This past year was a great one for the ITC with many tournaments joining the cause to allow gamers the world over to accumulate points in the hopes of becoming ITC champion or at the very least the best of their faction. I myself had a taste for blood as I started to push up the Grey Knights table and rocket to 2nd place for the ITC year. With a fresh tournament season upon us, I have now set my sights on 1st place and hope to dethrone the reigning champ.
Something has happened with my tournament season however that made me stop and think a bit. When Team0Comp was talking about attending a tournament recently, my first question was, “Is it an ITC event?” The answer was no and I quickly bowed out. It was interesting in how quick I became to only want to play in ITC events, especially if I am going to travel.
Some of this comes from having a limited budget as money does not grow on trees for this guy. Limited funds means I have to make some hard choices about which events to attend. Unless I have another force pushing me, like a local team tournament I’m playing in with some friends, I don’t think I will be playing in many non-ITC tournaments, especially if it conflicts with an ITC event or is going to cost dollars to travel.
Is this a good thing? On the one hand, many tournaments are continually being added to the list and this year is really starting to become one strong year for ITC tournaments, even better than the last. On the other hand, non-ITC events may see a decline in their attendance. As the ITC grows, will other events be forced to join or shrivel and die? That could certainly play out as players have to choose between events and decide to go ITC over another event.
Then again, there has already been some tournament format allegiance for some time now. NOVA, straight book missions, and then ITC. I know there have been people that have decided to attend this or that tournament based upon the mission parameters, deciding to send their dollars and attendance elsewhere.
For me, it comes down to some big reasons why I’ve decided to throw my dollars at the ITC over other events.
- Long Term Goals – The ITC gives me something to shoot for over a year in trying to become the top of my faction or even the top of the charts. Having multiple events tie into a yearly score makes me want to play more and travel to other events.
- Proven Format – I really like the mission set up by incorporating Maelstrom, book missions, and the tertiary book objectives. Each game has felt tactically challenging in that I’ve often had to choose to go for the primary or secondary to try to win. It keeps the consistent scoring alive which is a great part of the Maelstrom, but doesn’t overwhelm the score like many of my Maelstrom games seem to do. It has been proven to work over the past few years and has only become stronger as the game has changed.
- Comradery – There is a good group of guys that attend these events and many have started to travel the circuit so it is like a little reunion, seeing old faces and making new friends.
- Lots of Choices – There are events being added weekly and it looks like it isn’t going to stop any time soon. If I can’t make one event, I have many more to choose from.
I think for the hobby overall, having an event like the ITC is a good thing. It brings together events around the country and even the world, exposes other games to tournaments near and far, and gives a fairly cohesive structure to the tournament season. Some might struggle if they don’t join, but since there isn’t any stipulations as to how you run the tournament and it is free, it makes sense to me to join in.