick play rules and definitely look forward to playing again!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Gaming Con Review: TempleCon

Spent the weekend at TempleCon in Warwick, RI and it was a blast!

Wargame Room at TempleCon 2013
We drove up from NJ on Thursday night to avoid trying to get around NYC traffic Friday morning. While the convention ‘officially’ started at 12pm on Friday, there were already people gaming Thursday night when we arrived at the hotel (around midnight). The main wargame room was already set up with over 100 terrain covered tables and a good number of battles were already taking place.

TempleCon is primarily a SteamPunk and Wargame convention but there were also plenty of other things to do. Multiple companies were running demo games including Cool Mini of Not, On the Lamb Games, Greenbrier Games, and Steve Jackson games. There were numerous Steampunk events/vendors, a retro video game room (including both consoles and actual arcade games in their original cabinets), a boardgame room, panels, live entertainment (including Shadowcasted movies/tv shows ala Rocky Horror) and RPGs (actual strong ROLE playing systems with very little D&D/Pathfinder on the schedule).

Brushfire by On the Lamb Games at TempleCon
Friday afternoon I played Dungeon Petz and then Friday evening after dinner we decided to play a team game of Brushfire (by On the Lamb Games) [helpful hint, at least one of us should have read the rules before trying to play a new game!]. [I’ll post a gaming table report of this later.]

On Saturday, there were no other players for the Cthuhlu game I signed up for. Saturday afternoon I demo’ed Zpocolypse (Greenbrier Games) and played some old retro video games (Galaga, SpyHunter and 1943) in their original arcade cabinets (one of the ballrooms was quite convincingly turned into a small arcade complete with blaring 80s/90s music. [I did quite well at Galaga and 1943, though I don’t recall being that terrible at SpyHunter!]

Sunday morning, again there were no players for the 10am Cthulhu game (and this time no GM either) but the other event in the room was a boardgame playtest that I jumped into. (We played twice and discussed rules / changes for two hours.) Since it is still in playtest, I won’t say more about it, but it was fun.

Retro Video Game Arcade Room at TempleCon
At noon, a Cthulhu GM was setting up in the room (along with the weekend’s only D&D game) but no one showed up for the Cthulhu game (else I would have jumped in). It turns out this GM is one of the organizers of NecronomiCon Providence and we spent over an hour discussing their upcoming convention (I’ll post more about this later, but I do recommend checking this con out!). I finished out the day with some open gaming in the boardgame room and demo areas (including Zombie Dice, Cthulhu Dice, Zombicide and Tsuro) before heading home.

[Quick note on Zpocolypse vs. Zombicide. The Zombicide demo was actually a bit too short to get more than a taste of the game but I think I like it better than Zpocolypse. Zpocolypse is a cooperative game but it is won based on a scoring track. The game is stacked against the players and by day four you should all be dead (we only played one day which took maybe an hour). I think the fact that as a team we can’t beat the game takes away from any victory I might have by scoring the most points. Since the scenarios in Zombicide are winnable even without a clear cut winner among the players I still think it the better game. Then again, I’m still reaching for Pittsburgh ’68 as my go-to Zombie game!]

While I had a great time, there were two minor issues at the con. The first issue does indeed have a very big upside so I'm hesitant to bring it up. Most of the RPGs at the con were in individual suites/conference rooms scattered throughout the hotel. While it is awesome to have a nice quite room to game in, the downside is, if there weren't enough players for a game, being spread out made checking other games for open seats fairly daunting. Perhaps a central RPG marshaling area would help with this in the future (because having a private room is way too good to pass up).

The second minor issue was that this year they decided to skip printing programs and go paperless. There were QRcodes linking to their website posted around the con, but their website took too long to load as it had lists of events with their full descriptions (that didn’t display until the entire page loaded). Not to mention, the wireless in the hotel got bogged down at times and there was no 3G coverage in the basement (where a number of RPGs were) so it wasn't always easy to get the information needed to find a game. The site also had no central overall grid/summary nor did it have a map of the con.

It would have been helpful to have a program (even if only as a .pdf so I could download it to my phone once and others could print their own copy if they lacked a smart phone) rather than a web page. By Saturday there was at least a list at registration and a map from 2012 appeared late on Saturday but even these were hard to read and required knowing that they were there. Hopefully they’ll at least provide a grid and map next year.

All-in-all though, it was a great weekend with lots of great gaming!

Be sure to check our game convention list to find other great local cons!

Friday, February 1, 2013

February Update

I scheduled this post automatically for this morning as we should already be at TempleCon for the weekend. In January, we found (or had submitted) 27 additional game conventions bringing our total to well over 500!

Here are the newly listed cons:

New Zealand / Australia Game Convention List:

  • Wellycon (June ?-?, Wellington, New Zealand)

Canada Gaming Conventions:

  • Phantasm (April 6-7, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada)
  • Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo (June 8-9, New Westminster, BC, Canada)

Germany Game Con Calendar:

  • Bremer Spiele-Tage (March 2-3, Bremen, Germany)
  • Ratingen Spieletage (March 23-24, Ratingen, Germany)
  • Darmstadt Spielt (November 23-24, Darmstadt, Germany)

Games Con List for the UK:

  • Play Expo (October ?-?, Manchester, UK)

US Games Cons:

Capital Region Gaming Cons:

  • T-Mode (April 19-21, Rockville, MD)

Great Lakes Game Con Calendar:

  • AnCon (May 2-5, Hudson OH)
  • DaveCon (August ?-?, Okemos, MI)
  • GrandCon (September 21-22, Grand Rapids, MI)
  • Gamehole Con (November 1-3, Madison, WI)
  • WindyCon (November ?-?, Lombard, IL)
  • WinterCon (December ?-?, Okemos, MI)

New York Gaming Cons:

  • No Such Convention (NonCon) (February 22-24, Poughkeepsie, NY)

Mountain Region Games Con List:

  • GalaxyFest (February 7-10, Colorado Springs, CO)
  • ConsimWorld Expo (CWE) with MonsterGame.CON (May 27 – June 2, Tempe, AZ)
  • Classic Gaming Expo (August ?-?, Las Vegas, NV)

California Gaming Conventions:

  • AOD (February 16-17, San Francisco, CA)

South Atlantic Gaming Convention List:

  • SwampCon (January ?-?, Gainesville, FL)
  • Siege of Augusta (January ?-?, Augusta, GA)
  • Spring Fever (April ?-?, Raleigh, NC)
  • StormCon (July 13-14, Summerville, SC)
  • Southern Front (October ?-?, Raleigh, NC)

South Central East Region Games Convention Calendar:

  • Alabama Phoenix Festival (May 24-26, Birmingham, AL)

Upper Midwest Game Cons:

  • G.A.M.E. [Gaming Arts Media Expo] (October ?-?, Springfield, MO)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

January Gaming Cons Update!

Happy New Year everyone! With travel and the holidays we didn't look for too many new game cons last month but still managed to add 16 to the calendars!

Here are the newly listed cons:

Canadian Gaming Conventions:
  • Underground Con (15 June, Calgary, AB, Canada)
UK Game Conventions:
  • London Anime Con (February 9-10, London, UK)
  • London Game Con (May 4-5, London, UK)
  • Alcon (September 5-8, Leicester, UK)

USA Game Convention Lists by Region:

Great Lakes Game Convention Calendar:
  • Protospiel – Milwaukee (March 9-10, Milwaukee, WI)
  • CaesarCon (March 22-24, Montpelier, OH)
Mid Atlantic Gaming Conventions:
  • Dreamation (February 21-24, Morristown, NJ) – not sure how we missed this one.
Mountain Region Game Con List:
  • GehghisCon (February 14-17, Aurora, CO)
  • Laughing Moon Con (October ?, Goodyear, AZ)
Pacific Region Gaming Conventions:
  • Wizard World Portland Comic Con (February 22-24, Portland, OR)
  • Gaymer X (August 3-4, San Francisco, CA)
South Central East Game Con Calendar:
  • SukoshiCon (July 19-21, Louisville, KY)
  • Wizard World Nashville Comic Con (October 18-20, Nashville, TN)
South Central West Game Conventions:
  • BoardGameGeek.CON (November ?-?, Dallas/Fort Worth, TX)
Upper Midwest Game Convention List:
  • Wizard World St. Louis Comic Conn (March 22-24, St. Louis, MO)
Online Gaming Con:
  • Indie+ Con (October ?- November ?, Online)

We're looking forward to quite a few game cons in our local area (the north east) this year: TempleCon, MEPACon (Spring and Fall), Dreamation, DexCon, Metatopia as well as some online cons (as many as we can manage) and TetonCon in Wyoming.  Which conventions are you looking forward to?