13 Tips on Getting Ready for a Miniature Wargaming Tournament

As AdeptiCon 2024 approaches, the excitement in the miniature wargaming community is palpable. This major event in the U.S. serves as a gathering ground for gamers worldwide, offering days filled with competitive and strategic gameplay. Notably, AdeptiCon is the go-to venue for intense tournaments in games like Bolt Action and Blood Red Skies.

In this article, we'll cover some essential tips for preparing for any miniature wargaming tournament. From honing your strategic thinking to packing the right gear, we'll guide you through everything you need to make your experience at AdeptiCon‚ÄĒor any historical tabletop wargames event‚ÄĒa success.

1. Understand the Tournament Rules and Pack

Before you even pack your miniatures, make sure you're fully acquainted with the tournament pack. This contains all the necessary details like scenario rules, point limits, army composition restrictions, and model requirements (e.g., WYSIWYG - What You See Is What You Get). Reviewing this ensures no surprises on game day and allows you to tailor your miniature army to the specific challenges of the tournament.

2. Know Your Army

Deep knowledge of your own army's rules is crucial. Familiarize yourself with the special abilities, strengths, and weaknesses of each unit. This will allow you to exploit synergies between units and make informed tactical decisions during gameplay. Don’t overlook the benefits specific to your faction which can be pivotal in game scenarios.

3. Prepare for the Venue

Know the logistics of the event. If the tournament is at a large venue, like Adepticon or GenCon, familiarize yourself with the location of the event within the venue to ensure timely arrival and setup. Check travel time between different events and plan accordingly to avoid any rush or stress.

4. Pre-register and Submit Your Army List Early

Submitting your army list ahead of time can greatly streamline your experience. Early registration often secures your spot and helps the organizers ensure there are enough tables and resources for all players. It also minimizes last-minute changes and stress, allowing you to focus on the game rather than administrative details.

5. Practice with Your Army

Regular practice is vital for tournament readiness. Experiment with different army lists and strategies against a range of opponents to deepen your understanding of your army's capabilities. These practice sessions are crucial for exploring various tactical approaches and refining your gameplay. Use this time to adjust your strategy to better align with the missions and battle plans you expect to encounter at the tournament.

6. Prepare Your Army List and Share It

Prior to the tournament, prepare and submit your army list if required. Use tools like Battlescribe or traditional pen and paper to craft your list. Bring a copy to the event, so you can review it with your opponent during setup, promoting transparency and sportsmanship. This is crucial in games like Warlord Games SPQR and Blood Red Skies, where understanding each other’s capabilities can significantly impact game outcomes.

7. Pack Essentials for Gameplay

When heading to your tournament, make sure to bring all your gaming essentials. This includes your army, fully painted and based to meet event standards, which could be crucial for scoring at official events like Bolt Action or Black Powder tournaments. Also, ensure you have your dice, measuring tape, and all necessary gaming supplements like codexes, data cards, and stratagem cards. Organize your materials so you can access everything quickly, which is especially important under the tight time constraints typical of competitive play.

8. Foster a Positive Attitude

Approach the tournament with a good attitude. Whether you’re playing Black Seas, Victory at Sea, or Hail Caesar Warlord Games, aim to enjoy the experience rather than focusing solely on winning. Being a good sport enhances the experience for both you and your opponents, fostering a friendly competitive environment.

9. Manage Your Time Efficiently

Time management is crucial during tournaments. Set timers to keep track of your rounds and familiarize yourself with the event schedule to ensure punctuality. Efficient time use helps you maintain focus and calm, particularly in timed rounds common in Bolt Action and Cruel Seas games.

10. Bring Necessary Supplies

Pack a tournament survival kit that includes water, snacks, a phone charger, and any necessary medication. Staying hydrated and energized is key, especially during long events. Additionally, bring any game aids like quick reference sheets or rulebooks for Konflikt '47 or other complex games to streamline gameplay.

11. Plan Your Miniature Transportation

Safeguard your miniatures, particularly if they’re intricately painted Black Powder Napoleonic miniatures or Blood & Plunder ships. Use sturdy cases like Feldherr or Chessex cases, which provide various storage capacities and protection levels. Proper transportation ensures your miniatures arrive in pristine condition, ready for battle.

12. Maintain Good Hygiene

Remember, tournaments are social events where you’ll interact closely with many individuals. Basic hygiene is crucial. Bring deodorant, ensure your clothes are clean, and consider breath mints or gum. Maintaining good hygiene respects your fellow gamers and contributes positively to the communal atmosphere, making long hours at events like Historicon or ADEPTICON more pleasant for everyone.

13. Prioritize Enjoyment Over Winning

It's natural to feel competitive and aim for victory, but the primary goal of participating in tournaments should always be to have fun. Manage your stress and anxiety by remembering that it's just a game and that every round is a chance to learn and improve. Use the tournament as an opportunity to meet new people, exchange ideas, and possibly make long-lasting friendships within the gaming community.

Prepared to Dive Into the Fun?

Whether it's your first skirmish or you're a seasoned captain, each tournament is a fresh chance to play, paint, and make some memories. So, grab your supplies and step into the arena with confidence‚ÄĒyou got this!


Prepare for a miniature wargaming tournament with essential tips. This infographic offers a guide to help you hone your strategic thinking and pack the right gear for a successful experience at AdeptiCon or any historical tabletop wargames event.

13 Miniature Wargaming Tournament Tips Infographic

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