Right, with that unpleasantness out of the way I want to move onto talk about some of the more positive feedback that came out of the event and how it will be used to shape BW10. Firstly, let me say a massive thank you to everyone who has taken the time to give me feedback. I think this is some of the most constructive feedback I've received. I strive to make Blog Wars the best event possible and I can only do this if people tell me what needs improving. I thank you all for your kind words about the event and for your continued support.
Right, let's get to it.
Refereeing & My Participation
I already mentioned this in the previous post but to spell it out again. I won't be playing at BW10 unless I absolutely have to in the event of uneven numbers on the day. I'll do my best to arrange a local stand-in before the day though to try to avoid it. If I do end up playing it will be with a list that I deliberately tailor to play quickly i.e. minimal models and no complicated rules.
Anyway, I've already started on further streamlining measures and making the rules pack and scoring sheets as idiot proof as possible. Since I'm not playing I'll have plenty of time to answer rules queries but I'll also be volunteering Matt to help out here too. He should be able to answer general rules questions but I can still be called upon to make rulings where there's ambiguity.
I won't pretend I'm not gutted but if the kind of numbers we saw at BW9 are repeated for BW10 I just don't think it's fair on everyone else. It'll make for a more relaxing day for me anyway!
I try to make the scoring as simple to understand as possible whilst also rewarding convincing victories more than narrow ones. I certainly need to better clarify a few things so I've updated the scoresheet for BW10 to really spell things out. Hopefully this will avoid any confusion and also help me get the results in quicker. Incidentally I've added a bonus points column to the scorecard to allow people to track the points they receive from stripping hull points from Lords of War (or any other source).
I'd like to tweak the scoring slightly to make wins more important. There's been a situation at the last few events where players who won all three games placed lower than others who hadn't. This was because most or all of their wins had been in close games but it should still be better to win than lose. I'm looking closely at the scoring system Matt has devised for Fluffageddon and I've run the BW9 numbers through to see how it affected things. Here's how it would've looked:
As you can see it hasn't affected things too dramatically but there's a better distribution of players based on their W/L percentage. The scores using the Fluffageddon system are on the far right and obviously the traditional BW scores are in the bright green column. Matt's system still rewards convincing victories but a win is still important. Obviously running the numbers after the event isn't a true representation of how it would've affected standings but I'll be watching Fluffageddon very closely to see how it works in practice.
Either way, you won't need to do anything differently when entering your results as I'll set up the spreadsheet to do it for you. It might just been you feel like the standings better represent your performance though.
Generally speaking the feedback on the use of Maelstrom in the final mission was good. This is a huge relief for me after printing, laminating and cutting out 900 objective cards! Seriously though, I like the inclusion of Maelstrom as I think it embraces that aspect of the game properly but does so in a sensible BW-style fashion. Incidentally if anyone wants a copy of the BW Tactical Objectives let me know and I'll email you the Word document. You can laminate them your bloody self though!
I had considered including Maelstrom in every game with just the deployment varying so I'd be keen to hear what people think of that. Otherwise I think I'll keep the missions the same for BW10 so that people can prepare for the event knowing what to expect.
I'd also thought about ditching the Emperor's Relic as it's been in use for a while I'd considered bringing Control Freak back in or perhaps coming up with something totally different. I'm loath to do this though as the current mission set is well tried and tested now.
Finally, the mission order was something that people felt might benefit from a change. They felt getting smashed in the first round (or vice-versa) had a negative affect on the rest of the tournament. I don't actually think changing the mission order would help here as it's mostly down to the random pairings in the first round and how limited Swiss pairs is over just three rounds. I deliberately run the kill mission before lunch as it's a nice straightforward start to the day and all that adding up doesn't delay the start of the next round. I like having Maelstrom last too as it's not so predictable and can still have a dramatic effect on standings.
Imperial Knights & Lords of War
I've written a separate post on this here but basically I plan on limiting Imperial Knights to two per army and all other super-heavy/gargantuan Lords of War to 0-1 per army. As I say though, take a look at that post for more info. Personally I like them being in there was it forces people to plan their lists and play their games diffferently. I've added a vote on the of the blog about this and the results are overwhelmingly supportive of my proposed limits (web version of the blog is necessary to see the vote).
New Detachments e.g. Necron Decurion
I'm keen to hear your thoughts here but basically I think the Necron Decurion and Eldar Warhost as probably worse than some of the other things that aren't permitted at Blog Wars. The Decurion in particular can make an already powerful army nearly unstoppable. As I say I want to hear people's thoughts but I'm inclined to say that the detachments themselves won't be allowed but the formations within them will be. It remains to be seen how bad the SM and DA versions will be.
There was a suggestion about a BW-specific FOC but I think that creates more problems than it solves and I do my best to limit the amount I change the rules by. You may not believe that to be the case but it's true.
There was talk of banning allies at Blog Wars. I'm a bit of a codex purist and not generally a fan of allies. I know that some people claim their army needs allies to make it competitive but is that just because other armies are using them so the standard is generally higher. Clearly armies like Eldar, Necrons, etc don't need allies anyway but will that just mean they rise to the top with ease? I'll add a vote to get to a consensus so please give me your opinion (again web version of the blog is necessary to see the vote).
I do my best to try and filter out the truly dirty lists but inevitably some slip through. There were comments about a couple of lists this time around. It's difficult to decide where the level is really as a lot depends on how the list is played. There's also a large element of who plays who. Some armies will find some lists to be unbeatable whilst others won't see the problem.
All I can say is that I'll make every effort to ensure the armies at Blog Wars 10 are in the spirit of the event but I also rely on you guys to do the same. The playerbase seems better good at self-regulating and I hope I can trust you to continue to do this.
I'd like to try something different for BW10 and the painting competition. I introduced a Best Conversions prize at BW9 that I'd like to keep but I'd also like to have effectively three separate competitions. Everyone will be able to enter the Best Special Character but players will chose whether they enter their army for Best Painted or Best Conversions. There'd be three separate areas for displaying the entries into each category. I like the idea of all of the characters being displayed together and I think it'll help people who focus their energies into a single model that would otherwise be lost in their army that isn't to the same standard.
This may be a little controversial though so I'd like to know what you all think.
Finally, it seems that Subway went down pretty well. The venue used to supply their own food but I simply wasn't happy with the standard and I was quite relieved when the owner said the in-house cafe had closed. I know Element Games (the shop in the venue) is looking to start something of their own but in the absence of that I will be going for Subway again.
I think it helps to have cold food as then it doesn't matter if we run over or if it's late arriving. Subway is also good because they can easily cater for specific dietary requirements. Incidentally I'll be asking everyone when they buy their ticket to let me know about dietary requirements from the out set.
Right, there's plenty there to be going on with. I want to hear people's thoughts on anything and everything in that list and any extra things you think I've missed that need addressing. Nothing is set in stone yet but BW10 tickets will be going on sale soon so I'd appreciate hearing from you ASAP.
Finally, I'm intending to get some more of the BW custom templates made up. Someone came to me on the day and said they had access to a laser cutter to make these cheaper than I'd paid this time. I think it was Nathaniel but whoever it was please get in touch so I can sort these sooner rather than later.