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Nov 07

Brett’s guide to tournaments

Since my fellow podders and reviewers are well into their role-playing I thought I’d mix things up by putting in this useful guide on war game tournaments. Like me I’m sure there’s some readers that enjoy both role-playing and beating people up via toy soldiers (I’m looking at you Liz), here is my guide to competitive play.

Part 1: The List

I`m not going into the ins and outs of what makes a good army list, I’m just wanting to make clear how your list should be written. Now I have seen some badly written lists in my day, some of them intended to befuddle the poor tournament newbie. You can`t control how people write their list but you can ensure that yours is neat, easily read and has everything your opponent needs to understand what he`s up against.

Clarity:
Everything you write should be clear and organised, not hastily scribbled on the back of a receipt. You don`t know the kind of people you’re up against so ensuring that all your units and choices are clearly organised under relevant headings and that you use a large font. I tend to write my lists in a way that you can scan it in 10 seconds and understand everything that’s in my army.

Relevance:
Your list is for them game not background. Some tournaments offer extra points for writing a bit of fluff for your models and this should ALWAYS be separate from your list.
A lot of people also don`t write any “special” rules units have. This should definitely be put in your list. Even if it is just the name of the rule it at least gives your opponent a chance to ask what it does. There have been times when, in mid game, a unit pulls a rule out of its arse leaving my battle plan shattered.

Simplicity:
Above all keep your list simple. Take out anything that doesn’t have to be there! Nothing is more annoying than a list with almost everything under the sun that a unit has.

Part 2: Equipment


Every game system will have different things needed, be it templates, funky dice or a silly hat. You should always check that you have everything you need the night before using a little check list looking something like:

o Army list 1
o Army list 2
o Rule book
o Army book
o Army FAQ
o Tape measure
o Dice(d6)
o Dice(scatter)
o Dice(artillery)
o Templates
o Wound counters
o Themed objective markers
o Pens

And please put your name on EVERYTHING. You`ll be surprised how many people have sticky fingers

Part 3: attitude


This is the more tricky and delicate part of a tournament. Players’ attitude. Now a lot of people will subtype the players that go along to a tournament so I’m going to lead you through these wonderful people.

The Aggressor/the Rules Lawyer/Math gamer:
These are the ones you need to watch out for in general. It`s hard to have a fun game with these ones because they will be all about the win. They may avalanche you with rules, confuse you with lingo or generally tease you into making bad gaming choices but you`ll need to keep a cool level head throughout.

The Care bear/Hobbyist/Baby seal:
You`ll come across the player with a beautifully converted army, amazingly painted and a cool intricate background to his list. These are the care bears of the war gaming world. You`ll have fun playing him, you`ll have a laugh, get along but eventually you will beat him and it will make you feel like a terrible person. Having a player like this in your first or second game will demoralise you, believe me.

Of course these are the two extremes but you get the idea, you`ll come across many players and they`ll come somewhere along the line of these two.

So theres a rough barebones guide to almost any wargames tournement. I`ll be posting a further break down on the aspects of being a tournement gamer in the future as well as a review of the upcoming D.W.A.R.F charity tournement “Winter War” with proceeds being given to help for heroes.

And please remember that the AIM of the game is to win, the POINT of the game is to have fun! Happy gaming!

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