The Ocean Terrain Contest
is somewhat of a tradition here at Miniature Trading. It has been over 6 years since the second one ended. Since then, there have been lots of new members, many of whom joined after the close of the most recent contest. There are many members who are interested in playing Pirates, as evidenced by the number of players on VASSAL and posting battle reports over the past year or two. In addition, between the Custom Islands and Terrain
thread, the prevalence of Rossinaz's custom islands, and some varied interest at the subreddit
, there has been continuing and even rising interest in making custom stuff for Pirates CSG. With that said, I think it's time to have a discussion and gauge interest in the potential for a possible THIRD Official Ocean Terrain Contest.
Here are links to the old threads and voting threads for useful reference. They give a very good idea of what the contest entails, and you should be able to view the picture links (even the photobucket ones for now) to get an idea of what entries looked like.
Official Ocean Terrain Board Contest
Ocean Terrain Contest Voting Thread
Oceans Contest 2.0
Oceans Contest Voting Thread: The Easier Version (SO VOTE!!)
In case it wasn't already obvious, this type of contest requires a commitment far beyond the Fleet Challenges and Miniature Review Contests. The previous two contests of this type gave about 6 months from the start to the submission deadline. However, given how long it's been since the last one, the smaller fanbase/potential participant pool, and how long things like this take in general, I'm proposing a full year
for this one. I'm not saying I would host it, and if you'd like to, please state your interest. However, I think a longer deadline could work better for a lot of people (myself included), and besides, if this got going soon, 6 months from now is around the time of the busy holiday season.
There are various other parameters to work out, mainly the voting criteria and how the contest would work, but first we can see if there's interest.
Finally, I would highly recommend two criteria for the rules, if this contest comes to fruition:
1. You do not NEED to have an actual "board" (this can make things far more expensive, and space constraints are another issue. Making a lot of custom islands/terrain/etc and placing it on a blue fabric sheet can look just as good, with the additional benefits of being a) far more portable, and b) far more customizable, as you're not gluing an island onto one spot of the board forever)
2. Only things made during the submission period count (again, likely an entire YEAR). (or else Xerecs, myself, and likely others would have an early and potentially unfair advantage, especially with some of the potential entrants having only discovered Pirates earlier this year for example)
One of the biggest issues would be prizes. I can contribute a limited number of relatively common ships/crew/UT's (C/U/R rarities) and maybe some sealed packs. In this day and age I wouldn't expect anyone to help a lot with prize support. However, the idea of everyone contributing $10 or $20 at the beginning and then pooling money for a prize at the end is an interesting concept. Perhaps the winner would get all the gold (lol), or 75% with second and third place getting 15% and 5%, etc. Either way, this could also serve to discourage what I would call "false hopers" - people who show all sorts of interest up front and then fail to submit an entry or disappear from the site by the time the contest ends.