So the dust has started to settle and the results are up on rankingHQ. How did Gorey's first 40K, and Ireland's first Forgeworld friendly event, go?
What went right;
Hard to quantify, mercurial to capture I think the craic at NWG was awesome. I have been to nearly every event this year and NWG was one of the ones I laughed the most at. I'm not sure if it was because I was ref’ing therefore checking to see how folks were doing or if the fact all the players had travelled and so were stuck in the venue for the weekend. Everybody seemed keen to game I had little or no rules queries, none that lasted longer a minute.
I liked the idea of free gaming aids to players. The original idea was one of the 6" templates that Gale Force Nine offer but with the NWG logo printed on the sides. Time and budget hit that on the head. The vehicle wreck markers are pretty cool, useful and hopefully when people use them they will remember the fun they had at NWG.
Strangely enough the world did not end when FW made its first appearance at an event. In fact it was a rather timid entry with only two players opting to bring FW, the rest when with their tried and test lists. If it doesn't ruin the game should it still be banned? I don't think so, better for players have an excuse to use their cool models as intended then be told they are not allowed.
The bounty hunter and challenges
I like the idea of a bounty hunter prize offered for whoever beats the highest ranking player attending its a small gesture that adds a bit of fun to proceedings if its cost me a pint that’s fine. The challenges were not part of the original plan. Jan suggested it when he was after the bounty hunter prize I thought it was brilliant idea. I think next year I would like to allow challenges for round one. It’s a random round i.e. I don't particularly care who plays who and if I can make two players happy on the first round things are off to a good start.
Mark Frew's assualt terminator squad is considerably larger than a standard terminator assualt squad.
The hotel hall with bar is a big plus and it distinguishes NWG from a college run con. That said it comes with an increased priced tag. I would love to figure a way to separate the quality and price link. I know the Northern Waster piggy back their events in a rugby club and get to use the hall at a lower cost there must be something similar down south. That said how much extra would people be willing to pay for a cool location (in the US they have an event in a disused WWII aircraft carrier I would pay top dollar for that).
Areas for improvement;
I need to work on the comms. I like the idea of having all the relevant details on a single source like the W-ired forum. The down side not all the players may frequent the forum some may miss posts. I'm not sure how many players were aware of a post on W-ired for feedback asking how many rounds they would like to play using random rather than Swiss so they could avoid club mates in the early stages. Most votes went for 2-3 rounds, I picked two to be on the safe side but this should have been communicated better.
Being a one man show sucks. If Mike T had not have covered Saturday morning or the players less easy going things could have gone bad. The ref/ringer is a no winner role. As a ringer you are being distracted by rules queries and generally looking around to make sure everything is going okay, in effect frequently interrupting your opponent's game. As a ref you are under pressure to get a quick fix for everything since you have an opponent sitting around waiting for you to return to the table. I'm not keen on giving a player a bye to the next round he has paid his money so is entitled to his five games. Next time I think there will be a couple more refs floating about.
I wonder if there is way to do the pairings better, keep it Swiss chess but try to incorporate a don't play club mates/past opponents offset. Swiss chess is based on a win/lose model it doesn't do draws or see a sliding scale for results. I wonder how far players can move up and down the scale without affecting the quality of the game. I think that is up to the players to decide.
A couple of things will stick in my mind from NWG,
· Jan's mind games on Paul the night before their table one game.
· Gary offering to concede his final round game if his opponent could take out his Inquisitor lord.
· Kevin's perplexed look when Ralph's Nightbringer started to eat into his lines.
· John's shout for joy when his cauestus finally survived its frist, and only, game.
· Bruce's Tau text book deep strike defence against David's Daemons.
· Shane's tortured look when he realised he forgot to charge in a Black Templers squad into combat against an Orc mob in round five.
· Scott and Rowan's show down after spending the night before slagging each other.
· Patrick's look of anguish when his deep striking Land Raider suffered a second deep strike mishap taking 600+ points of units howling into the warp.
Thanks to Paul, luke,Jan, Ralph, Gary, Shane, Rowan, Jonny, Kevin, John, Scott, Bruce, Alan, Mark, Patrick, David, Jason, Kieran, Mike and Nigel.