Slow grow Leagues are a league where the points escalate at a reoccurring interval and generally start at a lower points level. For example, kicking off at 750 points and going up to 2000 in 250 point intervals. These leagues are a great chance to get new people involved in the game, they can start with a relatively small model count and grow there army with everyone else. Sometimes joining a established group can be difficult if they are all playing full point level games, that can be intimidating for a newer person entering the game. On top of that the buy in cost of the game can seem extremely steep if they want to jump in a 2k points, the model count is high and learning all the rule interactions while commanding 2k points can be fairly scary!
Here is a link to an example of an escalation league created by Lenny Wood for the local games club I attend. It’s generally good to have a clear rules pack, not only will this entice people into the league but it will build confidence of players that the league will be run in the correct way. Adding in painting points can be a superb way to to motivate people to paint, as we all know it’s not the easiest thing to do. By adding these points you should hopefully see more painted armies on the table rather then the grey plastic we all loathe. A best sportsman award is another way to encourage people to be a good player in all aspects of the game, hopefully this isn’t needed but gives people that extra nudge to be the best opponent they can be.
Being clear of how games will be scored, and what tiebreakers will be used is essential. People should know what the victory conditions are, if you’re using scenario, what happens if a person cancels etc etc. All of these things should be encapsulated into a rules pack for all your slow grow league players to read so it’s available at any time. A fixtures list can help direct the league rather then have people play each other twice, or the same person all league etc. If you can get the right amount of people (for example 6) and have 5 stages of escalation you can play each opponent once which can be neatly laid out on a fixtures list.
The purpose of a slow grow league is not just for new players however, it can be a nice break for the experienced players to take a break from 2k/2k+ tournament games, start a new army, play new people, help the community grow and maybe get some motivation to paint those last models that aren’t painted. It can bring a community together, start a new one and everything in between.
Us guys here at the KoW resource would love to hear of your slow grow/escalation leagues!