Tips for running a tourney

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Tips for running a tourney

Postby theblackprince » Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:39 pm

Howdie guys!

Enthusiasm is flagging a little in HK and inspired by my time with the Warmongers, I decided to start running one day tourneys to mix the game up a little.

First one planned for 11th dec. it'll be 40k, a campaign day, so more emphasis on game and story, along the lines of the Tempus Fugit stuff that is run at Warhammer World.

I thought I'd do a couple of kill team games, then 2 standard sized games in the aft.

Was going to use ranking's HQ program - but never run a tourney before and wanted to dip back into the Warmonger's wisdom, and see what people with more experience than me would do.

Any thoughts much appreciated!
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Re: Tips for running a tourney

Postby VectorAWX3 » Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:18 am

Most important thing is the players' perception of how professionally it's run. The more pro it seems, the more satisfied people will be, regardless of their final placement in the field.

Scenarios, scoresheets, etc. should all be neatly printed and proofread. If you can throw a picture in the corner here and there, it will make things look 10 times better than a plain page of text. Throwing a paragraph of story on each scenario will be gret, particularly if you flavor it with some famous local personalities or places (adjusted for the far, evil future, of course).

Have a "general rules" sheet printed and make sure every player gets one when they sign in. It should have general rules, as well as round start and end times, and a breakdown of how points are earned (painting vs. battle vs sports, etc).

IMO, prizes shouldn't have monetary value, as that encourages the wrong type of WAAC player. At most a boxed set or so, depending on the size of tourney is fine. But some sort of trophy or plaque makes a great prize, and gives people something to fight for. Again, depending on the size of the tourney, multiple prizes may be worth it.

Get a laptop to keep track of the scores. Trying to add up hundreds of numbers on the fly leads to errors. And no matter what, when you're at the end and ready to announce the winner, do a quick sanity check by reviewing the top few placeholders, as a couple of points can mean the difference between 1st and 2nd.

Keep a positive attitude and smile a lot. Yelling at players to put their dice down so you can go to lunch doesn't help set the atmosphere for them to return to the next tourney. Be flexible. The main thing is not to finish the tourney, it's to make sure everyone has a good time.

Have a ringer handy. Trying to run a tourney and play at the same time is absolute torture, and isn't fair to the people against whom you're playing, since their game will be interrupted every time you have to run make a ruling or collect a scoresheet.

Oh, and get an assistant, or at least a semi-assistant. When it's lunchtime, and you're stuck adding up scores, and you're hungry and cranky, it's nice to have someone who can help you collect scoresheets or run and grab you a slice of pizza, or whatever it is they eat in HK.

:)
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Re: Tips for running a tourney

Postby theblackprince » Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:35 pm

Great - thanks Nidal.

Should the assistant be female and scantily clad?
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Re: Tips for running a tourney

Postby VectorAWX3 » Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:41 pm

That goes without say.
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Re: Tips for running a tourney

Postby theblackprince » Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:49 pm

Quick thought on prizes. As this is a campaign day, I'm not awarding prizes for best general etc, but wanted to hand out awards that reward people in other aspects of the hobby/gaming.

Thought of Best Kill Team, but wondered what other awards people liked the idea of:

Smoking Boots? Best Sportsman - or is that a little dull?
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Re: Tips for running a tourney

Postby VectorAWX3 » Thu Nov 25, 2010 1:42 pm

I'm all for "Best Sport", "Smoking Boots", etc., but you shouldn't neglect the guys who won more games and generally played better warhammer. That is, after all, what the inch-thick ruleset is all about. Volume of prizes should match up to number of players. No sense handing out 1st, 2nd, 3rd Best General on top of other prizes when there are 20 people playing. What do you expect gamer count to be?
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Re: Tips for running a tourney

Postby Anger Worm » Fri Nov 26, 2010 6:43 pm

I always liked prizes based on overall performance. In a small environment with a limited pool player's choice is usually pretty obvious (or between one or two people) so I much prefer prizes for overall placement, as soft scores like paint factor into overall anyway. Sometimes you can have a surprise prize for the person who earned the least battle points.

I think the most important thing to do is change things up from tournament to tournament. If one month you hold a tournament with 3 standard games, the next month you should try something like a team tournament, or varying point sizes, or funky objectives. It's ok to be crazy as long as it's crazy for everyone equally.

Also remember, in 40k there's a reason for things like kill points and objective grabbing, so these should be included (or at least accounted for) to force a balanced approach.

While you want to keep things positive don't be slack. Make sure you move around the room, check in on what turn it is when games look like they're moving a bit slowly, and let players know how much time they have. I usually will announce the time when there's an hour remaining, half hour, fifteen, and when players should be finishing up. Ample notice eliminates complaints (and this applies to tournament restrictions as well). Make sure players know not to move into the next turn without enough time to complete both sides.

I agree with Nidal about having a ringer/assistant if it can be arranged.
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Re: Tips for running a tourney

Postby Miles Gloriousus » Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:53 pm

I always give out an award for "Forlorn Hope", which is the person who had the absolute lowest battle points. If there's a tie, it goes the person who had the best sportsmanship score among those with the worst battle points. On occasion - as at Fall In - the person who got forlorn hope also got best sportsman and two great prizes. It was a good day for him.
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There are lands to conquer, cities to loot and peoples to degrade!" -- Miles Gloriousus
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Re: Tips for running a tourney

Postby theblackprince » Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:05 am

Guys: a big thanks for this. I kept all this in mind and the event ended up going really well. Sold 11 tickets out of twelve, and started the day with a couple of kill team games, then had lunch and switched upto 1700 points, and had two games in the afternoon.

It was a campaign day rather than a tourney, so I split the players into two teams: imperial vs enemies of humanity. (Had one Thousand Sons Tempus Fugites army list; three space wolves, raven wing; death wing; one ad mech IG army; blood angels (fallen); hunt for voldorius list of white scars and raven guard combined; and bog standard sm )

I was gm-ing througout, and over lunch I gave the team captains the battle scenarios that they would be playing after lunch. They assigned the mission to their armies, and then turned up at the tables and found who they were playing. These were all missions that simulated an attack on an imperial world (so chaos were the attackers in a range of missions)

The last round the missions were handed out randomly, to simulate armies being thrown into the battle. I also had written a range of extra secret mission objectives: which ranged from killing the enemy general, wiping out the most expensive units, getting troops off enemy's table edge to go and infiltrate - some of which were worth more points than winning the game.

Points were just lose-draw-win, and went into the team score. Awards were handed out to the winning team, and trophies for Best Kill Team, Best Sportsman (everyone voted for their favourite player of the day) and Renaissance Man (the Enlightened Gamer) and was a combo of sports, paints and kill team.

Once everything was set up it ran surprisingly smoothly - but not being a tourney i guess there was less stress and pressure. Feedback was great: though I would have done more pre-event story telling in the future, so people had time to get more into it, and paint up new figures/kill teams etc.

I'd also have more inter-table-action - so that what happens on one table affected others (ie: earthshaker batteries able to shoot at another table would be one; victorious units able to move between tables) and also having the results of one game feeding into the next. And planning bigger events next time. We're lucky that the shop lets us host these events for free. we're reinvesting the money into terrain for the shop: and i think next time it'd be good to aim for something big, like the Amphelion Project space base.

You can see pics here http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2 ... 779&ref=mf
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Re: Tips for running a tourney

Postby Anger Worm » Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:51 pm

Looks like good fun. I like the narrative thread running through the whole thing. Team tournaments are a blast!
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