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Council of Five Nations - Adventure Gaming Convention - General Information Overview - Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Saratoga, NY

Council of Five Nations XL

Friday, October 5- Sunday, October 7, 2018

General Information Overview

Last Update: Friday, Feb. 16, 2018

Council of Five Nations is the SWA's annual gaming convention, held every year in early Autumn. It is one of the longest-running adventure gaming conventions in the world. We'll be sponsoring our 41th Council on Oct 5-Oct 7, 2018.

If you have specific questions or requests, please email us at council /at/ swa-gaming.org.

(please replace the "/at/" with the standard "@". We apologize for this necessary anti-spam measure).

The Council of Five Nations Philosophy

Council strives toward the goal of "quality over quantity". We're a medium-sized con, but we try to have top-notch events. We predict an attendance of about 350 this year. As with all the Councils over the years, our goal is a nice balance between role-play games, miniatures, board games and other stuff.

The facility: Proctor's Theatre & Conference Center

Council will once again be held at the Proctor's Theatre and Conference Center, in the heart of downtown Schenectady, New York. You can learn more about Proctor's, a classic Vaudeville theatre, at their web site.

Schenectady, New York is:
  • About 3 hours north of New York City
  • About 4 hours south of Montreal, Quebec
  • About 4 hours east of Buffalo, New York
  • About 3 hours west of Boston, Massachusetts

Student Discounts

As we all know, the economy has been limping along for a few years now.  We're doing some things to help make it easier for you to attend a Council of Five Nations weekend getaway:
  1. We are keeping our discounted entry fee for full-time students.  Kids age 9 or younger still get in free.  All other full-time students get in at half-price.  All students still pay for individual event tickets (most are only $2 each).
  2. We are keeping our very generous GM policy - run an event and get your whole weekend registration fee waived.  GMs only pay for individual event tickets.


We have a convention web page dedicated to the hotel options we think are best for Council attendees.  There is a good variety of price points and commute distances; something for everyone. Some choices are literally next door to the Council facility, and others are within a 15 minute drive.  Please check them out here:

Council of Five Nations Hotels

Travel to Council of Five Nations

Council of Five Nations pulls most of its attendees from around the Northeastern United States. But every year we have a bunch that travel from beyond a 4-hour drive radius.

By Air
If you are flying to Council, you will want to fly to Albany International Airport (code ALB). 
Fun trivia fact: Albany was the very first "international" airport established in the United States (probably because we had flights to Canada).

Albany Airport is roughly a 20-25 minute drive from the Council facility.  Many of our hotels offer a shuttle service to/from the airport.

By Train
If you are taking an Amtrak train, you want to go to the Schenectady, New York station. The Amtrak station is literally around the corner from Proctors, the host facility for Council. It is an easy walk, as long as you're not bringing too much luggage.

By Bus
There is a small bus station in downtown Schenectady, New York.  It too is within a reasonable walking distance of Proctors (about half a mile).

The Council Discount Auction

The Discount Game Auction is one of our most popular events, and a long-time Council tradition.  It will be happening again this year during the long lunch break on Council Sunday, from 2:00-3:00 PM. We'll have over a hundred games and other gaming-related merchandise available.  This is an open, competitive bidding auction. If you've got some games you'd like to sell, this is your chance to do so.  If you've got a few bucks left in your pocket at the end of Council weekend, this is also an opportunity for you to pick up some bargains. If you'd like to sell merchandise at our auction (any Council attendee is welcome to do so), please click here to download the Council Auction Seller's materials in PDF format  (350 Kb). The Auction packet is now updated with newer and better PDF technology.  It's easier then ever to prepare your goods for sale.

Why do you call it Council of Five Nations?

Council of Five Nations Iroquois Warrior Logo
The Native American Iroquois tribes called the Upstate New York area their home. Each autumn, there would be a great gathering of the five (later six) tribes, or nations.  You can click here for the Wikipedia page that gives a lot more information, and related links. 

We call our annual convention The Council of Five Nations in homage to the Iroquois autumn gatherings from long before most of us had ancestors here. This is also the source of the official Council logo, the Iroquois warrior.

Questions or Comments?

You can contact us directly at council /at/ swa-gaming.org
(please replace the "/at/" with the standard "@".  We apologize for this necessary anti-spam measure).

You can also call Dave at (518) 464-1977, any day until about 11pm Eastern time.

For more information about the convention...

    Please click for Directions to Council of Five Nations.

    Please click for the Council Hotels page.

    Please click for the Council Parking page.

    Please click for Downtown Schenectady resources for Dining, Shopping, and a Visitor's Map.

If you have any questions, please email us at Council /at/ swa-gaming.org

(Please replace the "/at/" with the typical "@" sign.  We apologize for this anti-spam measure.)

Council of Five Nations
Iroquois Warrior Logo

Curious about the kind of events we've had in the past?

You can click on these links to see the full event listings for the past several years of Council of Five Nations.

When you're browsing, it might help to know the following... 

Councils 20-28 were all held at the Studio of Bridge and Games / Price Chopper Community Room.  Space there was limited, we had fewer time slots, and we averaged around 100 attendees over those years. 

In 2006 (Council 29), we made the jump to a hotel.  We doubled the number of events offered.  It was a great success, and our attendance jumped to over 200.  Councils 30-39 in 2007-2016 were at our current location, the Proctors Conference Center.  Our attendance has climbed to the 350-ish range in recent years.

Council of Five Nations
Iroquois Warrior Logo