first of all I would like to say that this was one of the most enjoyable ETCs for me and I will probably write my impressions in another thread, so I'll just stick to terrain issues we had this year. Considering the terrain, I would like to thank the judges for doing the best they could with the given resources. A lot of effort was put forward from them and I can only thank them for spending their free time in making the ETC as pleasant as they could for the players. Secondly I would like to thank Alberto from Your Command for sponsoring the last referee and Team Italy and France for donating some of the terrain along with us. The matter of fact is that without all of this donated terrain the tables would be unbearable. For reference I am attaching a picture of the amount of terrain we donated to this years ETC.
This is where my thanks stops and criticism turns on. Before I criticize I would like to say that the venue was nice and that the food was good (much better than on some of the previous ETCs, looking at you Novi Sad). However, this years organizer:
- clearly doesn't understand what it takes to make good FOW tables and without the donated terrain from the three nations, I can't imagine what a catastrophe the tables would be,
- failed to communicate the terrain problem in a timely manner to the community,
- did nothing to remedy the situation after they saw the situation with the FOW tables,
- only stated that the captains should be more involved next time with the terrain.
Now, let me just start by saying that it's beyond my understanding how the organizer thought that we must be more involved with the terrain if he can't even communicate that he has a problem with it? Are we fortune tellers or mind readers? We as players and teams, pay the organizer to organize the venue, tables and the TERRAIN! It is not our responsibility to do that and it's only our good will that we do it.
Team Slovenia always donated terrain when the tournaments were in Serbia or Zagreb with expecting nothing in return, because we try to help the community as much as we can. This year was most probably however the last one in which we brought our own terrain. This is due to the fact that we donated the terrain to the organizers in agreement that our terrain is put together and not mix and matched with other terrain. This was our only term for donating the terrain and it was immediately broken without COMMUNICATING IT TO US. If they told us beforehand that they didn't have enough terrain and had to mix it, we would have said yes, because we wouldn't have a better choice anyway :). So imagine our surprise when we came to the venue. The terrain we have in Slovenia is the product of many long hours/days of labor, gluing, painting, assembling, etc... and I can't stress enough what it means to a small community like ours. The attitude of the organizer just wasn't where we expected it to be. To be perfectly clear I have to stress that the judges have nothing to do with this and they did the best they could do (Carolus, Marko, Matt, you're awesome!). The only one to blame here is the organizer for failing to communicate their problems with the community. This wasn't the first time the organizers disregarded our agreement that the terrain mustn't be mix and matched. It happened in Serbia one year as well.
I personally agree with Lynx's proposal and suggest we move forward with it. All future bids must comply with the terrain standards that the FOW community puts forward and no excuses should be tolerable. In case of lacking to comply with our standards we should seriously consider on involving money penalties... or some other type of penalty.
Kind regards, Milan (Team Slovenia)