It has been awhile since I’ve made an entry and I didn’t really have any lofty goals of “I’ll blog every week” or whatever, but I didn’t think I’d go three months. I mean, there’s a lot of things that I’ve thought about writing about. I’ve taken pictures thinking “I’ll use that in my blog”, but I just don’t get around to it. To be honest, the free time I do have lately, is usually spent on my community building efforts in some way. Which is what I’m writing about…
I became a Henchman for Wyrd in February, I believe, and ran my first tournament in March. I had 8 wonderful people come out and that alone gave me the drive to push forward. I’ve run two more tournaments since then and had 20 players at my last event. I was expecting 22, but 2 had to drop unexpectedly. Still, I was floored.
How did we get from nothing to 22 in six months? This game. It is growing in popularity and each person playing is pulling in another person they know or even just someone who saw them playing a cool looking game and having a good time and that alone is creeping up the numbers. And the timing is perfect. With so many people disenfranchised with their other games, they are looking for something fun to play that isn’t going to break their wallets. They are ripe for the picking. I also work very hard sniffing out every person playing even remotely near us. If I find out someone is playing Malifaux within driving distance (yeah, 5-6 hours is driving distance in my mind), then I’m reaching out to them and trying to gauge interest in getting together to play some games. People are interested in talking to other people outside their stores and getting together periodically to play in larger events and see how other people play or how they measure up. Are they just a big fish in a small pond, or are they a Big Fish? Southeastern Malifaux Players Group is at 100 members. It is definitely accomplishing what I had hoped with pulling the various small areas together.
I also try to put on a good tournament. Something that’s fun, thematic, has decent prize support with fun shinies for the winners of the category and great terrain. There’s not much you can do about the actual backbone of the tournament. You’re playing Malifaux, likely running Gaining Grounds, likely using the scheduled format of strategies for that rotation. I don’t use random schemes, however. It’s a trick I picked up from my buddies Joe Girard and Adam Helbling. I look at the strategies and choose my schemes to give players a challenge. I can’t make life too easy on these guys. We’ve had some interesting combinations with the deployments as well, but I’ve had good feedback…and some good natured groaning. I’m also experimenting with formats. For example, my next tournament is coming at the end of our Campaign, so I’m running it as fixed master rather than just fixed faction, to see how players handle limitations. I also wanted to be different with my prizes. I wanted actual trophies or even just tin cups for first place rather than a crew box or model x, as I know from experience that I don’t recall which models I won at various events I’ve attended, but the trophies we won for Cake Match at Adepticon are proudly displayed on the wall and my dog tag is on my Malifaux bag. I also wanted something other than the usual 1st, 2nd, 3rd place bit. So I came up with four standard prizes I would give. First, of course, last (or the spoon award), and MidTable Mediocrity, in honour of where I most likely end up at big events. I also wanted to encourage the painting and hobbling aspect, so decided to always have a best painted award. I was extremely lucky to have the amazing Austin Thompson of Brush4Hire do my trophies for my last event. Since it was bigger we added 2nd, or So Close. They were amazing! And I always give a new fate deck to my spoon winner, since they obviously need one.
Having great terrain is important to me. I LOVE terrain. I have a LOT of terrain and I keep buying MORE terrain. My collection puts most LGS to shame. I can’t help it-I see a cool table and I want to make something similar or I like a crew and I want to make a table for that crew. I’ve been to tournaments where terrain is pretty light and it can make a big difference in how I play. I don’t want that to be a factor in my tourneys. And I also insist on nice, cohesive, themed tables. Nothing is more jarring to me than a sci-fi building next to an old timey saloon. If I don’t have enough terrain for the theme, it waits until I do. So I’ve been building and painting a lot of my stuff in recent months to make sure I have enough terrain for my tables to meet my criteria and also to switch things out a bit so my players aren’t playing on “that old west town” again… I have come up with a cool mining table, a doable swamp table until I can build the one I’m dreaming of, a couple western boards (including the Latigo compound), the obligatory Dreamer board, some Asian themed tables that are always getting additions, an ice themed table, and some desert type terrain. I have plans for a scrap yard and a better swamp and I’m working on a graveyard and a factory now. Those two I hope to debut at MACE, if they aren’t finished by my October 10th tournament. I have so many things to build still….and paint. It’s become a lot easier with Mats by Mars. A new soil mat was released this week which I promptly ordered. It solved a lot of problems I was foreseeing with my graveyard board and my fear of it being too static and dull. Love those guys!
So that’s where my time is spent outside work and why whenever I see the WordPress icon on my phone or iPad I think, I should really do that, and then don’t. But it’s been a great wild ride. We have 3 stores within an hours drive of my house that we can game at 3 nights a week, and seem to be hitting an average of 5 games per night at each store. That’s a fantastic turnout for a dead scene just last winter! I’m hoping to keep the momentum up and take into Charlotte in November for MACE, where we are officially bringing Malifaux to the first Con in the Southeast. There will be 3 days of events and demos and hopefully with Cool Mini in attendance, also stock of Malifaux crew boxes! Now to get back to building more terrain….
*apologies for lack of pics… WordPress crashed when I tried to add this time 😦