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Marc Wilson

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Marc Wilson last won the day on July 21 2017

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  1. Have there? Which TO? Unless you want to put your money where your mouth is you should provide some kind of evidence and not perpetuate this kind of myth.
  2. There has been some recent debate on Twitter about how much tournaments should cost, and to some degree whether it’s either acceptable for an organiser to make money from them, or to run them at a loss. Whether it’s acceptable (if unhelpful) for an organiser to conform with consumer rights or whether the informal status quo is king. The conversation has focussed solely on the expected obligations of organisers but the obligations of players.. are as of yet untouched. During the End Times, when things really did come to an end, tournaments were costing around £35-40. Most of the time, for that, you got a length of green emulsioned MDF and a request to bring your own terrain, or to use whatever was provided, suitable scale or not. Player brought terrain could range from the sublime to outrageous monstrosities. It didn’t matter that much as 8th Ed WFB had a more distant relationship to terrain than, say, 40k or modern day AoS. Food – from memory, was fairly industrial or absent. Streaming hadn’t been invented and excel took a pounding. If you weren’t there for the awards you might get your result in a couple of days, or not at all. You couldn’t Whatsapp your question to the TO but rather had to sometimes wait rather a long time for a reply to an email. I remember sending three emails over as many weeks to a prominent organiser to be rewarded with a one-word answer. There has been much progress. Prices today, after inflation (2015-present), would be around £40-45. Tournament pricing is still pegged (should that be anchored) to the cost of tournaments at the end of 8th Ed WFB when the overall product incurred much less capital expenditure and, generally speaking, experience expectations of attendees were somewhat lower… the default expectancy now being mats, terrain, fancy venue, artisan hand-crafted stone baked flatbreads using first-press olive oil and fairtrade manchego cheese etc etc – and people do it. The standards have generally risen in parallel with Age of Sigmar’s ascendency. The price of ticket, irrespective of the event, is responsible for only a percentage of the cost of the weekend. For example, if I’d gone on the train this weekend to Bobo or Carnage with some other dude, the costs might have looked like this: Buying and speed-painting whatever I thought I need to safeguard a 3-2 : £50 Travel : £50 Hotel : £50 Ticket : £50 Meal and drinks, snacks, etc : £50 So, the ticket price total = 20% total outlay. I’d say that’s a conservative estimate if travelling for two day events at a distance. The second night at the hotel, the second evening of sustenance. Increased outlay in the latest and greatest filth unit that you need for that event. Merch. Unplanned taxis. It wouldn’t surprise me if I’d occasionally licked 10% as the overall percentage of costs spent on THE ticket to THE event. So, what’s the impact to the player if an organiser can add a tenner on top so not walk a tightrope but could instead enhance the event from a comfortable position? Almost zero. Perhaps the answer to that is more events – more local events, where the cost is a little higher, so that the break even point in terms of numbers is lower. The willingness to pay more for a ticket could, in theory, lead to a reduction in travel and hotel costs in particular. Upfront costs worry players, but players will often blithely onboard costs closer to events making the total cost greater than if they committed earlier. There might be some science behind that? I’m not especially well-educated. A little bit of context, I’ve run some of the larger UK, non-WHW events since 2018 at various independent venues – doing a bit of research just now looks like the 6th,14th,17th & 18th / >323 by attendees. It’s been a lot of work and I definitely haven’t made any money. The first was a loss-making exercise buying mats, terrain and all-sorts. The second broke even in its own right, but didn’t put a dent in the loss. After the first two the venue costs became prohibitively expensive – doubling in two years. More than doubling actually. This left a financial loss was represented by the acquisition of hard-to-store assets which would need to be sold on or exercised in order to recoup money. Liquidising assets with questionable resale value is rather final, so I maintained a good amount. Latterly I chucked my lot in with another TO, running my events within the umbrella of a general ‘wargames convention’. He has his own astronomical fixed costs at the start of his project, and so I still carry the loss of my very first two day event. He does his thing, I do my thing, it’s a marriage of convenience in a landscape where price-efficient venues are extremely rare. I’m painting detail into this picture as I know this is NOT a tale unique to me. I mean, I absolutely know others are in the same boat. But why bother with all the hassle, the alarming bank-account and the endless hours sunk into tournaments? The search for a TOs motivation is a dive into the stygian depths of their anterior cingulate cortex. I’m certain purest altruism does not come into it, but rather ego, drive, competitiveness, perhaps exasperation, validation, self-worth, the desire to succeed.. who knows? Scratch any organiser and elements of the above will linger under the dermis, and if they weren’t running events they’d be organising some other ******. They tend to be the sort of nosey, have a go people that might end up getting shanked for interfering in a domestic in McDonalds. I really believe the notion of profit, or any financial calculations whatsoever, comes somewhat later in a rationalising stage, where you convince yourself of viability by reasoning you probably won’t lose money by embarking on the project. It does appear there is a vein of recklessness within TOs in which the impulse to ‘do’ is stronger than the impulse to ‘calculate’. For every endorphin-releasing ticket sale, nice message or socials ‘Like’ there will be cloudy thoughts of regret. Why am I spending my own money doing this? Why am I spending my free time doing this? Shouldn’t I be doing X, Y, & Z? Ultimately, the answer is that unless the event is a catastrophic failure and / or you have put yourself into a perilous financial position the feeling of pulling it off is often irresistible, and those feelings further nourished by good feedback. I can’t imagine someone thinking, ‘great, next year I will make an additional £200’ but rather, ‘next year I will change this and this, and the event will be better’. Number chasing for its own end is very questionable and probably never about the attendee but about ego and revenue generation, and the thrill of being a contributing meat-sack in an organisers grandiose ambitions is soon diminished by being jammed in like a sardine and near-passing out with starvation. The Olympic Stadium LGT and SCGT at its WFB apogee spring to mind in this regard. Being the ‘biggest’ can be a tempting indulgence but aiming for the moniker is surely at the expense of attendee’s individual experiences. So, how much do events cost to put on? There are extremes. At one end big multi-system events at decent venues cost a fortune to organise. I wouldn’t be surprised if LGT just gone, incurred £40k (no pun intended!) of fixed costs, and B&G at the cool Roundhouse, or the tennis centre venue, well into five figures. There’s a lot of commitment there. Those events have to run as a business or in a business-like manner because the risk exposure is immense, and I don’t doubt it will have caused sleepless nights. The massive sink in time means any eventual profit (I doubt it’s there now, and we’ll get onto this later) is well-earned and even then, will be disproportionally meagre. Again thinly-veiled psychological and motivational reasons I believe drives big events not money. These people tend to have relatively successful careers / businesses anyway (which generally allows them to onboard large liabilities). At the opposite end of risk-exposure you have folks running their events from stores. There are no capital costs and in the worst case the event may get pulled owing to slow sales. There are only a small handful of stores in the UK big enough for 60+ player events, so unless you already have that gig it’s not a big space to operate in. I expect there is a significant minority for whom the idea of a tournament making any kind ‘profit’ is anathema, and believe that all ticket sales should be pumped back into the experience. If this is true then more enhanced, more expensive experiences and rewards will only confer greater risks on behalf of organisers as boundaries are pushed and opex rises in line with forecasted ticket sale revenue. What’s a person’s times worth? It’s certainly not deemed worthy of anywhere approaching £8.92 an hour, or a conservative minimum of £700s worth of time for even the most basic, paint-by-numbers gaming store two-dayer. I don’t believe anyone ever sets out expecting this, nor vigouressly chases down explicit margins. I believe most people are primarily aiming to break even, and if they make a ‘profit’ it’s substantially less than the minimal wage for a task which at times is rather onerous, if not rewarding. Here’s a two-minute list of potential costs at an independent venue: Venue Hire Table Hire Chair Hire Mats Terrain Costs Materials to construct and paint terrain, protective gear Boxes for terrain storage Terrain and mat storage Terrain and mat transport costs Food costs per attendee per day Travel, hotel and food costs for organiser Travel, hotel and food costs for assistant (s) Travel, hotel and food costs for Stream Team (s) Food and drink for spare player (s) Printing materials and ink Awards and Trophies (anywhere from 5 to 30+) Prizes Patreon or Ko-fi stuff for TTO Free tickets in exchange for design / art. Tape, pens, paper, extension cables and other ****** Anyone can do their own research on any of this. It’s too easy to think, ‘wow, £50 x 80 = £4000 = profit TO lolz!!!’ # TLDR version – Bloodtithe 2021 took over 5k from sales and didn’t make anything, save recouping expenses, at £40 per ticket. (too-low 2019 carry over prices) # The hire for the chair you sat on at LGT probably cost £4, or 10% of the ticket cost. Not the table, the chair. So, playing punters are getting a steal, a bargain of artificially low prices, that might be suppressed by both a TOs desire to improve their event year on year, or by fear of breaching the generally agreed price cap. The ceiling is currently around £65. That’s what WHW charges you for a tournament in the home of Warhammer. I used to think it was pricey, notwithstanding you get a tour bundled in and a decent lunch. Now I think its stellar value (don’t blame me if the price goes up, I know they read this.. in secret). They’ve made big improvements to tables and organisation and the venue is great. A lower end two-dayer is now, what, £40? – probably minus food and probably in a municipal-ish venue. I think that could be fine, and I believe there is plenty of space to inhabit between those two figures depending on what’s being offered, where. There are a lot of events in the calendar and I expect a deluge to come in 2022, Covid permitting. A lot of events that haven’t run for a couple of years ago will re-enter the space. It will never be easier to attend a tournament and there will have never been more choice. Amongst TOs there will be ruffled feathers as some big beasts return to the fray and new people bring new projects. There have been a few silly games recently with date matching and player poaching, but at the same time no one has a mandate to protect any date. It’s courteous of course to communicate with fellow TOs and for the majority it does happen more often than not, even if dates continue to clash. It’s not 2016 and no one owns ‘the scene’. I talk to some other TOs, I expect others do likewise. We may not always see eye to eye all the time but there is probably enough of us in each other that at least the lowest level of feeling is grudging respect is present. Regardless, 2022 will be a fantastic year to be a player in the UK. ‘Some people would rather play in a bin for free than pay 50p for a table,’ so said a store owner recently. We’re no less an economically diverse bunch than other strata of society, and in some cases this is true. Many an event review I’ve listened to has been marred with exclamations of, ‘A can of coke was £1.10!’ or similar, which seems a curious thing to stick in the mind – but it surely does. Not the formatting of the pack, nor the fancy tables, nor the smoothness of the event or even the games played at a tournament. I’m still regaled and reminded of tournament food memories – good and bad – years down the line. ‘Great event – loved the burgers!’ - a compliment that makes me die inside a bit. ‘Did I bevel all that MDF for nothing!’ I silently spit… grimly accepting that such efforts are almost totally in vein. Two day events in gaming centres – these probably make a profit. Two day events in municipal halls – these will possibly make a profit. Two day events in ehh ‘more upmarket?’ places – these will likely make an initial loss which might be recouped some years later. Extrapolating the latter, the TO will gain some assets in return for financial loss… mats, terrain etc. Their partners will not be happy with the space it takes up. Every subsequent tournament reduces the loss. Eventually they might break a ‘profit’ for their four figure outlays, though I expect most of the ‘profit’ would be reflowed into increasingly better events. Initial costs can run into thousands of pounds. When places refer to our clammy-handed wargaming friends as ‘delegates’ you know you’re for a rinsing. In light of this, I contend it’s not unreasonable to afford a dutiful TO of any kind of event the opportunity to make their hobby ‘cost neutral’ and use whatever profits they might take to buy the odd box of models. I think almost universally that’s the subliminal aim on the financial side – get a little something out of it, at some point, fairs-fair. As a ‘job’ per hour spent it would surely be more lucrative spending that time picking loose change up off the pavement. And, finally, what about players obligations? Does the entry ‘fee’ the organiser is ‘paid’ dictate an abdication of responsibility? Yes, it does right now. Forgiving for a minute some cba attitudes towards list validity, submission and punctuality, more serious issues like dropping from events, during or shortly before is not really talked about – since supply outstrips demand and few people want to alienate the small pool of potential ‘customers’. Over the last week there has been a lot of flak about refunds a long way out, but recent events have been hit hard by refunds so close to the event that they incur losses. You can still see people listed for attendance at multiple events on the same day. Hedging their bets? Seeing who’s going where? Condemnation is absent and in complicitness exists that silence. There is near absolute power for a ticket buyer to do whatever they like with very few repercussions. In summary I draw some conclusions: · Events are too cheap because supply outstrips demand. · Cheaper to run events impart artificial caps on other types of events. · People can save money by paying more to help local events get better. · Practically no one makes any money which is not, at best, scant reward for time sunk. · People don’t usually strive to run bigger and better events to get rich. · Some players need to take greater responsibility themselves. I doubt much here is controversial; I felt there was quite a bit to unpack and Twitter is an especially bad medium for writing anything.
  3. I totally agree. I called this out on twitter and playtester-in-chief @Lhw said my eyesight must be going because of onanism rather than taking the issue seriously.
  4. Interesting you locked this thread about people calling it out, but happily retweeted it in your non TGA capacity.

  5. I'd gladly pay £3.99 a month for access to all those things. I strongly disagree that this is 'utterly excessive'. It's £3.99 - you can't get a beer for that, and just about a coffee, a burger or piece of cake, and you burn through consumption of those things in 5 minutes.
  6. 30 Rend -4 Irondrakes over a bridge in Tempests eye stood next to a Hurricanum.
  7. I've used Victrix models widely in my Hallowheart army, kinda classical themed. They're great models - I've used Heavily Armoured Hoplites (PG) and Gallic Naked Fanatics (flagellants) . I don't have any decent photos. The second photo was a 'bridge' test I've also used Perry Mercenaries for the handgunners. I think as long as it looks ok, you put the effort in, and it has some kind of theme you shouldn't feel bad about it. I've used these in lots of tournaments - not at GW obvs. GW have had 1000's from me and continue to enjoy my custom - just not for massed bodies.
  8. I feel the Phoenix Guard will be unaffected by points changes in the GHB as they're well costed as a stand alone unit. The only doubt seems to be if GW do away with massive regiment bonuses for the 30. Handgunners win out over crossbows for two reasons. Firstly there is a increasing need for rend in the game, and secondly they work will with the bridge, so don't really need the extra range since they'll be 9-16" away and get the bonus for not moving. The bridge is absolutely key to the list, the list doesn't work without it - it has little speed nor reach. Luckily the bonuses to cast, +3 to +8, make it a virtual certainty. I'm not sure about the Stardrake in hallowheart - you don't really need that extra + to cast, but I know it has been used to good effect in Living City.
  9. Phoenix Guard really have been the key unit for me, which they should be - since they're more than 20% of the army cost. As you can see I have Wildform in my list so typically I will bridge most of the army including the PG and give them a 6" charge with the option of a CP reroll. That's +1 from the Musician and +2 from Wildform, being 9" away after setting up around the bridge. Generally speaking I will have Pha's Protection, Mystic Shield and Ignite weapons on them, and may have already put Word of Pain through the Spell Portal. They really become a choppy, hard to hit (-1/-2 to hit), hard to kill unit who can swarm an enemy and pin them in place. They get through a lot of work and I always use them aggressively. The Aetherwings were in this list as the tournament featured both Better part of Valour and Scorched Earth, and handy they were. Khinerai are always worth their points. My lists used to contain the Incantor and Comet, but more and more the splash damage from that is not so effective - especially in the age of OBR.
  10. I took the following to the Dutch Open and wound up coming 5th. 40 Flagellants with Warding Brand was a constant, if not game winning feature. For their points they certainly have a use, more of a defensive than offensive threat - making your opponent think twice about charging them. However, they are great at charging and tagging powerful combat units. They definitely accounted for a couple of Stonehorns and Ghoul Kings over the weekend. "Allegiance: Cities of Sigmar - City: Hallowheart Mortal Realm: Aqshy Leaders Celestial Hurricanum With Celestial Battlemage (280) - Artefact: Thermalrider Cloak - Spell: Lore of Whitefire - Sear Wounds (Hallowheart Wizard) - Hallowheart 2nd Spell: Warding Brand Sorceress (90) - Spell: Lore of Whitefire - Roaming Wildfire (Hallowheart Wizard) - Hallowheart 2nd Spell: Ignite Weapons Battlemage (90) - Artefact: Whitefire Tome - All Spells - Mortal Realm: Hysh Battlemage (90) - Spell: Lore of Whitefire - Elemental Cyclone (Hallowheart Wizard) - Hallowheart 2nd Spell: Ignite Weapons - City Role: General's Adjutant (Must be 6 wounds or less) - Mortal Realm: Azyr Battlemage (90) - General - Trait: Famed Spell-hunter - Spell: Lore of Whitefire - Roaming Wildfire (Hallowheart Wizard) - Hallowheart 2nd Spell: Elemental Cyclone - Mortal Realm: Ghur Battleline 40 x Flagellants (280) 20 x Freeguild Handgunners (200) - City Role: Honoured Retinue (Must be 5-20 models) 10 x Freeguild Handgunners (100) Units 30 x Phoenix Guard (420) 5 x Khinerai Heartrenders (90) - Allies 3 x Aetherwings (50) Endless Spells / Terrain / CPs Geminids of Uhl-Gysh (60) Soulscream Bridge (80) Umbral Spellportal (70) Total: 1990 / 2000 Extra Command Points: 0 Allies: 90 / 400 Wounds: 142
  11. The second rank of 25mm base models are always within 1” range if in base to base contact so they can attack. This is indisputable - I’ve never experienced anyone playing it any other way.
  12. Are the Khineri still available? If so I will take them pls.
  13. Pack is up - the usual with a few small tweaks. Spammed this forum enough now, so will leave alone for a good few weeks, or until it sells out whichever comes first.
  14. Bloodtithe has teamed up with LGT to put on the biggest team event in town. The four-player International AOS team event - played over two days, 5 games at 2000 points. This will be a 30 team / 120 player tournament with fantastic prize support. Bloodtithe Timeline >Tickets at http://lgtpresents.co.uk/store >Captains invited to join Whatsappchat at later date. >Pack finalised when we know GW releases close to time. >Teams need not be locked down now. >Lists, as ever, locked down 2 weeks before. As previously > No realm Spells, CAs or Realmscapes. > Custom secondaries. > GHB2019 only battleplans. > 5 rounds, 2.45 hours each. > Early starts, early finishes. >👊 Entrants below:
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