40K and Vegas: Better than PB&J!

Hey everyone, Reecius here from Frontline Gaming to discuss a new type of event format we’ve been experimenting with that will hopefully appeal to everyone!

NOVA just came and went and it looked like a blast! Everyone I have seen speak of it says they had a great time and can’t wait to go to another gaming event which is music to my ears! At Frontline we are all about promoting community. We run events that appeal to competitors and the hobbyist. The thing we’ve learned in running all of these different kinds of events is that what really matters is not so much the format as the experience.

You ask any regular event attendee (whether “WAAC Attack” or “Fluff Bunny”) what their favorite aspects of going to these big events are, and I will bet dollars to donuts that one of the top reasons they list is that it allows them to see people they only see at big events. That is one of the main reasons some of us fly all over the country to go to tournaments/cons/whatever. It’s about the social experience and camaraderie just as much if not more than the competition (only 1 person wins, after all).

Also, if you ask folks that don’t go to events why they don’t, one of the main reasons will be money, but also that it takes them away from their families/work/etc.

So, we’ve been working on ideas to try and focus on the universally appealing aspects of event attendance and also to mitigate the negative aspects.

I have had an idea for a while to have a tournament that only had a few rounds of play, with longer rounds for leisurely games, and plenty of time off to allow attendees to enjoy one another’s company and to explore the area that they’re in. I know that any time Team Zero Comp goes to an event in a new town, one of the things we enjoy most is heading out to explore the local night life! Nothing like enjoying your favorite pastime all day with buddies, and then going out for some brews and a laugh with them at night!

While I agree that Swiss pairings are the best format to determine a true victor in a competitive event, the simple fact is that tournaments with 6-8 rounds just wipe people out. I know I have a tendency to drop day two of events if I am out of the running to win because I am super tired (often as a result of the previous nights’ beers with friends!) and the idea of playing all those games of 40K when I know I won’t win just isn’t appealing as I’d rather watch the top tables and chew the fat with friends. Games of 40K simply take a long time to resolve, and they are very mentally draining, and even physically if you’re standing up on a hard surface all day.

Getting up at the crack of dawn isn’t that great either, particularly on a holiday weekend. I know both years I played in the Adepticon 40K Championships Finals, getting up at 5am to play was about as fun as a kick in the nuts! Now, I totally understand why they did it and I’m not knocking it (they want people to be able to get done early enough in the day to be able to fly home that Sunday) but it’s pretty rough. A lot of us who went to the Golden Throne last year in Vegas didn’t even make it day two because it kicked off so early and we were just getting home a few hours before the event started!

So, the idea we’ve been toying with is to run an event in Las Vegas (that in and of itself is reason enough to go, right? Who doesn’t like Vegas?!) however, we also want to bill this as an event to bring the entire family too, or friends, significant others, etc. that aren’t into the hobby, but will enjoy Vegas. We’d start the event in the afternoon to allow people time to sleep in or enjoy family time in the morning, and only play 2 rounds per day at 2.5 to 3 hours per round, with a championship round for the finalists. This way, we would have folks getting done in the early evening every day allowing them time to go out and eat, hit the town, see attractions, etc. We’d have organized events such as group dinners or trips to watch shows for the families, or pub crawls for the attendees that enjoy that type of activity. We’d also have hobby seminars, etc. for those not interested in hitting the town but that want to enjoy more hobby time.

We think this will allow folks to get the best of both worlds: playing some great games of 40K and enjoying Vegas with their peers and non-gaming loved ones. This makes it a much easier sell to the wife/husband, too! By confining it to a Saturday-Sunday event, it also means the largest number of people can go and be a part of the community outside of their local store.

One of the other most common reasons people say they go to big events is to see all the awesome creations of the attendees! I know I love seeing all the amazing creations of hobbyists and big events bring together a huge variety of extremely skilled artists. We would want to recognize this and really give the creations of those who’ve spent long hours on them the recognition they’re due in addition to the generals who’ve spent long hours honing their skills.

As for tournament format, we’d likely have to use battle points due to the shorter number of rounds or build in a similar structure to stratify the field, but we’d be sure to include recognition for theme, appearance, etc. in addition to play to reward all aspects of the hobby.

What do you all think of this? Would an event with less time spent on the actual gaming and more on the socializing appeal to you? Especially if it were in Vegas? We’re going to run an event 4th quarter (most likely October) and it will be in Vegas, we’re just looking for feedback on the format that people would most enjoy attending. Let us know as we think this may be a great, alternative format to the Swiss/all-day events that are more common. We love those super competitive tournaments, but there is room for all kinds of events. The more folks we can bring together, the more fun everyone has! We recently ran this format on a trial run at Celesticon this past weekend, and the folks that came really enjoyed the shorter day and more casual rounds.

Thanks in advance for the feedback!


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

20 Responses to “40K and Vegas: Better than PB&J!”

  1. Douglas of Wolfbrothers September 6, 2012 3:51 am #

    Sounds great!

    • Reecius September 6, 2012 4:53 pm #

      We felt the same way!

  2. J Mac September 6, 2012 5:49 am #

    No brainer! How do I get my tickets? 😉

    • Reecius September 6, 2012 4:52 pm #

      I figured you’d already be there, and just stop by! haha

  3. Alex Yuen September 6, 2012 10:28 am #

    I been flying to vegas for the pass few years now for 40k. I went to the past few Neoncon hosted by Socal. Also I went to ToS last year at Tropicana. And before that i flew in for Vegas GT. few of my thoughts on vegas.

    I will keep it 5 rounds. Playing 40k is still the main reason we are there. Is like ToS. You don’t feel the competitiveness but something enjoyable and you don’t give a shit u win or not. so If it started at 1100 @ 2.5 per round @ 1500. You get out about 1730 – 1800. And u can even go up to the hotel room and freshen up for the night life. Vegas night life doesn’t start until 2000 anyway and all the shows start around that time too. By starting at 1100. There are no rush to get up and have time to get breakfast.

    If you want this to be an more a social event then you need something to start on Friday afternoon. Maybe laser tag or mini karting then at night can be at a pub where people just sit and chat about games/hobbies. The “fun” is to explore other people ideas on and about our hobbies. The “laser tag” is just an ice breaker to force people to interact with one and other before the social time and give their “family” something to do with other gamers’ “family”. Also workshop will be fun but doubt many people will show up for them.

    Sat night. Half of the population will ran off and do their own thing but the other half want to find something to do. you can host something for those people and get them in a group and go and do something.

    Money. Most people will be flying in and with “family”. They have a budge but is not a super tight budge. Usually guys will have some money for the table and ladies will have some for shopping. So that mean they have money to go out for dinner or a pub if they wanted to. Therefore the ticket price does not need to include all those extra activities.

    Most people that can fly in and stay at vegas usually is either single guy that have some money aka rich college kids/just grad or something with a pay that they can afford it but that usually mean family with wife and kids. Kids can be a problem for the dad since mom want to go shopping alone. so if you have something to “taken care” of their kids will be good. But that a big legal headache. Even just a playpen will helps the dad out on his 2.5 hours of conquest.

    • Reecius September 6, 2012 5:01 pm #

      Good ideas, thanks for the feedback! And yes, we agree the fun is in meeting other enthusiasts of the hobby. We want this event to be all about that. We’re going to organize as many events as possible that emphasize the social aspect of the hobby while also having fun playing games and competing.

      We may not be able to start Friday as that limits the amount of people that can go. A lot of folks just can’t get away for 3 days including travel time. We’ll see though, that is a good idea and one that we had considered.

  4. Alex Yuen September 6, 2012 11:33 am #

    As far as formatting. I keep it Swiss. I will just have reward that keep games interesting even after losing games. ex: I lost a game so i am out for the best gen but hey i can win “best tactician” or something like that. Or like win something on game 5. so there are reason to play that game.

    • Reecius September 6, 2012 4:50 pm #

      We’d probably keep the “best of” awards for who does best with each given army.

  5. Brian September 6, 2012 11:40 am #

    I think the less games a day really is a great idea cause when you get into the long days people just dont enjoy it as much and thats when you tend to get a lot of arguing.

    Any Idea on when you are planning this event

    And the Comment about having a crib or daycare in the event seems kind of moot to me cause i dont feel many people would bring their kids to vegas especially if they were here for 40K and the nightlife more likly if the wife came i would expect the kids to stay with the grandparents or relatives but I could be wrong

    • Alex Yuen September 6, 2012 12:09 pm #

      is true they don’t show up that much at a normal tournie but when u make it a family event they will show up. at ToS there are a few that shows up. And from experience watching parents at vegas. Mom will go shopping and they are pretty crazy about it. So u got kids with dad at the event. there are few games I keep the kids busy while he do his turn.

      • Reecius September 6, 2012 4:49 pm #

        Our thoughts, exactly! We could make it an event for everyone, which makes it more fun!

    • Reecius September 6, 2012 4:50 pm #

      We’re thinking January, actually. That doesn’t compete with any other events.

      • Alex yuen September 7, 2012 12:22 pm #

        Jan is the worst month. Is just after x mas. So any vacation time they had just got use by xmas vacation and also money on xmas shopping. Nothing worst than mom in vegas without cash. The plan on oct was better timing. Before thankgiving and shopping season with plenty of money and vac time.

        • Reecius September 7, 2012 1:05 pm #

          October doesn’t work unfortunately because of Feast of Blades in the same month. Late Jan or early Feb is honestly the only time on the calendar that isn’t competing with another big event.

          • Alex Yuen September 7, 2012 2:21 pm

            in Late Jan you got Ironman (XXI something) in Vegas. is a one day event that was well part of the circuit. So u might run over that local event.

          • Reecius September 7, 2012 2:33 pm

            Is the Ironman in Jan? The calendar is getting super crowded. A one day event may not really be in the same vertical to be honest, we’re looking to build a really big GT. We just don’t want to be on the same day.

          • Alex Yuen September 7, 2012 3:12 pm

            every year is around the 15 give or take 1-2 weekend so ya just right up you set date. and you plan on 2013? O try to get a better hotel than the coconut hotel.

          • Reecius September 7, 2012 3:19 pm

            Good to know, thanks!

  6. Son Of Dorn September 7, 2012 4:30 pm #

    This sounds like a great idea. I’d love to go to an event like this as my first event. And with the wife’s family down in Vegas, it’d be an easy sell. I’d just need time to set aside funds for such a trip!

    • Reecius September 7, 2012 4:54 pm #

      We’d love to have you!

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