Sunday, March 31, 2013

Covering the battlefield

There are a lot of logistics involved in organizing a grand tournament.  One major aspect of those responsibilities revolves around terrain -- it's important to have enough, to have pieces of quality people will be happy to pay to play on, and to appropriately control and categorize individual pieces so that they can be properly stored and transported.  I thought it might be interested to give you a glimpse at what's being done for the Golden Throne Grand Tournament 2013 in that arena.

Here's a snapshot showing terrain requirements for a 128-player tournament.

The unique tournament format for the Golden Throne allows for 128 players.  That's 64 tables, or over 1500 square feet of battlefields under one roof.  It's also a big crowd of players you don't want to disappoint with terrain that's lacking (or with a lack of terrain).  The old rule of thumb was 25% coverage, but that doesn't really jive with sixth edition missions -- instead the goal here is for a minimum of 30% coverage, or over 450 square feet of terrain (that's the estimated need, at least; the actual goal is 500).  The breakdown continues past that, displaying the estimated number of pieces of each type of terrain necessary to provide that coverage.  It's not just raw coverage that matters, though.

A great corner ruin, one of the cornerstones of tournament terrain.

The quality and diversity of terrain is as important as the amount of it.  No one wants to play on a table covered in Coke cans or old textbooks covered in felt -- what everyone wants is to be so deeply immersed in a game that, just for a moment, they can forget it's just a game and be drawn into it as if they were watching a great film.  The tournament format for the Golden Throne is built around that, emphasizing enjoyable, cinematic games rather than time-crunching turns and a race against the clock.

When I first saw this I thought, "What happened here?"
 Great terrain can tell a story.  I'm excited for the Golden Throne this year because that's the goal -- beautiful terrain, a relaxed tournament format, and great stories.