Thursday, June 19, 2014

Blog Wars 7 - Feedback Discussion

Normally this post would be covering my games at Blog Wars 7 but since I didn't participate I'll use this as an opportunity to respond to some of the feedback from the comments section of the previous post. I was pleased to see some excellent discussion going on, that's exactly what I want from people so I can work out how to improve things for BW8. Please keep the comments coming either on here or by e-mail.

Missions & Scoring
As I said in the previous post, it seems the first two missions work pretty well. Obviously Cleanse the Xenos is particularly favourable for shooty armies but hopefully the objective missions level the playing field somewhat. I think it's important to have at least one mission without objectives not just for variety but also to give people a straightforward first game without too much thinking! The blood points system seemed to work well from my end at least and hopefully it wasn't a headache for you guys.

Personally, I loved going around the tables during the last two missions and seeing the armies smashing together in the middle of the board but it'd be great to hear more from you guys about how well the objective missions worked.

It seems from the comments that most people like the idea of the final mission being 6 turns with no scoring on game turn one. This makes sense to me as it minimises the advantage of going first and makes the game longer (since some had found it was over too quickly). I've also had a suggestion that a score sheet for this round would be helpful as a reminder to keep track of the points during the game. This is easily accomplished so I'll be implementing it assuming the mission doesn't change.

Please bear in mind that as I play more games of 7th edition the missions might evolve slightly. I'm keen to avoid changing things too much though so that people can start to get used to the Blog Wars format and plan their lists accordingly. Did people think the scoring system was straightforward? I know there were some minor issues but I'll take steps to minimise those.

There were comments that the terrain was too sparse on the tables. I have to say that walking around I tend to agree. I have very little input into the scenery set up as I'm usually busy getting everything else set up. I'm not blaming Matt and Jamie though as I know they can struggle to get it all laid out in time before people arrive. There's plenty more scenery available at the venue though so we'll make a conscious effort to have more laid out. That being said I think it's important to have some more open tables. Not all battles are fought on city streets and it gets monotonous to play with the same ruins on every table.

Assuming the last mission stays the same I think it's important to consider terrain placement in relation to where the objectives will end up but this is something I can address fairly easily.

The Painting Competition
This is a tricky one. I know that this time around some people intentionally avoided voting for armies they'd seen win before either at BW or elsewhere. I can understand this but at the same time, best painted should be just that rather than "best painted that I haven't seen before". That creates one of two situations. Either people up their game to try and top the winning armies or they give in as they don't think they can compete. Obviously the former is preferable and I'd like to avoid the latter.

That being said, I think the BW regulars are fairly self policing in that they try and vote for something different. As has been pointed out, there were still some people playing their games whilst others were already voting on the best armies. This meant some armies may not have received the votes they deserved. Time is always tight but perhaps only opening the voting after all games have finished is possible.

I'd like to expand the painting competition and I think Best Conversion is a good idea to showcase that side of the hobby. Often I find the army that wins best painted is actually the best converted rather than the best technically skilled paint job. The conversions in one army can distract the eye away from another army that actually has a better paint job so giving a separate category should help. I may also include a Best Theme prize but I'm conscious that there'll be considerable overlap and there's only so much time for judging and voting. 

I like the idea of a showcase. This would allow the past winners to show off their armies without being eligible for votes (unless they've made significant changes) and it also works well for commission paintjobs. Potentially it will cause confusion if people aren't clear on who they can vote for. This can be addressed easily by having clearer labels for armies.

The consensus seems to be that there doesn't need to be many drastic changes but rather some tweaks here and there. I'd like to keep the debate going though so please comment below to give me more feedback to work with. Nothing is set in stone for BW8 yet so I'm open to suggestions on every aspect. I'll need to explore how to incorporate 7th edition so any thoughts on that are welcome too.


  1. Speaking of missions have you checked out the ones from "Whiskey & 40K" or "Forge the narrative"?

  2. Glad you're only planning on minor tweaks and seventhification. I really enjoyed the missions this year. It was a very mobile Blog wars which is always a good thing. In 2/3 of the games I played we had both swapped table edges by turn 4 and were attacking from opposite directions! Only objective led missions encourage this mobile warfare rather than the newbie sit and shoot dullness (ever seen a 12 year old play 40K?)

    I agree that theme/conversion will typically overlap as a catagory. Maybe call it the "wow look at that" award to incorporate both.

    Looking forward to BW8 and guessing the colour scheme and sub-title. My guess is pale green and "BW8: The Binding" as a none too subtle way of indicating the 7th ed restrictions!

    Is there free tickets for whoever guesses the colour?! There should be! But only if the colour is pale green :)


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