I'm hoping to release the tickets for Blog Wars towards the end of this week. Looking at the current list of people who've expressed an interest in attending it seems like we should have at least 20 ppl competing. Not a massive number by any stretch but at least we'll all get games against different opponents and there'll be a decent prize pot. Over the course of planning this event a few things have come up which I'd like to address and get some feedback from people in order to make final decisions and write the rules pack.
Refereeing & My Participation
As I've mentioned before I'd very much like to be able to compete in the event as well as run it. I know this isn't the norm but it'd seem a shame not to be involved and get to meet people from the community. Essentially if I get an odd number of attendees then I'll play to make sure everyone gets their full compliment of games and if there's an even number I'll consider not competing.
On the subject of refereeing, there won't be any formal "marshalls" wandering around for rules clarification. Having taken some comments from people on board I think the best way to do it is for players to try and find an amicable agreement between them. Failing that then players on the adjacent table (presuming they're impartial) will hopefully be able to make a decision that people can agree on. Either that or put it to the dice gods and roll to see which way it goes. If there's really a problem then Matt or myself will have the final say but I'd hope it won't need to come to that and we may just make you roll for it.
It seems a few people missed the line in the tournament page that says that a single Special Character is compulsory. There's been a few people who've expressed concerns about the concept as they feel it will limit army selection and penalise armies without a recent codex and therefore selection of SCs to choose from. I toyed with the idea of simply scrapping the requirment but I think it's in keeping with the spirit of this blog to try to avoid having the same old generic lists. Granted some armies have SCs that are fairly obligatory choices such as Eldrad, Mephiston and Ghazghkull but I'd encourage people to think outside the box a bit more. To use Space Wolves as an example, it seems that people believe Logan to be the only real option but it's pretty easy to find room for Ragnar, Ulrik, Arjac or even Lukas if you're a bit flexible with the listing.
I'm conscious that by making them compulsory we'll actually make them less "special" but it'll be interesting to see how people utilise them. For reference, I use the term "special character" to refer to any unit that's referred to as "Unique" in their codex entry. These would be, for example, Mephiston/Dante/Tycho/Lemartes etc. for Blood Angels, Marbo/Yarrick etc. for Guard, Yriel/Eldrad/Phoenix Lords for Eldar. You get the idea. If there's any that you're unsure of then feel free to contact me. Similarly if you find yourself struggling to write a list then let me know and I might be able to help out.
The armies that will struggle with this are probably Tau and Sisters. I can't say I'm all that familiar with Sisters but I can understand the problems for Tau in that there's only probably Shadowsun that's even half viable. However, since these armies aren't normally all that popular at the moment I think we can perhaps make an exception for them since they (tau in particular) already struggle due to their older codexes. If you're thinking of taking one of these armies then please get in touch beforehand to clarify.
Finally, for the special characters I'll accept counts as (within reason) i.e. I'll not allow a terminator SC to be represented by a power armoured model etc but I don't see a problem with a lictor as a death leaper, a guardsman painted a little different couunting as Marbo or a regular librarian being used as Mephiston. Similarly, if you have your own name and model for one of the special characters then as long as you play by the codex rules I don't have an issue. At the end of the day I'd like as many people to come as possible so I don't want to force everyone to go out and spend a tenner on a model they might only use for this tournament. As long as armour, weaponry, etc are represented then it's fine.
Fully painted armies will be preferred but anything that isn't to a "three colour minimum" may possibly be excluded from use. Most people attending are bloggers or tournament players so I don't think it's much to ask that we see some nice looking paintjobs.
Results and Matchups
The initial rounds will be determined at random as people register on the day. After that they'll be based on the results of the previous round(s). If there's any repeats then swaps will have to be figured out. At the end of each round either Matt or myself will enter the results into a spreadsheet which will automatically generate the matchups for the subsequent round. This should mean that the 15 minute break will be more than enough to get everything sorted for the next battle.
Since there's going to be groups of people who know each other i.e. Sons of Sanguinius, Claws and Fists, my lot etc. then there's a fairly good chance that people will end up facing someone they know. In the first round I'll try to avoid this as much as I can but it's inevitable in the later rounds. I'm going to have to trust people to play fair and remember that it isn't a serious tournament so they don't try and rig anything in friendly games.
The difficulty here will be choosing prizes that are of equal use to everyone. Any army specific stuff won't be great so that leaves scenery or gaming aids. The other option, which I prefer, is to simply issue vouchers for Maelstrom so that people can pick how they spend the cash. Granted this isn't very exciting but it's certainly fair. If people don't live in the vicinity of Maelstrom then they can always use their website, bearing in mind that they're pretty good about matching the prices of other webstores.
I think I'll limit it to say, half a dozen prizes with 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Best Painted being 4 of them. The other two I'll figure out nearer the time but they'll basically be thrown in to add another element to the battles.
So what do people think about everything in this post? Anything you think needs changing? Anything you think would put you off attending?