The weekend after Labor Day they were going to run a local GT level event called "The Tides of War". The only one that I can play in and sleep in my own bed and have a chance at a Golden Ticket, but it looks like it is not to be.
Well, as it turns out that they had only 2 people sign up for it and had to cancel it.
I got some flack because I posted that I wanted to go and I did not pre-register and they wanted to know why.
And here is why:
Alright, it looks like I need to say a bit more on this.
First year tournaments are always tough. You are asking people to pay a lot of money for a product that they have no idea what they are getting.
I paid for a first time tournament in LA at the end of June and they changed it all around and so I canceled out of it, and do you know what? I have not heard from them since and I am out $60. That is why I am slow to pay ahead of time.
Here are some problems that the Tides of War tournament had:
:#1 Bad local 40k scene
A tournament has to draw a large number of locals. You can’t depend on people traveling far for an event in its first year. Maybe in the second year when you can get good word of mouth, but you have to get the locals, especially in a state like this where there is nothing else around for hundreds of miles. This is not like the East Coast where you have millions of people in a 4 hour drive, or the West Coast where you have a huge population.
I have no idea what is going on in the local 40k scene but when I first came to this state I was looking forward to playing in the tournament tracker. You had a RTT each month and it rotated from store to store like the Chicago version, and for some reason when I get here all of a sudden it stopped. What happened to it? Also instead of having a 40k community, it seems like it is balkanized into just the local game stores and no one ever leaves them. Game Depot had a championship if you placed in one of their tournaments, but unless you play at Game Depot, you would have no idea that they even have RTTs there. http://www.adeptusarizona.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2058
Same thing with IO.
I will travel for a tournament and spend a lot of money while I am at it. At the last GE RTT I bought a $50 Wolf Guard Terminator box and about $10 in paints, but I guess the local stores don’t want my money. Heck, I would even drive to Tucson if I knew that they had an RTT, but the tournaments here are never advertised and so inbred that it creates a culture where no one wants to leave there store or try new things. It is sad really.
#2. Could have done more advertising.
You have Battlefoam as a local company and you should have tried to get them as a sponsor. You get free advertising through their website, but more importantly you get them announcing it over 40k Radio. 40k Radio has a lot of fans and you might have been able to get the So Cal freebootz to show up, and Romeo himself is a bit of a draw since he is a 40k personality.
#3 The Missions
Missions make or break a tournament and the fact that they are not being pre-advertised is a big turn-off. A lot of tournaments have their missions posted to get feedback on them, and also show people what they are getting. Here is the missions and rules packet for the So Cal Smackdown that I am going to on Labor Day: http://www.scgwl.com/downloads/GT/SSD40K.pdf Transparency, no surprises, and everything on the table.
As a side note: this is their first year, and with a much stronger player base, and even then they only have 22 signed up.
#4 The rules
The rules pack has been taken down, but I thought that it has antiquated notions like theme and comp. Those are holdovers from 3rd edition and have no place in 5th edition. That turns off a lot of players who want to play with what they want to play with. If you have balanced missions, to win you need a balanced army and that takes care of the comp. And theme has long gone away with all of the new codexes. You ask a new player about taking choices because of Craftworlds or that it is bad theme to mix chaos demons of certain gods, and chaos marks, they will have no idea what you are talking about. GW killed theme a long time ago.
#5 No incentive to sign up early.
I will play in Da Boyz GT in Rochester NY on Nov 11th and it is $40 if you sign up by Sept 1st, $50 after that, and $60 at the door. That gives me motivation to sign up before Sept 1st. If you had the same pricing structure you would have had more people pre-register.
There is more, but that is enough for now.