Thursday, 30 July 2015
T.O you T.O me.
Now I'm far from an expert at Tournament Organising but if I can bumble my way through it anyone can. So I thought I'd write a sort of idiots guide to running a tournament for any of you who fancied trying it yourself.
First things first. As with all things have a plan and stick to it but don't be afraid to adapt it as things change. So if you have want a big mega competitive tournament but only a handful of people sign up think about relaxing things or if no one can make it on time think about pushing back the start time. Simply put don't try and fit a square peg in a round hole and thing will go a lot smoother for you.
Okay so you have a plan or at least the start of one what you need next is a where and a when. Where is normally an easy one as its often just a case of running it where you usually play. If this isn't possible look for somewhere with space and tables and you can work up from there. Anywhere that could host a wedding or a wake should be able to hold a few gamers and their toys.
The when comes next for this just look at when the venue is available, when you are available and look at the event calendar on the Wyrd forum to make sure there isn't already an event in your part of the world. This will normally narrow your options down to a few dates. Pick the date that works for you.
So you have a venue, you have a date now you need an event. A rules pack gives a guide of what people can expect at your event. If you're unsure just grab the wyrd GainingGrounds document from their website and follow that if you're feeling a bit more confident (or like me a bit more of a control freak) write your own. Things I try to include in a rules pack are: Times, every time for everything from when the doors open to when each game start to when the awards will be presented. Rules, this includes if the event is fixed faction, how many SS the games are, any house rules and any rules the venue have. A checklist let people know what they need to bring (or what they can't bring proxies, non wyrd fate decks, pet fish). I also like to put what prizes are on offer just to tempt people. If you have any trouble with your rule pack ask for help and advice from anyone and everyone.
You have a venue, a date and you've worked out whats happening next step you need some players. The size of the venue should give you a rough idea of how many players you can have, try not to overwhelm yourself with your first event aim for a number of people you feel comfortable with. You can add spaces easier than you can remove players. Once you have a number start selling tickets, and I mean sell tickets not just put a post up on the forum or your club facebook page but keep telling people and plugging it on the forums, on twitter on facebook groups keep working until you have not just the tickets sold but a reserve list as well.
Venue - check. Date and time - Check. Rules - Check. Players - Check. Now the question you'll be asked most... What are the prizes. Prizes support always looked quite daunting to me but the simple way to work it is take the cost of ticket times by number of players and minus the venue and running costs. Whats left you spend on prizes. I try and aim for a small trophy for 1st 2nd and 3rd something for best painted and best sport and a wooden spoon, then if there is anything left over maybe some spot prizes. If the budget is tight just print off certificates and grabs some fun prizes from Poundland as long as people know what to expect its fine. I use a mix of BendyBoards.co.uk and Dark Sphere (FLGS) to cover prizes.
Last thing before the big day is supplies. Make sure you have the rulespack, rule book and any FAQ with you. Score sheets for people to fill in and a spreadsheet to track the scores (once again either borrow one or make your own on excel just make sure you test it first), spares of anything people may forget and terrain if the venue aren't supplying it.
While I mention terrain, make sure you have enough and that the tables are set up well. The main complaint at the events I've run is that a couple of the tables are short on terrain, double check your tables thinks about it you would be happy playing on them. On a 9ft square table you need around 3ft square of terrain, you need a mix of heights and cover types. If you don't have enough (terrain can be expensive) use stand ins. Rocks from the garden, old bits of pipes, kids toys. If you have a local wood yard ask if you can take some of their odd off cuts to pile up on the tables. A table that plays well but looks bad is always better than a table that looks cool but doesn't work. (yes I know I should of taken my own advice at Dark Faux, I'm not perfect... yet).
The big day is here. Your players are ready, your trophies are shiny and your tables are set up. No going back now. This seems like the scary part but really its just about managing your time and keeping to your schedule. If your asked nicely someone may even be helping you.
Keep your players informed let them know what's going to happen when and make sure they know what table they are at next. You would of practised with you score spreadsheet in advance (yes I know I should of taken my own advice again). So just enter the scores make sure they're right and the call the next round. repeat until finished. Rules queries will come up, if you're lucky not too many but just take your time check the rulebook check the FAQ if there is no clear answer make a judgement call. Keep play moving.
On a whole the Malifaux crowd are some of the nicest people you'll meet and no one is going to go crazy if you make a few mistakes (trust me I make a lot). If you want to run an event do it, if you need help ask. Just remember to enjoy it and you'll be fine.
Like I said at the start I'm not an expert by a long shot and I still have so much to learn but if I can do it so can you.
"To you, to me."
Mr B and Mr P Chuckle.