Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ghost Town - The Fantasy Edition

Following on from this morning’s 40k Ghost Town post, here is the Fantasy equivalent.

A cursory check of this year’s Fantasy Rankings will show a few notable omissions. In 2010, Jack Dunn was ranked #2 in New Zealand and I was ranked #1. Jack has now fallen out of the Top 20 and I have fallen out of the Top 50 (playing only one open NZ tournament in the past year, finishing 2nd at Guardcon – and then finishing 2nd at the Masters).

Similarly, the 2010 Top 20 was populated, to a significant degree, by Wellington/Central Districts gamers and they are now struggling to hold their positions. This, again, is the result of a lack of events in the region. I organised four Fantasy events – Vermintide (with Neil Williamson), Warpfire, Runefang, Horned Rat and Skitterleap – and in addition there were NatCon and Call to Arms. This gave locals six hometown events, on which to base their rankings. This year only Call to Arms survives in it previous form.

This means locals have had to travel to preserve their ranking and a lot haven’t.

So again why has my involvement changed? Two key things and one subsidiary reason were behind the change.

Firstly, I have switched my tournaments from regular events to campaign weekends. This switch reflects a change in focus by myself – I find that they are more relaxed affairs with the emphasis on more than outright results. Given that, there are only so many weekends in the year and I am aware of this in terms of my own time and that of participants.

Secondly, I got heartily sick of the innumerable Comp bitching that took place in New Zealand before every large event. This did not impact the Wellington events to the same extent, as the local community seemed to be largely on the same page. However, Auckland events, in particular, seemed to be focused less on getting enjoyment from the game and more on either trying to break whatever Comp system was used, comp-campaigning before an event or bitching about your relative score/restrictions post-event. In the end I just got a little tired (time for Bovril, slippers and a nice pipe) and re-focused on a more relaxed gaming experience.

The subsidiary reason was personal. Not organising 40k events in Wellington meant I felt less comfortable asking locals to umpire my Fantasy events.

However the same offer is open to local Fantasy TOs who want to organise events. I have software, players pack templates, tournament documentation, 20 tables of terrain etc that are available to aspiring TOs. More than happy to help out if anyone wants to step up.


  1. I have to say that I was disappointed when you cut the WHFB tournaments, as I had decided (and had been given the go ahead by she who must be obeyed) to participate in more tournaments and had planned on 2 in wellington!

    As it turns out I enjoyed and learnt a whole lot from the campaign weekend and I believe my play has improved, as has my enjoyment of the game!

  2. It is a shame that there were no local tournaments this year, 40k or fantasy, but I thoroughly enjoyed the two campaign weekends you ran a hell of a lot more than any tournament I have played in(and I've always enjoyed tournies too). It would be cool to be able to run a tournament or at least help with one but it's a little more difficult in Levin. Happy to have more 'Retribution' days though.

  3. Glad I got to play Jack in Auckland this year, had hoped to attend Call to Arms, but we talked ourselves out of the travel committment, given the bountiful Auckland/Waikato tournaments available and the fact that we were burning ourselves out. Guardcon next.

  4. I've been out of the GW gaming for years now (just starting back into it with Fantasy for now) and have no tourney experience at all.

    If however anyone needs help with setting up etc I would be more than happy to donate my time to assist as long as it is in Wellington city as I am on call every day (apart from one weekend a month).

  5. Different strokes for different folks.

    The tournament scene in Auckland is changing considerably. More players are getting involved in a wider range of systems (Warmachine, Flames, 40k, odd-ball stuff like that thing with futuristic boats or somesuch) so the 'usual suspects' aren't necessarily present at every event. There's another benefit to having players involve themselves game systems aside from WHFB - they feel less invested in the outcome of a particular event so there's greater sense of "entering for 6 fun games" as opposed to "entering to take names and get/maintain rankings points". Also quite a few new faces to liven things up.

    Seems to me that, with less/no focus or interest in a national rankings system, players are approaching tournaments with a more light-hearted, socially-motivated attitude.

  6. @Fujin Approaching tournaments with a more light-hearted, socially-motivated attitude can't be a very bad thing :-)

    Interesting to hear about the New Zealand rankings...I put a massive amount of time into to establishing the RHQ rankings here in Canada, but found that there was a lack of support from RHQ itself, which I understand because Canada isn't a huge market like the U.S.

    Although I still enjoy tournaments, I've decided to support the community by blogging, and thankfully I've made a lot of contacts through promoting the rankings, which have helped with developing my blog.

    Thanks for another interesting read!

  7. @FBroundup I was the NZ Administrator for RHQ (Fantasy, 40k, FOW)from startup until the end of 2010. Like you I do think there was a shift in focus to the US/UK markets and the RHQ-TV venture over the course of that time. That's understandable given that it is a business.

    I think the rankings are a good addition to the scene but that they can increase the competitive nature of people (here I'm definitely including myself). Like Fujin I think a mix is good.....however in smaller "markets" that's sometimes hard to achieve, given a lesser number of TOs and participants. It can get skewed very easy if one person changes focus (as evident here in Wellington).

  8. Thanks for the reply Pete!
    I can't really say I'm happy with the direction RHQ is headed lately. The new Warmachine Painting Diary seems silly. Why would you not include all of the other games...especially FOW, which RHQ do the official rankings for? I had started my blog on the site in hopes of adding WHFB content to the community there, but the tavern has sort of killed the blogs IMHO.
    Not that I have any hard feelings...wish Andrew and Gav all the best of luck, just a little disappointed.