Thursday, June 28, 2018

Retiring from Tournament Organisation (after DT4)

The title pretty much speaks for itself but I've been back and forth over this decision for the last couple of years now. Since I stopped doing Blog Wars (after BWX), I've told myself each time that the next tournament would be my last. Then I have such an awesome day at that tournament that I think I should run another. It's been the law of diminishing returns though as the buzz I feel after each event is less each time. What's really motivated me to wrap it up though is the amount of time it takes to organise and run the events and since I'm expecting my second child towards the end of the year I'm sure I won't find enough time to do these events justice. Not to mention I barely find enough time to paint my models as it is! For the record, it was my wife's idea to have one last event. I'd considered making DT3 my last.

That's not to say I haven't I've thoroughly enjoyed running events and it's been incredibly flattering to see the same faces turning up time and again. There can be no greater compliment as a tournament organiser than for there to be regular attendees and that includes some who have been to the vast majority of my events over the last seven years. Most of the events have veterans making up something like two thirds of the crowd. Over the years I've been doing this I've kept a log of all of the players who've attended and there's been 167 different players over the 14 events. Of those players 106 of them (63%) have been to more than one of my events. I think that's a pretty good retention rate! It also continues to amaze me that I've had players come from overseas to play in my events!

I only started keeping a record of the tournament and raffle prizes from BW6 onwards but over those nine events I've given away a grand total of £3492.26 in prizes! That's an average of just over £388 per tournament. Considering I've only averaged 35 players in those events that means roughly £11 per player which is pretty good considering tickets are £17.50 and I have to hire the venue and buy lunch!

Something else I also started doing at BW6 was the, now obligatory, pie chart post. I've given you a hefty (and pleasingly round number) total of 50 pies over the years. It's become a favourite part of the build up for me and something that I'm completely aware is utterly pointless too! If I had any graphic design skills at all I'd put together some sort of info graphic of all these figures but, as anyone who's seen the pie chart posts knows, it's not my forte. Still, it's interesting (to me at least) to look back over the years and see what's changed and how my organisation of the events has evolved.

I really think that DT3 was a culmination of all my efforts over the years to make a fun event where the emphasis is on the social side of gaming rather than winning at all costs. I'm particularly pleased that I managed this without having to heavily comp the armies or worry about policing the lists. Obviously there's not much opportunity for abuse at 875pts but I really think everyone entered into the spirit. Not only that but to my knowledge there were no problems on the day and everything ran pretty much perfectly to time. The format lends itself to it though I suppose.

Anyway, as I said in the title, this isn't goodbye just yet. I'm going to have one last fling with you all (OK that came out wrong (title of your sextape)) at Double Trouble 4. There was a general consensus in the FB group that another Double Trouble event would be more fun that a singles event which I'd traditionally run at that time of year. For any of you reading this who haven't been to one of my events recently I'd encourage you to come along and give the format a try. It'd be great to see some old faces that have been absent in recent years. Even if you don't play 40K much any more I'm sure you could cobble together an 875pt list on Battlescribe and join in.

Hopefully this will be my biggest Double Trouble event yet. That means I'd need to sell more than 32 tickets and I haven't really got long before the event comes around. Please spread the word and let's go out with a bang!
Artist's impression of the NWGC during the DT4 closing ceremony!
Once I've wrapped up Double Trouble 4 I'm going to write up a post about the lessons I've learned over the years of running these events so maybe someone will pick up the baton. I might even see if I can get WH Community interested in publishing it. I'd promised them an article ages ago but never quite got around to writing it. For now I'll leave you with a gif of every logo from the start and a hope that I'll see you on September 1st at DT4! Speaking of which, head to the DT4 page now for more information.

A massive thank you again to all of you who've supported my events over the years and enabled me to do something a little different in the 40K tournament scene.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Double Trouble 3 Painting Competition - Best Character & Best Monster/Vehicle

There are four categories of which players can only choose one to enter. These are Best Army, Best Conversions, Best Character and Best Vehicle/Monster. On Monday we looked at the Army and Conversion entries and today we'll wrap it up with the single miniature categories. I'm pleased to say there were far more entries in both categories than in the whole army awards.

Best Painted Character
Whilst there were more entries in this category not all of them received votes. Owen Brignall's Custodes Shield Captain, Chris Thomas' Gabriel Angelos and Jonathan Lyness' DG Noxious Blightbringer all received two votes each. The top three were then Duncan Gray's Typhus with six votes, Tom Capper's BA Chaplain with eight votes then a narrow victory for Michal Schiller's Succubus with nine votes. Michal also scooped one of the raffle prizes (the Webway Gate I think). He was also the fourth German who's been over just for my event which I still find a bit crazy!

Best Painted Monster or Vehicle
Again not everyone got votes here but the top five were David Wagg's Venerable Dreadnought and Matthew Longmore's Myphitic Blight-hauler with a single vote each. Luke Capper's Skarbrand took six votes which was good enough for third. Second place went to Dan Wellington's Tyrannofex with nine votes then Greg Barber's Traitor Guard Basilisk took the prize with 12 votes.


That's it for the results round up then. I'll try to get my battle reports written up towards the end of the week whilst they're still reasonably fresh in my mind. Keep an eye on the blog for those.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Double Trouble 3 Painting Competition - Best Army & Best Conversions (pic heavy)

As promised here are some shots of the entrants into the painting competition at Double Trouble 3 which took place on Saturday at the NWGC in Stockport, UK. There are four categories of which players can only choose one to enter. These are Best Army, Best Conversions, Best Character and Best Vehicle/Monster. The idea is that no one person can sweep the board and people are hopefully more likely to enter if they only need to get a single model up to scratch. 

Having said that, the two categories I'm talking about today barely had any entrants but I suspect that's because people were put off by the armies that were already laid out being such a high standard. The hobby side of things is a big part of what I love about this game and therefore it's always a shame that people don't display their armies for everyone to see. Even if you don't get any votes it might still serve as inspiration to someone. Maybe I should do a similar thing to GW and pick nominees myself for everyone to vote on?

Best Conversions
Anyway, let's start with Best Conversions. I'm considering renaming this to the "Ian Connolly Award" since he really goes to town on his conversion work and as a result was the only entry into this category. His Ork force included a massive bank of speakers into which he'd built an actual speaker that blared out music for his Orks to krump stuff to:

Obviously a hell of a lot of "counts as" in there but I'd certainly like to play against something so original. It's a great example of the passion people have for this hobby and I love seeing what people with significantly more imagination and talent than me can achieve.

Best Painted Army
As I said above, I think this is another category where people saw the army that was already down and decided not to display their's. Dave Weston's Genestealer Cult were the runaway winners with over two thirds of the votes with the rest going to Thomas Douch's Necrons:

Dave's armies are always a source of both inspiration and demoralisation for me. His style is perfect for 40K with all of his armies looking suitably grimdark. I don't think I've ever had the pleasure of playing against Dave at my events but he's been a regular fixture and his many painting accolades over the years are well deserved. You can check out more of his stuff on his blog, 40K Addict.

Right folks, come back tomorrow (or maybe Wednesday) to see the entries into the single minature categories.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Double Trouble 3 - The Aftermath

Yesterday I hosted my third Double Trouble event (DT3: Double Harder). This was my 14th time hosting a tournament but only my second in 8th edition. Since all of the pairings are random in each round I'd decided to keep the mission the same in all three games and army selection as straightforward as possible. Players showed up with their 875pt force (in a single Battle Forged detachment) and we paired up with a new partner and two new opponents in each round. Once again the "helldoku" that I work through, to make sure no one meets the same players again, paid off giving everyone nine different people to throw dice with. A total of 30 people showed up with me standing in as the 31st and 32nd player to make sure no one had a bye.

Those of you with long enough memories will remember that DT1 got confined to the dungeon under the newly refurbished NWGC but we had no such trouble at DT2 and once again got the NWGC in it's glory yesterday. Even though we were sharing the venue with an Imperial Assault championship it felt like we had the place to ourselves and there was plenty of space around the tables. I've not exactly toured the land but I really thing that Element Games have worked hard and invested significant capital to make it an excellent place to play whatever game you're into.

Hopefully those guys who came along won't tell me otherwise but I don't think the event could've gone much better. It ran pretty much perfectly to time, everyone showed up who I was expecting and I barely had any rules queries at all. It was a pretty relaxed day for all and despite being a touch on the warm side I can't complain about anything from my end. Please do let me know if you disagree though.

I'd upped the points to 875 each (so 1750pts total) to allow for a bit more space in the lists to bring some fun toys but I think most people were getting through their games in 2.5 hours. My first game only went to four turns but the other two went to the end. I'll report my games later in the week.

As ever, come back tomorrow and Tuesday for the painting competition roundup but here are the results from the tournament:

Clicking on the image should make it more legible. The positions are pretty meaningless as I separate out the awards for most VPs (Master Tactician) and most BPs (Genocidal Maniac). Jeremy Morris and his T'au winning the former and David Irving and his Ad Mech winning the latter. Propping up the table was Luke Capper who took home the "Nobody Loves Me Award" and a tenner in Element credit as compensation!

Jeremy put in a strong performance in both categories as did Thomas Douch who finished third on VPs and second on BPs with his Necrons. Mark Crombleholme as just two points short of the VP crown too. Special mention to Rob Nathan who managed to jump up from bottom at DT2 to just below mid-table.

As ever, there were far bigger prizes to be won in the raffle with Tom Capper (apologies if it was Luke) taking away a Imperial Knight Valiant worth £100 RRP and further prizes of Armiger Helverins, Sacristan Forgeshrine, Webway Gate, Munitorum Containers and the new IK codex handed out to people just for showing up. Finally, I decided to add a bonus prizes of a Start Collecting kit of the winner's choice to the winner of a mass roll off!

Look out for more round up posts later in the week but to finish I'd like to once again say a massive thank you to all of the guys who show up to my events and really enter into the spirit. This game, and it's tournament scene in particular, often gets a bad rep for the attitude of the players and I think we consistently prove that it doesn't have to be like that. My original vision for friendly events where everyone enjoys themselves is only achieved because the guys who attend want the same thing. I'd also like to again thank Element Games for such an excellent venue with friendly staff. Table service should be standard at these things! I only wish my FLGS shared their philosophy for making a top class venue instead of worrying about the cost. Remember you can support From The Fang by buying your miniatures from them. It doesn't cost you any extra and in fact they'll save you a good chunk off RRP.

Finally, my next and final (dum dum durrrrr) event will be held at the NWGC on September 1st. I've not decided on the format yet so keep an eye on this blog and the Double Trouble 40K group on Facebook for more news.

Monday, May 28, 2018

The Double Trouble 3 Pie Charts Post!

Unbelievably we're already heading into June and yet this is just my sixth post of the year. "What could bring me out of hiding to post again?" I hear you ask. Well pie charts of course! For those of you not familiar with this little bit of silliness, the pie chart post is a bit of a tradition for my tournaments. After I've received all of the lists I put together some meaningless statistics into some, even more meaningless pie charts. My wife points out that "no one uses pie charts anymore" but I've never been a dedicated follower of fashion!

As ever, let me start (well start the second paragraph of the start) by thanking everyone for submitting their lists on time. I have to say this was by far the easiest list checking session I've ever had. Maybe that's because GW have got their house in order and made it easier or maybe it's just that it's pretty difficult to eff up an 875pt lists in a single detachment! Nevertheless, aside from a minor niggle based on the "Big FAQ" (more on that in a bit) I had no queries to speak of. I'm sure I'll have missed something but anyway, on with the pie! Oh but before you do, maybe refresh your memory with the DT2 and NMTBW pies.

The Pie Charts
Far be it for me to break with tradition so let's start with the Faction Breakdown pie:

Click to embiggen. Unless my pie chart for DT2 was wrong (seems unlikely), there were no Guard/AM players at DT2. Now though, they make up a fifth of the armies at DT3. Tyranids also weren't present at DT2 but there are another two lists on top of mine. Some notable absences are Space Wolves (presumably because they're without a codex?!), Grey Knights, Dark Angels and perhaps most surprisingly, Eldar although I'm pleased to see their dark brethren are in attendance. I think we've now had every faction at my tournaments with the possible exception of Sisters of Silence but they're without a codex. Pleased to see GS cults even if Dave says he's never used them before! 

There's an interesting shift though which we can see beautifully demonstrated in our next pie:

Only half of the armies are defending the Imperium of Man. That still sounds like a lot but I'll wait while you go and look at the same pie DT2 where over a third were Imperial. Interestingly it's a pretty similar looking pie to the one at NMTBW except Chaos have lost out a bit to Xenos. Does this mean that despite GW's best efforts those plucky Adeptus Astartes are falling in popularity compared to the Xenos "scum"? Probably not to be honest, not exactly a statistically significant result!! From my perspective though I find Xenos to be far more interesting which is one of the reasons my Dark Angels headed over to San Diego following their eBay sale. You might remember at DT2 that 18 of the 28 armies were Space Marines of one flavour or another. This time around it drops to 11 of 30 with very few Primaris marines to be seen.

Right let's start taking a look at army composition at DT3. I decided in the end to place as few restrictions on the lists as I could. My main stipulation was a single Battle Forged detachment. You can see which ones people chose here:

Hardly surprising that the Battalion is a run-away favourite since it offers the most CP and is pretty easy for most armies to fill. There's not really much to say here but you'll notice the single Super Heavy detachment. No prizes for guessing that's the single Imperial Knights list. Speaking of which:

Completely pointless pie chart but considering I was thinking of banning the TITANIC keyword I think it's worth highlighting that next to no-one bothered anyway! Similarly FW wasn't exactly popular:

Of the two armies with FW units (both of which contain just a single FW unit), one is mostly for fluff reasons and the other, well, I'll let you find out for yourselves if you face it! As someone who has little interest in FW units, largely because of their prohibitive pricing, I wonder why they aren't more popular. Obviously this is a small sample but last time 8 of the 28 lists used FW models. Are they too expensive for this points level? Are they just no good in 8th? You tell me.

Another thing I bothered to restrict last time was the number of each unit you could take and how many models you could have in a unit. I didn't bother limiting these this time so let's look at what effect that's had:

Bear in mind the first chart includes troop units that were spammed. Still, just over half of the lists inadvertently stuck to my old comp of "no more than two of anything". This would jump up even higher if I ignored troops and transports but I can't be arsed to go back and run those numbers! Anyway, we'll see how much of an issue it is. GW obviously think it is as in the "Big FAQ" they limit the number of times each datasheet can be used. This is where I had some minor problems with list checking: 

Given that these lists are under 1,000pts then they should only have two of each datasheet right? Well, what about if you consider they're actually half of an, as yet undiscovered, 1750 pt army. Should three of each be allowed? Anyway, it didn't make much difference as only one list had to be changed dramatically as a result. The irony is that the list actually became more "spammy" despite having more variety in the units. Not sure that's what GW intended!!

Right, that wraps up the pie charts I could be bothered to create for you! I find this process quite interesting, especially as someone who's only played in one tournament (that I wasn't running) in 8th. I'm struggling to motivate myself to participate in one but I'll save that discussion for another post. For now let me leave you with the attendance figures updated to reflect DT3.

Assuming these were all unique individuals that'd be 446 people. Obviously there haven't been that many as a large amount of my participants are repeat or even serial offenders. Still, it's a sobering thought that I've checked that many lists over the years!!! 

At some point I plan on doing a bit of a stats deep dive on all of the data I've got from these 14 events that I've run over the past 7 years. There's something to look forward to eh? 

Right, I'm off to look at my Tyranids in despair and decide whether I should do some frantic painting in the next couple of weeks or admit defeat and just use Scott's army which I have on loan. See you all in less than a fortnight!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Problem with Painting Genestealers - Advice Needed!

Well somehow it's been over a month since I posted. I've been trying to change my order of priority when it comes to my free time. It used to be that hobby work came after blogging but I've tried to paint when I've got spare time instead of blog. Less content for you guys but it does mean that I should hopefully have some painting progress to share with you soon. What I have managed to do is get the gaming garage tidied up so I can get the airbrush set up. That's allowed me to prime and basecoat my entire army for DT3 in the Mechanicus Standard Grey I'm using for the flesh. It's the first time I've used the airbrush for priming and I'm never going back! I got through a whole pot of Vallejo black primer but considering I can buy 4-5 pots for the price of a can of Chaos Black Spray I'm sold.

Anyway, onto the point of the post, Genestealers. So far I've painted a test Termagant and Hormagaunt and then a set of Ripper Swarms. I'm now having to decide how to apply my scheme to larger models. I'm dreading the big monsters, particular the wings of the Tyrants but for now I'm painting the 'stealers. Thus far I've done the drybrush and wash on the whole model so I'm onto the pink stage. The big question is, how much pink is right? Allow me to explain.

I see genestealers as different to the other Tyranid creatures as they aren't directly affected by the will of the Hive Mind. I'm therefore happy for them to look different to the rest of my army but at least sharing enough of the scheme to tie them in. Take a look at the GW website though and you get this shot:

In my scheme, the white/pink bits would be grey/black with blue tinged black claws and a small pink flash of chitin on the head (purple on this model). Trouble is they'll look a little blank in comparison to the other creatures (see the test Hormagaunt below):

Having said that, the flash of pink on the head might be enough when combined with the bright green I'm painting the tongues. They'll certainly be great at striking from the shadows since they've pretty much shadows themselves! The other alternatives are to go down the route the Space Hulk 'stealers of Hive Fleet Hydra take:

That would mean pink heads for my 'stealers. I suspect that would be a bit much, particularly when combined with the pink hands/feet. Take the following from Garfy on Tale of Painters:
To me the pink is a bit too much here so I don't think it's really an option. The final option is to paint the top of the torso in pink. A bit like Garfy's above but with the rest of the body grey. Take a look at the following to see what I mean:

This way, the majority of the model appears grey in my scheme since they're mostly legs! The "carapace" on the top of the model would be pink (plus the bit on the top of the head). It's probably the most logical option as it follows the scheme of the gaunts/rippers pretty closely. It's difficult to know where to stop with the pink though as there aren't really clearly defined "plates" like on some of the other Tyranid creatures. For example, do I stop above the tail or carry on all the day to the coccyx (or whatever you want to call it)? The model below shows what I mean pretty well (except ignoring the extended carapace which I'm not a huge fan of):

Compare that to the red guy above and to Dave Weston's genestealers over on 40K Addict shown below:

Notice that Dave's done quite a mixture of different styles across his. It makes for easy differentiation between units and Ymgarls etc.

Well, I'm going to sleep on it but in the meantime I'd love to hear what you lot think I should do. Tomorrow I'll probably do a test model with just the spot pink on the head as that's going to be the easiest to achieve and won't need painting over like pink heads would if I don't like it. It's times like this that I wish I had any talent with Photoshop (or indeed owned a copy!) so I could test these things out without as much physical effort.

Anyway, comment below and let me know what you think I should do. Can't believe how quickly time's ticking away towards DT3 and I've still got a lot to do. There are still tickets available by the way........


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