Cancon Without 40k?

There’s been an interesting development in the local Warhammer 40,000 tournament scene recently.  Apparently no-one is willing to organize the yearly event at Cancon in 2014.  This is possibly the largest Warhammer 40,000 event in Australia.  It certainly was until recently – I believe Mother of All Battles may have overtaken it in recent years.  At any rate there are easily over a hundred players normally, and it is the largest single event at Cancon, which is itself Australia’s largest traditional gaming event.

The fellow who ran it last year has not so gracefully bowed out, citing the excessive amount of bitching and rage he was subjected to before, during and after the event.  No-one else seems brave (or perhaps stupid) enough to step up at this stage.  The man who has run it for many years in the past is currently living overseas, and the Canberra Games Society is even reportedly considering flying him home to be the tournament organiser!  Cancon without standard 40k seems almost unimaginable.  To give international readers some context, it’s comparable to the organisers of 40k at Adepticon throwing up their hands and saying “you guys are jerks, we quit” . . . and then no-one volunteering to take their place.  It will be interesting to see what happens as the event looms closer.

So there’s some local gossip for you.  But what does it say in a wider context?  I’ve seen it claimed on the internet that the advent of 6th edition Warhammer 40,000 has driven away many competitive players, and that those who remain are mainly of the toxic variety; their egos can’t function without 40k tournament wins.  Naturally, this drives away casual tournament attendees, many of whom seem to be shifting to the growing Apocalypse scene in these parts.  At Wintercon this year there was a very successful Apocalypse event, and Good Games is starting to run them semi-regularly as team events so anyone with a 1500 point army can join in.  It feels as though hardly anyone can be bothered with standard competitive 40k any more, let alone willingly taking on the grief of organizing the events.

If that’s a fair assessment – and I’m not sure it is, I’m just reporting what I’ve heard – then I can finally understand the real anger that many competitive players felt over 6th edition.  The game was rendered unplayable for them, and that game is expensive, in time and money.  Not to mention that something they enjoyed had been arbitrarily taken away.  I admit I was a little uncaring when it happened, not being a competitive player myself, but now I really do feel that their anger might have been justified.

Interesting times continue for the Games Workshop gaming scene in Australia.  I can’t lie, I feel a little tingle of schadenfreude given that I no longer play or collect Games Workshop products.  Their decline is terrible for the many people who are Games Workshop hobbyists as opposed to simply hobbyists.  But it’s exciting too.  Will Australia be the first miniature gaming community to truly break free of Games Workshop’s stranglehold en masse?

4 thoughts on “Cancon Without 40k?

  1. The Warlock says:

    I had to look up ‘schadenfreude’ and hey 😀

    Personally, I don’t think Oz will break free of GW en masse just yet- end of the decade at least. While the hobby is certainly filled with negative bags of douche, filled with decaying…gametes and other pleasant mental imagery….the background is certainly enthralling and expansive and the kits on the whole are still pretty good. (leaving out price issues as I kinda want that horse to rest in peace for a bit 😉 )

    Also never heard of cancon until now too and the news certainly is a tad unsettling (especially with the organiser who’s quit- people should never have to put up with that kind of abuse). The internet will scream time and time again (8th fantasy hit, and despite it being more popular than ever, it apparently sucks and so on). Then there was the heldrake, touted as being weak and unusable. 6months later? heh, internet = hypocrites. Then Tau, then Eldar…etc


    Less knee-jerk more dice roll. Roll! Roll now! Schnell! Schnell! hopefully it’ll lead to a more community focused take on the game, unless the game is completely and utterly ruined beyond any hope of house-ruling or old-hammering and such. As I have said time and time again, taking stuff waaaaaay too seriously leads to heart problems. Unfortunately I can’t tell the interwebonetosphere that…

    Funnily enough though, I’m migrating (again) towards scenery building and the hobby side of things, rather than gaming. Just gotta go to bunnings tomorrow and get some mortar mix as $4.75 for 5kg ain’t bad as I sure as hell won’t use 20kg, even if it is $1 extra. I don’t think anyone’s going to say my scenery is OOP and game-breaking.

    • beat ronin says:

      I was a bit worried that cramming two foreign terms into one paragraph would cause the pretentiousness level to read off the charts but what the hell hey?

      Yeah, I see where you’re coming from. It’s often claimed that most players are not active in local clubs and tournaments and don’t spend much time on the internet, and I suppose the fact that you’d never heard of Cancon is evidence of that. So maybe everything I’ve said above needs to be understood as in relation to the “formal” gaming scene of clubs and Wargamerau and whatnot. Perhaps even if every 40k tournament in Australia tanked the game would still be bigger than all of it’s competitors?

      And I agree, 6th is fine if you can accept house rules. Around Canberra the fashion right now seems to be to play Apocalypse games with up to twenty players a side, modified so they can be played quickly or by people with a “normal” sized collection. There was one a few weeks ago that was vehicles only, to cut down on the time needed.

      Also, how good is Bunnings? One day I’m going to make a post showing all of the odd little things I’ve bought there for scenery. I’ve never been too into scenery building to be honest, but Infinity has really inspired me to get off my backside and have a go at it. Maybe because it’s almost as important to the game as the models. Scenery in Warhammer is sort of a back ground thing, just table dressing really, and I was always happy to let my mates provide it.

  2. The Warlock says:

    I tried out bunnings, they’re usually cheap. I know off the top of my head they sell balsa and plaster…and flowerpots (saw an article using them for tau terrain) and weird-shaped bits of wood/metal that are OBVIOUSLY intended for hobby use 😛

    Tried a plaster/cement mix for a first test run of casting. Needless to say I’m waiting for this damn Adelaide damn modeling/casting damn business to process my damn order. 😛 No, like seriously what’s taking them more than 4 hours? More poking fun at the mess I made on my blog…still can’t really believe I have a blog, it’ll probably turn out I’ve been in a coma and this is all a dream O.o


    I like your idea of odd stuffs for the hobby, could also branch out into a compendium of terrain articles. Going to disagree with ya on terrain being ‘table-dressing’ as personally I feel it can make things more genuine, etc. Plus trying to survive against a gunline/shambling horde on vast… tracts of land is no fun at all. Re-found a link to pure awesomesauce. Had the old link in my bookmarks but yeah- the epicness of hirsts arts and imagination 😀

    If the dentalstone order gets processed in the next year, I’m gonna build my castle on a swamp.

    • beat ronin says:

      Whoah that link is absolutely bonkers! Not only is it put together well with an eye for the wonky old-school Warhammer craziness, I really really like the effect created by the colours. It’s like what I was going for with my Infinity terrain but . . . better 🙂

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