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New to Boardgame Conventions?

You will almost certainly have a great time here. Here's how some of the things you will see at this convention are organized, and how you can join in.

Open Gaming - The Open Gaming rooms are the centers for play of unscheduled games, with likely overflow to other rooms. Any of our large collection of popular games may be borrowed for play by any badged attendee. A wide variety of table signage is also available to help compatible players find each other.

In addition to open gaming, Congress of Gamers has many types of scheduled gaming. At this convention, to join any scheduled game, you just need to

  1. Show up at the game's scheduled location a few minutes before the listed start time.
  2. There's no qualification except that you should ALREADY know how to play most games, unless it's listed as a demo, learning game, party, or unpublished game.
  3. Your badge lets you join all convention activities, including all scheduled games.
  4. NO TICKETS ARE NEEDED FOR ANYTHING!
  5. Most games will have a GM (Game Master) or game leader who can answer rules questions.

Party/Social Games - This convention has an area reserved for Party Games. These games are easy to learn, fun to play, and spawn smiles and laughter. Each of these games is taught and coached during play. Just show up at the scheduled time and join the fun.

Tournament games - The Congress of Gamers includes many scheduled games which are part of an overall tournament, with scoring and prizes, but anyone can join any game. You just need to be familiar with the game. Many of these games will be preceded by a demo, or will have a learning game led by a volunteer. Just check the posted tournament schedule and go to the room at the time specified. If you are new to board gaming, this may be a challenging activity.

Unpublished games - Want to play with a game designer? This convention includes a workshop for proven and aspiring game designers. They need your participation to fine-tune their creations before publication. Just drop by the design area and volunteer to join a game. The designer will usually teach and play their game with you.

Role Playing Games - Join a team of heroes! Congress of Gamers will have Dungeons & Dragons and Call of Cthulhu games running throughout the con. No experience necessary. Just drop by at scheduled times.

Other scheduled games - In addition to the tournament games, there are many other scheduled games led by volunteers. Most of these will welcome new players, but some may be too complex to teach and play in one sitting, or the group play may be only for advanced players. Check the schedule for times, locations, and any restrictions.

Kids' Corner - This is still new to CoG, and it's not yet clear what participation we'll have, but we'll have a portion of the open gaming area dedicated to gamers 6-12 years of age. An adult volunteer will lead a game or games. This is not babysitting, but an opportunity for children to play with their peers and perhaps afford parents a chance to do some other activities. Check the schedule for the lastest times. Volunteer to take a shift!

Special Events - You will see some special events, perhaps large track Championship Formula Racing, a Kinetic Games Showcase, a multi-table Pandemic Survival tournament, special exhibits and demo tables by local game publishing companies, and much more. Just say hi, join in, and have fun.

Auction Store - The best deals on board games are often purchases from other gamers. The Auction Store opens for sales at 11am, and will have price drops at 12pm and 1pm. Drop by, look for games you'd like, and pay with cash only.

Dining Options - At the Senior Center, the snack bar in the Dining Room is open during most con hours. Pizza delivery is scheduled for lunch and dinner each day. To be sure you get the slices you like, pre-order at the snack bar. At the Westin Hotel, no outside food is permitted except in your hotel room. Visit the hotel dining areas for food.