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WFB: It’s Time to Play – Part 9: Tournament Prep

9 Minute Read
May 31 2014
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It is five weeks (less than that by the time this posts) until Wet Coast GT and I haven’t even settled on an army list yet, I feel disorganized and behind schedule but that is probably just me everyone else seems to enjoy being down to the wire and planning their lists or painting madly…

Running events has taken such a roll center stage for me that I had almost forgotten the joys–and stress–of
simply being a participant. Wet Coast is one of my favorite events to attend and I really need to get myself organized and ready to go.

I might be writing this from the stance of my journey for Wet Coast, but most of this applies no matter what tournament or convention you want to attend. The first thing I had to do was make one, seemingly simple decision:

Am I going?

I am still trying to figure out why I feel so disorganized this time, but more so it remains undetermined whether I am so methodical in my planning because I am a woman, a mom, an event organizer, an administrator or a combination of those things or if it is something unrelated, but whatever it is, this year I feel I have really fallen behind. Wet Coast confirmed their dates several months ago and for the first time since I began attending I only just finalized the decision.
I typically run through a quick mental checklist when I am deciding whether or not to attend an event:
  • Do I have a babysitter
  • Do I have the weekend free
  • Does my husband have the weekend free
  • Do I have the finances
  • Is my army ready to go
Babysitter: while this does not apply to everyone for me it is a crucial factor. Most tournaments I attend are 2-3 day events that require travel: I have 3 children. For both my husband and I to be able to attend or even just me (he works away a good part of the year) we need to ensure the kids are taken care of. Asking family or friends seems like a simple thing but if you have your own children you understand that debate of “is it really fair to ask them to take on so much for X days so I can go play a game?” I have been really quite lucky with my desire to attend events that most of the ones I attend my parents or my husbands’ parents have been able to watch the kids, but not everyone has that possibility.
Free Weekend: Work, family, religious commitments…time is precious and there always seems to be something, plus the kids have activities, my husband works out of town…It happened to us earlier this year that one of the conventions I have attended for a few years changed the weekend they are held and now it co-insides with the birthday of one of my kids for me that was a no brainer: family first. But sometimes the decision is not nearly as easy to decide.
Finances:  Attending a tournament is sometimes only the cost of the entry, but when you travel you have to consider more: housing, which usually means hotel cost and for me–being the only female–that means the whole charge whereas most of the guys share a room and therefore split the costs; food; gas and transportation. An average tournament weekend for me ranges in cost from $200-$500 and I don’t even drink! 
As I just purchased our event tickets this week, that should make it obvious that I was able to work everything out so I can go, and my husband too!

Be Prepared

It is not just the theme for boy scouts, its a fact. If you’re like me and attend multiple tournaments in a year, this isn’t your first rodeo so you should have some idea of what you need to do to be ready and what you need to bring. My husband works out of town so we have a mental checklist of everything he needs to take with him when he goes in and what has to be done when he’s home to make sure that everything is ready when he goes back, planning for a tournament is no different.

I found it interesting though, and slightly comical that in my frazzled state of making checklists of what I would need for this tournament that I had something for reading rules and painting models and yet when I told the guys here that I was writing about tournament prep they all said things that I hadn’t even got to yet: things to pack. While my list included everything from super glue to objective markers to my make up bag.

The guys gave me this list of things to pack:

  • Aspirin (to help with headaches and hang overs)
  • Halls/Cough Drops (to help sooth your throat after yelling/talking over each other)
  • Deodorant (don’t think putting it on first thing in the morning is enough, reapply at breaks and lunch!)
  • Alcohol
  • Protein bars, Apples & Orange (healthy snacks to help get you through the days)

My own list looked more like this (I am not going into detail on all these things):

  • Review Rules and Scenarios
  • Decide which army to bring (first time I’ve ever had 2 armies to choose from)
  • Build an army list (or three or four in my case)
  • Make sure the models are painted
  • Make display board (or make a better one in my case)
  • double check babysitter is still good to go
  • book hotel 
  • book ferry reservation
  • do the laundry
  • clean the house
  • pack bags for kids
  • pack my suitcase
  • load the car

Rules and Scenarios

I’ve said this a few time in my articles but I will say it again: Scenarios are an important read and could be the

difference between winning and losing. Some tournaments have composition rules that might determine what you are allowed to win, but Wet Coast has recently adapted a similar format to the Kippers’ event I ran last year where there is no comp but the scenarios have specifications that make a difference.

You can view the Wet Coast Fantasy Rules (click here) or scenarios (click here) if you want to read through them all, but basically the scores are broken into points for Win/Loss/Draw, points for holding objectives, and points for special/secret mission cards that we’ll get at the event. The thing: s that might affect what you are bringing though are the parts that tell you victory conditions: claiming units have banners, rank bonus, number of wounds, etc.

Army List

I hate building army lists, I’m not good at knowing what the best units are, what the best gear to give them are, or even what characters are best. 
For Wet Coast I can’t even decide whether to bring Bretonnians or Empire.
  • Bretonnians: Totally painted, display board already done, been playing them for a long time so I know how to use them and how I will fare with them, army list is done (nothing would change from the last 2500 point list I used).
  • Empire: most are unpainted still, I’ve only been using a few unit types, if I bring them the Griffin HAS to be one of them (I have an itch for playing an army with a monster in it), they are the army I have been using lately so they are really all I can think about, there’s a lot of work that has to be done to get them ready.
Even as I type I realize that I am leaning toward the Empire.
If I do bring the Empire what do I bring? I’m terrible at writing army lists and I don’t play the same way other people think so I can’t let anyone else build my list for me. These are the mandatory/already decided points:
  • General on Griffin must come
  • BSB is a must have
  • 50 man unit of Halberds is a must have
  • Light Council is a NO
  • Luminark/Huricannum are both NO
Here’s the list I am toying with (thank gooodness for Army Builder so I don’t have to retype it all).

General of the Empire (2#, 429 pts)
   1 General of the Empire, 279 pts = (base cost 95 + Imperial Griffon 170 + Pistol 5 + Full Plate Armour 9) + Imperial Griffon 55
      1 Imperial Griffon, 55 pts = (base cost 0 + Bloodroar 25 + Two Heads 30)
      1 Giant Blade, 60 pts
      1 Enchanted Shield, 5 pts
      1 Dawnstone, 25 pts
      1 Ironcurse Icon, 5 pts

Warrior Priest (1#, 114 pts)
   1 Warrior Priest, 69 pts = (base cost 65 + Heavy Armour 2 + Shield 2)
      1 Talisman of Preservation, 45 pts

Captain of the Empire (1#, 101 pts)
   1 Captain of the Empire (Battle Standard Bearer), 91 pts = (base cost 60 + Full Plate Armour 6 + Battle Standard Bearer 25)
      1 Banner of Eternal Flame, 10 pts 

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Battle Wizard (1#, 125 pts)
   1 Battle Wizard, 100 pts = (base cost 65 + Level 2 Upgrade 35)
      1 Dispel Scroll, 25 pts 

State Troops (75#, 480 pts)
   49 Halberdiers, 314 pts = 49 * 6 (base cost 6) + Musician Mus 10 + Standard Bearer Std 10
      1 Sergeant, 16 pts
      25 [Det] Halberdiers, 150 pts = 25 * 6 

Knightly Orders (10#, 280 pts)
   9 Inner Circle Knights, 245 pts = 9 * 25 (base cost 22 + Inner Circle Knights 3) + Musician Mus 10 + Standard Bearer Std 10
      1 Preceptor, 35 pts = (base cost 32 + Inner Circle Knights 3) 

Wizard Lord (1#, 165 pts)
   1 Battle Wizard Lord, 165 pts 

Master Engineer (1#, 65 pts)
   1 Master Engineer, 65 pts

War Engines (4#, 120 pts)
   1 Helstorm Rocket Battery, 120 pts 

War Engines (4#, 120 pts)
   1 Helblaster Volley Gun, 120 pts 

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War Engines (4#, 120 pts)
   1 Great Cannon, 120 pts 

Demigryph Knights (6#, 378 pts)
   5 Inner Circle Knights, 310 pts = 5 * 58 (base cost 58) + Musician Mus 10 + Standard Bearer Std 10
      1 Preceptor, 68 pts

If you feel like voicing an opinion about the list please do so. I am one of those players that looks at all the army lists floating around the Internet as “the best” and refuse to use them, no matter how tried and tested they are simply because that just isn’t how I play. I don’t think cut throat, I think about the fun I want to have and how I want to use units that look cool and that I enjoy playing, not just units that are optimal for reason x, y & z but I always like to hear what other people think about the lists I do make.

What is Wet Coast???

I realize that I haven’t told you the first thing about Wet Coast.
Up until last year Wet Coast was known as WCP-GT. It was a fantasy only 2 day bragging rights

tournament hosted by gaming club WCP’s President Dan Miner. Last year Dan allied with A-Club and others and expanded things to include other games as well, but maintained the bragging rights feel.

Dan has long advocated for a great atmosphere at the fantasy event and I think he’s succeeded.
Everyone meets up Friday night for open games and then at the hotel Saturday morning where the first round is typically a grudge match round, at lunch everyone goes out together, at dinner most people go somewhere together and then out afterwards or back to the hotel for more games, Sunday morning is breakfast together at IHOP, then back up for the last two games. If you don’t know everyone when you arrive at the event you should by the time you leave! 
It really is meant for people to have fun together not just worry about winning or losing. If you can come you should, we have a blast.

The Next One

It was described to me by a sibling that Warhammer tournaments are like drugs: I attend one tournament and by the end of it I am twitchy and plotting how to get to the next one. Sadly, its true for most tournament gamers: I have already seen people planning for 2016 event attendance.
I have a lot of work to do to get ready for Wet Coast: with 5 weeks if I take the Empire I have nearly the entire army to paint and a display board to make, if I take the Bretonnians I need to practice–check out my personal blog to follow my progress. Are you like many of my friends that wait to the last minute to decide about your tournament preparations or are you like me with lists and trying to plan things out month’s in advance?


Jen A
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