Sunday, November 09, 2014

Blog Wars 8 - The Aftermath (Results)

The eight Blog War was fought at the NWGC in Stockport yesterday. This was the first Blog Wars event of 7th edition (BW7 was the last of 6th). This may be a bold claim but, to my mind at least, I think it was the best event I've ever run. There were no major scoring issues, the painting competition was of the highest standard and generally the atmosphere was excellent. I may have performed extremely poorly in my games (I'll get to that in a later post) but I had a great day with a lot of banter and the feedback seemed good. Whilst we're on the subject of feedback, feel free to comment here and later in the week I'll be putting up a post to discuss what went well and what can still be improved (I said it was the best ever, not that it was perfect!). I'd really appreciate any feedback good or bad to help me make BW9 even better.

Numbers may have been down from the record high of BW7 (26 instead of 38) but there still seemed like plenty of people there. Once again everyone seemed to enter in the spirit of the event. People were playing to enjoy their games rather than worrying too much about the result. Of course there are prizes to be won but when the top prize £25 and you can win an £85 Imperial Knight just for showing up (raffle entry is included) it doesn't seem worth arguing about whether you made that 50:50 charge or not. Once again the three 100% attenders (Chris, Graham and Matt) showed up to keep up their perfect records. Indeed Graham and Chris actually played each other in round two with Graham taking a 25/3 vs. 0/0 win.

Anyway, here are the final results for the event (click to enlarge). As ever these results will be added to the archive.

As you can see, Daniel Lane was the runaway winner with his footdar taking 88 of a possible 99 VPs over the three games. That gave him a "goal difference" of 81.1 and a 9.8 point lead over his nearest rival. Congratulations to Daniel Russell and Graham Sanders for placing 2nd and 3rd respectively. I'm getting a little concerned that Graham has turned into a power gamer with is serpent spam Eldar! At the bottom of the table Liam Ainscough and his stunning Dark Eldar army added weight to the stereotype that those who can paint can't play! I played him in my last game so you can read about that later in the week. It was Liam's birthday and despite losing his games he ended up coming away with not just the wooden spoon but also a pile of other prizes (more on that soon).

The real winner of the event was Peter Barrett though who managed to scoop the top raffle prize, namely an Imperial Knight. This is even more jammy when you consider he's won the top prize before (which was a Wraithknight at the time). As I've already mentioned, this is deliberate bribery to encourage people to focus less on the winning and more on the spirit of the event. That's without doing Favourite Game votes, pay attention GW!

Scoring & Missions
I've made only slight adjustments to the scoring and missions this time around. The first round is crucial as it allows for non-integer scores and therefore a near guarantee of being able to separate people. Of course there were four people in the first round who scored the maximum points but they permitted there opponents to score different totals meaning the "goal difference" could be used as a differentiation. This means it's important to focus on giving up as few points as possible. I may want there to be a friendly atmosphere but I'm not banning competitive play completely!

In the first round one pair were only separated by 87 blood points (and therefore 1.34 VPs!). That's one hell of a close game but the system allows for a winner to still be determined. Of course in later rounds it wasn't totally perfect as some games were strictly speaking a draw (since it's the total VPs that count) despite one player scoring more primary VPs than the other. Perhaps the primary VP total should be the deciding factor? Having said that it wouldn't have made a huge difference to the table. Once again there were players who had a couple of narrow wins and a big loss who placed lower than people who had done the opposite. On paper that sounds daft but I prefer this absolute scoring system to a WDL mechanic.

Thoughts on 7th Edition
I was concerned that players would struggle to fit their games into the 2 hr 30 min slots but the majority of players seemed to make it to turn 5. Of course there are armies that find this easier than others but I don't feel like there's a need to drop the points or increase the round times (correct me if I'm wrong though please).

The army selection is something I want to revisit. For starters Imperial Knights didn't particularly make their presence felt so I see no reason not to allow the full three as allies. It'd be a struggle to make them a primary detachment as they'd need Gerantius (as their special character) and therefore you'd get a maximum of 3 others in before you needed allies to make it up to 1,850. The danger of allowing three knight is that the formation becomes available. I don't think it's devastating though but something I need to think about.

I'm conscious that only Imperial armies can take three detachments in the current system since the extra detachments are Inquisition, Imperial Knights, Legion of the Damned and Assassins. That doesn't seem particularly fair but then neither does saying you can either have an allied detachment or a single assassin. A lot of other events seem to be saying just two detachments though so it's worth revisiting. Bear in mind only a single player took 3 detachments this time anyway. I've also considered revising the allies OR formation restriction but again this is saying 3 detachments are possible so it needs some discussion.

The Painting Competition
I'm going to be posting the results of the painting competition in a separate post along with pictures of the winning armies. However, I'm determined to expand the painting competition at Blog Wars 9. Not only would I like to increase the existing prizes but I'd also like to add extra ones such as Best Conversions or Best Theme. This was the first time that one person has won both Best Army and Best Character but I'm conscious of the possibility that someone could take all Best Army, Character, Conversions and Theme though I suspect it's unlikely.

Your Feedback
As ever, the most important thing about this post are the comments that you guys leave me. I'll compile them all together into a discussion post and talk about what I want to change for BW9. I really want to hear ANY thoughts you have on the event so fire away!

The Next Blog Wars
Here are the dates for your diary:

  • Blog Wars 9 - Saturday 6th June 2015
  • Blog Wars 10 - Saturday 7th November 2015
Stay tuned to the blog for details, I hope to see you there! Thank you once again to everyone who came this time around for making it such an enjoyable day.


  1. NIce event, glad it went well. I think there is a lot of fear over detachments, but not a whole lot of substance. Personally I would to see tournaments allow 1-2 CADs (or Faction equivalents) 1 Ally, 1 Formation. Though I would be fine if the formation took the 2nd CAD spot as an option instead.

    There is a lot of angst over abuse of multiple CADs, but I really have yet to see an army really be able to abuse it till you get to really high pts. I played a 2000pt tournament, and the eldar I went against had 6 waveserpents, even had double CADs been allowed, there really wasn't any room in his army to take any more, he had no wraithnights, so he would had to sacrifice some of his other units just to meet the 2 H 4 Troop minimum that a double CAD requires.

    On the other hand, it does help some of the midling armies, as a lot have issues with crowded slots or simply lack of units. I play Militarum tempestus, and with only three real units in my army, having a second CAD really helps the army as it needs those extra HQ and troops as its really all it has besides transports. Other armies have good units but in crowded slots its hard to take all that they want without an extra main detachment. And with the pt level you are playing at, its really hard to abuse it, there just isn't enough pts to do it.

    1. My FLGS runs tournaments 1-2 times a month. They alternate between Lords of War being allowed or not but otherwise their army selection is simply "two detachments of any type". It's a pretty competitive scene there so there's a lot of examples of abuse of double CAD. For example, double dreadknight with double centurions, necron lists with 6 annihilation barges, stacks of broadsides, two wraithknights with two dreadknights, etc. This is all at 1,750pts by the way.

      It's very doable with a min-max approach to list building. Whether or not it's actually that competitive is another debate. My Space Wolves list has 4 HQs whilst keeping Objective Secured which isn't that exciting but it's far from the worst list out there with double CAD. It's the same argument as double FOC in 6th. Of course there are some armies that need it but others can abuse it.

      There's no question that it's simpler just to say two detachments of any kind but I'm not sure yet. I'll see what the consensus is. Generally speaking Blog Wars players don't bring much filth anyway and hopefully people will continue to embrace the spirit.

  2. Are those dates certain? If so I'm putting holidays in. Really fancy taking part in Blog Wars.

    1. Booked in with the venue. Barring any drastic happening I'd say they're pretty certain. I haven't had to cancel yet and I don't plan on doing but nothing is 100%.

    2. Sweet. Going to book those days off as soon as I can.

  3. Must say it was a really enjoyable day. Even as my first tournament I had a great time, and even though I got smashed in the first game it was still enjoyable and all of my opponents were good guys.

    It seems a little depressing that Eldar locked out the top 3 spots, but there's not much that can be done about that I suppose. Doesn't seem like too many people would try and exploit a double CAD in the context of this tournament I think.

    In any case, I'm already excited to be there for the next Blog Wars!

    1. I'm still not 100% sure what your real name is but I'm glad you enjoyed it! Hadn't really noticed that Eldar made up the top 3. Was more in shock that Graham was there :P

      It's inevitable that Eldar will place highly unfortunately and even with different army selection it's hard to prevent. If anything it'll only get worse if the remaining codex updates follow the more balanced trend. Necrons will probably be slightly weaker for example.

    2. Haha my real name? Never shall ye know! No but seriously, I'm Sam (or 'San' was it?), Matt's opponent round 1.

      Yeah I know what you mean about the Eldar, it's at least refreshing that 3 differently focused builds did well (Footdar, Invisible Reavers, Serpent Spam if I remember correctly?), rather than a single list dominating. Not to mention SM, Necrons, and GK weren't far off 3rd place either.

  4. Congrats to the winners.

    Since Blog wars 9 is two days after my birthday I'm going to have to one and put Mr sanders in his place ;)

    1. He needs it John, I'm concerned that I've created a monster.

  5. I might be all fluffy again by next time, John! But challenge accepted...

    1. I hope you are... id of got third place if you'd dropped anouther point somewhere lol

  6. I thought it was another success - thanks for running another great tournament Alex!

    It definitely didn't feel much quieter than normal - despite the slightly smaller turnout and the scoresheets seemed to work really well.

    I'm still not 100% sure about the last mission - I think the changes helped compared to BW7, but with the changes to scoring in 7th Ed, going first really helps as you can just throw your entire army onto the objectives now and score from the start of T2, whereas in 6th Ed it would only have been Troops out of mech. I know Troops can take the objective back from non-Troops, but it doesn't help if you can't get to them because a load of tanks are sat there already scoring... I appreciate that might have been my issue and no one else's though - especially as I completely forgot about scoring in 7th until the last game and then kicked myself for bringing a list thinking I could only score with Troops. It does make me wonder what the use of Troops are in BW though - I could have spent 100pts for 2 Squads of Cultists and spent the rest on more durable and hard hitting units and it wouldn't have affected any of my games.

    I think 3 Knights will be tough to deal with, but going by the fact that no one took more than 1 this time around, I think 3 will be pretty rare in BW9, so it would be the right decision to allow them.

    If you are looking at that, I would suggest revisiting Forgeworld units? I'm not suggesting allowing titans (although I wouldn't be against it *wink*) - but me and Grazer were talking about maybe limiting it to 25% of your army (or around 300 - 400pts) and no shooting D weapons? That way you can't take anything stupid, but it gives players some more options - for example there are units in IA13 for Chaos which are just versions of Imperial units in the SM Codex - so under BW rules legal for one army but not another - which is a shame.

    Anyway - thanks again and I will definitely be buying a ticket to BW9.

    1. I still really like the last mission as I think it's a great leveller between armies. The first mission favours shooty elite armies and the last favours horde combat armies (roughly speaking). Perhaps I'm biased as I've played the mission several times now and only lost once when my opponent had a Warhound titan and even that was a close game.

      Once you start to think about the game differently you realise that the objectives really do have to come before anything else. I avoid any charges that might pull me off them for a turn for example. You're right that Troops aren't essential any more but that's more a 7th edition thing than something unique to Blog Wars. With everything scoring you simply don't need them like you did.

      I'm still not sold on Forgeworld. I suppose it's like anything else and there are some mediocre units and some very powerful ones. Perhaps having a percentage limit is the way forward. It's partly a personal problem in that I don't own a single IA book and therefore my only experience of them is from playing them at my local venue which is admittedly a beardy place.

      Glad you enjoyed the event anyway and pleased to hear you want to make it 9 out of 9.

  7. Excellent event as always, Alex, so may thanks for the great organisation and fun day.

    Score sheets made things MUCH simpler (I wish all events used something similar).

    I enjoyed the missions, but would also welcome the addition of Maelstrom missions as I find they really mix games up a lot and allow other armies to compete fairly.

    Finally, a big thank you to my opponents Luke Capper, Chris Benstead and David Irving for the fun (and in some cases VERY close and nervy) games! Sorry for the cheese...

    Graham S.

    1. Thanks for the kind words Graham. Glad you liked the scorecards. It's something I've stolen from my FLGS but I think it makes sense. No confusion over scoring (well minimal anyway) and helps with the final mission too.

      Since there are mixed feelings about the final mission maybe Maelstrom is the way to go. I haven't actually played a single game of it yet which doesn't bode well for the team event in a few weeks.

      Don't apologise for the cheese mate. It wasn't the worst list you could've used for the points and I doubt any of your opponents could've complained about how you play.

  8. PS - time off work booked for BW 9 & 10!

  9. Well it was my first blogwars and i have to say I thought you did an excellent job Alex well done. The event ran smoothly everyone was friendly and whilst many of the list where very competitive I really didnt think any where particularly beardy. My friend dave has been raving about blogwars now for a few years and this time i took him up on the offer to go and wasnt disapointed at all. before this I have only ever been to throne of Skulls and i agree GW really should look at a few of your concepts, the friendly vote thing is a real bugbear of mine i would go as far as i hate it, its nothing but a personality contest and when your a miserable bastard like me your never going to win any votes. But the raffle is an excellent way to resolve this and works well. I didnt win by the way so can you try and pick me out next time please??
    Regarding the cad thing I really dont mind Im a bit of a purist to be honest and stick to one codex and dont really go in for this ally with yourself stuff maybe you should try that? but then I'm not sure everyone would be happy?
    Anyway thanks again really enjoyed day and will try my hardest to come to Blogwars 9.

    1. Exactly my thoughts about the lists. There were some particular strong lists but no dirty combos. People were generally just getting the best out of their codex within the restrictions.

      I don't want to get started on the favourite game votes because there's enough bitching about it on my blog already. Suffice to say I wish I could rig the raffle but that bloody conscience of mine gets in the way every time. My preferred solution is to just offer more prizes but that depends on the number of people who come.

      I'm the same, I don't like allies and like to just try and do the best I can with a single codex. I've thought about saying one source only but then Eldar would be even more dominant! There are no perfect systems in 40K.

  10. Thanks as always Alex for your efforts to put together a fun event and I think it was the most entertainign Blog Wars so far, particularly once we got to the 'cool tables' when I saay 'cool' I obviously mean losers.

    it's not much of one but my only criticism, [although I may think of something else down the line] was actually the food. To be fair I did like the ham and cheese baguette and it was plenty big enough [although chips had run out by the time we got there] but the curry and chips from BW7 was fantastic so perhaps I was spoiled and was expected something equally awesome. Not sure if there's anything to do with that critique, as I say for me the sandwich was quite nice, just not in the same class as the curry.

    1. Again, thanks for the kind words and for singing the event's praises to your mates. You're right about the food. I spoke to Darran (the venue's owner) about it afterwards and said that I wasn't impressed. There was plenty of food (I got chips) but the standard was poor and my cheese wasn't even melted. Having said that they're doing it for £3 a head so it's hard to complain too much. The curry was excellent last time and I think that's a better way to go. It's something that frustrates me though as it's mostly out of my control but it's something people remember. I'll liaise with the venue some more before BW9 and see if we can get anywhere.

    2. No worries, glad to enlighten some new folks to BW, althoguh I think Liam can stay home next time, lucky sod! As soon as your BW9 logo is ready [I know that's still a long ways off] I'll provide a space on my blog for it to help spread the word even more.

      As I say I liked the sandwich, and appreciate the budget constarints, it was just overshadowed by the fab curry.

  11. I had a great tournament this year Alex, and would agree it has been the best one yet. I actually think the smaller numbers helped with the friendly atmosphere of the event, and I had 3 great opponents and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I was disappointed too with the food too this time round but it was not too bad. I agree with grazer that perhaps you should think about adding some maelstrom elements into the missions. I have played your missions twice now at blog wars and would maybe like a change to involve them as playing the same missions might get a little stale.

    1. See above for my thoughts about the food but I agree it needs work.

      I really want to look into Maelstrom between now and BW9 so keep an eye on the blog. I agree that I don't want the missions to get stale. I used to change them a little each time but I've kind of moved away from that in the last few events so people could get more accustomed to them. Watch this space though.

  12. It wouldn't be an overstatement for me to say I LOVE Maelstrom missions when they are used as a secondary mission to a 'traditional' primary mission. They give a much wider range of armies the chance to compete with the meta/cheese lists. Maelstrom missions have completely reinvigorated my love of the game!

    Also, I'm loving the new Tyranid models. Watch out for a revitalised Hive Fleet Nemesis drop-podding in at Blog Wars IX!

  13. I had a really good time, thank you alex! enjoyed winning obv, but played three great people. good to see some new faces as well, hopefully they'll return. even though the scoring mechanic is funny, i really like it. W/D/L just doesnt capture it. I think a "best converted" model might be quite a nice catagory.

    ive put the dates in the diary, as ever, aiming ot be there next time. i quite enjoyed the food, nice cheese bagette and chips. I would also comment that the scenary was better (i know i helped set it up!) but i think the mix was just right, and i didnt hear naybody saying that there wasnt enough (although i may not have been listening!)


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