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TOPIC: Prezcon - The Little WBC of the South

Prezcon - The Little WBC of the South 17 Jul 2017 16:36 #251278

So, it appears that while I'm working hard this summer, I will have a seasonal layoff over the winter. Thus I cannot attend WBC but I'll be just sitting around in February when Prezcon takes place.

Have any of you been? What are your impressions? Do you plan on going?

I'd like to get an idea of what to expect before I put in any serious thought regarding attending.
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Prezcon - The Little WBC of the South 18 Jul 2017 03:17 #251302

I've been to Prezcon twice. It's exactly as you said Little WBC of the South. I don't know the exact number of gamers there, maybe 300-400. The hotel is very good. The gaming rooms are good. The tournaments are better then open gaming. The open gaming is a little limited. The tournaments are casual and small only 4-20 people vs. 20-100 people for WBC. A few years back I won the Washington's War tournament at Prezcon by winning 3 rounds or played for about 6 hours. To win Washington's War at WBC I would have had to play about 6 rounds or 12 hours of Washington's War. The bar served yards of good beer. I've you haven't been to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's house, that a cool side trip. Four or five of my Maryland clan usually does a Thursday - Sunday.at Prezcon. For a few years, I was alternating going to either Prezcon in Feb. and Conncon in March. Last year I missed both. I'd like to go in 2018. Let me know if you plan to go, we could split a room.
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Prezcon - The Little WBC of the South 18 Jul 2017 10:18 #251315

I attended four PrezCons, last one was maybe 3-4 years ago I think. Pete's comments on the hotel are correct - it's a nice hotel, certainly nicer than the Host ( a low bar to be sure ) and on par with Hunt Valley when WBC was there. I often saw air crew from the nearby airport stay there, they don't put them up in shit holes. While there isn't anything within walking distance other than a Wal Mart with a grocery store I used on occasion, there are plenty of places quite close to get stuff, go out to eat, etc. The hotel bar is nice and has decent food and the breakfast buffet put on by the hotel is decent There is a small quick food stand outside the main gaming room put in for the convention, but it's pretty lame IMO.

The vendor room isn't bad, GMT attends . MMP does not. Some smaller publishers as well as resellers. There is an auction and auction store. It used to be run by some of the same CABS folks who run the WBC one; when they stopped attending, it has become a little less organized from what I hear. Probably some very sweet deals to be had, as there is at the WBC auction these days.

It strives to be the little WBC and on the face of it, that's what it is. However there are some distinctions worth noting:

The con is run by one person as a for profit enterprise vs the non profit of WBC. While I have no issue with it in principle, being a die hard capitalist, it means that decision making is not by committee as WBC but by one person out to make a buck. For example he discourages discussion of offsite hotels, as he is very keenly focused on selling out the hotel room block. He also put on a Summer version only 3 weeks before WBC starting last year, hoping to capitalize on people unhappy with the move to Seven Springs, and had the balls to attempt to put a banner advertising it in the main ballroom at WBC; which was removed . The summer one has fizzled and will not be back next year by all accounts.

There is no real transparency to some things, for example how and why events get selected. IMO there are too many tournaments given the attendee numbers. This results in small to very small events, I had one where just four people showed up.

Events themselves tend to be more casual affairs. The GM quality overall is not as good as WBC. There are a few exceptions, esp for GMs who also do the same event at WBC. But I'd say that's in the minority. There is no classification of events. What this means is that some attendees treat them more like demos. This means they don't bring a copy of the game, or are less than rules savvy. It's not like I expect experts/sharks or absolutely need to win at all costs. But the last year I attended, I had several event heats where I was basically teaching someone to play. Five hours for War of the Ring is enough to make one want to eat a fucking bullet , esp after spending a good deal of time and money to attend.

Over those four years, I definitely noticed open gaming becoming more popular and from what I could see, at the expense of tournaments.

Despite its WBC aspirations its really a regional convention in terms of attendees almost all coming from the DC/Virginia area. Nothing against that per se, but if ask yourself if you know people from this area who will attend. I prefer to attend cons where I know a good portion of the attendees. One of the reasons I stopped attending is that many of those I knew were starting to stop going as well. Some like me and were travelling from farther away ( South Carolina, Ohio ) . Like WBC in the Hunt Valley days, many people don't start arriving til Tuesday or so. So for me, spending a full day of travel ( a 9 hour drive on the highway of death known as I95 or an alternate route OR flying into a podunk regional airport ) each day for four days of mediocre gaming started having me question the value proposition.

Closer to New England, there is Total Confusion, held in MA sometime in March I think.

if you do sign up to attend, by all means use a separate email address. His email "updates" approach spamming frequency at times and have a hint of hucksterism - lots of exclamation points, warnings about hotel sell outs etc. Getting removed from his email list is not easy, at least not when I was last on it.
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Prezcon - The Little WBC of the South 18 Jul 2017 16:26 #251341

repoman wrote:
So, it appears that while I'm working hard this summer, I will have a seasonal layoff over the winter. Thus I cannot attend WBC but I'll be just sitting around in February when Prezcon takes place.

Have any of you been? What are your impressions? Do you plan on going?

I'd like to get an idea of what to expect before I put in any serious thought regarding attending.

I was about to recommend Winter Offensive 2018 to you as well, but I don't see an announcement for it. I put a question in in the Multi-Man forum to see if I get a response. They may not be doing it this year.
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Prezcon - The Little WBC of the South 18 Jul 2017 17:18 #251345

Sagrilarus wrote:
repoman wrote:
So, it appears that while I'm working hard this summer, I will have a seasonal layoff over the winter. Thus I cannot attend WBC but I'll be just sitting around in February when Prezcon takes place.

Have any of you been? What are your impressions? Do you plan on going?

I'd like to get an idea of what to expect before I put in any serious thought regarding attending.

I was about to recommend Winter Offensive 2018 to you as well, but I don't see an announcement for it. I put a question in in the Multi-Man forum to see if I get a response. They may not be doing it this year.

I hadn't considered that but it looks kind of awesome. Pre reg wasn't open until November last year so maybe it's too early for them to announce it. It's a pretty well known ASL thing so I would be surprised if they weren't holding it.
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Prezcon - The Little WBC of the South 18 Jul 2017 18:22 #251351

It's their charity fund raiser.

I usually go out for a day, play an IGS title or two. I've tried some beta copies. Fun room, simple, cheap, not a lot of crazy people. The one year they had a keg in the middle of the room.

If you make it out this way I'll sit down to a game of A Most Dangerous Time with you. It just got recommended in the MMP Sale thread.
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Prezcon - The Little WBC of the South 19 Jul 2017 10:17 #251380

I have no doubt there'll be Winter Offensive. I think they've been holding it every year for at least 15 years. In all but one recent year, it's been on MLK weekend. They usually have a big release timed to come out during the con. One year was Festung Budapest, another year was Rising Sun. There is always a scenario pack as well and they bring all the in print MMP stuff to sell as well as the occasional OOP title they've found lying around the warehouse.

They usually announce it in late fall. No need to worry about hotel sell outs, etc. Its at a Days Inn, rooms are relatively cheap. When I've attended I've always flown, as you can get dirt cheap flights on Southwest direct into BWI ( some years its been like $120 round trip ) then either rent a car or get a ride from someone, its about a half hour south from BWI.

If you're going there to play ASL, you're all set. For non ASL players, I'd strongly advise you arrange stuff ahead of time. It gets around 150 people, and at least half of them are playing ASL exclusively. Trying to get pick up games is pretty difficult. I'd also advise trying to stake out table space, it is one of the more densely packed rooms I've seen. A single ASL pairing can take up a 6 foot long table even though it's a single map scenario once they spread their kit out.
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Prezcon - The Little WBC of the South 19 Jul 2017 11:23 #251383

I'll add that the hotel is in a plaza with food and other stores in walking distance. The company store is generally 25% off of everything, and they clear their ding and dents there too, sometimes at crazy prices.

I'll agree on the table space. The one year I brought my own, just in case. They're not quite to a place where they need a second room.

S.
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Prezcon - The Little WBC of the South 19 Jul 2017 11:58 #251384

They use pretty much the entire hotel function space as it is. They've asked about getting the last slot; but IIRC the price would close to double - the hotel gives them a price break since it's a charity event but reserves the one space left to make up the revenue drop.

I have no doubt if they got more space, it would fill up - gamers are experts and then some when it comes to filling available space. But given the cost increase, I don't see the need. The current format works and is incredibly cheap - don't forget your Saturday dinner is also paid for, as they bring in like 50 pizzas - and its decent pizza too, not fucking Dominos.
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Prezcon - The Little WBC of the South 19 Jul 2017 21:15 #251403

Winter Offensive confirmed:

boardgamegeek.com/article/26419365#26419365
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