Well hi all,

over the past four years or so I have

been producing terrain for my gaming

needs well I Have now more terrain

then I need and have to find a new

direction for my gaming hobby.

So I have started to work as a

Mantic Pathfinder.

I love Kings of war , as well as

dead zone and Dreadball, so it was

easy to apply for the program.

So this blog will start with showcasing

my activities with the Mantic pathfinders


There will still be times I will

place terrain projects on the blog

but it will now be the home to the

adventures of a Mantic Pathfinder

in one of the remote capital city's

around the world, Perth Western Australia.

Monday, July 15, 2013

A quick side track-

James Meyer's photo.
This weekend the club held a 40k tournament. (This is one of the reasons for my lack of terrain work over the last few weeks!).
Over the years since we formed KRAGS our club has grown. We began in a venue that could house a maximum of 6 tables.  It was a tight fit with very little room to move and manoeuvre especially for us on the larger side! All the terrain we used was made or owned by the founders.  Back then, there were times when we had only three players show up to our Friday gaming night and the hall costs were not met.  So, as founding members and committee, we put our hand in our own pockets to pay the bills, just to keep the club going.  This was done on more than one occasion.
We have come a long way since then and out of necessity we have moved to a larger venue where we can operate 12 tables plus the 4x4 kitchen centre prep table when required.  Now on our event night, four years down the track, our weekly meeting attracts about 12 to 24 players.
We do a ‘one game a month’ tournament - so each month entrants play one game with a player in the tournament and this is ongoing for the next 6 months.  Each round is Swiss and the winner after the 6 rounds receives a plaque.  As a club we run a fantasy campaign and one day a month we have an event night - mega battle was first, then we had four player games and next a 600pt one night tournament with all games adding to the campaign. We have been having x-wing events and in August a leagudread ball e will start.
We also run about 6 weekend tournaments for the wider community throughout the year.
One of the reasons we run so many events is that we are a not for profit club and we have to pay for the weekly rent of a hall in the local community. We also have to pay for insurance and we are ineligible for any local council or government funding to help cover costs.
One of the best comments from the local council after they increased our rent costs was,
“If you cannot afford it then do some fundraising to make up the difference”.
So we asked if we could sell drinks and pies on the night, but was told we would then need a food service permit from the council to serve food in their building.   This would cost an additional $400 for the year. We then decided that running tournaments would be the way to go but the first one we tried to run we had difficulty finding a venue.  The council let us know that there were no halls for use on the weekends by non-sporting groups.  Also, if we could find a venue date suitable then it was conditional on being cancelled last minute if a sporting group wanted the venue. Also, we are not entitled to any storage space and therefore have extra wear and tear on the terrain because at the end of each night we have to pack it all up and put in into club committee members cars for them to store at home.

That aside, we all share in the upkeep of terrain and these events we run mean the doors stay open and KRAGS has a regular update of terrain and new games to try.  Our gaming is really for the love of the game as despite all the challenges each week for the committee to keep the club operational – it is through this committee that we have created a great community of players in the local area.
Any miniature or unplugged games are welcome to be played at KRAGS so if you are keen to play then we would love to have you.  Over the years we have played many of our favourite games at Krags and have learnt many knew games too.
It has always been part of the clubs philosophy that if you show up for a game we will find you an opponent, and the committee will step in when needed or aside to let people play. This is an unplugged, social game and activity club, and getting together and being part of the community is always good.
One of the key event principles of KRAGS is to run fun events in our local community for keen players that are here. Our tournaments include lunch in the ticket price, (normally subway), and this helps to keep the games flowing and reduces the need for people to have to leave and find food on the day.  It is encouraged that all armies and terrain be fully painted and this has inspired our club members to paint their own armies and to help build and paint terrain for the club.  I have been known as the terrain guy in our club since the beginning and this is where I do most of my support these days.  Over the years our events have gotten larger and therefore the terrain collection at the club has got bigger and better as we have grown.

This weekend was one of our bigger 40 K events with 32 players and one of the bigger ones for WA, but usually we host about 20-24 players at events. Our playing group has grown over the years and we have so many more games to choose from that we are playing events in more systems then ever in our gaming community.  So many now that if I played the amount of games systems that are out there I could host or attend an event every weekend!
We originally had a cap of 24 players at events as that is what the club could support in terrain.  Many people might say that this is not that many players, but in the WA community at this point in time, it is quite a big attendance for a single day 40k event. Again gaming in WA is great at the moment.  The number of players is high and we all play lots of different games. (I personally think that, considering there is such a large price point for the games we play and, with the lack of support from one of the largest miniature games suppliers throughout Australia, we have looked at different game systems and now we have a diverse gaming scene overall).  With such large numbers at our last 40 K event on the weekend, KRAGS had to borrow terrain from club members so that we could open tables for eight more players.  I provided 4 tables worth of terrain from my own collection and one more from the committee.
The event was run by the club committee and again they all volunteer their time on the day to help out, (one of the big changes over the years is that we have created a strong committee that all come together to run these events where in the early days there was just the three of us). One member takes on the TO role, one member keeps score and one member runs around as gopher doing the things that need doing or crop up as the event progresses. We have a rules judge and table keeper who are on the floor making sure games go well and rule queries are answered.  At this event we lost our usual trusty gofer, (to be fair he was representing the club at the Australian Malifaux GT in Sydney), so one of our fantasy committee members come down and took on that role. We also had two other fantasy players come down for the day and just help. They got drinks for gamers and made coffee, (- yes that’s right we had table service at this event!), and generally just helped out. Our junior committee member representative (the voice for the under 18 contingent), attended the event also and instead of playing he decided he would be the assistant TO for this one. So really for the 32 player event we had 7 event staff running the show and this tells me, a founding club member, just how far the club has come. (When members of the club come down for 12 hours just to help out, this is where I take pride in what we have achieved over the years).
We had the 32 player cap and had 32 players play.   One of the things this time round was the club told people about the hard cap and so to get your tickets paid for early as when they are gone they are gone. We haven’t capped in the past as we were a fun club that played for enjoyment not accolades, and capping seemed anti fun.  Well I got that wrong as capping meant that we hit our numbers with two weeks to spare and we had a waiting list so if they dropped we replaced them, this happened all the way till 3pm the night before.
We did have a rule that if you drop with only 5 days to go and we could not replace you, you would forfeit your entry fee but if we could replace you, you would get a refund. We also had a ringing on standby again if necessary to make up numbers as we believe that if you come to an event to play four games then there should never be a bye and you should play all four games. The ringer rule for the club if you play as a ringer then you play and are eligible for all the awards.  We also have what we call a table pack that the club provide for all tables containing two packs of dice templates and objective markers. These help all players feel that no one is cheating and also helps out if players have forgotten to bring stuff. The rules are simple - you can all use your own equipment at the table or the equipment provided by the club – not both.  If any one of the players at the table wants to use the table pack then personal equipment must be put away by all members of that table.  We also provide name plates for all competitors so you know who you are playing and we also get competitors to leave their name plate with their army during paint judging so we know whose army it is.


We talk a lot about painted armies but we do not tell people that they cannot bring unpainted armies to the tournaments; however, what we do have is a paint matrix that we use on the day to score each army. We send three judges out during lunch to mark the armies using the matrix and then we take the average of those three scores and this becomes your awarded painting score.  Painting scores are added to your overall tournament score.  Hobby marks are included within the painting score on the matrix, rounding the score to 26.  The painting round is capped at 20 so unfortunately if you don’t have a painted army you forfeit these points but may pick some up on the hobby side.   Any scores over 20 get a full 20 points; this means if you are a better modeller than painter then you can still win a full twenty points as you may score lower painting technical but high modelling.  We also have a player vote which acts as a tie breaker when people are on the same score. With the matrix system we have quite a few entrants on the same score so the people will decide.  We have a rule that you do not have to paint your own army. We just want it painted so it looks great on the table. However, to win a painting award, it has to be your work.
All of our paint judges from the club have to have a fully painted army and have won either a club paint award or another event’s painting award.  We are not pro-painters, just club painters but we all have experience and our own great looking armies so we can judge others.
We have, over the years, got a whole lot better at organising and hosting these events so that the day runs well. 
One thing that was great about this 40 K event is that we had a group of junior players, (under 18), who came from a town three hours away to play. Perth, Western Australia is one of the world’s most remote cities (if you hopped on a plane for three hours from Perth the next closest capital city you would hit isn’t even in Australia!) These guys drove 3 hours to the city to play in our event.  Players have to submit an army list prior to the event and these are checked by a committee member.  Some of these young players were still using the fourth edition codex’s so our TO worked with their organiser to get their lists up to speed and provide some guidance in what would work best. Again the KRAGS committee here worked with the youth and got them to the event. The first round was unseeded so these players got to play some games against really different players. To the experienced players at the event I would have to say you were sporting as you helped the new less experienced players learn the rules and didn’t just wipe them out!   The calibre of the players at this tournament included 4 for the WA Australian team championship players as well as one Australian ECT player. These players took the time to help and it was a great gaming environment to be in.
By round three this new group had not scored a point and they were all playing each other. It was at this point that they asked for help. They were having fun and wanted to know how to play better so our junior member went over to the table and helped one group play, and I when over to the other group.  In WA we have to have a permit to work with under 18s as volunteer’s and that is one of the jobs I have at the club, I have the working with children’s card so I tend to ensure they are looked after.  They really did want to learn and asked lots of questions and took it all in.   By the end of the event they were getting advice from so many people that when they get back to their group of players they are really going to play a whole lot different. This was a really great thing to see and I believe this is an area where our club shines - developing the youth.   These kids had never played four games in one day (that was 10 hours of gaming) and had to play by the rules in the book. They were so tried yet still bouncing of the walls and that is what a tournament and our club atmosphere is about.
One thing you will notice about terrain is that all of the tables are different and that the level of terrain on each table is different. We do not subscribe to the nova system where all the tables are the same. When you play a game the terrain is part of the game and we ensure that you have great tables fully painted.  I am one of the people at the club that insist that we have different tables. I am a big believer (as Carl Tuttle would call it) the table is the third player, if you are to build an army to take on all-comers then you need to ensure that you can take on all terrain. GW has some of the greatest lore for its games and if you read some of it you’ll notice that the planet you land on can kill you just as much as the enemy. So the terrain needs to do the same. If you really are the best player you would be able to play at any table and win. So we have a variety of tables, yet I still have not convinced the club to allow me to have random conditions on each! Oh well, I will have to leave that to a fluff event.
The tournament was really a great success and like always we have to make a few adjustments.  We ran over time as we did not take the data in quick enough and I was going to go into the results but really the club put on a great event and we had some stand up effort by the people involved.
So thanks to all the players and the committee and volunteers.  Below are some photos of the tables and some of the armies.  Great work all!


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