Warhammer Achievements 2011 - Follow-up Interview

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Back in March cerebros interviewed Steve Wren about his then forthcoming tournament "Warhammer Achievements". Now the dust has settled cerebros interviews Steve again to see how the event went.

Q1. First off, before we get into the meat of this interview, how did the day go?

Great. It was an early start, but I had managed to get a few friends to help set up the tables whilst I organised all the computer stuff and got all the rules packs and tokens out for everyone. When I went to look round I discovered that the guys had set up the bottom table with nothing but 40k scenery which I quite liked, so we'll keep that in next year!

All the games went smoothly with very few rules queries and the lists people were rocking for the most part suited the event. There were some disasters like Andy Davies' Marauder Cavalry list which was pretty terrible and also failed to get him many achievements but I think he had fun. There were also some tough lists. One Skaven list in particular was pretty nails and Tim Fisher's Dark Elf list was fairly tasty, but no-one really minded.

When I looked at the results the best players still were the ones battling it out for best general (Tim, Fabien Quin and Ben Johnson) whilst the overall Achievement winners came from further down the field. In the end there were seven prizes and seven different winners - I think that pretty much meant that the tournament worked how I hoped it would.

Q2. Just to take a few steps back for a minute, when did you first have the idea for Warhammer Achievements?

Quite early on this year. We had an AGM at the Dragon Slayers and I started thinking about something that we could do that would be a bit different. The achievements idea sprung from an idea I had had ever since the bingo sheets went round at the South Coast GT in 2010. From there it was just a case of writing a rules pack that would fit and I got a lot of encouragement to keep working at it from the guys down the club.

Q3. Did you approach anyone on the tournament scene for advice about running the event or read any articles?

Not really, although I did get a lot of advice from Tim Fisher, of Maelstrom Games fame, and a fellow Dragon Slayer. He was able to just let me know what I would need for the day - things like making sure that I had a printer available and little things like that. And the other guys at the Dragon Slayers helped think up a few of the achievements.

Q4. What were you most nervous about before the event started?

Data entry and not making any errors. The spreadsheet that I had to create on Excel had a lot of opportunity for errors and I was worried it would not work or that there would be some unforeseen errors.

Q5. How did running the event on the day go? Did the players have any problems with recording the achievements or did keeping track of them all give you any problems?

In terms of my data entry it was not as stressful as I thought it was going to be. The spreadsheet worked well and using highlighters as I went through the sheets made it easy to keep track of what achievements had been entered and claimed in each game. With a little help from one of the players we got the scores through quickly and were able to get the round draws up pretty fast too, and in fact we could have finished early except for one game that ran on till the final minutes.

I think the players got to grips with recording their achievements too. Luckily there were a few guys there who had helped me play test the event so we had worked out how it was best to record what you got, so they were able to advise other players. I definitely think my own planning helped me a lot here. I am not always the most organised person but in this case I worked hard to get it right. It motivates you when people are paying you money for something!

Q6. There was a mixture of positive and negative achievements in the rules pack. Did anyone appear to be trying to get a high number of negative achievements?

To be honest the negative achievements worked beautifully as an inbuilt comp system. Up to game three there was only one negative achievement that had been claimed. Fabien got wind of this though, and in his last game managed to rack up five or six to win the award (he also finished dead last on the achievements list though!)

Q7. What has the feedback been like from the players who attended?

Really positive. During the day everyone said that they were really enjoying the event and the atmosphere. I think the only negative was to do with some slightly blurry printing on an amendment I made to the player record sheet the night before, but if that is the only thing I have to change I will be more than happy. I am waiting to see what the Bad Dice guys and Twogamer: Radio chaps have to say about it on their podcasts too. . .

Q8. Have any other tournament organisers approached you about using this rules pack in their own events?

Nope, which I quite like. Hopefully it will be its own unique event each year.

Q9. Now that it's over and done with (for this year...) what are the lessons you take away after having run your first event?

Firstly that running an event is not as scary as I thought it would be! It really is easy to get an event off the ground if you have a good idea and a bit of planning. The most nervous part was waiting for tickets to sell - it wasn't like the SCGT with tickets selling out in a few hours!

In terms of the event itself, there are a few things I would change. We found that people were getting loads of achievements in the first game and then less and less over the course of games two and three. Next year I want to break the achievements up into game specific ones, so that there is an opportunity to get more each game.

I also need to look at the wording of some of the scenarios. They all worked well but there was a little bit of confusion on the pub scenario which turned what some players thought was a draw into a defeat and it was easily avoided. Luckily for me everyone accepted the ruling that I gave when I explained it.

Q10. And finally. . . Will Warhammer Achievements be back next year?

Absolutely! Still a one day event but hopefully with a few more people!

About the author

cerebros

cerebros has been back into Warhammer since October 2008, since which time he has failed to finish painting any units in his army. It was his tactical genius that David Moyes based Manchester United's 2013-14 season on.