Discussing a potential NagoyaHammer 2024

Details of upcoming NagoyaHammer events
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Discussing a potential NagoyaHammer 2024

Post by Primarch » Thu Jul 27, 2023 12:55 am

This morning I woke up very early due to the heat and couldn't get back to sleep. So, while lying there I got to thinking about restarting NagoyaHammer (the event, not this site) next year. For those of you who are new here, or just have terrible memories, the first NH event was in 2010 and ran yearly until Covid put a stop to it in 2020. I ran the events up until 2018 and The Other Dave took over for 2019. Generally the event lasted for two days in Golden Week and consisted of 1 day of 40K and another day where other games were played. In that time we saw mini-campaign events, Warmachine tournaments, massive historical battles (at a variety of scales), speed painting contests and a few too many after-game beers.

Now that Corona is more or less done, it is time to start looking ahead. So, to that end I thought we could have a discussion about the event, to see if there is interest in restarting it, and what folks would like to see.

To begin with, I will give you a run-down of where my head is at regarding the event and then everyone can pitch any ideas or suggestions they may have.

Time and Place
As this is the only 'big' event on our calendar, I was thinking to stick with the tried and tested 2-day format. I don't think anyone can realistically do any more than that, and it makes it feel a bit more special than your once-a-month gaming day type of thing. As per previous years, I'd be looking to book something for Golden Week, I know a lot of people go travelling then, but it is also a time when almost nobody has to work. I'm open to considering other 3-day weekends though.
As for the venue, for every NH so far we have used the NTK Hall in Kanayama. This has been a contentious point previously as it is expensive. However, it also has a lot of merits. It is fairly central with good access by train for anyone travelling from outside the city. (There used to be a couple of business hotels nearby, and plenty of places to eat). It is open from 09:00 to 21:00, which means enough time for 3 games per day and change, plus we can leave things set up overnight. It has a lot of space. The regular room had potentially fifteen 6' by 4' tables, though I think we maxed at 10. Players aren't constantly tripping over each other and there is a lot of space for bags and boxes to be tucked away. For a maximum of 24 hours of gaming time, that open space is great. And finally, it can be booked 6 months in advance, which makes planning a whole lot easier. Other possible venues such as the various culture centres we use each month are half the size, open for a shorter time, and can only be booked 2 months in advance (last I checked, which was a LONG time ago). Having planned events in both types of places before, the certainty of having the room booked well in advance makes things much, much easier to plan for, do outreach to other groups and to commit to.
I haven't checked the NTK Hall website in a while, but I'm assuming that they still rent out meeting rooms, and it is my first choice for a venue. If anyone knows of anything comparable for a lower price, I'm happy to consider it, but most of the culture centres like E-able in Higashi Betsuin don't really fit in my opinion.

Which leads to:

Cost and Ticketing
In previous years, I have priced entry at 2500 yen for 1 day and 4500 for both, needing about 11 people each day to break even on the cost of the room reservations. I know that this is a lot more than the usual 500 yen (or currently free) fee for the monthly meetings. Generally any excess money from the event went towards paying for this site. I know these forums aren't exactly cutting edge, but there are still a few overheads for hosting to take care of. Assuming the venue and costs are still the same as the last time I ran things in 2018, I intend to keep entry costs the same. Should attendance be significantly higher than previously, then a price decrease is something I would consider.
The use of online ticketing has been suggested previously as a way to encourage attendance. I haven't used it myself, but it is definitely an option. How would people feel about paying in advance? How should we handle refunds? Those are all questions to consider I suppose.

Games
I like the format of 1 day of 40K and 1 day of everything else. 40K gets a lot of table time at the monthly events and it is what most people are into. That said, it is not the only game that people want to play and I think having one day without it will give folks the chance to play all of the other systems out there.
Assuming that we have a Saturday and a Sunday for the event, my initial plan was:
Saturday:
NO 40K. Everything else (inc. Kill Team, 30K, Epic etc.) is fair game.
-Volunteers run demo/participation games. Everything is provided (by said volunteers), so anyone can play.
-Mini-events. Interested parties organise tournaments/campaigns etc between themselves and handle the running of the event.
E.g. Player A wants to get people into a system they like and organises a demo game. They sort out terrain, minis, dice and some QRS prints.
Players B,C,D and E really like system X. They decide to do a 1-day campaign, playing 3 games in sequence switching partners each time.
Sunday:
-40K. Players bring along 1000/1500/2000 ? points of their chosen army to do battle with randomly assigned opponents over the course of the day. The big question will be Tournament or Non-Tournament format?
-non-40K. A couple of tables will be set aside, so anyone who doesn't play 40K can play something else if they want. This is not the focus of the day, but simply an option for the minority of people who don't play 10th ed.

Terrain and Minis
I have quite a bit of terrain that can be used for both days. Not everything is suited for 40K, but I can probably run to 3 or 4 tables at least, especially with the smaller playing areas of 10th edition. I can likewise throw some grass mats on quite a few of the tables. My collection isn't limited to just 40K, I have terrain for a variety of systems that I am happy to loan out if people want to spend a day playing Malifaux or Bolt Action or something. Just let me know what you need and I will tell you what I can provide.
That said, more terrain is always better, so if folks can provide some, that is very much appreciated.
One of the things I have been a stickler for in the past is 'No Unpainted Minis' on the table. You don't need to be a master painter, but bare plastic or an undercoat doesn't really inspire, y'know. I have always found big events to be a great motivation to get behind a brush and finish an army off, so I am hoping that this will continue to be the case.

Community Support
In years past, I handled most things myself, but as things have changed a lot in the past few years, I think sharing some of the tasks will be a necessity. I'm not asking for volunteers just yet, but I can see a few areas that I could use some assistance with due to my own stunning ineptitude.
Transport - I have a lot of things to bring to the venue and I don't drive or have a car. A personal chauffeur is always welcome. Limo optional.
Community Outreach - There are some other gaming groups around (Ichinomiya I believe) that might have people interested in playing. There is also the whole Facebook thing that I have always stayed well clear of. Having a few volunteers to advertise in those places would help bring in more people.
Ticketing/Landing Page - These were both brought up in discussions when ToD ran things. I can probably get things set up, but if one of the more tech-savvy forum members had some burning desire to help out...
Translation - 19+ years in Japan and I still don't read or write (or speak or understand) Japanese that well. There are more and more local players in Japan as the hobby grows, but very little overlap between the gaijin and local communities. Making things more accessible could help that.
Game Managers - Either running demos or mini-events on Saturday or sorting out missions for the 40K game on Sunday, having a person responsible for a particular system means less problems on the day. An in-depth grasp of the rules and familiarity with the game is best, as well as keeping on top of any errata. I can organise the 40K event, but having a dedicated 40K 10th Ed. expert to pick out balanced missions would probably lead to a better result.
As I said, I'm not calling for anyone just yet, but those are areas where a helping hand could come in useful. If anyone has any other ideas about where they or someone else can pitch in, speak up.

Miscellaneous
I was thinking about having a Bring and Buy table set up in one corner of the room if people are interested. Previously we have had quite a bit of commerce on the side-lines of the event.
I'm not sure if it is permitted by the venue, but maybe inviting a local hobby shop to participate in the event could be an idea? Perhaps some minor prize support in exchange for a place for them to advertise/sell some stock? I'm not sure how much business they would get though, especially as they wouldn't be running their own shop on the day.
Painting contests were a thing we did previously, but they always seemed to take up a lot of time. We do have some very talented individuals locally, so if demand is there, I am cool with running one again. The Volks hobby shop in Kamimaezu has a lot of display cabinets showcasing work from their staff and customers, so there are some great painters around that don't post to this forum, or even know about it.



So anyway, that is where I am at at the moment. Any thoughts, feedback, suggestions or constructive criticism, post it below?
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The Other Dave
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Re: Discussing a potential NagoyaHammer 2024

Post by The Other Dave » Thu Jul 27, 2023 1:23 am

I'd absolutely be coming if you organized this! I'd also have no issue with pre-paying (there's an app called Peatix that works pretty well), and having run it the one year I can absolutely see how that would make things about 1000% easier for the event organizer. The NTK hall is fine by me; a pricy but nice (and able-to-be-planned-well-in-advance) event once a year isn't a real big ask IMO.

Personally I'd be interested in organizing a beginner-friendly Underworlds tournament on the non-40K day - which does make me think of something: if I, also, wanted to do ticketing (not to charge more money, more to make people feel like they signed up for something and make it hard to flake and have an idea beforehand of how many people were coming, stuff that's important for a tournament) it'd be nice to find some sort of ticketing option that allowed for "sub events" (?), like a checkbox option to say "I'm planning on doing this activity on this day." I don't know if this is even a thing or not, but it might help with organization for other people planning on running event-type stuff on the non-40K day as well.

Edit to add: As for the support roles, I'm afraid I'm a very non-technical guy :lol: Outreach obviously I could help with in my little way, and if I did Underworlds I'd be a game manager for that, but I'm not a great rules-knower for 40K and might not even be able to manage two days to take part. I think it'd be best to reach out to one of the Japanese guys for translation - even I don't really trust my ability to make something presentable-to-the-world on that front.
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Re: Discussing a potential NagoyaHammer 2024

Post by Jye Nicolson » Thu Jul 27, 2023 2:41 am

Regardless of the rules for 40K (ie tournament or not) it would be best to get some 6x12 bases and set the terrain up as per the tournament pack. The number of tables we can reasonably fill to that standard would probably tell us what sort of event we want (singles, doubles etc). Modern 40K is balanced around having lots of LoS blocking/obscuring terrain and while it's rarely perfect it's a lot more fun with less feelbad moments on a full table.

Alternately if you wanted to pack in the most people you could run a Combat Patrol event, which would halve the table space needed and increase the number of rounds you could pack into a day. It's much less flexible in terms of what models people can bring (though proxying is less of a problem in the format) but there's ways and means around that - I can personally supply many painted Combat Patrols. Not painted *well* but they would be painted.

On the paint issue I'm divided. The painting rules for what would have been my first Nagoyahammer had Nurgle not intervened are the only reason I base my minis at all, but I've come to really enjoy playing on tables where every single piece is painted so I know the payoff is there. OTOH I think the standard 40k way of handling it - 10 points for fully painted - is a strong incentive for an event and a fair way to let people play even if they couldn't get every mini across the line. Could potentially do loaner armies as an alternative?

Like the idea of a venue where we can leave stuff overnight, cost seems fine. Actually getting all the stuff I could potentially contribute from Inazawa to Kanayama and back would probably be my main challenge on helping out so I'd potentially be looking at other storage options around the date (overnight lockers at the station?).

Kill Team would make sense for the second day I think as a good way to reuse the 40k terrain that will still be there. Warcry is much more accessible for folks without experience and vastly less terrain dependent; might be fine if we'd set up a 40k table or two as "feudal worlds". KT would be an exact match though.

(I am happy to make any of those three games happen, though I would lean very heavily on standard missions etc rather than designing bespoke stuff)

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Re: Discussing a potential NagoyaHammer 2024

Post by me_in_japan » Fri Jul 28, 2023 3:36 am

As always, I'm keen to attend.

venue: the ntk hall has been good in the past, and I'm happy to do it again. Cost is not ideal, but also reasonable for the benefits provided by a handy venue we can leave our stuff in overnight (and not worry about tidying away tables etc between days). Peatix or whatever pre-booking system would be fine.

1 day non-40k, 1 day 40k: all good. I probably can't organise or run anything, though. I just don't have the time to properly get to know the rules well enough to police them. A possible exception would be if Magic was an option for day 1. I'd happily run a wee magic tournament/open table for funsies/drop-in games/teaching or whatever. But I'd also understand if folks preferred to keep things miniature focussed.

I'd like to keep the painted minis only rule, both for aesthetic reasons and because it nudges people gently away from overly competitive play. For sure, if someone is sufficiently inclined to play competitively then they'll get the minimum of paint on their minis and roflstomp everyone regardless, but by disallowing grey plastic it at least puts that wee hurdle in front of folks, and encourages the 'hobby" perspective as opposed to leaning too heavily into the "play to win the game" side of things.

I'd also prefer full 40k, as opposed to combat patrol. As the flagship naghammer event, it'd be nice to be able to show off our stuff a bit, and lots of us probably have bigger units/tanks etc that wouldn't work in combat patrol.

As with previous years, I'd like to keep the focus on a fun community event, rather than leaning too hard into the tournament/competitive aspect of the game. That's not to say there can't be a ranking system, and play towards a series of wins or whatever, but that the emphasis should be on everyone getting together, showing off their stuff (both painting and tactical) and just generally being sociable. (To give an unlikely example: I'd be super disappointed if I made the trip and ended up playing a series of games against unpainted armies composed of min/maxed grossness. That's not my idea of a good time.)

Painting contest would be great, but I get very little chance to actually paint these days, so my ability to either enter or judge would be highly questionable. I also remember that one time we had a painting contest and one guy complained that he didn't win. Later, he and the winner both went on to win golden daemons (with different minis), so I'm slightly leery of putting myself forward as a judge again.

I can try to bring some scenery. A lot of my stuff is hard to transport, though, and I reeeeeaaally don't want to drive up.

Oh, and I would not be bringing my kids to this. I'll probably have a fight on my hands, but it ain't happ'nin.

Anyway, broadly speaking I'm super keen to return to nagoyahammer. I'm not sure what I can do to help, but I'll do what I can. 👍
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Wow. And then Corona happened. Just....crickets, all the way through to 2023...

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Re: Discussing a potential NagoyaHammer 2024

Post by Primarch » Sat Jul 29, 2023 11:38 pm

Thanks for the feedback so far, everyone.

If anyone else wants to jump in with some opinions, feel free to do so. There is still plenty of time to weigh up options and to talk through potential changes.

For those of you who haven't attended one of our events before (i.e. those who joined the group during the pandemic), what would you be looking for in a large (by local standards) event?

For the old grognards in the group, is there anything you feel needs changing or something you would like to see again?
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Re: Discussing a potential NagoyaHammer 2024

Post by Grantholomeu » Mon Jul 31, 2023 3:33 pm

I'd definitely be interested in a return to the full blown NagoyaHammer event. I probably wouldn't be doing any 40k, but I could organize Malifaux demos if anyone is interested.

As for the venue, I know nothing about venues :D but the old NTK Hall was pretty nice from the one year I remember of it. With no alternatives, sure the price sucks, but it seems like the best option for a nice place for our biggest event of the year.

I'm also gonna put in another vote for only painted minis, which is a lot easier for me to say now since the main game I play features teams of 10 or so models :lol: But in the same vein as what Prim was saying, if this is going to be the big event of the year where we have people coming in from out of town or just newbies from in town who haven't come before, I think it'd be a much better showing of what the hobby is about to have painted crews. Plus it just looks way better when armies are painted. If someone is coming by for the first time, seeing painted armies would both let them know what they'd be getting into if they were interested in starting the hobby, and inspire/impress them on top of that.
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Re: Discussing a potential NagoyaHammer 2024

Post by The Other Dave » Mon Jul 31, 2023 9:27 pm

To weigh in on painting: The other side of the argument, of course, is that someone thinking about coming for the first time feeling that they couldn't come because they've been intimidated by painting / couldn't get finished / whatever, would be a shame. I guess my feeling is that encouraging only fully painted models, and holding yourself to that standard (I certainly do!) is all well and good, but if we tell people new to the hobby that "you must be this tall to enter" it's a bit feels-bad.

(My point of view is colored by the Ichinomiya group, which has some people in it very new to the hobby, and where some people still play unpainted - but TBF Underworlds probably attracts a more board-gamey crowd than 40K proper.)
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Re: Discussing a potential NagoyaHammer 2024

Post by The Underdweller » Sun Aug 06, 2023 2:37 pm

I would be interested in coming, at least for the non-40K day, possibly both if I can get some kind of game in. It's nice to have this kind of get-together where we can see everyone once a year. I have a potential trip to Taiwan during GW, but expect I'll be back before NH.

I don't mind the extra cost, as it's a once-a-year event. And online ticketing seems like a good idea, so people are more committed to coming. Even if you gave refunds, it's an extra step they would have to go through, and that way you would know before the event day if they weren't coming. Lack of paint doesn't bother me that much. Sure it looks nicer, but I would rather people come even if they didn't have time to finish painting everything. Some kind of small in-game bonus for fully painted seems like a good idea, like Jay mentioned.

My personal choice would be the non-40K day on Sunday (my day off), but I should be able to come either way. I can bring a bit of terrain that could be used for any game (not enough for a full 40K table, though) , one pretty old battle mat for 40K (4 by 6, is it played on a smaller area now?), and one for Malifaux.

I could probably do translation, with some help from google translate and a Japanese friend, but one of the Japanese guys would be better, of course.

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Re: Discussing a potential NagoyaHammer 2024

Post by YellowStreak » Mon Aug 14, 2023 3:45 am

I'd be there and happy to help as much as I can.
The bigger venue, the fact it's acessible until late and we can leave stuff overnight is definately a bonus in my book.
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Re: Discussing a potential NagoyaHammer 2024

Post by Konrad » Wed Sep 06, 2023 2:31 am

I'm pretty much out of 40K these days. I just can't keep up with the rules and there is no way my motley collection of SquatOrks and actual Rogue Trader era Squats could muster anything even slightly competitive with these new rules. But I'd for sure be there on day 2. Maybe I'll have my Turnip28 regiment done by May...... I'd be good for a table's worth of 40K terrain if it's needed.
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