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About this blog

My adventures leading up to and running 'Blood Tithe - International AoS Club Championship

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Marc Wilson

The Numbers Game

Invariably tournaments are born of ‘wouldn’t it be cool if…’ foundations and I dare say a good many such ideas wither and die under the harsh lights of practicality. The five big considerations are when, where, how many and how much? Of course that’s only four – the fifth is special. The fifth is ‘if I build it will they come’.

When
Two years ago this was a simple matter of choosing the date that suited you. Not so now – at least not in the UK. There are some monolithic tournaments in the calendar, rightfully etched in stone; Blood and Glory, SCGT, Slaughter, Facehammer… and more. It can be the done thing to put a date in a couple of weeks prior and label it a ‘warm up event’ (a good bet if you want to run a 1 dayer), it’s probably suicidal to slap your event in on the same date or immediately afterwards.  The UK ‘scene’ seems to pretty much self-govern itself to these ends. Blood Tithe – International AOS Team Event takes place 2-4th March, purposefully distant from other events.

Where
This has many facets. There are hotspots in the UK and comparable deserts. London and the SE are proportionally scarce – no doubt in light of the expense (perceived or otherwise), high running costs and miserable denizens! However, it’s no secret that most of the UKs population lives there – so that should get a good reception, right? It also has to be easily reachable by road and public transport  - especially for the all-important Sunday trek home.

How Many
Often linked to ‘Where’ – how many people you want also correlates with ‘How Much’. How many people do you need to meet the running costs of events. Events in London do have high running costs – Blood Tithe is no different, and to that end more people are needed to get the event over the balance line. 60 is also the magic number for ranking points – the minimum number to garner the winner 100 points. Most big two day events aim for 100 players but often fall short. I don’t know why this is – late drop outs seem the most plausible explanation. We’ve gone for 80 players – 20 teams… nice round numbers.

How Much
Much debated, often fiercy, the cost of the event can have an effect on ‘How Many’ and ‘If I build it will they come’. For me the ticket cost is almost immaterial; whether £30 or £50 or £65 for a GW event ticket, because when you’ve factored in travel, hotel, drinks, food, models, paints etc the % difference in the ticket price as a proportion of the overall cost is negliable. I would imagine it’s overwhelmingly the case that TOs set their price against their projected expenditure. Is anyone ever getting rich from running tournaments? Doubt it. Even if make a little on top of their forecast where does that go? Back in to the tournament – because TOs surely want to ensure people don’t have a s**t time.

If I build it will they come
By getting the first four right, yeah, they should. Blood Tithe has been set up to work – domestically and internationally. Traction is important. Podcast tournaments get plenty of traction. Will I have to do a podcast? Hope not – thick northern accents and a stutter don’t bode well! J. I’m banking on positivity winning the day – and good project management of course – can’t hope to succeed without that. If you like what you read, what you see, please tell others. I really hope me and the South London Legion boys can make this a success and a fixture in the calendar.

Marc Wilson

1.1 Motivation

Do you want a job requiring probably hundeds of hours of work with no pay and the possibility of financial liabilities? Yes? Welcome new TO!

The AoS calendar, at least in the UK, is jam-packed full of tournaments . So in full, in fact, that you could probably do 40 tournaments a year if you were stuffed full of cash, passionate about motorways… and were very, very single. People all over the UK - and beyond - give up their time and take on board sizable responsibilities to provide entertainment for others – often exposing themselves to wilds of social media, chippy comments and the risk of losing money.

It’s not altruistic of course. TO’s volunteer their services within an environment they enjoy, for people they often know and to further a game they’re passionate about. The drive of ego can’t be denied, whether the unconscious motivation is testing one’s personal identity or winning plaudits from others –putting on bigger and better tournaments than the last one. Some TO’s may need an objective – something to aim for to drive them through life’s mundanaities . It’s not the money though. It would be more ‘profitable’, I dare say, to spend the equivalent hours walking the streets picking up loose change on the pavement. That’s not to say that some bigger tournaments won’t make a ‘profit’ but in almost any case I can recollect this is pumped back into making free content – the other side of the same coin and a right which can’t be denied.

My own personal motivations are pretty varied. I’m not one for deep self-examination but on the top level:

·         I’ve always been a bit of an organiser; events, football teams, projects and governance – whether professional or for fun. Mostly this emanates from me wanting to take part in something which won’t happen unless I make it. I guess this is very a common motivation for TO’s.

·         My experiences of running club competitions (winning the annual club competition that I organised still gives me a drunken, self-satisfied feeling that’s difficult to recreate) and small one-dayers have been wholly positive. There’s a certain level of adrenaline which is mildly addictive.

·         It’s nice to collaborate. My best work is done in conjunction with others – it keeps that motivation going. I’m already enjoying the banter with the South London Legion gang.

·         I’m relatively time rich – by my own standards – though that time is spent rooted on the 05.43 from Eastbourne. I know that I need to make this time in some way valuable (other than to furnish my loving family with a lifestyle to which they have become accustomed!)  and not to just spend it with my face pressed up against a rain-flecked window wondering where it all went wrong. Long projects with quality resolutions. I’ve written 2 and ¾ books mildly well received books on trains – but talk about picking up loose change…

·         The London events issue. Peeps in the South East are pretty hard done by when it comes to events. High running costs and wariness of others as to the expensiveness of ‘down south’ keep them to a minimum (which I get, being a northerner). Unfortunate, you would say, as this is where most of the population lives. I kinda want to bust this myth, and so do the others.
 

…and that’s me. Nothing too unusual or eye-opening in that. I expect large portions of this will resonate with other TO’s. I’ll keep this going focusing on more practical aspects, probably on a weekly basis.  It’s Monday morning, 06.48, and I’m one down - so that augers well.

 

mx
 

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