Monday, September 21, 2009

Running a 40k Tournament in your area:

The fact is that there are many of us out here in the boonies that have little to no access to a Local Gaming Store (LGS) and absolutely NO access to a GW Store. I know, I am one of you. I’ve never, in my whole life, been into a Games Workshop store. That being said, those of us who are in this same predicament probably love this game as much as I do, if not more. So, for someone that has run more tournaments than I can honestly remember and participated and won more than a couple, allow me to help.


How? It is really rather simple, you in truth only really need 3 things:

1. A place to play.
This can be your basement if you have enough space, a garage, or a local store.
2. People to participate.
This number can be as big as you want it to be, but should be (for purposes of a decent tournament) no less than 8 people.
3. A Rules Judge
This can be you, so long as you feel comfortable making rulings on games that will effect other people, and that those people will abide by your rulings.

That is it.

Ok, got all that together?

Talk to your participants; get an Idea of what they would like to do for their tournament, because in all honesty it is theirs, not yours. You are just facilitating their enjoyment of the game.

Set your entry fee. Since you are likely reading this because of the fact that you have little or no GW involvement, you are going to be in charge of “Prize Support” if you have an LGS that will help, that is great, but in truth most of these guys are scraping by by the skin of their teeth. So break down, set an entry fee and deal with it.

Tips on Entry Fees:
The more people you have the lees the fee should be per person unless you
want to do big prizes.

The lowest you should go is $5 per person. At 8 people that puts the “Prize Pool” at $40. Not much.

One of the ways that we do things here is $5 Per Person Per Game. This sets the prize pool at a decent level and makes it relatively affordable for most people to attend. Since most tourneys here are 3 games it is $15 per person. At 8 people, that sets your prize pool at $120. A significant difference.

Decide on the “Prizes”

When I say prizes, I do not mean the merchandise that the winner receives, I
mean what qualifies the winner(s). Your fist choice is going to be overall winner. This is the person who wins the tournament. But from there you should also have at least 1 and maybe more winners. What should they be? In smaller tournaments, you should probably keep it simple.

Tips on Secondary Winners
In small tournaments, Keep it simple. Probably stay with a prize for 2nd place. As the size of the tournaments increases so does the “Prize Pool” and so you can have other prizes.

For example, in a 24 Person tournament with a $10 entry fee you will have a prize pool of $240 and could set up your “Prizes” like this:
1. Overall Winner - $90 In Product
2. Runner Up (2nd Place) -$60 In Product
3. Best Painted - $60 In Product
4. Best Sportsman - $30 In Product
Also, keep in mind that no 1 person should EVER win more than 1 prize. Even if the person who won best sportsman won the overall winner slot, he would get the $90 in product. The next in line for sportsmanship would take best sportsman.

Decide on Scenarios

Scenarios should be clearly written and balanced for EVERY ARMY. Thus you should never make a scenario that starts the players at opposite short edges of a 6’x4’ board with a 12” deployment zone. I’ve played in these and the 4’ that you need to cover completely screws over the assault oriented armies while giving armies like Tau a completely unfair advantage.

House Rules

House rules should be very clearly defined. If you change ANYTHING in the rules, tell people. If you want the ork battlewagon’s deff rolla to not effect tanks, MAKE IT CLEAR to people, preferably before the tournament so that they can take that into account in writing their list. Nothing sucks worse than writing a list all about denying somebody their cover saves only to show up and find out that the tournament is running with the rules that cover saves can not be negated.

Have a clear way to define the winner of the tournament. Win/Loss record is not enough.
In any tournament over 8 people, just winning is not enough since in a 12 person tournament, pitting winners against winners, you may end up with 2 people that won all 3 of their games. Make a system, the most commonly used and easiest to understand is battle points. It will save everyone a lot of work in the end.

Run your tournament with a spreadsheet. It’s easy to setup and will keep your life clean and easy and will help with pairings for subsequent rounds.

Keep a cool head, if you encounter a rule that you do not know or have had no experience with, think about it logically. You are a smart gamer (I Hope) if you have a hard time, ask a 3rd party that you trust and is not involved in the game. It’s ok to take 5 minutes, but don’t take an hour to issue a judgement. 5 minutes is about the maximum you want to take otherwise you are denying them a game. If you cant figure it out, think about it logically and apply all pertinent rules, if somebody is trying to cheat, you should be able to tell.

HAVE FUN. And that is the most important of any tournament. Have fun.

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