Sunday, February 27, 2011

State of Lord of the Rings Game in Phoenix


If you have not guessed yet I have been a bit busy this month, hence the lack of posts.

So lets see, if you have not heard, Gathering in the Desert 2011 happened last weekend. We had 22 players signed up this year with only 2 not being able to make it and it was a blast. Gathering in the Desert is a Lord of the Rings Independent Grand Tournament that is on the Games Workshop Circuit.

As readers of this blog know, I am a big fan and champion of this game and have been running this GT for the last 4 years. Wow, 4 years now and I am pleased to announce that Gathering in the Desert will be back next year in 2012.

And that fact got me thinking about the local tournament scene here in Phoenix AZ. A friend pointed out that this is in his recollection, the longest running tournament and to boot it is the Lord of the Rings game! Now granted, I am not sure if this is the longest running tournament here in the valley, but ever since I have been here in the valley, it is. I could be wrong and if you know of another event here in Phoenix let me know. I know for sure that this is the longest running LotR tournament here in the valley (in fact the only one!).

So I was wondering why is that? Maybe it is because LotR is such a small part of the GW family. I know that most folks either play Warhammer Fantasy Battle or Warhammer 40K but it has been hard to find LotR players here in the valley. This year at GitD, we had a equal split of players being local and from out of state. It seems that Phoenix is not much different from other parts of the country in the fact that there is not a lot of LotR players. That is why most folks travel all over the country to play LotR. I am hopefully that the Hobbit movies will breath a new breath of life into the LotR game, in fact Games Workshop signed a 6 year deal to produce miniatures for the game, which is a great sign for the game.

So with that being said, it is time for the LotRSBG community to start to stepping it up. If we want more players to play this awesome game, we need to get out there and start playing the game. I will admit that I have been bad at this. In fact I have not really done a very good job of promoting LotR SBG in Phoenix. My good buddy Drunkensamurai and I were talking about this just today. We need to do a better job at this and if I want to see LotR grow (as well as GitD) I need to do more. Hell I even did a post on this, but I have not really done anything except run a practice event as well as GitD.

Now I heard that there was a LotR league being run out of Empire Games, but sadly the person running it has lost interest in LotR. From what I have heard, there was something like 14 players in the league and most lived in the east side of the valley. So it seems that there are more LotR players here in the valley, it just means that someone needs to rally them all together.

So I guess that means I need to get off of my butt and start doing more things for LotR here in the valley. I have tried (and failed miserably) at running a map based campaign (don't remind me Howard!). I have also talked about doing something with the Battle Companies stuff that GW put out for LotR, but once again it was nothing but talk.

So where does this leave me? Well it means I need to step up and do more for the game I love. So my plan is to try to get something going like my buddy Keith is doing up in Colorado. He is running a quarterly series of mini one day events that will track the best player and eventually will crown one person as the Champion of the series. So I am planning to get this going within the next few weeks, with GitD being the one for the first quarter with three others happening throughout the year.

So there you have it, stay tuned for more info on the Phoenix LotR Championship...



Da Green Skins said...

I also hope that the new movie coming out helps push GW to do more with the game. I am still new to this gaming system and one of the challenges that we all face is the lack of Source information. We played last night and you pulled out a Source book I have never seen. I have been told that GW stop producing the Source Books and to me this is a problem. If you want to increase the player pool in our community how can we get more information to the new players. Outside of that I feel you are on the right track. Lets start having more games at the shops and show others how to play the game. I would like to see this game as popular as WFB and 40K so I can just walk into a local shop and find someone to play.

Jerry said...

Hey Tim, This is a great idea. It's good to promote the game and to keep people who are playing up on their skills. You can definitely count me in for that. It will give me a good excuse to start expanding into different armies.

I do hope the new movie will cause GW to re-issue the old sourcebooks. It's a shame that they are not continuing them. I even ordered some direct from the GW site and got a notice that a few I ordered were discontinued. They were even listed on the site at that time, but must've sold out by the time they got my order.

Jobu said...

Great post, what would help me, as someone who is interested in getting a larger number of LoTR players, would be a little FAQ on how to run an event. How to start, advertise, what to include what not to include etc. I like the Battle Company idea. Most people want a game to last between 60-90 minutes. A small LoTR games can easily do that better than I think some other systems can and pretty cheap.