Just wanted to get the word out... Tony Fern and myself (Andy Brandt, I ran the Emerald City Incursion last Nov up in Seattle) went to the Rumble on Route 66 in Albuquerque last week. The only other player from the PNW was Joe Cochran (Fate & Fury Games), who I roomed with. The word I want to get out is: incredible. Holy crap this "gathering" (calling it a tournament severely short-sells it) was amazing. I have never been to another gaming event that comes close... and I've been doing this for almost 30 years.
First off - the community is extremely warm and welcoming. Over 100 players there and I met almost all of them at one point or another during the weekend. All positive interactions. I knew a number of them from the Infinity facebook community, and EVERYONE was exactly what I'd hoped they would be. Very cool people from all over the country who were all happy to sit down and chat about Infinity with me.
Second - Joe & Dan (the TOs) are both amazing. I got there Weds night and met Joe Thursday morning. I helped unload his trailer along with 10 or so other people after breakfast, and since I knew nobody else really (Tony wasn't in town yet), I offered to help him go load up stuff at Dan & Guillermo's houses. Oren (from Israel) tagged along. I spent most of Thursday helping Dan & Joe get everything set up once we got back. It was pretty fantastic - I learned a lot watching and hanging out with these guys over the course of the weekend.
Third - the tournament was a blast. I won't recap the whole thing here, but suffice it to say I didn't do all that well... I won 2, lost 4, ended up in 85th place (lol). All 4 of those losses were awesome games though, and I wouldn't trade them for wins. 3 of the 4 were really close, only one blowout loss. I got to play against Jason Craze and Nathan (Skurrd) from AZ, Randolph Foster Johnson from Colorado, Reuben (who got 3rd) from the Bay area, Brad (one of Tommy & Angelina's locals from Milwaukee), and Ritchie, one of the NM locals.
Fourth - extracurricular activities. I got to sit down and BS with Tommy Back, Angelina Curka, and Ethan Pearson about painting, and watch them do some of it as well. I got to have breakfast with Bostria, chatted with him for a while, and he admired my army and the TopDown stage it was on (sent that pic to Chris Matthews and I think I made his week). There's a ton more - Lunch with Tony/Joe/Dan was great, had dinner with Guillermo and Liam (NM locals) one night, and spent most of the time i wasn't playing hanging out with a ton of other new friends.
Ultimately - I can't adequately express how great of an experience this was. I'm planning to make Rumble an annual experience going forward - it was that good. I encourage any of you that have the opportunity to go to do so. You won't regret it!
Lastly - I put the pics I have of the event in a shared folder if you want to check the out. There's a shot of my army, a bunch of tables, some of the tourney, and everything from the seminar. Here's the link: https://1drv.ms/f/s!Ap0hRRgTbAXT8FS2J334QkiHGmGd.