Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Fields of Blood - The NZGT - A History

I thought I’d plot a history of the Fields of Blood event.

For those of you who don’t know “Fields of Blood” is the name that Games Workshop gave to the New Zealand Grand Tournament that they ran from 1999-2005. In 2006-2007, I believe they dropped the “Fields of Blood” moniker, it just being the NZGT. The event was the pinnacle of NZ gaming and my local club, the Warlords dominated the event from 2000-07.

In 2008 Games Workshop exited organising events and the NZGT/Fields of Blood looked like it was over. I spoke with my local Hobby Centre and with the Asia-Pacific GW Office and they were happy for me to take over the “Fields of Blood” name – hence this site and the event.

I ran Fields in 2008, 2009 and 2010. For the first two years, Games Workshop gave me substantial prize support and lent me terrain. This was greatly appreciated. It allowed me to direct my spend into venue and trophies (which I believe are the best in NZ and comparable with anything I’ve seen worldwide).

However I am a realist. From 2007 onwards, more and more of the NZ gaming community (and the Australians that attended) sourced their GW product from internet sellers in the UK. When 2010 came around, I did not seek support from GW as I believed that was unfair on them and would have been presumptuous of me. Entry fees went into venue hire and again into the trophies (which had been expanded to Best in Race awards as well). The event was the largest 40k event ever held in New Zealand – 66 players – but financially didn’t cover its cost. It is a mark of pride for me that the FOB community chipped in and bought me a lovely gift that in my eyes more than compensated for any loss.

Last year, 2011 was Rugby World Cup year in New Zealand. Fields took a year off as it was impossible to secure venues or accommodation for a 6-8 week period over September to October.

2012 saw it return to the calendar. Earlier in the year and at a new venue. The new venue proved to be fantastic – carpeted, quiet, backed up by technology and much closer both to the tables and my home. I set about planning for 70 participants and thought I would sell out quite easily. This proved to be optimistic. In the end I had 54 paying customers which again resulted in a small financial loss. I believe the main reason for the lower numbers was the lack of 40k events in Wellington between FOB 2010 and FOB 2012 – one, Call to Arms 2011. This was a surprise for me but shows you need to develop the underlying scene to ensure maximum participation.

That said, for me 2012 was a raging success. The venue and players were great and the enjoyment I got from seeing people playing and enjoying 40k more than compensated for the financial loss. The opportunity for the NZ and Oz community to interact, culminating in the annual Battle of the Ditch was certainly worth.

Over the next couple of days I’ll be posting my thoughts on the event itself.


  1. Further to that history the name for the original Fields of Blood came from me back in GW Auckland a number of years ago. We needed a tournament name that sat right with both Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000.

    Fields of Blood summed it up well :)

  2. I'd have named it After the seed that is planted in fields to produce canola oil... That is to say "Fields of Rape".

  3. I would like to point out that 54 players is still easily the biggest 40k singles event in NZ this year. In general it seems like numbers at all the 40k events this year have stagnated no matter where they were, which to me suggests that other factors like 5th edition fatigue or 'waiting for 6th edition' syndrome played a part.

    1. As I said in a reply to nikola on another post, the real drop off was in Wellington gamers. The lack of leadup events over the past 12 months or so definitely impacted.

      I plugged the event, pushed out emails but 40k is going thru a downtime here in Welly. The Warlords have dropped from 120 members in 2008 to less than 50 now. Most of that has been GW games.

      Like most Wellingtonians I play mostly outside a club these days - having dedicated table at home and room for another 6-7 if needbe for unofficial event.

      Lot of other guys have permanant tables too. So what is needed here is 1) reason to go to club and 2) some impetus to organise events

    2. That was one of the reasons I didn't attend. After a few years off, I was planning to get back into playing but the few trips to the club haven't helped me find anyone still playing.

      I've played a few games with Sam but that alone hasn't provided the motivation to get my broken old DEs tournament ready.


  4. I think cost is starting to push folks out the game as well. $150 for rulebook. $500 - $1000 for army, paints, codex, etc. It's not chump change.

    1. Sorry but the game has always been expensive. It isn't exactly an excuse for every ill in the game in terms of player numbers. And when you look at it in real terms, you buy a unit and you paint it up and add in gaming time with it, the game starts getting down to microcents in terms of game time and modelling time. Price bought divided by hours spent on it, not as bad as computer games if you look at it that way.

    2. Sure it has but it's getting more and more so. A while back we had the option of buying from the UK but that's no longer available so we pay double (roughly) what they do. In addition to that they increase the prices once again. Now as a single guy $100 a fortnight (just for examples sake) wouldn't have been a big deal but as a married guy with a family it's becoming harder and harder to justify even though I enjoy the game. Funnily enough I think GW would have made more out of me previously as I would have been more inclined to purchase and try out multiple armies, now I keep it to a budgeted 1. I'd love to do a drop pod BA army but just can't justify the cost. And that's without even getting into the whole finecast debate.

      With hordes and warmachine providing much cheaper options due to the lower model counts I can only see more people leaving 40k.

    3. Or play Draigowing - 20 models maximum!

    4. arguing whether it costs more or not is a moot point, when people left the hobby more because of the frequency of the hikes; it becomes more a matter of principle than simply the costs themselves.

      Overall, with the point above and other things as well, if you feel a company isn't producing a product that translates into the kind of experience you want, then you're going to leave it.

      Having played a couple of short games of 6th I can safely say I won't go out of my way to attend any events outside of my convenience, and even then it'll only be the odd tournament; the game is just such a drag


    5. It is no more expensive to play these days than it was 10+ years ago. It always has been an expensive hobby.
      The perception it has become more expensive latley is a derivative of the last few years exchange rates and the now infamous Southern hemisphere sales banning. For those of you who can be bothered, you can easily source GW products overseas for reasonable prices still.
      GW did not raise there prices in NZ this finacial year, and the only price rises have come from repackaging into finecast, and as many of those prices have gone down as up. These are facts.
      Arguing based on model count is self defeating. Sure PP games may be cheaper, but you are still paying just as much for an individual model. Ever thought about playing a smaller game?
      Those comments also make no sense, as if you already owned a 40k army then where is the expenditure? If you get a new codex you may want to purchase 1 or 2 new kits, but besides following the flavour of the month....

    6. well, playing small points values would be nice if TO's could be convinced to start lowering the values for their events. because that's not happening, people are forced into playing 1850pt sized battles in order to practice for events. I personally have been asking for games at these smaller levels.

      but arguing against people's protests about price-rises is ultimately pointless if these people are still not turning up to events. and that's why I'm saying the cost is only one small element of a range of problems any individual may decide to have with 40K

      - Dave

  5. argh, I don't know if my first comment makes sense or not - meant to say that people didn't necessarily just leave the hobby because of the cost itself, but more that the cost increases frequently, and the prices for the products overseas and here are very different for no apparent good reason

    1. That I can agree with. There is no good reason for the price disparity. If you can buy the same product on the other side at rrp and ship it here (by arguably a more expensive and inefficient means) and it works out to be 60% of the local rrp, there is a problem. NZ RRp should be 35-40% cheaper than it is. I wounder if the inquiry into digital media downloads in Australia will have any impact...