Top 10 US Conventions for Wargamers

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Consimworld Expo – Tempe Arizona – June 23-30, 2018

An epic wargame convention built around games most of us can’t play on our dinner table. Wargamers come from across the country to spend a summer week in the comfort of a Tempe Arizona air conditioned hotel. John Kranz hosts the convention over the course of 9 days. Notable for monster games and large contingent of wargame designer and publisher royalty. The nicest conference setting for a game convention (yes – even nicer than the Lancaster Host….) with a massive ballroom full of Aeron chairs and plenty of interesting food nearby. You have to make it at least once in your life!

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World Boardgame Championship – Seven Springs, Pennsylvania – July 21-29, 2018

A competitive format where you expect to see the best play head to head. Games include many of the classics from the early day of Avalon Hill to the more popular recent releases. Don’t let the competitive nature of play stop you, it is also a great opportunity to play a first round with the best. You are guaranteed a game in most tourneys if you bring a copy with you. My experience has been those experienced players are happy to share the games subtleties with you – at least in the first round…

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GMT Weekend at the Warehouse – Hanford, California – April 26-29, 2018 and again in October

Hosted by GMT Boss Gene Billingsley the weekend at the warehouse is held amongst mountains of GMT inventory – awesome. This big event in rural Hanford is a must for GMT fans. On Saturday, Gene blows you away with a 3 part combo: a frank and interesting state of the company address, a blockbuster game sale (epic), and a pizza party.  Come meet the “office ladies” who provide the exceptional service that GMT is known for. Note that GMT also hosts a con in the east (GMT East) substituting Andy for Gene, sans the columns of games

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PrezCon – Charlottesville, Virginia – February 19-25, 2018

Seven days of gaming goodness including a sub set of World Boardgame Championship tourneys off season. Most importantly, Mark Miklos (Series Designer of the Great Battles of the American Revolution) hosts the Rev Con including Mark’s work and Liberty or Death: The American Insurrection as highlights! Come see Mark in uniform (Patriot uniform) and share some gaming goodness with other American Revolution lovers.  Can you win the George Washington Award or are you another Benedict Arnold!

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San Diego Historical Games Convention – San Diego, California – November 2018

3 days in November in Sunny San Diego where its always 70 degrees. Bring the family and enjoy wargaming with 150+ of your compatriots while your family visits America’s Finest City. If you flew in from out of state you can bask in the fact that you don’t have to stay and pay California taxes. Hosted by Harold Buchanan this is a wargamer’s wargamer convention. Growing sightings of well known designers and interesting events. In 2017, Mark Herman simultaneous played 12 opponents in a C3i hosted Empire of the Sun tournament.  Who knows what he will do next year! Reserve your spot early as it was a sell out weeks early in 2017

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Strategicon – Los Angeles – February 16-19, 2018; May 25-28, 2018; August 31 – Sep 3, 2018

Three times a year the conventions offer a lot of everything. On the second floor at the end of the hallway is the Wargame Room. Come in to meet a cadre of friendly wargamers with friendly events all four days.

The big 3 US boardgame conventions include a subsection of wargames – hit them if you are close!

Origins Game Fair – Columbus, Ohio – June 13-17, 2018

BGG Con – Dallas Texas – November 2018

Gen Con – Indianapolis, Indiana – August 2-5, 2018

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Historicon – Lancaster PA – July 12-15, 2018

We can’t leave out the epic miniatures wargame convention. Not boardgame centric, it’s worth the stop to see the miniatures and terrain in all its glory – visually striking. You won’t forget it!

 

 

What great cons did we miss?

How about cons outside the United States?

Honorable Mention:

Pacificon Game Expo – Santa Clara, California – August 31 – September 3, 2018

Game On! – Issaquah, Washington – February 8-11, 2018

CascadeCon Game Convention  – Bellingham, Washington – January 19–21, 2018

Texas Broadside – La port, Texas – October 12-14, 2018

BottosCon – New Westminster, British Columbia – Nov. 2-4, 2018

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