Back in April, we ran a Warhammer 40,000 event that focused on one large-scale battle where every player was part of the same battle. We called the event Faux-Pocalypse as the idea for the event was rooted in the Warhammer 40,000 Apoclaypse rules subset which streamlines the 40k rules, making it possible to play games three-to-four times larger than a standard ‘big’ game of Warhammer in about the same amount of time. We decided to make the Faux-Pocalypse game about thirteen times larger than the total points seen at a table of tournament-size 40k games!
The day was an absolute success: by their own testimonials, everyone that came had one of the funnest days of 40k gaming they had ever experienced. Though the day started early (8:00am), enthusiasm and energy for the event remained well past the last throw of the dice shortly before 7:00pm that evening.
The event itself was a culmination of our Wednesday Beginner League ethos: more narrative style play that created tabletop environments where there were no ‘bad’ units ‘not worth their points’ –we made sure that there was enough going on down at the tabletop level so that every unit had its chance to be in the spotlight or make a play for its army’s MVP for that battle. More importantly, we communicated that to our players…and demanded their army lists be submitted beforehand to meet the criteria of the day-long game. (And before any laissez-faire tournament players get up in arms about us “forcing our bias upon players and changing the rules of how the game is played,” that wasn’t our aim or motivation: we wanted to ensure that whatever players were bringing to the game would have an equally-strong counter somewhere on the other side of the table.)
The other thing we did that day was change the rules of how the game was played by:
- instituting strict time limits to every phase of every turn: if you didn’t have time enough to move all your models / finish all your shooting or assaulting, the battle was simply moving too fast for your force to react to the changing events (note: “not enough time for x phase” never came up during the entire day)
- restricting players’ set up: each player was given a strict deployment zone, and anything not able to fit in their LZ was put into reserve. All players’ reserves were automatically brought on to the table at the end of the second turn.
These weren’t huge changes that we instituted, but they did encourage players to think about what they were bringing to the game. Uncountable hordes? You’d best have a movement strategy for so many models. Slow play for advantage? Your army will stand still and do nothing every time. This event was not meant for those who game loopholes in the rules (or event guidelines, for that matter). Rock-Paper-Scissors meta-game army list? Your opponent has seven other allies on the board; over-specialisation might not be your best friend for this battle.
It turns out any fears we may have had were unfounded, and our precautions did as they were intended: they sped up game play and kept players focused to heighten the experience of the day-long game. It’s always nice when gamers’ actions are guided by their better angels. The game moved at a brisk pace; and with all the lists punching at relatively the same weight (and this was with sixteen superheavies on the board!), the game see-sawed and suspense of the day’s outcome remained until the final turn!
At the risk of sounding arrogant, we had expected this result–that everyone would have a good time on the day of the event. What we didn’t expect was the unmitigated enthusiasm that preceded the actual day of the battle. In the weeks leading up, the store’s social media was abuzz with players showing the units they were bringing, what units they were managing to get painted up, and general hobby-camaraderie between all the players. (Faux-Pocalypse was to be a faction-versus-faction game …but we didn’t tell the players exactly what the teams were going to look like until much closer to the actual day.)
SO: why did I wait until NOW to talk about last April’s event?
One answer to that question is that I’ve been preoccupied by the Calgary Expo …and then Free Comic Book Day …and then creating and promoting more store events; all of those have kept me unfortunately distracted from blogging a retrospective of our Faux-Pocalypse weekend.
But the other answer is that we’re involving ourselves in another big event! However, unlike Faux-Pocalypse, this time we won’t be limited to just sixteen people. Jason, the organiser / instigater of last April’s Faux-Pocalypse has just announced WARGASM: a weekend of Warhammer 40,000 and Age of Sigmar gaming that will be held this November!
Through Faux-Pocalypse, Jason put a lot into helping create such a great event for Imaginary Wars, so we’ve decided to do what we can to help him out with Wargasm! We’re not only lending the store’s terrain for that weekend (along with helping build more too), we’re actively promoting the event through several in-store incentives!
Wargasm will be run on Friday, November 4 and Saturday, November 5. Players can buy an all-encompassing ticket for the entire weekend, or they can pay for just the events and perks that they want for themselves. Players can buy their tickets online through Eventbrite, or they can come down to Imaginary Wars and pay cash for their tickets to circumvent online service charges. (Click here for all the venue, ticket and date information.)
ARMY BUILDING PROMOTION
We’re also doing our part for those who have never thought they’d use the largest 40k models and so have always avoided buying them: we’re offering a bonus of 500 points (on top of the points you’d normally receive) to all players who pre-purchase a GW Superheavy model for their army. The points will be added to their existing points total for our ‘Imaginary Dollars’ rewards program that turns points into free money to spend in the store. This Promotion will run through until September.
To encourage players to paint what they own, we’re also awarding bonus points for units that they get painted during the lead up to Wargasm. How it works: players come down to Imaginary Wars and register a unit they haven’t yet started painting with one of the store’s satff. When they come back to the store with that unit fully painted, they will get 250 points added to their existing points total for our ‘Imaginary Dollars’ rewards program. One unit can be registered each month for July, August, September and October, and the bonus points will be awarded when the unit is shown to be fully painted so long as it’s before November 4, 2016. (This means a unit registered in July doesn’t need to be finished until the first week of November!)
For each unit registered with Imaginary Wars that shows up at Wargasm fully painted, the owning player will get 1 (one) Victory Point added to their faction’s Victory Point total at the event. This means each player can earn up to four Victory Points for their faction before the weekend of the event!
With the Age of Sigmar General’s Handbook supplement still maybe a few weeks away, we’re holding off on details for Wargasm’s Age of Sigmar night; but what I know already is that we want a narrative-style evening where the the actions and victories of games can affect what transpires on other tables and/or how other rounds get set up. More will be revealed for both 40k and Age of Sigmar over the course of summer!
You’ll see updates here (as well as on the Wargasm Facebook Event page) as they solidify!