Tonight….on Tournament Watch…. nah just kiddin’, cool music though eh?
This post is about the recent scheduling clashes that have been caused by the ever increasing number of tournaments in Ireland. The question is however; could they have been avoided?
The focus, of course, has to fall first on the plight of Q-Con, in my opinion, one of the best run conventions of any sort in the gaming scene. I use the term, plight, simply because this is the second year running that this event has found itself clashing with events run elsewhere in Ireland.
It might be fairer to say that they have clashed with it, of course; it has run at the same time of the year for 18 years now whereas the events clashing with it have less history.
Now, this year, it appears that Q-Con 2012
(22nd-24th June this time) will clash with the Irish Masters
. That event, which has invited the top 16 players in the country to attend, means that when coupled with the two players helping organise the event, there will be a total of 18 of the best players in the country missing this well run competition.
Put on top of that, is the fact that MooFool
, the latest in a series of new events in Cork, will run on the same weekend as Retcon
, UCD’s Annual Gaming Event. Retcon, also in its 18th year of running, will be scratching its head as to why this new event has decided to run on the same weekend, just two hours away in the city of Cork.
So let’s have a look and see if this could have been avoided:
After the Irish gaming community starting participating more in the European scene and with the advent of the Rankings system
for Ireland the number of tournaments in Ireland has increased significantly. However looking at the table above (courtesy of RankingsHQ
) we can see that there are still more than a few months left in the gaming calendar with only one (October, June and December) or two events (July, August, September, November and January).
In fact, Q-Con was traditionally the only major event around June. Now it clashes with the Irish Masters. Equally, March has had only one other event apart from Retcon, Itzacon VIII
From that evidence, it is indeed perplexing as to why newer events would clash with already established events.
Or is it more symptomatic of a gaming scene that doesn’t communicate and organise effectively within itself?
I can’t be sure myself since I’m not heavily involved in organising these events but I thought it interesting that it’s an increasing phenomenon rather than a decreasing one (which one might have thought since the gaming scene is becoming better known to all gamers.) and I wonder what our gaming public think?
EDIT: The most excellent organisers of the Irish Masters have moved it to the weekend of the 30th June/1st July. Hooray.
The 2011 40k Masters
In honour of the previous author, we introduce the bonus round. Here, I shall penalise the organisers for every tiny piddling error, strip them of their hard earned points before sending them on their way, hopefully in tears. Unlike the previous authors, I will provide inrefutable proof of all my wild assertions.
Projector not on. (-10 points)
Score cards not water/beer proofed. (-10 points)
Overly attractive delete everything button. (-10 points)
Presence of counter-revolutionary swine. (-10 points)
Organiser exposed himself to children. (-10 points)
Criminals shipped in to play, replacing Irish talent. (-10 points)
Judges appeared under-skilled. (-10 points)
Organisers attacked my cameraman. (-10 points)
Some treats were wrapped, difficult to open. (-10 points)
So, when all factors have been taken into consideration, that leaves the total at 5/100 points. However, as the projector is clearly off (again) in the final shot, I feel duty-bound to dock the tournament an additional 10 points. Translated into the old scoring system, that leaves the Irish Masters on a disreputable -1/20.
[Ed: Part 1 can be found here]
The 2011 40k Masters
Like all tyrannical and unjust regimes, Root’s day has passed and we have come to the end of his reign of terror. Having spent the past year torturing his betters, he now finds himself under the microscope. However, we are his betters and shall prove this through our kindness. I will be marking him out of 100 points rather than the niggardly 20 points he usually handed out. I also throw aside his despicable pretensions to speak for the common man and provide only my own opinion. Which is clearly the actual voice of the masses. Obviously.
The only identifiable flaws were the extremely early deadline for list submission and the mis-scheduling of Game 3. The random mission/deployment selection was wildly popular (with me) at Dominion Day III/IV and its migration south is greatly welcomed. The scorecards were that rare beast, an improvement on the much lauded Fisher approach. With army list, score card and scoring system all combined into one package, we can declare that item to have been perfect. All hail the Stowe score card. I suppose I should check the pack for spelling and grammatical errors but I’m rather lazy. I assume there is one present and dock you a point for it. 18/20 points.
I would prefer a shift away from the abundance of stunted, gnarled pale man-beasts towards top-heavy, slender brunettes but I’m informed that the budget won’t stretch to it. The players were moderately attentive, some were actually in the top 16 and some appeared to have washed recently. Bearing in mind that we are dealing with hardened nerds, that’s probably a 19/20 mark.
An interesting approach, rather than attempt to spread all available terrain over all tables equally, there appeared to be a design philosophy at work. Some tables were open in nature, others lent themselves to close quarter engagements. Frankly, it made for more variety in gaming than any bizarre custom mission would have. To ensure this continues, I award whoever was responsible a 20/20 mark. If it was accidental, then we should pause to consider the importance of catering to my whims by implementing this policy immediately at all cons.
With a ratio of one ref to eight players, rules decisions came quickly and erratically. Kidding. I must credit John and Shane for their willingness to take a few moments to double-check their rulings rather than operate by fiat. Admittedly, tensions were running rather low all weekend but the light-handed approach to disputes always plays well with the common players (i.e. me). The Twitter feed was wasted on me but remains a nice touch. 20/20.
There were cakes, buns, tea and coffee. The survivors were reinforced on Sunday morning but by tournament’s end, all was desolated. The only reason that full marks are not given is that we have been spoiled by Fisher’s breakfast farls. I award you 18/20 marks.
So, they enter the “justice” round with 95/100 points.
[Ed: Part 2 can be found here]