Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Having A Blast: The aftermath

Having A Blast
The aftermath

After it taking up two months of my life and a large amount of my twitter feed, Having a Blast is now over. 
Despite a few hiccups it was a success. Out of twenty six tickets sold we had seventeen players (plus a ringer, big thank you to Arran). One pulled out the week before two that morning and six vanished.

I'll work through from the end of the day and review backwards from there.

So the winners first

1st place - Ben Crowe
2nd place - Andreas Frisch
3rd Place - Conor Rooney (Insidiously Mad)

Best Painted - Andreas Frisch

Best Sport - David Brown

Everyone played well and there were some close matches, I'm sure a few people will do a write up of the gaming from the players view but from what I saw people had fun and played 'faux what more could you ask.

The winners all got a certificate, a voucher and 1st place got a trophy as well to take home. Other than that all the players also got a 50mm marker made for the event by CounterAttack bases.

So now the end result has been covered I'm going to try and go back to the beginning and walk through arranging the event and running it on the day.

First off I didn't have as much time as I'd like to plan Having A Blast. Late 2014 I was talking to someone about the possibility of running a small Malifaux event, they liked the idea and said they've run plenty of events they would sort it out.
Early 2015 they let me know that actually they couldn't run it and other than a date being booked and a few locals getting excited nothing had been arranged.

I have no hard feelings about this, people need to do what best for them this is just a hobby nothing more, but it did leave a few people disappointed and me with a decision. I have very little tournament experience I've been a (proper) gamer for two years, Malifaux for one and I've been to a grand total of two events. I didn't think I was really ready to plan and run a tournament but as the date was booked and people already looking forward to the day I decided, what better way to learn than jump in feet first.

Slightly less than two months to arrange an event wasn't too bad but I also had to earn how to arrange an event in that time which seemed a bit harder and involved a lot of trial and error and plenty of asking for help.

The venue already had us pencilled in and after some back and forth I had numbers, and costs for the day. Which was a great start and meant that I could start the next step of trying to find some players.
With twenty six places and a fairly strong local scene I was confident of at least getting half the spots filled.

So the next step was to get the word out to give people as much time as possible to make arrangements and buy tickets. I them realised that shout about a tournament from the rooftops wouldn't do much good if I didn't have the details when people expressed an interest. This meant I needed a rules pack. I had no idea where to start, so for the first of many times I asked for help. Twitter, Facebook and of course the Wyrd Forum are a great please to find advice and ask questions and within a couple of days I had a nice stack of Malifaux rules packs to read through and learn from. I may go into detail at a later date about writing the pack but it's nothing ground breaking.

With a bit of help form the other Abnormali's I had a working rules pack, a date and tickets were on sale via the venue. I was now in a position to start shouting from any soapbox that would have me. Once again Twitter, Facebook and the Wyrd Forum were a huge help. I posted the tournament on the forum, set up an event page on Facebook and as anyone who follows me will know I almost constantly tweeted about it.

Next step was prizes, now I knew my costs and ticket price I knew what I had to work with. I wanted to keep prizes simple just to help my own sanity and also because I was very aware on the timer ticking away. I decided upon vouchers for the winners and a token for all players as a thanks for coming. I discussed the vouchers with the venue (also my regular store Dark Sphere) and got in touch with Counter Attack bases who several people at the club had used with good results. This stage was fairly painless, Dark Sphere were fine with my buying vouchers for the winners and Counter Attack were great to work with and were thankfully also nice and quick. Thinking my prizes were sorted I then started getting requests for a trophy. With time quickly running away from me I had to rely on a bit of luck to get a trophy ready for the day and luckily somewhere I used to work happened to have on sitting around that I could get a deal on.

Everything else was now just filler until the big day. I'd once again gone to twitter for advice on what to expect from TOing main advice is to relax and know your FAQ which thankfully covered any rules questions that came up.

On the day everything flew by. I managed to have enough tables set up with lots of help from the local players and I event managed to stick fairly closely to my timings. There were only a few rules questions (which was something I had worried about) and a slight hiccup in the scoring system which was sorted quickly enough.

We did, as mentioned end up a few players short and a couple of people brought up issues with terrain and also ringer scoring which will need to be looked at. Overall it was a lot more fun than I expected and I learnt plenty on the day. I'd like to thank everyone who came along especially Arran for being my ringer, guide and second pair of eyes on the day. Thanks to Dark Sphere for putting up with us and also to CounterAttack bases for the prizes. And a group thank you to the people online who gave me advice, retweets and wise words. This has started to sound like an awards speech so I'll wrap things up.

I don't know when or if I'll run another tournament but if I do it'll be bigger and better than this one and you're all invited to come along.


  1. Sounds like you had a good time. The first event is always the hardest as there are always some things you can't predict, but more experience will help. 17 players is a healthy number for a tournament, though one does wonder what happened to the 6 who simply disappeared!

  2. I'm assuming something terrible happened to them.

    The next one should be easier if/when it happens. Like you say experience will help, I can't always rely on luck to get me through.