Tabletop Games at PAX WEST 2018

Tabletop Games at PAX WEST 2018

August 29, 2018 Off By Dan

There’s a lot of tabletop gaming to be had at PAX WEST 2018, a gaming convention in Seattle that will host 100,000 people this Labor Day weekend. Let’s get right into what they have in store. I’m going to break this into broad categories, starting with the big names, and moving into bespoke activities.

Twitter Updates

For up-to-the-minute information on tabletop games at PAX WEST 2018, follow TT_HQ on Twitter.

Wizards of the Coast

Dungeons & Dragons:

Wizards of the Coast kindly curated all of their events, shows, and open play information in an article that you can find here.


Magic: The Gathering:

You can find the official Magic booth at Sky7 (Level 4, Skybridge) where you can learn to play Magic. If you’re looking for events, you’ll have to head to Mox Boarding House in Ballard, where Wizards is running events Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings, with special guests. They’ve also got a panel:

…a panel Saturday, September 1, at 6:30 p.m. in the Sasquatch Theater at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel. We’ll have product previews, worldbuilding highlights, and, if you’re lucky, some card previews. These panels are always big draws, so come early, ask questions, and meet the people who make Magic happen. Hosted by Josh Lee Kwai.

This is all mentioned in this article here.

Other Panels

A Game of Thrones: The Board Game

  • FRI 08/31 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Hyatt Olive 8, 3rd Level Cobalt Room. Max of 6 players. Single elimination. Event tickets available beginning Friday 10:00 AM at Tourney HQ in Olive 8 Ballroom.

Power Word: Rock! The History of D&D and Heavy Metal

  • FRI 08/31 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Dragons, sick elves with black swords, hordes of onrushing orcs…D&D has always used the imagery of heavy metal. Were Gary and Dave rocking out to Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin when they were writing the first edition? If not, when did power chords and Power Word: Kill first join forces? Join Adam Koebel (Dungeon World), Luke Crane (Burning Wheel), and Radek Drozdalski (Burning Wheel) as they tell a tale of nerds in basements and the music they listened to.


Luke Crane [Ancient Mariner, The Burning Wheel], Adam Koebel [Snake Fighter, Dungeon World], Drozdal [Blind Guardian, The Burning Wheel]

The Improv. Roleplayers Handbook ‘2nd Edition’

  • FRI 08/31 10:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Role-playing isn’t all about the DM. It’s about the whole group of players, and the amazing stories they tell together. By leveraging Improvisation, players can learn how to better build each other up, support each other, succeed together, and fail together. Our gang of intrepid improvisational adventurers/gaming veterans, return with a new installment of their unpredictable quest, bringing new approaches, new genres, and a few old favorites, based on feedback from the packed out 2017 panel.


James Trott [Microsoft], Amber Eagar [Electronic Arts], Lisa Trott [Nintendo], David Ruttka [Microsoft], Michael Robles [Self]

Tabletop Storytelling: Narrative in Card and Board Games

  • SAT 09/01 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Card and board games use art and text to evoke everything from magic spells to political machinations. How do you tell a story when the players can encounter cards in any order? How do you develop characters in a scrap of flavor text? The industry veterans on our panel have worked on games like Magic: The Gathering, Legend of the Five Rings, and Arkham Horror. They’ll talk about how they bring their worlds to life, from card design to tie-in media and beyond.


Fred Wan [Narrative Designer], Alison Luhrs [Narrative Designer, Wizards of the Coast], Kelly Digges [Writer], Annie VanderMeer Mitsoda [Writer, DoubleBear Productions], Leah Miller [Designer and Writer, Fangirl Nation]

Open Play

Tabletop Freeplay

Looking to get off your feet, and play a game with some friends (or friendly strangers?) Tabletop Freeplay has hundreds of tables and a lending library where you can check out games similar to how you might check out books in one of those other libraries.

You can find the freeplay games in the following locations of the Washington State Convention Center: Rms. 201, 202, 203, 205, 301, 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 307, 308, 309, 310

For a list of their collection, see here: PAXTT Board Game Collection

First Look Showcase

From BoardGameGeek:

The First Look area showcases the latest releases from Gen Con, and will be located in the Hyatt Olive 8 Hotel, 3rd Floor Ballroom, and open during all show hours (Fri, Sat, & Sun: 10AM to Midnight, Mon: 10AM to 5PM). The PAX Enforcers are our show staff, and the First Look area comprises a team of Enforcers ready to help keep games set up/assist in rules teaching (we’ll be doing a lot of homework to learn these new games!).

Link: First Look Games at PAX West 2018

Indie MegaBooth Tabletop Games

The Indie MegaBooth, in the back of the 4th floor of the convention center, includes a number of board games this year! You can find a link to every one of them below, with a description directly from each game’s Indie MegaBooth website:

  • BeRrY is a competitive, two-player, abstract strategy game built exclusively for Blinks – the phygital tabletop game system.
  • Confabula Rasa is a cooperative word construction and storytelling game for two to eight players featuring a deck of word fragment cards.
  • In Congress: The Board Game, you and your fellow senators compete to earn the most nomination points (“NP”) in order to secure the nomination for the U.S. presidency.
  • Cult Following is a creative storytelling game about making ridiculous cults and pitching them to your friends.
  • Dusk: Arena of Shadows is a 2-6 player arena combat game that uses large scale miniatures and deck construction to create a MOBA-like experience on the table top.
  • Escape The Fest! is the first tabletop game where players race to find things so they can escape the festival!
  • New Beeginnings is a 1-6 player gateway 4X (strategy exploration) game with all of the elements of a heavy 4X game, with a fun, educational theme, and without the 4+ hour time commitment.
  • Snap Ships is a modular, 3D printed construction toy that lets you build fantastic looking, totally unique, miniature spaceships.
  • Alone or with a team of friends, players work together to guide their SolForce soldiers deeper and deeper into The Pit.
  • UFO a Go-Go – The Space Party Showdown
  • Zer0 Inbox is a party board game relying on both strategy and chance.

60 “Tabletop Tourney’ Tournaments

THERE ARE 60 TABLETOP GAME TOURNAMENTS AT PAX WEST 2018, holy moly. Here’s a link to the full schedule of tournaments, starting at 10 AM on Friday and going through 5 PM on Monday: PAX WEST 2018 Tabletop Tourney Schedule

And More!

For information on events and other tabletop game related goodies we may have missed, see this very thorough Penny Arcade Forum post here: Everything Board Game/Tabletop/RPG at and around PAX West 2018 – a Consolidated List