Hello Ordites and Infinity Fans!
This last weekend was the first Rose City Raid! Held by @thediceabide, and his solid band of friends, the event promised to be a fun weekend of Infinity at a beer hall. What could could be better?
Not much. In less than a week, the event sold out!
Could our newest Warcor bring off a 32 person that tournament? @thediceabide had only run small, local ITS events. The difference between 12 players and 20 is huge. 30 players is logistically daunting.
First, Adam went away from the usual places and found the Lucky Lab as his event site. Great! I like the Lab. It is close to my house and has a ton of breweries and distilleries near it. It is close to the club and there is plenty of parking. Wait, it was not one in SE, or in NE, but the one in NW.
Oh, no NW PDX, Slabtown.......
The Alphabet Block in NW is notorious for no places to park and bar has no on site parking.......
I scouted the area out and found a pay lot a block away at 20/Pettygrove with a fee of $12. That is cheap for the downtown core. There were metered spots and local permit spots, both had a cap at four hours on Saturday. The permit zones were free on Sunday.
Awesomely, after unloading a carful of terrain ( Thank you Obadiah, Joe, @Natetehaggresar, and anybody else that helped!), I parked at the pay lot. It was 3 bucks for the day! Score. More money for food and drinks!
Parking was never an issue.
The NW Lucky Lab is in an old Freightliner truck factory.
The ceilings are 25 plus feet high allowing for sound reduction and air flow. The floors are cement. Concrete bounces sound and makes for a hard day of standing.
For Portland, the food and drinks were cheap. The main section of the bar was never close to being full. The players, their friends, and their family were always the clear majority at the bar. The Raid paid their bills for the weekend. Even better, the staff was nice. This can be rarity in hipster PDX, were bartenders and waiters are slumming until they can find better work. Our bar tender on Sunday, found lost models in the floor and made sure we found their owners.
The banquet hall is the on the street with two garage doors that roll up to the street and a third that rolls up to the main room. On Saturday, this was great, the weather was perfect and helped air out the room. The only minus, people smoking outside. The smoke found its way inside.
Adam, @thediceabide, had plenty of hands to help set and they all came early. Looking north, the tables were set up in an inverted E with 4 tables to a row. There was not much room for models and books. Two rows were very close and I rubbed backsides with Joe, who was playing behind me, several times.
There was a small seating area near the bar in the west end of the room and a stage on the east. Spacing was not too tight, but I would not want less room.
Noise was a problem. I was one source, sorry Tony, People were having a good time and the volume just kept going up. Since we were so close it was hard to hear normal tones. It was even hard to hear the PA.
What about Tables? There was no shortage of tables. Several were left un packed and unused. Chris Matthews of Top Down Terrain, aka @NakedPanda, brought an amazing table. He has several, not for sale, prototype pieces I would buy in a heart beat. He even has his own mat! Brian Boese had two amazing Top Down Terrain tables and @Andrewc brought his Top Down table. There was a Strom Point Alpha table from Muse on Minis. The tournament even gave one away! I wanted to see one of these in person. I have been tempted by preprinted buildings, but I was unsure of the quality. It is solid and a prize I would have happy to win. Adam made his unique table beach table. There was an Yu-Jing themed city, an Ariadna forward base, a shanty, and and alien themed city brought by @Twinmasks.
Most of the tables were were great to play on. One or two were a challenge with one spot that dominated the table or the lack of cover. They were the exception. I wish I could have played on more.
Check-in was relaxed, allowing time to order food and drinks and chat with your friends and new people. This was great since there plenty of people I did not know or have only met once. Players came from Tucson, Salt Lake, Seattle, the Bay Area, and Canada! Heck, there were more people from out of town than locals. What a plus! I like the locals. They are great guys, but I like meeting new people and playing them.
At the front desk there were stickers, a nifty Raid patch, and our raffles to enter. There was a Pan-O army, a a Stom Post table, a winter table, and a S2 model that Obadiah would sculpt and paint. I like when the best prizes are up for raffle. It leaves the games relaxed. No one worries about the prizes.
The scenarios were fine. Loot and Sabotage was the only tricky one. Most people I know had one list for Loot, and another list for Supremacy, Transmission Matrix, Decapitation, and Annihilation. I was glad not to have Rescue or Hunting Party. I wanted to throw dice and not hurt my brain. Furthermore, Adam was kind enough to have the least demanding missions on the last day.
Was there plenty of time to play? Yep. Posting were up early. There were half hour gaps between rounds. I played five full games without worrying about time. Yes, the projector was having trouble with the heat, but what can you do?
What about prizes? Do we really need them? No. Are they fun? Yup! In addition to the raffles, there was the full compliment of pins and new Karage Station patches. Plasti-craft was in abundance. There were blisters and mats and Systema and more. I think everybody walked away with something. Stainless steel steins went to the winners, Overall, Best Painted, and Best Table. For last place was the Tohaa Army box, so even if you lost, you won.
Saturday Night, we moved to the large hall at the Lab. Some played Aristeia or Terraforming Mars, most just talked at super long tables. Only a handful of people went elsewhere.
So Raindog, would you go again? Yes. I had a blast. I was too loud at times, but I enjoyed myself immensely. Adam set the right tone. This will be my summer go to event.
Do I recommend to others? Yes. Many locals did not play. They should. It is an ITS that feels like a Rampage.