Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Designing the Perfect Tournament
First I want to say how ironic I find the 40kWC banner floating on top of the peaceful image of a green environment. For some people peace is war - that is when they feel the most comfortable. Heh! I want to discuss how BeakyCon2 was designed. It is and will not be perfect but I think that is what we should strive for however we as individuals perceive that to be. First and foremost we want the tournament to be as competitive as possible but also as just as fair. I personally believe in doing as much research as possible. We can learn from others successes and mistakes. I like to use WarGamesCon and Feast of Blades as my models for success - I really like what they are doing. :D The national tournament scene has changed a lot over the past five years with a shift away from comp heavy soft scores to a more competitive environment. I still am a firm believer in the hobby aspect of the game and that is truly the heart of the game. Beautiful armies with an awesome theme should be rewarded. As a TO I find the competitive element the most thrilling. NOVA did a lot to promote the competitive element and shift tournaments in that direction - I respect that very much. It takes a lot of planning, which is part of the preparation, to do a great job. You have to assemble a great team of individuals with many skills - fellow judges and awesome terrain builders are part of that equation. Everyone involved should have a lot of enthusiasm and be totally committed. Execution is the other part that is so important but the planning is what can make things run smoothly. You have to be totally focused. I like to be as fair as possible. I will play games with participants to help them test their army list but I am not going to design their armies for them. Playtesting the missions using a wide variety of different armies is part of the preparation. This allows you to fine tune your missions so that everyone has an equal chance. The worst missions are those that heavily favor a certain type of army. I think you should provide enough information ahead of time so that everyone playing has the opportunity to be well prepared as well. For the most part no one likes surprises. Randomness and silly objectives are two things I try my best to avoid. I also believe in making myself accessible to everyone involved. You should take a professional approach to running a large event if you want it to be very successful. It is the things that go wrong for whatever reason that will bite you in the arse and come back to haunt you. Being as fair as possible to everyone helps to minimize those kinds of errors. Your goal should be to not make any mistakes in any regard and that is part of the reason why taking a professional stance can be such a great thing. The more you do the same thing the better you should become in practice but at the same time I also believe in some variance. Changes to how the missions work and your scoring system keeps it fresh and interesting for everyone. I focus on what I know well and stay away from things I know little about in actual practice... as one example I am not a fan of home brewed FAQs. I think in general GW has done a fantastic job with the release of 6th edition and they have stayed on top of things with their most recent errata and FAQs. Please note that I will answer any questions that come my way in regards to the rules and sometimes it can take a lot of work to provide the best answer. I am also not a big fan of the inclusion of Forgeworld - it might be my own short coming but I find it hard to keep track of all their rules. I think on the other hand most of the dedicated players are quite knowledgeable in regards to the existing codices - they are easily accessible and don't tend to change much over time. Forgeworld on the other hand is spread amongst many books... As a TO it would be quite time consuming to exhaustively be familiar with every single Forgeworld unit. In my opinion there is place for Forgeworld and that is in a specialized type of tournament that specifically caters to this element. I think Adepticon has done a great job overall in that regard and I proverbially tip my hat to them. We are working hard.