Monday, March 27, 2017

Poll Results on Running a 30k Tournament

One week ago, I asked my readers and the community about the possibility of running a Horus Heresy / 30k Tournament locally. To say that I've been blown away by the support out there for this idea would be an understatement.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time out to send me an email (or several), fill in the polls that I put up, and made a comment on Warpstone Flux here. It is genuinely appreciated.

As of this point in time, I have concluded that this idea is a "go-er" and can succeed. Accordingly, I have begun getting quotes and negotiating with venues for costs, etc. I will update folks about this later in the week once those talks have all been done. Suffice to say that I'm excited about this prospect and I think that we categorically can run a tournament with minimal fuss. 

What I wanted to to in this blog post was take a wide-field view of the poll results that I asked people to comment on. I had a good number of results from this which is a nice snapshot of community feelings for this kind of event for me. 

Entry Fee.
Firstly, with regard to costs. I would have to charge a fee to cover the venue, insurance, and new scenery purchases (and new gaming tables too). So the first question was about what the maximum price should be.
* Nobody wanted to be charged GBP100. That's understandable really.
* Half of respondents to this question were happy with up to GBP75. This is interesting. I think it shows that many 30k gamers are probably more mature (meaning more disposable income) than the average 40k player perhaps?
* The majority though suggested that up to GBP50 would be fine.
* Less said it would need to be GBP40 and below.

Overall then, I will try to keep the tournament to GBP50 per person for the entry fee.

Whilst a few people wanted an upper end venue (unique, national stage level venue), the vast and overwhelming majority thought that a mid-range venue (hotels, etc.) would be ideal, with only 1 person wanting a lower end venue (church halls and the like). Having contacted several upper end venues, I'm actually glad the majority of people want a bit lower than that just on the basis of costs. Although hotels are pricey enough, they are nowhere near the level of football stadia and the like. I'm currently talking with the University of Hull about costs, etc. I will report back on this later this week I hope.

There was 55/45 split between a 2 day event and a 1 day event. Personally, I don't mind either. But for a HH tournament with more than 12 players, I think that a 2 day event would be better. So I'll try to do that. But if the cost takes the entry fee above GBP50 (as above), then maybe we'd start out with a one day event instead.

Army Lists.
There were two questions here. One surrounding the type of build that should be allowed, and one about the points value that should be imposed.

Only a couple of people said unbound lists would be okay. Hence I think we'll write off that idea instantly. My personal view is that it can lead to vast imbalances.

Many people suggested only one faction (or legion) would be ideal. I can see why as it solves a lot of balance problems without really trying.

A large number of people said that a Lords of War choice should be allowed. And I do agree -- 30k is a great place for them. But they would have to be a certain fraction (say 25%) of the total points value.

Even more people wanted Primarchs! Who am I to disagree? I don't. Because playing with Primarchs is awesome and great fun too.

What surprised me was the number of people who said that having one ally would be okay. I'm on the fence about this as I can see it both ways. A single faction would solve balancing problems to a large extent. Some allied lists could be very powerful. But then again, having some allies would be fluffy and enable things like the mechanicum or imperial army to be represented alongside the legions. That is always fluffy and fun. I am therefore inclined to have up to one single allied detachment and trust to the community that they'll not try to build (and abuse) death star type formations. After all, 30k does reward fluffy builds already, so that's probably not too much of an issue. And clearly for Word Bearers, daemonic allies are almost a given. However, we could always restrict powerful builds by insisting that no named daemons can be taken (I'm thinking of Fateweaver and Be'Lakor in particular here). And no summoning either to keep it points balanced. As with Lords of War, there will probably be a maximum percentage of points allocated to allies, say 20% to 25%. 

Speaking of points, the general consensus will be of no surprise to many: a higher points limit should be used in 30k compared to 40k. However, there is a trade off here in terms of getting games (say, of 5 turns each) completed in a reasonable time limit (say, 2.5 hours per game) … and even getting an army painted up (or assembled) in time. The majority voted between 2000, 2250 and 2500 points per side. I don't mind any of these points values. Perhaps 2250 is "about right" then for the trade off described above.

At 2250 points, 20% would correspond to 450 points and 25% to 563 points. The former is too small for certain primarchs, so Lords of War would have to be 25% at this points level. The latter is reasonable for all of primarchs, Lords of War (short of titans!) and allies together. 

The vast majority of people wanted some kind of sportsmanship scoring to be part of the final reckoning for the tournament. As did people who wanted painting, and a distinct painting award. Personally, I think all three are fine to include. Horus Heresy tends to be more about participation than it is about winning at all costs. If balanced nicely, then there's no reason to not have painting and sportsmanship involved for determination of the overall winners as some component of the final scoring system. I personally find Horus Heresy players are much less "win at all costs", but they do provide a very competitive game regardless of all other considerations. I personally think this is due to the demographic -- most more mature folks compared to other types of tournament. Plus it encourages people to play well together and have a good time. Let alone providing more photogenic images for everyone to take if folks bring painted armies along.

Most people wanted 12 or more players. I think 10 or 12 is about the lowest that I could do whilst maintaining financial sense. There were a good number who wanted over 24 as well. I think that whilst this initial tournament is in the category of a "go-er", I couldn't handle 24 or more players at this stage due to the preparation it would require. Hence that is now a goal for the future. This initial event will be restricted to about 20 or 22 players at the most … purely for my sanity and finances. We can build up to larger events later. Plus, that kind of number means most people can at least interact with each other and say hello, etc., in some meaningful way.

Dates and Days.
In terms of the dates, there were a spread of preferences between late spring, summer and autumn in the UK. To be honest, I'd like to do a tournament before the summer holidays kick in. This doesn't mean that another one could not happen later on either though. Hence, one in the autumn as well could easily be undertaken I believe.

Most people would find it tough to play on Fridays or weekdays though. So I think we're aiming for Saturdays and Sundays here!

I'm currently negotiating dates and costs with the University of Hull and will update on this later this week I hope. At that stage, we will make a formal announcement and open registrations if everything goes well.

Numbers attending is my chief worry. Particularly in terms of finances. If less than 10 people register or attend, its not going to be very successful financially for me. Although most said that they couldn't attend (and freely admitted to living way outside the UK), many have indicated to me that really REALLY want to attend and would be willing to travel a long way to do so (modulo family commitments, of course). I'm genuinely enthused by your support. And ultimately, it is the people emailing me, messaging me, and posting comments here on the blog that has encouraged me to treat this idea with all seriousness and try to make it a reality.

Hence, as above, we're now at the stage of negotiating with venues, setting costs and determining finances.

...Plus, I may have invested in a Death World terrain set already over the weekend which will come in handy whether or not the tournament happens…!

Keep the comments and messages / emails rolling in if you are thinking about attending; or just to send some encouragement my way. I'd love to hear from you.


Kraggi said...

We are just looking at stepping up the tournament pack for a HH event we plan to run up here in the summer.

This is very useful reading, with that in mind I already think that one tweak we will go for is:

You can have EITHER a Lord of War or an Allied detachment at no more than 25% of the points total.

I Wonder how much of the death star issues that might resolve ?

Good read as ever though! Looking forward to more details!

jabberjabber said...

The choice of either a Lord of War or an ally is an excellent concept! Thanks for sharing this.

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