Hey guys it’s good old fashion Grant Theft Auto (Grant Van Den Bosch) here with a fun article on how to save your relationship with your significant other.
Just kidding guys I’m not Dr. Phil, I’m here to tell you why creating a league throughout Northern California helped me rediscover my love with 40k and save my relationship with my fiancée.
I was on the top of the 40k world!
When I first met my fiancée a little over 3 years ago now and I had just come off the best year of my life while playing 40k. I was traveling almost every other weekend to events out of California and taking first or second placing at local GT level events all the time. I ended second in the first overall ITC rankings ever and I almost won it all if I didn’t drop out of LVO due to a family emergency. (Paul who won, bought a new crib for his new baby son with the winnings so he told me). I was on a high that I thought wasn’t ever going to end, I even started dominating the next season for the first 6 months.
Then I started to get serious with my girlfriend (current fiancé) and with school. On top of that my civilian job and my Navy reserve responsibilities became instantly even more serious getting ready for deployment to the middle east, taking me more and more away from 40k. I tried playing at an event every few months but I was scoring my lowest numbers I ever had while playing in competitive 40k. I even felt like my value to my team at the time (Team Zero Comp) wasn’t enough and it was disappointing to stay on so I dropped from the team. And it seems that as soon it was the Fall of 2015 everything 40k related had ended and so in frustration I was one click from selling everything on eBay but instead I decided to take almost 6 months off the game. By the time I returned the game had changed so much that I didn’t know what the metas were anymore or where the style of competitive play had gone.
Then I went to the Hammer of Wrath GT in Southern California and shared an AirBnB with Cooper, Ryan and Alan (Rage Quit Table Flip). We got drunk had a gnarly good time but also I played like my old self and went on to face Brandon Grant on the top table and I only lost to him by First Blood. At the event though, I learned about the SoCal Masters League that Cooper had been running for a while and how many people in the top of the tournament were also in the league. They all raved about the fun they had in the league and the relaxed but the very competitive games they played. I really liked the idea but I wanted to change their format of a league by make a learning league for players who want to become competitive with the help of other veteran competitive players. But that was put on hold because a month later I was in Europe asking my girlfriend to marry me.
Then it was right around Christmas time and I was thinking of things I could do the next year with 40k and I thought of the league. I asked Cooper for the format they used down in SoCal and I changed it just slightly. I immediately started to recruit from around the greater San Francisco Area I knew. I worked hard to get the minimum amount people (16) so I can make the format work and tested it out. There were a few bumps along the way with a person dropping causing a bracket bye for an opponent but everyone had a great time and wanted to participate in the next league. At the end of the first league though even though it was successful I wanted to change a few aspects to accommodate the growing interest in the league. So I revamped the old format and put some new changes in place, but I wanted to make the league a constant thing and very consistent so people like myself who couldn’t attend major events anymore would have a chance to play 5-8 games of 40k over a two to three months and still compete in the ITC.
It was a success!
Three awesome leagues later and the Bay Area Masters League has evolved into the Northern California Masters League (NCML). With both the original Bay Area region and the new Sacramento region going strong with a consistent 18-20 players per region. Everyone plays 4 games in group play over 2 months and have a chance to play a much as 7 games in their own region if they aren’t eliminated in the bracket matches after the group play. Then when the dust is settled and the top dogs from each region are decided, they play each other for the chance to call themselves the Northern California champions.
The best thing about running a league is the ability to interact with any level of player, helping them learn by bouncing lists off each other or just by watching them have a lot of fun. I have had numerous players who have been either too scared to play in a competitive setting or feel like they are always at bottom because of their past tournament performances get better and have fun. But I have also had lot of 40k veterans and also top-notch players who may have been either burnt out or just wanting a relaxed competitive challenge really have a lot of fun also. It’s also great for me because I’m able to participate in it and run Facebook Live casts to all the leaguers with updates and info along the way.
Why you should run a league?
You may not be having a rough patch of competitive 40k like I had or you may not have to deal with similar problems I’m dealing with but I’m going to tell you why you should run a league. Here’s my recommendations why you should run one:
- First, they are super fun no matter how competitive you make them.
- You can organize it anyway you want
- But I recommend starting with a small group and growing over time, you don’t want to bite off more than you can chew
- Participate in your own league
- Show the other participants you are in the league to have fun and play also
- With social media and email it’s easy to communicate
- Try making a Facebook group or a blog so members can communicate their games
- I like Facebook because everyone can communicate through Facebook messenger and the Facebook group you have made
- Advertising a league is super easy
- Ask your friends or local gaming group first
- Make a quick poster/flyer and ask to put it up on your local gaming stores community board, or ask if they can advertise the poster/flyer on their website
- Advertise on Warhammer sites like Dakka Dakka who have a league or tournament section
- Advertise on Facebook or other social media websites that have Warhammer group pages that allow you to put a post on
- Or at a local tournament you can hand out flyers and advertise
- Remember the ITC does allow leagues and their results you just don’t get all the score benefits as a regular ITC tournament would get so you can’t run leagues all year and expect to have your participants break the top 25 in overall ITC rankings just in league scores only.
- Have fun incentives and make sure you constantly remind everyone to have fun
- In the NCML it is required for every game to do a selfie with one another
- At the end of the league we vote on the best selfie
- Ask the Frontline guys to help you promote they are community driven and want to see you succeed and will try to help you promote
As you can probably think there are plenty more ideas you could do to run your own league but if you need more ideas on running your league or want to bounce ideas off me. Please reach out to me via my email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lastly, I did want to give the much-deserved credit to my teammates on Rage Quit Table Flip, Doug Johnson for his original idea of the Southern California Masters League. And Cooper Waddell for passing the torch to me and letting me create the Northern California Masters League from their idea. Hopefully I have passed the torch to you guys by writing this article to create your own league.
In the end…
So, you’re probably thinking, really by making a league you saved your 40k relationship and your relationship with your fiancée? Yes, it did funny enough it allowed me to keep my life balanced and keep my 40k plastic crack addiction which has been with me for the past 12+ years in check. I may not be the same player I used to be when I played all the time but I know that I can turn that on at any time in the future. I am having more fun now running leagues than when I was going to tournaments every other weekend. I hope ya’ll get a chance to run a league during your time of playing 40k it has been an awesome experience for me and I highly recommend it to everyone.
Thanks for reading!
- Grant Van Den Bosch aka Grant Theft Auto