Last month, I had the great pleasure of attending StabCon South's springtime event at the Jurys Inn in Southampton.
The southern variant of StabCon, a regular, long-running event in Stockport (Manchester for the less geographically inclined).
The focus is on board gaming. There's no panels, no workshops, just good ol' fashioned worker placement. Oh, and quite a few tabletop RPG one-shots. And a sci-fi ship crew simulator!
StabCon is local to us, so we didn't bother with accommodation. However, being located in central Southampton, and in a hotel to boot, there were lots of very affordable options for out-of-towners. We ran into people who had travelled from as far away as High Wycombe, and also Isle of Wighters in for the weekend.
You also had the option of just not leaving the event! It ran 24/7 from 11am on Friday til 11pm on Sunday. A true test of endurance for any self-proclaimed gamer!
With a strict focus on tabletop RPGs and board gaming, there isn't a cosplay element to this event. So we went as boring ol' us. Womp womp.
With the venue being located in central Southampton, close to London Road, there's a plethora of options. There's the restaurant in the hotel itself, which is exactly what you'd expect: a bit overpriced, but damned convenient, especially given the dismal weather this weekend. But go a bit further afield and options abound: MexiGo, Starbucks, pubs, Subway, etc...
We've been several times before, and it's a great, low-key way to spend a weekend. It's also an amazing opportunity to dabble in a hobby that frankly can be a little intimidating and have a high cost to enter. Everyone contributes to the available games and helps with teaching newbies, so it's a good way to try out new games.
If you're interested in attending, the next event will be in June, with a focus on extremely long, crunchy games. The next standard Stabcon South is in October, with more information here. You can keep up with them on Facebook, and pricing is generally £15 for the entire weekend.
Additionally, the original Stabcon is coming up, and you can find more information here.