Convention Report – Buckeye Game Fest 2016

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What happens when gamers get together and just, y’know play games?! ~

Gary Mengle, 01 October 2016

From September 5-12 wargamers, local and from far away, gathered in Columbus, Ohio for the annual War Room. The War Room is an event that runs in parallel with the Buckeye Game Fest, a show that draws hundreds of gamers from around the region and put on by the Columbus Area Board Gaming Society — the same group that hosts the Board Room at Origins, and which boasts massive attendance at its weekly meetings. Euro games, card games, rail games and racing games — you name it, they’re all on display at Buckeye Game Fest. But the War Room is for wargamers, and we get an extra three days to partake.

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Two big games of East Front OCS ran all week alongside a campaign of The Last Blitzkrieg and a game of Kolin by Clash of Arms, part of the Battles of the Age of Reason series.

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But there were more games on the tables besides the big monsters; the two-map Dark Valley and US Civil War were both played, Twilight Struggle and Combat Commander were both in almost continuous play. Paths of Glory, 1914: Glory’s End and The Lamps are Going Out were played to represent World War I. bgf16-205

Other games included Russian Campaign, Commands & Colors: Napoleonics, Festung Europa, Rebel Raiders on the High Seas and Julius Caesar from Columbia.

BGF is not a dealer-heavy event, but T-Shirts, board games and dice towers were being sold, and the Saturday Consignment store featured a huge quantity of games of all sorts going for prices great and small. Prizes were handed out and everyone registering received a free game — but not, alas, a wargame.

This was my very first BGF, even though I’ve been going to CABS meetings for a couple of years, and it was pretty amazing. Even while the hubbub of BGF was going on, wargamers had a comfortable sanctuary away from it all where wargamers could meet and games great and small could be played. Even big games were put together during the week by players who had never met before.

If you’re interested in board games, you should check out Buckeye Game Fest. If you’re into wargames, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice by not check out its War Room. There’s stuff happening there for every wargamer, whether hardcore or casual.

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