Bakuretsu Con Game Nights at the Brownell Library

A Game of Thrones board game. Photo by François Philipp.

A Game of Thrones board game. Photo by François Philipp.

Bakuretsu Con hosts a monthly game night at the Brownell Library in Essex Junction, starting June 10th. From the Facebook event listing:

Join us for a new Bakuretsu Con hosted event. The Bakuretsu Con Monthly Gaming Night! Come and play board games and card games. There will be plenty of games on hand or bring your own! This event is FREE to the public!

Bakuretsu has hosted anime- and gaming-centric conventions since 2002, when they came on the scene. Recently, they’ve begun sprinkling shorter events throughout the year, in addition to their big three day weekend anime convention in the fall. This latest event is wonderful news. Of late, Vermonters seem spoiled for choice when it comes to places and times to play tabletop games. That Bakuretsu’s partnered with a library is icing on the cake. When geekdoms align, wonderful things happen.

The Vermont Convention Scene

Gen Con 2003. Photo by  Alan De Smet. CC-BY-2.5; CC-BY-3.0.

Gen Con 2003. Photo by Alan De Smet. CC-BY-2.5; CC-BY-3.0.

Word’s getting around that Vermont’s getting its own comic convention in the fall: Vermont Comiccon. Information is sketchy at the moment, beyond the date and place: October 25th and 26th at the Sheraton hotel in South Burlington. The convention’s Facebook page is doling out guest announcements as they come. The prospect of a new convention in Vermont is pretty exciting, so we’re all keeping our eyes peeled for more information as it appears.

Addition: Throughout the 1980s, Greg Giordano ran four instances of Greeen Mountain Comicon, which included guests such as Vermont’s own Steve Bissette, Rick Veitch, Eastman & Laird and several other Mirage Studios guys, Mark Shainblum(Northstar) and Bernie Meirault(The Jam) and others.

Geek conventions in Vermont go back to at least the 90s, from my own personal experience. They’ve never approached the scale of mega-conventions like San Diego Comic Con or Gen Con, owing to Vermont’s population density and the facilities available to host such gatherings. Instead, Vermont conventions tend to be more about catching up with friends you don’t normally get to see, and discovering you share an interest with near-by neighbors.

Crisis Comics hosted comic shows in the Burlington area, which for me, in an age before the ubiquity of online sales, was a bonanza of picking up back issues that local dealers didn’t have. Quarterstaff Games hosted seven occasions of Northeast Wars, all about tabletop gaming. After Northeast Wars became dormant, Carnage picked up the tabletop convention torch and carries to this day in the Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire. The Society for Creative Anachronism’s shire of Panther Vale — comprising the northeast quadrant of Vermont — began hosting Pantheria, a weekend-long outdoor gathering, in 1996.

In 2002, Bakuretsucon kicked off as a combination anime and gaming convention in the Burlington area. After a couple years, gaming spun off as Lore Con, while Bakuretsu focused on anime and moved to the fall, steadily growing in vibrancy every year as they descend upon Colchester. Northeast Wars briefly revived for a couple years, before returning to dormancy. The oft-missed Langdon Street Cafe in Montpelier hosted Geek Week annually until its final closing, dedicating each night of a whole week to a different area of geekiness. Green Mountain Gamers formed in 2010 to host mini-convention style game days throughout the state all year round.

Of course, those are only the conventions and convention-like events of which I’m aware. There are few works on the subject, none of which focus on Vermont in particular. If you have memories of conventions past, or information of conventions to come, share in the comments below.

Bakuretsu Con One Day Event: Open Beta

Bakuretsu Con, Vermont’s anime convention, has begun to branch out into throwing more events through the year. In Colchester on June 29th, Bakuretsu Con holds Open Beta, dovetailing with the 2013 convention’s theme of MMORPGs.

If you need your convention fix, but can’t spare a whole weekend, here’s your solution. Open Beta is a whole convention compressed into a single day, with “panels, video games, table top games, Weiβ Schwarz tournament, and fun activities & prizes!”

Vermont Tabletop Gaming Round-up

A Game of Thrones board game. Photo by François Philipp.

A Game of Thrones board game. Photo by François Philipp.

There must be something in the weather, because new opportunities to get out, meet new people and play tabletop games are springing up all over the state. Let’s take a look at the state of play in open gaming events as it currently stands, divided up by regions of the state.

Central Vermont

Northeast Kingdom

  • Border Board Games meets monthly at the Derby Line village hall for an evening of friendly gaming, usually on the third Saturday.
  • Parker Pie in West Glover hosts a Tuesday night game gathering, according to a recent Facebook update from Green Mountain Gamers.

Northwestern Vermont

  • Bakuretsucon, Vermont’s anime convention, includes an open gaming space as part of the festivities.
  • Fall-loha is a Burlington area game day hosted by Green Mountain Gamers at some point in the fall.
  • Quarterstaff Games hosts themed game nights all week long in downtown Burlington. Area of focus include board games, Magic: The Gathering, Legend of the 5 Rings, other card games, Warhammer, Warmachine, Dungeons & Dragons and the Pathfinder Society living role-playing campaign.
  • Vermont Gaming Community is a new Facebook community based out of Winooski. They regularly host Magic and board game nights at the moment, with occasional LAN parties.
  • Westford Strategy Board Gaming meets periodically in the Westford area.

Southwestern Vermont

  • Gamers Grotto in Bennington has a full calendar of daily gaming activities. They cover tabletop and video games, with the analog focusing on MagicNaruto and Warhammer.

Statewide

  • 802 MTG is a Facebook group serving as an access point for Magic players all around Vermont.
  • Green Mountain Gamers is an independent social network for Vermont gamers to meet each other and share news of what’s going on. They also host a series of game days around the state.
  • Tru Gaming VT connects players via events and Facebook.

Upper Valley

  • Carnage is an annual weekend convention of gaming, convening in Killington, Vermont in early November.
  • The Colatina Exit in Bradford sees the playing of board games every third Monday. The organizer advertises them via Facebook.
  • Fairlee Public Library‘s after school programming includes gaming on Thursdays. Tonight, May 24th, they’re experimenting with a evening board game night, too.
  • MEGA Spring Meltdown recently became the Green Mountain Gamers’ longest event, held at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee.[1]
  • Triple Play, a hop over the Connecticut River in West Lebanon, New Hampshire, offers in-store gaming most nights of the week, offering board games, miniatures, card games and more.

Have we missed something? Let us know in the comments.


[1] Green Mountain Gamers also host two game days that float around Vermont. Visit their website for details.

BakuretsuCon

Anime fans in Vermont have one convention where they can call home: Bakuretsucon. The website for this year’s convention is now up online, with registration for regular guests and artists now open. The convention will be held this year at the Hampton Inn & Conference Center in Colchester from October 20th through the 23rd.

Memberships are now avaliable at $40 through September 1st. Children from 7-12 are $30, and a children’s form must be filled out for them. The convention is also looking for volunteers, with generous reimbursements off of the ticket price.

Guests this year include Greg Ayres, Chris Ayres, Chris Cason, S.S. Icarus, Scott Melzer (NoN.D.E. Fanfilms) and Jon Miller (NoN.D.E. Fanfilms).

Run by the Anime Society of Vermont, Bakuretsu Con has everything an anime fan could look for, Vendors, Artists Alley, Panels, Workshops, Hall Cosplay Contest, Cosplay Chess, Import Video Games, Guests, Game Shows, Board Gaming area, a Japanese Cafe, Manga library, and some of the friendliest attendees you’ve ever seen, according to their website.

For more information, visit http://www.bakuretsucon.org.