Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Blog Wars 8 - Feedback Discussion (please comment)

I fully intended to have this post up ages ago but my new xbox has distracted me somewhat. Suffice to say, as ever, I want to continue my drive to make Blog Wars the best event on the tournament calendar by listening to feedback from the guys who've attended recently (and by continuing to offer stupid amounts of loot). Not only that but I'd like to hear from people who are thinking of attending to tell me what would make them more likely to come or what's stopped them coming so far. Remember the event is open to anyone, not just bloggers. The name is a throwback to the event's origin but that's all.

Staying the Same
Whilst I want Blog Wars to continue to evolve there are a few key ideals that will (hopefully) never change. These are things that are ingrained in the identity of the event.

  • A single Special Character will remain a compulsory requirement. This is part of the identity of the event and despite GW deleting some prominent SCs I still think all of the factions have decent options.
  • The raffle will continue to offer much better prizes than the tournament. I want people to enjoy three games in a relaxed atmosphere. Of course they should try to win their games but I don't want them to write their lists as dirty as possible because I'm offering a big prize to the winner. You can show up, lose all three games and still walk away with a bigger prize than the overall winner (but no certificate - unless you come dead last of course).
  • Scoring will be fixed at 33 VPs per game (30 Primary, 3 Secondary). This helps to minimise the impact of simply receiving a bad draw as each round is worth the same number of points. I think it works well but perhaps that's just me?!
  • Two spot prizes will be given in each round for specific things. Nothing too exciting but just a little token worth about a fiver for something stupid/awesome that you achieved in your game. 
  • The Venue - I'm happy with the venue and particularly with the support I receive from the owner as it makes the event a simple as possible to organise. The tables are decent and the location is accessible. I'm not particularly happy with the food but I'm coming to that later.
  • Prizes for Best Painted Army and Best Painted Character. It's nice to have awards for both and it's rare for them to go to the same person. It means you could get your army to three colour minimum but focus on your SC and still have your efforts acknowledged.

Up for Discussion
As always I want to here your thoughts on the event and I endeavour to take your comments on board when writing the rules pack.
  • Army Selection - over on the BW9 page I've posted up the proposed army selection criteria. I think it's a reasonable system but I want to hear your thoughts. Could be changed to simply two detachments of any kind for simplicity but I'd then rely on an element of self-policing so we didn't see 3 riptides and 3 wraithknights for example. What do you reckon to the current plan?
  • Imperial Knights - they're certainly not overpowered, especially with the changes to Destroyer weaponry, but I've previously limited them to 1 per army. Would you be happy to see this lifted to allow up to 3 knights in a list? I can't see much of an issue. Of course some people will find it hard to deal with but if you know it's in there at least you can write your list accordingly in case you face it. Should Gerantius be allowed as an SC and should the Adamantine Lance formation be allowed?
  • Tactical Objectives - as I discussed in an earlier post I'm looking to change the final mission to a Maelstrom one. This is to keep things fresh and embrace 7th edition a little more. Were you totally happy with the old "Control Freak" mission though and would prefer it to stop? Any thoughts on Maelstrom being used at BW?
  • Best Conversion Award - I sometimes find that the other hobby awards (best army/best character) actually go to the army which features the best conversions. You can have an army of simply assembled models with an excellent paintjob overlooked because an army with a comparatively mediocre paintjob had some eyecatching conversions. Would introducing a conversions prize solve this?
Anything Else?
I'm going to be working on some behind the scenes improvements to make the event run more smoothly and I'm going to be talking to the venue nearer the time about the food as it wasn't up to scratch last time in my opinion. However, I'm also interested to know if you think there's anything else I can improve. Please comment below about anything from the list above or whatever else you think needs changing.

40 comments:


  1. Hi Alex.

    I have been to a few blog wars now and have enjoyed them all. I like the fact that yoy are always looking for ways to improve the event, and that in general it is a pretty relaxed affair (although the top tables still have a few pretty filthy lists). I think the food def needs to be improved as it was not great last year. Also the toilets were pretty horrific (i know there is nothing you can do about that, but maybe just feedback to the owner (and the 2nd urinal being functional would help matters greatly I think).

    Right now onto the gaming side.

    I think three imperial knights would be fine. As you say they are not overpowered, and If we all know there may be a chance they will be a list with 3 in, we can all prepare for it. There is no difference/hardship really than facing aN AM list with 4 leman russ's and 1000 chimeras ect.

    I would love to see a conversion prize. I completely agree with your points about sometimes the best converted winning the best painted prize, and non converted armies often getting overlooked as a result.

    I still need to digest your army selection stuff and mission changes, but will hopefully give you some feedback once I have got my head round them. I like the fact you are embracing the spirit of 7th ed more and the idea of the 3rd mission changes so far seem pretty good. :)

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    1. I'll be speaking to the venue nearer the time about the food and also about the toilets as I completely agree with you on both.

      Like anything else, some armies will struggle with three knights but others will have no problem and as you say you can write your list knowing it's a possibility.

      Pretty sure I'm going to have a conversion prize and try to encourage players to differentiate between the two.

      I look forward to your feedback on army selection etc.

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  2. Really looking forward to BW9. Coming from an area without a big gaming community I was really impressed by the venue at BW8 (Although I did spend every cig break wondering if I'd fall off the fire escape!). It's amazing to see that much space dedeicated to wargaming.

    I've mentioned before; would love to see some of the other LoW's rolled into BW. Playing in a universe full of Knights now, so most lists should include enougn melta-dakka to take down the bigger toys. I'm not an imperial player but would happily play against a 3 Knight list at BW; they are a strong unit but so is an army of only Wave Serpents which is already legal.

    .... Also letting LoW in would also give me th perfect excuse to buy an Obelisk. :)

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    1. Not being a smoker I haven't experienced the fire escape issue. Was it particularly unstable or just felt that way?

      I'm looking at the Lords of War again in the light of the codices that have come out recently. My current feeling is that any Lord of War is fine provided it doesn't have a Forge World model. Not sure about the Lord of Skulls mind you.

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    2. On the fire escape - it was fine tbh. It's a sort of narrow walkway high up, but there's a railing round it and its pretty solid. I was quite happy sitting on the railing until everyone else out there panicked!

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    3. The fire escape - Wasn't a complaint, I'm just a wuss!

      I think I'm going to buy a Obelisk tonight! Pow!

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  3. Never attended before but I'm hoping to more often.

    The limitations you put in place are what attracted me to the event as a friendlier introduction to the tournament scene.

    If you're looking to encourage less filthy lists, perhaps a small prize for most interesting/innovative/best themed list - one that's not necessarily designed to be the most competitive, but with a really well thought out theme.

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    1. Glad you're coming along for the first time. I'm always pleased when people choose Blog Wars as their introduction to tournaments. Hope it doesn't put you off!

      I used to have a Best Theme list so it's perhaps something I could reinstate.

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  4. On the whole, I'm pretty happy with most of the decisions you made regarding the previous BW and the direction you seem to be going for this one. The stuff that's staying the same all seems to be good; consistent scoring between missions works really well, the venue was good (although as already noted, the food wasn't great) and looks like it could easily accommodate another 10-20 people, and the way the prizes are themed is great. If only I could win the raffle this time!

    Having separate painting prizes for Characters and Armies is nice, because as you say, it allows people to focus on their characters even if they don't have the time/skill for a full army and still get rewarded. Adding a conversion prize is only going to improve upon that.

    I don't think there would be any issues with allowing more than 1 Knight in lists (remembering that you did actually up the limit to 2 Knights per army prior to BW8). I think 3 would be fine and I can't honestly imagine that many people are going to take any, let alone the full 3. Having said that, I do feel allowing the AdLance might be going a tad too far. In the interests of full disclosure, I will admit that I say this (a) having not actually played against an AdLance formation yet (anyone who has feel free to contradict/support my thoughts that it's too much), and (b) strongly considering a list with 2 Knights for BW9.

    As with one of the above comments, I think it would be nice to expand the range of Lords of War allowed in the tournament. I understand it's a tricky thing to regulate and know which ones to allow, but maybe just start small for BW9 and allow some of the less controversial ones in? 3 that come to mind are the Obelisk, Stompa, and standard Baneblade, although I'm sure there are more that would fit as being reasonable. It's difficult to know where to draw the line, but there must be at least a few Super Heavies that can see near-unanimous agreement as to how "fair" they are.

    I look forward to hearing what everyone else has to say.

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    1. AdLance is one of those things that looks insanely powerful on paper...then you see it in practice and it's a disaster. The 6 inch range limitation for the knights, means they have to stay really grouped together and can't really project their firepower.

      And if one of the knights blows up, it almost always takes out a second one (Because they are close enough to get hit by the D blast without any shield protection).

      Think of Adlance as similar to putting three knights under a void shield generator. It's mainly anti alpha strike more then anything else.

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    2. Fair enough, I guess it's not so bad then. Now that I think about it as well, any methods you would usually use to bypass the Ion Shield (Battle Focus, getting in multiple facings, etc.) would still completely ignore it, re-roll or not. Certainly I suppose it's not as much of a big deal when counting in the fact that you're facing 3 Knights anyway.

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    3. I actually feel three knights would be more threatening then a adlance formation. Everyone who takes adlance is obsessed with keeping the knights together, which cripples their usefulness.

      It's the old problem with the KFF forcefield with ork lists...you hurt yourself trying to stay in those little bubbles.

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    4. As I've said above I'm considering allowing Lords of War that have a non-Forge World model. That'd be Stompa, Obelisk/Tesseract Vault, Baneblade, Lord of Skulls etc.

      I've never played against AdLance but I think it's more the thought of it than anything else. Greg makes some good points about it but I still think it's unnecessary so it won't be allowed for now at least.

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  5. To be fair to the venue I felt the food at Blog Wars 7 was really good. There was plenty of chicken curry and although the offer for seconds was made I didn't need it. Personally I thought BW8's food wasn't bad, it was just basic and overshadowed by the previous event.

    As for army lists, well in the absence of my slowly developing Dark Angels, expected to attend BW20 at this rate I will be trotting out the nids yet again. So my opinion is just that, opinion I don't expect any change because of it. The changes made last time to allow formations and data slates makes generating a Tyranid army list more interesting for me.

    However, the setup does preclude the option of twin flying Hive Tyrants unless I take the Red Terror as he is the only special character not a HQ. Now I don't have Raveners, and have no interest in the Red Terror at all so it's not an option. The twin flyrant thing could be construed as cheese, but I rarely use two in my games as they're usually 1500pts, having that extra 350 gives me the freedom to drop the spare in that I don't normally get to play with.

    So you can see, my issue is just about me getting to play with more toys that coincidentally are the best thing in the codex ;) So feel free to disregard. As it is I still find it quite a challenge to build a list and I'll have a real Deathleaper finally, so he better do some good!

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    1. Hopefully I can convince them to do the curry again or something along those lines at least. The food at BW8 was by no means awful but it just wasn't up to much. Granted we're not paying very much for it but still.

      I look forward to seeing your DA at BW20! Not sure I'll be able to keep this up for that long mind you as that would be 2020!

      You're right about the Flyrants but that's more GW's doing than mine by shifting some of the other options around. It isn't ideal but it's tricky to fix without adding army specific exclusions. I'm actually pleased to hear it's a challenge to build a list. The original idea behind the SC thing was to encourage people to think outside the box (or netlist) and bring something they wouldn't normally run.

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  6. Hey there,

    having traveled to three BWs so far, I've got to say this still is the only tournament I'm really interested in joyning, just because of the atmosphere. The community there is pretty relaxed overall (though can heat up during games, but no bad feelings afterwards).

    The food at BW9 was definitly overshadowed by the offers at BW8! It still was fine, as I didn't have to eat anything with peppermint sauce (that's what you English eat all the time, right?! :-P ).

    The location is fine as well, it's good to reach and has a decent choice of hotels close by ( though the Premier Inn is the one I can recommend most). But, as also mentioned above, the toilets could use a big overhaul, as well as the fire escape (but that mainly is an issue for us smokers).

    A prize for a best converted army would be great, there are some stunning armies to see at every BW.

    For list selection I think the restriction to 2 Knights, as it was at BW8 is fine. I'm not sure if a 3 Knight list really is that much fun to play against, though I've never had the "pleasure" of doing so myself.
    Also I'd enjoy seeing other LoWs, maybe restrict the list of allowed LoWs to a max of 600 points (two Knights net in at <700), but allow every army to include any of these as Allies of Convenience. So Orks could field a Baneblade or Chaos Daemons could field an Obelisk for example.
    Another idea would be to have a rather strict set of rules for BW9 and try more variation at BW10, as the "winter BWs" SEEM to attract less people and therefore are better suited as test beds IMO.
    Although I'd like to include a FW vehicle maybe (looking at the Fellblade), I'm with you that FW rules tend to be less balanced in general. Though I think allowing 1 FW unit / vehicle per army would be fine.
    However no matter how restricted list building may be, in the hands of a great general even a seemingly harmless army while shine, while a tough looking army in the hands of a weak general will only be blunt. Fielding a Wraithknight and an Imperial Knight at the last BW didn't get me really far, just as I expected. :-P Still one could consider his own list weak / strong, while someone else considers the same list the other way round. It's all down to skill...

    For the missions, I've felt that Control Freak tends to tip to one side after a while, though that could be me and my bad luck. Somehow I still enjoyed the mission. Still the move to 7th edition and including Tactical Objectives is a great idea. I will try to have a test game with your reduced number of Objectives this weekend and will report my feedback then.

    Cheers,
    Hendrik

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    1. I'm not sure three Knights is fun to play against either but I'm trying to keep as many people as happy as possible. This is always my problem though as no matter what decision you make as a TO you're going to piss people off. If I removed all restrictions there'd be as many people pissed off as if I had tons of complicated restrictions. I hope I get the balance about right.

      Including Lords of War is something I'm looking at as I've mentioned above. I'm pretty keen to avoid Forge World though for various reasons I've already stated several times. This is again something that will please some and piss off others.

      Ultimately I hope people want to attend Blog Wars for the atmosphere and aren't too worried about what they can or can't bring. If you're not taking the event too seriously then provided your games aren't miserable I've done my job. Sometimes it's unavoidable as someone is just unlucky with their matchups though.

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  7. I was going to say - I am sure you you upped the Knights limit to 2 last time - because I think I played against a list with a pair and it wasn't as bad as I expected, although I think I got pretty lucky and was able to focus fire them off the table in 2-3 turns whilst the rest of the guys army was in reserve.

    Off the back of that I would say upping the limit 3 wouldn't be the end of the world - probably not that much fun to play against, but at least there probably wont be that many lists with them in (and I would rather play 3 Knights than Wave Serpent spam again - Grazer!).

    There's a chance that the Red Steel guys will be making it to this one again - I spoke to a few of them recently and they were prepping armies for it.

    Re; Maelstrom, I am for it. I don't play many games but was surprised at how utterly pointless Troops were with BW missions since the 7th Ed changes and almost anything being able to score - to the point where if we don't use objectives I will probably only be including 100pts worth in my list and spending the rest on toys.

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    1. Pretty sure I did up it to two knights but not sure anyone brought two?! I can't remember off the top of my head though. Again, no matter what I do there'll still be some horrible armies for certain people. Even Graham's list isn't horrible for everyone to face.

      I think Troops are becoming more pointless in 40K generally rather than it being a BW issue per se. The changes to scoring units and the Faction detachments have meant that Troops are somewhat irrelevant these days.

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    2. Defiantly agree that the Troops issue is with 40k and not BW - which is a shame because I think the application and use of Troops is where the tactics lie in the game. Without that it's all about picking the right hammers and swinging at each other.

      I was talking to LordH recently about the same thing and I think we are going to try and have a game with 6+ Troops units and limited mech/guns to try and make it a bit 'purer'.

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    3. On the knights - you did up it to two, but then only two people brought individual knights, if my memory serves correctly.

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  8. Hoping to make this one as I didn't attend last time for reasons you are aware of. I have no suggestions but I have a couple of questions questions
    1) Will forgeworld be allowed? i.e Corsairs, Tyrants Legion, Dread mob etc
    2) What about codexes that have no special characters in? i.e. Militarum Tempestus, Imperial Knights, Possibly Eldar Harliquins (At BW 7 you allowed the Iron Hands to 'make their own' special character

    Thanks Ben (From Red Steel)

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    1. As ever (apart from once), Forge World will not be allowed I'm afraid. Codexes without a special character won't be expected to field one but obviously trying to bring one along is encouraged.

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  9. I too have never attended A blog wars for multiple reasons (my dads birthday this year being the big 50 is keeping me from attending my first!) but I greatly wish to attend due to the friendly style of the event.

    My more local tournament has some good comp rules that I think you could steal a few from. An example would be that you are rewarded 'soft points' for not spamming units in certain slots etc. And though some forgeworld units are allowed any combination of apocalypse templates AP3 or better and ignores cover are flat out banned.

    If you are interested in perusing how they have gone about it (which is by no means perfect but has some nice additions) then check out Bristol Vanguard forum and look at their Vanquish tournament rule set.

    Overall having read your rules pack though I think its awesome and like the mandatory special character a lot. Nominations for best fluffy army would perhaps be very cool.

    ttfn

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    1. Hopefully you can come along to BW10 in November then? I'll take a look over the comp but generally I'm not a fan of soft scores for reasons I've discussed before. Always interested to read how other TOs are handling 7th though.

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    2. Yep, I have BW10 in my google calendar and that should give me enough time to get my Blood Angels up and running! Or if not it'll be the trusty night Lords with a converted Huron!

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  10. HI Alex & gang!

    Looking forward to Blog Wars as ever. You'll be delighted to know WaaC-Graham and his fun-Hoover Serpent Spam army have been locked away in the shed, and Fluffy Graham and his Tyranids will be coming out to play again!

    Anyway, here's my two-pennies' worth on the points in question:

    ARMY SELECTION:
    Looks good, no issues for me.

    FORGE WORLD:
    Personally I would like to see FW units allowed, either in a limited or even a completely unrestricted fashion. Perhaps a 25% points limit on FW units and a 0-1 choice per force-org slot would be a nice balance for future consideration?

    IMPERIAL KNIGHTS:
    I think these are easily as bad as anything Forge World produce! So, I would prefer to see a 0-1 limit on Imperial Knights, and definitely no AdLance.

    DAEMONOLOGY:
    I think Daemon summoning is the most unbalanced thing GW have put out (again, Forge World pales in comparison). Why should some armies get 2500pts + in an 1850pt game?!? I would prefer to see a ban on summoning, or at least a limit of 5 dice per turn. Also I would suggest that the Eldar 'Summoning' Stone of Anath'Lan be tweaked so it cannot be used on Summoning powers.

    TACTICAL OBJECTIVES:
    Love it, love it, love it! I would have them as secondaries in every mission, with Warlord/Libebreaker/First Strike as tertiary objectives (a la Caledonian, etc). I think they give players/armies another reason to keep playing, even though the primary may not be achievable for whatever reason.

    CONTROL FREAK:
    I like that mission - it was hard, and required thought.

    BEST CONVERSION AWARD:
    Great idea - love it.

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    1. Yay!!! I like fluffy Grazer! Hopefully with some of the new Nid stuff you'll get a bit more success than normal.

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    2. Thanks for the feedback Graham. I'm going to give the 3 knights thing a go this time and we can look at it again for BW10 if necessary.

      Daemonology is a big bug bear of mine too. I really hate to see non-Daemon armies using it as a mechanism for generating free troops. At the team event I played Tyranids with Eldar summoning Daemons. Very fluffy! I hate the concept and no matter what justification you come up with I think it's a stupid mechanic. I'd be very tempted to say ban Conjuration completely but that probably penalises Daemons players. Perhaps I could say non-Daemon armies can Conjure but suffer Perils on EVERY attempt?!

      I'm going to leave it as last mission only for now but might make a shift to the Cally/ETC format at some point. I've always been proud to be different with my scenarios though.

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  11. Summoning might sometimes be annoying, but I don't think it's as bad as everyone thought it would be when 7th dropped. Yes; you get units you didn't pay points for, but it's still cost you to kit your army out to be able to summon.

    Getting powers off can also be pretty risky sometimes. I think the 12 Charge limit is good. I would even consider letting people generate 16 max. That's what?... 3 reliable summons a turn; if and only if you have built your list around purely summoning and thus dropped a lot of other lovely goodies like... dakka? :)

    ... I would also enjoy to play against a Slaneesh summoning Farseer. 40k is set in a grim dark future. Hate is encouraged. Anarchy runs wild. What else could possibly cause more hate and anarchy then a dude summoning daemonettes with a Farseer at a tournaments full of fluff-enthusiasts? Pow!

    Did you know Sea-otters have the denses fur of any creature? Baby Sea-otters float; They are just that damn fluffy. So. Damn. Fluffy.

    ... I should wear more Sea-otter.

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    1. It really isn't that tough to fit summoning into an army though and countless times I've seen people hide a single psyker behind a ruin and sit summoning all game. I really don't think you have to drop much to fit it in and the rewards are worth the often small sacrifice.

      I'd hardly say Blog Wars is a tournament full of fluff enthusiasts. I think there's an important distinction between friendly and fluffy. Whilst I disagree with some things on fluff grounds these aren't the things I ban at Blog Wars. The term "fluff player" seems to be used by competitive players for anyone who doesn't want to spam units to win their games.

      Sorry it's just a pet hate of mine for people not to be able to make the distinction. There are actually very few true "fluff players" at Blog Wars (or any tournament for that matter). The fluff players tend to avoid the scene completely.

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  12. Thought I'd comment ad I came to blog wars as part of the red steel group, we came prepared for a fluffy tournament and we found that wasn't the case at all when we got there and saw alot of the other lists. I know you're not keen on forgeworld but that's a big put off for me as I use alot of forgeworld in my armies due to the models being outstanding really and the extra flavour those units give....personally I had to paint extra units which I never got round to in time for 8. Think alot of forgeworld is quite balanced compared to things like riptides....maybe allowing one forgeworld unit per army might be something to consider. Thought I'd offer my feedback anyway as those 2 reasons are two that are keeping me away for now.

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    1. There's no such thing as a fluffy tournament to my mind. Blog Wars is a friendly tournament but not a fluffy one. I'm sorry if you got that impression but it wasn't one I've put out there.

      The idea is to encourage people to run something friendlier than their normal tournament list. I do my best to stop people bringing horrible stuff but that's pretty subjective and difficult to achieve.

      Blog Wars 7 had a couple of particularly strong lists. One if which, the eventual winner, was a last minute stand in. I wasn't thrilled with his list but there wasn't much I could do at that point. Suffice to say that won't happen again.

      I hope those that attended BW8 found the balance to be much better. Strong lists but not horrible combos.

      Forge World models are outstanding but I wouldn't say they add flavour. Perhaps for a less competitive player but generally people want to bring them because they're more powerful.

      I often have to paint extra units for a tournament but I like having that motivation to get stuff painted up.

      There'll always be a list at an event that will give you a miserable game. That's the rock, paper, scissors nature of 40k. There's a chance that could happen in all 3 games too but that's the problem with a single day event.

      No matter what system I come up though with I'll put people off. Allowing FW would put people off too. Myself included frankly. Any TO brings an element of their personality into their rules pack. You'd think BW was the only event with restrictions.

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    2. Is there a particular reason you dont like fw so much? There are two types of fw. There is experimental rules (omfg what is that) and 40k approved rules. Generally the 40k approved units are over coated compared to their codex counter parts, and usually just offer some variety.

      A deff dread is 85 points in the codex. Fw mega Dr ad is around 175 has the same hull points, +1av and a 5++.

      I'd consider giving fw a better look the future. The 40k approved stuff is pretty mild, if not underpowered.

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    3. Eh, I can see where Alex is coming from in all honesty. Whilst there is stuff like that Mega Dread, there's also stuff like Acanthrites for Necrons who tip the scale the other way. For every person that talks about wanting to add something simple like a Contemptor Dread, there's probably also someone looking to add a few Thudd Guns. There's no way to fully regulate FW units without going through them all one by one - and that simply isn't practical, nor would it be likely to balance things perfectly.

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    4. I agree. That is definitely true (unless those units don't have 40k stamps!). Here is an alternative though. Would FW units be allowed as "counts as?" That would let people who spent the time and energy painting them all up to integrate in with their army the ability to field them on the table.

      In the ork example, the mega dread is the same scale as a gorkanaut, and could easily represent one.

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    5. Using Forgeworld or other manufacturers models isn't uncommon at BW. There ist even a Squat army showing up each now and then with Blimps and other fancy stuff. ;-)

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    6. I'm in no way against FW models. I love them and wish I could justify owning some. The idea of "no FW models" is more to say "nothing that would normally be represented by a FW model". Want to use a contemptor for a normal dread? Go for it! Same with preheresy marines as regular marines.

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  13. I think I have to take some responsibility for the impression I gave to the Red Steel guys that came down to BW7. In the past Blog Wars I've attended it has been incredibly fun, with a really communal attitude and lists that were well built, but not overly harsh. Unfortunately as 40k has changed and the tournament has got larger (in my opinion obviously) there seems to have been a bit of a shift towards WaaC lists and a more competitive edge. I think at BW7 people turned up expecting a few friendly games and were unlucky to end up facing some real "tournament builds". I don't think this is anything you can really change though Alex - I think it was a problem of different expectations - so sorry about that!.

    With regards to the restrictions I think it depends on what kind of event you are trying to run, to me a "fun tournament" is a bit of an oxymoron as the tournament side brings with it serious competitive play, harsh lists and scenario manipulation for maximum points (like purposely not tabling your opponent to gain more victory points, or stalling the game to stay on objectives longer) all of which reduce the fun. Fun, to me, is using units and playing armies you don't normally get chance to, raiding the toy cupboard and getting to play with all your shinies lol. As you know, I've never been one to bring overly competitive lists and have been much more about brining an army I thought was fun and interesting (MONKIES!) so i'm not really interested in winning the thing, just having fun.
    That said, i'd have no problem with people bringing FW units, datalsates, summoning etc etc as I think it would be much more fun and interesting to see lots of different units/armies on display than the same Broadside/Wraithknight/Flyrant/Bloodthirster lists you see everywhere.
    With regards to Knights - I think you should allow them, they're an official 40k codex in the same way Tau, Eldar, etc. are, so restring them makes no sense unless your going to ban Wave Serpents and Farsight Bombs, which in my opinion are more difficult to play legal armies from existing codex's.
    Also I would like to be able to use lots of different detachments in one army (scions/inquisition/knights/assassins etc) but that's just personal preference.

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    1. It's a great shame that none of the Red Steel guys came to BW8 as I think it was probably the best yet. There were strong lists but nothing cheesy (to my mind anyway) and a great atmosphere.

      I don't think there's been a shift to WAAC lists or at least a more competitive edge in the slightest. There's always been a core of people who are more interested in winning than others. We don't really have any WAAC guys anymore and if anything the competitive group is smaller than it ever was.

      Ultimately it's difficult for me to know in advance how competitive the scene will be. Obviously there's a huge chunk of veterans who've been to at least one event before but so far this year there's about 50:50 new guys to veterans. Having a strong list doesn't necessarily mean WAAC though. Graham is a great example of this. He decided to bring wave serpents and wraithknights last time to try out the competitive thing but having played him plenty in the past he's about as far from WAAC as you can be.

      I really don't think a fun, or indeed friendly, tournament is an oxymoron. If you aren't playing for fun or friendship then I really don't know why you'd turn up! I pride myself on Blog Wars being one of the few events on the calendar with a really strong emphasis on friendly gaming. I was told by several people from the start that "it couldn't be done" but I really think I've come as close as I can. I do everything I can to encourage that but again it comes down to who's there on the day. Of course in a tournament you play to win but hopefully at Blog Wars you're far less likely to meet an arsehole than at any other event. If that isn't the case then I should just give up.

      As for people manipulating scenarios for maximum points, it happens no matter what scenario or scoring system you use. It's down to individuals to allow it or not. I had the same experience myself at an event at my FLGS recently but let my opponent forestall tabling me to help him score more points.

      Fun is a very personal concept though. I will never understand how anyone finds Broadside spam fun for example. I don't even own any HYMP suits for that reason. I'm sure some people enjoy the feeling of blasting stuff off the table though. I hope the army selection and "spirit of the event" encourages people to bring something different to Blog Wars but at the same time I hate asking someone to change their list. I've actually had a lot of fun in some games where I've been totally annihilated.

      Allowing things like FW etc does make things more interesting if you're of the right mindset but less interesting if people just pick out the powerful stuff and spam it (which 40K players are notorious for). Adding multiple detachments as an option has the same issues. Some people will see it as a chance to bring a varied army using a lot of their favourite units but others will see avenues for abuse. I think there's very little difference between Unbound and Battle Forged at times.

      Army Selection is the biggest issue every single time I run Blog Wars. I've come to a point where I keep some things fixed whilst others are open for debate. I'm permitting more Lords of War this time for example as a bit of an experiment.

      My main hope is that people can see I make the effort to find a system that at least makes the majority of people happy. In some ways it has a lot to do with what I personally want from a tournament but I hope the time and effort I put into the rules pack before each event is worthwhile. It's FAR easier for me to just say bring whatever you want and not check any lists but then I really don't think it'd be a "fun tournament" for anyone.

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