Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tournament Tuesdays: Two Day Tournaments

While one could say that GW the company is the source of the hobby, I believe that the Indy tournament scene is the heart of the hobby, at least in the Midwest. When it comes to defining what is an indy event, I would classify them as events that are run by individual/groups that love the hobby but don’t necessarily derive a living from it. This isn’t to knock those that do forge a living through the business aspect of the hobby, I simply feel there is a difference between those that do it purely for the joy and those that do view it on some level as a business strategy.

While each of these indy events is unique and has its own spins on how to approach the tournament format, there are trends that can be seen across them. Some of these trends arise due to the nature of the game system that the tournament is based upon. An example of this would be the use of composition scoring by most WFB tournaments in the Midwest. Right or wrong, a lot of tournament players in the area feel that such a system is needed because of how the current system plays. On the other hand, other trends seem to be based more on the preference of the typical attendee and don’t really reflect any perceptions specific to the game. One example of this would be whether a tournament is a one or two day affair.

Looking at the calendar for the remainder of 2009 and into the first half of 2010, most of the WFB indy events are two day tournaments. While I support each organizer running the event that they want, I do admit I am puzzled why so many of them elect to go this route. I understand the logic that it allows for more games to be played, and thus a clearer winner to be crowned, but couldn’t one argue that it also punishes the losers more? By this I mean, after the first game or two, typically a good portion of the players will know if they are going to be in contention to win an award.

When it comes to the idea of whether or not an event is one or two days, I have always appreciated the view that Adepticon holds on the topic. Adepticon is a three day event, but each day is independent of the others. This means that one bad day doesn’t carryover into the next. It also means that the overall convention is more accessible to more people.

When it comes to me and two day tournaments, I simply don’t attend them. Again, I am not knocking anyone for liking this style of event; I just simply don’t share the same opinion. As a player, three games in one weekend are sufficient for my enjoyment. Regardless of how I am doing, a second day of gaming is just draining for me. As a TO, I typically design the scoring for my tournaments so that the point breakdowns are detailed enough that ties are difficult to achieve. I am not claiming to be perfect, but with experience I have learned how important it is to minimize the chance for a tie.

So to my readers, what are your thoughts about two day tournaments? Do you like them or hate them. If you like them, I would love to hear what it is about them that you like. In the end, how we have fun with the hobby isn’t as important as all of us having it, so share what you are doing to make it happen.


  1. Yeah, I've only played in 40K tournies. That said, I prefer one day events. As I age, I find my preference developes more strongly (I simply don't have the endurance of a younger person).

    For me the first day of a two-day event is usually the best. I randomly get paired with better players. For example at last year's Grand Tourney - Chicago I played against the guy who won best opponent in the first round. The second day for me is less fun since I've now fallen sufficiently through the ranks to be paired with players whom I might actually beat. Sadly often they have developed miserable attitudes likely attributable to having been beaten snotless through the first three games (and then faced with possibly losing to a horde of my foot-slogging greenskins).

    A good three game, one day event is the best for me.

  2. Its really cool for you people in the Midwest and on the East Coast to have such well run cool events. On the west coast unless you live in the Seattle area or in Central to Southern California ... there is no Indy GT scene. As a former resident of Las Vegas ... even the So. Cal scene is kind of sketchy unfortunately. Now that I live in the Salt Lake area there is really nothing on par with a GT/Indy GT within a reasonable drive from the area. I really wish GW or a third party site (like maybe BOLS, Daka Daka) would put up a RTT listing with updated results, etc. it would be really easy for someone to put out monthly scenarios and have store owners/tourney organizers report results. Then players could get a score and even if there was just a leader board ... it would be cool. I'm sure GW or the Warstore or some other retailer out there would even host a "championship" tourney and/or give the year end winner some cool prizes, etc. GW tried this several years back but did it so poorly and half heartedly that it failed. From what I heard they put an 8 buck an hour flunky back at mail order in charge of it and the douche ran it into the ground ... go figure. You either need someone who is passionate in charge or someone who is going to get a direct benefit from it (GW themselves, The Warstore, a site that wants to increase its traffic for advertising revenue, etc.) ... also they need to have credibility. I can only hope and dream that someday such a system ... in addition to the cool indy scene some people get to enjoy ... can come to fruition.