Play the Banjo one more time Bob!
It has been a up hill battle for the last two years to get an established venue and a firm booking up in the big smoke here in Auckland for just one main reason and here it is.
The Executive committee for our Club picked up the Auckland Wargaming Tournament Organisation tatters from the previous management muppet two years ago at our local club. At the time of change over, the finances was in a mismanaged pathetic shape after the previous Finacial officier (who ran everything) had gotten us in debt and ruined our reputation with the City Council (who we rent venues from). We were in heavy debt to the council and worse of all established due to the past situation an overall bad reputation with them. This old battered used car needed serious servicing and improvement quickly. The last two years with the help of your participation at our tournaments we have done just that, improved it so its back to its original high level where we get priority for our bookings for venues again.
The last two years has been hard work managing us out of the chasm of debt created by the Muppet past regime and also to get us back to original terms for hiring good firm venues for Wargaming events from said Auckland Council. Equinox 2013 was a culmination of this where we re-established and reaffirmed good communication with the Council. Moving ahead we can confidently say that we have a good future for Wargaming in Auckland and a great many venues we can access now. We have in our sights a large venue capable of holding 200-300 table tops in the year to come. Because of this we hope to unite the community and hold a ground breaking event next year, so keep your ears to the ground and eyes wide open for some exciting news soon ;)
Game length for tournaments: - Usually 2 1/2hrs for WHFB 2400pts and W40k 1750pts.
I've never been too fussed with time constraints since I am a fairly quick player and have been know to have 2400pt games done and dusted in a hour and a half. With more and more players finding that 6 turns is a hard ask in modern tournaments I thought I'd look at the subject. I'll use the Time table for Equinox which was planned to be slightly tighter than a normal tournament with a perceived 2 1/4hr per game.
i) The plan was that by starting games early and also finishing games slightly late, games would benefit by getting 5-10mins extra either end and still be 2 1/2hrs and still on schedule. It worked out that 'All' of the first four games had at least 2hrs and 35mins with the 5th& 6th game getting 2hrs and 25mins.
ii) By annoucing to all players 1hr, 30min, 15min before rounds end. It was the best way to give everyone a fair chance to plan their game so that if you were short on time everyone could still make sure that both your opponent and youself got a even number of turns in to make it a fair result. The TO's made it a priority to make sure everyone knew every round incrementally how much time was left.
There were a few players who approached me due to games only going to the 4th and 5th turns. It's something thats not ideal but Tournaments need to stick to a schedule and some games do take us longer than others even for the best of us.
1. Get to know your army if you're playing at a tournament and perhaps have a look at the clock as you play your prep matches so you can better gauge how long it takes you. Not knowing how your army works as it's new or spending too much time in the rules book is sure going to drain the clock come tournament play.
2. Quick dice rolling by using lots of dice. Rolling by batches only takes longer (I see this far too often still)
3. Friendly conversation and both keeping track of time left. Less stress always makes for faster game play.
Even I've been in a situation where we only got 4 turns in at a tournament. Practice makes perfect. I guess.
One of the things about tournments getting bigger is the need for more tables of terrain. We have been lucky enough in Auckland recently to hold 100+ events regularly. You'll be glad to know that we have noticed that the terrain is getting a little worn. We'll be gradually improving and updating our tournament terrain as the opportunity arises. Keep supporting our events and the faster the terrain will improve as we have marked it as a priority.
Currently we have access to 50+ tables of terrain for WH Fantasy & WH40K for tournaments of servicable but tired terrain. We have started to build up new terrain boxes from recent tournament surplus. At the conclusion of Equinox 2013 we have 9 tables of new WHFB terrain and 2 Tables of WH40K in total to add to the existing cupboard. We will continue to build this resource up and we welcome other tournament organisers the opportunity to borrow this resource. Just flick me an email and we can certainly see if we can help.
Paint vs Play:
We are definitely a hobby and no tournament should forget that its about getting together to play our chosen system in a friendly positive manner with well presented armies. Our hobby is about collecting miniatures and the time spent on getting our collection to table top standard can be the main inspiration for some of us tournament goers. Some tend towards testing their metal on generalship and army design and many favour and embrace the hobby as a whole. I've really enjoyed the tournament scene especially WHFB over the last five years or so where we have navigated out of soft score dominated tournaments to our modern model where Play is slightly higher in the overall score with Painting and Sports still having a major contribution.
In the last few conventions I have been involved in we have looked at how to also celebrate the artist and also give them their dues just as the best general should have his. We tried and tested a painting competition at a recent GuardCon and even though it was a great success the two award winner painters we asked to judge the competition took hours to judge the entries. It's a intense excercise with such a abundance of brilliant skill and ability we have in painting amongst the NZ scene. It is definitely something we will explore further when we get the resources to do so at future tournaments. To reflect and give better achievement in painting scores it's not something easily added to adjust a tournament overall total without obscuring generalship which a majority of us come to tournaments for.
It's defininetly a dilema that has been given a lot of thought to by many a TO in the past and the present. We really thank the good C&C from some of you guys post tournament. It has helped us perhaps adjust a few things going forward. A couple of good things have developed because of that and we will endeavour to add it to future packs. Our Tounaments will still remain as events that encourages everyone to come play no matter what ever the condition their army is in but slight changes below would help maintain a good standard in our hobby moving forward:-
1. Stressing that only new playersof the tournament scene (first 1-3) can have unfinished armies that attend our events.
2. Having a Prize from 1st to 3rd for painting as well as generalship. Which I hope would encourage alot more of the Painters to come and attend our events as well.
It has been very enjoyable to run events for the last couple of years. Going forward I've grown wiser and will enlist a few more people to help in any future events I am involved in. It gives an opportunity to let everyone also persue their hobby with out the possibility of the organisation swamping them and not giving them time for the enjoyment of their own hobby. I also think that with more hands on board the size and quality of the events we run domestically can grow exponentially and we can perhaps one day mirror those massive conventions that we see in the US and Europe. If you are interested in getting involved in helping to organising an event or one of your own I can totally recommend it.
Well enough of internet chatter. I'm going out to get a few games in and am rather looking forward to airing my new High Elf army at the next two massive events coming up here in Auckland, namely Tempest & GuardCon. I've already been grudged at Tempest but you're welcome to grudge me at GuardCon.