A Trio of events; Thoughts and the driving force behind our first Bolt Action event!
Hi everyone! For those of you who don’t know, ObSec hosted a trio of events on Sunday. It was an interesting learning curve for us, having a trio of events running simultaneously across a trio of different systems with different length rounds. We had a 30k Horus Heresy single player narrative event, a single player Bolt Action tournament and a four player team event for Age of Sigmar.
We learned a lot over the course of the day. For 30k it was good fun to have the planetary empires set as a visual representation of the event and something I definitely think we will repeat for the next event. The small turn out for the event has left us wondering whether Heresy players actually don’t want to play in formal events. We have Heresy as an event at SHO and depending on the interest for that we will need to look at whether 30k is something we continue to offer in 2018. There is little point creating an event if it isn’t what the players want after all and our energy may be better spent creating alternative events that players do want.
Planetary Empires showing the loyalist win.
Congratulations to all the loyalists for the win.
For our Age of Sigmar tournament, I think the format we chose was perhaps not ideal. We had four players a team and each team needed to contain a player from each grand alliance; chaos, destruction, death and order. In theory this was a great idea. In reality there were a few issues with it, the first being that AoS is still relatively new and so having a group of 4 friends who all play AoS was doable but having a group of 4 friends that all play AoS and where each player has an army representing the 4 different alliances made it difficult for teams to get together. This was a similar format as was used for 40k WATC where only one player could take each faction, however with 40k there are just so many more factions to choose from (obviously there are more factions available for AoS but we wanted to keep it linked with the four horsemen). We really like the format and we will have a look the lay of the land with AoS next year when we decide whether or not to stick with this format for the team event or whether to tweak the format somehow.
Congratulations to The Four Horsemen team event winners:
Bolt Action was pulled together in 17 days! 17 days to pull together an event is massive! I have to say a huge thank you to Drokk who was the official TO of this event, (who also ended up playing as ringer at the last minute – very last minute, he arrived and was sent home to collect his army!). Drokk (D) has written a post about the Bolt Action event but I thought I would just share a little bit about how the event came about (which may end up revealing a little too much about my personality type). I will leave most of the photos for D’s post.
As you may or may not know we have Bolt Action as an tournament for Southern Hemisphere Open (SHO). I have shared before that I am not a gamer, up until recently the only games I had played was Monopoly (which I think should be banned from all households and the creator should have been burned at the stake as a witch, that game brings out the worst in everyone I know!) and Pictionary (did I mention I can’t draw so much as a stick figure!?) so I had never heard of Bolt Action when D put in an expression of interest to run a Bolt Action event at SHO, but I have heard about World War 2 and, unlike my husband who added an extra 2 years onto it during the awards on Sunday, I even know when it started and finished and who won! A little bit of research and it looked like a cool game so I was excited to have it along to SHO. We announced the gaming systems that will be at SHO and I had a few (more than I can count on one hand but probably less than I can count on 2) people message, email or talk to me asking why on earth we would run Bolt Action when no one in WA play it? Which is a fair question, but a question that was like a red rag to a bull for me! It was so reminiscent of when we first started ObSec and I kept hearing that it was never going to work because 40k is dead in WA. I have written about this before but to me that just didn’t make sense! How could 40k be dead when so many players are coming to our home to play?
I find it frustrating when I hear that ‘no one plays that game’ or ‘the Perth community is too small to support a game system’. Are you serious? The Perth gaming community is massive! If I had any sort of imagination or skill in this area I would create a game system because, if my 2 years with ObSec have taught me anything, it is that the Perth gaming community are solid in their support, dedication and commitment. So since ‘no one plays Bolt Action’ I decided I need Bolt Action to be a success! I am not going to lie, from everything I have learned in the last couple of months Bolt Action does not have the same following as 40k or AoS, it is a much smaller, emerging community. This inspired me even more. Again, I have shared before that ObSec for me is about community, SHO is about breaking down silos and introducing Perth gamers to systems that they may have heard of but never tried or may never have heard of, but above all else it is about creating an awesome gaming opportunity for the gamers of WA, Australia and the world (a girls gotta dream big!) so if a game system only has a small player base does that mean that they shouldn’t have an opportunity to play? No, it makes me want them there even more because the opportunity for formal events at the moment is more limited for the smaller systems than it is for the larger games.
So I have been talking to D about how we can make the Bolt Action event at SHO a success. About 3 weeks before the AoS team event and the 30k event were due to happen M and I were talking about how difficult it has been for teams to form for AoS and the low numbers for 30k. I sat with this for a couple of days and two things struck me, the first was that with low numbers the atmosphere in the room was going to suffer and it is the atmosphere that really makes the events for me and the second thing to occur to me was for the first time in a very long time the room wouldn’t be full to capacity, this meant that there would be room for another game. I’ll be honest my first thought was why don’t we do a farewell to 7th Edition game, we know 40k tournaments inside out and it is something we could pull together easily and the 40k players are a known community to us so I know the atmosphere that will be created when they are in the room. I talked to M about this and he said that with 8th Ed announced he never wants to think about 7th Ed again and with less than 3 weeks to go he didn’t think we could pull together a third event for the day.
17 days before the event I decided go hard or go home! Early in the morning I sent a message to D and said ‘what do you think? Can we pull something together with next to no time, 500 points, no painting requirements due to the short lead time. Will this fly?’ and before I knew it, it was flying, which was something of an issue because I had taken our son to a workshop and had sort of forgotten to mention it to M and the first he heard about it was when there was all the excitement coming from the Bolt Action players about a potential tournament. D was able to write the players pack in record time, we had input from the players to say that they thought 750 points was do-able despite the short lead time and we were off.
One of the things that excited me most was what happened in between the announcing of the event and the actual event. The Bolt Action players were playing. I have been on the Bolt Action Perth facebook page for a while and games day seems to happen about once a month and it can be difficult for people to get there and life gets in the way and not as many people end up attending as they would like. We announced the event on Thursday lunchtime and by Thursday evening a Games Day had been organised for the following Wednesday evening. Then after that they organised a second Games Day for the following Wednesday evening. In between there were posts about practice games, photos, there was engagement and there was excitement! This is what lights me up! This is why I want to run SHO because I want to see players excited about playing, having something to aim towards, and something to get people getting together and playing.
On the morning of the event I spoke briefly with D, we had both noticed that player feedback was that finishing a game in 75 minutes with 750 points had been difficult. So before the event began, while M was trying to argue with technology that refused to play nicely, D and I met with the Bolt Action players and asked them whether they would like to play 6 games at 75 minutes each or drop a game, and add 15 minutes to each game to give them a bit of space. It was unanimously agreed to reduce the number of games and give extra time (after the players had recovered from the heart attacks when I accidentally told them they had 45 minutes for each round…oops – 45, 75, they are similar right?)
For the actual event we had 8 players. Compare that to the 60+ players we are anticipating for 40k 8th Edition event we have booked for July and sure it doesn’t seem like much to only have 8 players but that is 8 players who got to come out and spend a day gaming. For quite a few of those players this was their first formal event. There were players who had never met each other before, players who had only played 1 game prior to the event, and players who are trying to drive the community, there players who sadly couldn’t attend the event to play but came down to check it out. We put it out there, pushed hard to make it happen and as a result we had 8 players who all came together and from the feedback I have received they all had fun! I will leave it for D to talk about the actual games, missions and winners, while I recognise that is an important part of the events it isn’t the part that excites me, the part that excites me is when players come together, create social networks and have fun. (I was also pretty excited to see the amazing painted armies despite there being no painting requirements.)
To the people who told me that this couldn’t be done and there is no Bolt Action community in WA I will just politely say ‘I told you so’ and I look forward to the next ObSec Bolt Action event (keep an eye on our Facebook page to keep up to date with events or join our mailing list).
Actually it turns out I can’t bring myself to not put up the Bolt Action winners (sorry D), so congratulations to:
To all of the TOs for the 3 events on Sunday, the players who came along to the event, the players who fuelled the excitement, the players who couldn’t attend but had practice games before the event and the players who came down to say hello, THANK YOU! You are the reason that we created ObSec and you are the reason that we will continue to push through and work to build this amazing community of gamers. I look forward to the next ObSec event!