Midwest Rampage 5 @ Grand Hotel, Peoria, IL 5/22,23
Midwest Rampage 5 has concluded! and a great time its was -2 days, 5 games..44 players..several people traveling 5-6 hours+ for the event however most being from the Central Illinois or Chicago area. A solid 2 star hotel with bar on the other side of the ballroom that stayed open until 1am. Included in the event where a vendor table from a great local indy game store with tons of great OOP stuff, a food drive that raised over $800.00 in cash and donations for the local food bank, a awesome raffle tied to your donations that gave everyone attending a chance to win some great prizes. We even had the guys from the "Waaagh Cast" recording everything for a future show, (we'll see if couple minutes of yours trulys thoughts make the final edit) . All that being said- I'd like to give an honest review here and while the people and the games were top notch, I do have a bit of constructive criticism I'd like to mention. As an Indy GT on its 5th year the Rampage is a solid 3 and one half star event, that's considering Adepticon setting the bar at a 5 star event. As it was my first year attending, I can't speak for previous years but here is a run down on the highs and lows.
Open gaming Friday Night-
The event started Saturday, however for us Friday evening arrivals the ballroom was open and set up for pre-registration and open gaming. since the ballroom was locked when we all left we could set up everything the night before, so you didnt have to do it at 8am on Saturday. meaning you got to sleep in a bit more, get up and get some breakfast before coming in and getting your table assignment. None of the round 1 rush I am used to at big events this was just great. if you were not totally fried the hall was open Saturday night too, and even had bitz trading and Demo's of the WAB book going on, from Adepticon Head Honcho and Gorgon Studios proprietor himself, Hank Edley.
Caliber of Talent/ Army Lists-
There was just a fantastic pool of players here, many well known big local names that are usually running events at Adepticon are here playing, I thought the competition overall was on par if not tougher at the top tables as the Adepticon Fantasy Championships. The score banding restrictions based on WPS kept lists in Check there were a few lists I saw that probably exploited WPS loopholes a bit, but nothing over the top, so its really just a matter of opinion based on personal viewpoint. Bottom line, if showed up to play here, you got a tough, but fair, honest game from a great player, no BS.
You can not do much better than the local brick and mortar dragging a huge amount of inventory (including 18 big boxes of blisters going back to late 90's )and setting up shop at a 44 person event..this was killer and I dropped about $80 bucks on old blisters that I got a killer deal on as I tied the purchase to the new Osgiliath scenery at retail. Hot damn I got my moneys worth there, great deal! Also what can you say about a bar being open 12 hours a day directly next to the gaming room, other than awesome.
This was a very low cost event as tourney's go, especially for traveling an two nights in motel..I spend more day one at Adepticon this year than the whole weekend cost me here.
Jim, the TO of the event did have some personal issues to deal with on the day of the event (why does that always happen?,Murphy's law?- I had a near meltdown at work the night before I left too, that almost delayed our departure) this led to tourney packets not being assembled and handed out properly, I personally had a missing page that I had to scramble for after the 1st round. The scoring was broken down into Battle Points/ Bonus Battle Points and Best General Points This wasn't easily explained in the score sheets how to differentiate between separate best general and Bonus BP and I know several people computed their round scores incorrectly, I just went up and asked Jim, but several people guessed and got it wrong. This overall didn't effect the end result as the best overall was a 5-0, so I am sure if runner up was even remotely skeptical on the final result it would have gotten sorted out before hand..however with a newer crowd of players not experienced with attending tournaments this kind of disorganization could have been disastrous..thankfully it was just a minor hiccup Finally, it took almost two hours to get the awards ready and announced after round 5 on Sunday. When you've got 3/4's of the attendees..needing to get home Sunday night..(we had a 3 hour drive) That's just too long. In fact we were walking out the door, giving up on waiting after about 1 hour 40min , when suddenly they were ready..so we stuck around, again this stuff is minor, I am just used to Alex and Marty's events up here so I am spoiled.
While the individual terrain was great, the tables were not. They used the standard 3x6 folding tables every banquet hall or hotel has and just slid two together long ways and threw a green sheet of piece of felt over them. the table were not all the same height so many didn't have a level surface across, with the table top sheets binding and pulling as you slid your trays in the movement phase got annoying at times, again I am used to solid 4 x 6 tops used at Adepticon or events taking places at the Chicago Battle Bunker or my basement. Just some food for thought- since Hank was there and lives in the area, perhaps borrowing or renting Adepticons tabletops in storage is a possibility?, this would really elevate the events gaming aesthetic, possibility? I wonder. Terrain placement had a similar problem that Adepticon did this year but worse- they tried to use pre set terrain but without a guide on how its supposed to be set up. my opponents and I had no problem agreeing to terrain placement were things obviously got moved, but just putting 5 pieces on the table doing terrain placement as normal would have saved some people some aggravation for sure. Again minor gripes
Unfortunately the hotels food was pretty dismal or non existent..limiting your choices to strictly fast food for lunch..there was some decent bars and restaurants within a 5-10 min drive in the area but nothing near the Hotel until you were done for the day. A couple guys brought their own and tailgated in the parking lot for lunch, this was brilliant and I am doing that next year.
Again, while I am making some, I hope, constructive criticisms or just pointing stuff that can only improve the event, these things were minor and it didn't kill the overall great time of the weekend. Huge thanks to Jim Emerick for running the event basically by himself which is a huge undertaking. Barring any family conflicts, I am back again next year, for sure!.
Next up a rundown of my games and how myself, Chris and Aaron did.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Midwest Rampage 5 @ Grand Hotel, Peoria, IL 5/22,23