Monday, December 22, 2014

WHFB Tournament Attendance in 2014

As it is the end of the year I thought that I would have a look at the WHFB event attendance data for 2014 (and compare it to the previous year).

The data only contains Singles events and only those that are ranked -10 or more people.

I’ve taken the data from the Fields of Blood Rankings page which provides as complete a record as you are likely to get. Included is info for Inepticon although I’m yet to get the results.

The data has been split into three regions – North (Taupo and above), Central (south of Taupo) and South (big island below Wellington). I have done an event count, totalled attendance and calculated the average event size.

Here are the numbers:

As you can see 2014 saw an extra four events in New Zealand. The North lost one but the other two regions saw increases – Central +2 and South +3. The overall numbers of people attending events was largely the same – small overall decrease. This meant that the average size of events in 2014 decreased relative to the previous year (drop from 21 to 17). The drop in the average was greater in the Central region (around 5 participants per event).

From the viewpoint of a tournament players it is great to see an increased number of events. Having choice and variety is excellent. I’d be happier if we also saw an overall growth in numbers though. As a Tournament Organiser, the drop in average attendees is worrying. To put things in context the loss of five participants typically means about $200 less in entry fees which starts to impact the financial viability of events – especially if they are outside a bigger convention.

Hopefully in 2015 we’ll see overall attendance grow and also see the average size of events recover.



  1. If I was going to put a cheeky 10 bucks on it I would say attendances will go up this year

  2. Pete what is the total of war hammer tournament players? there are quite a few that go to multiple events so the number of tournament players will be quite a bit less than this.

    So with the number of tournament players about 300 in NZ they can't make up much of GWs customer base or the company is really in trouble.

  3. About 150 players. It has been pretty static at that level for the past few years

  4. To my mind the relationship between tourney organisers and local GW stores needs to be symbiotic for the hobby to prosper.

    The stores need to direct the customers to the clubs and tourney scene, but just as importantly we need to support our local GW stores.

    Yes GW (especially NZ) is not cheap and there are less expensive options, but in the long run avoiding GW hurts our own interests.

    Am I a GW fanboy? Hell no, but the hobby will not survive in NZ if their bricks and mortar stores don't turn a healthy profit As new players won't sup at the font of plastic crack.

    Likewise if Local GW Managers are to Actively support, sponcer and advertise our clubs, they need to have confidence we won't turn new players against them.

    Symbiotic. Likely we Also need to be the ones offering the olive branch.



    1. Alan
      Wargaming was a growing hobby long before the advent of GW stores and will continue to flourish long after the GW stores have turned to dust.

      For club members to support the GW store it has to offer them something and looking like a drop in centre for homeless teens isn't it.

      You also can't in good conscience suggest to a parent or club member that they spend hard earned coin at local GW stores when it's about the most expensive way in the world to buy GW product.

      Stores don't need to direct players to the tournament scene. as noted by Pete there are only about 150 tournament players in the whole of NZ so overall they are about as common as Cave Wetas.

      For clubs to exist they need to offer members something that the members can't get at their own homes. Many people have a venue where they can play at their own houses and their own terrain.

      Probably the best thing clubs can offer members is campaigns. We ran spaceship campaigns over a map and had upwards of 12 people playing in the campaign.
      We also ran narrative battle days for 40K where we had twenty plus people attending non of whom wanted to play in the abomination that is the current 40K tournament scene.

      I do agree though, both clubs and retail stores have to determine what their value proposition is and how they are aligned or in conflict with each other.

    2. I have been told that GW believe that any person that they send to a club or a tournament represents a lost customer as that person becomes aware of alternative product - be it alternative sources of GW or alternative models. Now I have only been told that second hand but I have no reason to question the validity of the comment given my source.

      The thing is that I totally get it. GW is a business and the local GWs have to make targets etc. However I question why I and other locals should pay the "Antipodean Tax" because of GW Corporate Policy. It therefore puts a lot of veterans at an impasse with the local GW Hobby centres.

      If GW rationalised prices even part way - e.g. 20% premium over UK - I'd happily pay it. However I won't pay a 50% premium and because of GW Corporate policy that's what I'm faced with.