​What 9th Age did for my club, and what it could do for yours....

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  • What 9th Age did for my club, and what it could do for yours....

    Let's start this talk with some information about my own background, before I dig in to this subject.
    Besides being best known for working on the Infernal Dwarf book, I'm also part of some other teams that work behind the screens, and 2 of them are related to this discussion. I'm part of the Tournament Support, meaning I am one of those guys tracking tournament results. I also work in the PR team, helping too spread the news of The 9th Age to those poor (lol) wargamers who are still in the dark about The 9th Age. This sometimes involves demonstrations in larger wargaming venues to help enlightenment those still in the dark. These 2 parts of my “job” with The 9th Age project have a very direct link to my life away from the keyboard, and I want to have a small talk about it here.

    My club is located in the center of the Netherlands, and runs a weekend of wargaming at least once a month for club members, but it is also open for everyone who wants to play. On the first Saturday of the month we always run a fantasy tournament, and in the cold dark days before 9thage we played Warhammer. Our location gives us the space to host about 20 wargamers, enough to run a fun little tournament.
    But all was not well at the end of cycle of Warhammer. The release of new books was slowly starting to erode the fun factor since the power level kept growing and after a while we had about 50% of the players run Chaos Warriors. Yeah nothing as fun as facing 5 Deamon Princes in a total of 3 games!

    Since most of our players were casual gamers, soon players numbers droppedfrom 20 players regularly to sometimes only having 4. The higher power creep caused the number of people frequenting our club to be less and less. All that remained were the club members themselves, and those that loved broken gameplay.

    Nothing as sad as gaming tables with no players to play on!

    To fix this I started using the ETC rules/comp set to at least give everyone a fighting chance and this helped a bit, and soon we were seeing more players show up. All seemed well... until the End Times showed up, and literally ended fantasy playing at the club. Numbers dwindled harder than my beer supply during a Friday night and this was causing problems for the club on the long run.
    I love running tournaments (I organize about 14 of them a year) and it's a big part of my life, but without players showing up I suddenly was looking at the end of my hobby.

    I looked around for a solution, and I found the 9th Age project, and after convincing my club members to try it out, we ran our first 9th Age tournament in January. If people liked it enough we would switch over to 9th Age permanently and if not, we would just let fantasy wargaming die a slow death. Since our tournaments are pretty cheap, and I clubbed some people to sign up, we had about 18 guys and girls to try out this new rule pack. Formost of them these were their first games with this system.

    Well, it's properly no surprise to anyone that it was a big hit and we decided that very evening to change the fantasy system to 9th Age and we've been running tournaments with this system ever since. Player numbers are still up, and almost everyone is positive about the system, besides the usual grumbling about rules and balance, but complaining about that is part of the Wargaming hobby!

    So, if you are reading this, and your club has still not embraced the 9th age, try to run a little one day tournament to experience the rules and armies. I can only talk for myself and my own scene, but the 9th Age has not only reinvigorated my own hobby, but also gave the Dutch tournament scene a good kick in the butt, resulting in a lot of new faces joining the hobby. Also, having this very awesome hub, the 9th Age websites, has caused the boundaries between countries to dissolve a bit, since we've been having players show up from all over Europe, including Spain, France, Belgium and Germany.

    So when in doubt for the future, play 9th Age!

    A room full of gamers makes one happy TO!

    769 times read

Comments 5

  • Martinux -

    Great to hear, spread the light Blonde beer. We are all with you :)

  • KeyserSoze -

    Great job!

    We had a similar situation in Athens. People stopped playing. Now, people still don't play :P
    But we keep our hopes high, shall we? ^^

  • Blonde Beer -

    Thanks. We are having a big revival in our tournament scene at the moment. Makes me very very happy.

  • Kolata -

    Good to hear such news :)

    We had similar situation in Warsaw in summer in autumn. People stopped playing.
    Now we have a tournament almost every week.

    Keep playin & keep bloggin :)