Monday, January 26, 2009

GTs... so what does the future hold?

So after the events of the ConQuestNW Seattle GT I have been doing a fair bit of thinking about how they need to improve and my subsequent place in them.
  • The event itself was VERY well run; the group that took over (The Fallen) at 2 week's notice did an excellent job in running two different gaming systems. Props to them.
  • The terrain for gaming was not bad, but it was a little "thin"; stores stepped up to help out on this and they gave pretty much everything they had.
  • The prize support was astounding - the winners walked away with Forge World models, Citadel Battle tables and army boxes. Trophies were pretty sweet too!
  • The venue is excellent - just off I5, and cheapish accommodation.
So what needs to be improved?
  • Terrain - with a year's notice until the next one, and the dozen or so GW stores in the area chipping in, this should not be an issue.
  • Composition - I truly think that without a composition system the GT will be nothing more than a "posh" 'Ard Boyz event. Playing to win is fine, but with the GT it is about the hobby. Unlike the 'Ard Boyz there are sportsmanship scores, and appearance points... the 'Ard Boys is about winning, the GT is about celebrating the hobby and having fun. How much fun can it be to get double Lashed into 2 Vindicator cannon shots? And then get assaulted but a squad of lightening claw terminators. Wow, great tactical thinking there guys... Come up with something the gaming community did not work out the same day as the CSM Codex came out! There are plenty of composition scoring structures out there, one such as Astronomi-Con's could be adapted for the 1850 point game.
  • Painting - have the judges use a lighting source - some spots of the room were under 12W bulbs... or it felt like that! Also, make it clear that you MUST display the army you are playing with; the WHOLE army (have players put their list next to their army for verification).
  • Army list - have them checked... yes I appreciate that this is a lot of work. Astro' (these guys lead the way don't they!) give bonus points to players who get their list in 2 weeks before hand. I'd get my list in for 5 extra points! Playing 3 lists that had errors in them (to the advantage of the owner) is pretty galling...
Another method is the way GW-Canada did it for the last few years of their GT/Conflict system. After round 1 have the players exchange army lists (and codexes). If your list is found to be incorrect you forfeit that game. Your opponent then signs off on the list if it OK. In the event that signature was put on an invalid list you BOTH loose your battle points... all of them! Of course GW really never enforced this (when do they ever?) as at the last Vancouver event I played a Tau player who was allowed to continue with his army even though he had no battlesuit as Commander... I was told this AFTER we had set up!
  • Mid-way scores - the organizers made the mistake of publishing the halfway results at the beginning of day one. These included the painting scores for SOME of the players. At best pointless, at worst it would encourage beardy play amongst those near the top for the last 2 games.
  • Getting distracted - the score tabulators were constantly getting bugged at the end of the event (before the prizes were given out). Shame on the players who did this, but the scoring computers should have been set up in a separate area.
  • Preliminary results - don't ever, ever publish something preliminary! So if it turns out the winner was not the winner, how will you feel asking for the prizes back?
So where do I stand in all of this, will I be going back?
  • Yes, I'll be going back. However...
  • I'm pretty much tired of "martyring" myself to theme! From now on I'll be playing "by the rules" - if the event has no composition to talk of I'll be bringing a "winning" army. If composition is strong, I'll bring "themed" armies. Whilst the two are not mutually exclusive, I find when I stick to a story line the armies are weaker than the WAAC armies that others bring!

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