Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Swords & Magic Wrap-Up and Retrospective

Our first event is done, woohoo! I have to start off this post by giving a huge thank you to Nick for being the mastermind behind this event. He organized the venue, logistics, co-wrote the scenarios, and was just overall an outstanding TO when it came time to actually run the event.

We had 16 people compete after 2 had to drop last minute due to illness and a no-show however things went quite smoothly... in fact we ended ahead of schedule! It helped to have mostly veteran players at the event, but it's also a testament to the fact that Nick ran a tight ship and kept games running in the allotted time.

With all this said, here's a breakdown of what I think was the good, the bad, and the ugly...

The Good

  • The Schedule - Nick kept everything on track and wasn't afraid to yell to get people's attention to keep it that way. I'm a big fan of the 2 rounds, lunch, then 2 rounds approach and we were able to make that work and even had a full hour for lunch which was perfect due to the proximity to a great poutine shop.
  • The Venue - FDB were kind enough to offer up their store for our event. They also generously bolstered our prize pool with nearly $500 of draw prizes in addition to ~$160 of choose-your-own prizes for Best General/Best Overall/Best Presentation.
  • The Scenarios - I'll admit it! I was wrong about our scenarios! I had concerns going in about Attacker/Defender, but the feedback was got was overwhelmingly positive, so I have to once again give a shout out to Nick.
  • The Turnout - We had people come in from nearly 800KM away to come to this event! I suspect the prize support helped that, but it was awesome none the less!

The Bad

  • The Tables - In addition to our own tables, we were able to use FDB's tables which are gorgeous, however this combination did lead to some issues with terrain. Some tables had too many forests or lakes, others had none, etc... I think some of our future events may look to a more standardized terrain layout.
  • The Clutter - Due to limited storage space at the venue we had storage for terrain/extra chairs/etc... in player areas and unfortunately this lead to a few scenarios where it was quite hard to move around. This is something we will definitely have addressed for the next event.

The Ugly

  • The Weather - Obviously not something we can control, but I think we had nearly 6" of snow fall during the course of the event. This made it a nightmare for some of the folks who drove long distances to get home. One group of attendees from Vermont nearly doubled their commute time as a result of this, and it also lead to us having a late start to round 1 for several players.
  • The Table Assignments - We're aware of this. It sucked. It won't happen again. We had multiple people playing on the same table(s) multiple times. This is a bit boring, but unfortunately is something that can happen with a Swiss pairing system. We'll look to tweak our matchmaking setup for this in the future to avoid it happening again.
Overall I think next time we're going to be looking to run a larger event, likely still in partnership with FDB due to their fantastic support, however we're also hoping to address the issues outlined above so that we can patch any holes we've found or been informed of.

With this said, if you attended, or heard about the event, please give us your feedback! Call us jerks, tell us our event was the worst piece of crap you've ever attended, or maybe say something nice... it's all appreciated.

Keep your eyes peeled for news of our next event as well...

- Logan (@1PlusLogan)

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