Controversial musings ?
As this series of rarely connected random posts I call my Blog continues, I am beginning to realise that my posts mostly go unread so I thought I might make a comment online about the state of the Know Rankings and Masters as I see it. Recently a player made some comments about the Masters that made me wonder if it is “Fit for Purpose” in this expanded and glorious Sunny uplands of Kings of War. Please bear in mind that this is, in exactly the same manner as that Players remarks, only my humble opinion and ideas and is not in any way endorsed by the KoWMasters Committee( in fact I imagine they won’t like it very much) I do think some are good ideas and some are perhaps mediocre but at least they are going out into the world wide web for my Reader to see and I no longer have to carry them around as an unshared burden in my already ramshackle brain box. Feel free to agree or disagree as you wish.
The Masters has developed from a time when there was a small handful of doughty Warriors traveling up and down the Country taking part in Tournaments. Mostly a select group that can be heard at current events harking back to the days of Kings of War being 16 players and a Goat , always the same faces and the same Goat(probably).
Fast forwards a Decade (skilfully bypassing the pandemic and the explosion of online gaming it created) and we find a thriving UK Community with players spread over the whole of these Isles. The tournament scene is in full recovery and smaller events are springing up, so many events that already some weekends are double or treble booked, this is a great state of play for players but not so much for TO’s as everyone is clamouring for these events to be ranked and to provide the maximum number of ranking points possible. This in turn can result in TO stress as they vie for punters.
Dividing the KoW playing UK into Regions ( even more than has already been done, see below) would be the initial step to be taken to allow KoW to flourish in each individual Region.
The current system relies on the Top 16 players in a UK wide Tournament Ranking list being invited to a Masters event held, at a location decided by a volunteer committee, early in the season to decide the UK’s top Know player from the previous season. The pool of players being the whole UK. Recently the Masters Committee have also included the players that have scored “Best in Race” into the Masters, presumably for some of the better players to feed on during the scramble to supremacy? Or just to boost the numbers.
The system I am proposing utilises the existing structure for the KoWMasters and draws from experience gained from many years being part of similar bodies and schemes. Firstly the current “All in” system seems a bit unfair as it rewards areas that have a high concentration of players over areas where there are not as many.
Currently the KoW Masters Committee are divided into regions that each committee member represents South East, South West, Midlands, North East, North West and Scotland – Currently Wales comes under the South West and Ulster doesn’t exist.
If each Region had 5 spaces at the Masters this would result in a 30 space tournament – nearly double what is currently invited -without the need to pad out with the Best of Race mob. But with the added kudos of already being the Masters of the particular Region then competing to be the UK Master for a Year.
To facilitate this division the tournament scene itself would have to change slightly.
TO’s would run tournaments as normal, registered via the KoWMasters site and these would be allocated a region based on Geography , Players would do the same. Certain events would be designated as “Open” tournaments whose scoring was available to any players no matter the region they came from and other events that were close to the borders of regions should be nominated as available for both those regions to participate at. Then the results would be put on the ranking site as they are now to show off the prowess of the individuals – the only addition being the extra column that denotes the region they live in. At close of play on the season the invites to the Top five players in each region will be sent out in order to populate the Masters event for the season. Having the Masters split equally between the regions also makes sense for the Tournament itself to be in a central location as then no Region will have the weight of numbers required to influence the committees decision on venue choice.
The way Tournaments are scored at the moment is beginning to creep back into the realm of there only being a point in turning up for Big Two Day events with lots of players in order to score the 300+ points required to qualify for the Masters , so the emphasis will shift away from one day events which will be detrimental to the hobby, but by containing the Regions to competing amongst their Peers it allows more people to qualify to the Masters by winning smaller events within their own region without forcing those regions to try and put on events that they can’t support ( looking at you Scotland) thus making the Masters itself a more open and representative event rather than the same people year in and year out. Even if the Committee continue the Masters as it is the Scoring Paradigm Seriously needs looking at before it strangles out one day Tournaments entirely!
But this would result in a lot more admin and work I hear you say ? then allow the Regional representatives to organise Sub committees of TO to organise the local KowMasters events and admin thus leaving the actual KoWMasters Committee free to organise the thing they were created for in the first place – the running of the Masters Event itself once a year to make it more of a spectacle rather than an afterthought as it seems at the moment.
The levy of £1 per player at a Tournament which is then donated to the central fund for the KoW Masters would allow the Website to be maintained as it currently relies on donations anyway? any surplus can be plowed back into the actual Masters event itself in the form of scenery or making “Masters Dice” to give away at the event, many things such as this are not available at the moment due to the ad-hoc way the Kowmasters is run at the moment.
As I said at the beginning this is all the product of my thinking. I have been involved in a lot of Wargaming infrastructure and committees that have helped me to form some of these ideas and these have been bubbling away for quite a while, However the purpose of this article is to exorcise thee ideas from my train of thought to make room for new and exciting Kings of War stuff. As my reader already knows , anything I share on this Blogpage seems to go no further so its pretty save to jot down this Heresy here.