I have been involved with the Warmachine & Hordes events at TempleCon for over five years…
In 2009 TempleCon was at the Biltmore in down town Providence. We had the whole ballroom on the second floor.
I was a Pressganger working shifts, not one of the organizers. The Warstore was the only vendor I remember. The three days had four tournaments and the Masters on Sunday. In 2009, we had 125 player and thought that was a huge number of players.
We had Eternal War. People could play casual games and the person who won got points. The most points go a seat into the finals. We had a couple of fancy scenario tables, but they just looked different from the tournament tables.
I got to know a ton of people, had a great time and worked more shifts than I should have.
That summer, Paul & Andrew asked me to join as an organizer. I joined NE Privateers. We get together to build terrain, table tops (4’x4′), plan the events, get prize support and so on….
NE Privateers also runs the oldest travelling trophy tournament. New England Team Tournament (NETT) runs every year in the summer. In 2009 it was hosted by The Time Machine in Manchester Ct. We had a couple of teams from New Jersey and around 30 players. The trophy ended up in NJ for a year.
At GenCon 2009, Andrew was asked to help DC with the Monpoc events. Then Kevin wantedd help with the Wm/Hd events. Andrew nominated me to help with the Monpoc shifts he couldn’t cover. Part of Monpoc was a casual play event. I think the name was City Smash. Find someone, play a game. If you do six things you get points. You could trade points for promo models. It was pretty popular.
At the airport Andrew and I talked. We both seemed to have the same general idea. Do something like City Smash for the casual Wm/Hd players at TempleCon in 2010.
We also found out that TempleCon 2010 was going to be at the Crown Plaza in Warwick. A larger area with more table for the Wm/Hd events. We had a lot of terrain to build. While building terrain, we kicked around a lot of ideas. I also found out that we finance everything ourselves. The events we do at TempleCon are not supported by TempleCon. NE Privateers has to raise the money, furnish the terrain, chess clocks, transport and everything else. We sell Midnight Madness T-Shirts at TempleCon to pay for what we do.
What we rolled out in 2010 was called Eternal War. Why change a good name. It used a paper system to keep track of player and their games. We handed out tickets so people could keep track of their points. Privateer Press, some local stores provided a lot of prizes, we kicked in some too. Players found someone to play a game with. Found a table and had fun. Points for games, different opponents, game size, and a bunch of other things. We tried to encourage people to play people they don’t know. Make new friends.
The 2010 ball room was much larger. We had 80% of it. Monpoc had the rest. In 2010 Mk2 Warmachine was still new.
Eternal war was play what you want to play. Friday afternoon about 1:30 we walked around and we couldn’t find an empty table. The tournament, every table not used for the tournament and every scenario table was full. “We’re gonna need a bigger boat!!” quickly became something we have said many times. All three of us ran tournaments. Paul and Andrew ran a midnight tournament. Not much sleep for the three of us, but that was pretty normal. It was pretty normal for Andrew to run a Friday Night tournament then play HardCore all day Saturday. Legend has it that he won Hardcore in 2008 without any sleep.
The scenario tables had unique terrain and scenarios designed to make them fun and different. It isn’t always possible to make them perfectly balanced. They are supposed to be fun. Sunday we had to wait for game to finish before we could pack up some of the tables.
We had our first visit from the Lost Hemisphere crew. They won masters too. Someone had a Ferret with a Bobba Fett helmet, I was confused. Or was I exhausted. I still remember hearing “Spriggan” echo across the room.
It seemed very successful. We had 188 between the tournaments and Eternal War. The next thing we knew Privateer Press wanted to use Eternal War. The name got changed to Iron Arena and it was rolled out at GenCon 2010.
NETT 2010 was next. We used a Masonic hall in southwestern Ct. It was a really hot day. We had been told the hall was air-conditioned. Technically it was. The tiny Air Conditioning unit didn’t stand a chance. By 11 am the temperature in the hall was over a hundred. We had a good number of players, but the heat had people dropping out of the tournament after the first game. It was pretty miserable. We couldn’t let that happen again.
Chris Miller (G’Day from Lost Hemisphere) came to Cape Cod on Vacation that summer and made it know that he would be at a Game Store one night. I made the drive down to introduce myself and get to know him.
Andrew had been writing the Steamroller rules for a while. In 2010 he was the Organized Play boss at GenCon and I was his assistant doing the evening shift. 2010 was when Mk2 was new and GenCon was a big test. The updated rules and steamroller made everything run really smooth. One thing I really enjoyed was seeing so many different factions and casters in the tournaments. The variety of casters being played was great. Iron Arena was a hit too.
After GenCon we had stuff to build. We had the whole room in 2011. We made table tops and terrain. For every table top we build 7-8 pieces of terrain. One of the things about Iron Arena is the points and price of the prizes. Players can claim one game an hour. How many points can they get in one hour? How many points can they get in 5 games, 10 games? How long will it take someone to get one of the Big prizes? If the big prizes are gone Friday night, we screwed up. We had TempleCon dice for the first time. Paid for them with T-shirt money. A very popular item. We tried to have a color for each faction. We did well on the T-Shirts and came close to breaking even. Privateer Press did the Q&A again and had some art they showed on a slide show.
Once again, Privateer Press had some stuff to show us.
At TempleCon 2011 we added a Team Tournament to the list of events. This is very popular and competitive. The winning 3 player team, all get a seat in masters on Sunday. We also had more scenario tables. Lost Hemisphere dragged two great scenario tables across the boarder. (thanks Spud). By 1 pm on Friday, “we’re gonna need a bigger boat!!”.
Lost Hemisphere held a raffle for Flood Machine (Australia flood relief). PP donated a 35pt unpainted army. I remember a couple of other painted armies too. Good Charity and Great fun. GDay continued his tradition of playing a bunch of games and giving stuff away. I think he played Trolls and Menoth.
The numbers of players jumped to 254. The biggest problem we had was dealing with over 200 pieces of paper to keep track of Iron Arena. The only solutions we had was to add people.
NETT 2011 was in a game store in central Massachusetts. We had enough room for 48 and I think we had 36 players. We moved it back to Mass so we would get players from Me, NH and Vt. Expecting them to go to central or south-western Ct had kept them from coming to the events in 2009/2010. With tables all over the store, it was a not easy to run, but it was fun.
GenCon 2011 was crazy. Again Andrew was Organized play boss and I had second shift. Friday, in the middle of HardCore, the printer cartridge died. I spent a couple of hours and two taxi rides of over twenty miles finding a Staples and getting a new Laser Printer cartridge. I am glad I got reimbursed for that. Saturday, no one had signed up to run the tournaments. Andrew and I had to fill in. We had a couple of PGs who wanted to help, but that didn’t work out. One had partied to much and was forced to leave in less than an hour. Sick as a dog. The other one had worked the midnight tournament and fell asleep. A valiant attempt. So, we did those events, grabbed some noodles for dinner and back into the game hall. We finally got out of there at 1:30 am. I finished my evening shift and Andrew played his one game. I must thank the Texas Crew for bringing us a bag of Bagels and Coffee. Much appreciated. Another crazy part was the last game of masters. The game hall was closing up, the lights got turned down, extra people got forced out. Almost no one got to watch. Dodging forklifts was crazy too.
TempleCon 2012 would give us a bigger room. The Grand Ball Room. A little over 90 tables means we have to build more table tops and terrain. Also get more Chess Clocks (spend a lot of money). It also means we have to transport more stuff. Lucky for us, Andrew has a family minivan.
We had about two thirds of the ballroom. Friday morning PP did the start of 2012 announcements. The high points was the first appearance of a Conquest. Sitting inside a glass box to keep the masses at a safe distance.
Once again, Friday afternoon had every table busy. “We’re gonna need a bigger boat!!!” Well, the 40k area wasn’t used on Friday, so we used some of those tables too..
The paperwork for Iron Arena got to a crushing level. Lines of people waiting to report their games. We had one person pulling the two record sheets and handing them to another person to record the game. At peak hours 4 people couldn’t handle the load.
One of the things I have done at TempleCon & GenCon is to keep Andrew going. He judged the team tournament all day Friday. I think he had some pizza. Then ran the midnight madness event. Yes, that is no sleep. Then he played in Hardcore. I made sure he had a cup of coffee, something for breakfast, something for lunch. Andrew gets in a convention zone and just keeps going.
After Hardcore we did something we had never done before. Leaving and having dinner together. For the three of us to leave the game room unattended was a big step. We had people we trusted keeping an eye on things. A good crew running Iron Arena. It was becoming obvious that we couldn’t run tournaments and manage the details of an event this size.
Lost Hemisphere continued the Charity Raffle tradition. Hope Alzheimers Centre the recipient. An Ashlynn theme list was raffled off. Over 100 points with all the options. It was painted by to many people to list.
I got to play a game with G’Day. 35 points or High Reclaimer vs Epic Morghoul. Both fully painted and theme lists, lots of fun.
Biggest concerns after TempleCon 2012 was how to handle the growing numbers of Iron Arena players. The lines to report games was caused by the paper system. PP was concerned too. They use Iron Arena at Lock&Load and GenCon.
All in all, TempleCon 2012 was another year of huge growth. 361 players played Wm/Hd that year. The biggest things we needed was a better way to do Iron Arena.
NETT was at a Hotel in Pawtucket Ri. Biggest event yet. Again air conditioning problems. The room got to 90/91 but the end of the day. Almost no air movement. We did have free sodas on ice, but that only helped a little. It wasn’t as bad as 2010, but not great. The idea of getting a large hotel room was a good one. Just need a better one. Total numbers about 48.
TempleCon 2013 was a modest change in the tables we had. The hall outside the Grand Ballroom was ours. Maybe another 16-20 tables. The scenario tables got moved out there. It was busy around the clock. We needed a some more terrain and chess clocks, but the big expense was a van. Andrew’s job had moved him away from New England. We had to rent a van. The expenses went up. Second, the Midnight Madness sale dropped. Lack of pre-order and poor quality on the T-Shirt killed us. We couldn’t afford to order TempleCon dice. Huge disappointment to the players and us too… We didn’t come close to breaking even.
The tournaments are getting to be routine. Well there are always little problems, but we have seen things before and are pretty good at keeping things going.
Iron Arena had software. PP let us use it, test it, stress it… The person who wrote it was available to tweak it as problems showed up. It made Iron Arena run so much better. Honestly, it was fabulous!!! Total Numbers for 2013 427. Wow…
Lost Hemisphere raffled off painted armies for the Kent Center for Children’s mental health. G’Day played Drop Bears, he refuses to call them Cygnar. I am confused.
2012 & 2013 had pretty much the same tournaments and the number of players in tournaments really didn’t change much. It was pretty clear that growth was in Iron Arena. Sixty six more plays in 2013 and most of the increase was due to Iron Arena.
NETT moved to a larger hotel. Everything went smoothly. A little over 60 players. We had a wedding in the other three sections of the ballroom. It was funny seeing drunk wedding guests walk in and looking at what we had going on. One guy wanted to by some models.
TempleCon 2014 had very little change or 2013. We had 8-10 more tables. We also had four days and three more tournaments. That doesn’t change much. We spent the time we normally spent on terrain getting permission to sell promotional stuff with the TempleCon logo. We did a pre-order of patches, dice and coins. It was a last minute thing. We got some orders and used that to order some extras. The midnight madness T-shirt pre-orders went well the the quality problem was fixed.
Privateer Press did their second broadcast and we got to see more Cephalyx. No problem filling up the tables on Thursday. Four days seemed to fill up the Crown Plaza just as fast as three days did…
We sold out of coins and dice on Thursday, MM T-Shirts sold out on Saturday. If we didn’t sell all the patches, we might have 1 or 2 left. We covered the cost of the truck we needed (the van was to small), the hundreds of dollars of paperwork we had printed and a lot of other expenses. We had to fix the expenses! We also sold Games & Gears Products at our table. Why do I talk about money so much. We had to find a way to make some cash or we wouldn’t be able to run these tournaments.
We teamed up with Lost Hemisphere to run the Charity Raffle. Lost Hemisphere did the publicity and most of the prize support. NE Privateers got the license with Rhode Island, contacted the Charity and sold the tickets. The Charity was Colon Cancer research at Dana Farber in Boston. We raffled off over 40 items on Saturday night and raised over $4000.
G’Day played retribution all weekend and gave a way bunch of kicky monks. Northblade got clockspidered!
2014 was a success, tournaments, Iron Arena and finances all worked. 508 total players too. Most of them are players who didn’t play in a tournament.
The growth in the Privateer Press events at TempleCon are still growing. 2009 – 125 player -> 2014 – 508 players. The general feeling we get is the growth is due to having tournaments and casual play. We have always had a good tournament turnout. The last three years, we see more and more people coming to play casual games all weekend.
Well, what next…
The NETT 2014 will be and a new Convention. CaptainCon!!! Well, it will if the kickstarter gets funded. If you like the events you we have organized and run in the past. Please take a look at this one. Even if you can’t come visit us this July, you might want to in the future. It might be nice to be able to say, “I help get CaptainCon started”.
Till next time, just do it…