The warpath is littered with corpses, skulls, and blood. The screams of the embattled, the dying, and the victorious echo across the Aether in eternal war. With the Brass Throne to the Adversary’s back, endless battlefields await ahead. Some are like steps in a stair case, others are like the eye of the storm, at the center of the war itself. GENCON is one such battlefield. There are critical points in every war, in all wars, where the victors stand atop a mountain of the slain, marked in time and history. GENCON is one such battlefield.
The Worthiest Adversary had an amazing opportunity to interview Eddie Draper from the Mid American Gaming Series and one of the main Tournament Organizers of GENCON’s 40k Championship. Two months out from GENCON, on the eve of the Louisville Slugga, and a month away from the Circle City GT, the storms gather for a Major Tournament in the ITC Circuit at the beginning of August, one of only a few events held each year.
WA: Quick introduction (name, started playing 40k, how many events have you TO’ed, 40k army of choice and other hobbies or points of interest)
ED: My name is Ed Draper. I’ve been playing 40k for 6 years. I TO anywhere from 6-8 events a year. My 40k army of choice is Orkz! Outside of 40k, I also play Classic Battletech and several other board games.
WA: Quick introduction of the GENCON 40k Championship?
ED: Gencon this year is the crown jewel and grand finale for the Mid America Gaming Series or MAGS for short. MAGS is a collection of Regional TO’s working together to organize larger events prompting community growth in our region. Connecting multiple regional groups together. MAGS is made up of Indy40k, Cincinnati Arsenal Gaming, Bourbon Brothers Gaming in Northern Kentucky, and Glass City GT in Northern Ohio. Sean Pittman is our Game Master. Leading the charge on most of our projects.
For the Gencon GT, we will be using ITC champion Missions for the Grand finale. Gencon is hosted at the Indianapolis Convention center. This complex plays host to several large-scale conventions year-round. In its most recent expansion, the convention center and Lucis Oil Stadium (Home of the NFL Colts team) have been connected to provide more space for exhibits for conventions. Last year was Gencon’s 50th anniversary and the stadium played host to the Gencon Museum . Gencon is the largest gaming convention in North America, probably the world. Gencon is more than just Warhammer. Gencon include board games, card games, RPGs, LRPGS, and table top games. There is something for every gamer at Gencon.
WA: Expected attendance at event?
ED: We are expecting 85-100 players this year.
WA: Is that typical attendance for the area?
ED: It’s not normal for our Warhammer 40k events.
WA: How many long distance travelers are anticipated?
ED: Many, I know this year we have couple players from Texas going to be there. Gencon attracts a lot of people from around the world.
WA: What do you like about this format and mission set more so than others?
ED: I like the ITC format as it gives players a reason to travel and compete in numerous events that they would not normal compete in.
WA: Given the release of material from GW and the adapting meta of your region and abroad, what is the approx. cut off point for your event and how do you think the meta might shift, even at your event?
ED: Due to our player diversity, the meta in our region is ever-changing. Personally, I play anti-meta and all-comer style of lists. The cut off for new rules materials for Gencon is 2 weeks before the event. July 20th. I don’t know how much our event will affect the meta in general.
WA: How do you think the new FAQ and beta rules will impact your event?
ED: We plan to use the new FAQ and beta rules for the event. These rules have been out long enough that I believe most players have adapted to using these rules.
WA: What are some expected points of contention amongst players?
ED: This is the finale for MAGS. I’m sure some players will be discouraged by this being the final, but we plan to hand out prizes and awards for the winners of the tournament. We’ll have separate prizes and awards for the end MAGS Season.
WA: How is your event approaching time available per game?
ED: Lucky for us, the gaming halls at Gencon never close when Gencon starts. If we run over a bit, we can adjust our schedule. The plan is to have 2hr 30 min rounds with 1 hour breaks. We plan to use chess clocks at the event. Not every table will have them. The top tables will have them, but outside of that it will be at the players’ discretion to use them at the other tables.
WA: What are some lessons learned from previous experiences that you are trying to implement going into your event?
ED: Planning! The more planning we do ahead of time the better off we are. I’ve actually start to run a Primer event in July. It’s not just for the players, it’s also for myself. It’s where I test out ideas for the event and if we need to make any last-minute changes at Gencon. This year, we’ve also introduced a dedicated score keeper. This person will handle most of score recording for the event and also update our backup recorder for event data.
We developed our backup strategy last year for score keeping when we had to make a major change to our event structure and Best Coast Pairings was no longer useable at the time. Due to increase ticket sales with the introduction of 8th Edition, our event sold out and we had to increase our size. Unfortunately, due to a logistical issue we had to break the event down into 3 days. Day 1 was 1 qualification group. Day 2 was another group. We took the top half of each group for the finals on day 3. The event ran pretty smooth just longer than we expected and we had to cancel some other events to make room for the Day 1 qualifications.
WA: Are you planning to hold your event again? Is this an annual event or even part of a series in your region and/or abroad? Any other events lined up that people should know about otherwise?
ED: Yes we plan to hold this event again. We are hoping to make this an annual event series. Presently, we have 5 event part of the series for Mid America Gaming Series Tournament Season. Glass City GT, Cincycon CAGbash, Louisville Slugga. Circle City GT, and MAGS Grand Finale at Gencon. Gencon will be the end of the first season. We do plan to have a second season. Details will be forthcoming once we wrap up the first season.
The end of the first season of war in the Mid American Gaming Championship. 85-100 Competitors, approximately six months after LVO, three months post-Adepticon, and with the majority of the 40k Armies all having a codex… The Worthiest Adversary will be there, standing at the front lines, with their own army on the field as well!
“Your shrines will burn, your streets run with blood, your false idols shattered, your people slaughtered by the thousands, your very planet torn apart… and the barest fraction of my hatred will be satisfied.” – Ba’ar Zul the Hate-Bound, Warrior of Khorne