GenCon 2014 planning thread


Use this as you have been for a general planning thread on GenCon. Lots of talk about events and such below, but let's also turn our mind toward facilities. Specifically space to game after the show floor closes.

Update 7/1:

Closing in on about a month until GenCon. I hope you're all as excited as I am.

In years past we've tried to smash a ton of people into as big a room as we could find. More often than not it meant moving TVs and furniture, pushing beds vertically up against a wall, and carting in folding tables only to squat around them on beverage coolers like animals.


Through sheer force of will (and months of elaborate guilt applied by phone and in person) I've secured us a conference room. 8-10 tables, maybe more. Chairs galore. And all in the hotel where many of us will be staying, Hilton Downtown Indianapolis during GenCon.

SirRockford is pitching in for 1 night, being Friday. The second night, Saturday, is being charged to my credit card tomorrow. Suffice to say, I'd sure love some help with that. So...

Would you like to contribute to a night of our $200/night conference room? Please DM me and I'll connect with you personally to help you make that happen. With luck we can get some extras from the hotel like beverage service and some snacky treats. Or perhaps a ready reserve of cash with which to bribe them when we go over our curfew. Either or.

Update 7/28: We've got the rooms covered, plus like $20 funny money.

I'm in for cost of the room plus food and drink too.

I may be interested myself.. need to ponder this and tag the thread.

I'm in for the cost of the room too.

I am also interested in helping although this will be my first time going to Gencon for 4 days(I have been going for 5 years now on Saturdays) which means I can finally attend one of these meetups! So I am definitely up for helping out also!

Sweet. I have the contract in hand.

SirRockford has volunteered to take care of the conference room for Friday night! Thank you SirRockford! You are a gentleman and a scholar.

So looks like we are go for one of the best GenCons in recent memory. More information as it becomes available.

If you weren't already aware, the room signups/melee/clusterf*ck are just a few days away. Get logged in at GenCon's website and get educated.

Tagging for the future, looking forward to GenCon 2014 after our first trip out last year.

TheWanderer wrote:

Get logged in at GenCon's website and get educated.

Thanks for the advice. I'm considering attending for the first time and planning resources like that should help a great deal.

My #1 piece of advice: have at least one person pre-reg next week, and then that same person refreshing like a fiend next Thursday to secure a hotel room.

You'll still have another 3-4 months before having to worry about registering for events, but hotels go in the first day they open registration, and are only available to folks with pre-reg'd tickets.

Heyo - heads up that badges went on sale today. VIGs are sold out, but the 4-days hardly ever sell out.

"Well, if the 4-days never sell out, why shouldn't I just wait and buy one later?"

Good question! When you pre-reg for your badge, you get a housing code, which you can use after January 28th at Noon ET to book a hotel room. I made a map to make things easier as to where the hotels are in relation to the ICC, but here's a pro-tip - all the "downtown" hotels that you can walk to GenCon from book up within the first hour. Then the satellite hotels book up. Then you're looking at staying two towns over in a budget hotel, and paying for parking every day, on top of not getting a block-room rate for your hotel.

So even if you plan of stuffing 6 people into a double-occupancy room, at least one of those folks should pre-reg for a badge to get a housing code, and then fight through the stream on Tuesday to get a hotel room.

I'm in for the conference room as well, and looking forward to GenCon very much! We should be getting our own room in the Hilton as well, by the by.

I'll probably be attending with a handful of people from work. Tagging for updates.

I've purchased my four day badge and will be looking to grab a room tomorrow when that opens up. I've never gone before... any advice on picking a room other than personal preference between distance/cost?

The site wouldn't work for the guy who was at a computer to get our hotel today so now we're out of luck. Yay.

The site performance was a complete mess. Delays, false starts, restarts, time outs, and errors. It took nearly 30 minutes to complete a reservation and, by then, I just took what I could get. I would have expected them to be much more prepared for the web traffic than that.

I'm feel really bad for people who couldn't get a room, much less the one they wanted. I hope there is some positive way that GenCon or Indianapolis can handle this. Everything still sold out in record time. Both the wife and I managed to get it right at noon EST after a brief couple minutes waiting in the queue screen. She nabbed our room at the Hilton and I just quit out.

My wife and our roommate did the same thing Jolly Bill did - except we wound up with two rooms at the JW. We've already left messages and emails to get one of the rooms canceled so someone else can get a shot at it.

Most of my local gaming club wound up in the same boat of not being able to get anything.

And then that email today from GenCon about the 200% increase in 4-day badges from this time last year was just crazy.


I'm going to GenCon for the first time since it was in Milwaukee. Even better, the hotel I'm staying at is just a couple blocks further out than the Hilton Downtown Indianapolis. I will plan on dropping in.

McIrishJihad wrote:

My wife and our roommate did the same thing Jolly Bill did - except we wound up with two rooms at the JW. We've already left messages and emails to get one of the rooms canceled so someone else can get a shot at it.

Most of my local gaming club wound up in the same boat of not being able to get anything.

And then that email today from GenCon about the 200% increase in 4-day badges from this time last year was just crazy.

If that doesn't work out, let me know. I have a hotel reservation but I can cancel/change mine with only 24 hours notice and I'm relatively sure I'm paying more than I'd be paying you if you had the room booked.

WOOOOOO!!! Event registration was yesterday so the wife and I jumped in early to get what we wanted again this year. Really weird, the countdown timer for some people to get into the queue started at different times, so I ended up way lower than my wife or another friend who is going. Anyway, so far we have grabbed tickets for:

AEG Swag night
Super Robo Rally
(I'm finally going to get to play this year! Friday at 4pm)
D&D 5th edition
Speed Painting
(where you get to keep the mini afterward)

Probably going to grab tickets to a BattleCON: Devastation tournament later today. I like doing one tournament at GenCon to ramp up the competitive juices a little. Also planning to do a LARP at some point if time permits, since I've never gotten to do one there.

Otherwise, I'm just super excited about staying at the Hilton and playing a f*ckton of games with other GWJers, especially in the conference room. Also, food out there is better and more easily accessible than the closer to convention stuff. Someone please bring Kemet, I really want to play it!

I don't have a big list, but games I'm excited for so far this year are:
KanBan: Automotive Revolution
DoomTown Reloaded
Pathfinder Card Game: Skull & Shackles
Lost Legacy
-Some unnamed Albino Dragon game that's apparently a deck builder and worker placement game?

I must have missed this thread earlier, but I will definitely be there this year, and I am happy to chip in on the conference room. I was really hoping to have my hands on Xia: Legends of a Drift System by then, but it is looking like it won't be in my hands until September.

That's a shame, it looks like fun!

From the Board game thread...

Jow wrote:

Are any peeps here going to Gencon or know of any other folks going? I'm in a bit of a quandary. I've gone many times, but haven't been since 2011. This year I'm attending with two peeps who have only been once. Last year we spent the entire weekend playing in events we signed up and paid for and they were looking forward to that this year. However, it appears event registration and availability have changed significantly since I was last there, cus even though registration only opened up 2 days ago pickings are pretty slim, enough that it looks like we're going to have to improvise our time there.

For those who are going, how do you spend your time there? I've done events myself for so many years I've never really gone off the beaten path. Anyone interested in hanging out and playing some games, maybe?

Attendance / Registration has gotten much more competitive over the last few years, but it looks like this year really went into overdrive. A ton more 4-day passes have been sold, and there was a LOT of competition for the same events that always have competition. 5th edition D&D sold out fast, as did demos for a few of the other hot games coming out.

Personally I like having either 1 or 2 planned events each day, and spending the rest of the day either wandering the trade floor, finding a new game I'd like to play out in the free play area, or just playing games with GWJers back at the Hilton. There's going to be significantly more of that last one this year, as we are renting a separate room for gameplaying for one (maybe two?) days.

Really, overplanning events to go to is a problem anyway, just wandering the trade floor, doing demos, and listening to what gets all the buzz over the course of the weekend is a lot of fun for me.

Yup, that's pretty much going to be my approach too. Got a couple of things I'm going to make time for, but keeping most of the event wide open for whatever happens to catch my interest.

Thanks for alerting me to the thread, Jolly. In days gone by friends I used to go with and I used to watch the clock and hop on there the second registration opened to ensure we got exactly what we wanted. Our days usually ended up pretty packed, though we were conscientious enough to leave gaps for eating/chilling out/wandering, etc. When we stopped doing that we realized there was still some decent stuff available so we became much more laissez faire about it. That is definitely not the case this year - there is very little left. We used to be able to scrounge up random things from Fantasy Flight just to try some of their new games but aside of a bunch of empty games of Blood Bound there is literally nothing else left this year.

On the good side, we've got our hotel, the last room at this particular place.

I'll peruse the thread for info on this gaming room you speak of...

..edit: as i realize the thread is all of one page.

edit 2: Any idea how many people are solidly in for this conference room deal?

My group and I got really lucky with events this year and got almost everything that we had in our wish list. On the schedule for me this year is:

Fortune and Glory
Mansions of Madness
Cutthroat Caverns
Legends of Andor
AEG Game night
Shut up and Sit Down Live
Memoir '44 4 player game

With plenty of room to hit up the dealer rooms and get together with people.

I usually use Gencon as a way to try games that my gaming group would rarely, if ever, play and that I wouldn't buy. Really looking forward to this year.

I was in the middle of a half-marathon when event registration opened up, but thankfully my wife took over the duties.

We wound up with 7 people for a True Dungeon run, as well as all the other games that I was looking to get into. I didn't get to do any RPG'ing last year, and this year I've signed up for a game each day with systems that I've been dying to try out.

Also, I registered for the Orc Stomp 5k. Right now, my 5k pace is right around 46 minutes, and I'd like to bring that down towards 40 or less by August, and thought this would be the perfect way to start GenCon off on the right foot.

My wife and I considered the Orc Stomp, but the early start time is a real killer.

Eh, what's a 6am start time between friends? You'll be done by 7:30ish, plenty of time to get a nap in before the start of Thursday.

So excited, I posted twice!

I'll be there again this year, with the wife joining me for her first big con experience. I may have Ravenwood's new Chief Game Instructor Karington along with us as well.

Sadly we were tied up last weekend and missed event registration, so no AEG Game Night or True Dungeon for us. I'll probably be picking a few scheduled sessions here and there to get the Mrs. into, but other than that will just be wandering and winging it. This will probably be the last GenCon where we have the freedom to roam the floor at our discretion, so we're going to make the best of it.

Let me know what you need for the room Charlie, we'd be glad to kick in.

See you all in a few months!