Thursday, April 5, 2012

IzmirCon: The organization of Tournaments

Photo from this previous weekend's IzmirCon Tournement event.. 
So with the weekend over, the driving from Izmir back to Istanbul completed, and the purple haze of the hang over from the 3 nights of drinking subsiding, I am in a position to bring up the topic of the IzmirCon Fantasy Tournament..

To start off, I need to be perfectly clear.. this will probably degenerate into a rant.. there are positive comments to be said about the Tournament, but there was a lot that could have improved the event as well.

So let's start off with the positives.. so at least those reading can then stop and say it was a good event, and not get bogged down with the rest if they so wish..

The turn out was good. With 2 from Antalya, 3 from Istanbul, and 3 from Izmir, all with ( to different levels ) fully painted armies, it was quite the showing. So it can be said that this was yet again, a country wide tournament instead of something specific to only Izmirians. Always a good thing. Many faces both in the tournament and out were familiar, and many laughs were had by all. At least most of the time..

The terrain this year saw a slight improvement over previous years. With the inclusion of the Wizards Tower, Temple of Skulls, and the Garden of Morr being used,and painted up nicely. I have to say that whomever had painted them, I want to know the tricks, cause they came out beautifully.

The area that we were given within the convention itself, which normally is a RPG and LARP convention, was much better than in previous years. I do not know if it was because of the new updates the building has received, or if it was just that we lucked out. But it was great! More lighting, and people could actually have space around everything to move and store their models without them being constantly underfoot.

This unfortunately is the end of the positives.. if you wish to continue, you do so at your own risk.. you have been warned..

First and foremost, this is not just about the organization, but also about the lifestyle in Izmir.. they are in what we from my hometown would call.. Island Time.. whereby no one is in a rush for anything, and as such it will get done when it gets done. This caused a major issue in our first game, and a huge clash with the members from Istanbul and Antalya.. who are more used to Business time and have deadlines to meet.. such as flights or buses to catch to get home that evening..

Our first game was cut short to almost half. Where we should have had 2 hrs, we barely got an hour. Some finished in time, but most did not ( I was one of them ). However, thanks to having a great opponent in the first round, I at least had fun playing it, and it went smoothly enough.

The second point is not at the direct organizers but more at the main GW distributor in Turkey, and his lack of support for half of his product. Why's that some might ask, well here's the situation.

On Saturday there was an 8 man 40k tournament. Sponsored by said GW distributor. Entrance fee of 20 TL, but first place being 60% of the pot, 2nd and 3rd splitting the rest. This was also then blasted out across Facebook, and promoted to everyone in the hobby throughout Turkey. Certificates, and the like were also provided out of the entrance cost.

For the Fantasy tournament on Sunday however, there was no entrance fee.. why? Cause there was no sponsor. No mention of the tournament on their site, no participation of them within the organization of it, and no help whatsoever to generate interest in it. And yet, we still had 8 people show up to play, and from more locations than the 40k tournament ( most of whom were from Istanbul directly ).

I really have a hard time understanding the business model of supporting one half of the hobby, but not the other. Especially with the Fantasy one could be more profitable if pushed harder due to 8th editions need for mass troops and horde builds.

The other main issue here though was with the organizer himself.. I will begin by saying.. he did good for the fact that he was doing it without any support. That being said, why he didn't ask for support from all of us who have organized such tournaments in the past, and could provide some practical advice, is beyond me. However things that occurred such as random pairing instead of swiss system, or being made to play on the same table twice, even though there were options to avoid this, is beyond me. I would chalk it up to both inexperience, and also pride to not show weakness in front of the gaming community. Pride comes before the fall is a phrase that comes to mind here.

This randomness had a direct impact on myself, as the chance to play against certain opponents was limited due to randomness, however via swiss system it would have been more clear and on equal footings. To put into perspective, I played 2 of the strongest, and more aggressively competitive players in the tournament. I don't mind if I was constantly winning, however with my record, this should not have occurred. This last point caused more stress on myself more than anything especially in the final game, but more on that in another post.

The final point that should have been done better was the actual handling of the first/second/third place standings. The gamer who came first, although announced to everyone, collected his prize in secret after most had turned their backs and he had been shuttled off to another area of the convention. This should have been presented before everyone else, and with loud fan fare. Not because we like to boost our own egos, but the first place winner truly deserved it! Having worked on Saturday, taking a bus from Istanbul to Izmir Saturday night ( which is 8-9 hrs long ), playing all day and winning all 3 games!!! Then having to get back onto a bus Sunday night to travel back to Istanbul, just in time to change, and go back to work Monday morning. A bit more recognition for him should have been made. Just saying.

Ok, there you have it.. my rant on the comings and goings of this years IzmirCon which has not come and gone. Was it great.. not really, was it better than before, definitely not, was it worth going to? For the people that were in attendance, definitely, but for the tournament aspect not so much. Conclusion? I need to go back for a normal gaming weekend instead, have more beers, and play more friendly styled games with some of the regulars, and laugh till my side hurts.

Whats worse.. I will be back next year regardless cause I am a glutton for punishment..

More games of these are needed.. where I can play against a rock and a hard place, and still have fun :)


  1. I guess the question to your why didn't the GW distributor did not support the WHFB tournament comes from the fact that he did not exactly support the WH40k tournament either :) TUSOT is not an organization tied to the GW distributor we are operating on our own and thry to make the community a better place to play in. At the time TUSOT only had the 40k branch but now we also started the WHFB organization so hopefully you will see more organized tourneys in the future.


    1. Looking at the Tusot Genal Yapi, what it has outlined is something that IF the GW Distributor was trying to promote the hobby, should not have been needed. Tusot is a creation out of a situation where there was no one trying to promote the hobby aggressively enough at a national scale, even though the distributor is trying to sell at that level.

      Also I refer that the 40k tournament being sponsored or promoted by the GW Distributor as he at least recognized it, whereas this Fantasy one was not. No mention on his facebook sales site concerning it.

      As stated, bad planning, but as mentioned from yourself, hopefully Tusot will rectify this for future events. Although I suspect other issues to arise in time with this approach as well. Just saying.. ;)


  2. One step at a time mate :) Let`s get the hobby rolling on a national scale for starters and deal with the rest as they come ;)


    1. I have high hopes, but with people like you and the others working on it, I know it has a bright future..


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