The Age of Sigmar tournament at the New Orleans Open, in New Orleans, Louisiana USA, on the 11-12 December, will have narrative elements and prizes!
‘The Fate of New Marais’: a tale of Survival in the swamps of Ghur.
The Age of Sigmar Championship tournament at the event will have all the usual elements of an ITC matched play event, but will also feature a number of narrative objectives and prizes to see players decide which god will control the fate of the city of New Marais, in the swamps of Ghur.
And influence this storyline for coming years.
(old AoS narrative hands might remember the infamous ‘Narrative Hijack’ rules, sneaked in at the South Coast GT 2017, so it’s great to see more experimentation with matched play events)
We chatted with the head judge & NEO for the narrative elements of the event, Jon Barmore, about what players can expect from it.
Q: Please summarize the event for us, and what players can expect.
A: The event is new this year in New Orleans, as Frontline Gaming (FLG) is expanding the area covered by their events. So we are very excited to have an opportunity to run an Age of Sigmar tournament.
A majority of events hosted by FLG are focused solely on the competitive aspect of Games Workshop games, but there is a growing interest in the narrative aspect as you likely know. Reece, Kicker, and the rest of the FLG staff have always aimed at having an AoS event, but have embraced the idea to include some narrative flare.
Players in this event will be playing a combination of the traditional competitive event that FLG are known for and a narrative path event that crafts a story. The event will use the General’s Handbook 2021 scenarios, rules, and scoring. In addition, there will be a story to be told by the results from the players. A story will be posted in the player pack before the event and player choices during army selection, games, and victories will determine the outcome of the narrative. A closing story will be posted after the event has concluded, to give resolution to the events. This is in a similar vein as to what other successful games have done in the past (e.g. Legend of the Five Rimgs CCG).
Q: What Narrative elements will you be deploying in this tournament? Please give us some insight on your process of introducing these components into a full ITC tournament.
A: When designing the event, we wanted to keep the focus on the competition that attendees at FLG events are used to and expect. But we wanted to offer an additional layer for those players that just want to see a story unfold. So we combined the two formats by allowing players to decide how their games and victories will drive the story, regardless of if that player wins the event. (More details below).
Each player will choose one of the many gods of AoS to fight for (e.g. Sigmar, Teclis, Nagash, Kragnos, Nurgle, etc) as the followers of these gods wage a war for control of the city and its resources. Battle points and wins will determine the strength of these gods and who is the ultimate winner (in the story).
Q: What can players expect of the battlefield scenery and battleplans? What will New Marais feel and look like on the table?
A: All of the tables will be built with the high quality FLG mats and terrain pieces. Each table will be built with a matching theme. The city of New Marais is a sprawling metropolis deep in the heartlands of Ghur (much like New Orleans), so there will be variety between tables, but each one alone will be themed.
To keep the predictability of the competitive tournament, we will be using the battle plans located in GHB 2021, but they will be included in the written narrative with an explanation on what they mean to the city if New Marais.
Q: How will the final scoring affect the consequences to the city of New Marais, and your evolving narrative for it? What plans do you have for the future of this narrative?
A: Prior to the event, players will submit which of the gods of AoS their army fights for (as noted above). During the event, wins and battle points will contribute to the influence each god has over the populace. Additionally, the overall victor will determine which god takes control of the city itself. This will likely create a disparity between the ruling god and the will of the people (not an uncommon occurrence in AoS). Therefore, while there will only be one winning god, another may win the hearts of the people through high scoring games, numerous attendees, etc.
The post-event story will be driven by these two results. One god will definitely be the victor and rule the city, but will they also have the hearts of the people or will a rebellion already be brewing? Will unrest begin to tear at the city’s seams or will stability finally allow the secrets of New Marais to be exploited? Future events in New Orleans may have a separate narrative event based on feedback and participation, and the evolving narrative will continue there.
Q: You have shared with us that your local group is quite fond of Narrative Play. What would you like to say to narrative players out there, to motivate them to come to the New Orleans Open this December, and/or join you locally for future events?
A: I, in my heart, am a narrative player. I want to be able to tell a tale when I’m done playing. I want to look back after 5 or 10 years and recount the amazing stories of my games. But I do also like to win, and I know that most large events are competitive in nature. I am hoping that we can successfully combine these two goals, because I believe that they are not mutually exclusive. I designed this event so that a player can be totally focused on a single aspect (victory or story), play alongside gamers with a different focus, and both will enjoy the event and get a positive experience out of it.
So, if you’re just in it to win, come on out.
If you’re just in it for the story, come on out.
Together we can tell a tale, craft a story, and crown a champion.
Thank you very much for the opportunity to talk about the event. And I hope to see some of you there.
Thank you, Jon!
We will be following the event online, so please post lots of pictures on social media!
You can find the Tournament Rules Pack here for more details and tickets.
There are still tickets available, grab yours before it’s too late!!!
And if they happen to be all taken, sign up for the waitlist: there are always dropouts! (true story)
What do you think about this event?
Do you have any questions for the NEO, such as how to spice up your local tournament with a little narrative?
Leave your comments below!