I just wanted to take a moment to share a post that I saw on The Warhammer Forum this evening.
The post was buried in a discussion about tournament results for a recent US Tournament The Buckeye Battles. The discussion was going in the direction of the regions of USA and the quality of players in those regions when this came out of nowhere. Its a great rundown of the ‘names’ on the US tournament circuit.
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how many events I’ve done over the years in the UK which is only a fraction of the size of the US, so take if from me when I say the knowledge of the scene that the OP displayed here is exceptional. I’m sure that if I thought hard about it I could do a similar write up for the UK (and I may do in the future, and even ask other players to do so about their own countries) but to have this in-depth knowledge of such a wide community if really impressive.
So here is the original post. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
If I can add my 2 cents,
RE: Buckeye Battles, Looked like it was awesome, Now I’m sorry I missed it. (in fact my entire club was going to check it out, but the website said it was sold out back in May..)
RE: ETC Team, Larry has a point, being that the ETC is a team event, you would be hard pressed to get a working team just by grabbing the best players in the country. Just as im sure England has similar issues, the selection process has to be based on players that trust one another’s abilities, and can reasonably get together to practice (GT’s or otherwise) Also, no one will want to fly thousands of miles to not have a decent chance to win. It sucks that the team is made up of just 2-4 clubs in the USA (Da Boyz, Warmongers, CCG, and Austin Minions depending on the year), but that is the way it has to be. and truth be told, clearly it works. (6th place finish last year, in the USA’s 2nd attempt.)
RE: Regions of the USA.
This is where it kinda gets interesting. Now on the surface, I might have more a passing interest with this kind of stuff, so you will have to excuse my indulgence in the matter. I was the guy, who started the aborted attempt at a US Ranking website (warhammerusa.com) before transferring my data to the Ranking HQ staff. If you feel so inclined, you can look it up in the wayback machine internet archive. What you will discover is that I have had some contact with all points of the US GT scene with interviews with players in all the regions, so while no one is an exact authority, I have results and records of head to head play from the best players in different regions playing each other. If i had to define the regions I’d go,
Northeast (MD,PA to ME)
Southeast (VA, GA to FL)
Texas (including AR)
West Coast (Mainly northern Cali)
MidWest (OH to IA, IL to MN)
Has three very strong clubs (Warmongers, DA Boyz, CCG) All members of the ETC team, and all winners of multiple Overall, best generals) The region is also host to other clubs that haven’t seen that type of success, but have very good players nontheless (Ratticus’s Lost legion, The Jervis Johnson’s and Scooter’s Inner Circle Club out of MD)
Head to head, this region went 6th vs the world (sans Jordan) at the ETC, and produced the winners of that won the last 2 Adepticon Championships. (which in fact the Fantasy side of Adepticon only really began getting big around 2008-2009, prior to that more regional players showed up.)
Was known for one Club in particular (Page 5 from VA) whom since disbanded, That club (with Jordan B again) did beat their VERY-strong northern rival (the Warmongers) in team event’s in consecutive Necronomicon GT’s (based in Tampa FL) when pitted in the same event. Since 8th, the core members of Page 5 rage quit (much like many of the great Australian players, they hated the new rules) And since the SE region is dominated by 2 clubs, (the Kobra Kai, and the Fancy Lads) The Kobra Kai is made up of some veteran players (like myself) and at least one members of the old Page 5) The Fancy Lad’s best player Lance Lagroue, recently moved back to NYC, to play with the Warmongers. Head to head, the new SE (Kobra Kai) had beaten a NE club in a team scrimmage/challenge (Kobra kai vs Inner Circle at Border Raids 2011) and in Brawler Bash 2010 (Kobra Kai’s Club member won the event (Lord Inquistor on the Warseer Forum), over couple named NE players and ETC players (Segrum) although they did not play head to head.
Including Arkansas, has produced very strong players including the infamous Jordan Braun, Greg Harris, David Bowman and Aaron Chapman (Furgil) who’s dwarfs I would argue has seen the most success of the lot since 8th edition.) The TX lot seem to cross pollinate the most of any region, with the West-Coast guys habitually coming down for the 100 person Alamo GT, and the TX guys returning the favor for the 100 person Quake City Rumble in SF. Also, when competing in the other regions), the TX players have typically yield top 10 placings, and a few Overall wins in the past.
It kinda sucks to label the West Coast particularly out of one region, BUT Northern CA, seems to have the greatest challengers of the West Coast, led by the Leadership 2 Club. That club, i routinely goes to the Alamo, and walks away with most the prizes. Strong and excellent players like Shawn Phillips (who was ranked number 1 in the states for a long time), Mike Sanders, Mike Scalletti, and Derek Wiswell. The dual threat posed by this lot is the fact that their armies are incredible to look at .Back in the 2007 days when the Hillbilly GT was around (100 players) The Leadership 2 lot, would dominate many of the top spots.
In fact as a measure of their skill, lets consult Jordan Braun, in an interview, I had with him for WarhammerUSA.
JP: You have been known to be an avid member of the GT community, playing across the US, and even writing tactic articles for Bell of lost souls, all things considered, which region do you consider to have the toughest competition? What do you consider your greatest achievement GT-wise all of that considered?
JB: I think the hardest room is Quake city rumble or Adepticon. CA has a pretty good group of decent Warhammer players. Adepticon is a grueling 3 day stretch and it is notoriously no comp Warhammer
The Midwest’s good players are getting alot more recognized these days with the advent of podcasts. Provided however, that all of the fantasy American podcasts are based in the Midwest. GT players will know strong players like Joe Rogers, and Johnny Hastings from Point Hammered. Of course there is Dennis Gunia who finishes high, with players like Domus and Rhellion who are established GT players. Gary Luther and his dwarfs also, always finish in the top tables in GT’s that include players from other regions.
If I had to rate the regions based of Overall player skill, from an unbiased view, I’d list them as the following.
1. Northeast. Currently about 5-6 of the top US players reside there (my opinion), Which include Larry M, Brian Moyer, Mike Norton, Alex Schmid and Jarrent Messing. The majority of the USA ETC team play up there, Add to the fact that the region took home the past two Adepticon Fantasy Championships Overall (being the only GT that all the regions could logically participate in head to head ( 6 of the top 20 players in the US reside there) I can also attest from personal experience that I top 5/10 every GT in the SE in the past 2 years, my highest finish in the NE was 15th. Plan to change that at Conflict next Jan.
2.West Coast. The Leadership 2 club leads the way with this region, and while technically the West Coast has more players in the top 20 than any other (7) This region I believe fails from not competing vs the other regions enough (exception being TX) But once they have, the combination of skill and art (army wise) results in high places.
3.Midwest. Off the strength of the Handsome Point boys, Denis and James Hyde (Domus) the Midwest has 4 players in the top 20. I don’t know the success rate of these players when pitted vs the other regions, but needless to say I believe the Midwest has the fastest growing GT scene, which will result in more talent, and more experienced players. Expect this to change.
4.Texas At one point TX was the heart of american warhammer fantasy. TX was some of the strongest players around (Jordan, and Aaron in particular.) The one thing you can say is that the TX players all switch armies on a annual basis, and constantly win. But for the past couple years the TX players have suffered at the hands of the Cali players on their home turf, while unable to return the favor. Also very few of the exceptional TX players travel out of the region, and while Jordan B used to dominate other regions all by himself in the past.These days it’s just not enough. (3 out of the top 20)
5. Southeast My poor region… The SE suffers from lack of players, and talent depletion. With many strong players quitting the game (Chris Long, Rob Canterman, Todd Wiatt, Erik Lindley from BroHammer) and others moving out of the region (Chad Hoggen (oncebitten) moving to OH < the beastman player that finished 2nd at buckeye battles>, and Lance lagroue moving back NE) The GT scene is suffering. The regions best players still perform well against the other regions top players head to head (Jason Conca def Joe Rogers at BB IV and Eoin Whelan (Lord Inquistor) finishing top 3 at Border Raids, the SE players cannot jump high in the rankings due to the local GT’s max out at about 40 players. (can’t max out points and those are the Big ones!) while other Gt’s (Necro in FL) shut down completely. Until the region recovers as a whole, (Nova open GT is gaining traction) the SE will be the bottom dwellers, unless the clubs travel.
(as an aside, if someone knows Aaron Fishkow’s email, I wanted to see if he could get the Kobra kai club (7 members) in the Conflict GT in Jan, basically the South’s best club vs the north competition. )
So, that’s my opinion of the “region’s argument” maybe i’m completely wrong, but those are my thoughts. The thing people must be careful of when judging the regions (particularly by RankingHQ) is the players that are in regions with more GT’s will have more opportunities to get ranking points, so you also have to take into account Head to head in GT’s where members from all the regions participated.
Thanks to Jerry P for posting this and I hope he doesn’t mind me repeating it here.