Monday, June 13, 2016

Double Trouble - The Aftermath

As I'm sure you know by now, my five year run of Blog Wars events came to an end last November with Blog Wars X. I decided I wanted to do something different instead of rehashing the BW format with a new name. I'd toyed with the idea of a BW doubles before but never went through with it because I thought it would put people off who didn't have a partner. That's where the Double Trouble format comes in. Everyone shows up with a 750pt force and they're paired up with a random partner in each round to play against another random pairing. I'm sure the idea of this put quite a few people off but I had 31 people prepared to give it a go so, with me making it 32, I ran the event last Saturday at the NWGC.

You may have heard that the venue has now been taken over by Element Games and they've injected a decent chunk of time and cash into renovating the place. It looks infinitely better than it did before. Unfortunately for them they inherited the bookings of the previous owner including the double booking of Double Trouble (maybe that's the "double trouble"?!?) and a Privateer Press event. Since the PP event was a 110-man manufacturer hosted 24 hour a day special they could hardly turn them down I suppose. What that meant though was they wouldn't be allowed to have models from any other manufacturers in the main gaming space. Understandable from PP's perspective but it meant that the venue had to hire a room from the theatre group who used another part of the building. That meant a trek past the lovely new venue and down into a dark room with precious little natural light, no bar, no projector (I brought a TV from home), no PA system (I had to shout a lot) and only just enough tables. Massive thanks to Luke and the other Friday night early arrivals who helped get things set up. The distance from the main hall and miscommunication from Element's staff meant that we didn't get lunch when we should've either which didn't go down well with anyone, myself included. I'll discuss this in more detail in the feedback post so save your comments for that.

The Double Trouble Dungeon!
All of that aside though, I felt that the tournament went pretty well. For the first event of a new format the day ran smoothly with only a handful of things that I hadn't anticipated. Looking over the pairings for the event on Friday night, I'd noticed that some people would end up playing repeat games against some opponents. I'd already made sure that there were no duplicate pairs but hadn't thought about duplicate opponents. This led to what can only be described as the world's worst Sudoku puzzle. I set out the 32 players and all their 9 opponents/partners and made sure that no one had a game with or against someone they'd played before. Of course, this wasn't totally necessary and some repeats could've been interesting (e.g. playing with someone you'd just played against) but the point of the event was to mix with people who you wouldn't normally, so I'm glad I did it. Apart from me writing one of the table assignments incorrectly, it worked like a dream.

As I always did with Blog Wars, I'll run through the painting competition in separate posts. The quality of the photos is limited thanks to the poor lighting mind you. For the tournament itself, since everyone was paired up randomly there were only prizes for individual players rather than teams. The missions involved two concurrent objectives: blood points for destroying your opponents' army and victory points for scoring tactical objectives (from a custom maelstrom deck). The top scorers in each category were titled Master Tactician and Genocidal Maniac respectively.

Whilst some debated whether Matthew Grimes had actually been a tactical genius with his summoning Daemons list he managed to scoop 50 VPs over three games and took the Master Tactician award. He actually tied for first place with Rob Hill from 30Kplus40K but I used blood points as a tie breaker. I played Matthew in my second game so you can decide for yourself whether he was a "master tactician" or not based on my battle report.

The top prize for Blood Points went to Dan Wellington. Dan was running Cult Mechanicus. Seems he didn't pay much attention to the other half of the mission though as he only scored 30 VPs from tactical objectives.

Propping up the table with the lowest combined score, Rob Nathan takes home the Nobody Loves Me Award. It's tough getting the last place in an event like this because it may have had nothing to do with what he brought or how well he played. I've not looked into it in detail but there were certainly weaker lists that placed higher thanks to getting paired with very strong lists. I appreciate that sounds wrong but hopefully everyone felt that the competition was secondary to enjoying their games and meeting new people.

As you can see, my day was less than stellar. I'd have never expected my best game to be when I was paired with another Dark Eldar player (Nathaniel Gibbs) against a horrible Eldar list with Hornets and a Warp Hunter! I fully expected the result in the final game against the Optimised Stealth Cadre though! My good friend Matt effectively finished second were this a normal tournament. He'd probably have been pushing for the Genocidal Maniac prize but his lord of change got stuck in combat with some cataphractii terminators for longer than he'd have liked (7 rounds of combat I think) as he kept fluffing the To Hit rolls. You can't focus on the what ifs though and he still enjoyed the day.

You may see on some of the other blogs (like Rob Hill's) that there were trophies for all of the event prizes. These were kindly designed and 3D printed by Matt Calow. I wish I'd taken some pictures of them all together but sadly I never got around to even getting them out of their box until I was handing them out in the award ceremony. Hopefully I'll be able to get Matt to print some more for the next Double Trouble.
Stolen from Rob Hill (spoiler for the painting competition!)
Of course there was also the obligatory excessively generous raffle! You might argue that I could make it less generous and charge less for tickets but where's the fun in that? Up for grabs this time were 5, yes 5, different Start Collecting sets. I forget who took them home but what I do remember is a sheepish Dave Weston coming up to collect the top prize of Deathwatch: Overkill

Right, I think that's more than enough text for one night! Next up I'll continue the tradition from Blog Wars of running through all of the painting competition before moving onto my battle reports and finally a feedback discussion on how we can make the next DT better. I'm really pleased that people were so positive about the event and glad that I feel like it's worth running again.

EDIT: By request, I've created a Facebook group for the event. It's been years since I've created one (or even used Facebook much) so if you can't join it let me know. The idea is to keep in touch with people who you played with/against and to share photos/stories with them.


  1. As ever Alex, thank you for running the events. The more I thought about our game the more I wish I'd switched off my competitive edge and relaxed like you and Dave!

    I concur, the event was excellent. Tbh, your tournies are what keeps me playing 40k these days! I think otherwise I might have deserted to X-wing! I'd deffo be up for double trouble again :)

  2. Another great event Alex, I had a blast. My first battle report goes up today (who needs sleep?) and all three games provided some stand out moments that were epic!

  3. I'm really struggling to remember much about any of my games aside from the people I played with. In some part the games were completely secondary to the interaction and I was so pleased to be paired with and against folk I've met before at Blog Wars.

    I mean we sauntered off for drinks for the last game before we even started, had a grumble at the Warmachine folk enjoying daylight and the opportunity to use lots of terrain, but ignoring it. We had a laugh and although there were issues with the venue, which it annoys me more that because of that we can't say it was perfect. The food was delayed, but it was good, their attitude to us was not great but it didn't spoil my overall enjoyment.

    And the whole point of meeting new people was vindicated, sure I knew you, Luke and Rob but we don't spend a huge amount of time together. Dan Wellington as well was someone I'd met at a Battle Brothers, he needed a partner and I;d volunteered so I knew this format could work. So seeing him again for the first time in 3 years and him getting Genocidal Maniac, that was just great. I think it's been one of my best gaming experiences, regardless of the issues, and I can't wait for the next one!

    And yes I did win the big prize, 'sheepish' doesn't begin to cover my embarrasment.

  4. I had a great time Alex. The format was very fun and I really enjoyed all my games, especially inteacting and having a laugh with lots of different people.

    I am very disappointed however in the treatment Element games meted put to you, especially considering the amount of business you have put through them before. I will be definately coming to any more events you run, ut would urge you to consider anither venue just on principle. I would be prepared to travel and stay over as I enjoy your events so much. They really are fun and what a tournament should be (fun, friendly and competitve).

  5. Great fun event. Looking forward to your write ups. Will you be publishing the final rankings? I know we weren't there to 'win' but I really want to see how far above bottom my all-scout list was!

    1. Errrr....whoops! I thought I'd posted up the results but I neglected to insert the picture. Ninja'd it in there.

  6. Great day, and although I didn't win any prizes at least my crotch made it into the blog photos!

  7. Holy hell third!! How did I manage that one! Guess focusing on both parts equally paid off.
    On a serious note though, I can't thank you enough for running what was probably the most enjoyable day of gamming I've had in the hobby, here's to many more and much more fun!

  8. I accidentally delete Luke Darksun's comment (stupid fat fingers):
    brill thanks for the table alex :) is there any chance in the follow up posts to break it down by each sub category? and possibly if its not to much trouble the way the score is worked out? i cant quite figure the maths out...

    1. I'll post the tables to Facebook when I get chance. The last column is just BPs/50 to give a score out of 30 per game then added to VPs.


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