The Middle-Aged Noob goes to the Las Vegas Open 2018 Part 2
4LVO 2018 has come and gone and it was once again a great time. There were a TON of familiar faces from our local Edmonton/Calgary region there. It’s always a lot more fun when you can hang out with people you know in Vegas after the gaming is over. I even ran into Armin, an Edmonton 40K player that I don’t recall ever seeing at any events locally before (not that I play 40k) but who I actually knew. Back in the very early 2000’s Armin and I used to play the computer game Team Fortress Classic (a Half-Life mod) competitively in the same clan. Small world…
Last post I talked about being indecisive about what to play, but in the end I stuck with the original plan and brought both my Dropzone Commander and Shadespire down with me. I played in the Dropzone Tournament on Friday, I took a couple of airbrush classes on Saturday, and then in the casual Shadespire tournament on Sunday.
I’ll have separate posts for each of the tournaments I played in, but I thought I’d talk about the event experience as a whole with this post. This is my second time going to the Las Vegas Open, I also went in 2016. I feel like the tournament as a whole is well run, but the individual events within the tournament are left entirely to the individual volunteers with fucks at all given by the overall organizers as to how the individual events go. Maybe that’s because I’ve only played in the “smaller” events and if I played 40K I’d feel different, but it feels to me that the organizers just book the venue and just kind of say “come run a game, we don’t give a shit what you do with it”. I have never been to another event other than the Las Vegas Open, but from what I hear, they are all better for miniatures gaming than the LVO. Also, the vendor area, while much MUCH better this time than the last time I went, is rather lacking in my opinion. People like me show up to an event like this with money in our pocket ready to spend, and the only things I bought was a set of AoS tokens and a use AoS model. The rest of the vendors didn’t interest me in the least. Forgeworld was there, which was awesome, but I think about 1/3 of the booths were demoing some game or another that nobody cared about and weren’t actually vendors at all. For this reason I think I’m convinced that the LVO is not the miniatures tournament you want to go to.
But it is the EVENT you probably want to go to. I know that seems confusing, but bear with me for a minute. It’s VEGAS BABY! There is a TON to do, the flights are cheap, there’s legal weed (not my thing but it might be yours), and if you’re from Alberta, there will be a ton of people there you know to drink and hang out with. There’s amazing restaurants (I highly recommend the Sangria at Julian Serrano Tapas), amazing attractions, the hoover dam is a short drive away, you can go out in the red rock dunes on a dunebuggy. There almost literally nothing you can’t do in Las Vegas provided you have money. You’re just not going to get that in Indianapolis for Gencon, or in Chicago for Adepticon. This is the reason to go to the LVO. There are better tournaments, but they’re not in Vegas.
Next time I’ll talk about my experience in my first tournament of the weekend, Dropzone Commander.
Trevor is a fairly new miniatures gamer having played his first “miniatures” game at age 39 in 2013 when Star Wars X-Wing first came out. Since then he’s moved on to Dropzone Commander running local tournaments for it and promoting it as the local Hawk Talon. He also plays Age of Sigmar and has dabbled in a little 40K.