Each February, tabletop aficionados and gamers gather for DunDraCon, a full weekend of tabletop. This year’s event was no exception, as attendees gathered for games of all types and sizes across four days.
So how was DunDraCon 2023, and what is there for attendees to look forward to?
Whether you’re a wargamer invested in massive tabletop skirmishes or a hobbyist looking for a few rounds of a new game you picked up, DunDraCon has room for it. The convention had multiple rooms for games of all sorts, including an open gaming area, wargaming area, and a massive library of games for players to borrow.
Some players went all out with sprawling setups, covering entire tables with armies of miniatures. Others would sit down at an open table, set up a “Players Wanted” sign and see who’d join in. Of course, there were also plenty of collectible card games to be played as well, with “Magic: The Gathering” tournaments for every format. Gamers of all levels of experience and preferences could find something worth playing there.
Players could also stop by the Protospiel room to try out new games that designers are working on. The designers were happy to demonstrate their works in progress and gather feedback, giving players a sneak peek at what’s to come.
Of course, not all games were done on a drop-in basis. DunDraCon’s schedule was packed with scheduled games that players could sign up for in advance, often tabletop RPGs, LARPs, and similar games. Game masters would submit their games on the DunDraCon website, where players could then sign up and save a spot.
The convention also hosted Starfinder and Pathfinder Society, the organized play systems for Paizo’s RPGs. While the room was on the small side (and hopefully next year they’ll have a larger room), it was always busy as players gathered to explore new adventures in Pathfinder 2nd edition or take to the stars in Starfinder.
Dungeons & Dragons Adventurers League was not present this year, although many are hoping it will return for 2024.
What’s a convention without a dealer’s hall? DunDraCon has one of the best dealer’s halls for anyone looking to buy new games, dice, miniatures, or any other gaming accessories (or decals, or Hawaiian shirts). Some dealers had sprawling walls filled with games, others sold a selection of 3D printed dice towers, and local game stores also set up booths to sell their goods. (As always, it’s recommended to shop around and check prices before buying anything, because prices could often vary between booths.)
The weekend concluded with a swap meet, where attendees could sell their old games and accessories. The swap meet room was crowded and bustling as interested buyers sought out great deals on gently-used games, or even better deals on less-than-gently used ones.
And for those who wanted to pick up something but didn’t want to spend, there was even a Freecycle table where people could donate old games.
One of the best places to spend time at DunDraCon was undoubtedly the miniature painting room. Throughout the weekend, attendees could sit down, grab a free miniature, and paint it up however their hearts desired, with helpful tips from the experienced team running the room.
Saturday and Sunday included miniature painting contests, where attendees could pick an upainted mini (or bring their own), spend the day painting it, then submit it for voting by other attendees. There was some fierce competition this year, with skilled painters breaking out all their best tricks to win, and there were some incredible miniatures on display.
That’s just the tip of the DunDraCon iceberg. Other attractions included:
- A room for costumers, reenactors, and anyone who enjoys beating their friends with foam swords
- Outdoors combat demos
- Multiple panels and seminars, covering everything from the history of games to great debates in wargaming
- Anime screening rooms (featuring no shortage of isekai series)
- The Convergence of Costumes, where cosplayers paraded through the hotel and participated in a free raffle
DunDraCon 2023 provided plenty of entertainment and no shortage of games to try, making it a great event for anyone looking to enjoy a long weekend filled with games. DunDraCon will return in 2024, and it will be exciting to see what new games and activities come with it.