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 Post subject: GenCon 2014 Prep
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:59 am 
Imperial Dignitaries
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I know the GenCon 2013 has been only over for a few days, but I think this is the best time to reflect and talk about what people liked or didn't like (please keep it constructive) about GenCon this year.

What would you like to see in the future? Better yet what sort of event would make you play SWM at Gencon? Because sadly there were people in the community that were there that didn't play. I totally understand that time is at a premium at GenCon and you just can not do everything.

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 Post subject: Re: GenCon 2014 Prep
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:56 am 
Imperial Dignitaries
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I wasn't there this year, but I'll comment as a person who might be able to come in 2014.

For me, it's all about competitive constructed play. I recognize that not everyone is like me in this, but this is what drew me to Gencon back in 2008 and has kept me eager to come each year since then. To me, the magic of Gencon is all about non-stop high-competition SWM for 4 days straight. I can play "for fun" games on Vassal forever (and even with my kids), but it's never the same as playing in a competitive tournament. Therefore, for me, this is where it's at:
-Championship (Friday is a great day for it)
-Jedi Challenge (please, never 100pts again!!!!!)
-Sith Trials (see below)

Also, I REALLY missed the 500pt Epic tournament last year (on Sunday morning when the Champs Playoffs were) and I would've been sad to miss it this year too (it wasn't even in the line-up). I know that 500pts is hard to fit in. My suggestion, if you want to fit the 500 in there, is to adjust the Sith Trials to be this:
-Mystery Map (always great)
-Tile Wars (always great)
-500pt Epic Skirmish (drop the LS/DS event)

One of the biggest criticisms against 500 is the amount of time it requires, but I think that doesn't need to be a problem. Here are my suggestions for the 500pt format at Gencon:
-Keep games to 1 hour. There is no need to give people 90 minutes if....
-Gambit is 25pts, only score-able by a piece 25pts or higher.
-Full wins are awarded for those who've scored 350pts+ and more than their opponent.

Honestly, the Sealed event wasn't all that great last year (I've never liked sealed events), but the minis were *awesome.* So I'll still continue to play in the Sealed event, but just so I can get the minis. I'd prefer it if there was some way to get the minis without having to play in a 4-hour event; maybe next year I'll sign up for Sealed, and then drop and hit the dealer hall after the first round if I don't have a good squad.

Also, as much as I enjoyed the Royal Rumble event, I think I preferred the 3-man Team Tournament for the 3 years beforehand. I think that's mostly because there's more teamwork involved in the original Team event (deciding which matchups each player will face).

BHC, of course, is an excellent event; it even draws in Teddy-Graham-wielding children! :)


I recognize that not everyone is like me (a competitive play junkie), and that's fine. But this is what will draw me to Gencon in 2014.

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 Post subject: Re: GenCon 2014 Prep
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:26 am 
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Well after talking to a few people on Sunday before I left. And seeing the disappointing turn out at some of the events, this is what I heard and what I would think would be there based on that information.

Only one Iron Man tourney, and seeing the Jedi Challange has been here longer, that would be it. That does sadden me a little as I was the Sith Trial Winner this year as well as last, and would like to see how long I can hold the mantle of Sith Lord.
As a Tile War HoF'er and champion, it does sadden me to say that this was probably the last year of Tile Wars. It's never a good sign when you have to struggle to field six players.
I really enjoyed the 100 pnt light/dark side tourney. IMO it must stay at 100 pnts because 200 just gets crazy in that format, and 100 keeps interesting.
I am trying to speak from an unbiased point of view on the topic of Royal Rumble. Everyone knows by now that I created the format so of course I'm always a little biased. When getting started with this format I never once dreamed of this being a team event but somehow it works as a team event and am happy that people enjoy it. It was the 2nd highest money maker for us at 2013 GC. So IMO that must stay for that reason alone.
I wouldn't mind seeing a 500 pnt epic event thrown in and see how that does. I didn't play in the minis madness event but that looked to have a good turnout.
I disagree with Trevor on this next point. I enjoy 100 pnt, and feel it should stay in somewhere. I really feel that the JC should stay as 3 different pnt levels, 100, 150, 200. 150 has always been my least favorite build option and it was certainly the most stale tourney during the 150 Jedi Challange, but with that said I have always viewed the JC as those 3 build totals and it should continue to be so.
I will say that this is the first year that I enjoyed Mystery Map. But that might have more to do with what I was playing or with how well I did with it.

Just the thoughts of someone who attended Gen Con and what I like and didn't like and from what I heard from others.

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 Post subject: Re: GenCon 2014 Prep
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:44 am 
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I will say that 100 will probably stick around (at least somewhere). When we dropped 100 from last year's line-up it was the most requested format.

I could actually see the Jedi Challenge becoming 4 events with 3 rounds each. With only 10-12 players in each event this year, it makes more sense. And I could see many of the formats turning to 3 round events in the future. This will let players commit less time to a particular event, but still play and have fun in an event. IT will also allow us to offer a wider variety of events.

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 Post subject: Re: GenCon 2014 Prep
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:17 am 
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thereisnotry wrote:
I wasn't there this year, but I'll comment as a person who might be able to come in 2014.

For me, it's all about competitive constructed play. I recognize that not everyone is like me in this, but this is what drew me to Gencon back in 2008 and has kept me eager to come each year since then. To me, the magic of Gencon is all about non-stop high-competition SWM for 4 days straight. I can play "for fun" games on Vassal forever (and even with my kids), but it's never the same as playing in a competitive tournament. Therefore, for me, this is where it's at:
-Championship (Friday is a great day for it)
-Jedi Challenge (please, never 100pts again!!!!!)
-Sith Trials (see below)

Also, I REALLY missed the 500pt Epic tournament last year (on Sunday morning when the Champs Playoffs were) and I would've been sad to miss it this year too (it wasn't even in the line-up). I know that 500pts is hard to fit in. My suggestion, if you want to fit the 500 in there, is to adjust the Sith Trials to be this:
-Mystery Map (always great)
-Tile Wars (always great)
-500pt Epic Skirmish (drop the LS/DS event)

One of the biggest criticisms against 500 is the amount of time it requires, but I think that doesn't need to be a problem. Here are my suggestions for the 500pt format at Gencon:
-Keep games to 1 hour. There is no need to give people 90 minutes if....
-Gambit is 25pts, only score-able by a piece 25pts or higher.
-Full wins are awarded for those who've scored 350pts+ and more than their opponent.

Honestly, the Sealed event wasn't all that great last year (I've never liked sealed events), but the minis were *awesome.* So I'll still continue to play in the Sealed event, but just so I can get the minis. I'd prefer it if there was some way to get the minis without having to play in a 4-hour event; maybe next year I'll sign up for Sealed, and then drop and hit the dealer hall after the first round if I don't have a good squad.

Also, as much as I enjoyed the Royal Rumble event, I think I preferred the 3-man Team Tournament for the 3 years beforehand. I think that's mostly because there's more teamwork involved in the original Team event (deciding which matchups each player will face).

BHC, of course, is an excellent event; it even draws in Teddy-Graham-wielding children! :)


I recognize that not everyone is like me (a competitive play junkie), and that's fine. But this is what will draw me to Gencon in 2014.


i have to agree with Basically everything you said there. I never got the chance to try the Epic 500 point tourny because it was on sunday and i have my kids with me on sunday.
i do have at least 1 beef with this years con though,

Mystery Map: I hated the idea of only 1 side of a map. The whole point of mystery map to me was always the ability to adapt to a map. This years map was only 1 sided so you played that map for 4 rounds. I like the feeling of not being able to get used to the map more than 2 matches before you switch them. I do know the story of what happened this year, but to me that does not make up for the issue.

Urbanjedi wrote:
I could actually see the Jedi Challenge becoming 4 events with 3 rounds each. With only 10-12 players in each event this year, it makes more sense. And I could see many of the formats turning to 3 round events in the future. This will let players commit less time to a particular event, but still play and have fun in an event. IT will also allow us to offer a wider variety of events.


That could be interesting. It kind of goes with the idea of cutting down the "IRON MAN" Tourneys too. If we were to do the most popular events for Them all together in one "Challenge" it would get more activity i think.

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 Post subject: Re: GenCon 2014 Prep
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:54 am 
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So here are some of my thoughts.

Sealed went well. It was the most attended event. Would another sealed on Saturday work well? I am not talking vset sealed, but a normal sealed or maybe two sets. One booster from CW and one booster of Rebel storm or whatever. 12 player limit. I see casual players not wanting to bring stuff with them. " I just want to set down and play"

With the idea of I just want to sit down and play I was thinking about players playing against the vset designers. The designers of course would have to be willing to take the time to do this. This is what I am kicking around in my head.
The Designer Colosseum. Map the Rattack Arena or Geonosis Arena.
Player is able to choose an EPIC character.
Designer starts round one with a character (ideally one he designed) that cost 15 points or less
Set up is adjacent to opposing doors
Round 3 - Designer gains a piece worth up to 30 Points
Round 4 - Designer gains a piece worth up to 45 Points
Round 5 - Designer gains a piece worth up to 60 Points
Round 6 - Designer gains a piece worth up to 75 Points
Round 7 - Designer gains a piece worth up to 100 Points

The player can earn credits for kills. Killing the round 1 piece gives the player 10 credits. At the end of a round the player can choose to buy HP or Force. 10 HP = 10 Credits - Characters cannot exceed their starting HP. 1 Force = 10 Credits - Characters cannot gain more then three for than it starts with.
Prize support - at the end of each day the player how survived the most rounds wins a prize. Everyone that plays gets a promo.
Cost $2 to $4 dollars

Mystery Tile Map
This one I am still working on the details, but it would be something like this.
Players receive a set of double sided 12 tiles (This is what Chris normally makes)
Roll for map = Who sets up their tile first. Players start in the middle and lay tiles creating the map they are going to play. I am thinking 4 tiles long (32 squares) and 4 tiles tall (20 squares). No player can lay the same tile. Then they game proceeds as normal.

A twist on this could be to go down to a 3x3 tile layout and limit squad size and build. 100 or 150 points and only one unique for example. Like I said I am still working this on out in my head.

Players get tiles and should cost less then maps.

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 Post subject: Re: GenCon 2014 Prep
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:58 am 
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DarthJawa wrote:
Mystery Map: I hated the idea of only 1 side of a map. The whole point of mystery map to me was always the ability to adapt to a map. This years map was only 1 sided so you played that map for 4 rounds. I like the feeling of not being able to get used to the map more than 2 matches before you switch them. I do know the story of what happened this year, but to me that does not make up for the issue.


What happened with the Mystery Map was beyond the control of the SWM GenCon team. Everyone who participated should have provided their name and address, and they will be receiving a double-sided map when they are printed. If you turned in a ticket for that event and for some reason did not get your name on the list for the maps, please get in touch with Jason (urbanjedi).

Otherwise, I mostly agree with TINT--I am most interested in the competitive events, preferably 200 point constructed. That said, I have so many other things to do at GenCon, it's unlikely I will ever participate in much beyond the championships. I will also say that many of our less competitive events, such as the mass battles and minis mania, were very well received, so there's certainly room for both sides.


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 Post subject: Re: GenCon 2014 Prep
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:21 am 
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LESHIPPY wrote:
So here are some of my thoughts.
The Designer Colosseum
Mystery Tile Map


Neat ideas Les. :)


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 Post subject: Re: GenCon 2014 Prep
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:41 am 
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Things I love at GenCon:

-Constructed events with normal construction rules. This year that basically only included the championship and the Mystery Map, both events I played in and enjoyed. The Jedi Challenge formats this year and the 100 point lightside/darkside tournaments just don't interest me at all. There's a lot of thought to put into those formats, and I'm just not going to worry that much about it to play in 1 tournament a year with those rules. The Royal Rumble kind of breaks this rule, since it's constructed without normal rules, but coming up with duos is a lot easier than coming up with a full squad.

-Events where minis are provided. This includes both sealed events and things like Assassin and Minis Madness. This goes back to not wanting to put a ton of thought into a single event; it also gets people playing with pieces that they normally never would, which I think is fun.

-Single game events. Basically the Jedi Challenge, but it would also include the Designer Colosseum that Les came up with, which I think is cool. It's nice because it's quick and simple. I played in the BHC this year once because I was just sitting around with nothing to do, and it filled the time. I liked that.

Things I don't like:

-I already touched on disliking constructed events with weird rules. This is a big reason I didn't play in any legs of the Jedi Challenge; I don't want to build a 100 point squad that is just RS-TFU. Now, I can understand the draw to these events, I'm just not drawn to them.

-The price of events. Seriously, why are 4 round tournaments $14? I understand that prize support is expensive, but that price point is genuinely prohibitive for some people at GenCon. It's an expensive weekend without playing in any tournaments, it's hard to afford $42 more for 3 tournaments, especially when I can spend $2 or $4 or even $0 to play in an event for a different game. Maybe this means we have to cut down on prize support, but I think that would be a good tradeoff. $20 for the championship or more expensive tickets for events where you get to actually keep something (like the Mystery Map or the Sealed) makes sense, $14 for a random 4-round constructed event doesn't in my mind.


So those are just some of my thoughts. I might not be making it next year, so take them with a grain of salt.

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 Post subject: Re: GenCon 2014 Prep
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:27 pm 
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DarthJawa wrote:
Mystery Map: I hated the idea of only 1 side of a map. The whole point of mystery map to me was always the ability to adapt to a map. This years map was only 1 sided so you played that map for 4 rounds. I like the feeling of not being able to get used to the map more than 2 matches before you switch them. I do know the story of what happened this year, but to me that does not make up for the issue.


I find this a little amusing. This was my favorite part of Mystery Map. I hated the flipping of the map and the only reason I played in it was because it was part of the Sith Trials. I didn't know of any issues going on and was pleasantly surprized to only see the one side.

I didn't want to play in mystery map this year but it was part of the sith trials. So I picked a squad that I could have fun playing with but still thought I could do well (which I did) but the best part for me in this tourney was the one sided map. If it was going to stay one sided then I would play in this event every year.

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 Post subject: Re: GenCon 2014 Prep
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:56 pm 
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I want to echo some of Echo's points: ;)

-Let the constructed events be normal. I personally wouldn't mind the LS/DS option for 100pts, but the others really didn't seem all that exciting.

-Lower the event prices, even if it means lowering the prize support. I've already got more minis than I need. My kids always love it when I come home with minis for them, but even they have more minis than they need; their boxes are overflowing after last year. If the prizes will be something more unique like a Master Replicas Lightsaber or a set of V-Set customs, then that's worthwhile...but I personally really don't need to open 2 more boosters of A&E or LotF, or another Attack on Endor pack (as cool as those prizes are for players who don't have them yet).

And if the Sith Trials has to go (and even Tile Wars! :cry: ), then maybe that's how it will have to be. I'll miss it, because I love Tile Wars (and I still want one of those epic TW Boxes made by Chris & Amanda Pulis!), but maybe that's just the way of things.


One last thing: In all of my posts on this topic, I am only sharing my own perspective. I am in no way implying that everyone should agree with it. I'm just one voice in a crowd. I know that lots of people really enjoy the Mass Battles events, for example, and that's fine. It's just not my cup of jawa juice, that's all.

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 Post subject: Re: GenCon 2014 Prep
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:32 pm 
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I don't believe much of the cost of the events goes to prize support any longer. Most of that cost goes directly to Gencon for allowing us to run the events.

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 Post subject: Re: GenCon 2014 Prep
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:42 pm 
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billiv15 wrote:
I don't believe much of the cost of the events goes to prize support any longer. Most of that cost goes directly to Gencon for allowing us to run the events.


Yup. At least $2 per hour per ticket goes to gencon. So, gencon will take $12-14 per ticket for the championships. I do hope everyone enjoyed their metallic promos. You cannot compare us to any of the companies that run games. They can write off the expense (and I suspect the direct sales in the exhibitor hall really helps cut down on the loss). We can't.

So, Championship and Jedi Challenge are staying. But from what I saw this year, we need more entry level type events, like Minis Mayhem. Events that are easy to bring in the returning/new players.

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 Post subject: Re: GenCon 2014 Prep
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:17 pm 
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I talked with James about this before I left on Sunday. Outside of Tile Wars, I don't think I met a single player in any of the games I helped run or took part in who had played before. Every single opponent I faced in the BHC and all of the people in my clone wars mass battle event were new to the game, and most of them had never heard of it before. These guys weren't kids, either. An older man I played on Friday was surprised to learn the game has been out of print for three years, and that it was around for so long without him ever hearing of it before.

So my suggestion for James was to create starter sets for people who haven't played and host beginner tournaments. Getting rulebooks to go with the "starter sets" might prove a bit trickier but not out of the realm of possibility.

We could either provide fixed sets where the pieces in each starter are the same, or do randomized boxes with basic characters: 2 rares, 3 uncommons, 4 commons.

That's really beyond my scope of expertise but however it is done, beginner events is where the focus should be, imo.

The other thing I'd suggest people start thinking about if the game is to survive is the possibility of set rotations. Pick 5 sets from the original wotc stuff, and 2 v-sets to make tournament legal. And then rotate those 7 choices every year as a "standard" format. You can still do the "play with everything ever made" option, but having a more limited pool of minis to choose from will shake things up a bit.

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 Post subject: Re: GenCon 2014 Prep
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:56 pm 
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One event perhaps to consider would be the modified NZ Battle Royale/King of the Ring that I've been running at most of our local WNY events. It's been well received (IMO) and might add the same dimension that the RR does but without the team effect. Which I'd be willing to run as I will be there in 2014, barring anything crazy.

Also I'd like to see the Epic 500 make its reappearance next year as we've got six new pieces waiting to get more action and I believe the last Epic 500 was at FrostyCon.

Please keep the V-set sealed as it's wizard!

Just my .02.

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 Post subject: Re: GenCon 2014 Prep
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:17 pm 
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Sithborg wrote:
billiv15 wrote:
I don't believe much of the cost of the events goes to prize support any longer. Most of that cost goes directly to Gencon for allowing us to run the events.


Yup. At least $2 per hour per ticket goes to gencon. So, gencon will take $12-14 per ticket for the championships. I do hope everyone enjoyed their metallic promos. You cannot compare us to any of the companies that run games. They can write off the expense (and I suspect the direct sales in the exhibitor hall really helps cut down on the loss). We can't.

So, Championship and Jedi Challenge are staying. But from what I saw this year, we need more entry level type events, like Minis Mayhem. Events that are easy to bring in the returning/new players.



Actually it is $2 per 2 hours for renting space from gencon. Plus a cost to set us up an HQ table. Plus a large cost to let us have power for the weekend. So yes, it is quite expensive to run events at Gencon that actually require table space and power to run a computer. Also, last year we got some nice discounts from some of the vendors who were unwilling to provide those to us again this year. Hopefully that changes next year.

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 Post subject: Re: GenCon 2014 Prep
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:37 am 
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I know that I did uncharacteristically well this year, but my favorite experience at GenCon was the Sealed event. The only change we should make there is to provide maps. It's great when you can just come in, get some cool customs of new stuff and just play. I think we should consider doing that for all events we aren't using the restricted maplist for.

I am for another sealed event during the weekend using WotC boosters as was suggested. Good call.

I was disappointed in the Mystery Map event this year because there was only 1 map. I like the format where we flip it after 2 rounds.

We should provide squads to play AGAINST the protectors as well in BHC. 2 of the 3 players who sat down across for me on Sunday had never played before. If I am a protector next year I will bring effective yet simple, 'teachable' squads for new people to play.

Like Tint, I don't play 100. I also don't like the the weird build formats. There is nothing that will ever compel me to play them. I am happy to judge them if they are popular, however.

While I agree with Tint that the old team tournament format allowed for more teamwork, the new format seems to have caught on. I've played in it the last 2 years and have enjoyed it. It seems to be more popular, and I vote to leave it in as is. Well done, Jake and Tim.

I love sealed. Awesome job coordinating it, Laura and Jason. Did I say I like sealed?

Finally, James did a great job this year. He has the right temperament for that task. We can all help him out a bit more by buying him shots at Hooters.

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 Post subject: Re: GenCon 2014 Prep
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:47 am 
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I am in the same boat as Tint and Jim. I dont like 100 much, and i realy dont like the odd builds. to me ds/ls is the limit. That can be fun and very open but i dont like being heavily restricted. Just My opinion and preference.

I like Les's idea of mystery tiles instead of mystery map and tile wars. it would have the same feel and kind of shake up the formats too.

I think there is a fun way you could do the Jedi challenge next year while doing 3 round for each event :

Start off with 150
do a 200 point Mystery Tiles/ Or Even Just Mystery Map and Tile Wars
150/100 point ds/ls
200 Point
____________________________________________

Now one other Tourney i would love to see on saturday morning or early afternoon would be the epic 500 point. i was so sad not to see it on the list this year because it is my second favorite format ( tile wars is my 1st) Its time slot last year however was so bad i think that is what made it a major determiner.


Now i will most likly be at gen con next year, as i live 30 minutes away, but my opinions still do not speak for the entire community.

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 Post subject: Re: GenCon 2014 Prep
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:53 pm 
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The Hoth mass Attlee continues to sell out. Thinking about running it twice a day Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

X wing events
3 ft x 15 ft map with eight players on a side. Pre built squads.

Small scenario events. Push crates with tractor beam across goal line. Think football.

Triple elimination tourney. Select light side or dark side. Make three 60-70 point squads. 45 min rounds. Win by 33 or both lose. You can not pay a squad that lost again.

Limited events if any events on Saturday.

Lower cost of events by a little, reduce prize support.


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 Post subject: Re: GenCon 2014 Prep
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 6:34 pm 
Death Star Designers
Death Star Designers
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Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:29 am
Posts: 782
Location: Kokomo, Indiana
The Minis Madness is a blast and was close to a sell out. It will easily do it next year with a whole set of Clone Strike for the winner.

100 limited to specific sets was a lot of fun. 150, not so much - but I usually don't build well for it, and 200 VSET only was fine.

Mystery map is a blast and I actually like flipping the map midway.

Team Rumble is a blast, yet we need to figure out a way (or play 3 rounds) to limit the quest to hammer the round 1 leader in points in the final 2nd round. This has happened to the Indiana team the past 2 years and makes it not so much fun.

Champs stays of course. 500 point should return and the 1 hour time limit suggestion is a good one. While I like being the only ever winner of this event, I would like to see it again ;)

I would not mind an event that limits (aside from the 500) CE's, and most importantly activations.

The cost/event is understandable once it was explained. I too wondered why it was so expensive but now have a better idea.

Lastly, it would be great if more people who are there would play (money constraints understood) and not simply watch. It is discouraging to play a small field event while good players are milling around when the games would welcome their participation if they were so inclined. Hope to see many longtime players that did not attend at all return this coming year and bring their skills and friendship.


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