Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Army Tournament Prep

Recently I had the pleasure of being a guest on the Ohiohammer podcast with hosts Andrew and Mark (thanks guys!).  If you haven't given that cast a listen it's a really great war gaming podcast focused exclusively on Warhammer Fantasy.  It was a lot of fun and we briefly touched on a host of topics that centered around preparing for a tournament.  Since we really only scraped the surface I figured I would expand on the topic and share the full checklist that I use for tournament preparation. 

1.  Choose an army
    1. How much time do you have?
      1. New army
      2. New units in existing army
      3. Existing army
    2. What armies do you have available?
    3. What armies inspire you or do you like the look of?
    4. What type of tournament is it?
      1. Competitive versus hobby focused
    5. What is your play style?
      1. Easier to play an army that matches your play style
      2. For more of a challenge use an army with a play styles out of your comfort zone.
    6. What’s the points level of the tournament?
NOTE – I don’t look at the competitiveness of the army compared to other armies (tier level) when choosing an army. For the most part I pick what looks cool.
2.  Create an army list
    1. Theme, Fluff and back-story
      1. Try to have an original take on something.
        1. Be creative and make your army stand out.
      2. Has to be plausible in the context of the Warhammer universe.
        1. It works better if it’s not counter intuitive to what we players collectively hold to be true.
      3. Attempt to make it cannon when possible.
        1. Do your research.
        2. Correct geography, timelines, color schemes, heraldry, etc.
      4. Select units that fit the theme.
        1. This does mean that sometimes you will take suboptimal choices.
      5. Name your characters and write your back story.
    2. Painting and Modeling
      1. Pick units you will enjoy painting.
      2. Pick units that have good modeling and painting potential.
        1. Make sure the end result is easy for the opponents to identify.
      3. Select existing units that showcase better paint jobs.
      4. Consider the painting checklist and give yourself a reasonable chance of getting most of the points (3 colors, conversions, display board, etc.)
      5. Work out the basic tenets of how you will paint and model the army.
        1. Color scheme
          1. Techniques you will use.
        2. Work out conversions on paper.
          1. Sketch out design concepts.
          2. Determines what model/bits you will use.
        3. Unit fillers, movement trays and display boards that extend your theme.
    3. Freshness Factor
      1. Always get something new into every tournament army
        1. New army
        2. New theme on existing army
        3. New units in existing army
        4. Different army composition than you would normally see.
    4. Scenario
      1. Consider the scenarios and objectives when building the list.
    5. Sportsmanship
      1. Build an army fun to play and to play against.
      2. Get your list in on time.
3.  Create a Painting and Modeling Checklist
    1. Create a priority list of what you need to paint and model. Start with the "must haves" followed by the "nice to haves"
      1. Must haves are stuff that fill holes in your collection and you need them to field that army list.
      2. Nice to haves are bonus models/units that are improvements over existing models/units in your collection.
    2. Break each model/unit down to a list of activities (clean, prime, basecoat, etc)
      1. Tie common activities together (priming)
    3. Move anything time consuming like sculpting higher up on the list.
    4. Move risky stuff like new techniques higher up on the list so you can find out quickly if it is going to work. Gives you more time to work out an alternative.
    5. Consider how you are going to transport and store the army.
    6. If timing is tight be honest on what you can accomplish and set realistic targets for those activities.
    7. The goal is to wrap up all your painting and modeling so that you are finished with time to spare. This will give you the time you need to handle all the stuff you forgot about or didn’t expect.
4.  Do it
  1. Keep your eye on the prize.
    1. It’s supposed to be fun.
  2. Avoid distraction and wasted effort.
    1. Dedicated hobby area that is clean and organized.
    2. Prefer to listen to podcasts instead of having the TV on.
  3. Be flexible as you may have to adjust your plan if you get a new idea or something doesn’t work out as you anticipate.
  4. For units I typically paint in batches of 5 usually starting with the front rank.
  5. If possible alternate between characters/unique models and troops/units.
  6. Document your paint recipes and techniques so that you can replicate it in the future.


TheCrankyLawyer said...

Holy shit!!! This looks like one of my law school outlines!!!

Post a Comment