T9A in Poland

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    • T9A in Poland

      So, first I apologize that this is not in Polish. However, I have hear that T9A is doing very well in Poland (+300 attending a tournament). That's more than twice the size of the biggest tournaments in the US. So I'm hear to listen to you guys and hopefully learn how you guys do it. Can you provide tips on how you grow your communities? How do you get new people in? How do you get so many people interested in tournaments? Is it an issue in Poland that the game is not an "official" game dispensed by a company? Please give me any tips that I can share with guys in the US to help grow the communities there. Thanks guys.
    • Well, it was beginning T9A - first beta versions.
      I started to organize tournaments in Wrocław - sending info to every contact I had from WFB, they also used their contacts.
      This way we had some old good company and some new friends. - Some of them already playing in league.
      With some time there was more and more. More frequent changes of rules made some people leave...

      Since almost year, two separate groups play two different tournaments separately in Wrocław:
      - for casual players in Twierdza Wrocław association (no league)
      - for league players in Bolter, organized by JArekk @Jarek

      The main challenge is to get totally new players - Since January we have 7 new members (I mean NEW! - They haven't played WFB before) but they get the hobby on their own - no engagement from our side. W/o a local store promoting this hobby it is hard to find totaly fresh players.
      The idea of our tournaments is just to have fun - with original and unusual rosters, to give new members a chance to have some fun w/o regular butt kicking, in the very end we have no spitting nails, no unfriendly situations.

      We have a poll 21 players out of which we organize tournaments from 8 to 19 players.

      From league players I would propose to ask @Jarek. From my observations, they have regular group of players.

      Twierdza Wrocław / Poland
    • First of all remember that some of those 60 teams are not from Poland.
      Second of all this tournament, you are talking about, is a kind of special one. This is Poland Team Championship. There are a lot of people that play only once per year on competitive scene and this is their tournament of choice. It happens mainly because if there are 2 or 3 guys that want to play, they need to find 2 more to create a team. So the easiest way is to resurrect some old friends to have those 5 people.


      2 cents about my environment:
      In Wrocław we had one huge club (20-25? players through all those years of warhammer ), that was very competitive (few ETC players, good scores on tournaments etc.). They were playing since beginning 7th ed or even before (i got to hobby in middle of 7th so idk for sure). They monopolised the scene in this city and everything about Warhammer was done with/by them. As a club "aimed at success", they discouraged a lot of people to this hobby (mainly more "fun" oriented), and i struggle with it to this day. After AoS release whole club switched to X-wing.
      I started organizing T9A tournaments with a second club ("fun" guys*), but after 6-8(?) months i moved tournaments to bigger/better place (a hobby store), and they decided that it will be better to do their own tournaments (lower lever of competitiveness higher of fun). Idk how they are going right now, maybe @blaesus can elaborate (EDIT: he already did :D ). So for now on I gather only those players that enjoys tournament play, and don't mind getting their ego bitten a bit.

      About organization:
      After i get the date when tournament will take place (i have to discuss it with the store manager). I place the thread on our Polish forum: LINK and send text messages (as "hi! there will be a tournament. date: XX.XX, come and play with us") to all the players i have numbers to (not everybody has access to forum or look there for info). About a week before tournament i sent message again (a reminder).
      Most of the people i do the tournaments for, are guys i know from last editions and they encourage their friends, that retired, to come to play T9A. I get about 10 people on most tournament since i have started organising them. Sometimes more sometimes less.

      Summary:
      In my city we have a great amount of people that had some contact with the game (maybe even a 100?), so we collectively try to encourage them to come back or to go to more competitive environment. I haven't seen any completely new player (i sometimes meet guys, that i didn't know were ever playing, but its because they were in "fun" group). It isn't hard to show them how to play again and take them to a tournament. I think about 10% (or less) of them stays with us. The group that comes to tournaments is about 20+ people. Some of them don't have time and miss some tournaments, some are on every, and others play 2 or 3 a year. I think a key to get people to stay is to make a tournament every month (even if for 3 times in a row you get 4-6 players) and to have some kind of contact to let them know, you remember about them and want them to play.

      About Poland:
      I think it is just like in my city. There are a lot of people that had some kind of contact with the game, and if you insist enough they will come to a tournament once or twice. Than most of them disappear, but some stay. Poland has a very competitive scene, and i have to admit it is not newcomers friendly, but that's why we get so high on ETC. If you got to a nationwide tournament level and you like it, you will stay for years (as i do, and i love it) and improve with time. I'm sure more people would stay with us if the rules would be easier and games shorter or the competitiveness would lower (let's face it it won't happen). When you have 3000 players that know what warhammer is and you make it very tournament based you are left with those 10-5% that are happy with it and want to progress. They have different amounts of time for a hobby, but they are somewhere there and come sometimes. Others are left behind and forgotten.

      My ideas about rules:
      I don't like lowering game points to 4000 or 3500. That doesn't solve the problem. The problem are unnecessary rules or very complicated ones. Movement phase is a time eater (just give all units light troops movement aka free pivot + measurement from centre of unit), also post combat reforms (if i do that, can this unit see me? and this one? yes? oh i need to move it a bit different, what about now? ...). Just make pivot only post combat move available. Magic phase could be done waaaay faster (auto cast + autodispel, i have 8 dices you 5 i cast this spell for 3 dices, do you use your 3 to disspell it? no? ok. next i cast this...). I know it makes the "skill", but if we don't get the game to max 2,5 hour we will lose players as we do now. We need to find other spheres where skill can be shown, not only statistical and positional.

      *(by fun i mean they are more keen on fluff, painting, feeling of the game and relations, than strategical thinking, researching the rules and drowning enemies in their blood on the battlefield.)
    • Jarek wrote:

      My ideas about rules:

      I don't like lowering game points to 4000 or 3500. That doesn't solve the problem. The problem are unnecessary rules or very complicated ones. Movement phase is a time eater (just give all units light troops movement aka free pivot + measurement from centre of unit), also post combat reforms (if i do that, can this unit see me? and this one? yes? oh i need to move it a bit different, what about now? ...). Just make pivot only post combat move available. Magic phase could be done waaaay faster (auto cast + autodispel, i have 8 dices you 5 i cast this spell for 3 dices, do you use your 3 to disspell it? no? ok. next i cast this...). I know it makes the "skill", but if we don't get the game to max 2,5 hour we will lose players as we do now. We need to find other spheres where skill can be shown, not only statistical and positional.
      Much true and that shows main challenges of T9A.

      1.Going with points down? - But we have already skirmishes - a lot of them!
      Keeping them at 4500? - that's a battle! That's sth different from most of systems but... "Cool! And how much does it cost?"
      2. I could also mention different approach of most Millenials to hobbies... but I don't want to start off top hot conversation :D
      3. NO support from local stores (if any, it is symbolic)
      4. NO single serious miniatures producer - fully assinged to T9A.

      I was in Bolter store yesterday and saw AoS rulebook and new "spell miniatures" - these things are sexy! This is what a new and old players need! (I don't know the rules) There are no such things in T9A.

      Twierdza Wrocław / Poland
    • As a relatively new player(i started about a year and a half ago, at about 1.0 of T9A), all I can say is this - this is not a game for everyone, and trying to make it such a game will not fix the problem(you could make the rules more accessible, but that could take away the "skill" required that makes so many players stay. This is the reason people play T9A and not AoS - it's complicated, and requires a lot of knowledge of the game from both players). As for how i got into the hobby, it's actually a funny story - I was playing 40k(my first board game) for about a year, but it started to get a bit bad(it was the late days of 7th ed), and suddenly, out of the blue, everyone in the hobby store we meet started playing 9th age(I have not seen WFB before 9th age, so you can understand how surprised I was whan everyone dropped 40k and went into 9th age). I was reluctant at first, but after playing a few games, I was plesantly surprised at how fun the game is, compared to 40k, as it requires a lot more from you than just making the best list that wins every game.
      We haven't seen many completely new players since then, rather a lot of old players(and i mean 6th ed old) that started playing again after their friends that already played invited them. So... you could say that the polish nation is like lava - dormant on the surface, but ready to burst out and take up warhammer again ;)
    • IMO
      One of our strength is we have a lot of volunteers. A lot of members of our community has a role which fullfill. Sometimes it is just a small things. For example, one time per month or two I organize painting competition for players. You have about a month to paint your miniatures, community is voting and you can win small prize. This encourage people to paint their armies.
      Almost every weekend in Poland we have local tournament, sometimes two or three. All this work is done by volunteers.
      Some of them you might know from t9a , but there is a lot of guys in Poland who done excellent work.

      One of the best example is Katowice. By Last couple month organisation of tournament was very poor. Organizer was not active, he did not send results to league manager, he just start new topic with date on forum and do nothing more. Katowice was one of the strongest community in Poland and they had local tournaments for 6 people. Organizer change last month, he was active, he done everything right. 25 players in June :)
      Unfortunately, we have to do everything by ourselves. We don't have producer who support our work. Of course there are some companies who give us minis for prizes and I would like to thank them. But the hardest work is done by volunteers.
    • In Bielsko-Biała:
      Before End Times Bielsko-Biała had a continuous presence of longtime players (for example I am playing continuously since early 5th edition WFB).
      When AOS happened most immediately realized that it is not the game we are into, so almost everybody jumped T9A ship.
      Some players left, switched to another systems, but most remained.

      In Bielsko we have a gaming club, and we are mostly based in game store, Gnome (store owner also plays T9A (and will be playing as a part of Poland's ETC team this year), so this certainly helps in game's exposure ;) )

      For most of the WFB and early T9A we organised "Sandpit" tournaments and normal ETC size tournaments.
      Sandpits were a very low point tournament aimed for new players and more casual play, and usually only local players attended.
      ETC-format tournaments gathered tournament players from nearby (up to 2 hour drive) cities.


      In time we had attracted new players, some of them even haven't played WFB before (one of them is @Mamut 2 posts above :) ) Of these players some remained, some did not. In more recent time we had a few players returned from a X-year break, some from 6th edition, some from 8th.
      Of the players that remained active, all of them quickly gathered one or more armies of 4500 size, so for now we organise a 4500pt tournament every month. Attendance varies from 10-24 people.
      If a some new people are interested we are just make some introductory games for them.

      T9A is by far the most prospering miniature game in our city, for now at least.

      In Poland:
      Poland has a very active tournament scene, and there is a tournament somewhere almost every weekend. When I'm about to organise an event I have to first look up on the Border Princes forum if there are any dates available, so I don't make one on the same date as some nearby city, therefore hampering both.

      Tournaments in Poland are organised by players themselves, sometimes with cooperation with local game stores (like in Bielsko's case), sometimes not. It is a very rare event that a gaming store organises a T9A tournament at its own initiative.

      Apologies if the text is chaotic ;)
    • Maybe it is worth noting that Poland was very Warhammer-oriented and fan-based from the beginning. The first RPG published in Poland was WFRPG 1 ed (1993?) and probably it remains most successful rpg game published in Poland so far. Polish wargaming market is undeveloped - there is no a single wargaming magazine (there is not even a single rpg magazine published on regular basis) and the only magazine ever sold in any numbers was White Dwarf. The wfb was really run more by community than GW as GW ignored our market for years. As a result when End of Times happened larger part of community remained unaffected and moved to T9A.

      Competitors are mainly AoS, 40k, shops try to promote Warlord games, Runewars is almost non-existent. There is very active x-wing scene and a number of II WW systems with their popularity boosted by WoT. From local system worth noting is "OiM" (Ogniem i Mieczem, By the fire and sword) - historical wargaming system in 15mm by Wargamer who recently run Anno Domini 1666 successful campaign marking his entrance to 28mm world.
    • JimMorr wrote:

      Maybe it is worth noting that Poland was very Warhammer-oriented and fan-based from the beginning. (...) The wfb was really run more by community than GW as GW ignored our market for years. As a result when End of Times happened larger part of community remained unaffected and moved to T9A.
      Yeah, this is probably most important part, worth highlighting.
    • Speaking on behalf of Szczecin (city w/400k inhabitants): we have a WFB (now t9a) gaming club ever since the dawn of 7th edition. There used to be around 30+ active players back in the day, nowadays it's 15 at most. Unfortunately there's only a couple new guys that learned about t9a through their friends (ie. @Lakson) and decided to give it a try. Bear in mind that all of those had previous contact with WFB through various GW games or RPGs.

      It's possible that t9a is the most popular wargaming system in Szczecin atm. I know there are some people playing wh40k, x-wing, Warmachine&Hordes but I doubt they are more numerous than us. However it's just a hunch so don't quote me on that! ;)

      I'd say a minature/hobby store or some other public gaming place is the best way to fish for new t9a players. Regularlily playing games or tournaments that are accesible to the public attracts most attention, especially if the players take some time to speak with the audience and explain what's happening on the battlefield. Having good looking armies is also quite important.

      All in all (as others have already mentioned) it's all up to local players: they need to make an effort, commit some time and be patient - fresh faces will appear eventually I guess.
    • Doesn't matter how many players we have now, the worst case is that there are only few new players and almost none young. So for current moment there are many players but mainly old people :) (majority +25? +30? )


      I tried to combine in Krakow some tournaments AoS and T9A as I assume that part of people can play both (totally different games). Either quick skirmish either long complex strategic battlefield. Unfortunately by some individuals on both sides and unecessary hate, everything collapsed. Why I wanted to do so? As AoS is promoted by GW and stores, and sooner or later, it will get much more young players than T9A. While combining, part of these players would play also T9A. So imo this can be the way how to increase the number of players in your local community.

      The post was edited 4 times, last by albo_albo ().

    • I will add my 2 cents more from more of a returner perspective.
      I started Wrhammer in 6th eddition and played it extensivly (the only tabletop sistem for me at the time)
      I'vwfinished playing WFB at the dawn of 8 edition as I didn't like some of the rule changes and was already moving to a WWII related sistem (FoW).

      When AoS dropped I didnt care much, and it unaffected me, besides saddness after killing my favourite Fantasy setting.
      By the time as didnt observe the scene and in stores there were no one playing T9A "in plain site" (stores) I thought it was dead.

      In 2017, I wanted to check how AoS is going, and after some batreps I knew it not for me. Than I've checked T9A forums. I liked what i found so I refreshed some old contacts from my club in Gorzów and got hold of some local players contacts in Szczecin in which I live in (the old Szczecin clubs forum from the past was dead).

      It was a suprised that I found a dozen people ready to play and eager to teach me the rules.

      I dont know about 40K in Szczecin But for sure T9A has more active players than WM&H here (I play both).

      The post was edited 1 time, last by LeXincerta ().

    • how are the scenes for the gaming conventions there?

      Are there regular cons to promote the game to new players/the wider community?

      Thanks for the replies guys! this is all really helpful.

      It really sounds like the hard work of dedicated volunteers is central to the health of the community!

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