Saturday, March 5, 2011
Running A Tournament: Berks Spring Assault 2!
I myself have been playing in a number of tournaments over the past few years, from Warhammer 40K Grand Tournament style events, Blood Bowl tournaments and smaller events at club days and Games Days and the like. As our local club in Berks was growing, I wanted to bring the competititve 'feel' of the tournament scene to our local club.
With the overwhelming success of this event, we moved onto Berks Spring Assault, and it just grew from there. We went into an event, still new to the venue and I didn't realize how much hlep I was going to need for an event this size. We held it in a hotel conferrence room, and found a way to fit in 20 tables, opening the event up to 40 players. 38 showed up on time, with a total of 45 players showing up later in the day.
However, as frustrated as I was with the problems we were having, the staff helping me were incredible. They helped save the day and make it all work. And while I saw the problems for what they were, the players only saw it as a slight delay and didn't know all of the details. In fact, the players used the time to enjoy a break and socialize with other players.
So....now what do we do? We learned from our (my) mistakes last year and as I have been around the tournament scene locally in PA, several folks and clubs have been asking me if we are hosting Berks Spring Assault again. When I heard the feedback from people, saying things like, "That was the most fun I ever had at a tournament" and similar comments, I started to get excited. I knew that we were onto something special.
So, now we have created a committee for our game club. We discussed options and ways to correct mistakes, how to imporve upon last year, and cut down time delays and the like. And now we have Berks Spring Assault 2! in the workings.
I am looking at May 14, 2011 to hold our event. We secured a Fire Company's old engine room and social quarters for our venue and have four times the space that we did last year. We are using an amazing program called Tournament Overlord to run the scoring and rankings and it should eliminate all of the challenges we had last year in that department. I have been agressively contacting potential sponsors and have had a LOT of success, with around 15 total sponsors now for our event. Some of these sponsors make wargaming terrain and will be featured by having their own dedicated table featuring their own terrain and advertising and of course prizes for either the main table or the raffle-drawing. Some of these companies are TerranScapes, Hazeknight.com, and Art of War Terrain, just to mention a few.
To help generate funds for the club, we will feature another 10-15 items available for a Chinese Auction. We will offer raffle tickets to everyone and those who purchase them can than put as many as they like into each individual basket for each item. After the main awards are done, we will start pulling raffle tickets and offer more prizes for everyone.
We are also recognizing Army Domination awards by codex. The Best player of each codex will be recognized for his/her accomplishments by overall scoring and will receive a certificate for Army Domination. In addition to that, a local store that has expanded to table top games, The Last Level, has offered to give out $5 gift cards to coincide with the Army Domination awards.
The Adventurer's Guild in Harrisburg, PA.
This looks to be a rather amazing event, and we have expanded our seating to 60 players. We are already 1/3 full and have 2 1/2 months to go until the date of the tournament. Some of my committee members are suggesting we open this event up to 70 players. We shall see. All I can say is that we are doing our best to make this the BEST event in Berks county for wargmaing.