Okay, this one's not going to be QUITE as in depth as Buckey Battle's event...but that's because I'm tired, overheated and babysitting a crappy dog.
This last Saturday, I went to an event at my local FLGS...the Krystal Keep.
I have to thank them for both hosting an event, and finding a TO to cover for...well me, most often. I got to play, and I didn't have to stress setting up/running an event in this miserable work-summer I've been having...yay! :)
That being said, the 'bad' & 'ugly' have ZERO reflection on the store, as they merely allowed a player to run one...one he asked about running, was not asked to.
well...it was a tournament?
honestly, he ran an event...stepped up to swing the bat...and I was able to step out of reality for a few hours and horse around with some friends. 'nuff said?
-price; 10$ entry fee. This seems to be on the low end for many events, and I was happy. It's a price-point I try to maintain for my events, to make it cheaper for traveling players (with gas prices) and younger players (less hard to get the 'rents to pay up).
-prize support; excellent for the entry. I don't know the totals off the top of my head, but with only 14 players on a $10 entry, I THINK it was somewhere in the neighborhood of $250-300(ish). With GW support kickback, that still equates into full money=prizes. :)
-terrain; adequate. Though that word does not imply perfection, I have grown (over the years) to be HAPPY AS HELL with 'adequate'! It could have been a little more consistent, and maybe a bit denser, but I only saw a VERY few of the tables we used that were truly sparse (ie;20% or less). That happened to punish my last opponent, as we got one of them, but overall did NOT seem to dominate the play.
scoring records; poor at best. Having ONLY a sheet the PLAYER keeps in hand all day, then turned in at the end, is not a very good...or transparent...method of tracking. It can work, but only in a smaller event where everyone truly knows one another.
that's about all I would call 'bad'...
The Ugly (and it was very...)
-random pairings; see my rant, and ALL that entails, in my 'Buckeye Battles' entry...then subtract the mood of happy from all the good they implemented. That about says it all. Please, people, Swiss does NOT = 'random pairings'...just STOP!
-random scenarois; WTF? okay, this was VERY bad. On TWO fronts!
a) the potential for playing the same scenario each round (happened to me and one other)
b) the fact that each TABLE each ROUND rolled randomly, allowing for NO consistency between played rounds/victory conditions.
This is just bad, guys, and smacks of no small amount of laziness (or inexperience). At a 'tournament', some semblance of regularity and competitiveness should be expected. Not necessarily pure competition uber alles, but a modicum of uniformity needs to be maintained.
If, as a TO, you MUST randomize your scenarios out of the book...at least randomize per round for everybody across the board, not each game being potentially different. Much gnashing of teeth was heard.
-engagement; walk it(or talk it). There was little (or no) walking about the tables by the TO. In fact, for the most part, I saw him playing his own games (once as a ringer, as someone dropped out...but otherwise they just seemed to be pick-ups). This is also BAD...as in 'cross the streams' level bad.
You need to establish your face, develop a rapport and be aware of potentially developing issues (with scoring, scenarios, rules OR personalities) at every stage of an event you run. It establishes authority without assiness, involvement without intrusiveness and confidence in the event (or future ones).
Overall, without changes, I would NOT attend an event like this one again...
the TO was totally new. This was his first event, and at the end he took a great deal of feedback from myself and others. If he implements a majority of it (from whichever sources, or all of them) his reputation AND events should quickly grow.
I'm giving him another shot, if he steps up to swing the bat again, and hope that he has learned.
I'm too tired and old to do it all the time anymore :D