Friday, May 09, 2014

Blog Wars 7 - A Different Kind of Tournament (Part 2)

Let me start with a not in any way subtle plug and point out that there are just four tickets remaining for Blog Wars 7. If you'd like to come along you've only got just over three weeks left to snatch up one of those last four spots.

Incidentally, one of the guys who's already bought a ticket got in touch with me with a rules query but also said the following:

"I've been so looking forward to attending an event where it's not all about how nasty a list you can make! It's never been about that for me. I just wanted to let you know that I will definitely be taking Astra Militarum for my army with Pask as my special character. I have absolutely zero chance of winning as I only have 2 scoring units in my list but I've always wanted to do a tank company and Blog wars has given me that chance!"

"This is the first tournament I've been to in over 4 years. You've got me really excited!"

I was absolutely thrilled to hear this and it nicely brings me onto what I want to talk about today. When I set up Blog Wars I wanted it to be a refreshing change from other tournaments out there. I'd contemplated running a tournament from the first time I attended one. The first one I went to was the Freebootaz Open Doubles. The key thing about that tournament for me was the friendly atmosphere and excellent prize support. We received all received a set of GF9 counters as a door prize which I'm still using in every single game of 40K and the prizes were all decent. I think we came third and won a spray gun each (which I traded in at GW actually) but first place was a copy of the Dark Heresy RPG book each with second being some scenery boxes I think.

Contrast this with the second tournament I went to and I was disappointed to find that GW didn't offer anything in the form of prizes at their events, apart from a certificate. Still, the atmosphere was excellent and I made friends at that tournament that I'm still gaming with today. The Claws and Fists guys were there and thanks to Graham at least one of them has made an appearance at every Blog Wars so far. Anyway, when it came to planning the first Blog Wars I knew I wanted to create a friendly atmosphere and offer brilliant prize support. I've actually tried to get GF9 to offer some sponsorship for the event but so far, despite an initially positive repsonse, I'm yet to receive anything. Still, I'm looking forward to again working with Element Games and the new sponsor Den of Imagination to bring the best prize support possible.

There were a few detractors at the time who scoffed at the idea of a friendly event saying that you'd always get a core of competitive players "spoiling it for everyone else". Whilst it's true that there's been a few competitive players at each event, the vast majority of people have been in it for the fun and even the top table players have been a decent lot.

Back to the email though. I've talked before about comp and explored various possibilities for encouraging people to play interesting/fun lists rather than boring spam. In the end I abandoned the idea of comp as I didn't feel comfortable penalising certain lists over others. Of course, Blog Wars has it's own (as far as I know) unique comp in the form of the compulsory special character. This is proving to be more challenging recently with supplements and races without SCs like Iron Hands but I reckon this is one of the things that's kept BW interesting so, for now at least, it stays.

Whilst there were several issues at BW6 (from which I learnt a great deal), the atmosphere was mostly excellent and I can only hope for the same from BW7. There's still a decent core of regulars there amongst around a dozen new guys. I've always been keen to grow Blog Wars via word of mouth rather than publishing it on the forums and I think that's another key factor in maintaining the friendly atmosphere.

Sorry if this all sounds a bit self congratulatory but sometimes the hassle of organsing the event can get me down and if nothing else it's nice to have someone feed back that they're excited about the event. Cheesy as it sounds it makes the amount of free time (and painting time) I sacrifice, seem worthwhile. I'm always thrilled by the positive comments I get on here. I also welcome the criticism and try to use it to improve the event. I'd hope that if someone attends a Blog War and doesn't enjoy it they'll at least give it a second chance.

In the next post (and probably the last in this odd little series) I'm going to talk about points and of course they mean prizes so I'll mention them too!


  1. Well I for one think that you should congratulate yourself once in a while. You do an excellent job of planning and implementing every blog wars tournament. And I do believe that on the whole Blog Wars attendees do seem to attempt to write more 'friendly' lists in an effort to create the intended atmosphere of the event. I myself usually attend tournaments with very competitive lists and although I would never take silly things like screamer stars or Farsight bombs, my lists are written purely to win with very little consideration to how varied the list is. However, when attending Blog Wars I try to write a more varied list, granted it will still be a competitive list (this is a tournament after all) but it will usually contain units that I wouldn't normally run at tournaments and I will make a conscious effort not to 'spam' units. By doing this I find that my games are more enjoyable for both me and my opponent.

    So you may be thinking why don't I take these types of lists to every tournament? Simply because I know there will be many other very competitive lists at those tournaments and so my more enjoyable 'varied' list would possibly just get destroyed which wouldn't be any fun for me at all.

    Finally all this leads to a comment I wanted to make about the person quoted above who is running the Astra tank army. I actually think that a list like that is quite capable of doing well at blog wars. The list actually has 3 scoring units for it to be legal (all special characters are scoring) and therefore he will actually have a very durable AV14 scoring unit plus two others. Having said that, it is an interesting list idea and the sort of thing that Blog Wars welcomes and it is great that Blog Wars has brought him back to the tournament scene, but it certainly isn't an army that I would look at across the table and expect an easy win from!

    1. You're totally right about the tank list. I don't think he'll struggle either. That being said, it isn't something you'd see much of at other tournaments and it's nice to see someone playing something they've always wanted to.

      I don't actually mind people bringing strong lists as long as they aren't boring to play with or against. Obviously that's subjective but the main thing is that people aren't dicks to each other.

    2. I was going to run the tank list until someone beat me to it :(

      Think I might go Marines instead...

      You should congratulate yourself Alex for running an event that people want to attend and is growing in size.


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