There's two things about Feast I'd like to get out there. One is some general information, the other is a big problem. I'll cover the problem after the in-article break, if you already know the stuff in the first part.
We've been having a bit of trouble at Feast here, lately, in that the notion of our invitational tournament has becomes a bit TOO well-known. That makes sense, after all, it's absolutely been the flagship event for us over the past three years. But we have a lot more going on. The current goal of the Feast staff is to transform Feast of Blades into a full celebration of gaming; to run events in an many systems as possible as well as possible.
That means that we have a ton of kickass Warmachine/Hordes events being run. We're running the largest Infinity tournament, ever, and their lead rules dev and fluff mastermind is attending. We're running Warhammer Fantasy, and Flames of War. We've got a Magic tournament. We’ve got A LOT. There's a lot going on, and just walking the halls is a pretty good time. Actually, we don't even charge for a floor pass, so if you just want to come down and hang out, support your buddies or just check it out, you're welcome to for the low, low price of free.
In addition, we have MULTIPLE tournaments for many of our systems, including 40k. We have an open tournament that requires no qualification, you just sign up and play. We have a MASSIVE narrative event this year which will blow you away. (I'll reveal more on that in a future article.) We have a 40k team tournament and single-elimination Friday tournament with a prize titan on the line.
My points is, come out and play.
A lot of people don't seem to know this, but Feast of Blades is not a corporation. We don't have an office building, and besides some low-level store credit as a thank you from the head TO, we don't see any compensation. Everything we do we do because we love gaming, and we really love to put on an event that people have a good time at.
That means that we listen to all the feedback we get, and we try to create an event that will be fun for everyone to play in. Every single complaint, compliment, and general piece of feedback you send someone bounces into my email, and I read it. It also means that we really try to go above and beyond to create an experience that will completely blow you away.
We're all wargamers, and deeply invested in the games we play. The idea behind every event we create is “Can I make my dream event?”. The narrative is the kind of narrative event I want to play in, with a massive detailed table and focus on storytelling. The 40k invitational is the tournament I got to build from the ground up to be exactly the kind of fun, supercompetitive GT that I've always wanted to play in. (Not that I'm the only one!) The 40k open is the fun, laid back classic kind of GT that a ton of players really enjoy.
The problem we, and a lot of other events have, is that of attendance.
I'm not saying that our attendance hasn't been good, after all, we've tripled in size each year for the past 3 years. That's pretty nice. What I mean is that we can't tell what people want if they don't show up.
This year is fairly unique in that we have a TON of really big tournaments going on, in addition to a ton of side events for a lot of systems. We're letting our TOs expand and play with whatever events they want, because we have the space and we love the content. However, that may not always be the case.
If you want to see more events for the systems you like, you must show up. I'm not kidding. We don't look online for how big our event will be, and who it will attract, because there's no way to tell. And we can't jump into running something truly massive for another system, because we don't have the money or space to gamble that if we run something huge, it will fill out.
This is a big year for determining who gets space and the kind of tournaments we're going to run in the future. I would LOVE to see Warmachine/Hordes get a qualifier tournament like we have for 40k, or a massive narrative battle on an amazing giant board, but things like that aren't going to happen unless we see a lot of players for that system coming out. I would LOVE to see our Infinity tournament take off and become a big fun yearly tournament for that community, but it'll never happen if people don't attend.
While it may seem like large events pop up out of nowhere, they really appear because people are attending them, in force, every year. The 40k Invitational started out as a Colorado-only event, a sort of interstore competition which culminated at whatever story happened to win last year. But there was interest in it, and suddenly other states wanted in, and suddenly we were renting a hotel to accommodate the larger number of players. The entire reason the invitational tournament and Feast of Blades as a convention exists is because of player-driven interest!
What this ultimatly means is pretty exciting for an attendee, because we have a track record that shows how we like to grow and run events. We want people to come, we want people to tell us what they'd like to see, and we would like to grow with them and create a ton of awesome events. But it doesn't happen unless you show up. It just won't, because we won't think we can sell the tickets and we won't dedicate the time and energy to run the events.
So if you have a game you like, show up to it at Feast of Blades this year. I will absolutely promise you that if your game sells out, it'll be awesome this year, and unbelievable the next, and the next after that. All you have to do is show up, and you'll be supporting it much more than you would imagine.
You can find more info on everything here, and I'll answer questions directly in the comments. In case I don't answer, or you ahve something more private to ask me, you can always reach my via my Feast email: firstname.lastname@example.org