[game pieces]

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

Council of Five Nations XXXIX

September 23-25, 2016

General Information Overview

Last Update: Thursday, August 25, 2016

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 39th Council on September 23-25, 2016.

Please use the links below to get the most up-to-date info on the status of the convention.

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 latest news - as of August 25, 2016

Pre-Registration material is now available!

You can download the entire pre-registration packet in PDF format from our Downloads page.

You can also browse the full event schedule online here.

And you can pre-register online (with immediate PayPal or credit card payment) here.

I want to run an event - is it too late?

Yes.  Our event schedule is full.  We are happy to offer over 225 event tables over the course of this year's Council weekend, and that will take up most of our tables.

When you register to attend, please be sure to mark the box on the form to indicate you would like to be on our GM contact list.  You'll get special notices when we are recruiting games for our future events.

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 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 (please click here)

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

We've had a good experience at Proctor's for several years now.  We've also learned a lot since our first year there in 2007, so things get a little better every year.  The Registration Area is on the main floor, very easy to find.  We have games on three levels (all serviced by two elevators): first floor, second floor, and basement.

Signature Event: Pathfinder Society RPGPathfinder
Society RPG at Council of Five Nations

Join the New York Capital Region Pathfinder Lodge as we embark on our 7th year at Council.  We plan on making it the biggest, most exciting, one yet.

The Pathfinder Society (PFS) is an organization of explorers, vagabonds, sages, and treasure hunters determined to plumb the depths of the darkest tombs, and collect relics and lore from bygone ages. Pathfinder Society Organized Play is a constantly evolving mega-campaign played by thousands of players from around the world. PFS, uses the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game system, which is an evolution of the 3.5 rules set of the world's oldest fantasy roleplaying game.

Please see the Warhorn page for a full listing of the adventure modules we will be offering at this year's Council.

Learn all about the NY Capital Region Pathfinder Lodge on our Facebook page:


Star Trek 50th Anniversary Celebration & Star Fleet GamingStar Fleet
Battles at Council of Five Nations

The first episode of Star Trek aired on NBC in September of 1966.  Council of Five Nations is very happy to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of this cultural phenomenon with a weekend-long programming event track.

Our goal is to have several good Star Trek / Star Fleet–themed games in every time slot.  We want to offer the whole gaming spectrum  – board games, RPGs, miniatures, card games…  everything! 

Council of Five Nations is also proud to host the largest, best Face-to-Face Star Fleet Battles tournament in the whole world.  We've been one of the Top Five largest since 2002, and we became the largest about five years ago.  Players from all over the country, and even internationally, travel to Council every year to play against the best.

With ADB announcing they will no longer attend Origins, we are making a special effort to welcome all Star Fleet Universe gamers.  We want to expand our appeal beyond tournament SFB.  If you are a fan of the following games, we would love to see you at Council this year and many years into the future:
  • Federation & Empire
  • Star Fleet Miniatures
  • Federation Commander
  • A Call to Arms: Star Fleet
  • Star Fleet Role-Play
  • Non-tournament Star Fleet Battles
  • Any and all Star Fleet Universe games!
The Artemis Starship Simulator was a big success last year, so we're bringing it back for the whole weekend this year. 

We're always willing to teach SFU games to new people. There will be a coupon in your registration packet good for a free game of Star Fleet Battles. Guaranteed to be redeemable any time before 1:00pm on Saturday, and we can probably find someone to train you later in the weekend too.

We have a special page dedicated to our Star Trek and Star Fleet gaming at Council of Five Nations.  Please click the link to check it out.  We will be updating this page often.

RPGA D&D at Council of Five Nations Adventure
Gaming Tournament

Signature Event:  Dungeons & Dragons Adventure League

Once again we will have a D&D Adventure League games running all day Saturday and Sunday.

Please visit the Warhorn page for a full listing of the modules we will be offering.

Signature Event:  Battleground: Fantasy & Historical WarfareBattleground Fantasy Warfare at Council of Five Nations
Adventure Gaming Tournament

Council hosts one of the largest gatherings of BFW players in the country each year.  We will continue that tradition in 2016 with a weekend campaign that will span all of Saturday and Sunday. You can play in as many or as few battles as you like. You have the flexibility to drop in and out all weekend. Games will be both 1-on-1 and larger group battles. We will also have a warm-up event on Friday.

You can get more details and follow/participate in the online discussion at the Your Move Games Forums.


We expanded the vendor area to 1500 square feet last year, and we think that went over very well.  Here is the roster of vendors that we expect to attend once again this year (with maybe one or two more squeezed in).

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 the main Council general info page.

    Please click to download the Council Pre-Registration packet in PDF format.

    Please click to Pre-Register via the online form (with immediate PayPal or Credit Card payment).

    Please click for the pre-registration booklet informational text (the stuff besides the event listings).

    Please click here to see all our Special Interest Event Tracks.

    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.

Web pages highlighting our game events and special event tracks

    Please click to go to the Chronological listing of all events.

    Please click for the list of Kids games.

    Please click for the Board Game Geek Top 50 event track page.

    Please click for the Star Trek at 50 event track page.

    Please click for the Star Fleet Battles tournament page.

    Please click for the events in the Council Wargame Room.

    Please click to see options to play qualifying games for the SWA's Northeast TITAN Championship tournament..

    Please click for the Battleground: Fantasy & Historical Warfare event track page.

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 30-35 in 2007-2013 were at our current location, the Proctors Conference Center.  Our attendance has climbed to the 300-ish range in recent years, and we expect around that many for 2015, especially with our recent 50% expansion of space and tables.

Council of Five Nations
Iroquois Warrior Logo