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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lords of Terra: Final Thoughts Part 1

Well here I am back typing away on the blog. Gee it was nice to get a weekend away from you lot :P. I finished with 2 wins, 2 draws and a loss. Not bad considering first 5 games on the table-top with most of this army, one mission was an auto-draw against a terrible matchup for me and I faced 3 Land Raiders ^^. Could of been better but still finished top 15/10 on Battle Points iirc (30th with all the soft scores). 

So I’m going to put my thoughts down on paper here about Lords of Terra. For the most part it wasn’t too bad. I knew I was going to get whacked around the head with the comp stick but I’ll take a look at the big picture. What really irked me though (and which may sour this post although I hope not) was the awards ‘ceremony.’ It felt like a beauty pageant and I can’t really say I feel like the I actually played in a Warhammer 40,000 tournament. Yes hobby (i.e. paint) and sportsmanship are part of the game and if you can ‘handicap’ yourself with a good comp score and still win, great. But let’s get a few things straightened out. First, 40k is a game with a very real hobby aspect. That said, having two armies across from each other which are painted and on terrain is light years better than primed armies crowding around ketchup bottles. However, this has no bearing on tournament results. Again, I knew this coming in so fine but the way the awards were handed out it came across like “who cares who wins games?” Yes it’s a game of toy soldiers so getting to emo about losing & winning is a bit silly but it’s still a game. The two guys who won I think deserved the wins but the way it was handled and received…well you can see why there isn’t much respect for the Australian tournament scene.

Let’s take a quick look at comp then. The scores aren’t up yet but I believe I got 19/40 for my comp. That’s fine. A friend from Warseer also got 19/40. His shooting was this: 3x Hive Guard + 2x Zoanthropes. Er…what? I don’t know the comp scores for other armies but the only armies which deserved at least medium to high comp scores would be the Eldar & Blood Angels. They both used the good units out of the codex but they were only half mech. Every other army I played was basically a pretty good list considering the codex and if sent into a blog like 3++ or YTTH would only be tweaked rather than rebuilt or with significant changes. Yet they weren’t handicapped by comp. Subjective across the board marking FTW. Oh and a final thought. High Lords of Terra is an ‘invitational event’ whilst the Open event is, well open. An organizer in particular needs to stop with the High Lords = the best, Open = noobs. Vince got a game in against one of the High Lords guys and crushed him with his sub-optimal list and walking around those tables…ya well, see above.

So now I’ve got that out of the system let’s look at the actual tournament. Again, for the most part it was pretty good. I had a great time (better on Sunday when I was awake…), got in some games with new people, met a bunch of people (and thanks to readers like Dennis Fung [who won High Lords of Terra and didn’t say thanks to 3++ in his speech! Lol] who came up to me to say hello…though I need to wonder how he knew it was me when I didn’t have my nametag on!), heard 3++ talked about and generally enjoyed myself. For those of you who talked or approached me about 3++ it would be great if you could post your thoughts here or just post really! Props to the organizers for readying a venue to hold 90+ gamers with tables for everyone and whilst some of their organization, table arrangement, terrain and rules questions need to be looked at, a job well done. Let’s look at those issues now…

Organization. I have a little insight into what happened here as I know who one of the scrubs was to be (Taak). Unfortunately, I think he was the only one so when a player didn’t show up, Byes were handed out. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do about this and I know they at least tried by trying to get Taak to scrub in. But byes need to be worth equal points for everyone. Realistically you should get max points. Vince got this in Round 1. Kyle who got a bye in Round 3 got 12 points (out of 20). Not good enough. You need to be fair across the board and whilst this didn’t affect Kyle’s placement (sorry mate!), what about the other 3 byes that had to be handed out beyond the fact we paid $40-45 to get in 5 games of 40k.

Table arrangement. I don’t like brushing butts with the guy at the table behind me because there’s only room for one person to stand sideways. There were meters of room behind the final row of tables. Use it.

Terrain. First a massive thank you to anyone who brought terrain and to the organizers. I know it’s hard to get terrain for 45 odd tables. That being said, when some tables have nearly 0% cover and other tables are so cramped Rhinos/Chimeras find it difficult to be placed or moved, there’s a problem. For the most part, the tables were fine. Round 1 & 3 tables were great but Round 2, 4 & 5 weren’t so (guess I got unlucky). Round 4 and 5 were good games in the end because my opponent’s were happy to pop some terrain under the table when there was too much or start calling things blanket 4+ cover saves (this will be highlighted in the battle reports…Round 5 was…meh table wise). Now I know themed tables look great but this is the same problem with comp, paint & battle scores. Game first then the hobby aspects. Rules are written for the game not the hobby.

Finally, judging. This is both in terms to rules discussion, interrupting games and the actual judging of paint & comp. Firstly, rules discussion. I don’t know who or where the judges were but luckily I didn’t need them. For 90 odd players, not good enough. For the most part, all rules discussions were able to be resolved with the codex, rulebook or a 4+ and I saw a lot of asking questions of gamers nearby or which you knew (had this happen a couple of times…thanks Kyle!). Next, interrupting games for paint judging. You’ve got a lot to do, that’s fine. But when you’ve been walking around yelling 15 minutes to go and we are only on Turn 4 (because there were no clear instructions on when to start thanks to Player’s Choice for painting) in a very enjoyable and close game and then butt in to attempt to judge a paint score, take 10 minutes of our time and then as you’re leaving go “5 minutes. Last turn.” Meh. My opponent and I were very annoyed about this and my opponent’s army could easily have been judged after the game since it was the lunch break.

I’m going to do a second article it looks like…so I’ll leave the judging of the painting & comp for that post which will look at ideas I’d prefer to see at a tournament.

Overall, it was a nice two days. I met some great people, had some great chats (hell my 5th game was more talking than playing, though the playing was great, too!) and saw some amazing armies. That being said, and I think this is a problem for Australian tournaments, game first. Hobby second.

8 pinkments:

Meister_Kai said...

Well, sorry you only had a so-so time, but it goes with my gamer philosophy of the real elitists always being the "hobbyists" or whatever.

You didn't enter the tournament for your models to be graded, you entered for the chance to play some quality games of 40K. Unfortunately for you, you don't have the choice of picking or choosing which kind of tournament you go to, so you have to do the best with what you've got. Sorry that the high noob lords make that tough for you :(

I got 3 games in myself during the weekend, ended up taking about 40 pictures per game. As soon as I figure out how to condense this into a battle report I'll let you know.

Kirby said...

It only made it tough for me on the scoring table. I still had a really good time and enjoyed most of my games and would love to get games in against them again. Whilst I'm pissy about my painting score (see part 2 when it comes up) it was a good weekend all the same.

Hopefully bat reps will be flowing soon.

Chumbalaya said...

I find that a lot with comped tourneys. The actual games and people are fun, but the scoring afterwards leaves a bitter taste in your mouth, especially if it's full of the usual soft scoring lovey dovey bs.

Glad you had fun, shame about the compfail.

Eltnot said...

I don't know why more tournaments don't use and Odds and Even player. I find someone for each tournament that I run where they come both days, have lunch and drinks provided, and fill the spot of any byes. That way I don't have to worry about what points someone should get for a bye since they just play a game instead like normal. The Odds and Evens player doesn't need to have a painted army and doesn't need to be a pro either as they can be seeded like a normal player if they're required. If they don't play, they help out with entering data etc. Seems silly not to organise one but oh well.

Vinsanity said...

Good summary Will, although technically it was written as a bye and 20 points, I still got 19 against Jules (the High Lords player in round 1) and the 1 point was for making me miss lunch to finish out the game :P I came in 7th overall and the 8th placed guy (Brian) was 2.5 points from me so it made no difference in the end which was good for me since I didn't want to take out 7th feeling guilty for only playing 4 games and taking the bye (which they offered but I chose to redeploy and play vs Jules - great game mate!)

So its not as if I cruised into round 2 but had a tough win against a really good opponent who knew his stuff. Sorry if I'm sounding a bit harsh but its not entirely correct that my bye and Kyle's bye were the same, in fact he should've gotten 20 points like me but the fact is he didn't play a game the entirety of round 3 whereas I played vs a HL guy who got 62 for battle so it could possibly be that I was his only defeat...

Anywho, I will definately post up pics and bat reps and stuff, I unfortunately only got first 2 games in and the next 3 games were much better than those for which I didnt take photos and on day 2 ran out of camera room :(

Kirby said...

That's the point though Vince, Kyle should of gotten full points not the 12 he did get. What did the other players who had Byes get and could it have affected their ensuing placing?

Vinsanity said...

Not too sure, but the guy next to us in game 4 didn't have an opponent and he back back and said he recieved 20 for his score...

Its definately inconsistent, but it you look at the end result, I doubt it would have changed much, especially with Kyle unfortunately at the bottom (although he won a IG HWS and me and Will got nothing! :P)

The_King_Elessar said...

"Rules are written for the game not the hobby."


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