Time to take a look back at the event that was Wargames Con. Wargames Con was a blast from the organizers to the players– it truly was an impressive showing for just it’s second year. The addition of a Team Tournament and an Apoc scale Narrative Event (hosted by Dave Taylor) was everything a 40k player could ask for. Still for all the great things, Blood of Kittens feels that some adjustments are necessary going forward. Here is a short list of needed changes.
Oh INAT, yee of much Internet rage. Having seen it in action I can tell you that Wargames Con doesn’t need it (nor does any tournament). I know many people put a lot of work into this 108 page monster “rule clarification”. You are trying the impossible so please stop. This is not 3rd or 4th edition. The energy put into the INAT could be used in so many better ways. What if the same effort was used to create a RT style circuit that spanned the country? The INAT is the type of creature that unintentionally spreads rules regionalism. Someone in California might be accustomed to playing one way while someone in Chicago plays a different way neither is wrong, but some how the is the INAT is the arbiter on GW rules intentions. Watching the judges go from the mini rule book to the INAT was an adventure in futility. You could condensed the INAT into a 10 page FAQ that might answer the genuine questions GW has neglected to clarify. Not to mention, for such a large event there was maybe 100 rules questions asked. Of those maybe 10 really had the TOs scrambling to make tough calls. Making the INAT unnecessary especially if you have the balls to make calls and live with it, people will respect TOs and judges more than hiding behind a wall of rule rehash. Besides you probably will avoid another episode of, “Honey who closed my Drop Pod doors?”
The Two Hour Game
Now the good people at Wargames Con will bombard you with stats about how people got their games done and by the end of day more than 90% of the players finished all their games in two hours. What you may not hear is that many players had more than two hours for each game. This helps when almost no game got “officially” started on time. This gave many players a head start. There was also a not so subtle pressure on players to get games done quickly (borderline pushy). Players shouldn’t be made to feel like a jack ass if they want to take a few extra minutes thinking about their next moves. I understand that everyone in Texas can get a 2000 point game done in 30 min, but if you are going to have event that brings in everyone an extra 30 min per game is really all you need. Even with the best of intentions it is a bad sign when a judge is rolling players dice just to speed up play. It is also not good when I hear players telling me they wouldn’t take armies they wanted because of the time constraint.
These missions would be enjoyable for pick up games if you are afraid to play 5th edition. No pure kill point mission to only one random game length mission. The 5th edition is designed with random game length in mind. Missions that lack them really play into the hands of players that win by a single die roll before the game starts. As well a pure KP missions keeps certain army builds honest. If a player knows they are going to have two kill point missions in an event they will think twice about their unit count. Putting kill points into your secondary tertiary modifiers just doesn’t cut it. Which gets us to another sore spot. A player that completes the primary objectives shouldn’t have to wonder if they had more points than their opponent. I understand the fear of ties, but their has to be a better way to break them. These missions were just too much to ask an average player to track especially in a two-hour game. .
The Wargames Con had enough terrain, it just could have been better utilized. I known most gamers want to see uniform looking terrain just like all the first person shooters of the world, but wouldn’t it be a sight if just one event had at every table a large variety of terrain. That means each table would have a building, a ruin, a forest, a hill, impassable terrain, the list goes on. When you go from low hills to ruin spam it just doesn’t feel like a fair system. This sounds knit picky, but it is a dream and everyone has a right to dream.
Shockingly, the seven game format worked great! It is a lot of games, but if you are going to pay for event like this don’t you want to play as many games as possible? As well the table seating. Mkerr was responsible for the scoring and the seating for the entire event (Mkerr was the puppet master). Mkerr went out of his way to make sure that everyone played someone they couldn’t have possibly played before. Better yet he would match up people who were first timers to those that played last year. Then he would even try to make sure out state people played against locals. As for the judging: even with the INAT hate the judges were fantastic. Judges would run around checking to see if people had rule books or codices open, if they did a judge would see if the players needed help. Judges would also get consensus from another judge if their was some doubt about a rule. The atmosphere: everyone was very welcoming and patient for the most part, which had something to do with being Texas.
All in all this was a great event and I recommend it to anyone that has the means. For an event to double in size in one year is quite impressive. I wouldn’t be surprised if it doubles again and with a few minor tweaks. Wargames Con is on the track to become one of the really premiere wargaming events in North America.