As some of you may have noticed Age of Sigmar in the Southern California area has been booming since the end of last year. On March 3rd we had two one day RTT’s in the area garnering over 20 players. Since January of this year there have been a total of 8 one day tournaments. On top of that we had the Las Vegas Open which many of us drove to attended.
It is my opinion that the rise in popularity of Age of Sigmar in Southern California can be attributed to 4 things (on top of The Generals Handbook). They are; our Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS), the Independent Tournament Circuit (ITC), Tournament Organizers (TO’s), and of course the players.
Southern California is cursed by the high cost of owning a home. As such, many of us do not have a garage or basement to play in. We are, however, blessed to have fantastic FLGS’s that provide us with plenty of gaming space and terrain. Some of these stores immediately embraced AoS while others were tentative but eventually came around (most likely due to a spiked interest after the release of the GHB). Many of our stores promote league nights and meetups, and are very willing to host tournaments and work with the community to create awesome events. You can find a comprehensive list of the FLGS’s that support AoS here: http://www.socalaos.com/forums/topic/socal-game-stores/
The ITC is a tournament organization run by Frontline Gaming, famous for their Warhammer 40K standardized tournament pack and ranking system. Shortly after The Generals Handbook was released an AoS ranking system was created but no rules or FAQ’s were released by the ITC. The game is currently promoted to be played as written by Games Workshop. Additionally tournaments can be run using the Best Coast Pairings app where players can sign up and TO duties of creating pairings based off of Swisse Points is automated. I think that the ease of use, competitive atmosphere, and brand recognition is a great benefit for our community. I alse feel that the ITC has the potential for gamers to gain recognition and validation through the ranking system.
Next up is our our TO’s. These guys spend a ton of their personal time setting up events. Whether it is meeting with FLGS’s store owners, creating social media promotions, getting on forums, or gathering terrain and prizes there is a lot of logistics work that goes on behind the scenes. There is a lot of stress that goes into being a TO. Many times they do are not sure how many players will actually show up until the day of. Despite all of this they still keep putting on events and they get better every time. This in turn keeps drawing more players to the events which creates more interest for the next event.
Finally, there is our player base. I would like to start by saying that the Age of Sigmar community in Southern California is awesome! We have a super active Facebook group called SoCal Age of Sigmar that allows us to share ideas, hobby updates, and schedule meetups from Ventura to San Diego. I can’t speak for everyone but I know I look forward to my Wednesday league night and weekend tournaments. Age of Sigmar is a great game but it is even better playing with such a great group of people. Whether it is hobbying, playing matched or narrative games, and talking fluff we have something for everyone.