ETC 2015 Official Feedback Thread

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Jamie P
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ETC 2015 Official Feedback Thread

Postby Jamie P » Sun Jul 26, 2015 8:45 pm

Hey all,

Here is your best chance to say what you think about this years event. Positives/Negatives all are welcome. People who attended both last years and this years events will have hopefully seen a big improvement and proof that I am prepared to listen to what you have to say.

Disclaimers:

That we were running ahead of schedule on day 1 was actually accidental and if this inconvenienced anyone I apologise. I actually managed to read my own time schedule wrong but it seemed to turn out okay.

Checking & publishing the army lists took longer than we anticipated but going through the process has shown us ways that we can speed it up in the future.

There was a date clash with the Heavy Metal Dayz event in Germany which meant that no continental teams travelled over this year. I will be speaking to the organisers of that event to ensure that this date clash doesn't happen next year.

Thank you all for attending and supporting this event. Your continued faith in me and my team after last years disappointment is both inspiring and humbling. We look forward to seeing you all again next year.

Final thank you again to our sponsors Cerberus Ltd and Element Games. Also to Tiebreak for the use of their 1st class tournament software and website.

Perkins out.

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Re: ETC 2015 Official Feedback Thread

Postby eidolon » Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:38 am

Definitely better than last year mate. Are you definitely implementing the two fully painted armies per team rule for next year? I think it's a good idea and will force slow painters like myself to get the brushes out. Hopefully more continental teams mate it next year

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Re: ETC 2015 Official Feedback Thread

Postby Jamie P » Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:58 am

Yeah every progressive year of the ETC from this one onwards will increase the number of fully painted players (note, not armies) by 1. Next year 2 fully painted players will be a requirement and so on.

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Re: ETC 2015 Official Feedback Thread

Postby Smokephoenix » Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:15 am

Thanks to you and everyone who made this years ETC a blast!

Random thought dump:

Subway for lunch did the job. It was organised well and kept me going.

Timings seemed fine, wasn't standing around bored or rushed.

Matchmaking was much better this year. 5 players and no hot tables meant a lot less cocking about. Tiebreak was flawless from a user point of view and didn't creak with the volume players and the team play aspect.

Scenery was ok. It usually had an effect on a game but didn't dominate unduly.

As you know, tables are still a problem and playmats have not addressed the issue as they are also the wrong size. Personally I wasn't fussed, we just adjusted measurements and got on with it, but if it bothers the majority or in some way puts folks off from attending, it needs another solution.

Prize support looked fine. Spot prizes are gone, but there were plenty of comedy prizes which is fun.

Good turnout for the painting comp' which I always enjoy.

Accomodation at the Alma Lodge was comfy and the breakfast tasty.

Overall a fantastic weekend!

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Re: ETC 2015 Official Feedback Thread

Postby dancingmonkey » Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:24 pm

Smokephoenix wrote:Scenery was ok. It usually had an effect on a game but didn't dominate unduly.

As you know, tables are still a problem and playmats have not addressed the issue as they are also the wrong size. Personally I wasn't fussed, we just adjusted measurements and got on with it, but if it bothers the majority or in some way puts folks off from attending, it needs another solution.



I've invested a good chunk of SmogCon cash in new scenery which will debut at Smog 2016 , and hopefully can start to use it for more of the big events in future.

It is most importantly of all, consistent across the whole set, and designed with wm in mind, so it should help improve the gaming experience.

The mats were sold to me as four foot square, and were ordered in part as a response to feedback from the last year. No one is more annoyed than me, that, upon delivery, it was found they are 48.5x 47.5" the correct amount of surface area, but in the wrong dimensions

I have been in regular communication with the supplier and allegedly there are now correct sized mats, so I will be trying them one last time, hopefully the issue will have been fixed.

However, I cannot afford to replace them all yet (though if enough people stay in the hotel for 2016...) so we will have to tolerate them for now. I'm considering either cutting them down so at least one dimension is correct (guessing playing across 48" would be the best choice there) or else selling them and trying agin, but it's a huge financial commitment and the money is needed elsewhere at present.

Like I say, I'm the guy who invested in them, and I'm pretty gutted that they didn't meet our needs.
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Re: ETC 2015 Official Feedback Thread

Postby Booboohamster » Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:03 pm

Feedback from Tropic Blunder (I was the only attendant of team last year, so comparisons are purely mine):

Negatives
- NWGC needs submerging in hot water and soap, then drying off a few days.
- Few of the tables have seen better days, maybe time they invested in some sturdier ones.
- Fix the fire escape or don't let people use it.
- Where were the ice creams?
- Scenery was sparse and in small quantities. Non-flat hills are a chew, luckily all my opponents were true gents and we had no bother, but flat hills avoid chew.
- Subway is a good choice for food, we have a veggie and a carnivore, sadly there were no meat only sandwiches so he never had any dinner. (luckily he brought pasties, but still)

Positive
- Judging was ideal, no bother.
- Organisation was tip top, way slicker than last year.
- Pairing system is soooooo much better, last year we did it a different way every round.
- Dropping the random fastest caster kill etc is much better, distracted away from just getting on with the event.
- Decent prize support.

Possible suggestions from someone who has never put a big event on ...
Approach local hotel for special deal if we can fill rooms, like Jon does, sort of
Competition for most imaginative/creative Objectives/Flags

Overall I have to say the event was fantastic, we had a great time and we are all ready planning next years armies.

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Re: ETC 2015 Official Feedback Thread

Postby MrChom » Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:32 pm

I don't really visit here much any more but I'll throw my 2p in.

The venue was spacious and offered no real problems even to me, one of the larger cohort of wargamers. This being said I do agree with Sir Hamster above me, the venue needs a bit of TLC. The floor is 99% dust, the fire escape is....well....I'll leave that to health and safety, but I wouldn't want to try a fire drill down it with the ETC in full swing! I personally didn't find any creaky tables, but I'm guessing it really depends on where you were.

Other than that? Very smooth. Ran to time, or at least what felt like time. Great atmosphere, friendly players, judges on demand....very well run.

I can honestly say it was miles ahead of my last ETC, even if it sadly lacked some of the European teams.
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Re: ETC 2015 Official Feedback Thread

Postby dancingmonkey » Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:35 pm

MrChom wrote:I don't really visit here much any more but I'll throw my 2p in.

The venue was spacious and offered no real problems even to me, one of the larger cohort of wargamers. This being said I do agree with Sir Hamster above me, the venue needs a bit of TLC. The floor is 99% dust, the fire escape is....well....I'll leave that to health and safety, but I wouldn't want to try a fire drill down it with the ETC in full swing! I personally didn't find any creaky tables, but I'm guessing it really depends on where you were.

Other than that? Very smooth. Ran to time, or at least what felt like time. Great atmosphere, friendly players, judges on demand....very well run.

I can honestly say it was miles ahead of my last ETC, even if it sadly lacked some of the European teams.


I carried the mats down the fire escape, having joked that it will be the cause of a lawsuit one day, and feared for my life!

I do wish the venue could be... Tidied up at least. Opening a toilet to find it was now a stock room was a shock.

Still, it helps keep costs down, so I know why we keep going back.
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Re: ETC 2015 Official Feedback Thread

Postby Vivi » Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:36 pm

MrChom wrote:I can honestly say it was miles ahead of my last ETC, even if it sadly lacked some of the European teams.


I remember seeing at least one!
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Re: ETC 2015 Official Feedback Thread

Postby StemTheTide » Tue Jul 28, 2015 7:14 am

3rd ETC now. And I'll start by saying you've made some fantastic improvements.

Good stuff:

Food complaints from last year were taken into account. The food this year was much improved.

The move to 5 man teams was a logical and necesarry step, it improved the competitive quality of the event greatly.

Tiebreak this year was absolutely on point. Individual player rankings. Team standings. Matchups. The works. Top quality.

Prize support was pretty nice. Always welcome a bit of Bob dollar. The comedy prizes were quality.

Bad stuff:

You're going to see a trend here.

I say these things every single event I attend at the NWGC, I'm disappointed to see that still nothing has been done.

The tables are a shambles. Advising people that they're the wrong size doesn't make it okay. It's the simplest of things.

The entire place is just dirty. Utterly disgusting in fact.

That fire escape, no matter what is said, needs sorting. God forbid anything actually happen while an event is on. We'd be a few wargamers shorter in our community put it that way.

People having to go outside to travel between upstairs and downstairs. I saw a good dozen people have to walk outside in the rain with their trays. That's pretty poor.

As usual. All of my negatives are to do with the venue itself. It seems pretty clear that the NWGC has no interest in improving its sorry state of affairs. So it's probably time to move on.

The venue gets by based on size alone. And that's just not enough anymore. I personally believe you can attribute the lack of European teams attendance to the state of NWGC. Who wants to travel overseas just to play there? Clearly no one.

Jamie. You run a top quality event. But it's held back from everything it could be by the NWGC.
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Re: ETC 2015 Official Feedback Thread

Postby thepyropope » Tue Jul 28, 2015 8:40 am

A few thoughts:

Using the WTC system of 5-player teams was brilliant, much better than the 4-player teams and hot table system from the year before.

Subway was a great shout for lunches and the ice cream was great this year. I don't think I've ever seen an ice cream van with such a selection!

This one may be a little bit Phat Cats specific (I know we're a bit of an outlier with three teams in attendance) and therefore with a lot of clubs this may be less likely to happen. However, both of the last two years two of our teams have wound up playing against each other. I believe most pairing systems are such that players/teams from the same club are never paired up round one and that then after that pairings are random within win/loss brackets. At the WTC teams from the same nation are never paired up against each other "unless there is no alternative" (i.e. playing in the final or for the wooden spoon). Just a thought but could there not be an additional level in the programming to add this in to the pairing process for the ETC but at a club level? It’s just a shame to travel a long way to a tournament and then end up playing the people you play each week when in reality there were other teams that we could have played.

All in all an absolutely fantastic weekend, can't wait for next year.

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Re: ETC 2015 Official Feedback Thread

Postby LEJ » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:50 am

thepyropope wrote:This one may be a little bit Phat Cats specific (I know we're a bit of an outlier with three teams in attendance) and therefore with a lot of clubs this may be less likely to happen. However, both of the last two years two of our teams have wound up playing against each other. I believe most pairing systems are such that players/teams from the same club are never paired up round one and that then after that pairings are random within win/loss brackets. At the WTC teams from the same nation are never paired up against each other "unless there is no alternative" (i.e. playing in the final or for the wooden spoon). Just a thought but could there not be an additional level in the programming to add this in to the pairing process for the ETC but at a club level? It’s just a shame to travel a long way to a tournament and then end up playing the people you play each week when in reality there were other teams that we could have played.


This was done, later in the tournament it gets more and more likely that, if you are on the same wins, you'll have to play each other because of the other teams your 2 teams have both played.

Smokephoenix wrote:Thanks to you and everyone who made this years ETC a blast!
Scenery was ok. It usually had an effect on a game but didn't dominate unduly


With 2 PP Judges supervising I'd hope so! In any group of 5 tables there should have been some very skewed tables, some very fair tables and some with other elements. This makes it so the team choosing tables actually gets an advantage.
Obviously its hard to stick to this when adjusting terrain for scenarios every round but it seemed fine.


Prize support looked fine. Spot prizes are gone, but there were plenty of comedy prizes which is fun.


Spot prizes were handed out. I gave out 2.


dancingmonkey wrote:The mats were sold to me as four foot square, and were ordered in part as a response to feedback from the last year. No one is more annoyed than me, that, upon delivery, it was found they are 48.5x 47.5" the correct amount of surface area, but in the wrong dimensions


Just to clarify, this is not the same surface area.



Booboohamster wrote:Negatives
- Where were the ice creams?



In the ice cream van, which showed up on schedule?

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Re: ETC 2015 Official Feedback Thread

Postby dancingmonkey » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:06 pm

[quote="LEJ"]Just to clarify, this is not the same surface area.[quote]


Maths isn't my stong point, so I may well be wrong, but by my estimation, if the extra .5" was removed from the long side and added to the short side, the mats would be 4' square, which is what we need right? Or am I missing something.

If we can get to the 150+ rooms for Smog, I will be able to invest in a new set of at least 64 of teh correct size, so there is hopefully a chance they can be resolved in the near future.

The logistics of tables/play space has been a nightmare as long as I have been attending events (let along running them). Maelstrom had the wrong size tables, Wayland has the wrong size tables, Dark Sphere has the wrong size tables, NWGC has the wrong size tables. I think Firestorm might have the right size tables, so it can be done.

As I say, the mats WERE supposed to be correct, but the manufacturer screwed up and we don't have the cash to replace them yet. Its my number one priority once everything else is paid for Smog wise, but I cannot magic money up from nothing. They are at least consistantly wrong, so armed with that knowledge, it should be do-able for players to amend their deployment zones by /25" each accordingly.

I do favour precision over all things of course, but in a game of human measurement, I doubt anyone has ever turly played the perfectly measured and moved game, so the slight size issue will in some sense be absorbed throughout the game, even if its missed at delpoyment. There are only so many people that card shark it to the point of knowing how far up the board a model should be to get the perfect turn one kill.

Not saying your concerns are wrong/unnecessary, but trying to offer explanation.

Hopefully the next batch is correct and we won't have this issue in the future.
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Re: ETC 2015 Official Feedback Thread

Postby freeway73 » Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:54 pm

Mainly repeating what others have said but I think knowing it's not one person's opinion is better.

This may have been expressed in the rules pack and I'm sorry if it was; but I did assume that one of the reasons lists were submitted before day one was that lists could be printed out and in team packs on day one rather than getting teams to print them out or in our case write them out on the day.

Venue is the biggest negative overall fire escape table size and structure needs to be looked at. terrain was iffy in places. I think more people should have been told about the internal stairs as well as I see that people above mentioned they had to go outside. In general it needs investment.

Positives.
Tiebreak, still awesome I heard a murmur of someone around me complain that it's poor as people might not have internet access to which the response of "Please move to the 21st Century" was quickly heard after.
Judges were always on hand and really up to date knowledge, fantastic job.
Lunch was fantastic and well organised. Would have liked a ticket that won't get lost so easily but that's just being picky.

Well done overall fantastic time would recommend.

KPD

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Re: ETC 2015 Official Feedback Thread

Postby Ryan E » Wed Jul 29, 2015 7:59 am

Food was good, terrain was actually really well placed across groups of tables so as not to demean the benefit of choosing table, TieBreak was spot on under heavy usage.

Only complaint is around the venue. NWGC has hosted a number of ETCs and Nationals and the issues that were voiced when the ETC and Nationals first moved to the NWGC are still present (or at least any improvements aren't noticeable). With the mats being Smog mats, and terrain being Cerberus terrain, I don't see why ETC can't be moved to a higher calibre venue to help attract the continental teams.

As for the fire escape, enough said, I used it once and only once. Not convinced it's safe.

I'd hazard a guess that Firestorms South Wales Gaming Centre has the capacity to cater for 160 gamers / 32 teams and would not be sad to see both ETC and Nationals move.

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Re: ETC 2015 Official Feedback Thread

Postby jaythegrim » Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:41 pm

As most have said, great event, food was good, tiebreak was top-notch.

The venue, now this was my first time at the NWGC, and I have to say I wasn't impressed, that fire escape, if you can call it that, is nothing more that a health and safety risk and an accident waiting to happen!

The tables if they where an inch bigger or smaller, I could of dealt with that, and sticking a mat over the top didn't really help, especially one that measured 48 5/8th across! Then the announcement about the killbox will be measured from the table/map edge was a bit wonky to my mind, but yeah a quick fix for the judges.

Bar the venue the event had a great atmosphere, but then to the most part the community are a great bunch.
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Re: ETC 2015 Official Feedback Thread

Postby B.C.I.W. » Thu Jul 30, 2015 1:39 pm

I understand, and agree with, most of the negativity about the NWGC. I'd just like to add that Stockport is very easy for us to get to from Scotland when compared to Birmingham, London or Cardiff. I don't know how much of an issue this is for English attendees, but it's important to us.

Aside for that the food was obviously great, the time management was good and I liked the downstairs area. Sure, the tables for 49", but how hard is it to measure a 1/2" extra?

Obviously the clash with HMD was unfortunate, but these things happen and I hear that next year they'll be held on different weekends.

I'd love a wee 8-16 man Guild Ball tournament for funsies on the Friday night.


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