We’ve got a guest blog today from Four Foot Snake’s Paul Welsh about their recent Kings of War tournament. Over to you Paul…
For those of you who don’t know, ‘Four Foot Snake’ (or FFS as it’s also known as) is a UK based Kings of War Podcast (although the last episode posted was actually back in May 2018), originally consisting of hosts Jonathan Faulkes, Dan King, Nick Williams and Matt Gilbert. After Matt was appointed COO of Mantic, his time became much harder to steal and the guys recruited Paul Welsh to the team for a (slightly) more regular foursome on the cast.
On top of podcasting, the team were a regular sight in the Kings of War tournament scene, both at home and abroad (the pinnacle being FFS crowned ‘Best Team Overall’ at Lonewolf 2018 in Texas, USA). It was this travelling that allowed the team to experience different approaches to event organisation… which brings us to the FFS GT.
The UK tournament scene mainly focuses on ‘Battle’ (results of games) to score its events, while the USA use an ‘Overall’ approach that combines ‘Battle’ with ‘Hobby/Painting and Sportsmanship’ (otherwise known as ‘Soft Scores’). After the team experienced Lonewolf (The USA’s largest Kings of War GT) in 2017 and 2018, they decided they wanted to bring their experiences back to the UK.
And so was formed the first FFS GT in February 2018, which turned out to be the largest attended tournament in the UK outside Mantic’s Clash of Kings event.
Fast forward a year and we’ve just wrapped up ‘Another Four Foot Snake Thing 2019’. It was held over two days, February 23rd-24th, at Element Games in Stockport. A really successful weekend with 40 players attending (which is pretty big for the UK considering the entire nation is only about a ⅓ the size of Texas). There was also an after-party on the Saturday night where most of the players took over a local pub and its Karaoke machine (evidence of this still exists on Kings of War Fanatics if you’d like to find it – Ed’s note: or not, of course).
The event offered points based on ‘Battle, Hobby and Sportsmanship’. The gaming score was based on a player’s results over five games, while hobby scores were based on a self-scored rubric (view the rubric here) and extra points awarded by judge’s vote (three-judge vote averaged score). Sportsmanship points were gained by, two or more, accumulated votes at the end of the tournament (check out the website for full details on scoring)
As part of the weekend, players were also allowed to take a free Monster (themed around the FFS hosts) as part of their army.
This also made up a side-competition to the event; Best FFS Monster, awarded to each ‘Character’ (Jon, Paul, Nick and Dan) based on the judge’s favourite conversions (judged on the theme, painting and just general cool factor).
The main awards available over the weekend were:
Best Sportsman – Player with the most sports scores
Best General – Player with the highest gaming points
Best Army – Best painted army as voted by the judges
Best Overall – The player with the highest combined scoring
There were other prizes given away for things such as 2nd and 3rd and even a £50 voucher, donated by Mantic, was raffled off at random to the attendees.
After a fun two days, the final results were in (see below for the full standings) and Chris Cowburn was crowned the Overall Champion! Chris is both an excellent gamer and painter, having scored the highest battle score as well as a high hobby score. His Mantic Orge army also netted him a free ticket to Clash of Kings 2019 as Mantic had made the event their ‘Northern Clash of Kings Qualifier’ for this year (Chris sent us a picture of his army below).
One of the main highlights of the weekend was the incredible effort from all the attendees with added extras like display boards, special conversions and even booklets of stories based on player’s armies! A shoutout needs to go to The Brotherhood army built by Nick Williams. The effort that went into his army is ridiculous and it’s easy to say he fully deserved his award for Best Army. See his display board below. Insane!
It could be said that hobby events have a feeling of being more inclusive than your average ‘Battle’ event, as it rewards all facets of the hobby rather than just one. Where some may think tournaments are for power gamers (which they absolutely aren’t… Check out Nick Williams’ blog on attending Kings of War events) and have no chance of winning anything. Hobby events give all-comers something to aim for!
The FFS GT’s may be the first ‘Hobby’ style events in the UK Kings of War tournament scene, but judging by the player response, keep a lookout, as there will be more popping up going forward.