View Full Version : Local Tournament Warhammer Possiblity?

28-11-2011, 19:31
After a short break from Warhammer (about 3 months) I dabbled in Yugioh and Magic, only to discover that both of the following card games seem to have a tournament circuit and or tournament-like meta following within their respective games.

I began to be drawn towards the above because frankly, it became boring playing my normal friends/opponents predicting their movements, troop choices, combats, decisions etc. . . I wanted to play better competition and Warahmmer with some meaning behind it.

This seg-ways into the question of: Why doesn't Warhammer have a more competitive tournament scene?

I know some leagues exist and G.Ts as well, but those are far and few between. I don't know if its just myself, but 'heavy tournament' scene just doesn't seem to translate to the local level like the aforementioned card games, it sticks to a regional level or even a national level in some cases. For example, if you want to hit up a large G.T your going to have spend several hundreds of dollars to get somewhere like Chicago (Adepticon), or Louisiana (Bayu G.Ts) etc. . .

Releastically I just don't have that kind of money or time (as most others *edit* [don't]) but I feel that I could still get a quality tactical experience and rewarding game experience if at my local hobby stores and G.W there was a weekly Warhammer tournament, with a regular buy-in etc . . .

This in turn (more importantly) would seemingly create the that camaraderie vibe I had when I first original started hammerin', that I feel I have lost.

I love the late-night 'testing' in card games, trading and other means, but I also feel that the same could occur in Warhammer as well perhaps even more so. List tweaks, test games, painting, all seem like those 'rally the troops' sort of nights and good times that you get with Magic or Yugioh, and all done before the local weekly tournament!

Every week it would be so "whatcha' tryin' this week? Beastmen? High Elves? New lists? Did you get that HPA painted? I'm going to hate to see it on the table top!"

Also, unlike Yugioh or Magic, I feel that this would/could even be more thoroughly exciting as the local tournament organizers can change the specifications of the games and game types, unlike that of Yugioh or Magic. Every week you could have a different points value, and or game specifications. No lords one week, doubles tournament the next!

So, whats your thoughts or feelings on this, do you think that Warhammer is just a beer and pretzel game, meant for the 'uncompetitive types' or do you think the quality of Warhammer as a community and on the tabletop itself could be greater opened within the casual gamer; if local Warhammer tournament environments were better offered?

28-11-2011, 19:40
Depends where you're from I guess, the UK for example has a tournament scene that is going from strength to strength- there's now usually 1-3 1 day events, and at least 1 2 day event, every month. November, for example, has had 5-6 games events. Of course, it helps that the UK is a fraction of the size, for example, of the US- for us, we complain that most of the big events are in the North and require a 3 hour car journey, whereas from what I understand, in Australia for example that's a relatively short journey.

28-11-2011, 23:58
I'd say the main reason is probably that a card game is very different than a wargame. A card game is fast to play, takes very little space, and requires no preparation other than deck building, and building a new deck is quick and simple. Warhammer takes up space and requires tables and terrain, and takes time to set up and several hours to play. Building and modifying armies involves significant amounts of work. Getting together a semi-large group of people to play together all at once every week, and having it be a varied experience each time, is therefore a much bigger effort with wargames than with card games.

Lord Inquisitor
29-11-2011, 00:31
Depending on where you are there is probably a tournament scene or circuit, you just have to look a bit harder or travel a bit further. WFB and other wargames require a lot more space and time to organize - a GT tends to be a fairly big event for the players too, travel, accommodation etc. but tournaments are there and if you're willing to travel you can probably keep yourself busy. My area isn't exactly teeming with wargamers but if I were so inclined I could attend a small tournament most weekends and a GT every couple of months.

30-11-2011, 02:11
I have always wondered myself as to the lack of tournament scene of Warhammer compared to the CCG games in the US. And I don't believe it is due to differences in the type of game because warhammer tournaments do fairly well in the UK and in certain parts of the US. I believe it is due to GW's half ***** efforts at supporting their product in the US.

30-11-2011, 06:00
IMO it's because for the competitive tournament mentality, needing to paint 150-200 models to a high level to win isn't a good fit. And tournaments without painting requirements look terrible, so you end up with a compromise resulting in less competitive tournament scenes.

30-11-2011, 06:39
^^^ I can see where your coming from, however, in my local area we have begun to make painting a liberal part of playing. Instead of getting a softscore, player's with their armies painted recieve a 10%-15% points bonus that can be distributed within your lists. Even if it breaks the normal alloted points limit -ie; some can now fit Greater Demons, and the Dark Lord Karl Franz.

Remebering this, I will also be using this system when I begin to have solve this issue at hand by having bi-weekly tournaments at our "communities'" store. While, in addition after the small 3 roun tourney is over, offering part of the prize support to the best painted (top two) armies as a secular scoring achievement -away from generalmanship- would neutralize the problems you stated.

If you don't want to play slightly handicap then paint your army! :D

Eventually, if this takes off, instead of weeks in and out judging the same armies and having the populace vote for the same armies, each week may have a 'showcase' piece to be judged. One that even perhaps links into the tournament like for example, create a hero.

Gorbad Ironclaw
30-11-2011, 06:54
I believe it is due to GW's half ***** efforts at supporting their product in the US.

Possibly, although the tournament scene in the UK (and Europe) is almost entirely independent of GW anyway. If fact I think it started because there really wasn't much in the way of GW events so if people wanted some they had to do it themselves.

30-11-2011, 10:01
Tournament scene over here (Netherlands) is completely unsupported by GW. They used to support it, and some of the people who used to organise the tournaments for GW are still doing so independently, but all tournaments now are organised either by LGSs or clubs themselves.

On another note, Warhammer Fantasy probably isn't really the best of games if you want to go all-out competitive. I love tournaments and go to half a dozen every year, so I know it is very possible to have fun and competitive Fantasy tournaments. Just saying the system isn┤t ideal for it, especially compared to certain CCGs.

30-11-2011, 10:44
Well for me, it's because I don't even see how a game like Warhammer is even remotely appropriate for a tournament! It isn't a game designed for, or even barely reccomended for tournaments, by the games own creators.

Even today with things like Warhammer forge/Forgeworld books, Blood on the Badlands, SoM and so on, it doesn't seem to be where they're pushing it anyway.

30-11-2011, 16:16
From 1998 - 2005 I ran a large tournament-league in my city. At its apex we had about 30 people in both warhammer fantasy and warhammer 40k. The league ran nine cycles (one cycle every two weeks) with a scheduled opponent and then the top players met in a single elimination playoff tournament loosely based off of how the NFL does it to determine a winner.

Each player paid league fees of around $20. This gave us a large pool of money with which to have awards made. We did plaques, trophies, and the Rogue Trader award packages. We also had club t-shirts.

Towards the end at our most popular, we had a tournament team that consisted of players that traveled to the Grand Tournaments together (both GW and Indy) and there were talks with largish gaming communities in several cities in the region to hook up a large scale competitive league that spanned six cities. The idea was it was going somewhat "professional" as large amounts of money were starting to get involved.

I was heavily steeped in the tournament / competitive scene as I oversaw my city's branch.

Some goods and bads. I'll start with the good: we had a very large player base, we had history, and we had some sharp players who placed high in the GTs around the country from it. There were a lot of solid relationships formed with some good people and I feel that the tournament scene here really was solid.

The bads: trying to organize events for gamers is like herding cats. Politics were a nightmare. Many wanted to be the daddy and didn't like just being a player. To alleviate some of this, the ones that had a tendency to want to be in charge took rules tests and became referees. This helped some.

However the politics is one thing and one reason why I will never get back into running a competitive enviornment ever again. It was like dealing with back-biting women. Smile to your face, sling mud at your back.

Another issue with running tournaments is that there are very socially inept people you have to deal with on a regular basis and that can really drain you. From the guys that weren't taught how to bathe properly, to the constant rules arguments and disputes and the mantrums. Oh the mantrums.

Many of them are burned in my memory forever, for when gamers are fighting over the glory of a large championship (and at 30 players in the league, it was considered one of the largest if not the largest around at the time for a continuing not-one-off tournament (it spanned six months a season)) they get really angry at each other when they feel the other guy is trying to "screw them over".

So really the ones running these events have to have a ton of patience, be organized, and be able to deal with those alpha-gamers that want to be in charge and will rally political conventions against you so that they can be daddy for a while.

I think overall the experience was positive for me. I think I got burnt out from having to deal with people on such a scale as I am not a people-person and don't really want to deal with adults arguing over rules or having to debate and dispute with someone who thinks that they can do a better job on a regular basis. The semi-pro circuit we were developing with other cities was a fun idea and project but that came with its own issues (mainly dealing with getting clubs to get along with the other)

The other thing I'd like to point out is the rules to me are not worthy of competitive play at that level because things are not balanced.

So does it work as a tournament game? It can. It has. It requires a lot of faith, a lot of positive energy, and organizers with a lot of stamina. Those are rare things in the gaming world.

Gorbad Ironclaw
30-11-2011, 17:19
So does it work as a tournament game? It can. It has. It requires a lot of faith, a lot of positive energy, and organizers with a lot of stamina. Those are rare things in the gaming world.

I think those things (and the rest of the post) is worth emphasising. It takes a lot of work and effort to organise and the bigger the event is the more work there will be and the more gamer politics there will be. I think the best thing you can hope for is a strong crowd of decent people who can then create some social rules (informally of course) so that the "scene" have some direction and is able to introduce new people into the way things are done to ensure consistency. That, and some thick-skinned TO's who will be willing to put in the work for way less praise than they deserve.

01-12-2011, 06:15
Thanks for the advice Crow :D I'll keep it in mind.

01-12-2011, 19:35
This seg-ways into the question of: Why doesn't Warhammer have a more competitive tournament scene?

I'm going to just go ahead and assume you've been under a rock for the past decade.

01-12-2011, 22:46
Here in Ireland, every games convention runs a tourney, and they all go towards the ECT ranking.

02-12-2011, 06:10
I'm going to just go ahead and assume you've been under a rock for the past decade.

I'm just going to assume that you live somewhere in England or Ireland (like Manchester, or Fullhem, maybe Limmerck etc. . .) where Warhammer tournies are 'all the rage' and much more frequent as everyone and their mother plays overseas.

I live in the states, in the Midwest. Outside of driving to Chicago for Adepticon or large G.Ts (which I have done mind you), there aren't many local venues that do tournaments or leagues.

However recently, a hobby store has begun doing monthly tournaments -ironically enough).

02-12-2011, 08:08
Out of curiosity, what part of the Midwest are you from? I'm from Eastern Iowa myself. I'm lucky to live near an indie with a very active wargaming community, but I feel your pain, Fantasy in my home town is close to nonexistant.

02-12-2011, 19:10
There is another tournament this Saturday in Flint. Check out the Gamers Sanctuary's website for info. We are carpooling if you want in!

If you are serious about playing more competitive Warhammer let me know. I know I am very close to you, and play in 1-2 single day tournaments per month (last month I had 3 tournaments), as well as 3-5 GT's per year. I drive to them all.

You'll find MUCH better competition than your local GW store, which (no offense to those players) is not very high.

-Brad from Hampton Village (on occasion).

02-12-2011, 19:33
Why not start up a tournament scene yourself? It's what I did, and I am not even a tournament player per sÚ!

If you want something, go do it. Others will follow.