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The Board Gamer’s Guide to PAX South 2018 (aka the Tabletop Megathread)

GundabadGundabad PAX East & Unplugged Tabletop ManagerNJRegistered User regular
edited January 10 in PAX South
Hey everyone, hope you are all looking forward to PAX South next month. If you’re attending, and are of the cardboard persuasion, here is all of the info that’s pertinent to you. Highlights this year include a handful of exciting new publishers (Roxley Games, Gamer Mats, and Warcradle Studios, to name a few), the return of True Dungeon (now with a full 2-hour adventure), an expanded board game library, and a First Look area featuring hot games from Essen and other new releases.

Unofficial Pre-PAX Game Nights:
The Pre-South Gametacular - 4PM to Midnight - Room 006 of the Henry B Gonzalez Convention Center https://www.facebook.com/events/1741851302556888/

Tabletop Hall Booths [Open until midnight]:

ArcKnight [Accessories]
Asmodee [Board game publisher]
Cascade Games [Retailer]
CoolStuffInc [Retailer]
Fantasy Flight Games [Board game publisher]
Fate of the Norns [RPG publisher]
Foam Brain Games [Retailer]
Gamer Mats [Accessories]
Golden Bell Studios [Board game publisher]
Greater Than Games [Board game Publisher]
Indie Boards & Cards [Board game Publisher]
Japanime Games [Board game Publisher]
Jason Anarchy Games [Board game Publisher]
Level Up Dice [Gaming accessories]
Lightseekers [Card game publisher]
Lone Shark Games [Board game publisher]
Metallic Dice Games [Custom dice manufacturer]
Mind Bottling Games [Accessories]
Q-Workshop [Accessories]
Reaper Minis [Miniatures game publisher - painting area]
Roxley Games [Board game publisher]
SFR (Dragon Dice] [Dice game publisher]
Slam Games [Board game publisher]
Steve Jackson Games [Board Game Publisher]
Swordfish Islands [RPG publisher]
Tasty Minstrel Games [Board Game Publisher]
TinkerTurf [Miniatures terrain]
Wyrmwood Gaming [Gaming accessories]
Yanaguana Games [Board Game Publisher]

Tabletop Booths in Main Expo Hall (Closes 6PM):

11 bit studios [“This War of Mine: The Board Game”]
Albino Dragon [Board game and licensed playing card deck publisher]
Artisan Dice [Accessories]
Battlerock Studios [“Battle of the Cards” card game]
Breaking Games [Board game publisher]
Carolina Game Tables [Board game tables]
CritSuccess [Dice rings]
Cyanide & Happiness [“Joking Hazard” party game]
Dire Wolf Digital [“Clank!” “Lanterns” apps]
Foam Brain Games [Game retailer]
Fowers Games [Board game publisher]
Level 99 Games [Card game publisher. “Mega Man Pixel Tactics” card game]
Mayday Games [Board game publisher]
North Star Games [Board game publisher: “Wits & Wager,” “Evolution”]
Poly Hero Dice [Accessories]
PulArt Studio [Accessories]
Quick and Dirty Games Party game publisher]
Rock Manor Games [board game publisher]
Secret Cow Level [Doomtrooper CCG digital port]
Sirlin Games [Card game publisher: “Codex”]
Skybound [Board game publisher]
SolarFlare Games [Board game publisher]
Stack-Up [Board game publisher]
Studio Woe [Card game publisher: “Gruff,” “Clash”]
Studio Wumpus [Digital board game publisher: "Sumer"]
Table Titans [RPG publisher]
Tabletop Bazaar [Board game retailer]
Thompson Productions [Custom dice manufacturer]
Versus Evil [“The Banner Saga: The Board Game”]
Vile Genius Games [Board game publisher]
Warcradle Studios [Miniatures game publisher]
Zafty Games [Board game publisher]

Tabletop Indie Showcase
Located in the middle of the Expo Hall, the Indie Showcase will feature 2018's winners
- Bargain Quest
- Drawing Dead
- Sagrada
- Wisp in the Vale
- CodeWorld
- Mountaineers
- Skulk Hollow

Places to Play Games in Tabletop Hall (Freeplay!):
Tabletop Freeplay is in the same location as PAX South 2017, on Level 1, adjacent to the Expo Hall, PAX Arena, and PC Room. Fresh off of PAX Unplugged, the Tabletop Library has expanded by several hundred games. Medical badge priority seating is available in close proximity to Tabletop HQ and the board game library.

Tabletop Freeplay will also be host to the First Look area, featuring 25 brand new releases set up for permanent play. These are the hottest new games that have arrived, many imported from Essen and still unavailable at North American retail. We'll have Enforcers on hand to help teach rules and get games moving. Link to follow soon, with a list of all games to be featured in this area. For now, check out the list of First Look titles shown at PAX Unplugged, with many set to return for PAX South.

Areas for Organized Play:
D&D Adventurer’s League [RPG play area]
Pathfinder Society San Antonio [RPG play area]
Thornwatch [Demo play]
UnPub Network [Board and card game playtest area. Registration will open soon for designer tables: http://unpub.net/events/]

Tabletop Tournaments:

Hit this link for the full Tabletop Tourney schedule: http://south.paxsite.com/schedule?sfl=167#
Some special events worth calling out are:
Mega Catan tournament, a 32-player single-game Catan experience
Catan National Qualifier
Schedule play of Twilight Imperium 4th Edition
Pre-release events for the Munchkin CCG from Steve Jackson Games
Several new tournaments not seen at PAX South 2017, such as Ethnos, Kingdomino, Sheriff of Nottingham, and more!

Cascade Games will also be hosting a variety of competitive organized play tracks, featuring high-profile competitions such as an X-Wing System Open and an L5R Kotei tournament, which offer pre-registration and exclusive game merchandise available for purchase.

The full list of competitive tracks includes:
- Magic: The Gathering
- Pokemon TCG
- Star Wars: Destiny
- X-Wing Miniatures
- L5R LCG
- Ascension Deckbuilding Games
The full Cascade Games schedule can be found here: https://www.cascadegames.com/shows/7-pax-south-2018

True Dungeon
Returning to PAX South is the True Dungeon LARP, now with both the 24-minute free demo experience, as well as a full (paid) 2-hour adventure. Pre-registration is available for various timeslots on all three days of PAX South, with two different versions of the 2-hour adventure: combat-focused and puzzle-focused. Registration is $38 per person.

Tabletop Panels:
Omegathon Round 1: Click Clack Lumberjack
Friday, 2PM-3PM; Falcon Theater
The Omegathon begins! Our first round will cull the very weakest from the herd, with a tense opening round of Click Clack Lumberjack. Which of our noble Omeganauts will be the first to fall, in a manner directly analogous to say, a tree, that has been lumberjacked?

Balance in Game Design
Friday, 4PM-5PM; Bobcat Theater
Balancing games is deceptively difficult. Even worse, there are subtle reasons why even if a game is perfectly, mathematically, demonstrably balanced, players will likely have even LESS fun. From systems like Microsoft TrueSkill or ELO rankings to everyone complaining about how overpowered Hanzo is (he’s not), join GeekNights for an exploration of how and why (and sometimes why NOT) to balance games.

How to Become a Board Game Library
Friday, 4:30PM-5:30PM; Armadillo Theater
Have you ever been to an event, looked at the tabletop area and thought to yourself, "I have more games in the trunk of my car than that pile." Welcome to the life of the librarian in which you can share your collection from location to location and allow people to play games. We will talk about tips for getting a collection on the cheap, how to maintain your games, and what it really takes to run your very own open board gaming event.

I Are Larp and So Can You!
Saturday, 10AM-11AM; Cactus Theater
Live-Action RolePlaying (LARPing) is a lot of fun, but it can be intimidating to get started. Learn how to create your own game from the ground up and bring your friends into the fun! We’ll talk what works and what doesn’t work when moving from the screen or the tabletop into the real world, speaking from decades of experience. Talk game mechanics, world-building, plot, props, and recruitment. I’ll cover the whole subject and answer questions so you’ll know where to get started!

Introduction to Modern Board Gaming
Saturday, 11:30AM-12:30PM; Cactus Theater
This is a panel that will be used to introduce the hobby of modern board gaming to convention attendees. When board games are mentioned to many people, the first thing they think of is Monopoly or Life. This panel will explore how expansive the hobby has become over the past fifteen years and how gamers can find the right games for themselves and their friends. We will explain popular game mechanics, game weight (complexity), and games for different group sizes.

Omegathon Round 3: Skulls
Saturday, 2PM-3PM; Falcon Theater
Halfway through their quest, the Omeganauts face their second board game of the competition. A game of the most profound psychological manipulations, Skull will test the bluffing skills of our competitors to their very limits. Only the bluffiest will survive.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Kickstarter but Were Too Afraid To Ask!
Saturday, 3:30PM-4:30PM; Falcon Theater
Luke and Anya of ye olde Kickstarter Games Team regale the audience with tales of Kickstarter triumphs and terrors. Learn fabulous numbers, bewildering stats and heartwarming stories about humans with dreams and maybe some not great ideas. You shall leave suffused with knowledge and a warm glow, thinking, "Hey, I could maybe just do this Kickstarter thing too!"

Welcome to Action Castle
Saturday, 8:30PM-9:30PM; Bobcat Theater
Hello fellow adventurer, do you have the tactics to solve the puzzles of Action Castle? You will have a chance to navigate the land of Action Castle using nothing but your voice and your mind. Can you defeat the Parser or will you fail?

Omegathon Round 5: Patchwork
Sunday, 11AM-12PM; Falcon Theater
In this, the penultimate round, our few surviving Omeganauts, battle-hardened and war-weary, face their most intense, high-octane challenge yet: building a patchwork quilt. Only the competitors in possession of the sharpest instincts, the foulest sorceries and the most brutal patchwork quilt creating skills can possibly survive, let alone prevail.

How to Get Your Tabletop Game Signed by a Publisher
Sunday, 2:30PM-3:30PM
If you want to spend your time designing games and not worrying about international freight logistics, you need to be pitching your game to publishers! But how do you get your game signed? We’ll cover how to get in touch with publishers in the first place, how to prepare, how to show the game, and how to move forward in the contract process. We’ll also talk about the role of agents along with how to choose which publisher to work with. Make games, not shipping spreadsheets!





Gundabad on
Lackey

Posts

  • MaggieTheCatMaggieTheCat Registered User regular
    I run a local Werewolf/Deception gaming group out of San Antonio that meets every week, and many of us will be in the tabletop area during the afternoon and evening running games like Ultimate Werewolf, Avalon/Resistance, Secret Hitler, and Two Rooms And A Boom. We are always looking for new members, either for our regular weekly games or just for the weekend of PAX South. I'm also on the Introduction To Modern Board Gaming panel. We did the panel last year and had a great turnout with really good feedback so we are looking forward to doing it again. Looking forward to seeing everyone in a few weeks!

  • shavnirshavnir Registered User new member
    edited December 2017
    Is there anywhere that lists more information for the MtG or the other non-Cascade ran tournaments? Just curious about stuff like entry fee, any rules particulars etc etc

    shavnir on
  • GundabadGundabad PAX East & Unplugged Tabletop Manager NJRegistered User regular
    The Magic events have all been added to the PAX schedule not, but I don't have much detail yet otherwise. They will be run by an outside vendor, in similar fashion to how Cascade is running tournaments on those other competitive tracks (and has done so for Magic at many past PAXes). Outside of those competitive tracks, all of the tournaments you see on the PAX schedule are Enforcer-run PAX events, and are free of charge, with registration at Tabletop HQ at 10AM on the day of the tournament. Format, unless otherwise specified, is single elimination. Most of these single-elimination brackets will be just two rounds (one game, with winners advancing to a finals match), but some of the more popular games have enough seats to accommodate a semi-final round as well.

  • shavnirshavnir Registered User new member
    Awesome, thanks for the information. Seating is first come first served for the enforcer ran events correct? Any good as to how fast they usually fill up?

  • KetarKetar Lacks the basic intelligence required for pretty much everythingRegistered User regular
    shavnir wrote: »
    Awesome, thanks for the information. Seating is first come first served for the enforcer ran events correct? Any good as to how fast they usually fill up?

    Get in line early enough that you can be at Tabletop to sign up as close to 10am as possible to be safe. Some tournaments will be full within minutes, others will still have spots open for a while. It really depends on the game and the number of spaces available.

    Sometimes our strengths lie beneath the surface - far beneath, in some cases - but I'm sure there's more to Ketar than meets the eye!
    cmmayo
  • shavnirshavnir Registered User new member
    edited January 2
    All signups start at 10, or was that an example time?

    Sorry for all the questions, many years of GenCon has spoiled me and I've got to get a feel for how things work at PAX.

    Edit : just reread the earlier post about 10am, I blame the cold for my brain being slow today

    shavnir on
  • cmmayocmmayo Registered User new member
    Question regarding tournaments: If I have never played the game, but have a Rahdo-runthrough viewing under my belt and understanding of the basics, do you think it's OK for me to enter a tournament?

    I'd like to check out the gameplay on both Scythe and Terraforming Mars. I play 90%+ of my games solo and I've heard good things about the solo modes of each. So I'd like to play a little of each before making a buying decision...

    ...However, I don't want to ruin the fun of any experienced players that may not want to deal with a newbie.

  • SyrailSyrail Registered User new member
    I can't speak to whether entering a tournament would be kosher, but Scythe and Terraforming Mars are both pretty popular - I'm sure you'll be able to find groups to try them out with at tabletop freeplay.

  • GundabadGundabad PAX East & Unplugged Tabletop Manager NJRegistered User regular
    There's no official rule on it, but we do our best to welcome all experience levels. These are not serious, high-stakes tournaments, so teaching at the table is not uncommon. That being said, the heavier the game, the more it is in your best interest to come ready to play.

    If you are a quick learner, you can absolutely learn games like Scythe and TFM from a reading of the rulebook and viewing a runthrough. If you arrive early enough, you should be able to check the games out at the library. Worst case, if you show up an hour before the tourney, the game will probably already be set up, and you can get a little hands-on time to familiarize yourself with the bits and cards.

  • mgnademgnade DelawareRegistered User regular
    Add Rock Manor Games to the Expo Hall (booth 10284) https://www.facebook.com/events/135566123751091/ - we'll be there demoing Brass Empire and Maximum Apocalypse and will have some future prototypes there as well if you ask one of us nicely :)

    Gundabad
  • nbs2nbs2 Registered User regular
    Gundabad wrote: »
    The Magic events have all been added to the PAX schedule not, but I don't have much detail yet otherwise. They will be run by an outside vendor, in similar fashion to how Cascade is running tournaments on those other competitive tracks (and has done so for Magic at many past PAXes). Outside of those competitive tracks, all of the tournaments you see on the PAX schedule are Enforcer-run PAX events, and are free of charge, with registration at Tabletop HQ at 10AM on the day of the tournament. Format, unless otherwise specified, is single elimination. Most of these single-elimination brackets will be just two rounds (one game, with winners advancing to a finals match), but some of the more popular games have enough seats to accommodate a semi-final round as well.

    So I'm driving to San Antonio tonight and either I'm looking in the wrong spot or there still haven't been any details posted about Magic tournaments. Am I missing the obvious or is this going to be a morning surprise? I'd contact the organizing vendor, but I don't know who they are.

  • japesterjapester Registered User regular
    What time will tabletop freeplay shut down on Sunday? 7PM?

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