Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

PrezCon is Happening

Volko Ruhnke playtests Lincoln’s War with John Poniske at PrezCon in 2013.

PrezCon is already happening, though I’m not sure what sort of people swell the ranks of the early birds. Judging from the schedule, I presume it’s people that are really keen on making yesterday’s Tikal tournament. I’m planning to be there Thursday morning and until Saturday evening. For people that don’t know what this thing is, here’s my take:

  • A bewildering amount of tournaments happening all at once. It’s crazy.
  • Several tables of games for sale. If your Friendly Local Gamestore does not stock war games, this can be a real treat. You can pick things up and read the back of the box before buying– a rare thing for the board game aficionado anymore. You can ask people that have played it what it’s like and maybe even play it before buying if you can land a demo. This really is the best environment to be buying games in. GMT will have several tables of their wares and I’m not sure who else.
  • The convention is catered. If you want to play games until you collapse, you can do that here. The food is pretty good for what it is, but the fact that you don’t have to go far to get it is a big plus. (Novice convention goers try to cut corners on this sort of thing, but that’s a real rookie move if you ask me.)
  • There are people demoing unpublished games. There are people playing monster games. There are game companies that take a room and set up supersized versions of their wargames.
  • The place is crawling with game designers. I got to talk to Lewis Pulsipher last year… and I saw Volko Ruhnke, too. I don’t even know who all I should have known of, but didn’t recognize. If you start shooting your mouth off about a particular game with someone you just met, watch out– the designer might be picking your brain!
  • There was a large area for open gaming last year. This was a bit of a ghost town early Saturday morning, but it soon filled to capacity as the day wore on. If you want to play through the night, you can do it here!

Other conventions have more hoopla. This one is just about the games. There is no one dressed up like a superhero, there are no movie star type special guests, and there is no late night rave event. People either play games or go home mostly. I love the no nonsense approach. You can play enough games to last you all year at something like this!

I haven’t decided quite what I want to do, yet. I wanted to get in early enough to be able to play in the Britannia tournament, but my preference is more towards playing it by ear and holding down the open gaming area for most of the convention. I’d kinda like to just go down there with Dragon Rage, WarpWar, Trailblazer, Space Empires 4X, Raid on Iran, One Page Bulge, and A Distant Plain and then wait for someone to walk up and ask to play. (You can mark your “want to play” list on a big whiteboard.) I go to conventions to play games that I can’t get played at home… and a good chunk of the tournaments are either standard game club fare or war games that I’m mostly unfamiliar with.

Anyway… if you’re there on Saturday, Lewis Pulsipher will be doing a talk on Strategic Wargame Design at 8PM in the J. Madison room. I will be heading home by then, so I will have to check it out later if/when he posts the audio.

See you there!

Here’s my after action report from last year’s PrezCon:

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8 responses to “PrezCon is Happening

  1. Bill Barnes February 25, 2014 at 7:28 am

    Very cool! I see they’re having a Race for the Galaxy tournaments in that huge list…

  2. Alex February 25, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Sweet. Are you seeing m(any) hex & chit style wargames?

    • jeffro February 25, 2014 at 10:34 am

      I should have mentioned…. If you like wargames but have a devil of a time finding opponents… then this is a fantastic convention to go to.

      • Alex February 25, 2014 at 10:38 am

        The local gaming club is hosting something big local in April, so I’m hoping to find some folks there. I’d love to bring something to our regular meets, but they’re usually only 1-2 hours, which is fine for micro and eurogames, but even my quickie SPI games would be pushing that time limit with new players. “Awww, c’mon, I’ll even play as Bayezid, you’ll win for sure!”

        [Jeffro: Your playing time of 1-2 hours for a microgame indicates correct usage of the term. Although mentioning SPI like that should leave no doubt as to your gaming cred.]

  3. aka.john February 25, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Wish I had the time. I thought about making a day trip down for Saturday with the Daughter Who Games but the in-laws are coming in and lacrosse is gearing up.

  4. lewpuls February 26, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Going home by 8? Last year you were there until, what, 5AM Sunday?

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