We are excited to introduce our second contributor to PubMeeple.com – Reed. He is new to the world of hobby board games so he brings a unique view on the site. We are looking for others who are passionate about the board gaming hobby and want to put their passion into written word. If this describes you please contact us with your ideas.  

Thinking about attending a board game conference for the first time? Unfamiliar with terms like Ameritrash, meeples, orthogonally, king-making, FLGS?

Fear not, you aren’t alone.

A month ago I couldn’t tell you what any of those above terms meant, much less how to spell half of them. “For quite by chance and the will of a Wizard,” the Board Game Geek Conference (BGGCON) magically appeared on my calendar.

Actually, a friend invited me after a ticket became available among his normal BGGCON-goers, the wife agreed, the boss allowed the time off, and truly on a whim, I found myself in Dallas on November 17, standing in line to check in.

So maybe it was magic that got me to the gathering. Regardless, I was there and this is the account of my adventure at BGGCON 2016. In honor of its theme, The Good, The Bad, and The Geek, here is my good, bad, and geek takeaways of the conference, from a first timer to future first timers.

THE GOOD – Plenty of places to be and people to see.

The Library
Think huge room. Now double that room’s size. Fill it with board games to rent out and play. Now that’s a Tuesday night. I mean, that’s the library.

The Exhibit Halls
I can’t tell you how many times I walked through them. Booths abounded at every turn, promos were being given away like… like promos at a board game conference, and opportunities to play new and old games were one open seat away or four or five if you go with a group like I did.

Flea Market (Note: I didn’t do the cyber flea market.)
One hour of bartering banana-nut bonanzas! This shopping time was simply awesome. I highly encourage you to bring cash for some great deals, especially the last five minutes. I wish I had had more knowledge of the games I like but there’s always next year!

THE BAD – More so room for improvement.

Elevator Traffic
Good news! The conference will be moving to a bigger hotel in 2018.

Airport Location
Be sure you get your ticket comped by the hotel before leaving for anything. Also, if you ever wanted to go somewhere to eat, it’s a little drive so make it worth it. Bring snacks beforehand because late night food options were limited within the hotel.

Tournaments
Depending on the company that organizes them, they can be hit or miss on organization. Be sure to know what tournaments you want to play by checking the website before you go and then sign up twenty-four hours in advanced. Lines start forming even sooner.

THE GEEK – The best of the best.

Meeting Developers
Especially of the games you love. It’s almost surreal. We met the designer and developers of games like 1775: Rebellion, The Resistance, Fog of War and more. We played games with them, got our names in an instruction manual even, and spent the night in their hotel room… okay, maybe not that last one but still, ugh- mazing.

Hot Games
You get to play not-yet-released games. My friend even convinced one of the developers to let us play the only prototype in existence for 879: Vikings. Need I say more?

Making Memories
If you can go with friends, do it. If not, there’s plenty of people like you and me that are in need of friends, or maybe that’s just me? What I mean is, there are tons of great people to meet at the conference which can be a great memory in and of itself. I was fortunate enough to go with a fun group of people and we made the most of it from the drive time to the late nights to the last day. Good times, good times.

Again, these takeaways are from my first-time experience at BGGCON 2016 where I met fun people, played a gob of games, watched people battle tops, and ate great food around the Dallas/Fort Worth area like Hard Eight, Bread Zeppelin, and Joe T Garcia’s.

If you love board games at all, take the leap and attend a board game conference near you. Read up on things to know and do beforehand, and be ready to have some of the greatest times of your life.

Check out some of our other content:

About the Author

About the Author

Reed

I've grown up playing and loving Chess then added Catan post-college until I was invited to my first board game conference. Now I eat, sleep, and breathe (though I'm asthmatic) the exact same as I had before but just with more board games and thoughts about creating them in the meantime.

Favorite Games: Expedition: Northwest Passage, The King is Dead, Honshu

About the Author

About the Author

Reed

I've grown up playing and loving Chess then added Catan post-college until I was invited to my first board game conference. Now I eat, sleep, and breathe (though I'm asthmatic) the exact same as I had before but just with more board games and thoughts about creating them in the meantime.

Favorite Games: Expedition: Northwest Passage, The King is Dead, Honshu