As a seasoned Arc40k player, I can attest that tournament weekends are a special kind of hell that tests your sanity, stamina, and ability to play with toy soldiers for hours on end.
Come on, we can all admit that it's actuallythe ultimate expression of your love for what is let’s face it a little known hobby… well maybe a bit better known since Henry Cavill has expressed his undying luv for Adeptus Custodies and announced potential plans to make TV about the WH40kU - that‘s Warhammer 40,000 Universe if will become a thing one day!
So your willingness to sacrifice sleep, food, and basic hygiene for the sake of rolling some dice with a groups of like minded people - is the thing we all choose to suffer together to do.
But hey, at least you get to flex your strategic muscles and show off your collection of plastic crackers to a bunch of strangers, right?
In this article, I'll share my hard-earned wisdom on how to make the most of your time and resources during a tournament weekend, without losing your mind, your dignity, or your ability to socialize with normal people. Time to unleash your inner gaming beast. Ready? Let's do this.
The first rule of tournament survival is to plan ahead. This means doing some basic things to avoid showing up like a clueless amateur on the day of the event.
First, check the schedule and deadlines, and make sure you don't miss anything important. Like setting your alarm for pm instead of am and sleeping through the first round after nervous beers the night before.
This way, you can optimize your time, by being there on time, and focus on the things that matter, like playing the damn game. Remember to finish a tournament weekend you’ve got to start by playing the first game. So turning up on time is important!
Next, review your army list and make sure you have all the models and equipment you need. And that it’s packed and ready to go - be a Marine - don’t leave anyone behind!
This year, the Arc40k overlords have decided to ruin everyone's fun by requiring army lists on the day of the tournament. Where is the agony of that.. No last minute models to finish to complete that list you submitted 3 months before…
So, do yourself a favor and finalize your list before you fly to the event, or before the Thursday before, if you're a local player.
This way, you can avoid last-minute painting sessions and enjoy a good night's sleep - not a night on the beers… we know how that’s gonna end!
Also, familiarize yourself with the rules particular to the event.
They are usually found in the players pack. Though not always the case but they are usually designed to help you avoid misunderstandings, mistakes, or disqualifications that could ruin your weekend.
Read the players pack, but don't get your hopes up, because it's probably full of nonsense and contradictionss that will appear much more complicated if you choose to read it the night before and have chosen to get on the beers!
Manage Your Energy
The second rule of tournament survival is to manage your energy. This means taking care of yourself, so you don't collapse in a heap of exhaustion and regret on the third round.
Henry Cavill could probably marathon through 3 consecutive tournament weekends played in 3 different time zones on the one weekend and still not break out a sweat…
But you’re not Henry so - get enough sleep, and avoid late-night gaming, painting, or other activities that could keep you up.
Eat well and stay hydrated, and avoid sugary or caffeinated drinks that could dehydrate you. Don’t bring and drink a six pack of Monster or RedBulls in the first game just because they were in a buy one get one free special at the service station as you were eying off a pastry and a coffee only to choose breakfast in a can!
Incorporate movement into your games, and take breaks to stretch and walk around.
If you have the time and motivation, exercise leading up to the event. Disregard this advice if you’re already ripped like Super Cavilman. But it’s never too late to start - except on the morning of the event.
And if you don't, well, good luck sitting or standing for hours on end without developing back pain and poor circulation - or dealing nauseous because of the energy drinks or beers. Warned you have been!
Manage Your Emotions
The third rule of tournament survival is to manage your emotions. This means learning to cope with the stress and pressure of the tournament, and staying focused on the task at hand.
Don’t Cry! Real tournament players don’t cry! Or shout, or Yell, or act like.. well Don’t be that Guy.
Stay calm and composed, even when things don't go your way. Stay positive and maintain a good attitude, and avoid negative thoughts or self-criticism.
Connect with your mates and fellow players, and share your experiences and ideas with them. This will help you stay motivated and inspired, and also give you a chance to learn from other participants.
Or, you know, make fun of their army lists and brag about your victories. Knowing that you’re dummy spit earlier isn’t going to bode well when it comes to sportsmanship scoring and well it’s game over from there!
Manage Your Resources
The fourth rule of tournament survival is to manage your resources. This means having everything you need to play the game, and using them effectively.
Don’t beg, borrow, or steal!
Make sure you have all the models and equipment you need.
Mark your codex with post it note tabs to help index everything so you have all your army rules at your finger tips.
Slim down your set of data cards, and bring enough army lists to give to your opponents and hand in at registration.
Charge your Phone!
Probably the most important one is ensure your mobile device is fully charged - each day - and can operate all day.
You’ll need it to run Arcscore to enter the results of each of your games, to vote in the parade of armies and find out who and on what table you’ll be playing each round. You might also want to take some photo’s.
A tournament weekend is a target rich environment to take selfies, lifting likes on your socials and showing off your army in a room stacked full of them.
Maybe you can even show your family and followers that social interaction is something you are capable of doing right?
So Your Phone battery is going to get a fair work out across the weekend.
And,if you do charge your phone overnight - remember to unplug it and put it in your pocket and bring along.
Ah yes, here we are - finally arriving a the last of the joys of preparing for a tournament weekend.
Let's focus on the basics, shall we? Dressing for survival. Because clearly, we wouldn't want to be caught dead in uncomfortable shoes or clothing that isn't appropriate for the weather. No, no, we must always be prepared for the apocalypse.
And let's not forget personal hygiene, because who wants to be the stinkiest person in a room filled with 200 others? Bring on the travel-sized deodorant, the saviour of all tournament weekends. Because, you know, a room filled with that many people and in such close proximity just screams fresh as a daisy.
And finally, the reminder that a tournament weekend isn't just about winning, but also about having fun and making new friends.
Because, you know, who wants to actually enjoy themselves and make memories when you could just focus on the competition and forget about all the joys of life.
So there you have it, folks. A step by step guide on how to turn a fun-filled weekend into a monotonous, paranoid and stinky one. Happy tournament preparation! See you all there.