You’ve never been to a convention before. Nervous? You shouldn’t be! gamers are a friendly lot. Here’s what you should expect.
Hi there! If you read through this and you're still not sure about anything, please get in touch to ask a question.
“Did You Win?”
When you tell non-gamers that you’re going to a gathering like this, you’ll often be asked this question. When it comes to gaming, there are three things conventions can focus on – retailers, open gaming and tournaments. Many conventions do have organised tournaments for games like Magic The Gathering, Warhammer 40K, Carcassonne or Settlers of Catan.
ConCentric Games is primarily focussed on open gaming, with no organised tournaments. This means that you can play any board game that you want with anyone who happens to be around. Or you can sign up for a scheduled RPG session beforehand.
Should You Bring Any Games?
Concentric has no games library – games are brought by punters like you! Rest assured, there will be plenty of choice available. However, if you have a burning desire to play that 6 hour epic, or show off your latest acquisition, be sure to bring it along. If you're playing in a scheduled RPG session, you should check with your GM to find out what you might need.
The boardgamegeek.com (BGG) database is an excellent tool for getting information on games new and old. It’s also great to keep track of your collection once you’ve made a (free) account there. The folks at BGG make this information available via an API. Using that, we’ve generated a list of all the games owned by the 2014 attendees (we'll update this each year); Take a look!
What about the RPGs?
OK, so that's all good and well for the board games, but what about the Roleplaying Games? Here's a couple of pointers to help you along the way. Note that a lot of this will be good to know for any scheduled game.
- Above all else, remember that your GM is volunteering a lot of time to do this. Not just running the game, but all the preparation and metaphorical cat-herding that goes on before the session even starts. Thank your GM for their fine work, and treat them with the respect they deserve (or face being part of a TPK).
- Communication is really important. Make sure you can get in touch with your GM, and/or vice versa.
- The maximum amount of time your GM should be asked to wait before starting your session at the scheduled time is fifteen minutes. If you can't make it, let them know ASAP.
- Join a game that will suit your level of experience. Many games will be newbie friendly, and this will be made clear when signing up for a session.
Etiquette: Stating The Obvious
In no particular order here are a few tips on game convention etiquette.
- Respect your fellow players.
- Don’t be shy! A convention like this is perfect for meeting new people and learning to play new games. If someone is meandering around, ask them if they want to play a game. If a game is starting and there is room, don’t hesitate to ask if you can join. The answer will usually be yes.
- Ask before borrowing a game and treat it with respect. Imagine that copy of the game still being played 50 years from now. Take note of where you got it from and how the components were stored and do your best to return it in its original condition.
- There may be minors present at the convention. Please don’t include children in your photographs or videos without the consent of their parent or guardian.
- Children must be under the supervision of their parent or guardian at all times. If you’ve got kids in the convention room, they should be there to play. Please be mindful that they’re not a distraction to others.
- Try to keep your conduct as PG as possible. That's "Parental Guidance" not "Power Grid", although there should be plenty of the latter ;)
- Got a sniffle? Remember to wash your hands to minimise the spread of Con-Plague ;) There’s no need to go overboard with face masks and antibacterial wipes, just keep it in mind.
- The venue is not licensed to serve alcohol, and none shall pass. There are some nice pubs and restaurants nearby where you can sample the fine Coopers Ale between games. However, drunk and disorderly behaviour will not be tolerated and individuals displaying it will be asked to leave. No illicit drugs will be tolerated.
- Have fun. Did we mention stating the obvious?