Friday, March 1, 2013

NZ Team Championships - A TO's Roundup

The NZ Teams Championships were a fortnight ago and over the time since the event I have been able to reflect on how the tournament went.

So What Worked

  • Teams of Four - it allowed a spread of armies so the matchup process was important and teams had to think about how they would approach different situations
  • Matchup Process - stolen shamelessly from overseas, it allowed teams to try and engineer beneficial matchups
  • The Players - all the players embraced the concept. Teams signed up early giving the event financial viability and all turned up to celebrate Warhammer
  • Painted Armies - requiring painted armies was important. It meant that there had to be some investment in the process of list creation
  • The Venue - was exactly the right size for the number of players, close to food outlets and with offstreet parking. It got very hot on Saturday though.
  •  Scoresheets/Software - worked perfectly. The Swiss Draw was only compromised once which required a bottom up build but my visions of nightmares constructing the draw (I've done 10 player 6 round draws before) didn't eventuate
  • Twitter Buzz/Blog Smashtalk - this created a real buzz before the event and this carried through to the two days. The banter was great.
  • Two Officials - I thought Locky and Ryan did a great job marshalling the event. Locky was a great umpire taking no nonsense. Two people meant there was always coverage
  • Trophies - I was happy with the reaction to the trophies. I wanted podium teams to have a decent keepsake and I also wanted to fund a permanent trophy (as I've done via the Warlords for the Masters). I've been asked why there weren't prices for Best Sport and Best Painted and the reason is I think they are more suited for individual events. 
  • No Formal Beauty Parade - driven by the timetable. It was very hard to fit everything in allotted time and felt that the 30 minutes required for a beauty pageant was best spent elsewhere.
What Didn't Work

  • Four Games On Saturday - the biggest complaint I had was that four games on the Saturday was one game too much. For some it was too tiring and for others it impinged on the social side of the event. I agree with both criticisms and will definitely go 3/3 next year. It will obviously mean later finish which will impact more on out of towners
  • Scoring - there needs to be a whiteboard/datashow reporting the round by round scores. This keeps teams informed and also ensures everyone is on a level playing field. This will occur for next year.
  • Eventual 1st and 2nd Didn't Play - this is a rarity but also an outcome of six rounds, ten teams and Swiss Chess. There was only one round where Top Down Swiss Chess didn't work and that was Round 5. Here modified Swiss Chess was used to ensure teams didn't have to replay previous opponent while ensuring top teams played highest scoring opponent available. Solution is more teams or less rounds. Will say First Place went 5-1, 2nd, 3rd and 4th  Places were all 4-2. Generally I suppose you expect top team to go unbeaten - demonstrates how hard fought it was.
  • Friday Opening - having the hall open on Friday evening was a bit of a damp squib. One game was played, I thought there might be more. I guess travel precludes it.
Overall I was very happy with the outcome for the inaugural event. I am currently talking to venues now for 2014 but they are unable to confirm until September.


  1. Loved it Pete. Full credit must go to yourself for organising and running the event. Some shameless plugging now, if anybody wants to see video reports of the event, come over to my Youtube channel and have a watch. It might give those who did'nt make the trip a bit of an idea of what it was like.

  2. Yup, Pretty massive success imo.

    My only critique from the weekend, was that the a lot of the tables may as well have have been Planet Bowling Ball for all the difference the terrain made.

    Would be nice to have a bit more interesting terrain to interact with like Impassible and Buildings. I find the cat and mouse of running around terrain that actually stops movement a lot more interesting than mass of meaningless forests and low hills that were there.

    But if that's all I can bitch about then its a pretty good tournament.

  3. How about a Friday night 8pm round one?

    1. This idea I like. Having 3 rounds on a Sunday means I will need to stay overnight Sunday night as the last plane leaves 4:45pm for me

    2. I think it would be a good idea as most of the Aucklander's generally take the Friday arvo off to get down to Welly...

  4. Oh...and who was top scoring player?

    1. Tim J in the end. Lowest game score was 17-3 if I can remember correctly.

  5. I agree with the comment about terrain and about Saturday being a bit long. I think a Friday evening game seems like a pretty good solution.

    1. Thanks guys. The problem with a Friday game is that that requires even earlier access to the venue and that is not really possible due to hall availability. It also means that setting up occurs on Friday afternoon which means less people to help and the TO - if he has got off his arse and is working - has to take a half day.

      As for terrain, there were 22 buildings across the 20 tables which I thought was pretty good coverage. I'll look to build more over the course of the year. The thing that was really missing is obstacles. I have big box of them and will look to integrate into terrain set over the year.

    2. Were there that many? I guesss with the extra amount of tables, it could have just been a thinner spread, but from looking around it didn't seem that way. I personally had two buildings (that I could justify as buildings in game.) on 6 different tables.

      Obstacles would be ace, and might help encourage some monsters back to play with by giving somewhere to hide. I suggest lining them up across the middle of the table every time, you know, to screw over the Dwarfs :-)

    3. Looking forward to seeing the obstacles on the table. I too 2nd the "need more terrain that restricts movement/cannons" on the table-or at least not hugging the board edge.

      Other than that the event was the best event I can remember going to. Fantastic venue, great games and everything ran smoothly.

    4. Meals, it takes more than a few fences to screw over the Dwarves. Double Grudgethrower and double Organ Gun FTW; we don' care bout no steenkin' fences......

      On terrain, I do think that hills and forests should block LOS, and the fences would be nice from an aesthetic point of view. I would argue that a wooden fence shouldn't stop a cannon ball, but happy that a stone one would. If you have LOS blocking hills and forests, then wooden fences won't upset too many people.

      I'd also like to see ploughed ground and other sorts of terrain that force dangerous terrain tests or stop marching. Then in addition to blocked observation lanes from forests/hills, you can also have an effect on movement through more varied 'normal' ground.

  6. I think adding in a best painted, which is judged by the umpires would be a nice addition to the tournament. It also doesn't add any need for a beauty pageant so doesn't take any time up.
    I don't think there is any need for sportsmenship scores or a best sports team in the tournament. Everyone was very good this year.
    In regard to having the hall open on the Friday night I suspect that it was a case of people not knowing in time. Most of the outer towners flew in late at night and therefore couldnt make it. I would have liked to see the friday night used more in a social way. Maybe if everyone expects it for next year it may get more attendants.
    Finally, ideally, I would love to have a projector to display the round scores, round draws and have a timer during rounds.

  7. By the way Pete, The League of Extraordinary Nerdymen went 5 and 1 as well....just the same as 1st place....

    1. So you did....pity you didn't manage to score as many points :-)

      And you played the bottom substandard is that.

      Tidy up your act!

    2. Pete you need to check your facts lol! We played 9th (final standings....whilst you played (post 5th round) 10th place to leap frog to victory! Crack up!

    3. I think you'll find *I* have the biggest pee-pee as I beat both of you. Our team was the only team to have to play 1st through 4th, and we *still* came 6th.

    4. I've heard of your wang....women whisper tales of its glory....

    5. @ ymmij
      I wouldn't brag about that.

      Best tourny ever. The organisation was up to your usual standards. The format simply transformed the game - all for the better.

      I've been telling everyone who will listen that it was fantastic!

    6. 8th place Rory....we never ventured to the lower reaches....enjoyed your postcard from down there though

    7. I think they were 10th going into the final least we didn't play last place like you suggested and we smashed the team that smashed'll never be able to live that down.....until next year Peter, then you can have your shot at redemption mate.

    8. Rory you clown...they were 8th going into the last round - 38 points ahead of 9th (Cut The Mustard) and 41 ahead of 10th (Crusaders)- neither of whom we played.

      We crushed the team that smashed you......

      You can't win this Rory....look at your medal....It has a 2 on it.

      One saving grace for you though. At the NZTC you improved Day 2, unlike the Masters. So who knows you may be learning :-)