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Hextreme New Year!!!

Posted January 7th, 2009 at 02:31 PM by Rˇchean
Updated January 3rd, 2015 at 08:48 PM by Rˇchean
I wanted to blog about my trip to Kansas City, MO (actually Lee's Summit) for the Hextreme New Year Tournament put on by Kahrma and TOG.

This was a 470 mile drive from Dallas, where I live. I had several instances of thinking, "what am I doing?", "Am I crazy?". Of course I am crazy, I am a 'scaper. The truth is I had the time and gas prices were low; I had enough coin to make it happen and I really didnít have anything going on that weekend. With my company also giving the day after New Year's as a holiday, I already had the extra day off needed to make it feasible. I did try extensively to get one or two Dallasites to go with me, but had told myself that I was going either way.

I have come to really, really enjoy the spectacle of a Heroscape tournament. Some people somewhat loathe the tournament scene saying it spoils the game and takes the fun out of it. I vehemently disagree with this. To me, the best part of attending a tournament or scape game day, is getting to meet and talk to other people who love this game. I relish it, I crave it. I guess in some way, I feel like I need it. As it stood, my last such event was in October and I was ready for another. As most of you know, I am heavily involved with tournament Heroscape here in Dallas and at Gencon. Here was my chance to attend a tournament and have absolutely no responsibility to the event beyond bringing my army and my booster. This was very appealing to me. Don't get me wrong, supporting this great game by giving of myself to run a tournament is very rewarding to me. This was just a chance, to just be the end user for once. Actually, for the first time.

So barring some tragedy, I was going.

The guys were very supportive about me coming up and I was able to get Jexik and spider_poison to show up as well. Matthias Maccabeus was showing up with his crew and the KC scene is fairly vibrant even without all the out of towners. It was shaping up to be a large tournament with many known posters. I was excited about getting a chance to meet some new people and visit with some gencon friends, again. Clarissimus, Supergeek, paradox, the list goes on and on. It sounded like a great time to me.

The drive was surprisingly quick, it projected at almost 9 hours, but I made it in 7.5 including stops. Stops are extremely short when you are driving alone. I decided to make sure I knew where the event was prior so I stopped by that Friday night. I saw the batsignal letting me know I had found it.

It is in the down town district of Lee's Summit. I was impressed. Most game stores are fairly rundown, sometimes in less than desirable locations and unclean and generally uninviting. This was not the case at all for Pulp Fiction Comics & Games. First, it was late already, after 9 PM. I was shocked the place was still open. Then I see it stays open until midnight on Friday and Saturday. I have never seen a comic or game store keep such late hours. Then I step in and the place and it is laid out beautifully. All the games were accessible on the shelves; nothing stacked, nothing booby trapped to fall over when you want to take it off the shelf. They had a large game room that was clean and well laid out. The gaming area also had a side door that opened directly to the outside that helped keep the store from being overly congested; a great store for sure.

By Saturday morning, I was ready to get involved, even though I had the end user mentality. I show up about 11 or so with the event starting at 1pm. I see that the KC guys really have their act together when it comes to putting on an event. Most all of the maps were prebuilt to some extent and brought in on fiberboard. Turns out, my assistance wasnít needed at all. So I took the time to visit with the people already there and catch up with Kahrma and meet TOG. I set about finally picking out my army; waiting until the last minute is fairly usual for me. I got a kick out of watching the activity, the bustling and set up, the growing number of players, and the buzz around it all. I just kicked back and took it all in. Like a well oiled machine, these guys had it all ready to roll. Once Matthias got there with 33% of the participants, we were all but ready to go. It was a pretty full house.

We had some preliminary visiting, strategy discussions, cutting up, and trash talking, which is always fun. Now I could bore you with game details and army selection and things of the sort, but that really wasnít what this event was about for me. Sure I wanted to win and I chose an army that give me a decent shot at it. But really, I just wanted to play some Heroscape and talk with everyone. That is one of the favorite between game pass times at a tournament; everyone wants to talk about their bad beat, or how their dice left them, or that amazing turn of fortune. Everyone has a story to tell between games; I have a real appreciation for this aspect of the tournament scene. It is real interesting to hear other people talk about their games, their strats, tactics, and armies. Sharing our stories with one another is half the fun of being there. We all took full advantage of the between time to talk it up quite a bit.

The event, was run rather lax as far as time, which was fine with me. Only a few games timed out, all day long. I had already decided that morning that I was going to stay another night and drive back Sunday. So the fact that it looked like it was going to run well into the evening was all good with me. Some of the guys had to make some other arrangements. I was able to put Clarissimus up for the night so he wasnít driving back when he was tired. We even had a 45 minute break for food. They also did a great job running the event. I never played on the same map twice and, as far as I know, there werenít any significant problems with the matchups and map assignments. It flowed smoothly through out the day, at least from my perspective. I know how hectic tournaments can be and this one never felt like that.

By the end of the event, it was about 8pm or so; once all the prizes and kudos were handed out it was time to go our seperate ways. I really had a blast and very much enjoyed seeing and talking to all the people there. It was an awesome tournament, I would certainly make the effort to attend again. Thanks to the Kansas City HS guys and Pulp Fiction for making it well worth it for me.

Long drives give you plenty of time to think and I really like the therapeutic value of extended solitary driving. I will leave you with some measure of strategy or Heroscape thought.

We had lots of discussion at the event that the more you play a unit or unit combo the better you become using those units or army. This is so true for Heroscape. Sort of like driving a car. If you know how to drive, you can drive any car with some measure of proficiency. However, when you drive YOUR car, your level of comfort and knowledge of what the vehicle can do, goes way up. It is your car; you know the in and outs of getting the best performance and how it will react in certain situations. Knowledge you would not have in a car you rarely drive or are driving for the first time. In Heroscape, making a unit or army work for you requires you put in the time to get the most out of it.
Total Comments 7


EternalThanos86's Avatar
Great thoughts. It really made me wish I had come down, especially if Jexik was going. Reading this really gave me a renewed love for the game and the social aspect of how it ought to impact any 'Scapers life. Thanks Rˇchean for these great thoughts.
Posted January 7th, 2009 at 09:11 PM by EternalThanos86 EternalThanos86 is offline
Jexik's Avatar
It was a long trip. Did anyone ever tell you how big our country is? It's big. And the roads were icy as heck (think Dante's 9th level) in Iowa on Saturday night.
Posted January 8th, 2009 at 01:06 AM by Jexik Jexik is offline
Dignan's Avatar
Nice blog Ry. I would have liked to have made the trip, but I was in Keystone at the time. We'll definitely have to make a road trip to another tourney sometime.
Posted January 8th, 2009 at 09:32 AM by Dignan Dignan is offline
nyys's Avatar
I find long drives alone (in the dark) very therapeutic as well. Nice write up.
Posted January 8th, 2009 at 12:05 PM by nyys nyys is offline
Supergeek's Avatar
Glad you were able to make it up and back without any problems.
I like your take on units that you are familiar with. Maybe I should try not to use a different army for each tournament.
Posted January 8th, 2009 at 06:58 PM by Supergeek Supergeek is offline
DrLivingston's Avatar
What you said about between time story telling at tourneys really rang true to me.

That really is one of the most entertaining parts of a tourney--swapping war stories with old and new friends.

Great read, thanks.
Posted January 29th, 2009 at 11:32 PM by DrLivingston DrLivingston is offline
Updated January 29th, 2009 at 11:33 PM by DrLivingston (Ninjas Shminjas, I need to know more about the Krav!)
Junge Roman's Avatar
I just found time to start looking at blogs. Unfortunately, I didn't find time to comment usefully. Very interesting thoughts. I look forward to another one.
Posted April 10th, 2009 at 09:52 AM by Junge Roman Junge Roman is offline
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