Heres the first part of my SmogCon event report guys. I’ve broken it down into 3 parts: Venue, event and games. This should make it easier to write for me and to read for you so I hope you enjoy it! (as well as the new website art w00t!)
The convention was being held down in Cardiff at Firestorm Games. I’d never actually been to Wales before and was very pleased with what I saw. The city itself was very easy drive down the motorways, 3 hour for us from Sheffield but I can imagine it was fairly easily accessible from all of Britain.
Cardiff itself was, at first appearance, a very nice city, clean, vibrant and friendly. It was certainly animated as it was the weekend of the England vs Wales rugby game but everything was very friendly and Jovial. We managed to find a good budget hotel only about 15mins from the event and there seemed to be a fair few about so no issues there.
Firestorm was only a 5 minute walk form the main drag, behind the millennium stadium and brains brewery. One again in a very nice, clean area the store was pretty easy to find and there was a fair amount of parking around. The store was very nice with LOADS of stock (its worth mentioning they had 3 deliveries of Warmachine stuff over the weekend) so a lot of us were able to pick up stuff that is usually more tricky to obtain. Afterwards we went through to the gaming area. They have a nice spacious gaming hall with plenty of tables and good terrain to go on them. Of note are the sideboards they put on the tournament boards which were REALLY useful for keeping dead models/counters/cards/etcetc out of the way of the game.
Now if there is one negative point I would point out it is that all in all the game hall was very rough and ready with stepped, unfinished concrete floors and exposed ceilings and pipework and probably the thing that irked me the most was the lack of windows so it was a bit cave like. Now I’m not trying to be a snob and maybe I’m just spoilt by my regular haunts which are Warhammer work and Maelstrom but I feel that Firestorm could be so much better once they have addressed these issues. I need to reiterate that this is not the be all and end all and at the end of the day didn’t adversely effect my time there but sprucing that area up a bit would greatly enhance the space.
All in all Firestorm was a great choice of location. A nice city and a good venue with very helpful and friendly staff who did everything they could to help the event progress smoothly.