Road to Clash
Part of an inane series of rambling posts mostly about Kings of War Tournaments and Terrain for them.
What motivates people to donate their time and treasure to provide wargames Tournaments to the unwashed masses? Believe me I have asked myself that a multitude of times over the past 30 years or so! It can’t be the money because there is none in Wargames Tournaments unless you are willing to build it into a mahoosive business, it isn’t a glamorous pursuit for anybody to do and the limelight is pretty small and fleeting. Each tournament that runs serenely along is accompanied by a below water frenzy of activity to make sure that everything is going to plan and any snags are dealt with without meltdowns. I don’t think your average punter can understand this until they have taken the steps of running a Tournament themselves.
With this in mind I have decided to put finger to keyboard in order to avail you of my thoughts and experiences from, what I consider to be a unique perspective, the side-lines of the T.O. team for the largest Kings of War Tournament in the UK – The Clash of Kings. Just a quick background for the Clash of Kings (or CoK as it is more commonly called), the Tournament was run by the producers of Kings of War – Mantic Entertainments – and has moved around venues in the UK for a number of Years. It has traditionally been run by the staff of Mantic themselves with some help from the KoW community. This Year is the first that the roles will be reversed in that the KoW Community has come together to run CoK with the help of Mantic staff. In order to facilitate this a committee was formed of the leading KoW T.O.s in the Country, this committee undertook to find a suitable Venue, source the Tables, scenery and Mats required in order to accommodate the largest number of KoW players brought together under one roof in the UK for a Tournament. As a Troll for the Golden Troll Events Team I have been privileged to be included in a small part of this amazing undertaking and this Blog post is my first attempt to record my participation in this ground-breaking effort for posterity and my other reader, whoever they are.
The Golden Troll Team were asked to participate in this years CoK because of their record of running Kings of War Tournaments with good scenery and a high rate of positive feedback, the Trolls on the team have years of tournament experience in multiple systems and are always happy to help other members of the Wargames community with their projects.
My main Troll Duties within Golden Troll events are mostly limited to Scenery – production and maintenance – and the occasional fetching and carrying. My participation in CoK is to be the same, the supply of Fifteen tables worth of primo wargames terrain and the accompanying mats to allow 30 of the 150 CoK participants to participate and to perform various T.O type duties over the weekend of the event. Due to a continuous programme of terrain building and maintenance I have enough scenery to accommodate the need of the CoK, but in true Golden Troll Style I have embarked upon the construction of several new “Themed” Tables to take to CoK as well as the refurbishment of the existing tables of terrain to bring them up to a higher standard as befits an event of the calibre of CoK. I have documented and photographed these builds in order to share the processes with my Blog reader and may even do a couple of TrollCasts post CoK to share some of the experiences with a wider audience.
As the Tables currently stand I have available the following mats (either owned by Golden Troll or kindly loaned to us by friendly Trolls)
Alien Planet Mat
Dark Wastelands Mat
7 Green Mats
Each of the 8 non green mats has a scenery set that matches the Mat and the green Mats have more generic scenery. The ideas of increasing the quality of the scenery include changing some of the green mat scenery to ensure that it has some variation but generally all the tables have 10 pieces of terrain. This is mostly due to the early adoption of the EpicDwarf (Now at home on the Dash28 site under their helpful “Tools” page along with a random scenario generator too )maps to generate a standard layout in our KoW Tournament career. We have trialled various methods of terrain layout generation over the past 6 years of KoW Tournies, several harking back to our days of T.O’ing Warhammer Fantasy Battle, but it means that our table sets are standardised at 10 pieces each – two hills, two tall difficult terrain (woods, etc), two blocking impassable terrain, two low difficult terrain (ponds, swamps, fields, etc) ( see the earlier Blogpost on how the swamps have been created) and two obstacles. With some of the themed tables there is the capacity to change up the layouts somewhat but they have the usual 10 pieces. There is also a small number of very large pieces that have seen action on the Tournament tables but have since been retired to larger games due to the opinion of the Players that they are “too Big” for a 6’x4’ competition table. A large amount of trial and error has resulted in the terrain we use being of an, in the opinion of the Trolls anyway, optimal size with enough coverage of the table without making it too cramped or too open. However this is not necessarily a view shared by all the attendees of Golden Troll Events but we will never be able to please all the wargamers that turn up at our Tournaments.
The refurbishment of the Terrain will also take into consideration Feedback from the years that the terrain has been in use, new pieces are usually created with lessons learned incorporated into their design but the older terrain has not been brought up to the same standard, this was an opportunity to create Golden Troll 1.1 terrain from the 1.0 version. The Trolls are ready for the update !
So all told I will need a minimum of 150 pieces of terrain that will need to be built/refurbished and sorted into lots ready to be transported the 121 Miles to Nottingham without damage. No problem at all. I may even have time to make some “flourishes” to add to the character of the terrain bases, small vignettes that will add to the character of the themed tables and maybe brighten up the mood of some of the participants as they discover tiny little touches on the Bases. Over the years I have collated a large enough collection of random models and pieces to allow several little dioramas to be created and added to the tables. With these items added the generic “Green” tables can become The Shire, the Goblin Swamp, Scorched earth wasteland, Salamander Jungle, Northern Alliance Tundra Outpost and with a little help from one of my 4’x4’ mats – the pirate cove. This allows different twists to be put on otherwise mundane tables. It also allows for the Basic sets of terrain to be retired in turn and used for the weekly Club meetings at the Ribble Warriors wargames – the home of the Golden Trolls.