There needs to be a collective noun for KoW events; I think a “Ronnie” of events sounds fun (please add your ideas via the comments section).
The number of KoW events here in the UK over the first Quarter has been amazing; and Q2 looks to following a similar trend. All this tournament action is really helping to build the community but I’m also concerned that there is a significant portion of the community who have never played at events and are not sure what they would be like and if they would feel *silly / embarrassed / underprepared / lonely / outgunned / other (*delete as applicable) if they went along.
To people who are feeling like that, I have some advice:
Give an event a go
That’s easy for me to say, I’ve been to KoW events for 5 years now so I know that at most events I’ll see several familiar faces; or more accurately, people will know me but I may not remember them.. The wonders of being very drunk at the last Clash of Kings. One things is pretty clear, some gamers have some degree of “social anxiety”. This is not unique within the gaming community; the population as a whole is split by degree of social skills / social capability and even the most confident people get nervous in new situations. Something new can be nerve wracking. However, I digress. Here’s my simple guide for choosing, preparing for and attending a KoW event.
Choosing an Event
I like to attend events that are within an hour or so of my house by car. This allows me to get up at a reasonable time and by back home before my kids go to bed. So look at a map and work out where you can reasonably (by YOUR definition of reasonable) attend events. Next, look at the Events pages on this website, KoW events on Facebook and even the Warhammer.org Kings of War pages. If there are none in your “target zone”, post a message on Kings of War Fanatics and ask if there are events in “x”; some organisers are better than others at advertising their event. Once you’ve found one that looks interesting, have a look at the requirements (rule pack, army size, any restrictions, cost etc) and if you can, book it. By committing cold, hard, cash you’re more likely to not pull out of the event should you get cold feet in the weeks leading up to the event.
Preparing for an Event
You’ve booked and paid for your event. Now what? Look at the rules pack; does your army meet the requirements for the event (number of points, painting, composition rules etc)? Are you using any proxy models? If you are, drop a message to the TO to confirm if they are OK with you using them. Likewise, if you’re below “minimum model count” on unit basing, drop the TO a picture to see if they are happy.
Let’s assume everything is OK. Most events now have a Facebook page, so why not post on there? Say something like “Really looking forward to this event, I’m thinking of taking…. What’s everyone else taking?” It’s an opening introduction of you and your army and with luck you’ll get a couple of likes and comments from other attendees.
As the weeks progress, your army will take shape – you may get a few practice games in (I never do, don’t have time!) and on the night before you’ll no doubt get your army packed away (with tape measures, dice, markers, a couple of pens, several copies of your army list, perhaps some super glue too..). The morning of the event, please, for the love of god, have a shower and apply deodorant. You don’t want to be *that* person. It should be noted that KoW seems to attract less pungent individuals than, for example, 40K.
Attending the event
Arrive as early as you can as there is no better time to mingle in an awkward way with fellow gamers than during the registration time. You’ll remember that I mentioned emailing the TO and posting on the events Facebook page? This is why – you already “e-know” several people who are attending and you can feel slightly more comfortable going up to them and saying “hi, I noticed your army on Facebook, my name is…”.
It’s important to remember that KoW is a game of toy soldiers. There will be times when you get really bad dice rolls. Suck it up, laugh, and realise that the reverse will happen at some point. You will get beaten by other players, and you’ll beat others too. Treat both of these the same – laugh, joke and enjoy wins and losses as equally as you can. KoW does have a clean ruleset but you may get challenged on a rule interpretation, check the rule book and ask the TO for their ruling and abide by it.
Above all else.. Enjoy the experience.
I was going to write something special for female gamers, but then thought.. why? KoW is not gender specific and neither are our events. All are welcome. Apart from bad tempered power gamers..