Category Archives: Conventions

Czech Games Edition Announced as a Gen Con 2021 Co-Sponsor

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Czech Games Edition

Gen Con has announced international board game publisher Czech Games Edition (CGE) as a Co-Sponsor of Gen Con 2021. CGE will receive dedicated event space and physical and digital marketing at Gen Con’s upcoming 2021 convention as a part of the agreement.

The publisher has been exhibiting at the convention since 2015, its first year self-publishing its games. That first launched Codenames.

At Gen Con Indy 2021, fans of Czech Games Edition will have an opportunity to get their hands on the newly re-launched edition of Galaxy Trucker, along with Lost Ruins of Arnak and Under Falling Skies — all of which will be making their Gen Con debut. CGE will also have a large demo space with lots of classic CGE titles to check out, including giant editions of Galaxy Trucker and PictoMania. A Galaxy Trucker pin as well as promos for Lost Ruins of Arnak and Under Falling Skies will also be available for visitors to the CGE demo space at the convention.

Gen Con Makes Masks Option for Vaccinated Individuals

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Gen Con has released an update to its health and safety plans for Gen Con Indy 2021. According to their update, 87% of attendees who responded to a survey said they have been fully vaccinated and an additional 5% said they would be by convention time. Indiana where the convention takes place lags behind the country in vaccination rate. 42.9% of the population of the state is vaccinated compared to 48.2% of the entire country. It’s estimated a need for at least a 70% vaccination rate to reach herd immunity. Those 12 and under can not be immunized currently.

With that and “falling rates”, the convention has decided that:

  • Mask-wearing at Gen Con will be strongly recommended at all times indoors or in crowded areas for all Gen Con attendees.
  • Mask wearing will be required at all times for all unvaccinated persons.
  • Vaccinated individuals that prefer not to wear a mask may present proof of vaccination and ID at one of the health check-in stations and receive a wrist bracelet indicating that they are vaccinated. While wearing a valid bracelet individuals are not required to wear a mask at Gen Con for the duration of the convention.
  • If an individual has a documented medical reason that prevents them from wearing a mask or receiving a vaccination, they may present the medical documentation at a health check-in station to receive a bracelet.
  • If someone has medical reasons that keep them from both wearing a mask and receiving a vaccine, they will need to go to the Special Services desk to get their wristband. Those are the only people authorized to give out wristbands for medical exemptions.

Other safety adjustments include:

  1. Reduced capacity at approximately 60% of normal size
  2. Increased spacing for all gaming tables
  3. Nightly closure of the convention center for cleaning and sanitizing
  4. More outdoor activations

With all the above, the convention has also decided to not to implement timed entry to the Exhibit Hall. Between a reduced number of attendees and the mask/proof of vaccination requirement, that normal operations for entry can happen. There are six entrances to choose from. There are also no limited exclusives at the show this year decreasing the need for individuals to rush and crowd the halls early.

The announcement by the convention has been received with mixed results. The Delta variant has shown it’s not only highly contagious and spreads far easier than the previous virus it can break through vaccinations. California has mandated masks again due to the spread of this virus variant. The likelihood of spreading without masks remains high and puts those who can’t get the vaccination and those who can not wear masks at higher risk if attending. It also puts pressure on security and others to now enforce mask mandates. While this would be an issue anyway, now they must look for a wristband to determine who may wear one making the task even more difficult. We’ve seen how individuals react protesting masks and to gain clout. As is, the work would be dangerous and now it’s more difficult.

Good luck to those going but we’ll be skipping this year ourselves, the first time in many years.

d4: Tabletop Creative Conference this Weekend

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d4: Tabletop Creative Conference

San Diego’s Comic-Con Museum invites tabletop gaming enthusiasts from around the world to meet online for d4: Tabletop Creative Conference. This virtual conference will be held June 5-6, 2021 on the Comic-Con Museum YouTube channel.

The conference will bring creators from across the tabletop gaming community together for this two-day event that will feature recorded panel topics as well as special guest speakers covering a range of topics including: 

  • Design: The creation of play patterns, artwork and graphics that elevate the gaming experience.
  • Development: Encompassing testing and improvement of games towards publication.
  • Discuss: Marketing and media in the Tabletop game space, from podcasts to promotion and everything in between.
  • Discovery: An emphasis on helping players and publishers identify emerging trends and hot new games that define the future of the hobby.

In addition to the wide range of topical discussions with well-known figures in the gaming industry, d4 will also include a unique opportunity for established and aspiring game creators to pitch their concepts, designs and ideas to a panel of experts who will provide feedback on the game itself as well as the quality of the pitch. Feedback will focus on helping designers develop and better discuss their ideas. The Game Pitch Review will be broadcast live for those who register to participate.

A few of the special guest speakers include Tanya DePass (creative director, Motherlands RPG), B Dave Walters (lead developer, Into The Motherlands RPG), Becca Scott (host, Good Times Society), Ivan Van Norman (head of development, Darrington Press), Gabe Hicks (game designer, Roll20), Eric Lang (game designer, Marvel United), Tanya Thompson (director, global product acquisitions, Hasbro), Damon Saddler (key lead designer, Mattel) and more.

In 2020, the Comic-Con Museum was awarded a grant from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, to host a conference in recognition of the cultural and educational value of tabletop gaming while also providing insight into the development of games we all love – d4: Tabletop Creative Conference was created. This grant will help defray some of the costs associated with the conference.

Gen Con Badge Registration Opens Today

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Gen Con 2021

A limited number of 4-Day and single-day badges for Gen Con Indy 2021 are on sale today at noon Eastern. The convention was rescheduled to September 16-19, 2021, and will proceed with a hybrid format combining three concurrent events to offer a flexible range of opportunities for participation: a reduced-capacity Gen Con Indy in-person at the Indiana Convention Center, Gen Con Online livestreaming, and gaming events, and Pop-Up Gen Con retail activations at local games stores.

In-person attendance will be capped to comply with local, state, and national public-health and safety guidelines, and 4-Day badges are anticipated to sell out quickly. Once they do, no further 4-Day badges will be offered this year, but additional inventory of single-day badges may become available based on changing health and safety guidelines.

All attendees who have rolled over their badge from 2020 are guaranteed a badge and have had their badges converted to 2021 on their accounts automatically, unless they request by email to customerservice@gencon.com by June 25 to roll their badge forward again to 2022.

You can check if you currently have a badge on your account on the My Schedule section of your account home page:

  • On desktop, click your name in the upper-right corner when signed into your account.
  • On mobile, sign in, tap your name in the menu, and then tap “My Schedule.”
  • If you bought badges for anyone besides yourself, they would see them on their home page or your “My Packets” page if the badges are being mailed.

Trade Day will return for Gen Con Indy 2021 in partnership with Alliance Game Distributors with a modified schedule and content tracks. A limited quantity of Trade Day badges will be available starting May 23 for educators, librarians, and retailers. Trade Day attendees who have rolled-over their badges from 2020 will be contacted with additional information.

Housing Registration for Gen Con Indy will open on June 6.

Registration for Gen Con Online and Pop-Up Gen Con will open on June 27, 2021. It will cost $5.

Warhammer Fest Kicks Off This Monday With Reveals Every Day

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Games Workshop kicks off Warhammer Fest 2021 on Monday, May 3rd for six days of reveals. Each day focuses on somethign specific with a mystery on Saturday, May 8th.

So far, we know Orks and Adepta Sororitas will get coverage for Warhammer 40K, and for Warhammer: Age of Sigmar we expect to see the latest take on Vampire Counts.

You can tune in to Warhammer Community from Monday 3rd May to see all of the reveals as they happen from 6pm (BST) onwards, or catch them live on Twitch.

Check out what’s going on each day below!

Warhammer Fest 2021

Gen Con Gives an Update on its 2021 Plans

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Gen Con

With COVID still impacting everything, though vaccinations increasing, Gen Con has released an update as to its plans for its in-person, virtual, and pop-up conventions for 2021.

Gen Con

The convention has given an update stating that the full-time staff is almost fully vaccinated and the state of Indiana is rolling out vaccinations for all residents over the age of 16. The convention center has added $7 million in safety upgrades, instituted new protocols for cleaning and sanitization, installed hospital-grade air filtration, and has one-way traffic lanes in hallways and common areas. There’s also a mask requirement for all indoor spaces.

But, due to the move to September, the convention will have a space crunch. Lucas Oil Stadium will be in use and will not be available. Square footage per attendee is being expanded providing more space per person. Game tables will be spread apart more than usual and more open gaming will be present to allow greater flexibility for attendees.

There will also be limited attendance with it being capped at 30,000 to 40,000, half of what’s normal. That will also help with spacing issues.

24-hour gaming will not be going on as the convention center will be closed each night for cleaning and disinfection protocols.

There will also be timed entry as well as other crowd control measures. That includes no first-come, first-served exclusives and excessive lines.

Currently the convention will require masks unless something changes.

The convention is still mulling some things over like proof of vacination and how to handle social distancing which would be difficult to do at a gaming convention.

Gen Con Online

The online presence of the convention will be expanded. Gen Con Online will have a greater virtual presence to welcome attendees and exhibitors who can’t make it.

Pop-Up Gen Con

Also anounced are the publishers participating in Pop-Up Gen Con 2021. They’ll be shipping copies of their new games being released at the convention to participating shops as well as help with demos, events, and sales.

Participating publishers are:

  • Catalyst Game Labs
  • Forbidden Games
  • Pandasaurus Games
  • Ravensburger
  • Renegade Game Studios
  • SlugFest Games
  • Steamforged Games
  • Usaopoly | The Op
  • Wyrd Games

Pop-Up Gen Con takes place September 18, 2021. Game title announcements are still coming.

Para Bellum Announces a Conquest Painting Experience in May

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Conquest painting event

Para Bellum Wargames, the maker of the Conquest tabletop miniatures game is excited to build collaborations within the industry. The goal is to develop new opportunities for gaming fans to experience the miniature gaming hobby in new ways. Their newest collaboration involves Warcolours paints, and Miniatures Wargames magazine. Coming May 6th is “painting night with Dimo!”. This online event will bring Dimosthenis, Conquest’s house artist, into people’s homes via the magic of the interwebs. The 2-hour painting experience will take fans through a range of techniques Dimo uses to paint miniatures. This will be amazing for beginners who want to paint more, and for long-time gamers looking for new ideas!

Miniatures Wargames magazine will host the event on their interactive platform. Warcolours paints and Conquest created a new project- Rage X Fire. This new collab brings together an entire infantry set of Flame Berserkers and 5 full-sized bottles of Warcolours paints. It’s an incredible value of product brought together in one box!

Dimo will walk through this part of this set during the evening so that everyone has a common project to share! 
A FREE ticket to the event is included with each purchase of the Rage X Fire box for €$49- a bonus value of £10! Link here to purchase a set today. Each purchase during the month of April qualifies for one online admission ticket. 

FLGS stores are welcome to participate by hosting a group painting night in conjunction or by selling sets to their community! Retailers ordering 10 or more sets of our Rage X Fire boxes will get 1 bonus demo set for free.

Currently available painting collaborations:

Product Name – Painting CollaborationsEU BarcodeEU SKU #
   
Inferno X Turbo Shift – Collab with Turbo Dork5213009012232PBW8967
Rage X Fire- Collab with Warcolours5213009012539PBW8968

Gen Con Announces New Dates and a New Format with Capped Attendance and Modified Format

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Gen Con 2021

There are so many unknowns when it comes to the 2021 convention season and they have been forcing hard decisions on so many. Gen Con today announced that they are postponing Gen Con 2021 as originally planned for August 5-8 in Indianapolis and announcing plans for a hybrid slate of concurrent in-person and online experiences, including the rescheduled Indy convention, this September 16-19, 2021. They believe this is the best approach both to meet the many challenges of the moment and to explore possibilities for the future.

The change is hopes that convention can include as many as possible while also remaining safe. It’s a flexible range of opportunities to participate. The in-person Gen Con in Indianapolis will have a capped attendance and a modified format while those not comfortable or unable to attend being able to still do so from home or from their local game stores through Pop-Up Gen Con retail events.

The Gen Con website has more details. Dates for badges, hotel, and event registration, have not been announced.

NOCA Open 2021 is Canceled

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NOVA Open 2021

After a lot of feedback from the community, the Executive Board of the NOVA Open has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 convention.

Reasons for the cancelation include:

  • Many of the convention partners are currently unable to commit to a September 1-5 NOVA Open 2021. Executing a NOVA Open requires months of pre-planning and coordination between hundreds of individuals and organizations, so no matter what the situation may look like in September, they have to act based on what they can guarantee in the near term. 
  • There is no clarity into what large event restrictions will or will not be in place in Arlington County, Virginia, at the time of the convention. At best, they can only guess what guidelines and restrictions might be in place, and cross their fingers that the pendulum would not swing at the last minute. This uncertainty prevents effective planning. 
  • The responses to the surveys consistently showed strong support for the NOVA Open. The support was not so universal when the unique planning considerations related to COVID meant NOVA Open 2021 would be substantially different from prior years. The Executive Board concurs with attendee sentiment that NOVA Open return in 2022 as the same high-quality event we have all come to know and love.
  • The financial consequences of the 2020 refund campaign, though necessary to remain solvent through the end of summer, was never intended to support the convention beyond that period of time. Therefore, the Executive Board is faced with a significant challenge as they readjust their resources and imaginations to remain solvent until a March 1, 2022 registration launch. 

The Executive Board is working to tighten the belts of the convention to make sure it can continue including an Amazon store, a sale of game mats and terrain sets, pop-up tournaments, investor opportunities, and more.

We of course support the convention and will keep our community apprised of any updates in how we can rally to help out.

Hub Games’ Retailer Virtual World Tour Begins in February

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Hub Games Virtual Tour

Hub Games will be kicking off its Retailer Virtual World Tour in February, starting with Prisma Arena, their latest title.  Hub Games, its distribution partners, and retailers will join together to make distancing seem not so distant. Over the coming months, Hub Games will be conducting virtual visits to retailers worldwide, demoing games to staff and customers. Retailers can contact their favorite distributor for details on how to participate.  

When the pandemic first hit, Hub Games immediately responded. Hub Games began a virtual world tour bringing their games to fans, stores, and guests. With social distancing continuing, Hub Games has worked with retailers to improve the concept. The Hub Games team will host forty-five-minute sessions every Monday.  The events give retailers and their staff the chance to engage with customers while playing the latest Hub Games titles. The featured game will rotate every six weeks, with Prisma Arena kicking off the tour on February 15th.

With the absence of trade shows and consumer shows, it has become more difficult for the retailer to introduce new games to their customers and for publishers to connect with retailers. With the Retailer Virtual World Tour, Hub Games hopes to solve that and make some new friends along the way. To support this initiative, distributors in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Scandinavia, and Australia have a special offer for retailers interested in participating.  Games will live-stream on Twitch, Youtube, and Facebook, allowing retailers to invite customers to watch and comment.

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