Good afternoon everyone,
Over the Easter weekend I managed to conclude my preparations for a two day Epic Armageddon 40k competition I’m TO-ing at the end of April. If you cast your mind back to this time last year, I ran a similar event at BrisCon for Epic Armageddon 30k. After last years event, I concluded that if I ran another event at BrisCon, it would be for Epic 40k, rather than 30k. I reached this conclusion on the assumption that there is a bigger pool of players for Epic 40k than there is for 30k, so I would get more attendees. Turns out I was wrong. I’ve only managed to attract eight players for this years competition. While I’m a little disappointed with this number (I was hoping for 12), I am pleased with the enthusiasm of the players who are attending. I have players coming from the Northern Territory, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory (as well as Queensland…).
The players that are attending are in for a real treat. I’ve made up six new tables for battles to be fought over, and I’m also trying a new way to manage the event.
Lets talk about the latter first. I did some enquires into different tournament management packages over the course of a month. Some are very good, however none did exactly what I wanted them to do. My criteria were:
- Needed to have a timer for each round that I can project onto a screen so players know how long is remaining
- Needed to have the ability to not only auto-generate the next round swiss style, but also produce a match up list that I can project onto a screen so players can see whom they are playing against, on what table and eliminated match-ups based on certain criteria (ie, from the same gaming group etc)
- Needed the ability for players to enter in their own game results that fed into the database to inform the next round, and ultimately the winner of the comp etc.
- It needed to be web based.
- It needed to be user friendly
- It needed to “understand” the victory conditions of Epic Armageddon and how 1st, 2nd and 3rd are determined.
Obviously this was a big ask. I’d often considered having such a platform built myself. However cost and my lack of programming ability always provided a major hurdle to such an undertaking.
Then I was told about Table Top TO (TTT) from Lucas over at Epic AU (he’s a mad keen card gamer and TTT is used by these guys). Basically TTT is a generic web-based TO platform that can be customised to accommodate the various parameters of your game and tournament style. It ticked all of the boxes of the first five criteria. So, it did everything I wanted it to do, but it didn’t ‘understand’ how Epic comps were scored etc. Enthused, I contacted the admin and received a very prompt response from Dennis – the creator of TTT. Turns out that Dennis is not only a top bloke, enthusiastic gamer, but also a kick ass programer and very responsive to the idea of setting up an Epic Armageddon module for his TTT platform.
Over the course of about two days, and probably 6-10 email between us, we had developed the Epic Armageddon module for TTT. And what a splendid module it is! It is a totally paperless system that will calculate the results of each round and ensure that nothing is missed or no human errors result from double handling scores etc. A few of use have since ‘proved’ the EA module by running a factious comp and it worked perfectly. Presently there are about 12 supported games, with many more to come. I intend on working out one for 28mm 30k once I have fully field tested it over the BrisCon weekend. Go check it out, you can see who is registered to play, and what lists they’re using. It’s a pretty impressive platform. So versatile.
Ok, now onto the boards. As you know, I like building scenery. However, I’ve also come to the conclusion that while scenery needs to look good, it also needs to be functional and transportable. I wanted to make some really nice Epic boards that were good for comps, but also good for just gaming with friends. One of the biggest issues with wargaming is the board itself. There are so many options now. Forge World tiles. Games Workshop tiles, Secret Weapon tiles, MDF painted boards, and of course mats.
Having had quite a bit of experience with all of the above, I settled on mats. They’re versatile, durable, easy to transport, visually appealing, gently on miniatures and inexpensive. I settled on purchasing six Gamer Mat neoprene mats. As for the scenery, I used a variety of different kinds that I had been collecting over the past 12 months knowing that I wanted to build a few tables for Epic. One of the key critera for each table (believe it or not) was that the scenery component of the table must fit inside one of those under bed plastic storage boxes).
So lets take a look at them shall we?
This is the “Forgotten Realm” mat
Said storage box with table contents enclosed.
The trees are have magnets on the bottom to facilitate them being moved for more accurate placement of units. The base is .55mm thick sheet metal with sand glued on and then painted.
The “Highlands in War” mat
The “Tales of Mars” mat
Finally, the “Winter Realm” mat
So, while there are only 8 players, there is plenty of different armies in attendance. We have Codex Marines, White Scars, Speed Freak Orks, Feral Orks, Biel-Tan Eldar, Necrons and Dark Eldar. So it’ll be a great looking turn out. If you happen to be in or around Windsor in Brisbane over the weekend 29-30 April, please drop in to my Epic Armageddon Comp, Advance to Contact
Until next time, thanks for dropping in.