Though my wife begs to differ, what a great weekend! I want to send a heartfelt thank you to all those who took a chance on our crazy tournament, signing up not just to play some 40k but to play in a campaign, complete with its own rules and strategies.
I just posted some quick thoughts and a bit of a retrospective on Blood of Kittens blog (who said some pretty nice things about our tournament!), so I thought I’d post it here as well seeing as how my thoughts on the tournament were still fresh when I posted there (and my thoughts would be considerably less fresh when I’d finally get around to posting here in the next couple days).
(Warning: I type FOREVER! )
Well the weekend is done and we had a blast!
The Forces of Destruction (Chaos Marines, Chaos Daemons, Necrons, Tau, Dark Eldar, Orks & Tyranids) earned themselves a major victory by successfully paving over two of the three sectors that were Abaddon’s goal of destroying the Cadian Gate (namely Cadia and two regions on its flanks: Scarus and Agripinaa).
At times all the book keeping mixed with trying to keep the day’s schedule running smoothly made things feel a bit more like working retail during the Christmas rush…but what a great time we all had –organisers included– and I want to thank all the players who supported this highly unorthodox tournament so enthusiastically. Highlights for me were:
We didn’t make too much mention of, by way of the player’s pack or on our two blogs that Special Characters WERE in the campaign; if players completed certain secondary objectives, they were allowed to include a named Special Character from their codex in the next round of gaming AT NO POINTS COST to their army list. Sometimes their appearance did absolutely nothing and other times …quite the opposite.
We had so many missions that some never got played! We had the room divided into clusters of tables, each cluster representing one planet or solar system in a specific sector of the tournament; and as sub-sectors were over run, we’d regroup the clusters of tables. We also had the scenarios lined up so that the scenario being played was solely dependent on which faction was victorious in that battle-zone the turn before…meaning that every round every grouping of 3-6 tables were playing totally different missions from other groupings in the same round.
I think most of my fun came from watching the turmoil. With each mission having secondary objectives (each objective conferring a benefit–and each round’s benefits being different depending on one’s faction), there was plenty of craziness to witness!
For the most part, we had the Destruction players choosing what benefits they wanted their armies to get for the upcoming round and then battling hard to get those specific secondary objectives …even if that meant losing the game handily. Then they’d come back the next round, playing their newly-gained battle or campaign modifiers (some multiplied the crap out of the damage done to the sectors) and forcing the fall of many Imperial planets in one turn.
Unfortunately for the Imperium, a lot of their players were putting all their effort into winning battles, not winning the war–not say that focusing on winning games is bad strategy: it certainly hampered the Destruction armies for one turn and totally shut them down on another two; but Chaos managed to slip around that strategy on a couple rounds and just WORK the Imperium.
We did something weird: we decided that we’d have not one best general or best overall award in the tournament, we’d have two: one for each faction. I was VERY pleased that we had not only enough players that we could actually give those double prizes, but we also made sure that everyone who fought for the winning faction got a prize. Seeing the surprise on everyone’s face at that made the whole tournament worth it for me!
This WAS explicitly written in the player’s pack, but I wanted to highlight it again as every single player (I asked, anyways) LOVED it: all victories were worth the same amount of tournament points–whether you squeaked through a victory or tabled your opponent in the second turn, your tournament score went up by the same amount.
This part was a bit of my own personal crusade: I feel that as long as tournaments keep their focus on rewarding players for degree of victory, the meta game and cookie-cutter / point-and-click lists will continue to proliferate. If players just have to win games to get in the top 5 in a tournament, no matter the margin, we’ll start seeing guys taking chances with playing a variety of lists from tournament to tournament.