Sunday, September 14, 2014

Blog Wars 8 - Tickets Finally Available!

Well after those mammoth reviews of the SW and GK books it's time to turn our attention to Blog Wars again. I apologise for the delay but I'm pleased to announce that tickets are now available for Blog Wars 8. Please see the BW8 page for details of how you can pick up yours.

This will be the first Blog Wars of 7th edition since BW7 occurred only a week after the release of the new rulebook. That means there's a few things we need to discuss. I have an idea of how I'd like to do things but I want your feedback before I finalise the rules pack. Anyway, here goes.

Ticket Price & Venue
Since the first Blog Wars the price of tickets has remained constant at £15. This time around I'm going to increase the price to £17.50. That's partly due to increased costs but also because I intend to offer more prizes for the painting side of things and generally better support there. I still think £17.50 is a good price considering the top prize in the raffle last time was an £85 Imperial Knight and will be something similar this year. Remember entry to the raffle is included in the ticket price and you're also getting 3 games of 40K, lunch, spot prizes and tournament prizes.

I hope the price rise doesn't put anyone off and that people still think the event is worth the money. The venue is again the NWGC in Stockport (see the BW8 page for details).

Army Selection
With 7th edition there is a huge amount of freedom with army selection now and with formations, faction specific detachments and everything else it can be a little overwhelming. Most tournaments organisers have come up with their own rules for how to go about picking an army and I've been reading various event packs to try and decide how I want Blog Wars to work.

There are two important things for me. Firstly, I want to try to minimise the amount of dirty combos that can be created without restricting the ability to created interesting lists too much. Secondly I want things to be pretty simple so that it doesn't take you half an hour to try and work out how your opponent came to this apparently random selection of units and realising what dirty combo he's come up with.

Here's my current solution. This is by no means set in stone and I welcome any and all feedback on it.
  • Two "Forces" per army - Core and Additional
  • Core Force - Combined Arms Detachment or Faction Specific Detachment (e.g. Wolves Unleashed)
  • Compulsory special character must be in Core Detachment which becomes "Commander" for Blog Wars scenario purposes
  • Faction Specific can come from Supplement e.g. Champions of Fenris
  • Additional Force - Allied Detachment (not Come the Apocalypse), Inquisition Detachment, Imperial Knight Detachment, Legion of the Damned or Officio Assassinorum.
  • Must be different faction from Core Force
  • The minimum FOC requirements for the detachment in the Core Force must be met before the Additional Force can be selected e.g. 1 HQ and 2 Troops for a CAD
  • Lords of War and Fortifications allowed from a restricted list (see BW8 page)
  • Warlord may be selected from either Detachment
  • No Forge World units allowed in either detachment

I know that seems like a lot of rules and restrictions but with the open nature of army list selection in 7th I think it's necessary. I'd like to explain my reasoning behind these decisions though.

We've all gotten used to having a Primary and Allied detachment and this is still permitted within this format. I know some will say I'm living in the past or whatever but frankly the system of army selection 7th is horrific and this way makes things a lot easier. It's a massive headache to restrict things like this so I'm certainly not doing it for fun and I wish GW had made things a lot easier for TOs.

It's important to remember that Blog Wars is deliberately different from other tournaments out there. If you want a no holes barred event there are others available. If you want three games in a friendly atmosphere then come along to Blog Wars 8. I appreciate this seems complicated so please comment here or on the BW8 page for clarifications.

I've thought long and hard about all of these decisions and my aim has always been to make the tournament enjoyable for everybody not just those with expensive toys. The super heavies/gargantuan creatures aren't all overpowered but it seems unfair to permit some armies to have them when you've banned the only option from another army. Imperial Knights are a little different but all the same I'll be restricting them to one per army unless I here a compelling argument otherwise. Formations are a tricky one and I'm still not convinced either way. For now I'm not allowing them as to me they seem to be either awesome or terrible with little in between, again compelling arguments are gratefully received.

Psychic Phase and Scenarios
As I've mentioned in the event details I'm limiting warp charge to 12. I'd hope that the Conjuration spam armies wouldn't appear at Blog Wars but a lot of TOs are implementing this restriction and I think it makes a lot of sense.

I've kept the scenarios pretty much the same apart from changing the last mission so that you only start scoring from game turn 2. Hopefully that will make it a little less of an advantage to go first. Of course all units are now scoring in missions 2 and 3 so I've now made Commanders (the Special Character) have the Objective Secured rule.

As ever, I'm open to comments and criticism and indeed I'd love to hear them.

27 comments:

  1. Glad to see there will be a blog wars 8. I certainly will be attending. I will admit I am a little disappointed with your approach to 7th ed list building for this comp. there is a wide variety of things players can now use and that is part of the fun of playing and list building in 7th (which is the best ed so far imo). I understand there needs to be some sort of restrictions but I feel this is a little limiting. Blog wars is supposed to be a bit different and a more relaxed fun tournament. By going down the ban route you make it much more like any other tourny out there. A suggestion maybe allow one more formation or detachment so things like assassins ect may be used in conjunction with other things.
    Also why allow only one knight? I understand they are powerful but by limiting them you open up a can of worms. Will you also be disallowing screamerstar or centurion star units which can be argued as being more powerful? A knight (or two) is a good counter to these types of lists and we have to accept that they will be present in any tournament that is held. Also why no forgeworld? I think in the current era of gaming they do not tend to be horribly overpowered unless they are using experimental rules that have not been officially released.
    Sorry for the wall of text and I understand that as a TO you do have to make a call on these sorts of things that not everyone will agree with. I just think that you have the opportunity to create a fun, less restrictive tournament that embraces 7th ed a little more, as you have done in the past. If you look at tournaments like the Bao or Lvo they are alot more permissive and the sky has not fallen so far;)

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    1. I appreciate your response. I've been torn about how to handle 7th edition ever since it came out. I was pretty relieved that the last Blog Wars could stay as 6th to be honest.

      I agree that 7th edition is better for a great number of reasons but I don't think army selection is one of them. Sure we have a vast array of options but to me that only serves to create more avenues for dirty combos. I'd hope that regardless of the army selection I choose the event will still stand out for the relaxed environment and excellent prize support (which I still believe to be the best for a tournament of this size).

      I think you're right about the formations. That really was a 50:50 and a last minute call. How about one CAD/Faction, one formation and one allied/inquisition/etc? Doesn't create much chance for abuse but is less limiting.

      I'd discourage players from taking screamerstar or centurion star. Indeed at the last Blog Wars I talked someone out of bringing Farsight bomb. I can only hope people write their lists in the spirit of the event. That being said, I don't suppose it's too unreasonable to remove the restriction on Imperial Knights.

      Forge World is something I'm not going to budge on I'm afraid. Yes, there are some units that aren't particularly shocking but short of writing a complete list of permitted units (which would be a massive task) I can't see a way of preventing the ones that are. Generally speaking my opinion of Forge World is that you're basically paying cash for better rules. The models are beautiful but the prices are very restrictive for most people. I don't like the idea that you can win a game because you've got more money to buy better rules. Don't get me wrong I know a lot of 40K comes down to cash. The guy with just enough to buy an 1,850 pt army is going to struggle against a guy who has 8,000 pts of the same faction and can pick and choose as editions change. Finally, whilst some units are becoming familiar to players, the vast majority of people out there aren't au fait with the rules. It's hard enough keeping up with all the new codices, dataslates, supplements, etc. without trying to be current with Forge World rules too.

      I'd love to hear everyone else's opinions on these things before I make any changes though. I'm always open to adapting stuff if people disagree with my decisions.

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    2. Fair point on the forge world. I can appreciate your side of the argument and actually agree with you. I like your suggestion on the formations. That seems a lot more in the spirit of things and allows a little more flexibility without enabling broken combos (we hope :) ). On the knight thing maybe a restriction to only 2 allowed? Could be a reasonable compromise

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  2. Alex, I'm still trying to get my head round army selection in 7th so forgive me if I get this wrong. It'll be no surprise I'll bring my nids [again], honestly I'm working on my Dark Angels, they're just not ready. However, for my army list I would be able to take only 1 Combined Arms detachment and as allies can not be of the same faction am I correct in interpreting that as nids just get their one FOC? Essentially just the same as they were in 6th Edition for allies etc.? It's no problem if it is I can make something work whatever the case.

    Also where do the Leviathan Data Slates fit onto this, or do they not? 'No formations', is that like no Lictor Forest Brood?

    Sorry if I seem a little dense on this, but you've already pointed out the obvious difficulties in list building and you'll have to field 40 lists for approval. I don't envy you that I hope you don't mind if I get it a little wrong at first :(

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    1. Dave - I'm in exactly the same boat - more to do with my ignorance as a player and having only played 1 game of 7th. So as a pure CSM army, I could also only take a single FOC for the same reason as Dave?

      I'm not trying to change your mind at all (and again it is prob more my problem as a crap player...and maybe my reluctance to change armies) but it feels like some of the restrictions are not exactly hindering a few of the lower power codex’s (like Nids, Daemons & CSMs), but there are definitely more benefits to the Imperial ones e.g. Knights, the LoW selections and dataslates that are allowed. I do think access to FW and Formations give lower of the lower powered armies a way to stand up to some of the more powerful combinations out there.

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    2. Chris, if you were wanting to bring CSM and only CSM you would indeed only have access to one CAD (plus Fortification). That's assuming the system above stays the same. This is the same for anyone who only has one faction at their disposal.

      The problem is a lot of the stuff GW puts in the rulebook favours Imperial armies and to some extent they've always done this. It's been especially true since the allies system in 6th though with Imperial armies having more options. However, I'm considering my position on formations again so there might be some options there for you.

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  3. I don't know why you are so set against Forgeworld. Dataslates, Codex Supplements etc are better examples of paying for better rules but they are an integral part of the game now. Forgeworld is just another book like a codex.

    I wouldn't change the limit on a single knight. Would go against what you are trying to achieve. They are nasty in multiples

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    1. With the exception of the Tau supplement they're really pretty underwhelming. Forge World stuff seems undercosted in points and overcosted in pounds.

      Not sure on the knights at this point but I'm hoping to get some more feedback here.

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  5. I don't see the problem with knights, they are like any other unit or army in the game, they have hard counters and they cost a hell of a lot of points. Eldar, dark eldar, necrons and tau can kill them easily, I've even seen gaunts tar pit them for an entire game. They just mean people have to take more rounded all comer lists.

    However, I would restrict the adamantine lance formation, it gives knights a lot of benefits they should never have.

    Finally what about Gerantius will he make it to the character list?

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    1. I agree that individually they can be managed, but I'd say an average army would probably have to tailor a list to take down 4 or 5 of them, rather than use an all-comers list.

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    2. Agree completely, 4 or 5 at this points level would be difficult without list tailoring. But as an allied detachment that works in the same way as the inquisition you would be limited to three anyway.

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    3. In itself three knights would come in at over a 1000 points, a big gamble at this points level of game.

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  6. I have to say that reading the comments, including my own, I can understand why Alex wants to limit the possibilities that 7th now generates in abundance. Ultimately he has to approve all of these and understand what is possible/not possible. Setting these limitations might make that job easier and we’re all relying on him to pull this off for the 8th time now. So if that’s the price to make it run smooth I’m more than happy to deal with those limiting factors. If I can get my head round them ;)

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  7. Hey there,

    Here are my thoughts on the rule set for BW8: I like it.
    Sure, I would've loved to try some Forgeworld units (Sycarian Tanks, Fire Raptor, Mortis Pattern Dreadnoughts) or even Super Heavies (Fellblade) or doing two CADs to bring on the Iron Wing (tank heavy Dark Angels).
    But as Dave Weston mentioned, Alex will have to check all our lists and restrictions do keep it simple and save him a lot of work (of which he already has a lot in organising the event itself). So yeah, I like the set-up. It's not complicated IMO and should allow list building easy enough. It's got a 6th edition list building feeling to it, but that's not actually a bad thing.

    On the topic of the Knights, I'd prefer to keep them restricted to one. NafNaf mentioned that they are a possible counter to Screamer and whatever stars, but I don't see it that much of a problem, as BWs never had that much of issues with typical netlist shenigans.
    The only thing I'd might do is to allow Knights as Battle Brothers for everyone (including Imperial forces, though they are Battle Brothers normaly). Maybe also allow Baneblades and it's variants. This would level the playing field somewhat as everyone can field Super Heavies and having to fight a single one of those should be something every army can do. Neither Knights nor Baneblades are over powered. They can be tricky to remove, but are far from being indestructable.

    @The 6th degree: Chaos Space Marines can take Chaos Daemons (Battle Brothers) or Dark Eldar / Orks (Desperate Allies) as allies. Just other armies are forbidden as they would be Come the Apocalypse.


    Looking forward to hear other opinions on the set up.

    Cheers,
    Hendrik

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    1. Actually a net list won blog wars 7. White scar biker spam I believe...

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    2. In my defence the guy running it stood in for a no show at the last minute. I didn't get much chance to check his list before the first game. The rest of the lists avoided most of the usual netlist stuff

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  8. Just a small question - If someone were to take Cypher, would he count towards the HQ choice of the Core detachment (as he replaces an HQ slot but can never be the Warlord) or the Additional detachment (as he's from a supplement)?
    Or is this a non-issue as he's not on the list of permitted characters along with Be'lakor?

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    1. It's fairly irrelevant really as he comes in separately to FOCs but you're right I could include them on the special characters list. The danger in doing so is that it allows people to throw in an SC in the same way allowing it to be in the allies section does. Bear in mind the permitted characters list isn't a list of SCs you can take but rather ones which can act as your Commander. You're welcome to take more than one or indeed some that aren't on the list (although I think you've named the only two).

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  9. First off, I like the way you've gone with the restrictions. It could easily be a bit more open, but limiting it to the 'Primary' and 'Secondary' sources is simple to stick to and keep track of. It doesn't really cut out much, if anything, in the way of potential cheese, but not much could. It does cut down on the craziness though. My only lament is that I can't use the Grey Knight detachment as allies to bring 2 Dreadknights unless they're my Primary, but hey ho.

    On the Warlord thing, the rulebook says they can't be in an Allied detachment. Are you overruling that by saying the Warlord can be from either, or was it just overlooked?

    Also, will you be doing an FAQ of sorts to rule on any issues people bring up before the event?

    In any case, very much looking forward to BW8 now and I hope things (continue to) go smoothly with the preparations!

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    1. The rulebook says your warlord can't be from your Allied detachment but unless I'm mistaken it doesn't stop you taking one from an Inquisitorial detachment for example. The line in the post should read "your warlord can be selected from either Force".

      If enough issues arise to warrant an FAQ I'll be happy to produce one but as it stands at the minute there aren't any outstanding questions. Feel free to email any you think need addressing though.

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  10. I think 1 knight is ok. They weren't allowed last time, so it's a step along the way. I would really have to rethink what I'm playing with to take down more than one. One is a fun challenge, 3 with re-rolls on the invun isn't.

    Whilst this last thought is an over generalisation, I don't think any of my opponents at blog wars would have ever been able to take down two knights+ if I'd fielded them.

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    1. Id also note that i was planning to take SM+AM+INQ. im happy not to, (means I have some interesting choices to make), and it means Its not just Pick and mix 40k.

      i think if i could id be tempted to take SM+AM and then either INQ or assassins. just because i havent used them yet and really want too!

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    2. I think you're right that there's a difference between an all-comers list and one which can reliably take down 3 Imp Knights. I don't actually believe an all-comers list exists but I do think most would struggle with that many HPs on an AV13 vehicle. This isn't necessarily an issue at other tournaments with other scenarios but my worry is that three Imperial Knights sitting on the 3 objectives in game 3 would be tough to shift. I'd have to measure the bases but there's also the potential that you couldn't even contest.

      I'm really struggling to find a system that everyone will be happy with. On the one hand I'd love to experiment with saying anything but Unbound and seeing what people come up with but on the other I want people to at least have some idea of what they might face. It's not a perfect system by any stretch.

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    3. I dont envy you your job. Reading all the comments it seems everyone wants something different for a 7th ed tournament. Whatever you finally decide on it will still be the best tourny I go to all year and am looking forward to it already :)

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  11. Maybe, just maybe go the highlander route?

    As the event stands I can't see much getting by serpent spam or a non psychic death star, which despite the odd difference is what me and Gary used for 1st and 3rd at BW 7.

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    1. To be honest John, if I change the restrictions it's just a different army/list that dominates. It's the nature of 40k. No matter the system people will find a list that few others can hope to deal with. I can only hope this is kept to a minimum and people embrace the spirit of the event.

      Remember the missions are different from most events and with everything scoring things will change.

      Every year someone suggests Highlander and 7th has made it more of an option but it doesn't really change anything either.

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