Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tournament of Championships

 by Wienas

I've been plugging our upcoming local tournament on my blog as of late, and I wanted to open up a discussion with the gaming community at large regarding tournaments.

As this is my first time running such an event, it is important to me to "fix" some of the issues that I have had with other local tournaments.  The primary things that I wanted to address are:

  • Starting on time, and staying on time - A tournament can last quite a while, it shouldn't take up more of my time than advertised that it would.
  • Having a transparent scoring system - I want to know how my army and my games will be scored before I get to the event.  Will the event be more hobby-based, or competitive in nature?  The scene here in Indy is largely competitive, and many people tailor their lists to meet the comp requirements of the event they are attending.  I'd like to know going into the event what type of crowd I'm going against.
  • Having good prize support - Having a 20-man event and only handing out the standard prize support that GW provides your store feels cheap.  I'm all for stores making money off of the events that they run, but some effort should be made to spread some of that love around.  The recent event at Games 2 Die 4 had great prize support, and I'd love to try to emulate that spirit of giving.
  • Encouraging fun, gentlemanly play - I hate that the guy who wins best sportsmanship is always the person who comes in last.  The prize given to this guy speaks worlds about how much importance is placed on sportsmanship (usually a dice cube).
What are some other things that you have been disappointed with in your local tournaments?  Am I missing something here that would prevent you from having a good time at an event?  What would you like to see in a local, or even a national event?


  1. Some of the friendlier tournaments that I've taken part in have "door prizes" -- i.e. prizes for people that didn't win anything else (best general, best painted army, best sport). They just roll a die to give away a random prize to someone who didn't win in another category! (Not having this wouldn't prevent me from attending, but I thought it was worth mentioning)

  2. Things have to stay on schedule and scoring has to be transparent, otherwise they tend to break down quickly.

    Beyond that, just make sure the TO/judges are available for any questions or enforcing the "don't be a dick" policy and go easy on the wacky scenarios.

  3. I think you've got a good starter list. Especially the scheduling and transparency aspects for me. Build time cushions in up front, don't run over.

    The events our game club runs tend to have a top prize for Overall, and then equal prizes for Best General, Best Painted, Best Sportsman, and sometimes best Theme (favorite army, has an element of comp to it). They usually also do a "whipping boy" prize for whoever comes in last, which is a refund of their entry fee. I've been to some events that have done the random prize like jabberjabber talks about - fun idea, even though I didn't win.

    One thing I would really like to see would be more group scoring for painting, and if comp is used for comp as well. Set aside a couple of minutes per participant (so say, if 20 players, allocate 40minutes) for everyone to go around, see everyone else's armies and rate them. Average out the scores, that's where your painting and comp scores come from. I think it would be better to have the group as a whole score these things rather than a judge or two or just your opponents.

  4. I also agree with the painting piece and scoring. I believe the painting should be scored by the overall field before any games are played and before matches are set. The first 20 to 30 minutes of the day can be set aside for this. The points can then be totaled and added to each game or an overall score. This helps stop the top table players possibly giving lower painting scores to each other or vice versa.

    We have run 2 different styles of prize support at G2D4 that I like. 1 is alot of prize support to top 3, best painted, etc. The second is to use the GW support for top 3 and spread the rest out until 70% of the field gets something. This helps in situations where less competitive players want to play and can still win.

    You have great ideas. I am sorry I am going to miss the 19th tournie! :(

  5. been doing the tournament scene a lot in the last 2 years. I have the same complaints as you, I would like to add a few more.

    1. FAQS - This is my biggest complaint. If your not going to use the INAT FAQ then go through write down all your answers for all the issues raised in their FAQ and post it at least 2 weeks before the tournament. I hate walking into a tournament and discover the TO has a special way to read a rule.

    2. Define stalling. If A player accuses someone of stalling divide the time clock in half and enforce a set time per each phase. Overboard? yes. Eliminates the issue.

    3. Dice. I dislike "Special" dice. Make it a tournament rule your opponent is ALWAYS allowed to roll your dice.

    4. Army list. Make everyone give (not loan) a copy of their army list. (I would require an army builder list (even provide to put it in army builder ) ala bolscon).

    5. Required which units in transports are clearly identified with markers or models. Nothing is more annoying than the magical moving power fist.

  6. Hmmmnnn... Now you're really tempting me to skip the 'Ard Boyz Semis and come to your tourney instead.

  7. These are great suggestions guys.

    I'm liking the idea of spreading around the prize support, so that even if people aren't crushing their opponents, they can still win something.

    @mathhammer: I like the idea of resolving stalling by dividing the remaining time between the two of them. I dislike the idea of forcing one player to let another player roll their dice. It seems rude and unsanitary. I don't have a better way to resolve that issue, but the thought of another persons sweaty bear-paw hands on my dice makes me want to give them a chemical bath.

    @SandWyrm: I intentionally pushed back the original date of the tournament so that it wouldn't interfere with 'Ard Boyz. Unfortunately, it now interferes with the 'Ard Boyz semis. It looks like a lot of our regular tournament-goers will not be there, which is a shame.

  8. I thought ard Boyz Semis were on June 12th. and the tourney was on the 19th.
    or am I missing something?

    I like the idea of broader prize support. It kind of makes the idea more about showing up and playing good games.

    I always thought the idea of a chess clock was interesting, but gets a bit unbalanced when you've got an elite, low model count army going against a hoard. of course the hoard plays slower.

  9. Oh, they're on separate weekends, but they're too close together for me to be able to go to both short of a minor miracle (which I'm working on).

  10. This time of the year, it's hard to find a month with no tournaments in it. I'm lucky if I can get to one a month, and I don't have a brand new baby.

    With just under a month to go, there are 11 people signed up, with another 5 stating that they "will definitely be there." I think that there will be a pretty good turn-out considering the proximity to another large event.

  11. G2D4 is having a tournament on the 12th, but the semis and the $20 entry fee are probably going to keep most players away.

    It's being run by the store owner and not the 40k club like the last tournament.

  12. so are you giving away a fancy trophy like that star one up there?

  13. I'd like to find an awesome trophy, but as of yet, the answer is no.


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