Wednesday, March 28, 2012

NatCon Numbers

I contacted the Registrar the other day and he indicated that Natcon Warhammer Fantasy has fourteen players including the Umpire. On that basis, eight games mean that players will end up playing over half the field.

It is unlikely there will be any late entries as I understand that registration since mid March has been $100. While I appreciate that late entries can be a pain I can’t see this building the field….and surely for NatCon you want the biggest field possible especially when space at the venue is not a limiting consideration.

One of the key attractions of out of town events is that you get to play people you otherwise wouldn’t and a bigger field enhances this. Disappointing that more aren’t going as it is the only three dayer on the calendar.


  1. I have spoken to a large number of people who arent going, where price is the sole reason. $100 is very, very steep. Yes it's a 3 day event, but with most events costing around $40, this is more than double.

    There also seems to be a bit of resentment towards that, as, correct or not (I don't know the answer), people suspect that the venue is secured at a discount rate due to the primary person working at the school in question.

    I personally don't care so much, but not everyone has the luxary of being on a combined income with no children, so $100 can be quite a lot to some. I also know that in the past, the club running it has invested quite heavily in terrain specifically for warhammer 40k, so don't feel particularly aggrieved by any coffer building.

    1. 3 days, 1 day too many, and 2k points. As a local I've mixed feelings, I don't really have any kinship to the club in question, or the event. My garage-hammer comrades and myself have closer ties with Auckland players. I feel more responsibility towards supporting events in Wellington or Christchurch. Cost is no issue, triple income, no kids. If some effort was made towards superlate enticement I might bite but I also ike the idea of having 3 days to myself.

    2. You forgot to mention your kinship with Tauranga!! surely that supersedes EVERYONE else ha ha...

      Seriously though it is a bit disappointing that it is such small field for a big event... I was hoping to play against more of the Tronhammer lads!

  2. I know that I would likely gauge potential attendance in future before I signed up where there are such high "late" fees - I don't think $60 for three days is bad.

    Still it looks like that with Reid, Vod, Mike (all previous winners) and others I know of then it will be a hard fought event. Can't ask for more than that.

  3. The combination of price, points limited to 2k, and hard caps put me off.
    I didnt mind the 3 days, but considering most TO squeeze 6 2.4k games in 2 days, 8 2k in 3 days seams a bit light.
    Another factor atleast for me, is Hamilton is very expensive to get to, but then again I do live in the middle of nowhere.
    Hopefully next years Christchurch TO will apreciate that light hard caps and higher points is what many people prefer

  4. To be fair to the TO, the pack came out late last year, and last year hard caps were the norm.

    As for 2k v 2.4k, the game is different at these points levels, which makes it interesting, not saying 2k is better or worse but variety is good in the tournament scene, if all events where identical I would get very bored and only attend a couple each year.

    As for Hamilton, it has no excuse for not getting a reasonable field, it's a 90 minute drive from Auckland, and not hard to get from other main centres. I agree it's not cheapeat place to fly into, especially from other regional areas.

    As for entry price, it high, and late fee's make it worse, I'm not convinced it justifiable. Appears like a money making venture for Hamilton club, hard to see it as anything else.

    Then theirs the Rob Shirley factor, enough said.

  5. it's actually the 3 days that turns me off the event. I've played in it once, I've run it once, and frankly, that last day is just too much for me.

  6. Yeah Blaise, I hear you on that. Historically I've enjoyed it because of the reduced pressure, it's been the only event where I have ever been able to afford to drop a game.

  7. A little surprised myself at such low numbers for WFB as well - when you take into account it is a fairly short distance from NZ's "major population centre", how often a song and dance is made about having something "different" on the gaming calendar, and (from what I can make out - having not played a lot of late) the fact that 2K points makes for a very different metagame.

    In regards to the hard caps - frankly it sounds like a extremely poor excuse to use to me. I'm using Wood Elves because that is what I have painted already. But pretty much any other army I have that I considered, the hard caps felt fairly minimal - or even less restrictive than the ones for Equinox.

    Price wise... well yes the final entry fee is rather steep @ $100 perhaps. I ended up paying $80 due to not getting my a into g a little sooner. but given the registrations opened on January 1st at $60... well, it speaks for itself.

    Honestly whilst I feel the above mentioned "shirley factor" has some weight, I cannot help but be reminded of the similarities recently shown with the criticism's leveled at the Cityguard President recently on their public forum, and others I have heard leveled at even the creator of this very blog. Frankly I think they all deserve more CREDIT than is given for their time, effort, and involvement in the hobby where many of the "haters" have failed to actually step up themselves.

    As Pete says though - it sounds to be a well hard fought event (Hell even I'm a former winner!!). And will be good for a catchup with a few people I havent seen for a while.

    (NB Wish one day they'd choose a venue that meant I didn't have to walk 5 miles to have a smoke)

    1. Just make sure that you do walk the 5mins for a smoke Phil.
      Kit Goldsbury has been banned from Natcon for smoking on the school grounds AFTER Nicon had finished!

      That'd be the Shirley factor referred to earlier...

  8. >shown with the criticism's .......I have heard leveled at even the creator of this very blog<

    Don't believe it. Everyone loves Pete!

  9. Its not so much the entry fee, as the extra cash required to stay /eat over the 3 days. That, combined with the Easter hike in airfares for the long-distance players, put it out of the reach of many people.


  10. What are numbers like for other systems?

  11. I'm not sure why this years Natcon has a lower turn out then usual. I personally like the fact there is a 3-day event in New Zealand. The initial price i thought was reasonable, the dramatic IMO price increase was not.I think regardless of location the organisers of Natcon have to appreciate the additional cost to gamers, flights, accomodation food etc. this can all add up significantly. I looked at going to Natcon this year and when i'd worked out the actual cost is was in the region of $800, this includes flights, hire car from auckland to hamilton, accom and shuttle to and from my home to the airport.

    I travel to a lot of tournaments all over the country north and south islands and this one was just too steep. The whole 2K - 2.4K i personally prefer 2K, it makes decision regarding lists a lot harder and doesn't let you take all your toys. On the other hand one of the reason I'm not going is that as an ETC member 2.4k is where i need to practice so a 2k tournament is not high on this list to attend

    Money making venture......i might be wrong in this but my understanding that one of the purpose of natcon being shared around is so that club can gain benefit financially from this venture?

    It is a shame regarding the numbers, for WHFB last year in CHCH we did struggel and managed to get over 25 (don't quote me) and that was even after the EQ. I just hope its not gamer apathy


    1. We had 26 Locals and 2 from outside of chch.Not surprising due to the EQ.Other NAtons in chch haven't seen massive turn outs for WFB.I'm not sure why;we tend to use the same player packs as other northern events,and our venues are 100% better(ie i can buy a bloody beer and get a good meal without leaving the venue)and our terrian is a class

    2. I'm keen to come down to Conquest this year as I havent been to a Southern event.

      In the past I've gone to Orktoberfest in Brisbane as it was a great opportunity to catch up with friends playing WHFB.

      This year - depending on the date - I'll try to go south. Labour Weekend is "tricky" as it is our wedding anniversary. The other thing that puts me off is the EQ and its after effects on accommodation etc.

    3. Hey Pete. Ive been to Christchurch atleast a dozen times over the past year or so for both work and gaming events.
      Ive never had one issues with accommodation. Most establishments are open, and have been for a long time.
      I dont think you have anything to worry about.

  12. We'd be happy to see you down south, Pete. There's a chance i might even be running 40k at Conquest, depending on how painful i find running the local club tourney, CavCon in late July.


  13. I have no idea what the numbers are like but the one-day Warmachine event (with a different tournament/list format) on the Friday at the cost of $20 (for 5 games) and which is separate from the two-day event that follows was just too good to pass up. I couldn't get the leave pass for all three days but was all over the one-day option and up for some mad road trip action with a couple of mates.

    I've played in the 3-day WHFB event and found it to be quite a marathon effort. I hazily recall playing Brettonians in the last round (using Empire) and both of us just zoning out, pushing models around with little thought for consequence, rolling dice.

  14. Dave, that sounds a lot like your "normal" warhammer tactics if I recall correctly...


  15. It's definitely my tactical style - although that's basically Warhammer in a nutshell right? Add in beer and pretzels and you've got an almost perfect game.