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View Full Version : Review of Southern Front Gaming convention in Raleigh, NC



WhiteTiger
10-12-2009, 05:41 PM
If you are into historical miniatures and you want to go to a convention then you might
want to check out the Southern Front Convention that is held yearly in Raleigh, NC during the Late September – Early October time of year. I decided to do this short review since this is my 2nd time going and I thought it deserved to be mentioned.

It is not a huge convention but it is growing. This year they have hit a new high of 228 attendees. If gamers can get enough word out then there maybe a chance of breaking 250 next year. This convention’s main highlights are Civil War, World War 1, World War 2, Napoleonics, War of independence & Ancients. This also includes Air combat (World War 1, WW2 & Korea) and Sea Combat (from Wooden Ships all the way up to Battleships). There is also a Flames of War tournament and a Circus Maximus tournament (Chariot racing). There are also a couple of Sci-fi & fantasy games to help introduce young kids into gaming. There are also a few demo games from some of the local GM’s using their own home grown rules.

There are a basic 6 time zones for games.

1: Friday Afternoon (1 – 5)
2: Friday Evening (7 – 11)
3: Saturday morning (9 – 1)
4: Saturday afternoon (2 – 6)
5: Saturday night (8 – Midnight)
6: Sunday late morning (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.)

I can say that I managed to get into a game in every time zone and all of them were a lot of fun. It is held at a large Hilton Hotel on Wake Forest Drive in Raleigh. The cost for a room is kinda steep for those of you on a tight budget which is $105 per night. The atmosphere is very adult and fairly well organized. The entry fee is really cheap at $20 for the whole weekend and you can prereg for a mere $15. The staff & GM’s are all very knowledgeable and are very open to teaching newbies. There is also one more small caveat. The con is held in a single large room and during Saturday’s games, it got pretty cramped. I hope that for next year they have a slightly bigger budget to rent some more space from the hotel.

The dealers are pretty cool and some are even willing to haggle which can be a real bonus as some people snagged some really good deals. Sunday morning is a good time since it’s not crowded and they are more amiable to give you a good deal so they have less to lug home which is good for everyone. Food is expensive within the hotel which means you’ll have to drive around to get food but you can get pizza & Chinese take-out delivered.



All in all, this is very good small Con that allows you to get immersed into the games without feeling overwhelmed by the Big cons. If you live within an hour’s drive… you’d be crazy not to go since this is one of the cheapest forms of entertainment that I’ve ever seen. If you live 2 or more hours away and need a room then be prepared for the sticker shock for the room. Personally, I use My AAA card and other points and coupons and stay at a cheaper hotel. The choice is up to you.

Pros:

Cheap
Tons of Gaming fun to be had by all
Above Average organization
Easy to get to – Right off the interstate


Cons:

Hotel is expensive for all things (lodging & food)
It will most likely need more space in future.

Final Score: 9 out of 10 – If local. 8 out of 10 - If you have to travel.

Very good to Excellent