I'm hopefully going to the 40K doubles event in September. The event in February was great fun, Matt and I had some awesome games and met some great people. At the end of the event the staff handed out feedback forms with a view to improving future events. The general consensus from the people I talked to was that the event could be improved in three significant ways:
a) Scrap the stupid allies matrix which penalises any combination that doesn't involve double marines (pretty much)
b) Make the event a bit more value for money i.e. have some prizes not just crappy certificates
c) Don't change anything else because it works the way it is!
So in order to address these issues GW have scrapped the previous allies matrix and replaced it with one that actually makes it.....WORSE! Now if you don't take double space marines you get screwed in several different ways depending on a random selection of cards! Here was me thinking GW did away with cards back in 3rd edition! Matt and I were hoping to move away from the power armour and try something a little different in the form of Orks & Tau. Now don't get me wrong I can see that from a fluff point of view it's unlikely that these two races would ally together but it'd certainly be fun. Under this system we'd be forced to draw three cards at the start of the game. These could either give us -1Ld (or more since it's cumulative), -1 initiative, night fighting for the first turn, re-roll successful shooting hits for first turn, move through difficult terrain for the first turn or some other such nonsense. I mean potentially you could end up with -3Ld for the entire game which isn't going to do any army any favours.
The principal of the matrix is fine but only if everyone wants to play marines. Frankly, I'm getting tired of fighting the same armies all the time. Anyway, suffice to say we won't be risking the Orks-Tau alliance and instead will be reverting to BA/SW again. Not exciting, not original but a damn sight easier than worrying about what penalties will beset our army. GW even have the audacity to award people a point at the end of each game if they've provided a background as to why these armies have allied. The old system meant that some of the more plausible alliances were possible but they'd suffer -1Ld.
Seriously GW, we know that you like power armour. However, wouldn't you like to sell some more boxes of those other armies? You're not encouraging me to buy a new army when I'd get penalised for using it at one of your own tournaments! I'd love to take my newly started DE army but anything they ally with will result in penalties, except Necrons?!?!!
Anyway, onto point (b) the tickets have only gone up by £2 per team at £87 to February's £85. However, in the spirit of GW screwing you this quarter they've now made it 5 games instead of 6! Now I understand people want to get off early on the Sunday but frankly if you can't play 6 games then don't buy a ticket! It's only a couple more hours for God's sake. Not only that but they've ignored the pleas for actual prizes and have actually reduced the number of awards they're giving out!
On the keeping things the same for simplicity they've decided sod that let's invent 5 brand new scenarios for people to try out. Now I could be accused of being mardy here but although the rulebook missions are getting tired at least you know where you stand with them. There's going to be 5 totally different scenarios which, although fun, will result in complicated setups that will spoil the flow of the weekend. For those of us that don't play as regularly as we'd like I doubt we'll even get chance to test them all out enough before then.
They're also going to make it 2x875pts for a combined 1,750 army. Now I'm not against this but they've also said they're making it 2hr 30min games. Again, not a problem, except for the fact that on their schedule they've listed them as 2hr 15min in a classic display of GW copy and pasting from their old tournament guide.
Speaking of which I'm convinced they never proof read anything since throughout the guide it says "role a D6". Oh and Imperial Guard appear on the allies chart twice with no real explanation!
I don't usually like to rant about things and I normally actually play devil's advocate with these things and say "well the new scenarios will at least prevent the same old armies showing up". However, when they consistently seem to get it wrong it's no wonder there are more and more independent tournaments showing up offering better value for money, better prizes and generally more fun!
Having said that I'm still going to go but I'll be using Space Wolves ironically!! :P