Origins Game Fair: Do Your Homework!

Welcome back to another discussion on all things Origins related! Today I want to cover some prep work you can do before you arrive that first day that will help make the most of the con for you. When it comes to prep work, the more you know about the vendors, the opportunities and the events the easier and more enjoyable your experience will be.

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There are a number of ways to purchase games at Origins, but one of the most important things we tend to forget is that when this many gamers come together, we can treat this like an old-school trading card swap and trade games also! Over at there are a number of resources to help you get the most out of trading your unwanted games for someone else’s. The links for those pages in 2018 are as follows:


Math Trade:

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A Math trade is a simple way to get lots of people trading at once. In this link you will find the submission thread. I would recommend reading more if you are unfamiliar. But basically you offer your trades, pick from everyone else’s trades and the computer will match them as close to possible. It is a great way to move some stuff you don’t want and get some new-to-you things. The group meets on Saturday mornings, but some people will try and knock out trades during the con if they have an event on Saturday at that time.




Virtual Flea Market:

The virtual flea market allows bgg users to buy and trade their games and have Origins-convenient pick up and drop off. There are always a large number of games on here and  you will often find a diamond in the rough for yourself. Purchases can be done on your own or in the large group that meets for the Math trade on Saturday morning.


Origins Preview 2018:

Every year, BGG puts together an awesome preview of all things Origins-new releases, companies that are coming, and all that great background. You can use this to help determine what games might be on your radar for the upcoming season and keep track of them all at once!

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Other things you need to do your homework on are the events and ribbons. We talked about badge and event registration last time, but here is some info on the ribbons you can purchase from their website.


The Origins Ribbon Program is a great way to play in an area for one price the whole show! Purchasing a ribbon allows you unlimited play in events or areas covered by the associated ribbon. You can also get tickets to associated events at no cost. The registration system will automatically discount your event tickets if you purchase the ribbon first then add events to it.

Seating for ribboned events are prioritized as follows.

1. Ticket holders (this includes $0 event tickets purchased with a ribbon)
2. People with ribbons (do not need generics or tickets)
3. People with generics

Company Sponsored Areas

1. Mayfair ($20) – Gives free access to the Mayfair Games room (D130). D Hall events (Catan North American Championship Tournament Qualifier) are excluded.
2. Rio Grande (Free) – Gives free access to the Rio Grande (E150-E151) room featuring their events. This ribbon is free of charge and only available in the Rio Grande room at the show.
3. Upper Deck ($20) – Gives access to the Upper Deck area (D Hall/D100).

Origins Program Areas

1. Amtgard ($20) – Unlimited play in Amtgard events (Hyatt/1st floor – Hayes Room).
2. Board Room ($20) – Gives access to the Board Room. Open tabletop gaming using the CABS’ library of over a thousand titles D Hall).
3. Electronic Game Room ($20) – Unlimited play in the Electronic Game Room (Grand Ballroom 2).
4. H.O.T. Historical Operational Tactics ($20) – Grants free play in select historical miniature events – see the Event Grid for event listings –  (F Hall).
5. Origins After Dark ($20) – Free play in the Origins After Dark events. These events begin at 6pm each evening and are geared towards our 18+ attendees.
6. Puffing Billy ($20) – Free play in all Puffing Billy train game events (TGA area, D Hall).
7. War College ($20) – Free access to select seminars – see the Event Grid for event listings –  (Upper C rooms)
8. Werewolf ($10) – Allows free entry to all “Are You a Werewolf” events (Terrace Ballroom 4).



That’s it for this article-next we will cover more details that can help make your Origins Game Fair experience the best it can be!

Check out part 1 of this series here: Part 1: Preparing for your trip





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