In about three weeks I have The Mechanicon! Mechanicon has solidified itself as my personal favorite, not because of it's big numbers or grand scheme ala The Nova, but more for it's personal touch, family atmosphere and attention to the hobby. Mostly the latter of the points. Yes, I won Mechanicon last year, and yes I won only because of my painting. My paint score vaulted me into the win at the end! This also helped me with my 3rd place finish the year before. So yes, a guy who paints well, and plays hard on the table does have an advantage. Some people hate this and cry out for more traditional scoring, but I say NAY!
But also, and I have said this many times, The Mechanicon is about the friendly atmosphere. You don't see a lot of open gaming on Friday night at most events. But at Mechanicon guys come to play! The social crowd is there and happening until the wee hours of the morning. I have met some of the best people I know at The Mechanicon. If you have not been, you definitely should try to make it. The pricetag is steep, but the weekend is worth it.
Then comes The Conflict GT. If you want a good ole battle point kill fest, and it seems that these are more and more rare nowadays, The Conflict is for you. The Conflict is the weekend of Jan 13th and held at the Palisades Mall just north of New York City. The Conflict was predominantly a Fantasy event, with 40k only being added a couple years ago. The first year there was only 30 or so 40k players and it was marred by whack comp scores and iffy judging. The 40k tournament was the red headed step child to it's much bigger Fantasy event.
But Aaron the TO caught hell online! 40k blogging was still in it's infancy and Fritz and I pulled no punches. To his credit, Aaron listened to every thing, joined the communities and engaged people in conversation, and made things right. I don't know the numbers but believe that every year since the conflict has grown by 30 or so players, with last year having close to 90? The second year was a big improvement with Aaron knocking it out last year. He dropped the comp scores. He created a transparent rules packet that clearly defined questionable calls. And he scored a new venue! All of the above combine into a win for The Conflict. It is a hard hitting, in your face event where you are sure to run up against the bets the North East has to offer.
The keystone of The Conflict is The Conflict Cup. Guys can arrange themselves in teams of 4 crossing over WFB and 40k, and total up their scores. The highest score wins! This throws in some extra bragging rights. Also, this year Aaron is adding more to the pot. Doubles on Friday, as well as 'other' game systems Flames of War and Warmachines! This may be a little ambitious on Aaron's part, but I admire his gumption!
Look for me to be playing in the doubles on Friday and the GT. Who is my doubles partner? Undecided, but if Fritz's necrons are nearly as fearful as I suspect they will be, I think he and I will have a go. It is time for him to stop being a tournament liability! You hear me Fritz??? And for my conflict team, the details are being ironed out, but I believe all of us went unteamed a couple years ago, but finished with a 1st, 2nd and 4th on the 40k side and a 1st on the Fantasy. I am fuzzy on the unimportant details, but they don't matter What is important is that this year it seems the stars will align and we will be swinging a pretty big cudgel of gaming goodness. More to come on that bit soon.
Now what else is there? Well I have a fairly big 40k wish list. Top of the list? The Feast of Blades!
The Feast of Blades is a huge GT brewing up over in Colorado. What makes the Fob stand out the most is the format. Essentially, it is a 40k championship. In order to attend the FoB, you have to do well at a qualifier at a local store and move on! What started out as a Colorado thing has now turned into an event spanning 32 stores over seven states! And the TO plans on going bigger in the future. How cool would it be to have a national FoB where each state holds qualifiers to send the best of the best. (Not cool for me since I live in the same state as Alex Fennel, Sean Nayden and Ragnar... die die die)
But there is more to it than just a "championship". There are "Open" GTs in 40k and Fantasy, as well as tournaments for Warmachine, Hordes, Infinity and there is a Narrative track event! Something for every one!
My favorite innovation is the Feats of Strength. There will be a number of mini achievements such as killing five kill points with a single unit. As you achieve the qoals you will be given a FoB custom cast purity seal! Pretty fun addition to an already cool weekend.
I definitely plan on making it out to this one sooner or later. Sounds great!
The Feast of Blades is held on November 4th in Denver Colorado.
Adepticon goes without saying. It is THE 40k pilgrimage in the USA. I have never been, and every year get closer and closer to pulling that trigger. The Nova Open is knocking hard at the door, but has yet to dethrone the king. Looking at the site I see nothing but a drool fest. Pod casting, live video, just about every internet celebrity on the planet and yes, 40k. Hopefully I will make it this year and have more to say!
I refuse to call it Wargamescon. Larry has been given the ultimatum. Change the name back or I wont go! :) Just kidding. I was at the first Bolscon and had a great time. Fritz and I dropped the challenge on Jwolf and both of us were sent packing. Though my game was close while Fritz got owned. We had planned to attend the 2nd year and run an apocalypse game, but life happened and that was not possible. I have not made it back since. I hope to change that this year and get Bolscon back into my rotation.
So if I had my wishlist of events:
The Conflict: Jan
Valentines Day Massacre in Media PA: Feb
Templecon: Feb 3-5
Throne of Skulls
The Nova Open: August
Battle for Salvation: October
Feast of Blades: November
Now to figure out how to pull it all off and not get divorced.