Tournament Preparation

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Seeing as we have another event tomorrow, I thought it was only fitting that I uploaded this article on tournament preparation. This isn’t a way to prep to win more games and do better, but rather to have the best experience at an event that you can. A lot of people, both casual and competitive gamers alike, overlook tournament prep, and this can lead to bad results. I’ve experienced this myself as a result of me not preparing properly a few times! I would say that you can break down the things you should do before an event with into the following five steps:

Read the rules pack
Check your journey time and parking
Check you have everything you need
Plan what your going to eat and drink
Decide what you want from the event

Read the rules pack

Some of the steps here might seem extremely basic, but nevertheless its always worth following them. For some people reading over the rules packs seems obvious or even pointless, but it is something I regularly forgot to do when I first got into the hobby. The rules pack is essentially the contract between the TO and the player, and should outline everything you need for the event, including all requirements/standards for both the players and the venue. It’s as important for the TO as it is for the player, as when you buy a ticket for an event the rules pack is basically the product description for what you’ve bought.

On a few occasions, even recently, I’ve had friends frantically paint their models the night before an event, to which I’ve then pointed out there are no painting requirements. We’ve gotten to events, and friends of mine have asked when is lunch, and then been shocked to find it isn’t until after game two. All of the answers to these questions though, should be found in the rules pack!

Check your journey time and parking

If your going to an event at your local store, you probably already know how long its going to take you to get there and what parking is available. If it’s a store you haven’t been too before – It’s definitely worth checking your plan to get there. Google Maps is great for giving you a rough idea of the length of your journey, but you should always give yourself some wriggle room in case of traffic. It’s also really important to bear in mind parking, as not every game store has its own parking spaces readily available. I’ve arrived at an event ten minutes early, but then ended up late as my friend couldn’t find anywhere to park and we had to walk for ten minutes from where we eventually found to get there.

If Google Maps is saying it is a two hour journey, then ideally I like to leave two and a half hours before hand, so we have an extra half an hour in case of traffic and to find parking. A lot of gaming stores now tell you where to park in their rules packs, which can be really helpful!

Check you have everything you need

This is another really obvious one, but it’s always important to check you have everything you need. There is nothing worse than going to start a game in the first round of an event, and then realising you’ve left an important part of your roster or army at home on the painting desk, or you picked up the wrong set of cards. This can become a massive issue if you’ve travelled quite some distance to the event, but can be easily avoided by checking you have everything on the morning, and then checking again.

Plan what you’re going to eat and drink

I can’t stress just how important this is. Some tournaments, especially for Marvel Crisis Protocol, can have four games in one day – Which can be a lot. If rounds are an hour and a half, with an hour lunch and fifteen minutes between each round, that’s already nearly eight hours – Not including the journey there or any extra time due to games going over round times. 

A lot of venues do food now as part of their event tickets, but it’s still worth checking out what else is local to the venue or whether they sell snacks and drinks themselves. If the scheduled lunch is at 11.30am, you could still be only just starting your last game at 4pm, maybe even later. That’s quite a long time to be standing up and moving around a table, and so it’s always worth having some Snacks or knowing where you can get a bite to eat. Bananas, Oranges and Chocolate bars are great energy boosts between rounds. but make sure you don’t overdo it and end up with way too much sugar in your system. I found out myself just how bad not eating properly at an event can be at the event last weekend at Boards and Swords – As I went into the final I was really lightheaded, and had to stop for fifteen minutes to go and get a drink and something small to eat.

Decide what you want from the event

When going into any event, it’s important to know what you want and expect from the event. If you’re going in to try and win all of your games and podium, that’s totally fine, but be prepared for people to be very strict and unforgiving with rules as you move up the tables. If you’re just going to enjoy yourself and roll some dice, that’s perfectly fine too – But it’s worth noting that your first game draw can be random – So you might end up playing the person who later wins the event in game one! Even if you think your going to take a beating, enjoy the experience – Play it out, because you have to be in it to win it. After the first game swiss systems tend to match people on how they’ve got on so far, so usually you’ll have all the try-hard (Like me!) on the higher tables playing each other, and then all the guys who just want to play some games and roll some dice on the mid tables.

You should never judge someone based on what they take to an event or how they’re currently getting on. As I said, a lot of people just want to roll dice and enjoy the experience! Not everyone at an event is going to be there just to try and come first, so let people do their thing. As long as everyone is friendly and polite to one another, everyone will be able to have a good experience regardless of the placings at the end. Most of the gamers I know say that the best and most coveted award to win is Most Sporting, and I wholeheartedly agree. I was chuffed to win Most Sporting at a Blood Bowl event a few weeks ago, despite getting absolutely smashed in two games – Just roll some dice, enjoy the event and DBAD!

As always, please leave a thumbs up if you enjoyed reading, or a thumbs down if you didn’t! Please feel free to comment any thoughts you have down below!

If you’re looking to expand your roster with some new Heroes for Hire, or take the dive into Marvel Crisis Protocol – Check out Board in Brums Marvel section here, for all the MCP goodness you need! Thanks again for reading!

2 Comments

  1. Could not agree more on all of these points, and it’s definitely worth remembering as I start my venturing out to play at more events and tournaments.

    Most of all, it’s the attitude players have, and this just goes to show what an awesome attitude Arun has!! It’s why I’m upset I haven’t played him at anything yet…… YET……..

    Like

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