Thursday, April 24, 2014

Upcoming FOB Events

This is early notice that two events planned for later in 2014 are now not likely to go ahead.

Warpfire III was listed for late August and Skitterleap for late October (Labour Weekend).

This decision hasn't been reached easily. It basically comes down to numbers. Apart from NZTC numbers at FOB events have been declining over the past 18 months to the point where they are now being run at a financial cost to myself.

To give you a wider appreciation of the situation here is some background. The venue I use - Cashmere Avenue School - is also used by a variety of community groups, most notably the local Theatre group. At the start of each year I go through a tortuous process of negotiating which weekends I can hire the hall. This is not easy as the theatre group has first call and guards it jealously. What it means is that once agreed there is no flexibility around the dates. So I have to choose what I think is attractive and what is available.

On top of the rental I need to cover costs for trophies, trailer hire, terrain upkeep, printing, gift for umpire etc. The margins are typically very tight. Essentially I need 20+ people to make the event economic. Note that there is no recompense for time - these are purely financial costs.

I have been very lucky in that I have had a dedicated group of locals over the wider Central region that have supported the events. However as noted those numbers have been declining.

Why is that?

Well I think that there are a number of reasons. One is competing events. Over the past couple of years more events have popped up so gamers have more choice where they go. This is a good thing and I really appreciate the opportunity to go to events without the responsibility of organising them. Secondly, I do think familiarity breeds contempt. Effective same old, same old. I heard that last year and this year have made an active attempt to change things up - 4000 points, Swedish, ETC and so on. But this has probably had a negative effect. Numbers have declined more rapidly. Thirdly - and following on from the second - people get sick of the same voice. I understand and respect that. People just want to go and do something different.

Our small playing community though means that if people pick and choose then I tend to get left running multiple uneconomic events. After awhile that is non-sustainable. So I've decided to change my tact.

Horned Rat VII will run as advertised but Warpfire and Skitterleap will be canned. In the future I'm going to put my efforts into three events - NZTC, the NZ Masters and a new event in 2015, the Fields of Blood Grand Tournament. This later event will be run most likely in May/June and will be a hobby event aimed at attracting 40-50 gamers.

In the interim I urge all the local gamers to support the events being run. I understand that Kapiti are running a one-dayer, Masterton have Cracks Call in September, Palmerston have Panzershreck in July and the Warlords, Call to Arms in August. Later in the year there is Vermintide.

I've seen this cycle previously. It happened with 40k over the 2007-10 period. Events became uneconomic and had to be shelved. It is then important for other organisers to step into the gap.

TLDR: Horned Rat will be the last FOB event this year (NZ Masters excepted). There are other events and gamers should support these



  1. Understand completely your decision to cut back on events Pete. Have to say though that its very sad to see this happen. I note your post doesn't mention Runefang or Horned Rat as not continuing next year? Your Wellington events have been a fantastic feature of the local gaming community and for many of us outside of Wellington the only regular opportunity we have to get any competitive gaming in. I'll still attend all the events you put on with the odd exception just a shame that people have stopped turning up. While I agree that there are more events being offered now having yours in Wellington was a massive bonus as quite frankly travelling anywhere else is just too cost prohibitive.

  2. Thats a shame, but entirely understandable. I would think there is numbers enough to run both runefang and horned rat if the rest where dropped.