The best way to prepare for a large event is to take time the day before to set up the gaming area. I am currently planning to head down to the Library the evening before to set up tables as well as lay the mats and terrain. The quicker I can get to the venue in the morning and the lighter I am able to travel the better. I have been asking players for my event to register with me via email and a good number have done so, but it is inevitable that some local players will show up without having registered which is not an issue but this eventuality needs to be part of my preparation. Hopefully, I will have enough tables set up for the day without eating up any extra space for the other game systems going on that day at the club.
So I am all set up and get to the venue early. Now it is time to lay out all the prizes and set up a small space for myself so I can lay out any documents to hand out to the players. One of the best parts of any event is the excitement right before it all begins and if I am fully prepared I can spend some time chatting with everyone before we kick off the first game. I also plan to have the players sign in and determine what Faction they are fighting for within the event as well as note their army.
Once the players are settled it is time to begin and in most events, I would set up random pairing followed by Swiss pairings for each round in most events, but most events I run are matched so I can have a bit of fun with this step. I plan to look at the players and their armies and mix them up so everyone can play someone new in each round as well as pair players up based on general skill or army capability. This may seem like a bit of micromanaging, but with a narrative event focused on story over winning I think it could lead to some exciting moments with not much additional work on my end.
One item I am currently planning out is game time length and this is a bit tricky as each game is of different point sizes but with a narrative focus, it is hard to predict how long the games could take. Finding the happy medium is key as I also need to allow time for lunch and judging of Armies and painting. Do to the venue we must wrap up by 4:30 to give ample time to put tables away and store the terrain.
Being a narrative event the awards are also based around the narrative and as such the judging is a bit more involved. Some of the awards will be player chosen, others will be chosen based on impartial judges, and a few will be determined by myself. I will be asking players to track some statistics on their sheets, but the best way is always to be around the tables. One to answer any questions and to see the stories develop myself! Each player will be experiencing their won story, but I have the fortune to watch the overall narrative develop as all the games are being played. This will let me see who could be best suited for some of the awards being given out by myself at the event.
Another possibility to be ready for is to play the ringer. Typically it is best to have a second person help you be the ringer, but with a narrative setting I will be the ringer myself if needed
After clean up, we will head over to the FLGS to hand out prizes. Norm who runs the shop (The Toy Soldier Gallery) will be helping me present the winners their awards. This is what it is all about! The excitement of announcing the winners and explaining what each award represents is the fulfillment that makes running events worth it. Expect to see pictures posted on my Twitter from the event as well as going Live on Twitter to hand out the awards!
When the awards are all handed out, there are only one thing left to do. Head over to the local bar to share a drink and talk about our victories and defeats of the day. This is a great time to ask the players what they enjoyed about the event and what they did not. The info you gather at this time is paramount for the last step of any event. Planning for the next one!
Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter with any questions you may have. Until next week Happy Hobbying!