Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Guest Article : The Joy of Event Coverage with Aaron Bostian

Hey everyone! I’m not Chuck, but he invited me to share some of my thoughts for today’s post. In the past few weeks, I’ve enjoyed some quality time watching distant AoS events. All from the comfort of my living room. And I want to take a few moments to highlight some of the media coverage of a few recent events.

It started last month with the hype about 200 players planning to attend a big event in Australia. I had caught some of the Road to CanCon hangout shows hosted by AoS Coach with some hobbyists and their armies marching along the hobby road to the largest AoS GT in the Southern Hemisphere. Once the event started, I left work early on a Friday to watch The Honest Wargamer stream the action from half a world away.  

I was up way past midnight, watching Rob and Dan and Nathan... and Dan, known for his comprehensive website AoS Shorts; Dan stood on the floor of the gaming hall, reporting action from an assortment of many exciting games. On Saturday night (which was Sunday in Australia) I fell asleep before the last game. But I was able to watch the missed segments later. Altogether, the team that streamed the GT provided a way to feel a small but significant part of the action.

Then last week my local club was chatting about the Las Vegas Open. Several club members were attending or just going to hang out and experience the con. One of our club champions flew out to play in the AoS GT with his Skryre list which, as we all realized as the previews of the new Skaven battletome was revealed, would likely be the last chance before some changes. (James is now, after the event, the highest ranked Skryre player in the ITC.)

But, not unexpected, after these club mates arrived in Vegas almost all communications went dark. But Dan’s AoS Shorts website was a bright beacon of information. Even if he didn’t have pictures taken from the scene, he condensed the event pack, collected the army lists from BCP, and effectively previewed the event from another continent on his awesome blog. Throughout the weekend continued to track wins, losses, trends, and upsets, and I let him do the work and kept up with the event as a whole by regularly checking his site rather than sifting through the BCP app myself.

And then there was the Frontline Gaming video stream on their Twitch channel. Twitch is a relatively new media platform for me, but by Sunday I had figured out how to watch the final three games in the GT in the living room television. My wife watched the last game with me, and although she found it a “little slow” she asked plenty of questions and gave me the chance to talk about the different armies and how the battle plan worked. Adan from Lords & Heroes podcast provided commentary and post-game interviews with the players, but behind him and the other podcast personalities, there was a team that had set up cameras, tables, and everything else to make the stream possible.  If that wasn't enough Warhammer TV was streaming the LVO 40k events all weekend long as well!

It was some exciting drama, realizing more than 120 players had started playing games on Friday, and it had come down to these two at game eight on Sunday night. (Chuck had encouraged me to attend the Rend 4 GT in Ohio back in December, and it was there when I had a chance to play against Bill, which I wrote about here.) And I nearly felt I was there while comfortably sipping a beer on the couch with my wife and cats.

There were other events those same weekends as well! During LVO The Honest Wargamer was covering an important event in England, for example, and I didn’t make time to follow anything more than an occasional Twitter post. But now I have something to watch next weekend!

It’s easy to get caught up in the drama of a competitive event with our favorite players winning or losing unexpectedly against tough opponents. But at the end of every event, behind all the excitement of videos and pictures and Twitter posts and comments on our Facebook groups, I want to consider the tournament organizers and their supporters. Even GTs as part of larger conventions require more work than many of us can imagine, especially when we’re talking about more than a hundred players and several hundred pieces of terrain for scores of tables! The TO of each event strives to run an event which provides fun and fair experiences for all those players, and we sometimes take their efforts for granted.

Between the event organizers and the media correspondents, I enjoyed a couple of cold and snowy weekends inside and watching the coverage. And it brought me as close to the action as I could hope from the comfort of home. And I appreciate everyone involved in covering these events, feeling more connected to the wider AoS community than I could have expected.

~Aaron B.