Sunday, 17 April 2016
The Other Side of the Fence
With the UK X-Wing community exploding over the inferred effect of Intentional Draws on competitive play and the "Fly Casual" Name and Shame backlash I felt somewhat inspired to muse upon the following.
In the past three weeks I've TO'd two events at Enfield Gamers. We ran X-Wing for 18 and last weekend 8 for Netrunner. Both were pretty casual events, as intended, though both featured FFG winter prize kits with a few extras added into the prize pool. I enjoyed organising and running both events and it was nice to get a different view of "competitive play".
So as much I've previously gone on about my outlook as a player I thought I should cover the other side of the coin. I'm going to cover two related strands; the event itself and the role of the TO.
With the ever growing popularity of X-Wing it's not difficult to find yourself an event most, or every, weekend. Many are are regularly run by groups / shops that now have an established reputation and quite often thier own player base and meta. Gaurdians of Tyr run a series of events throughout the year as a championship. Other are more one off and as such are often a touch more casual.
The Hobby attracts different people for different reasons and events / tournaments give the opportunity to realise those intentions. Myself I specifically differentiate between events and tournaments. They may coincide but they don't have to, at least for me. X-Wing is my stronger game and I attended four Store Champs this year with differing intentions. A couple I took my stronger lists too, others I took new lists to give them a good work out.
Back at my point I feel that an event is there to facilitate the differing intentions of those attending within a theme, i.e. having fun playing X-Wing. How each player achieves that is up to them, though preferably without impinging on other players too negatively.
As an aside an event can also promote The Hobby, the game itself, the store or club associated to it etc.
As such I feel that the role of the TO is to facilitate all of that not just to kerp score, enforce rules and make judgements. I also took on the role of compere / host as it's all part of the day out for people and hopefully builds the club's reputation.
For both events the last thing I wanted was a Bye. As such I didn't play X-Wing but did with Netrunner to keep numbers even. I've attended a couple of events when the TO has fully competed, on one occasion CREATING a Bye, and another time coming first to take home the top prize. Hard not to go home with a sour taste as a paying player in those situations.
Today I was back as a player for a Netrunner Half Draft event. Pretty casual, great venue, prizes for all and plenty of games. What's not to like?
Happy Days :)