Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Equinox Experience

As you are aware I attended Equinox over the weekend, playing in the Fantasy tournament. Given my activities as a Tournament Organiser, I’m always curious to see how others approach things and decide what I think worked and what I think could be improved.

So here’s my runthrough of observations.

What Worked:

 Attendance – the event attracted the largest field for a Fantasy tournament under 8th Edition. That it sold out three months in advance demonstrated that there was pent up demand for the tournament, which has to be a vote of confidence in the organisers.

 Out of Towners – the event attracted a lot of people from outside Auckland. This has to be good for the overall tournament scene as it means new opponents, exposure to new ideas etc. It also fosters the community aspect of wargaming which I think is important.

 Venue – I thought the venue was excellent. It was probably near capacity so that gives organisers a guide for next time. There were plenty of food outlets close by for people to source whatever they needed.

 Location – connected to the venue obviously but critical. Having the tournament on this side of town made it far better for travellers. This is in terms of both cost (e.g. taxis) and time. I was able to find a local motel that provided very comfortable accommodation for $50 per night per person.

 Terrain – I thought that there was plenty of terrain and that it was of good quality. In the past the City Guard events have had little terrain cards you could turn over for mysterious terrain. It would be great to see them back as it is an idea we have pinched locally.

 Local Players - what a great bunch of gamers and wonderful hosts. Friendly and helpful.

What Could Be Improved:

 Players Pack – This really needed to be out much earlier. There was a lot of angst around the composition system which “appeared” to be changing after registration was full. Personally believe the Players Pack needs to be out at or around the time registration opens so there are no misunderstandings/misconceptions.

 Table Numbers – the tables need to be numbered. Letting people choose tables was fraught with “fail”. Take that decision out of players hands by assigning tables – and help players by numbering them.

 Round Draws – these were a bit chaotic. I think a far better process – especially with large numbers – is to print off two copies of the draw and put them on the wall. Overlord allows this and has the benefit of posting players battle points on draw so they can identify any errors.

 Prizes – If you are going to have prizes – and I personally prefer trophies – then you should structure the allocation of those prizes. I don’t play for prizes but I suspect some other people finishing 1st Overall would be a little disgruntled to get a set of Magic Dice and a bag of wound counters while others walked away with “better” prizes. As I said I prefer trophies as it takes the value of prizes out of it.

 Results – These need to be posted within 24 hours. This is when there is most interest in the event and people are keen to see how they’ve done. It is also great publicity for the event as it continues the buzz. I know TOs are whacked at this time but 30 minutes spent here is really appreciated by the participant

I thought the event was good and appreciate the efforts of the TO, Phil Wu and his helpers. I think it is good to give considered constructive feedback. Hopefully others will add to this thread – in the same vein – and it would be great if Charlie and Jack provided their observations of the 40k event.


  1. Replies
    1. Agree on all counts, can't say it better so I won't.

  2. Agreed on all accounts as well. Although one could argue about showing points values until the end as it could introduce alot of beardyness on day 2.
    In addition, I would have liked to see the Warmachine guys prizegiving being done together with WHFB/40K. I hate this eliteist crap they peddle, we all gamers at heart, dont have to be haters as well just cause we all play different systems


    1. I don't think hiding the battle points would achieve that, pretty much all the contenders keep a close watch on everyones points throughout every single round anyway. Between that knowledge, and knowing how overlord seeds, you can tend to plan your draw pretty accurate in advance. I accurately predicted my entire day 2 draw on Saturday afternoon.

      While I would love to have the WM prizegiving in with the rest, I think the timing of their games is too different to ours, so there would be a _lot_ of waiting around for them. They finish much much earlier it seems. 10 models vs 200 will have that effect though I guess!

    2. As Charlie has already mentioned, it's a timing issue moreso than any perceived "elitist crap" (although that is very flattering comment... I thought Warmachine was on the outside of the circle of popularity and prestige?). We finished at 4pm on the Saturday, started at 9am on the Sunday, and were done (and by that I mean final round finished, tables packed up, prize giving complete) by 4pm on the Sunday. In almost all instances the Fantasy event was running before/after we were playing.

      We also managed 7 rounds with plenty of time for a sweet BBQ that half the field attended (Saturday) and debrief/war stories before the Welly players were dropped at the airport for their flights with no rush or issues (Sunday) - something I noted as a marked difference having experienced all three game systems in a tournament setting.

      The alignment of prizegivings has been a "kind of" issue at conventions before and never really been resolved. I'm not personally convinced as to how many players in the various systems would be that interested in the placings/awards in other systems when some didn't even stick around for the prize giving for their own :)

    3. Fair enough. Dont take my comment about "elitest crap" the wrong way. It was ment to go both ways :p
      I didnt realise you finished so early. Good excuse for an 8th game I recon

    4. 8th game?!?! My brain was fairly dribbling out my ears! :)

  3. Does anyone take pics of the armies? I would love to see more tournament pics in NZ (then I can see how far from the starting blocks I am for painting ; P )

  4. I just posted some pics on CityGuard forums,3728.msg43935.html#msg43935