SmogCon and I have a not-terribly-storied history. Since the convention started running two years ago, I’ve either had the time (but not the money) or the money (but not the time) to attend; the case of affairs has only been magnified by travel and accommodation costs, and the extraordinary pace with which tickets have sold out. Not this time, buster, no sirree; this time the tickets came on sale right when my last full-time paycheque was still in play, and this time the con’s in Guildford, a trifling hour’s train ride from my nearest major station. This time, there will be no excuses; no duckin’ an’ divin’, no muckin’ abaht, none of it. This time I’m bloody well going. At the time of writing, I’ve my eyes on three things.
- First up, the Warmahordes Hydra. One 35 point list, assuming 5 warjack points; 5 different warcasters; caster pairings determined randomly every round, with no repetitions. The majority of events seem to be 50 points and up, with multiple lists required; that’s not really my bag. The prospect of being able to pick one solid 35-pointer, and have a very different game every round, though? That sounds like my bag. That sounds like a fitting test for the old saw that just changing your warcaster results in a very different game. That sounds like the perfect fit for someone who’ll probably still have a tiny collection by the time the tournament rolls round, and for someone who’s already set their eyes on A List that they want to build. I’ll be taking the Retribution of Scyrah, obviously.
- Second up, pending M2E not being a big pile of bad cabbage, I’m sorely tempted by the idea of an event for that; I’m looking for an excuse to build up a bit of a Gremlin collection and with the newfangled faction rules that’s looking more viable and rewarding. Also, apparently there are drunken kung fu Gremlins, and an old witch with a cauldron. I don’t know Malifaux terribly well but that story-based event is looking tempting, or maybe the small-scale Hardcore event on the Saturday evening. I’m having trouble defining ‘Hardcore’ in a Malifaux context, but it seems to be a “conventional wargame” approach; pick 20 points of stuff and use that for the duration rather than the usual Malifaux thing of picking your force by the engagement.
- Thirdly and finally, the IKRPG. At the moment, I’ve put my name down to run some demo games rather than play in the ongoing campaign, but I can see that changing if I open the book and think better of trying to run it. I have the sneaking suspicion that it’ll be everything I despise in an RPG (big rulebooks, crunchy mechanics, combat-focused, borderline-unplayable-without-miniatures), but executed really well, and I’d be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t give it a go, at least as a player. I really hope it won’t be one of those systems where learning its ins and outs is essential to feel like you’re contributing anything, and where people will huff and puff if that work of learning ins and outs isn’t rewarded by a GM style that clings absolutely to the published tenets; if it is, then I’ll just knock up a player character who isn’t rubbish and participate that way instead.
In a way I’m hoping that SmogCon will give me something toward which to direct my energies – three games to play, three collections to build, three systems to learn. That doesn’t seem like an unfeasible thing with which to occupy myself for the next six months, especially since I’m considering getting shot of 40K again; it’s nothing personal this time, but money is tight and the Necrons have the highest resale value of anything I own that’s not my laptop. Plus, of course, there’s the usual ‘unfinishable project’ aspect; they’re boring and samey and there’s a lot of them. Same old same old, like all the projects I abandon; 35 points of Warmachine and 20 of Malifaux is very achievable from where I am, as is “buy the IKRPG and learn how it works.”
So, that’s the mission for the next six months (although I’m probably still going to chatter about other stuff, like my Magic decks or WoW, from time to time). Wish me luck.