Heroscape Tournament/Demo Event Guide for Event Organizers
I am hoping that we can get a Guide to provide advice, structure and feedback about running HS events.
There are a lot more events being run nowadays, and many people being faced with the same kind of questions and planning issues that many HSers have had to encounter for their events. I was hoping for a one-stop resource for people wanting to plan an event, whether it be a tournament or a demo.
Any help and contribution to this effort is appreciated. This is for the community, and the game to get more good exposure - the better-run the event, the better the impression of the game.
(to be filled in and added to as people post)
* Sponsorship (who provides the terrain, figures, etc and the prizes (if any).
- HouseMouse BoardGames, Hasbro themselves (at Gencon), Convention producers (@ Kublacon), or Event Organizers
- HS banner
- Laser pointers for LOS determination
- Latest FAQ
- Summary of Rules play (player aids) - available from the TrU event package (ask me if interested) and a reference sheet at www.HeadlessHollow.com HERE.
- when should they be expected/provided?
- how many entrants should receive prizes?
- compare/contrast the different prize formats (sponsor, the event host, or shared amongst the participants (i.e. everyone brings a prize and the winners get first pick.))
- Swiss scoring, single elimination, double-elimination, etc (pros and cons of each, and which is applicable for how many players)
- Will figures/order markers be provided? (for new and/or experienced players)
- Will you allow proxied figures to be entered? (i.e. repainted or unpainted Swog Riders and Knight of Weston for Nerak and Sir Hawthorne) *recommended*
- Will house rules be allowed? Choose and advertise which rulings or non-standard play asap. There is nothing wrong with non-radical rules changes - don't be afraid to mix-up your event with different scenarios/all-general armies/well-reasoned ability/point changes, etc.
- Will a sideboard be allowed? A sideboard may be allowed (25 - 50% of the army size), when armies are written down and not allowed to change between rounds. Any sideboard units may be exchanged for army units between rounds. Once both players say they are ready for the match, no sideboard exchanges may be made.
- Who places first? Many maps are not exactly mirrored/symmetrical- Roll the D20 or flip a coin to determine who gets to pick his starting zone.
- How long for rounds (My estimation would be 40 minutes at most, on average)
- If calculating a score for remaining figures, will you count each figure (1 Izumi Samurai is worth 20 points) or are full points awarded for squads even if only part of the squad survives?
Full points are more standard, but it is a less accurate estimation of remaining army strength.
* Which maps are best suited for what the tourney is trying to achieve
- The Glyph issue (too many unbalances the army matchups, none seems to be less strategy, proper location, etc)
- Visibly interesting vs balanced gameplay.
- The Ranged unit Dominance problem
- List of successful maps (Soulrazor, other official maps, The Pond (see below) & other fanmade maps)
- starting zone may limit common squad multiples - is this good?
Consider limiting to 2 of each common squad if you don't want CommonSquadScape.
- game conventions (GenCon, Kublacon, and GenCon SoCal, and other regional cons that have enough gaming presence to be promising)
If at a convention, can you leave the maps on the tables overnight
- Game Stores (for regional Gameday tournaments)
- HSers member's houses
(to be filled in and added to as people post)
* How many/which maps to set up?
- One large (a la Hasbro), or many small?
- Which maps work well (official or unofficial) with links to download
(I suggest both 2 player and multi-player maps are shown to demonstrate the different fun of the game and to support different numbers of interested participants)
For example, The Pond (2 player) and Last of the Wellsprings (3 player free-for-all)
Click for full size
- How many points will you use on each side to demo?
I would strongly recommend around 200 points for each side when demoing the game to multiple groups (like in a typical convention situation where many people may be playing, and the shorter the demo the better).
You can have pre-combined combos of hero and squad that work thematically and balance-wise. The combos I used to good response at Kublacon to give players a good selection of theme, abilities, and powers were:
DW9000 and Zettian Guards
Sgt Drake and the Airborne Elite
Grimnak and 2 Blade Gruts
Marcus and 2 Roman Legionnaires
Khosumet and 2 Anubian Wolves
Agent Carr and the Krav Maga
Me-Burq-Sa, Ne-Gok-Sa, and Marro Warriors
Alistair MAcDirk and the Highlanders
Raelin and the Sentinels
Mimring and ?? Roman Archers
Venoc Warlord and 2 Venoc Vipers
Taelord and Minions
there are more, but you can probably see the pattern.
Anyone who has run events of any kind or done work for them (Jim, Oogie, grungebob, truth , Satyr & Alistair, allskulls, etc) and has ideas/advice or words of wisdom, please add to this Guide to make it as useful as possible.
I will edit this post as things are added by other people.
Please add links to resources or pictures of maps to help other Organizers get a good picture of your point.
Grungebob added a sample Tournament Rules in another thread, so I'll copy them here, removing a couple (glyph requirement and dice falling off):
• There should be a minimum of 8 Players, and one battlefield for every two players.
• There will be at least one referee, the ultimate judge – whose decision will be final in the case of a rules dispute. The referee will be thoroughly familiar with both the Heroscape 2nd edition rules and the latest official FAQs on Heroscapers.com.
• There will be a copy of the 2nd edition rulebook at all tables.
• A timer will be visible to all players, or time left should be announced at regular intervals.
• As players arrive (we suggest 30 minutes before the scheduled start time), they sign in at the registration table with their completed army, whether they are pre-registered or not.
• Each player should bring one pre-drafted 400 point army. Only official Heroscape figures markers and cards are eligible to be used. Extra master set figures and cards can be available for those who do not have an army at registration time. Once you register an army, you cannot change it for the duration of the tournament.
PREPARING FOR A TOURNAMENT ROUND.
•Players will be paired up with an opponent and assigned to a map.
•Players roll a 20 sided die. The player with the highest roll chooses one of the deployment zones, and places his entire army in the designated deployment zone spaces. Initiative in the first round is still determined normally once play starts.
•The opposing player places his entire army in the opposite deployment zone spaces.
PLAYING THE GAME
Players play the game as per the most current set of rules with the following exceptions:
•The game will last 1 hour from the time it starts. Keeping track of rounds is not necessary.
•When the time is called all play must finish the current order marker number. If the players have not finished the game when the one hour is over, victory goes to the player with the most points worth of figures left on the field. Full points are earned for squads even if only part of the squad survives.
•Players place their order markers simultaneously and may shield or hide them from view of the other player until placed if so desired.
•Touching an opponent’s figure during your turn is not allowed. If a figure gets accidentally moved during play the player who controls that figure may ask a judge to assist in replacing the figure if so desired.
•All dice must be rolled on a flat surface near the playing area and in full view of all players. Dice towers are acceptible. Any dice that do not lay flush at the end of the roll will result in a re-roll of the dice in question.
Format:We have had good luck with a Swiss Format.
Prizes: Have a low entry fee and all money goes for prizes, even the last place person goes home with a prize or two. Everything is put on the prize table and then eveybody goes up in order determined by their finish/place.
Location:We also have had good luck holding tourneys at public places (Resturants/Cofffe Houses). No need to bring table and chairs plus they are set up! We have had a good time with the public exposer and promoting the game.
Setup: To help speed up the map setup - I have them pre-made days before and put on 1/4" plywood, that we can haul them to the event site and slide them onto the tables. It also help with tear down as they are slid into a rack set up in a full size van.
Here is the info on our up coming event.
Place: Godfathers Pizza (upstairs) – Forest City, IA
Date: October 21, 2006
Sign in: 9:30 – 9:50 am
Start 1st round: 10:00 am
Entry fee: $ 5.00
Format: Swiss Style
1-hour time limit per round.
Maps – Wolf Swamp Road, Forsaken Waters, Meat Grinder
TTO Rule: - Any figure adjacent to a tree may roll an additional defense die when being attacked by a non-adjacent figure. ( what did you expect after all your playing in " The Tree Town Open ")
Prizes - Dice Tower, Dice Box, HS Gen-Con Promotional Figure " Sir Hawthorne, Laminated Heroscape Card signed by Craig VanNess Custom Painted Sergeant Drake (by Jormi_Boced), Misc Dice assortment including Dice Bag (by Memeriories & Keepsakes), several expansions will be broke apart into squads and all the terrain will again be grouped together for a prize,more to be anounced
Tournament Director:[/b] Jormi_Boced
Registration Note: I am planning on having Tournement T-shirts made so I will also need your shirt size when you register.
Con of the North
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Saturday - February 16 , 2013
4 people can set up 12 maps in less than an hour
You can use those stick on stars to mark deployment zones. These come off easy and are super cheap. I used them in place of glyphs also as one less thing to keep track of.
Make sure to number each map clearly using something simple like an index card with the map number written largely.. It makes it easier to announce: "Joe and Blake map 4" and move quickly on.
You'll need scratch paper and lots of penciles. Have a roster available for folks to write their army on. These rosters can be turned in and looked at days later when asked about who won and what army did they field. I have an army roster PDF for anyone interested.
Bringing something for the prize table is something we do in Texas and is really great fun because everybody goes home with something.
We have everybody write the names of their oponents on their roster and vote for the one that was the best sport, The player who has the most votes gets the sportsmanship award. Amazing when you do it... Try it.
Plan an hour for set-up, and an hour for each round and another hour to clean up.
"Hahahah! You losers! I told you so!!"
So, I've kinda been avoid this thread all day... I really wanted to give it some thought before I jump in. This is a great topic and one that will serve to help future event organizers.
The only real event type that I can comment on is the Semi-Casual Monthly Tournament. Yes, Gencon SoCal was the first tournament, but Boom and I didn't really know what we were doing. We just got some cool trophies and put it out there for whoever to show.
We were fortunate though. The basic setup we used was stable enough, that it worked great... and is still, basically, the same setup we use today.
The focus on this type of tournament is timing. Most guidlines were put in place to keep the tournament time down to a minimum (4-5 hours).
Roving Monthly Tournaments
HOST (players pay $5 entry fee)
Each month there is an open invitation to who would like to host the next event. The host is responsible for coordinating the event and finding a location. Often the Host will ask for help setting up, bringing extra terrain, etc.
Materials: Tournament Sheets and Matchup Cards
Tournament Sheets are where players can write their rosters (4-400 point prebuilt armies), who their opponent is each round (and what army their opponent played), and their score for each round.
click image for larger view
Matchup Cards were developed by Allskulls. It is a system that generates random matchups for the first 5 rounds of play, where no two players ever match up against eachother twice AND no one player will ever play on the same map twice (on 5 maps). There is also a "bye" card that can be used in the event of an odd number of participants. Allskulls can comment on this further. This is a great sytem that drastically reduces the down time between rounds. Also the fun of knowing who your opponents will be makes trash talking easier.
Prizes are bought by the Host, based on an expected number of guest. The Host is reimbursed with the entry fee money. The amount of prizes are adjusted to match the amount of money collected from the participants. Typically 1st and 2nd are assured prizes, but often there are plenty of prizes for everyone (as some participants bring extra prizes). The winner gets 1st pick and so on.
1st 3 rounds are determined by Matchup Cards. At the beginning of the 4th round, any undefeated players are matched up. If there are an odd number of Leaders, Total Points are used to add another player to the Finals/Semifinals.
Point totals (per round) are calcuated as:
Your remaining points + Opponents defeated points (possible 800 points per round)
Win/Loss record takes priority over points.
Player's are responsible for bringing all their own materials (except terrain).
Any House Rules are declared by the Host in advance of the tournament (weeks/days).
Rounds are timed at 40 minutes. Once the timer sounds, players must finish their current round quickly.
All maps are made up of no more than 1 Master Set and 1 of each terrain expansion (there have been some exceptions) and are clearly labled "Map A, Map B, etc.). If possible maps are posted before the tourney, but not required. Maps are picked based on their balance. Some maps contain a glyph or two. Players are allowed to exceed their starting zone if they cannot fit their army. In that case their opponent may setup beyond their starting zone as well. Cheese Armies are allowed (at this time), but discouraged (and frowned upon).
We mostly play for fun, and have been experimenting with new ideas. We will be having our 5th monthly tourney tommorrow, General specific. Food is either BYO or we chip in for pizza. We have also had great BBQ's. We started small but are growing.
Recent Games Played:
You all so rock, I really mean it, how great is this to have all this info posted.
I only made one tourney, ScreamingT's in CLyde Ohio, but it ran really smootly, he basically did all that was mentioned above. I think all the above info is right on the mark. Thanks all.
I like the idea of everyone trying to bring prizes, but I understand if some of the younger players don't.
I have been throwing around the idea of hosting a little tourney, and was thinking of trying a 3 person swedish style tourney, just to do something different, a 3 person free for all. Of course the first down fall would be needing enough people to fill the extra slots, but besides that I really like the idea. IF any one has any idea of hosting 3 way battle tourney, post awy, please, thanks in advance
Love the game sheet, how nice
Heroscape - The Game I Have Waited My Whole Life For!
GenCon - a must for any true Scaper!
I just want to mention that I have talked to Sandra and she has 18 Master sets available for anyone who wants to host a big tourney and does not havce the supplies. The cost to ship to and from your location could be around $250, so you would have to structure that tourney in such a way so that it would cover the cost. This is not really necessary for a local event as your players live locally and can bring their stuff... But, if you run a tourney or other event at a big Con then you might consider this. The way to do it is to make sure that your entry fees generate enough income to cover the shipping. The best way to ensure that you make enough money is to run multiple events. Remember that there is only one charge for shipping no matter how many events you run. Say you run three events that can seat 36 people and you charge $6 per person per event. Lets say you don't max out but get like 30 to show up for each event... Well that is $540. That would cover shipping and prizes.
"Hahahah! You losers! I told you so!!"
GB & Sandra - there are some points to think about:
* Maybe I remembered it wrong, but I thought $50 had been mentioned as the approximate cost of shipping. Maybe that was one-way?
* If it is $250, that is 12 Master Sets worth on a 2-for-1 sale, as we all know. It would of course be better to purchase HS product for continual re-use than it would be to pay money to UPS and not gain product.
* Some (actually, the majority AFAIK) of the game conventions don't charge money for events.
Those estimates GB mentioned are rather ... shall we say, large.
3 events of 30 participants each at $6 is 3 FULL days of large tournaments. AFAIK, Gencon didn't even have 30 participants in 3 events (the general tournaments & NGS were smaller than 30), but please mention if it did (even though Gencon is >3 times bigger than any other game convention).
The amount of people effort involved in putting on that many events is problematic. Those are full-time jobs, all-day long.
Plus, AFAIK when an event fee is mandated by the con, the money isn't given to the HS organizer - it's given to the con. Please correct if that's false.
I believe Kublacon, for example, will not allow fees to be charged for the events, but I easily could be mistaken....
I fear that if those are the best-estimate of costs for shipping the great resource that HouseMouse has for running HS events, the shipping makes using it problematic. Which is very disappointing to me, because that's what I was hoping to encourage with this and the Envoy thread - a group of people that could have the resources to run events at game conventions, to increase industry exposure for HS.
One more applicable point on this area of running events:
If you want to support a 16-person event (which is likely a good number for any con smaller than Gencon), all it takes is 8 Master Sets.
If you want to support a 32-person event, you still could with 8 Master Sets, if you simply have the first round be an elimination round. I know this is problematic, I'm just mentioning it as a viable alternative.
The shipping estimate is from Sandra who said it cost $240 UPS. If you bought the sets too then you would have that additional money to contend with. In this case Sandra has already purchased the sets. Anyway, the Gencon events generated excess funds. As far as Gencon goes, you are allowed to set the price of admission to your events. If you just charge the minimum, then the event will not generate funds. This is appropriate for learning events and events with no prizes. But for events that have prizes and tournaments, most organizers structure the entry fee so that it covers expenses. The Gencon events I ran generated extra funds in this manner. That extra money was given back by Gencon in the form of a check.
In Texas we talked about renting a bus and driving up to Gencon and therfor being able to bring our own supplies. A big shipping bill like $240 ccould go a long way toward rental and gas.
I just mentioned these as informative alternatives for folks thinking about running a tourney.
"Hahahah! You losers! I told you so!!"
I'm kinda shocked that Gencon attendees were forced to pay extra money out of their own pocket, and it ended up being given to GENCON, who already got their money in the form of the Gencon entrance fee?
I would have completely guessed that Sandra getting the excess would make sense, since the sponsor allowed for the event to happen, and if not HouseMouseGames getting it, then you as the principal organizer should get it, due to your AFAIK monumental personal efforts in running the events.
Gencon is the LAST candidate I would have thought of that should have gotten $$$ from HS players pockets. (Well, Hasbro would be the last candidate )
Could you explain why you went that direction?
If there was some political benefit from that decision, than other organisers might be able to learn from that example and see if it's applicable at their events.
at the idea of a Heroscape Bus making the pilgrimage from TX to Gencon next year.
"Hahahah! You losers! I told you so!!"