WHAT IS ASTRONOMI-CON?
Astronomi-con is a Warhammer 40,000 tournament held in Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Toronto Canada. We have also run our first international event in 2010, this time in Dallas Texas, U.S.A.
Begun in 2001, Astronomi-con has been running at speed since its inception and growing all the while. It has been critically acclaimed by many who have attended, including various Games Workshop personalities. See some of their thoughts further below.
WHAT IS WARHAMMER 40,000?
Warhammer 40,000 is a table-top miniatures game produced by Games Workshop.
What makes Astronomi-con special?
When the Organizers first came up with the concept for Astronomi-con, the goal was simple. “If we could go to our own dream of a 40k tournament, what would it be like? Knowing that – let’s do our best to make Astronomi-con fit that mould.”
Those goals were threefold:
#1) Make the event fun!
Both organizers were long time tournament players and had ‘seen the elephant’ at local, regional and national tournaments such as Games Workshop’s Grand Tournaments. Many elements of Astronomi-con are drawn from the best of those experiences, while others are designed expressly to prevent some of the negative things that cropped up. A major part of this was having scenarios that were exciting and unusual so as to give the players games that were not only a new challenge for their tactical skill but also provided great stories from their games. In many ways, Astronomi-con is a tournament that doesn’t act like one. You’ll see special characters, flyers, VDR creations and scenarios totally unique to Astronomi-con.
#2) Make the scoring system transparent and as non-subjective as possible.
Many tournaments have had so many subjective scoring points that the judges or organizers wind up effectively picking the winners. This was felt to be open to abuse as well as very hard for an attendee to understand. With that in mind, Appearance, Composition, Army list scoring and indeed as much of a player’s score as possibly could be, is totally determined by the players themselves. Every player should go into the tournament knowing exactly what their army Composition score is and within a few points what they’d get for Appearance as well. Awards like Best Army are decided not by the organizers, but by the other players. The scores are pure math and tables. There is virtually no bias possible in the system.
#3) Give folks a chance to meet and play with other like minded folks.
This was always an aspect of the tournament but started off as more of a subconscious desire – evolving into a real element of community. Over the years, each Astronomi-con event has developed into its own micro gaming community. People that live thousands of miles apart have become friends at Astronomi-con and now fly from all over North America, as much to visit their friends as to play great games. We’ve recently begun to develop this aspect of the community further with organized post-tournament dinners. The social aspect is alive in its own right, we’re just helping it along and making sure new attendees are comfortable and feel part of the community.
What can you expect?
6 games over 2 days (3/day), played at 1500 points. Detachments, Formations, Special characters, Forgeworld and specialty armies are all welcome. Some with a few provisions – check the rules section – but we aim to try and allow as much as we can so as to enable our players to experience as much of the 40k universe as we can manage.
Variety! Every table is different. Each with its own scenario and objectives. You might find yourself fighting in howling blizzards, steaming jungles, shattered cities, anything is possible. Keep your army as flexible as you can because, just as in real warfare, you can never know what your force will be called upon to do. Killing the enemy might be a viable road to victory – or totally unimportant. You may need to take and hold ground, capture an individual or supplies – the possibilities are wide and varied. Expect the unexpected!
At the end, trophies for Best Overall, Best Sportsman, Best Army, Best Appearance, Best General, Best Terrain, Best Single Miniature and Best Army List will be awarded. Three of these, Best Army, Best Terrain, and Best Single Miniature are decided exclusively by the votes of the attendees.
If you’ve any other questions at all, let us know: Michael Major & Christian Augst
QUOTES FROM ASTRONOMI-CON ALUMNI
“Astronomi-con was easily one of the best events I’ve ever attended (and I’ve been to quite a few!). The dedication, effort and attention to detail put in by the event organizers was simply astounding, and the result was an event that set a new benchmark for other 40K tournament organizers to match. I unreservedly recommend Astronomi-con to any serious 40K player.”
– Jervis Johnson, Games Workshop + Astronomi-con Winnipeg 2001
“Kicks GT Ass!”
– Dave Handy, Portland OR + Astronomi-con Winnipeg 2001
“Astronomi-con is what most 40K players would like every tournament to be, its imaginative and fun whilst at the same time encouraging thoughtful, intelligent play.”
– Pete Haines, Games Workshop UK + Astronomi-con Winnipeg 2002
“I have never had a more positive gaming experience than I have had at Astronomi-con. The unique scenario design and wildly variable terrain set-ups made them the most challenging, rewarding, and original WH40K tournaments I have ever attended. And the fact that my fellow participants were top notch players and gentlemen enhanced what was already an excellent gaming experience. I most definitely recommend this tournament for anyone who wants to experience what a GT should be.”
– Mario Rocha, Winnipeg MB + Astronomi-con Winnipeg 2003
“Astronomi-con is the best 40k tournament I’ve ever been to.”
– Phil Kelly, Games Workshop UK + Astronomi-con Toronto 2004
“Astronomi-con presents the most challenging scenarios, on the most diverse terrain, against hands-down the most consistently-superior quality of hobbyist-opponents, of any organized event in the hobby I have ever seen, played in or adjudicated. Nothing else comes close.”
– Christopher Allen, Dallas TX
“Astronomi-con is one of the best tournaments I’ve played in and hosted. The guys were very flexible whenever they needed to be, but also were firm when needed as well. From a hosting perspective, once we provided the space and tables they quickly set up terrain and required very little assistance from us as hosts. From a player side things overall ran smoothly and was an enjoyable event to attend.The trophies were very cool and the scenarios were some of the best I’ve come across. I would highly recommend this tournament from either perspective, was enjoyable to host and alot of fun to play in.”
– Matt Mayer + Co-owner The Gamer’s Realm + Astro-Dallas Alumni
“I attended the first Astronomi-con in 2001 on a whim, and I have attended every one I can afford to get to ever since. It embodies the aspects of the hobby that I value most. The scenarios and tables are unique, challenging, and diverse. The armies that show up are often gorgeous and characterful. The culture is generally friendly, collaborative, and fun. I walk away at the end of Astro weekend every year inspired to paint better, convert more, play smarter, be a better sportsman, and generally try to raise my game. It’s the highlight of my gaming year.”
– Derrick Maier, Vancouver BC