One of the things that came out of the feedback from Blog Wars 7 was that the painting side of the day would benefit from some tweaking. Here are some things I'd like some more feedback on before I finalise the details. Before I go any further, remember tickets for BW8 are on sale now so click on the big logo on the right to find out how you can get yours.
Best Army Award
There were comments after BW7 that there were some armies making a repeat appearance in the painting competition. Whilst the winners hadn't won before, with those armies at least, there was a feeling that only new armies should be allowed to compete. On the flip side of this other people said that it seemed unfair on those hobbyists who only had a single army that they were continually improving. I have to say I think it would be unfair to exclude people who've won before. If someone won the tournament with the same list twice in a row that would be perfectly reasonable (if dull) so things shouldn't be different in the painting competition. I try to make sure I acknowledge the runners up in the awards ceremony and in my post after the tournament.
A possible solution might be to indicate which armies have been entered before. If people decide they're still the best in the competition they can still vote for them but if they think there's an equally good entry that deserves acknowledgement this time then they can vote for them instead. There was also a suggestion of a one event cushion between winning the best army i.e. you could win it at BW6 and BW8 but not BW6 and BW7.
Best Special Character
Since Special Characters are a big part of the identity of Blog Wars this prize will always be a feature of the painting competition. However, I don't think it's always obvious which model a player is entering into this part of the competition. Some pre-printed labels on my end might help players to indicate their character so I'll come up with some ideas. I like this award because it allows people to really focus on a single model and still be in with a chance of a prize without the rest of their army being to the same standard.
Again, there were potential issues with the same character winning so it was suggested that a character couldn't be entered again. I'm not sure I'm a fan of this as it's not always about winning but also showing off a model you're proud of to a new audience.
This is something I've run in the past and I'd like to resurrect it this time around. Since I think there's already enough for players to vote on I think the best thing to do is make it a judge's decision. Similarly I'd also like to highlight particularly stunning conversions. I'd aim to avoid giving one person all of the prizes but it's not impossible for the players to vote for the best SC that also happens to be the best conversion.
My experience of painting competitions at Blog Wars and other tournaments is that it's often actually the best converted army that wins "best painted". Whilst they're both parts of the hobby side of the game I think they're very different skills and people don't always possess both. Having an award for conversions will acknowledge this and hopefully encourage players to vote for the actual "best painted".
Well this bit is up to you guys really. There's already a portion of the prize pot assigned to the painting competition and I think the value of the prizes is reasonable. I'm prepared to commit a portion of the pot to extra prizes for the painting so let me know what you think. If you think the painting competition deserves bigger prizes I want to hear that as well.