Tales from the Jungle: “Grand Tournament Readiness 101”.

Used without permission.

This week I’ve decided to go into how to properly prepare yourself for participating in a tournament, a Grand tournament, or quite honestly… just a regular pickup game. Since most of the things you will need with you stay the same no matter what setting you are playing in, it’s important to know what all to bring with you. So we all know what are the required things needed to play a game but when you get into a tournament setting, you may need multiple things to make sure you are ready to go. After all, when you are in a tournament… there’s not “I forgot X, gimme a minute and let me run home to grab it.” It just doesn’t work that way. So here’s some tips on things that you may need when participating in any type of tournament. This will serve as a checklist of sorts, to help you when the big day comes and you’re going for it all!

So to start off with, there are the basic things that we all need in order to effectively play the game, this includes dice, tape measures, army lists, etc… But what you may need in a GT is more of these things, or even additional things that go above an beyond the norm. Here’s a checklist of what all is usually needed when participating in tournaments:

1. First and foremost: Your army!
In this hobby we have to come up with all sorts of ways to transport our armies. Some people will go the traditional method of buying GW cases (or equivalent) and transporting their army in foam. Other people will use old shoe boxes, bubble wrap, or old rags to wrap their miniatures in. The other part to this is that when an army starts to expand, 1 box usually not enough to hold everything. I once went to a tournament where I forgot my unit of Terradons because I kept them in a separate box altogether (stupid wings!). I hadn’t even thought about it until I was unpacking my army and noticed that the other “terradon” box was nowhere around. I ended up having to proxy them from another LM player who had some extras that he wasn’t using… It may seem simple and seem like something that you’ll never do, but overlooking your ENTIRE army can easily be done. Make sure to check and then check again before walking out the door that you have everything you’ll need for the tournament.

2. The essentials: Dice, tape measure, army list(s), pens or pencils, calculator, spell cards, etc…
The “essentials” is a category that has seem to constantly grow and grow over the past few years. It used to be that all you need was your dice, army list, flame templates, and a tape measure and you were good to go. Nowadays, you need all of those things but there are other things like spell cards, charge templates, arc of visibility templates, lasers, wound markers, turn markers… and all sorts of douchebaggery… It’s just not the same. Nonetheless, while you don’t “need” things like wound markers or even spell cards, they are nice to haves and really keep the pace of the game intact, which in turn makes your game more enjoyable. One other important thing to remember is that you’ll need your army list… and multiple copies of it. A good piece of advice is to bring at least as many copies as you will have games, in case your opponent wants one. Also, a calculator comes in handy when you’re trying to add up victory points at the end of a match. Don’t leave home without one.

3.The (nowadays) must have: The Display Board!
If you read an article I posted a few weeks ago about display boards, then you’ll know that this has become somewhat essential if you’re participating in the GT circuit. These things are bulky to get around but come in handy when you’re moving your army from table to table. Make sure to set it out with the rest of the army to ensure that you don’t leave this behind. Of course, if you don’t have one of these for your army… then you won’t need this on your checklist.

4. A camera (or even your phone).
Ok, ok. So this one is not necessarily needed, but, if you’re like me, I like to take pictures of some of the cooler things I see throughout the tournament to get some ideas for inspiration or to post onto my blog here to show off some of the amazing things that people come up with. When you are in these huge tournaments, chances are very good that you’re going to see some well converted miniatures, awesomely detailed armies, and several other things that are just cool to take pictures of.

5. Your lucky charm!
It may not be a lucky charm for you, or you may not even have anything. But for me, I have a lucky set of dice that always help me out. I carry them in their own leather pouch and they have seen me through many a battle. I’m sure some people say it’s a psychological thing but to me, they are lucky and I don’t leave home without them. Maybe you have a lucky coin you take with you, or a special miniature, or something completely off the wall. But either way, you’re going to want to have it with you when you’re taking on some good opponents that are sure to frequent the GT Circuits.

So there you have it. Have I left anything out? Is there something that you can think of in addition to all of these things? I know that I’ve been in GT’s where I forget some of the most basic things and then I’m kicking myself the rest of the day, remember exactly where I put it. Now, I try to get everything ready the night before so that I don’t leave anything behind. I hate to borrow things from people… even if it’s a simple artillery die or a tape measure. It just gives me a weird feeling and I feel like I’m not fully prepared, which makes me not focus on the game, which means I make dumb, avoidable mistakes. So if you’re going to a GT soon, or even a normal pick up game, make sure to always have the essential, basic stuff with you and you can avoid those awkward moments when you have to ask your opponent if you can “borrow his dice”. Hope this helps.! And let me know if there’s other things that should be part of the checklist. Holla!


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