Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A brief history of Irish 40K Tournaments/A love note to Warpcon

Warpcon is Ireland’s largest games convention and since the Shack is its main sponsor for Wargames this year I reckon it deserves at least one post from us, particular when you consider the influence that this jewel of the South has had on Ireland’s gaming scene.

This post might be all new to some people, or a friendly trip down memory lane for others. Ireland’s tournament scene wasn’t always like it is now, we forget so easily how blessed we are with the myriad of tournaments that there are now. From Q Con in the North, To Retcon in Dublin, Itzacon in Galway, Conspiracy (Towncon) in Kilkenny to our very own Shack Attack Tournaments a 40k player need never look too far from his own doorstep to get 5 quality games of 40k with new people in new surrounds. A decade ago this wasn’t at all the case sadly

Way back in the mists of time there were three tournaments that occurred with any sort of regularity. We had Gaelcon, my first tournament (in 2001…I shudder to think how badly I did). This was a great event for me mostly because of the novelty of not playing the same 4 people all the time and the fact that it was on my doorstep, the problem with Gaelcon was that until 2009 the quality how the tournament was run varied massively! Some years it was great, other years it was simply terrible! The second tournament was the Games Workshop run Grand Tournament. This was always a highlight for me and I still remember my first one in the Clarion Liffey Valley as one of the best weekends I’ve ever had in gaming. The problem with the GT was firstly despite the herculean efforts of organisers like Ronan Murphy (now owner operator of the most excellent Dungeons and Doughnuts) there was never any consistency of location and the poor old GT was bandied from pillar to post in the 3 years I went to it. We moved from the Clarion in Dublin, to the now dearly departed Valhalla Games in Athlone with a pit stop at the Red Cow Hotel in between…As you can imagine the venues varied in quality but the games were always pretty solid.

The one consistent event, the one guiding light in it all was Warpcon. A trip down to Cork was always worth it. They always had good terrain, the format was always interesting and there were always loads of new gamers to play. Things have changed over the years, points have gone up, there are cool class trophies now, the top tables are even more hotly contested than they’ve ever been, armies are as pretty if not more so. But the point is that Warpcon has always been the daddy of them all, pre ETC driven tournament explosion, before rankings or big time prizes and players Warpcon was still awesome and it’ll continue to be, that as much as anything is why we as a company are truly chuffed to have our name associated with it….See you in Cork in 3 days!!!


No comments:

Post a Comment