Consimworld Expo – Tempe Arizona – June 22-29, 2019
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!
World Boardgame Championship – Seven Springs, Pennsylvania – July 20-28, 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…
GMT Weekend at the Warehouse – Hanford, California – October 17-20, 2018 and again in April
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
PrezCon – Charlottesville, Virginia – February 25 – March 3, 2019
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!
San Diego Historical Games Convention – San Diego, California – November 8 – 10 2019
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. in 2019 Volko Ruhnke and Morgane Gouyon-Rety took on 10 others playing Pendragon. Who knows what they will do next year! Reserve your spot early as it was a sell out weeks early in 2018.
Pacificon Game Expo – Santa Clara, California – August 30 – September 2, 2019
3 days in the Bay area that is a general purpose con with one of the largest gatherings of serious wargamers west of the Mississippi. When everyone stands up and gets in line it is because flea market is coming. Nice hotel and good access to food this is a must for West coast wargamers.
Strategicon – Los Angeles – February 15-18, 2019; May 24-27, 2019; August 30 – Sep 2, 2019
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 board game conventions include a subsection of wargames – hit them if you are close!
Origins Game Fair – Columbus, Ohio – June 12-16, 2019
BGG Con – Dallas Texas – November 20-24 2019
Gen Con – Indianapolis, Indiana – August 1-4, 2019
Historicon – Lancaster PA – July 10-14, 2019
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?
Game On! – Issaquah, Washington – February 5-9, 2020
CascadeCon Game Convention – Bellingham, Washington – January 18–20, 2019
Texas Broadside – La port, Texas – October 18-20, 2019
BottosCon – New Westminster, British Columbia – Nov. 8-10, 2019
7 thoughts on “Top 10 US Conventions for Wargamers”
KublaCon. San Francisco area.
Little Wars in the Chicago area run by HMGS-Midwest
No ASLOK? Up to 200 players playing ASL for a week in October in NE Ohio. Ah, Cleveland, that’s why it’s forgotten!! (I grew up in Akron for full disclosure).
For wargames? You gotta get BuckeyeGameFest at least a mention
Columbus, Ohio. One week of wargaming in the War Room!
You forgot historicon the biggest miniature convention in USA
And you gotta include Niagara Boardgaming Weekend in January in Niagara Falls, Canada!