As I write this it is early Saturday morning and I’m about to run the UK Malifaux Nationals for the very last time. I have very mixed feelings about this weekend and what better to do with that than write a stream of consciousness post and share it with you all.
If you follow me on social media etc. Its no secret that I am not as invested in Malifaux as I have been in the past. I still really like the game but I’m not a huge fan of the current Gaining Grounds (tournament rules) or the current event meta of heavy summoner crews ending up with a massive activation advantage which means that I don’t go to events which means I don’t want to run events – whole circle of life thing.
In 2012 I went to my very first Malifaux event (run by the always awesome Jo) and had an absolute blast. I had never played the game before that event but the group of folks that I met were all absolutely awesome and I was hooked. I started a pretty popular podcast, I went to every event that I could and on the back of those events I amassed a pretty large collection of wooden spoons. It was great. So great in fact that I thought I would run my own event (Malifools Midsummer Malifaux Madness) which was something that I thought I would never do again after being heavily involved in the Warhammer scene with the WPS back in the day.
The event went well and then things just seemed to spiral out of control and as is my want, I started to run more and more events as well as go to more and more events. I picked up the reins of running the rankings when the previous host unceremoniously dumped them and then somehow ended up being a Wyrd Henchman, responsible for promoting the game. Madness.
In 2014 I ran my first Nationals (still called the UKGT then) at York and we got 60 odd people to come along, then next year we filled the York venue to bursting with 80 odd. It was amazing to see so many people playing the game that i loved at an event I had set up (I won’t lie, its a great ego boost running tournaments) and I set my sights on breaking the 100 player number in 2016.
All the while I was doing events (was up to running 8-10 a year) I was playing as well, travelling all around the country/world to play and with the advent of 2nd edition I had somehow got good at the game. I won things other than wooden spoons and tbh I think that is where the rot in my mind started to set in.
I started to want to win prizes and my position in the rankings became important to me and that isn’t healthy as it means that on the tabletop I turn into even more of an arsehole than I usually am. So rather than turn into ‘that guy’ I made a conscious decision to play less and give up some of the things that went with that. Rankings was the first thing to go and frankly Kai and his group have done a better job than I ever could with it – Bag O Tools is an excellent resource to all Malifaux organisers – but I wanted to stay with the Nationals until I broke that 100 player barrier.
2016 was supposed to be my swan song. I had sold 128 tickets, every player was getting a ton of swag, folks from all over Europe were making the pilgrimage to come and play and best of all (for my ego certainly) Aaron, Lead Designer of Malifaux, was coming over to hang out with us for the weekend. Perfect.
And that was the problem.
It was perfect. From start to finish the event couldn’t have gone better and it would have been the perfect note to go out on, but buoyed by the atmosphere in the hall and the awesome reaction of the players I decided I would do another year.
Which brings us to today.
With the reduced intellectual investment I have in the game comes a certain apathy to running things. But I had sold 128 tickets (in 10 minutes, crazy) which meant that I had to run the event this weekend,however much I moaned to myself about why I was doing it. So here we are, ready or not, another 100+ event with participants from all over Europe My aim is to make it the best damn 2 days of Malifaux I can and then i can go into the sunset knowing that I helped in a little way to get the game to where it is today.
I’d like to thank everyone who I have met over the last 5 years, opponents, fellow TOs and folks who have given up there time to come to something that I have run. Its been a blast and I have enjoyed nearly every minute of it.
Should have stopped after last year though 🙂