Young Bloods 2018
One of the things that I am most passionate about in our work with ObSec is creating, supporting and growing the community. We seem to have found the sweet spot for the guys, we are still fighting an uphill battle to get more women at events (but we will continue to slog away!) but we are never ones to back away from a challenge. So when the staff from local GW stores suggested we attempt to run a Young Bloods event of course we said yes without hesitation. There were a few reasons we were so keen to do this.
The first is of course that these players are the next generation of gamers (not the next breed of gamers as M accidentally said at the awards ceremony – talk about Freudian Slip!) and so we want to nurture their enthusiasm and passion for the game to ensure that in years to come we will have a strong community of gamers keeping this system alive.
The second is because we hear so often still about the tournament scene being ‘hardcore’ (see my previous article here where I debunk that myth!) and we want to make sure that younger players see first hand that tournaments are not WAAC games played by WAAC gamers. The tournaments that we run (I can’t speak for others) are designed for gamers to get together, hang out and have a fun day playing a few games against potentially new opponents. And lastly the reason that we ran the event was because we thought it sounded like fun!
Saturday 20th January 2018 we held our first event for players under 18s ‘Young Bloods’. We ran it along side our First Blood event. 4 games of 90 minute duration, 750 points, 4×4 tables. We had 6 players attend the event and their armies were as diverse as the players that brought them. Aden and Sima brought Ultramarines, Elijah played Dark Angels, Isaac came with his Death Guard (I’ve never met a player as excited about a Foul Blightspawn model as Isaac was, talk about passionate!), Joshua brought his Astra Militarum and Tyler played Chaos Space Marines.
We ran the event similarly to First Blood in that not only did we award prizes for Best General we also looked at the hobby as a whole and awarded prizes for Sportsmanship and Painting. Warhammer is about more than just winning games, there are many facets to the hobby and we wanted to ensure that the Young Bloods event reflected that.
How it ran
The event itself was probably one of the smoothest events we have ever run, the players had a leisurely start to the day with check in starting at 9am and the first game starting at 10. This gave us plenty of time to register the players with Best Coast Pairings (BCP). The players didn’t know each other but they all got on really well. I think the highlight of my day was the last game where Tyler was laughing and Josh was burying his head in his hands in dismay. 4 games is a long time to concentrate for any player, especially for younger players who have limited experience and despite that, at the end of the last game the players were all still laughing, smiling and seemed to be having fun.
There were some skilled players in the room who have a good grasp on the rules and weren’t afraid to check in with M, the TO, if they weren’t sure about something. There were some good painters amongst the players and they were all good sports. Speaking of good painters, I scored the painting awards for the Young Bloods. The way that we run our events with soft scoring is that the points that a player is awarded for painting will go towards their Overall score regardless of who painted the army but if their army was painted by someone else then they are ineligible for the painting award. We occasionally have adult players who forget to mention to us that they didn’t paint their army but when it came to the young players they were totally up front! When I said to one player ‘wow, this is good painting’ he said ‘weeeell I did help but painting is so boring and fiddly and I’m not good at it so my Dad did most of it.’ It can be hard for some young players not to take credit for something that is being praised but this player was 100% up front and honest.
Congratulations to all players for coming along and finishing the event. The awards were evenly spread with Sportsmanship runner up being awarded to Joshua Plows and Best Sports awarded to Tyler Baird, Best Painted runner up Aden McGrath and Best Painted Elijah, runner up for Generalship Isaac Cramp and Best General going to Sima Angwin.
With the winners of First Blood.
While we celebrate the players we also need to celebrate the parents who support their children in this hobby. Some parents stayed the whole day and that is a BIG commitment, one little brother was so tuckered out he used the couch for a nap in the afternoon making me very jealous! Other parents had enough trust and faith to leave their kids with us for the event, dropping them off and picking them up. Sadly I didn’t think to get a photo but I also really want to say thank you to the GW staff who have spent so much time with these guys. The parents had only wonderful things to say about you and the time, energy and patience you show to these young players. Thanks so much for giving so freely of yourselves!
To the players, we hope you had a good day, thanks for coming out and spending your Saturday with us, thank you for bringing your best version of yourself to the event and for making it a great experience for everyone. We can’t wait to see you at the next one!