I have returned!

Posted by Labyrinthian in , ,

Please excuse my long absence.  After a week in Sin City for my bachelor party my immune system was apparently shot and I got very very sick.  After a full week of recovery I am back to peak condition... or at least as close to peak condition as I ever get.

A few notes on my trip.  It was amazing.  I had a great time thanks to my friends who organized and paid for most of the trip.  They are also amazing.  Of the things we did that are gaming related I first want to talk about the Excalibur's Tournament of Kings.

Now I had never seen it, but my expectations were very high.  This is the Excalibur's main draw (as far as shows go) and though I had been to Medieval Times a couple of times in the past I counted on this to be even better.  (Yes, I love Medieval times) The logic behind this thought was the amount of money that the Excalibur would be able to put into their show that would catapult it far beyond what their competition could hope to achieve.

I was wrong.

The Tournament of Kings falls far short of Medieval times in several ways.  First as we arrived I expected some kind of color coded paraphernalia to symbolize which Knight we were rooting for.  Last time I was at medieval times I received a crown and a make shift flag, both yellow, matching my Knight.  At the Excalibur?  Nothing.  Second, dinner was served prior to the actual tournament.  We literally were done eating before the show really got underway.  Lame.  I want to eat while watching the show.  That leads me to number three, the dinner itself.   It sucked, quite frankly.  The Cornish hen was good but that was about it.  To compound that problem the wait staff was terrible and kept bickering at each other.  Overall the experience was sucking when it finally came time for the actual show.

The action was not bad.  The fighting was roughly equal to what I had seen in the past.  However, this tournament, hosted by King Arthur (Who they named as "King of Avalon?") featured other Kings of the lands facing off against on another.  Examples include Norway, Russia, France, Ireland, etc.  The Knights still wear a color by which they can be identified, like our Knight in Green who was the King of Ireland.

I have had the Green Knight before, but he didn't win... he was killed by the Blue Knight.  In fact, every time I have gone my Knight has been killed by the blue Knight.  The last time I went prior to my trip to Vegas some friends and I were on a road trip that took us through LA.  I made them stop and have dinner at Medival time and we were in the the Yellow Knight section.  Did the yellow Knight win?  No.  Who killed him?  The Blue Knight.  I hate the blue Knight.  I wouldn't sit in his section if you paid me!  When the blue Knight in LA rode by our section in triumph I told him he sucked and where he could stick that lance.

No I wasn't thrown out.  But I did receive a warning.

Anyway back to my story.  This was a different day and a different Knight and I was sure this time my Knight would win.  But sure enough he was picked to fight against the Blue Knight (of France), and sure enough our Knight lost.  Lame.  But at that moment I didn't realize how lame it really was.  Because as the show progressed it became clear that really none of the Knights were to win the tournament.  King Arthur has a son in the show (I know... I don't think anyone actually did any research for this show) named Chris.  At the end it is Chris who beats the evil Dragon Knight and is crowned King after his father dies.  Also there is no Falconry or displays of horsemanship, just a weird gymnastics display that doesn't fit into the story in any way.  Yeah, like I said,  it's lame.  I don't recommend it.

Another kind of Gamer related event over the week was WEC (World Extreme Cage Fighting)  44.  I know that doesn't seem game related but just stay with me for a minute.  The event was held at the Palms and was a lot of fun.  You can hear me on TV.  When Steve Mazzagatti, a man who needs no introduction to fight fans as the WORST ref in MMA, was announced you can hear a lone person yell "BOOOO!"  That's this guy!  Dana White looked up and laughed... he thinks Mazzagatti sucks too.  So the event was the first big MMA event I have been to as most are held in Vegas and it was a great time.  Certainly something I will never forget.

After the event a lot of the fighters congregate in the lobby.  They sign autographs and and take pictures with their fans.  These guys are class acts.  I am a big fan of MMA and even I was surprised how much time these guys took. We met Urijah Faber, Antonio Nogeira, Clay Guida, Junie Browning, Joe Stevenson, and Miguel Torres.  When we met Miguel we were getting kicked out of the Arena.  The security guard looked our way and said, "All right that's it time to move out."  We were expecting it so we shook hands with Miguel one more times, wished him luck and proceeded out.  As we were heading out the door we heard the guard say in a more irritated tone, "You too, buddy!"  We turned and sure enough he was ushering Miguel Torres out the door.  Now I'm sure a lot of readers here are not MMA enthusiasts, but you should know Miguel Torres (along with Faber) BUILT the WEC promotion.  He is an all time great, and needs no introduction... except to security guards who work venues at the palms apparently.  We all stared at him incredulously.  He smiled, shrugged and told us it happens to him all the time.  He didn't get angry or make a scene.  Like I said, class act.  

So here is how this relates to gaming.  We got to talking with Miguel in the lobby a bit more about stuff when another fan came over and joined the conversation.  It was normal fight talk at first, injuries, opponents, etc.  But then the guy drops a bomb.

"So Miguel, how is your D&D game going?"

I think if a stiff breeze had blown through the lobby I would have fallen over.  Yes folks, it's true.  Miguel Torres loves D&D.  We talked gaming shop for a few minutes before he had to go.   We headed back to the hotel after that.  The other fan it turns out was staying at the Luxor as well so he hopped in.  We talked, and it turns out that he is a freelance writer for WotC.      I talked to him about freelance writing, D&D 4th edition, Pathfinder, and Hackmaster on the way back.  He was a very cool guy.  Overall the experience taught me that the gaming community is everywhere.  Though a lot of people believe it is on the wane you can still find people who game and are passionate about gaming where you would least expect it. 

This entry was posted on Monday, November 30, 2009 at Monday, November 30, 2009 and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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