WHAT would get you to a major CON to Play AA?

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WHAT would get you to a major CON to Play AA?

Post by SwampHQ on Wed 01 Jul 2009, 11:24

I have been running AA events for AH, WotC, TSR and the SG
for over 15 years now. I have seen a lot of players come and go, and I know the
economy doesn't help. But with the recent decline in attendance at
Origins, I am just curious what draws you to or keeps you away from a major
gaming Convention?

What I would like to pick your brain about is;


What would get you to come to a major CON if you don't
already? Is it one can not afford it, which is extremely understandable,
but, is it something else, especially in the AA world?


It is the tournament format? The GM? Looking to
just play for fun? Not enough prize support; too many games to choose
from? The list could go on, but what are your thoughts? Do you
care?


Obviously if you are reading this, you are interested enough
to be on this forum...what would it take to get you to the next level?


Please comment and give me some feedback if you have the
time…

Thanks,

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Re: WHAT would get you to a major CON to Play AA?

Post by questioneer on Thu 02 Jul 2009, 12:15

First of all I want to say that you do a fantastic job with the Origins and GenCon and I think I can safely speak for most that our suggestions are minimal because of your flexibility and understanding.

As far as getting to a Con, for me personally the economy has a lot to do with it. If I am going to spend the cash on a trip it probably would be GenCon because I know that I will get the most bang for the buck. However, with more people playing online including myself I don't really need to travel and spend cash to play good games- so therefore I would go to one Con instead of two or three.

I actually feel that since we have quite a few Michigan players that some how we could create a "regional" league and then send the top 2-4 teams to GenCon to play in a Master's or whatever- I dunno.

A league idea sounds pretty cool- using your GenCon parameters- people can play online and then meet at GenCon for a Master's or something. Or having a regional "playoff" con in Michigan at the MichCon in May. Winners advance to the Master's. Just some thoughts.

I think that if the Origins thing keeps up, it will soon go down in flames- doesn't sound like the attendence will pick up any time soon. I think creating a league may go well- use axisandallies.org as your playsite and go for it!

Like I've said- just thoughts- don't know how they would work!

Oh, I know- to get people to come out to the Con- offer CASH prizes + games- not allowed though right???
They do it at Chess tournaments!

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Re: WHAT would get you to a major CON to Play AA?

Post by Frimmel on Mon 06 Jul 2009, 11:46

It is just too much to get to the door and then too much to get thru it. Recession or not.

Just a one day trip to Origins is $25-$40 dollars in fuel, $10 to park, and $20 (last time I received a mailing from them) to get in the door and that doesn't include food. Now the entry fee comes down for several days trip but then you add hotel rooms ($40 or more splitting with another guy) and the logistics of bringing your own food or the expense of continued dining out.

It is just too much money to attend.

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Re: WHAT would get you to a major CON to Play AA?

Post by hyogoetophile on Mon 06 Jul 2009, 16:07

I agree with Frimmel. You end up paying a few hundred dollars to play in some tournaments, but thanks to online play, you're not as game-starved as you used to be. It's not the fault of conventions, but because Web play has filled in the gap, cons either have to get cheaper and closer, or somehow offer more.

I finally got a cheap day-pass to walk around Origins last year, but that was only because I was living in Columbus and had never actually gone to Origins.

I should add: One reason I haven't done an actual tournament is because I don't think I'm quite good enough yet to compete well in a tourney. So you're going from A&A players down to serious, tourney-ready players. That's a rather small population to begin with, no?

Keep up the good fight.

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Re: WHAT would get you to a major CON to Play AA?

Post by SwampHQ on Mon 06 Jul 2009, 19:24

Frimmel wrote:It is just too much to get to the door and then too much to get thru it. Recession or not.

Just a one day trip to Origins is $25-$40 dollars in fuel, $10 to park, and $20 (last time I received a mailing from them) to get in the door and that doesn't include food. Now the entry fee comes down for several days trip but then you add hotel rooms ($40 or more splitting with another guy) and the logistics of bringing your own food or the expense of continued dining out.

It is just too much money to attend.
Hey Frimmel,

Great to hear from you. How is eastern Ohio? As for your comments, I guess I would have to agree but there is absolutely nothing I can do about the costs except to lower the cost of the individual entry fee into each event.

I guess just from my standpoint, I see a lot of players out there at the CON's that are choosing to do other things. I know that everyone can't be at every CON, but just trying to get a feel for what might make someone interested in at least entertaining the thought...

Thanks again and take care...

Peace, Very Happy

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Re: WHAT would get you to a major CON to Play AA?

Post by SwampHQ on Mon 06 Jul 2009, 19:29

hyogoetophile wrote:I agree with Frimmel. You end up paying a few hundred dollars to play in some tournaments, but thanks to online play, you're not as game-starved as you used to be. It's not the fault of conventions, but because Web play has filled in the gap, cons either have to get cheaper and closer, or somehow offer more.

I finally got a cheap day-pass to walk around Origins last year, but that was only because I was living in Columbus and had never actually gone to Origins.

I should add: One reason I haven't done an actual tournament is because I don't think I'm quite good enough yet to compete well in a tourney. So you're going from A&A players down to serious, tourney-ready players. That's a rather small population to begin with, no?

Keep up the good fight.
Yeah, I guess online has it's perks. As I stated above, I guess I was just hoping to maybe tap into some ideas on why people that love the game don't come out as much as they would like too and or why are they choosing other games when they do attend...

This is all coming from, over the years, we have been housed next to the Puffing Billy Tournament area at both Origins and GEN CON and I see them, year after year with great numbers of players attending both CON's. I even talked to one of the organizers of the events at Origins this year and things don't seem much different as far as game duration and level of play, so, I was curious why...?

Thanks again,
Peace, cheers

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Re: WHAT would get you to a major CON to Play AA?

Post by SwampHQ on Mon 06 Jul 2009, 19:59

hyogoetophile wrote:I agree with Frimmel. You end up paying a few hundred dollars to play in some tournaments, but thanks to online play, you're not as game-starved as you used to be. It's not the fault of conventions, but because Web play has filled in the gap, cons either have to get cheaper and closer, or somehow offer more.

Oh, that is another thing, how does anyone find the time to play online? Where, when...if you are married...forget it. The wife nags you if you are on the computer too long. And if it is after they (wife and kids) go to bed, she nags you for not coming to bed then and by then I am way too tired to think about playing...

The only way I get serious play time in is when I tell the wife the guys are coming over to game for a whole night. She seems ok with that... Suspect

Even if you are not married...who would spend all the time playing online when I would call someone and rather play FTF.

Heck, I have just a hard enough time keeping up with the SmoreySwamp, this forum, the other games updates and websites, facebook, e-mails, etc...

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Re: WHAT would get you to a major CON to Play AA?

Post by BushidoBlitz on Mon 06 Jul 2009, 20:43

Greg,
The only way I've played online is by e-mail using TripleA. Like you, I don't have a lot of free time during the week or even on weekends, for that matter. But I can usually find 10-15 minutes in the morning or at night to open up the game file, do a move, and send it off. You might not have 2-3 hours to spend at one time, but 10 minutes here and there, it's very doable.

I've been thinking more, and I think Yope and Charles and others are right, my idea of an Iron-Man contest with mandatory playing of games people don't like is not the answer. By the way, I agree with Questioneer, the games I really like are Europe, Pacific, Revised and AA50. I'm trying to figure out why, and the common denominator is that they have the same basic combat system (albeit with minor tweaks on destroyers, transport capacity, sub rules, etc.). I just don't like the "random casualty" nature of the Bulge and Guadalcanal variants.

I can't speak to what would draw me to the Con for A&A, because I already do show up. But I can speak to what A&A games draw me to the Con, and that is Revised. Why not Europe and Pacific anymore? Because they don't draw large numbers. That is the key. I relish an "epic" event. If it's just me and three other guys playing a 2-round single elimination of Bulge, that just doesn't catch my interest, especially when I don't care too much for the combat system. But if it's a 32-team, 5-round Mega tournament, I love it. Why? The thrill of the marathon, the endurance test. Winning 1st place out of 4 contestants means less than 1st place out of 32.

In short, it's quality of event, not quantity of events--like offering full-fledged tournaments for every A&A variant--that might draw more people. What factors into event quality, besides numbers? Quality of prizes for sure. Metal boards several years back were a big draw, I think. It's true that cash prizes would also do it, per Questioneer's suggestion, but I fear it would also open up the game to nastiness. I recall at Magic the Gathering qualifier tournaments, there was a good bit of poor sportsmanship and even cheating, all because there was so much riding on the outcome. Given that even you, Greg, can only stretch the WOTC prize budget so far, what's left is cool perks for the finals. Like at Origins this year, the finals of the Power Grid tournament were played on a gigantic board (digitally printed and laminated) with lighted cities, the main playing pieces in the game. Maybe something similar could be done with the Mega and/or Masters finals, with large metal pieces.

Also, maybe make the Mega more "epic." Still have 8 brackets of 4 teams and play round robin in each bracket (3 games), but only the winner of each bracket is guaranteed to advance. The next eight are "wild cards," based on the eight highest point totals, regardless of record. That would give more incentive to 1-1 or even 0-2 teams to not give up and to fight for every point in the quest for a wild card spot. Top 16 (eight division winners + eight wild cards) play in single elimination (4 games). That's 7 rounds total. Do two on Friday (2-6 PM, 6-10 PM), four on Saturday (8-12, 12-4, 4-8, 8-12), with finals on a giganto map with cool metal pieces on Sunday.

No pressure to do any of this, I'm just brainstorming.

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Coming to play

Post by CappyTom on Mon 06 Jul 2009, 23:23

I'm a AAM player and have played AA only a few times. Its a great game but I only played the old one and now I hear that there is new rules and upgrades etc. I guess my point is that you pay a lot of money and then play guys or gals that are tuned in for the kill. Spring Gathering is the best thing going I feel. The pressure is lower and the atmostphere is kinder. Even if money is tight I still will budget for Spring Gathering, one night stay and two days of gaming with a lot of nice guys and gals. They still want to kick your @#% but will help ya learn the game's new rules and such as they do it. It seems easyer to get into the turnament too. I guess us newbies are a bit gunshy.
This is just my opinion. If you could make easier to register there or something. Last time I went it was just crazy and a lot to take in. Don't take it the wrong way your doing a great job and I don't think I would want your job. Keep up the good work. Hope this helps

Tom

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Re: WHAT would get you to a major CON to Play AA?

Post by questioneer on Tue 07 Jul 2009, 10:22

SwampHQ wrote:
hyogoetophile wrote:I agree with Frimmel. You end up paying a few hundred dollars to play in some tournaments, but thanks to online play, you're not as game-starved as you used to be. It's not the fault of conventions, but because Web play has filled in the gap, cons either have to get cheaper and closer, or somehow offer more.

Oh, that is another thing, how does anyone find the time to play online? Where, when...if you are married...forget it. The wife nags you if you are on the computer too long. And if it is after they (wife and kids) go to bed, she nags you for not coming to bed then and by then I am way too tired to think about playing...

The only way I get serious play time in is when I tell the wife the guys are coming over to game for a whole night. She seems ok with that... Suspect

Even if you are not married...who would spend all the time playing online when I would call someone and rather play FTF.

Heck, I have just a hard enough time keeping up with the SmoreySwamp, this forum, the other games updates and websites, facebook, e-mails, etc...

LOL... this is true to a certain extent... but then again, how does anyone find the time to setup tournaments for Axis and Allies... have a "Spring Gathering" and make 2 Con trips without your family for days at a time to another state every year... not including the hundreds to dollars spent draining the bank account and the time spent setting up brackets and prizes. Suspect

tit for tat I think. Greg you gotta TRY online play. Don't knock it till you try it for a while.

Of course, with my wife and family you have to compromise. That's why I haven't come to the Cons the last 2years. I got great players online and Ben and Eric to play with some others FTF.

Very Happy
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Re: WHAT would get you to a major CON to Play AA?

Post by SwampHQ on Tue 07 Jul 2009, 12:26

questioneer wrote:
SwampHQ wrote:
hyogoetophile wrote:I agree with Frimmel. You end up paying a few hundred dollars to play in some tournaments, but thanks to online play, you're not as game-starved as you used to be. It's not the fault of conventions, but because Web play has filled in the gap, cons either have to get cheaper and closer, or somehow offer more.

Oh, that is another thing, how does anyone find the time to play online? Where, when...if you are married...forget it. The wife nags you if you are on the computer too long. And if it is after they (wife and kids) go to bed, she nags you for not coming to bed then and by then I am way too tired to think about playing...

The only way I get serious play time in is when I tell the wife the guys are coming over to game for a whole night. She seems ok with that... Suspect

Even if you are not married...who would spend all the time playing online when I would call someone and rather play FTF.

Heck, I have just a hard enough time keeping up with the SmoreySwamp, this forum, the other games updates and websites, facebook, e-mails, etc...

LOL... this is true to a certain extent... but then again, how does anyone find the time to setup tournaments for Axis and Allies... have a "Spring Gathering" and make 2 Con trips without your family for days at a time to another state every year... not including the hundreds to dollars spent draining the bank account and the time spent setting up brackets and prizes. Suspect

tit for tat I think. Greg you gotta TRY online play. Don't knock it till you try it for a while.

Of course, with my wife and family you have to compromise. That's why I haven't come to the Cons the last 2years. I got great players online and Ben and Eric to play with some others FTF.

Very Happy

Questioneer,

Please, do NOT get me wrong, I do NOT knock AA online play. I just have chosen to not play and instead would rather play FTF...I understand that many can not make it to where ever and that is there only outlet.

As for finding time myself...that is it. That is all my time. I can't squeeeeeze anymore into my life, hence the reason why I don't play online. A perfect example of this is that we just started playing Dominion as a side game. Great fun family game. So, I brought it to Origins knowing that during the filler times when we normally play Settlers, we could get a few games in of Dominion. Well, we never onced played Settelers at Origins. Kind of a bummer but just more evidence that there is only so much time in a day to play games...

Hey guys, thanks for all the awesome comments...keep them coming...

Peace, pirat

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Re: WHAT would get you to a major CON to Play AA?

Post by questioneer on Tue 07 Jul 2009, 14:38

Greg,

I know this is bold but if Origins is going down why not just dump the Origins gig and just do GenCon. In the meantime, I think you can organize a FTF league or something. Example, have Yoper run an FTF league in Michigan, get someone to cover regional Ohio - that may take some networking but just an idea.

I do think the battle between online and FTF is legit though. Most will admit (like in chess) FTF is the best competition play but online is only a step down. So people save money by practicing many games online and then come to an FTF tourny and compete much better. With PBF you can play several games at once and get to them when you can- its very flexible.

If I want to have "fun" I'll play online or with others here in Michigan. If I want competition I'll still play online and then come to GenCon. It is what it is. With the economy and technology there is just less of a need to travel and spend money to go to great distances for a Con. The only reason to go is to claim an "AA title" or trophy of sorts.
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Re: WHAT would get you to a major CON to Play AA?

Post by squirecam on Tue 07 Jul 2009, 17:57

questioneer wrote:Greg,

I know this is bold but if Origins is going down why not just dump the Origins gig and just do GenCon. In the meantime, I think you can organize a FTF league or something. Example, have Yoper run an FTF league in Michigan, get someone to cover regional Ohio - that may take some networking but just an idea.

I do think the battle between online and FTF is legit though. Most will admit (like in chess) FTF is the best competition play but online is only a step down. So people save money by practicing many games online and then come to an FTF tourny and compete much better. With PBF you can play several games at once and get to them when you can- its very flexible.

If I want to have "fun" I'll play online or with others here in Michigan. If I want competition I'll still play online and then come to GenCon. It is what it is. With the economy and technology there is just less of a need to travel and spend money to go to great distances for a Con. The only reason to go is to claim an "AA title" or trophy of sorts.
Very Happy

I've played Jeff Auer online and FTF. And the games online are no where near as fun.

A&A is made for FTF play. Online is fine, but really the rolling of dice and moving of actual pieces is where the real gaming is.

Not to mention the computer "sims" of results are too handy for online use, and you dont have that time or knowledge FTF. Yes, you can punch-count O and D, but not get the true % nor a sim of units left in an instant.

I like Triple A, and use it. But it is not a "step down" from FTF play. Its several steps. Still fun though.

I actually feel that since we have quite a few Michigan players that some how we could create a "regional" league and then send the top 2-4 teams to GenCon to play in a Master's or whatever- I dunno.

As for a "regional" qualifier, I say "hell no". People from every region go to Gencon. Not just those from Michigan and Ohio (though even you MI folks dont come anyways due to various excuses, some real, some not).

You want to qualify for gencon masters, you do it by showing up to Gencon and playing.

No offense, but there is nothing special about players in Michigan that warrants any special treatment. Hell, Ben hasnt shown up in years. Why would playing him in a league matter for Gencon seeding ???

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Re: WHAT would get you to a major CON to Play AA?

Post by questioneer on Wed 08 Jul 2009, 00:22

squirecam wrote:

I've played Jeff Auer online and FTF. And the games online are no where near as fun.

A&A is made for FTF play. Online is fine, but really the rolling of dice and moving of actual pieces is where the real gaming is.

Not to mention the computer "sims" of results are too handy for online use, and you dont have that time or knowledge FTF. Yes, you can punch-count O and D, but not get the true % nor a sim of units left in an instant.

I like Triple A, and use it. But it is not a "step down" from FTF play. Its several steps. Still fun though.

No offense, but there is nothing special about players in Michigan that warrants any special treatment. Hell, Ben hasnt shown up in years. Why would playing him in a league matter for Gencon seeding ???

1. Online not as fun?- strictly your opinion- several hundred disagree with you. Crying or Very sad

2. Rolling the dice and move the pieces is where the real gaming is?- LOL lol!

3. Triple A and PBF (axisandallies.org) is several steps down- again strictly your opinion with several hundred disagreeing with you. pale

4. Didn't Eric beat you at AA50 down at Origins just a few days ago- a Michigan player? I would check myself before dissing the Michiganders. Last time I checked, you never went solo in Revised and swept a 6-0 record like our Caspian Sub Ben did. Embarassed silent

5. I give you one thing, the league is probably not a great idea- just some random thoughts that's all. Idea
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Re: WHAT would get you to a major CON to Play AA?

Post by squirecam on Wed 08 Jul 2009, 12:18

Since you brought it up...

1 - He did win a AA50 game. He also lost a revised game to us. Funny you didnt mention that one.

2 - The game he won, he won. But he happened to have good dice and at several key times during the game, I had critically bad dice. [Such as a key fleet battle where I had a 78% win and got 1 hit both rounds. Same bad dice occurred in the last round attacks, where I had 1 hit defending France.]

3 - I have gone solo and won undefeated, specifically at the WBC, and also won second in the original mega revised at Gencon.

4 - I specifically mentioned the MASTERS seeding, which you were suggesting this sub group would be playing for. Putting only Michigan players in a masters seeding bracket was a bad idea.

5 - As for c-subbers, twice a c-sub won the mega and made the masters in my bracket. Each time they were eliminated. By me.

So dont talk smack unless you happen to know what actually happened.

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Re: WHAT would get you to a major CON to Play AA?

Post by questioneer on Wed 08 Jul 2009, 14:36

squirecam wrote:Since you brought it up...

1 - He did win a AA50 game. He also lost a revised game to us. Funny you didnt mention that one.

2 - The game he won, he won. But he happened to have good dice and at several key times during the game, I had critically bad dice. [Such as a key fleet battle where I had a 78% win and got 1 hit both rounds. Same bad dice occurred in the last round attacks, where I had 1 hit defending France.]

3 - I have gone solo and won undefeated, specifically at the WBC, and also won second in the original mega revised at Gencon.

4 - I specifically mentioned the MASTERS seeding, which you were suggesting this sub group would be playing for. Putting only Michigan players in a masters seeding bracket was a bad idea.

5 - As for c-subbers, twice a c-sub won the mega and made the masters in my bracket. Each time they were eliminated. By me.

So dont talk smack unless you happen to know what actually happened.

I knew I'd rattle your nerves with the last post. Laughing

1. Revised- who cares about that anymore??? Its AA50 and AA42 now. Rolling Eyes

2. Sounds like excuses- bad dice- whaaahh Sad

3. WBC- inferior to both Origins and GenCon- heard the competition was weak there. Laughing

4. Only an idea, but I agree, probably a bad one at that. Wink

5. Doesn't make Michigan players bad- my point- actually, we are right up there with some of the best. Very Happy

Why don't you quit playing chicken and play me some games by forum on axisandallies.org I'd like to spar a few games with you. Afraid??? Suspect

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Re: WHAT would get you to a major CON to Play AA?

Post by squirecam on Wed 08 Jul 2009, 14:55

questioneer wrote:
squirecam wrote:Since you brought it up...

1 - He did win a AA50 game. He also lost a revised game to us. Funny you didnt mention that one.

2 - The game he won, he won. But he happened to have good dice and at several key times during the game, I had critically bad dice. [Such as a key fleet battle where I had a 78% win and got 1 hit both rounds. Same bad dice occurred in the last round attacks, where I had 1 hit defending France.]

3 - I have gone solo and won undefeated, specifically at the WBC, and also won second in the original mega revised at Gencon.

4 - I specifically mentioned the MASTERS seeding, which you were suggesting this sub group would be playing for. Putting only Michigan players in a masters seeding bracket was a bad idea.

5 - As for c-subbers, twice a c-sub won the mega and made the masters in my bracket. Each time they were eliminated. By me.

So dont talk smack unless you happen to know what actually happened.

I knew I'd rattle your nerves with the last post. Laughing

1. Revised- who cares about that anymore??? Its AA50 and AA42 now. Rolling Eyes

2. Sounds like excuses- bad dice- whaaahh Sad

3. WBC- inferior to both Origins and GenCon- heard the competition was weak there. Laughing

4. Only an idea, but I agree, probably a bad one at that. Wink

5. Doesn't make Michigan players bad- my point- actually, we are right up there with some of the best. Very Happy

Why don't you quit playing chicken and play me some games by forum on axisandallies.org I'd like to spar a few games with you. Afraid??? Suspect

The Questioneer
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I wont play by forum. Not now, not ever.

[no disrespect meant to those who do though]

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Re: WHAT would get you to a major CON to Play AA?

Post by SwampHQ on Wed 08 Jul 2009, 16:53

Guys,

Play nice now...I know that you both have very strong points to be made but no reason to get a bit tense about it...we have to keep in perspective, it is only a game... cheers

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Re: WHAT would get you to a major CON to Play AA?

Post by Yoper on Thu 09 Jul 2009, 10:34

Just because more people play online doesn't mean that the people wouldn't want to play more ftf, they just don't have the opportunity to.

As for the quality of play at WBC, I would stack up the best of my group against any group and feel quite confident in their ability to compete.

Again, it would behoove people to attend before making any judgements as to the quality of the talent pool.

As for regional leagues, it would be nice to have but I wouldn't give them automatic entries into any tournament. You might use the results of such a league to help in seeding a tournament, but even that would be a bit of a reach since it would be hard to judge the relative quality of the different leagues.

When it comes to Eric's accomplishments, dice are a part of the game. Actually, he did as well as he did because he wasn't carrying my sorry ass. Wink

Craig
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Re: WHAT would get you to a major CON to Play AA?

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