Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tournaments Pt. 2

God Bless America

We've all been there. Walkin into that game store with your little shoebox/tacklebox/toolbox full of hastily painted minis and looking out at the competition. Professionally painted armies, beautifully crafted show boards, gaming club shirts, the entirety of it almost stops your heart. 

You find a spot to place your things, and looking at the ridiculously well painted Daemon army on one side and the completely customized Ork army on the other side of you makes you wish you could just leave your own army in its box. 

Their Army

Your Army
They start reading off the turn one pairings, and you walk to your first table with sweat covered hands and a shortness of breath. You play through your games like a nervous wreck and before you know it, the day is over, and you can finally breathe. You look back at your games, at some of the stupid mistakes you made, and start playing the what if game. So, how can you avoid this at the nesxt tourney? How can you make sure you enjoy your first one if you have never been?

So the last post was all about getting you out to that first tournament. This one is all about what you need to do when you get there. My goal is to help you learn from mine and others mistakes so that you may be more successful at your first few tournaments.

1. Be Prepared
Why don't we go somewhere quiet where
 you can tell me more about that motto of yours...

In order to do well at a tournament, you must be prepared. Nothing is worse than being across the table from a player who forgot his tape measure/blast template. This looks bad on you, and can slow the game. It is not difficult to run through a checklist the night before and make sure you have what you need to play. A basic list includes - 

---Appropriate FAQs
---Measuring tape
---Entirety of models required
---2 Blast Templates
---2 Large Blast Templates
---2 Flamer Templates
---3 objectives minimum
---Casualty Board

I always take 2 of each template, in case the opponent forgets theirs. Write your name with a permanent marker on all your templates/tape to ensure you get them back. Bring enough dice to play the game, scatter included.

2. Print off more than one list

When making a list, it is best to do it on the computer. I use Army Builder extensively, but you don't necessarily have to use it. I would encourage, however, taht you type it out and make it easy to read, for the opponent and the tournament organizer's sake. Also, print off more than one copy. If I am going to a 3 round tournament, I will print off 5 copies of my list; one for the organizer, one for each of my opponents, and one for myself. There is nothing more annoying than having to ask for your opponent's list 5 times during the game, because they only have one copy. It is not hard to do, and can save you some grief

3. Be on time. 
I typed "on time" into Google and this is what i get...

This one is a biggie. Being on time is imperative to having a good time at a tournament. If you are late, you will be rushing to get all of your stuff out and could delay the rest of the attendees. In larger tournaments, you might miss out on gaming that day all together. I try to show up 20-30 minutes before registration begins, that way I can get set up and enjoy the tournament. I then have time to purchase needed items from the store, as well as look at others' armies and chat with the other attendants. This will make your first tourney go a lot smoother.

4. Breathe. 

I remember my first tournament. I am not sure whether I took a full breath the entire time. This led to many mistakes on my part. Yes the games are timed. Yes you must play at a fast clip. You do, however, have the time to think things through and play correctly. Don't rush so much that you make stupid mistakes. Which brings me too my next point...

5. Practice like you play. 
Some practice to be a bi...

If you want to get used to playing in tournaments, then you need to practice like you are in one. Start playing your games with your friends with a time limit. Become accustomed to playing under pressure and with a specific amount of time. This will get you to think faster and play better, without feeling rushed and making rookie mistakes. You will also learn more about your army.

6. Don't Argue.

If there is a rule discrepancy, don't get into a shouting match with your opponent; Simply ask them to show you the rule. If there is still an issue, get a rules master/tournament organizer. Don't be afraid to ask questions, or to bring up rules. If you are not sure about something, look it up. You don't just bring your BBoR to look pretty, use it!

7. Have Fun.

Remember, you play the game to have fun, that's what tournaments are for. So, don't forget to enjoy it. Otherwise, what are we doin here? We all participate in this hobby because we enjoy it, so why should tournaments be any different? We go to enjoy our hobby with others of a like mind. Fun is the point, don't miss it.

Well, I think that is enough ramblings for now. So now you need to go out there and whoop some plastic booty! 

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