Did I mention the painting contest we’re running later this month?For those not reading the poster yet, it’s running on September 19th (and the submission deadline  runs from September 10 through to and including September 18).

We’re trying something different, different from the usual affair where people submit a model for us to judge and announce winners inside an hour or so (and where only about half the entrants show up / stick around for the announcing of winners); this time around we’re delaying the announcing of winners by a day so we can take our time to do the judging.

And to make the event feel more like it’s an event, we’ll be running a few fun things on the day the winners are being announced.

(Sidenote: have a good “painting obstacle course” obstacle or challenge? Drop me a line, we’re looking for one more idea to throw at the competitors!)

We’re all kind of excited about trying this format on for size as it will hopefully replace the stress we usually went through (trying to go as fast as possible all while trying to be polite and let people inspect the submissions while we tried to judge them …and politely deflect all the enquiries of when we’ll be done judging). Hopefully, all those stresses will be replaced with the more desirable stresses of running games and speed-painting contests.

We’ll see.

We’re also shaking up how we do the judging (a little); I’m still a fan of coming up with a fairly arbitrary first cut and then using a score sheet to judge all those. Because we’ll have more time, well probably have a larger amount of models making first cut (we usually had about half a dozen making first cut in past competitions; we’ll probably push it closer to around ten this time).

With the first cut established, we then judge each model according to a page of criteria and score them points; there are five of us judging, meaning that each model gets five scores and those scores are averaged –just like in figure skating!

I won’t go through in too great of specifics how points are awarded, but the “official rules” sheet does give pretty good hints:

I think it’s all pretty plainly laid out there. The HUGE change which I’m sure will totally piss some people off is the idea of bonus points being awarded for showing up on the event day and participating in those ‘fun’ events. I’m sure I’ll get an earful of how unfair it is that a painting score can be modified by things that have no bearing on painting skill. To that, my only defence lies behind the intention of this painting competition: to create community. In the last three (four?) competitions, the one constant has been the majority of  people dropping off their models and fitting into either of two categories: (a) wanting their miniature back as soon as they found out they didn’t win, or, (b) leaving the store entirely and phoning us that day or the next day …or the next to see if they’d won. Like I said, not everyone fell into those two categories, just most of them –even people placing in the first cut and winners’ circle weren’t exempt.

So this time around, I thought I’d try to push the community aspect a little harder. I’ve made it so that participation on the Sunday events don’t trump the actual painting side of things, but participation can definitely tip the scales heavily enough when giving up to a twenty-percent bonus of points! I’ve always felt that the best thing that people took from painting competitions was the meeting of other painters: both the amazing ones whose skills were light years ahead of yours and (more importantly) the ones whose skills were close to your own –those were the ones who you’d learn from and teach things to. And the only way to meet other painters, really, is to meet other painters: to go where they congregate. Hopefully, a painting competition is a place where they would congregate. (And yes, you could always talk to people at tournaments –I get that– but not everyone goes to tournaments).

Ideally, a painting competition isn’t just another form of Warhammer dick measuring; it’s a chance to create a dialogue between players in a forum that doesn’t have wiping the floor with the competition as being the main sentence in its mission statement. Sure, at the very top, the competition is likely pretty fierce –just as fierce at any tournament. And yet… I think that level really only occurs at the more renowned competitions like the Golden Demons (conversely, that level of competition occurs at the top tables of most WFB or 40k tournaments of any decent size…or maybe I’m just naïve thinking that the gaming tournaments have a more competitive vein than do painting competitions).

Anyways, that’s all for me right now. I have to go choo-choo-choose what model I’ll be painting for the staff category that’s being judged by all the entrants that show up on Sunday the 19th.

And flesh out the details for the upcoming Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 tournaments.

(Hint: Warhammer Fantasy is on Oct 30; 40k is on November 6 –the venue just confirmed the booking yesterday.)

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4 Responses to Entry Deadline: September 18

  1. Twalks says:

    Looks good I’ll definitely enter the painting contest, although I will probably do awful 😛 What “venue” did you get for the 40k tourny? As far as I know Mythacon got pushed back from november so it seems yours is the only 40k tourny in Calgary this fall

    • imaginarywars says:

      Both the tournaments are being run in the ‘community room’ at Southcentre mall. It’s a small venue, but the price is right, and the room is cool too.
      The tourneys will likely clock in costing around $25 per player (less if I can swing it) –which is pretty cool, considering the room has a capacity of seven, maybe eight, tables. (The most tables we’ve put in there so far has been six …and things were starting to get squishy with six tables there.)
      I also like the room because it’s in the middle of a shopping mall, meaning the venue is easy to find and easy to get to, even if you’re stuck using Calgary transit.

  2. LANGESMASH! says:

    I have always felt that painting competitions are more competitive than Tournaments. The reason being that it’s judged based on the perspective, bias, and talents of the people holding the checklists. As much as we may try to pick and choose and judge as fairly as possible, we cannot avoid the inevitable disagreements that come with awarding winners. There will always be someone who thinks their, or their friend’s, model is MUCH better than the top three. Someone who claims that the judges decisions were based on their own personal friendships or hatreds. Someone who is literally upset at not having been given the recognition they feel they deserved. Not to mention the parents who feel their child should get something just for entering because ‘they tried hard’. And so on…

    At least in a tournament the game speaks for it’s self. The players are left with a fairly definitive result that is removed from claims of bias. With the notable exception of the bias from the hideous bitch-goddess known only as DICE.

    However I love the idea of entires being given extra points for participation. I don’t see how it can be considered unfair since the models are based around the idea of playing a game. I’d even support the idea of a tournament/painting contest giving extra points toward models entered that are being used in an army that a person is actually playing in said tournament. Vice versa, extra points for players in a tournamnet who paint up a showcase model for their army. Most good players already do this… why not reward it?

    • imaginarywars says:

      We do our best to mitigate the possibility of personal bias when it comes to judging. I recognise that we can’t get rid personal bias, but we make those prejudices play a lesser role in the judging.
      We also judge using a checklist (instead of using the arbitrary and abstract “rate their highlights on a scale of 1 to 5” method). So again, we’re averaging scores, not averaging opinions.

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