GW Grognard: Don’t be Chicken

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As we all know, the game of 40K is ever growing. We see new people playing and hear about new events popping up all over the place. We aren’t just seeing competitive events pop up either. We are also seeing a rise in casual and narrative events at stores. With all the different ways to play, there are plenty of ways for players to immerse themselves into the 40K Universe. With all these new competitive events springing up, especially on the Friendly Local Game Store(FLGS) level, it allows new people to experience competitive play. There are, however, some store, or a community of gamers, who play in tournaments but don’t want to be part of the ITC. My questions is, Why? What are you afraid of?

Full disclosure, I have been running ITC events at our local store since almost the beginning, late 2014. That being said, there is really no good reason for a store not to run a tournament as an ITC event. The event is very open on how you can run your event. Although there is a set of 6 missions, you are not required to any of them. you can easily use missions from the main rulebook, either of the Chapter Approved, the Open War deck, or missions that you made up.  There is no set way to set up the tables. If you want every table to be planet bowling ball, then have at it. You don’t even need to score the tournament the same way the Frontline Gaming does. You can use whatever metric you want. Want to base it on battle points only? Do you want to go old school GW and use a combined batlle points, paint, and sportsmanship score to determine who is first in ITC ranks? Go right ahead. Even creating and reporting your scpres to the ITC is simple. Just download the TO app from Best Coast Pairings and you can easily create, record, and report your events. They even allow you to run a league and report the results for ITC, if you can make the local RTTs. How much easier can it be?

I have heard a few concerns from some owners, and players. For some, it seems that they may be a bit technologically challenged. I’m sure there is someone locally that know their way around a computer, or phone, and could easily help the store owner, or budding tournament organizer, with getting it set up. There also seems to be an issue with players that come into a local area to farm points by preying on the poor defenseless local players. that shouldn’t be an issue. The local players should see it as a way to gauge their own strengths and weakness with their quality of play, and use it as a learning experience to make themselves better. many times it may be a vocal local player, usually the one that is better than the rest, that champions the push-back against having their local event be an ITC event. This is simply a big fish in a small pond that wants to remain the big fish and is scared of the other big fish that may be attracted to the event. In that case, that player just needs to grow a pair and accept the challenge of these other big fish. Another common issue is that the store doesn’t want to attract the types of players that are, speaking plainly, assholes. That really isn’t a valid excuse as you could have them already in your local area. Even so, it is the right of both the store owner and the tournament organizer to get rid of those types of players is they cause a disturbance. this goes for those that are from out of town as well as local players. So, as you can see, there is really no good excuse to not have your event listed as an ITC event. It will help both your FLGS and your local player skill in the long run.**

That’s all for this week, I hope you enjoyed the read. Let me know your thoughts, and how you convinced your FLGS to run ITC events, 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.

8 Responses to “GW Grognard: Don’t be Chicken”

  1. happy_inquisitor July 6, 2019 9:31 am #

    I think the reason why my FLGS does not register anything with ITC is simply because nobody is bothered. Nobody cares enough to even ask.

    To be honest if you are not interested in also travelling round to get to some GT and Major events there seems to be little or no point caring about ITC points.

    So can I turn this whole article round and give you an opportunity to answer the question that maybe could change minds – if players are not motivated to travel round to go to enough big tournaments to really compete in ITC why would they want to bother with it at all? It is a genuine question, is there something in it for that sort of player that my local FLGS group have just missed?

    • Petey Pab July 8, 2019 12:53 am #

      Organized play (not just competitive play) is good for ANY game store. Locally, we have a store that has thrived once it moved to ITC scoring and now they are running 70+ person leagues. There is also another store begging someone to run ITC events because the last person who ran their 40k tournament tried implementing weird non-standardized rules that through everyone off.

      On the flip side, we had one store completely drop the ITC entirely and focus on their core very casual group of hobbyists. The group itself is toxic, and full of the worst hobby snobs so that might be part of the stagnation. But that store has seen dwindling 40k numbers for the last few years.

      The point of all of this is, if your store doesn’t have an established community/organization to foster their 40k scene, than the ITC is an easy option. I’m not saying the store needs competitive events. An established organization or community doesn’t have to be competitive. It can be people like The Long War, Community Leaders, Amazing painters, A large group of people who run amazing Apoc events, or whatever.

      The point is, if you feel like your store is need of some growth (honestly, it wouldn’t hurt most stores) than the ITC and ITC events is a great way to grow your local 40k community.

  2. Wellingstone July 7, 2019 5:16 am #

    It’s possible that locals just might not care about ITC points. Therefore the store has no interest in putting in the work to make their events ITC events.

    I know I fall under that category. I’m just here to play. I couldn’t be bothered to care about climbing any leaderboard.

    Also many stores are just not interested in attracting a bunch of out-of-towners that tend not to spend a whole lot and take up valuable space in the gaming room while beating up on local players that actually do spend money in their store.

    • abusepuppy July 8, 2019 7:54 am #

      Even if you, personally, don’t care about ITC points- and many people who play at tournaments don’t in the slightest- ITC tournaments are more likely to attract new people to the store. And I don’t just mean out-of-towners, I mean people within your own town; any business owner knows that half the struggle is getting the word out that their business exists, and ITC/BCP can help tremendously with that because they make a public record of when and where tournaments happen that people can search.

      Also, tournament players almost inevitably spend a lot of money. The guy who won third place and got $15 in store credit probably is gonna sink another $35 in order to get that kit he’s been looking at, and the incentives of bringing new and interesting armies to a regular event (be it a tournament or a league) will usually drive other local players to update and alter their armies as well, which necessitates more purchases.

  3. Yarium July 7, 2019 6:56 pm #

    I’ve met a lot of people who don’t want to play ITC. I think it’s a perception of it that no one corrects on, so like an internet conspiracy theory, it becomes about echo chambers and a group will start to not play ITC out of some kind of code of nerd-honour rather than out of any real reason. They tend to think:
    #1 – They will be forced into ITC terrain rules, which are for some reason bad.
    #2 – ITC has their own FAQ and house rules and change how 40k plays (happened in early 7th, because the game was awful, and GW wasn’t responding to the community at all on some serious questions, but hasn’t happened in 8th at all).
    #3 – ITC missions aren’t “real 40k”.
    #4 – ITC is just about hyper-competitive players.

    The only one that has ANY merit is the last one, and not because ITC players are hyper-competitive, but rather it can draw out the hyper-competitive crowd into a crowd that won’t be accepting of them. Personally, I consider that to be a problem of that crowd than of the hyper-competitive person, but that’s the truth of it.

    • happy_inquisitor July 7, 2019 11:06 pm #

      Honestly I don’t think labeling casually competitive gaming crowds as having a problem is going to persuade them to be more bothered with the ITC. Nor is labelling them chicken going to do it. Pretty much the exact opposite will happen.

      As I said in my previous comment, find a positive reason why they would bother.

      • TacoBeasty July 8, 2019 8:14 am #

        I tend to agree. If you want to run a tournament for your store’s regular crowd there is little benefit of ITC.

        ITCs main strength is in connecting casually competitive players across stores. The only positive reason I see to bother with low level ITC is to bring in people from other stores to your event. If the goal is to generate profit for the store, bringing in people from other stores certainly helps even if they don’t spend as much as regulars.

        • Reecius July 8, 2019 9:22 am #

          Yeah, exactly. We’ve been super open about what the ITC is about, and it’s about connecting people and getting more people paying more Warhammer. Even if you aren’t going to rocket up in the rankings, so what? You can compete in your region, you can have fun trying to outrank your buddies as the highest ranked local player, etc. and as you noted, it gets people to go to other stores to play which is great for local business and for making new friends.

          And of course, if you don’t compete seriously you aren’t going to rise in the rankings but, lol, what kind of circuit would it be if that were the case? That would be silly.

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