About a month ago, I ran an ITS event at my FLGS, Huzzah Hobbies. I’ve been meaning to post about it for a while, but vacation, work, and trying to get the post perfect have all conspired against that… so instead, I’ll shoot for good enough.
What Worked Well
Just about everything.
Turnout was off the charts. It was enormous. We had 27 players. Folks came down Maryland. Folks came down from Pennsylvania. A couple of folks came from Michigan. I’m fairly confident that it qualified as a Dire States event: that’s incredible for a first tournament.
Prize support was off the charts. Black Maria Designs gave us prize support and a thing for everyone who showed up. Black Sheep Industries gave us prize support. Warsenal cut us a deal on prize support. The Michigan GT had Data Tracker tokens for everyone who showed up. Myomer had a nice gift for the Wooden Spoon prize. Many, many people contributed stuff for the prize pool. There was enough stuff that Everyone Got Something, with stuff left over to go into the pool for next time.
I attribute most of that to BMinusCPlus, who did an incredible job of hustling both attendees and vendors for support. If he hadn’t been involved, we’d have had the quiet 8 person turnout I’d expected.
What Didn’t Work Well
There was a scheduling conflict that resulted in us losing about a quarter of our table space. I knew about this, and had been told there’d be no impact, but failed to do the groundwork to confirm that. In the end, everything worked out Just Fine, but there was a period there where it wasn’t clear that things would work out. In the end, we had a couple of tables smushed together, and everything got along OK. Had I done that groundwork, I’d have likely dialed back on the event size from 32 to 24.
For next time, a couple of items: I don’t think the scheduling conflict will happen again. If it does, I have a better understanding of the remaining capacity so I can adjust the event size accordingly. Finally, it was a good reminder to trust, but verify.
I also ran a poll of players after the fact and the consensus was that smushing tables together: not great but not the dramatic inconvenience we expected it to be. That data point will also help in planning better next time, as well.
What Can Be Done Better
Spirit of Infinity was scored 1-5, per player, per round. It’s not my prize to give, but I’d tweak a couple of things about how it’s scored. Only one player can get your top score. We had some folks giving out top scores like candy, and we had another withhold a top score (thinking they’d only get one) in case they played a certain other player they expected to have a great game with. This means I’d collect those scores at the end of the day, not round-to-round.
It was important to me to have an appearance award; we went with Player’s Choice. I kind of hate Player’s Choice because it’s lazy, and doesn’t necessarily result in the best painted army winning. At the same time: it’s doesn’t require much work (and who has time for more work when running an event?), and abdicates the responsibility for who should win it to the players. Regardless, I’d decided to do Player’s Choice and then stopped thinking about it. Separate score sheets might have made things easier, and no accommodation was actually made to do the review: hadn’t scheduled it, hadn’t prepped player numbers to go by armies, etc. Player’s Choice doesn’t need much planning, but it needed more than it got. Next time, it’ll get it