Last weekend saw the UK’s first ever Vanguard tournament, organised by Andy Sharp from Weight of Fire. 28 players from across the country headed to The Forge in Manchester to fight it out with their warbands. Among the collected commanders were Martin and Rob from Mantic – who both fought valiantly to come mid table. Following the event, we thought we’d share some highlights/hints, just in case you’re planning to organise your own Vanguard tournament.
CHOOSE YOUR SCENARIOS
There are plenty of scenarios in the Vanguard rulebook, so choosing the right ones for a tournament can be quite tricky. For example, although the Capture the Giant scenario is one of the most iconic in the book, we’re sure Andy might have struggled to get 14 giants painted up for the event! With that in mind, look at choosing missions that are easy to get on the table and have different methods of scoring. The four scenarios at Cry Havoc were:
- Supply Grab (a good introductory scenario to get everyone warmed up)
- The Power Stones (players score each round, so this encourages them to get stuck in!)
- Recover the Plans (in this one, you’ve got to chase the plans around the board)
- Secure the Portal (a fun mission to end on, as the Portal can suck units into the Abyss)
LEVEL UP YOUR CHARACTERS
As you hopefully know, the tagline for Vanguard is ‘Your Warband, Your Story’ because during campaign play your characters will gain new skills and abilities as they gather experience. This element of the game was included in Cry Havoc because players could level up Commanders, Spellcasters, Large models, Warriors and Support. After each game there was the opportunity to choose one model to receive some an extra benefit.
This was an enjoyable – and relatively simple – way to add the progression element of a campaign into a tournament. However, on the flip side, Commanders, Spellcasters, Support and Large models could receive injuries too… so you had to be slightly careful when throwing your best units into combat. A nice touch by Andy was to award a spot prize to the player with the unit that had suffered the most wounds during the day. Recalling correctly, this was an Elven Prince with two mangled legs and a suppurating wound.
EXPLORE FOR GOLD
Another interesting twist on the typical tournament format was that it wasn’t just about winning games! This was because players had to find gold too. Again, using a stripped-down version of the campaign rules, after each game participants rolled on an exploration table to see if they found a dragon’s lair, silver mine or barren lands, etc. As a result, even if you lost a game you could get a lucky roll on the exploration table. In fact, Rob only won one game but rolled ‘thieves in the night’, which meant he actually received less gold than the games he lost. Perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea, but it certainly added a little chaos to proceedings.
The Tournament Pack for Cry Havoc is still available, and you can download it here. It’s full of great ideas to base your own event on.
I WANT TO PLAY IN A VANGUARD TOURNAMENT!
Well, great news! There are few events coming up and tickets are still available.
- Vanguard Demonstration – if you’re not quite ready for a tournament yet, but want to learn the game. Head to Plymouth, UK on February 2nd to get up to speed on the basics. Details here.
- Jack of Herts 2 – also on February 2nd, a combined Kings of War and Vanguard event in glorious Hemel Hempstead, UK. Details here.
- Vanguard National Championships – over at Adepticon, we’re hosting the US National Championships on 29th March. 24 participants are already signed up and we had to open up extra space! Grab your ticket here.
- Border Conflict – VC Games is hosting a one-day Vanguard tournament at Mantic HQ on April 27th. Contact Sharad Vora for more details.
- Spearhead – we will be hosting a one-day tournament at Mantic HQ on June 8th. Tickets and full details will follow shortly, but mark your diaries now!
Plus, let us know in the comments below about tournaments coming up near you too.