GW Grognard: Pad Your Army Case, Not Your Tournaments

Hey everyone! Adam, from TFG Radio, back again to discuss all things 40K with you, the masses!

This is one way to increase attendance

I attend and help run a lot of tournaments. They have varied in size to small six man events, to the largest tournament in the world. A lot of factors go into the attendance of an event. Advertising, or lack there of, other tournaments in the area, time of the year, and, if its close to a larger grand tournament, are just some of the reasons that help determine the size of a tournament. There is no guarantee that your event will attract a lot of players, and that’s ok. No matter the event, there is always room for improvement. What you shouldn’t be doing is what may have happened recently.

If you have been following the Competitive 40K Facebook page, it has recently been mentioned that an event appears to have inflated their numbers. As of this writing, it has yet to be determined if this actually happened. I am NOT part of the people looking into it, but I do have a Best Coast Pairings subscription, and I once stayed at a Holiday Inn. From looking at the most recent event, and looking at a previous event, there seems to an inordinate amount of drops after the first round, and a lot of the same people, from the same team, dropping in both games. The people that dropped helped to get each event to a major, as even without those players it was already at GT level. If proven to be true, that they padded their numbers, this will, unfortunately, affect the validity of the event, and bring down sanctions to the tournament organizer. So, the question is, “Is the risk of getting caught worth it?” Short answer is “NO!”

Always make time to spread the good word

I don’t understand why someone would do this. The risk far outweighs the reward. It is even in the ITC rules about one of the possibilities that would happen if you got caught:

Haven’t we learned the folly of trying to make your event larger too fast from the London Grand Tournament? Do you really need to boost your ego in the world of tiny army men by, allegedly, padding the attendance of your event? Why aren’t you satisfied with having a large, well run event? I have run plenty of events that came close to either grand tournament or major status, and it never occurred to me to add “shadow” players to bring me up to that threshold. Instead of finding way a way to bend, or outright cheat, the system, you should be working on ways to increase attendance to your event. If you focus more on that, than of cheating, you will garner a better reputation both in the ITC and in your local community.  So resist the temptation of padding your event, as nothing good will come of it. It also saves a lot of people a lot of extra paperwork 😉


That’s all for this week, I hope you enjoyed the read. Let me know your thoughts, and any similar tournament stories, in the comments section. Don’t forget to visit our Facebook, Twitch, and Patreon pages to stay up to date on what we’re up to and when episodes drop!

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About Adam

Adam, aka Latin Gandalf, has been gaming since the early eighties and has played 40K since Rogue Trader (among a number of other games). He listens to more podcasts than any healthy person should and is currently the host for TFG Radio. He also is judges for LVO and head judges other major 40K Grand Tournaments.

21 Responses to “GW Grognard: Pad Your Army Case, Not Your Tournaments”

  1. Marius Xerxes November 3, 2018 2:27 am #

    People finding ways to abuse systems for an advantage? Say it aint so.

    Doesn’t matter if its tiny army men, politics or professional sports. If someone(s) have a personal investment in something and a drive to get ahead, there will be some people who skirt the system to get there. Human nature on display I’m afraid.

  2. Venkarel November 3, 2018 4:38 am #

    We need to stop this tap dancing around the issue and facts crap. Present the case, who did it, the evidence, and sources, you know like a journalist not a gossip.

    • Adam November 3, 2018 11:36 am #

      Unfortunately I am not involved in the direct investigation. I can tell you it’s the Barnyard Brawl, but more than what I have stated, I honestly do not know.

  3. Yarium November 3, 2018 5:37 am #

    Helping to run a local event in a couple weeks; the Beer and Pretzels Open. Since you have a lot of experience, can you make an article about running events and boosting attendance?

    • Paul McKelvey November 3, 2018 8:40 am #

      That is a great idea

    • Adam S. November 3, 2018 11:39 am #

      I sure can, if someone else doesn’t beat me to it.

  4. Jeremy November 3, 2018 8:07 am #

    This article is frankly crap. Without facts it’s just rumor and fear mongering. I suggest you edit those in or take this down.

    • Ujayim November 3, 2018 10:49 am #

      Nahh, the unmentioned location has blatantly confirmed they added “champion slots”.

      They fluffed numbers.

      Should be discussed as an active deterrent from people doing the same.

      • Reecius November 3, 2018 11:36 am #

        Yeah, I let the writers choose their topics with a pretty free reign and this is topical but the aim wasn’t to throw anyone under the bus or publicly shame but to use it as an example to deter others.

    • Adam S. November 3, 2018 11:37 am #


    • Marandamir November 3, 2018 9:30 pm #

      This isn’t a supreme court nomination. Nobody is digging up accusations of a 30 year old rape and then quickly dropping it once the guy makes the bench. This is a toy soldier’s tourney and if someone saw something ‘funny’ in the results then yeah, people should talk about it and try to get to the bottom of it. Cheating has been a big deal lately in the competitive scene and it doesn’t solely exist in on the tabletop. Inflating numbers to get elevated event status could make a tourney scorable in the overall ITC when it shouldn’t have been for a player. That would affect other players standings and ‘cheat’ them out of their hard work. I commend grognard for writing this article and the method he did it. He wasn’t fear mongering, he was trying to raise awareness to potential cheatin’ and he did so in a tactful way.

  5. Chandler November 3, 2018 8:55 am #

    As a TO myself I can appreciate the work that goes into any event when done the right way. I certainly hope these allegations prove to be false. It does those of us trying to do things the right way a great disservice if others are allowed to simply skirt the rules to inflate their events.

    • Marandamir November 3, 2018 9:32 pm #

      What would be the point of inflating an event if not to collude with players to inflate their ITC scores? Do event organizers get stuff for hosting bigger events?

      • Adam November 4, 2018 12:12 am #

        They do not except to maybe boost the prestige of thier store and/or ego

        • Venkarel November 4, 2018 8:19 am #

          Adam I think you hit the nail on the head with the pride angle. From what I have heard it seems like Blakeborough did not want the attendance of the event to drop below a major. This whole incident is unfortunate as BYB was becoming one of the premier events in the Southeast. I think the tournament can still be saved if Alan comes clean, apologizes and steps aside as the TO of BYB. Let some one like Steven Fore (Juice), Paul Murphy or Mike Walsh run the event.

          • Venkarel November 4, 2018 8:23 am

            Edit: Whoops I forgot Juice has his own store now so he might not (maybe he would?) be down to run a event at a different store in a different state. Although I think SC is the ideal place for events like a BYB series, as the weather is generally good all year round, the drinking laws are somewhat lax, and the are beautiful beaches and such in the area for the family vacation angle.

          • Adam November 4, 2018 9:13 am

            “Pride cometh before the fall”

            I really dpn’t know what will come of it, as I am not involved. If I was in charge, though, I would not let them off lightly.

            A similar issue happened at an event I run, Hammer of Wrath. We had 60 people signed up, but only about 49-50 actually show up. Know what I did? Nothing, as I was still happy with being a GT

          • Venkarel November 6, 2018 8:11 am

            Adam I agree the bad actors, the TO and the people who were part of the drop scheme should be punished. Care has to be taken as I personally know of one person (who will not go on record) who’s name was used without their knowledge and have heard hearsay that there are others. The players that played in the tourney and the tourney itself are blameless though and should not be punished. I personally think that Blakeborough should apologies and step aside as TO and have involvement in the tourney for a specific set time (I believe in redemption and forgiveness and care for the game so life time bans are horrible in my opinion). The tourney should be re-scored for its actual attendance. A new TO should be found if possible to take over and continue to grow the BYB series as I think it is a wonderful model for a tournament series (I do think it should be six rounds).

      • Variance Hammer November 5, 2018 12:56 am #

        It’s also a marketing thing. I’ve known TOs who converted their events to ITC events because people won’t come to things unless they get their points. It’s not surprising that they may also not go to things if they don’t sit in the “right” size categories.

  6. Rob Butcher November 4, 2018 7:18 am #

    But what do GW say ? Did anyone ask them ?

    Is it time to really analysis the sizings / weightings within the loose ITC framework ?

    I think the “official sticker” from GW should mean an event is in the top tier as it’s big and has the correct qualities of sportsmanship, refereeing and quality of opponents. It’s too easy at the moment to artificially manufacture a large event without those three qualities.

    • Adam November 4, 2018 9:13 am #

      Not sure if the event even registered on their radar, or if they even care

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