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Island table-top gaming melee awarding ‘golden tickets’ to world championships

Kippers’ Melee to be held at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre from Oct. 13-15
Warhammer 40K figures used during last year’s Kippers’ Melee table-top gaming convention. The event returns to Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island Conference Centre this coming weekend, Oct. 13-15. (Photo submitted)

For the past 11 years, a tabletop gaming convention has steadily built a name to be reckoned with.

Jennifer Aspden, organizer of the Kippers’ Melee event to be held at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo from Oct. 13-15, said her convention is one of only two events of its kind in the province.

“The competitive tournament scene has become very large,” she said. “And we’re seeing more people come from the States, we’re seeing people come from all over Canada for this event.”

When the first tournament was held in 2012, Aspden said there were only 18 players in a rented hotel room. This year, Kippers’ Melee is hosting 250 participants.

“Last year, we were the second largest Warhammer 40K event in Canada,” she said. “When you start seeing numbers like that, people from other communities start paying attention.”

As a world qualifying event for the World Championships of Warhammer, Kipper’s Melee received two ‘golden tickets’ for the Age of Sigmar and the 40K events. Winners will be able to compete in the world championships held in Atlanta in November.

The first day of Kippers’ Melee will be “more as a social hang out,” Aspden said, and the weekend is when the big events start. Competitive games include both Warhammer 40K and Age of Sigmar, Kings of War, Marvel Crisis Protocol and Warmachine. Each event will have various winners, such as best in class, best overall, favourite opponent, favourite painted, and a wooden spoon awarded to last place.

Since moving to the Island from the Lower Mainland, Aspden said she’s seen the table-top gaming culture grow, including in smaller communities such as Campbell River and Courtenay. Gaming stores in Nanaimo, such as Drop Zone Games on Bowen Road, have expanded from a few tables to hosting tournaments with dozens of players.

“And as people are having kids, we’re introducing the games to our kids who are introducing it to their friends,” Aspden said. “My oldest is 16 and he’s been playing at my event for several years and his friends are coming and everything.”

Aspden continued to say what she enjoys most about the players that attend her event is the inclusivity they foster, as all people are welcome.

“If you’re going to come to one of my events, you better be able to put a smile on and have fun … No matter how competitive it gets, we’re there to have fun,” she said.

Prizes to be won at Kippers’ Melee will be products related to the games provided by sponsors, which may include models, army and display cases, books and paint kits. New this year will also be a miniature figure painting contest.

More information on Kippers’ Melee can be found at

READ MORE: Flippers fly at pinball arcade at Nanaimo’s Curious Comicon

Mandy Moraes

About the Author: Mandy Moraes

I joined Black Press Media in 2020 as a multimedia reporter for the Parksville Qualicum Beach News, and transferred to the News Bulletin in 2022
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