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xero989

how do you organizing a tournament

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Really, the secret is to advertise.

 

Dubd where the players are (Buletun board, store page, Facebook group, etc) and advertise.

remind, be upbeat.

if you have a local stockist, get them to order some quarterly kits. They’re like $20 and te store can make their money back easily at even $5 entry.

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First step is talking with the LGS owner. If they carry Armada products, they should be able to order quarterly kits. Q Kits cost something like $10 to $15 so if they're hesitant about turnout you may have to front that cost. My LGS owner is super cool about kits, he orders as many as he can cause he knows I'll run them. We charge $5 a head and once the kit is paid everything else goes to prize pool. 

Make sure you advertise the heck out of it. You'd be surprised how far folks will travel to play in a tournament. I use a facebook group and connect with leaders of 3 other semi-local groups to gauge interest and availability. The forums are also a great place to let people know there's an event going on. 

If you intend to do casual tournaments and want to play in them, make sure you have another person who can judge that way if you're called into question there's someone to keep the games non biased. (Before a tournament, if there's existing questions that haven't been answered by FAQ, I like to get on the same page to prevent different rulings). 

Know the rules. Study them, read them on the john, discuss them with gurus like @Drasnighta. Lurk the rules section often. 

Make sure you read and understand the regulations and follow them closely. Print an FAQ for your group and have the RRG ready. Print the required paperwork. 

Most importantly, make sure your players have fun. Try to foster a friendly environment for people to come in and play.

I did these and I can tell ya, our tournament scene is BOOMING. 

Goodluck!

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I mostly picked up as the Armada TO as I could no longer TO Warhammer tournaments (Thanks for Nothing GW) 

On more practical line I have a good relationship with the owner/staff at Gigabites and follow their processes for booking events. Helps avoid double booking with other events.  I also let them set the pricing of the event so they can get back their money on the OP Kits 

Once its booked I tend to advertise pretty hard, I'm on the local FB group a lot and then I have joined the other neighboring groups in Alabama the Carolinas Florida etc. 

As for the day itself I try to get there early so I can set up and hit the ground running once people arrive. 

I always bring my own laptop with Cryodex installed. I try to make sure it is up to date though I do recommend testing it the night before and holding the prior version as a back up. One event it would not generate a new round and I have to go back a version. 

As for the day itself like @Darth Sanguis said have rules etc all on hand. I tend to have them on my iPad so I can reference everything quickly on hand. 

 

Finally be friendly and listen. But once you make a decision stick with it and be consistent. 

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I'm also the regular TO in my neighborhood, though sometimes @Admiral Theia will graciously host an event as well. (North of the river, @shmitty is king.)

I'll confess that I do not read the rules in the john, nor have I found that to be a tremendous handicap. (Maybe a slight embarrassment once in a long while, but nothing to write home about.)

The biggest part is just making it happen.

The second biggest part, which others have talked about, is to pimp it. Know how your local people communicate. We do so on our Facebook group, and that seems to largely suffice - though it is important to post it early, and post it often (ie. do a couple of reminders). Also, talk to people and use the word-of-mouth.

Tournament posters, which some of the old kits had, and may be in your files somewhere, might also be a good thing. It might not necessarily communicate to Armada players who might come out to your tournament, but it might put it on the mental maps of people who are not into Armada (yet) that Armada is a lively community in which there are enough people locally for tournaments to happen. (#somethingIneglectedtodo)

Beyond that, here are some considerations:

  • Make sure that you're going to have enough playing space and mats.
    • Keep communications open with your FLGS so that space will be reserved.
    • Remind your people to bring their (preferably official FFG) spacemats.
  • Have an idea how you're going to distribute the prize pool.
    • Consider how competitive/egalitarian your community's culture is; do you want to ramp up the competitiveness, appealing to really good players, or do you want to encourage new blood?
    • Consider adding in some extras from your old collection (e.g. Concentrate Fire tokens, Alt-art Nebulon-Bs) which might draw newer players who weren't around when the early-early kits got played.
  • Understand that the time between rounds tends to be longer than you figured.
    • FFG games have a lot of little tid-bits, and some players are not pros when it comes to moving their stuff quickly.
    • Players can sometimes time it so that their round is just beginning when you call 'last game round'.
  • Friendly atmosphere > perfect rules implementation.
    • Yes, you want to get the rules right, but moving on without too much acrimony is very important.
    • Also, it's not about you. If you don't know about a rule, don't be embarrassed to ask other people at the tournament what that FAQ said again.
    • Don't take 5 minutes to bring it up on your phone which will ALWAYS decide to have a bad connection when the time comes. Also, that paper copy of the rules and FAQ that you brought tends to use those particular moments to wander outside to take a smoking break - leaving you to wonder where the $%@$!@$ you put that #$@%ing thing.
    • "Sorry" is a very powerful word.
    • Diffuse rather than confront.

 

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Make sure to take the host venue's hours of operation into account. At some game stores the staff will come in early to let tournament people in but that doesn't hold true everywhere. Absolutely try to make sure everything is wrapped up on time so you don't have to rush everyone out or ask the staff to stay late.

Factor in about an hour before you want the first game to start for people to start arriving and signing in. You'll need to get tables set up and people need to get organized. There's always going to be some sort of small issue or distraction.  Same goes for after the last round, to give awards and get everyone packed up and moved out.

Make sure to plan a meal break at some point. Not everyone can power through a day of 3-4 rounds without eating.

A 15 minute break between games typically works out well. If your group has a lot of smokers or there are limited bathroom facilities, you may want to plan for a bit longer.

Edited by Dameon13

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Everyone else has already said just about anything I can think of in regards to what you should do so I guess I'll just expand a little.

1. Give as much lead time time as you can. I try to announce my tournaments at least a month or two in advance. I've met several guys who claim they can't get people to come to their Armada tournaments but they never announce them more than a week or two in advance.

2. Post and share your tournament announcement everywhere you can on Facebook. I've been to quite a few 4 person or less tournaments that I only knew about because I was actively searching for them. A lot of people seem to think that they're going to draw in enough players by only making an announcement on their store's Facebook page. That's good enough if all you want is the local player base but not if you want more.

3. Get there early. I've been to two tournaments now where the TO was the last person to show up. That's never a good idea. Being there when new people arrive gives you a chance to meet and talk to all of the players and get a feel for who's new and who's not and you can try to pair up people on the same level. Also try pairing up people who don't always play each other. There's not much you can do about it in later rounds but you can make it work for the first round.

4. Go to other people's tournaments. I know it's not always possible to make every tournament around but try to get to the ones you can. If nothing else it lets you meet more players who might travel to yours and lets you see how other people TO their tournaments.

5. Don't be a d***. It seems simple enough but I've heard of (thankfully never been to) some tournaments where the TO was obnoxious enough to make players say that they'd never go back again. The more repeat players you can get the easier future events will be.

6. Be prepared to not play. Depending on number of players and whether or not there's a bye you may end up just watching and not playing. If you're not playing walk around and talk to people. Engage with the players who are there and try to make them feel welcome and appreciated for being there. Generally just make yourself readily available to your player base. Don't go wander off to play a different game with some other group or just sit there on your phone. If you're not interested in your tournament then you can't expect others to be.

That's all I got for now.

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Mostly just rehashing much of what was said before. As TO you’re the go-between for the store and the players. If the store is running a kit, figure out what the entry should be and let the players know, make sure the store has time and table space for a tournament and get any other ground rules in place that they may have.

Make sure the tournament is set up to a format that the players enjoy. Not everyone likes taking a whole day for 3 rounds of Swiss, maybe a smaller setup works better for your group.

If you’re tracking scores make sure everyone fills out their sheets the same way, it’s easier for you, easier for them, and if you use cryodex, it’s easier for that.

As the TO, there may be a player or situation that comes up that causes feelings to be hurt or tempers to rise. Try to keep an eye on the matches and any potential rise in pulses. You need to keep your cool and let it blow over, you are the judge, try to defuse the situation as best you can, suggest a 10 min break or whatever. Hopefully things don’t escalate, but if worst comes to worst and you need to cut someone, you should be confident that the store/ venue/ wherever has your back. 

That should rarely come up, most people who come to a tourney are just looking to have fun and push Plastic spaceships around.

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On 1/4/2018 at 1:17 PM, Ardaedhel said:

Paging @Brikhause who showed up to a SC event with folders prepared for every player...

It was the San Antonio Regionals and I was coordinating a lot of different things at once for the community so I found it easier if every player who pre-registered already had their own folder all fleshed out and prepared!

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There are of course lots of great suggestions from everyone.  I think a book could be made on how to build a gaming community with all the tips. 

One thing I didn’t see posted though was about promoting chemistry.  In San Antonio it is a very large military community and so lots of our members are either Military, are retired military, or are used to Military so much that they understand Military members.  This I think has the effect of lots of individuals seeing eye to eye on things because we end up having a lot in common Beyond the game itself.  

Now I am not saying join the military and recruit or anything, but work to building repoire with your members.  Have certain civil standards that separates you from the other gaming clowns out there.  Perhaps in a way be selective on who you spend your time gaming with if you can.  After all, your members are a representation of your community and almost like a business you need to create a positive image.  So be patient and do your due your diligence on going after those gamers that have a passion for the game and will also promote your community/Game properly.  This is not easy, and takes a lot of personal sacrifice.  It will require you to be out in the local scene regularly and engaging with the people, following up with them, and even getting to know them personally.  In this way your will form bonds with those players and those players will then be more committed to coming to events and promoting the game with you.  You have to understand that it is more than just playing a game at event or organizing an event it is an excuse to hang out and have fun with friends.  So create friends, and select good friends at that!

After puting time and commitment in this area you will find that you will start to develop that core of players that regularly hang out and play games with each other.  This core of players will become your captains and Lieutenants in helping you promote, run, and participate in events and this is where your community really takes off and before you know it you’ll have casual tournaments and events where 16-20 people show up to play and it wouldn’t be out of the norm.  

Now I am going to be a little bit preachy here so realize I am not trying to be a bible thumper or preach the gospel to you but in the Bible Jesus told his disciples that the world will know them by their love.  One thing I think many Christian groups have lost is the ability to demonstrate nonjudgmental care and love for their fellow man.  I think gaming communities need to take note about this.  You need to bring a group together that will consistently have a good time with each other.   Make sure you have personalities in your group that won’t take things personally or seriously, will joke around with each other, and laugh at each other as well as themselves.  Sometimes you might have to facilitate that good time yourself to break the ice and get people going.  Don’t be afraid to make jokes about yourself and laugh at yourself when they make jokes about you while at the same time give others a little crap.  Also take the time and complement the members of your group and recognize them out loud to the rest.  Whether it be for a nicely painted model or their play.  Everyone in your group should have something positive or exceptional to offer you should know what it is because you recruited them!   

What will happen then is outside groups will take note of this and say to themselves I want what they have right now!  How do I sign up!!  

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44 minutes ago, Brikhause said:

One thing I didn’t see posted though was about promoting chemistry.  In San Antonio it is a very large military community and so lots of our members are either Military, are retired military, or are used to Military so much that they understand Military members.  This I think has the effect of lots of individuals seeing eye to eye on things because we end up having a lot in common Beyond the game itself.  

I lived in San Antonio for a while and, yes, a lot of people in the gaming community for military or former military. I'm not military or former military, but I grew up in another military town (Colorado Springs). However, one thing I felt in San Antonio was that non-military people were easily excluded. As a non-military person, I could not say anything vaguely military-related or this caused the military folks to feel the need to correct me (even if it was not a comment that called for correction - nor was I always wrong. I have a PhD in security studies after all). Because we play wargames, that means that I largely had to keep mum or invite someone to make some comment/"correction" that would highlight my non-militaryness. Eventually, I just did not feel welcome in the San Antonio gaming community and stopped gaming.

The point being: it's a double-edged sword to appeal to some aspects of shared identity beyond the game. That shared identity can also turn into the exclusion of people who are outside that particular tribe.

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5 hours ago, Mikael Hasselstein said:

I lived in San Antonio for a while and, yes, a lot of people in the gaming community for military or former military. I'm not military or former military, but I grew up in another military town (Colorado Springs). However, one thing I felt in San Antonio was that non-military people were easily excluded. As a non-military person, I could not say anything vaguely military-related or this caused the military folks to feel the need to correct me (even if it was not a comment that called for correction - nor was I always wrong. I have a PhD in security studies after all). Because we play wargames, that means that I largely had to keep mum or invite someone to make some comment/"correction" that would highlight my non-militaryness. Eventually, I just did not feel welcome in the San Antonio gaming community and stopped gaming.

The point being: it's a double-edged sword to appeal to some aspects of shared identity beyond the game. That shared identity can also turn into the exclusion of people who are outside that particular tribe.

Well you will find there is plenty of non-Military and inactive Military in the SA Armada group anyways.   I don’t think they share the same thoughts as you do, at least none of them have complained to me about it.   I am sorry you felt that way though for whatever gaming group you were playing with.

 If you read further you will find that my point of the post was to build chemistry amongst your player base so that people feel inclusive and part of something more than just a casual gaming event.  The reference to it being a Military community was to point out that this was something easier achieved in SA based on my experience. 

Edited by Brikhause

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