My last article was way back in March, right before much of the country began their kaleidoscopic versions of quarantine, stay at home, safer at home orders etc. With many of the events in March, April, May, and June canceling their tournaments and local events also being banned by local orders I didn’t see much point in continuing to write a weekly article about what was going on in the ITC. This week seemed like a good week to start back up, as a lot has been going on, and a lot is coming up!
First I want to talk about the cancellation and postponement of events. As things open up in some places, faster than in others, it’s important we don’t judge all event organizer’s decisions with the same measuring stick. While it may be perfectly acceptable for there to be a GT this weekend in the midwest, that does not mean two events that canceled their events this week are somehow in the wrong. What is ok for one state may still be far away for other states. It’s important as a community that we remember the TOs have a lot of variables facing them when deciding if to continue with their event. It goes beyond just “cancel or not”, it can involve analyzing the event and it’s solvency based on many factors including having to run it with less people, but in the same space at the same cost as if it would have 50% higher attendance. That’s just one factor, there are many others. Tony Myers from Hammerhead Games was set to have the first Shark Games Weekend this year and it was going to be a huge first year for the event. They, unfortunately, had to cancel yesterday. NOVA, one of the premier 40k events in the world joined Adepticon, ATC, and Bay Area Open as a Major that had to shutter itself for the season.
NOVA sent an email to their attendees explaining the situation in full, and they were honest in that explanation about the financial issues they faced with canceling and issuing refunds on a massive scale. They faced some backlash online for this approach, which baffled me. I think we as a community should welcome an event organizer having an honest and open discussion with their attendees about the financial situation they face, and being blunt about it. Why would we want them to be anything other than 100% honest about the situation? Would people rather they lied about it, and just hoped it all worked out in the end, and when it didn’t work out and NOVA folded forever what then? Then you would be happy? It struck me as odd, but I chalk it up to the various opinions on the opening of events and the hyper tribalism we are experiencing right now. If we could as a community keep in mind that every event has to make decisions based on an exponentially greater number of factors than the general attendee fully realizes and had a little empathy toward them, that would really be better than the Facebook mob picking up their torches and pitchforks.
This weekend, June 13th and 14th, we will see Lord Marshall TV streaming live games of 40k again! LMTV will be on-site at The Branson Brawl GT with shout casters and everything. I was honored that Jason Horn asked me to Shoutcast for the first live-streamed GT sized ITC event in the US. I am happy we are seeing things beginning to creep back to normal in our hobby as the rest of the world creeps back to normal as well. I know I have almost zero motivation to build or paint models without an event deadline so knowing I may soon have deadlines to meet again makes me happy! If you are in one of the still somewhat tightly locked down areas of the world on Saturday and Sunday and have that 40k itch tune in to the Lord Marsall TV channel on Twitch, and if you want to hear me make fun of Jason for butchering my last name in a podcast interview live on his own Twitch stream watch Round 4 Sunday morning at 9am Central time!
With the UK having had a huge lead early on this season right before the Rona ruined everything, and many of the biggest 40k events held in areas of the US that aren’t allowing for large-sized events we might be seeing an ITC season that could be dominated by the ladies and gentlemen from the birthplace of Warhammer 40k! It will be interesting to see if these early leads, and the abbreviated season we are in for, will have a major impact on the end results or if enough places in the US will open up soon enough for Americans to come roaring back to the top slots.
The other big news in the world of competitive 40k is all the stuff being teased about 9th edition. 9th edition is definitely going to impact the season, the way all new editions have in the past, and I am looking forward to it! 9th, and the trickle-down teasers from GW, are being discussed at length all over the internet so I am not going to rehash all that here, but I will say the two things I am most looking forward to with 9th from an LVO judge perspective. New terrain rules and Games Workshop missions. I am hopeful that the new terrain rules will help with a lot of the issues we saw year after year, table after table, at the Las Vegas Open. While the ITC missions were nearly ubiquitous by the end of 8th edition they still weren’t “official”, so we would run into the issue where not everyone was as familiar with the missions. Having the GW mission set be the 40k tournament standard will go a long way to leveling that playing field for the entire community. Also, I don’t have to help write and balance ITC missions anymore, which is nice. One less thing!
I hope things continue to progress globally towards reopening and the new normal so I can keep writing these updates with fidelity, as I won’t just write filler to bore you. Let me know, as always, what you thought in the comments and if there’s something of note going on somewhere in the ITC let me know so I can cover it!
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