Sunday, 30 January 2011

They Think It's All Over...(An Impromptu WarpCon Review!)

Live blogging once again, from WarpCon, and bizarrely without a spellcheck working on this borrowed PC.

(I DO have my laptop in the halls here, but I'm not waiting for it to start when, literally, there are a whole row of computers here waiting!)

^ - That was all true when typed, several hours ago (4 hours already?!?) but no longer.

With the event over, I can say, for sure, that the games I enjoyed most were my second - where I played my friend Chris (Its_Pug) - and my 5th, against the Blood Angels (of Blood!) played by Alan.

I managed to get exactly half of the possible points available - it was 15 for a win, with a possible +5 for having 1450 (or more) more VPs than the opponent...this isn't a system I like...but let's be honest, I - and a few others - would much prefer straight W/L than W/D/L.  Given the system though [note to self, in future, read the Tourny Pack BEFORE buying ticket, where possible...not the night before the event when you realise you aren't 100% sure Special Characters aren't allowed! - In hindsight, I knew at least one player was bringing at least one, so foolish to be uncertain anyway...] *AHEM*

Given the system, the potential max was 100 (I believe the winner had 86?) and I got a nice round 50.
Far from great - but with three draws, a win and a loss (and one of those draws 'should' have been a win, and the loss 'should' have been a draw...I'm not unhappy with my performances, overall.

I should say this now, and I can't stress it enough.

I have some issues with things a couple players did, with some aspects of tabletop etiquette and, I suppose, attitude.

I did NOT choose to bring these up at the time and have no intention of bad-mouthing people on the blog I wouldn't do the same to face-to-face.

I am therefore not going to comment on these issues in anything more than matter-of-factly - I further want to stress that the only games I saw weren't my own...the tables were firmly buttressed by other tables in most cases - and while my games were never among the first over (uh...Mechdar!) I saw approximately ten other games well enough that I believe I could accurately describe the course of play under hypnosis, if not easily consciously in them all.

I can guarantee I could describe the course of at least 6 games I saw enough of to detail them (sketchily, but not woefully) right now.

The issues I have, therefore, didn't even necessarily happen in games I played in - to give one example I actually didn't see but heard of, a player was literally rolling a handful of dice before asking his opponent what he needed to hit.  With shooting.

Simply...this kind of ignorance (in a textbook sense, not as an insult) should not be the case at a Tournament, and even more so at a paid event.

A number of players either measured badly (such as using the tape measure extended to beyond a unit's move to 'accidentally' check range to an objective or enemy unit)

Some players used differently sized dice for different rolls.

Some players movements were measured accurately but executed inaccurately.

Some players used passive-aggressive 'Don't be a Rules Lawyer, lol/I'm not being a Rules Lawyer, but' language to enforce their interpretations/will. - Including exclamations like 'Aww, cheesy'.

Some were simply unequivocally one-sided in their application of Time, The One Inch Rule and/or LoS - 'You can see me so I can see you' does NOT automatically hold true, thank you very much, and if you check the opponent's LoS when they've spent longer than 30 seconds moving their vehicle and eye-balling your forces from just behind it...well, if you aren't GENUINELY sure they shouldn't be able to see you? Then you're being a dick.  If you're checking for cover, or have CLEAR reason to believe maybe they don't know the rules adequately (ie, are trying to shoot a Daemon Prince in the Wings) then cool, that's fair...but if you WATCH the opponent spend almost a minute fidgeting with the exact positioning of a vehicle's turret, it's a fair bet they got it right in the end.

...There's nothing else I can think of right now that happened on the middle tables, where I spent most of my time - no, hang on.

Get it fucking right.

You disembark the WHOLE unit 2", then you move them.  You do NOT measure 8" from the door and promptly place the whole unit there.  Tell you what, if I had ever tried to do that with my Fire Dragons, I would (rightly, in theory) have had them up in arms.  Double standards really fucking piss me off.

The whole unit CANNOT get 8" from a door in ANY given direction.  One model does, the rest base-to-base, but behind.  That's how it goes.  Anything else is cheating.

Difficult Terrain, finally.
This varies between bad form, and actual gamesmanship (ie, cheating).

If you move the whole unit before rolling the test, that's bad form.  If you fail to move the whole distance, and move them back with the tape measure - that's also bad form, bordering on cheating - you have the opportunity to reposition individuals with a prior knowledge of precise distance to the target you did not have before.  If you move them back, roughly to the right place? Without a tape measure? Cheating.  If the opponent has to ask you five times to actually ROLL the check?

Cheating, because you are seeking to gain advantage...or to irritate them to a point where they call a judge on your shenanigans and seem unreasonable thus damaging their credibility next time you cheat.

I am naturally pretty laid back.  Perhaps too laid back, in ways.  I can deal with that...kinda have to, really...point is - I let things like that go, a lot.

Really, a LOT.

That said, next time I go to a Tournament, expect several things:
1) I WILL have your Codex on me, and your FAQ.
2) If you fuck with me, I will just ask a judge to sit in on the game after a certain point.
3) If you are no fun to play, be fucking sure you're not having any fun either.
4) I won't start it, but I WILL finish it.

I went to this to have fun games, to meet some cool guys, like Stormy and Iggy.  I managed that, for the most part...but the person I came here as, the person I came here to be...that person isn't likely to win high-end events, because he:
a) Plays an outdated army much better suited to drawing games, and where every unit lost feels like a kneecapping in the snow
b) Wants to have fun and a challenge before other concerns (ie, winning, or making sure the opponent does things correctly)
c) Doesn't want to look like a dick by calling people on things that snowball into much bigger things than the 'virtually nothing' they start out as.

If you WANT me shooting you with Fire Prism gun barrels where you can only see the barrel back, I can do that.  But it isn't what I want.



Enough of that.

I had fun, I don't want this post to appear negative, that's not at all the aim.

Those things bug me, because I cannot understand the mentality that drives people to act like that.  I think (and, coming from me, this almost feels a bit rich!) they need to grow up, and get over it a bit.

The army that won the event, btw?

Dark Angels.

No shit.

Belial, +25 DW, + 2 Ravenwing Squadrons, I hear.

...Which brings me to my only two ACTUAL issues with WarpCon XXI.

1) The Tourney Pack clearly states FAQs issued after Jan 1 will not be implemented.  I was not informed this would not be the case.

I didn't READ the pack until the night before the event, but this is immaterial.  I have no problem with the decision, but the lack of communication is genuinely bad here.  Wouldn't have changed a THING for me, not least as neither BTs nor DAs was an option for my army choice - but players need told of these things.

2) Timing.
Overall, grand.  Two and 1/2 hours is a good amount of time to be playing 40k at 1750 points, and, realistically, 2k is able to be done in that time too - things die quicker.

A lot of games finished in less, and I believe most games got to T6 or later where necessary (though I know of one that got to T3...)

My issue, therefore, is neither scheduling (things happen, when you have 76[?] players to get back after lunch, or to Reg in the morning, it's hectic.  I understand, and things went pretty smoothly.) nor anything like that.


My issue was Day One, Game Three - where the time limit was not enforced.


I get that there was extra time when we were able to stay in the room without needing booted out, grand.

This is irrelevant.

It changes the entire dynamic of setting out to play a 150-minute game like the others, especially when you are told you can continue on until the game finishes with, as I recall, twenty minutes left to play.

The extra time in my third game changed (not affected, changed) the result.

I'm not bitter, or angry, or even disappointed...but I hope this issue is addressed, and I do not encounter it again.

If I do, having adopted my new 'Tournament Asshole' mindset...then I will be expecting a refund, in the same way that I expect kicked out if cheating.  I pay for entry to the event under the conditions within the Tourny Pack.  If you alter these then I should be offered a chance to withdraw, and some sort of rebate issued, should I take this option.  Giving my opponent (or, indeed, me!) the lifeline of an extra 'x' amount of time, where 'x' is however much you need to get a different result (do you hear me, Sir Alex Ferguson?!?!!) is breaking the grounds of that contract.

If I were losing, needed one more turn to draw or even win, and there was under ten minutes left to play, I would not take that turn unless I could table you and make your lack of turn irrelevant...even then, I would accept you asking me not to play the turn.

If a judge told me we could have extra time on the round, I would then refuse the offer, and insist on calling the game - yes, even conceding should it come to that.


I have integrity.  If I cannot beat you in the time allowed, then I cannot beat you, hand-shake, record result, pack up, thanks for the game, good luck next round.

Since TOs cannot force people to play this way, time should ONLY be added where the round is late to start.  Games that start late (rather than whole rounds) such as repeat pairings should have extra time as it is the fault of the TO.  Where a player is late instead, give them a Victory Points penalty, or call the game if late enough (15 mins or more, IMO)

I shall end with a suggestion...a hope perhaps.  I mentioned it in an earlier post (the one before last, I think...)

I would LOVE Friday Night Invitational Games.  Gives a chance for hardcore friendly games, real beer and pizza stuff (pretzels are fucking shit) and for players who arrive early to meet locals and hang out with fellow Warhams nerds.  I was here Friday night and, while tired, would have loved to stroll in and play a game vs Stormy, Iggy or, in fact, ANYONE.

Oh, another 'final' thing (really, I promise, this time it is!) - I will be back next year.  This has been a whole lot of fun, and I won't make the (few! :p ) mistakes I made again.  It will be intriguing to see how I manage to make new mistakes next year!  I'm only sorry that I really couldn't afford to go out drinking with you guys in the end, and hope to see you all in Dublin at the end of March, if I can make then.  If so, I'll bring 'some' drink down with me...who needs changes of clothes, huh?  It'll be another Sausage Fest anyway...
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