Upcoming North Carolina Tournaments

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Painting Scores in Tournaments - How I Run Them

Painting scores in tournaments, like composition systems, are a matter of great contention. You may advocate strongly for them, you may hate them, but not many people stay neutral on the matter. The two sides, as I've heard, go a bit like this:

Pro-Painting Scores: Painting scores should be required at every tournament. This is a complete hobby, not a game. Therefore, participants at tournaments should be judged on every aspect of the hobby, and not just their play, and this includes how well they paint their armies. Well painted armies are beautiful, and when new people come in and see these nicely done armies on the table, they will want to play. People who don't paint aren't really participating in this hobby. We don't want to see an unpainted army win a tournament.

Anti-Painting Scores: Painting scores should not be required. This is a war game, and painting is something you can do with your miniatures, but not something that should be required. Tournaments should judge who the best general is, and nothing more. When new people come in, they will be intimidated by having to paint for a year or so and get an army fully painted to have a chance at really participating strongly in a tournament.

I've floated somewhere in the middle on this subject for years, and have been often surprised that I am nearly the only person who seems to be this way. I love to paint (not well, but I try), and there is nothing better to me than really nicely done armies battling it out. I've won tournaments in the past with unpainted models, but not in the last year or so, and I try not to play with unpainted stuff just to make myself try harder on painting. But I do appreciate that it can be intimidating to a new player, and I have a problem when I hear about tournaments where painting was weighed so heavily it overshadowed most of the actual game results.

I think that perhaps the pro-painting scores ideal may be best at private clubs (say, for instance, The Cage in High Point), and a more relaxed ideal might be best for stores like Sci Fi Genre who are looking to bring in new customers for the hobby who may just want to play.

Here's what I've done in the past, and will do in the future. At Grail Quest 2009, I had a side competition where one could enter a single model. Everyone voted on the best painted model, and the winner got a gift certificate. Painting did not enter into the overall winner's score. This year, in Grail Quest 2010, I'll do the same, but probably change it to be people voting on the overall armies for best painted.

I think this is a good compromise. Where do you stand?

1 comment:

  1. This may sound a little ironic, seeing as I've played in quite a few tourneys without a fully painted army, but I tend to lean toward including painting scores. Mostly because I realize how much dedication and effort it takes to get a full painted army on the table, and think people should be rewarded for that.

    However, I think a reasonable way of doing this is like you are saying, and including separate prizes for best painted.

    So I guess I'm right there with ya, stuck in the middle - hobbygamer.