Sunday, November 12, 2017

NMTBW - The Aftermath

Yesterday I hosted my 13th 40K event, Nevermind the Blog Wars (NMTBW) at the Element Games North West Gaming Centre (EGNWGC for the acronym fans). Veterans of my events will remember that I killed off Blog Wars with Blog Wars X (BWX) in November 2015 so it's been two years since I've organised a singles 40K event. This was partly down to the complicated mess that 7th edition was and also to try to find more hobby time. Well, my armies haven't exactly transformed into beautifully painted masterworks so I figured, sod it, I may as well stick to what I'm good at and go back to event organisation!

This was also my first event in 8th edition so there were a lot of things to think about. I tried to avoid over-complicating the day with custom objective cards like I've had in the past and kept the same combined mission in all three rounds. With the benefit of hindsight I probably went overboard with the restrictions but when I came up with them GW hadn't addressed things like flyer and conscript spam. Maybe this time next year 40K will be a balanced system with a robust ruleset and.... nope couldn't keep a straight face. We'll just have to wait and see how the codexes pan out.

Anyway, I kept a similar scoring system to that used at BWX with victory points converted into a tournament score which took into account the margin of victory.

  • 30 TP for a win, with a VP difference of 31 or more
  • 25 TP for a win, with a VP difference of 15-30
  • 20 TP for a win, with a VP difference of 1-15
  • 15 TP for a draw
  • 10 TP for a loss, with a VP difference of 1-15
  • 5 TP for a loss, with a VP difference of 15-30
  • 0 TP for a loss, with a VP difference of 31 or more

Click to enlarge to a legible size
Congratulations to Greg Barber for winning in his first appearance at one of my events. Equal congratulations to Matt Calow on scooping the Wooden Spoon. I think he was probably happier than he really should've been!

Well it doesn't take a genius to work out that Astra Militarum are pretty strong at the moment with 5 of the top 6 players using them! It probably also doesn't help that they've got so many cheap units that they can circumvent most comp. I'd love to hear from people who played with or against them, do you think they were too much? Is there anything I can do to counter this?

What's interesting is that if you compare the first round of NMTBW to BWX there were roughly the same percentage of tablings. It's usually more of a problem in round one as the random pairings make for some horrible mismatches at times. Swiss pairings only really started to improve things in the final round with just 3 tablings in the 15 matchups. Also, the victory margins were generally smaller too. It's something I've tried to figure out a solution to in the past but I think it's just something we have to accept as a problem with one-day events.

I know the scoring system is a little different to most events as it rewards margin of victory over pure VPs scored. If you re-sort the list on total points scored (Maelstrom and blood points combined), Chris Nettleship would win (4th) and there'd be big jumps for Mark Crombleholme (16th to 5th) and Nick Thrower (17th to 9th). Reassuringly the bottom three would remain the same though! Perhaps the system should be changed so it rewards "strength of schedule". That would probably mitigate the randomness of a one-day event but crushing your opponent would be pointless as you'd actually get less points!

As ever, I'd love to know what you guys think about every aspect of the event. Did you like the scoring system? Did you feel penalised by it? How was the venue? Was there enough scenery? What about lunch? I'm particularly keen to hear about what you thought about round times and points level. I don't think people were getting many turns in in a lot of cases. I wish I'd put a box for it on the scorecards actually. Anyway, please let me know in the comments here, on the NMTBW/DT facebook page or by email.

I'd like to continue running singles events as that's where I started and they're still the core of the competitive 40K scene. The next NMTBW probably won't be called that. I think I need to come up with a new name entirely. I still have people asking if you had to blog to buy a ticket and the name doesn't exactly scream awesome 40K event. Still, I had fun ripping off the Never Mind the Buzzcocks logo. I'm open to suggestions for what my next event should be called. In fact I might even run a competition for it, well on the condition that no-one suggests Tournamenty McTournamentface (or something similar)!

Don't worry though, I'll continue to run Double Trouble in June with DT3 (acronym overload) taking place on June 9th 2018 (save the date - tickets on sale in the new year). I'll have to have a think about how to handle 8th edition but stay tuned.

Also stay tuned for the painting competition and a report of my battles. All that's left for me to say is once again a big thank you to the guys who came along and particularly the folks who show up time and time again. I appreciate the support as always.


  1. Had a great day Alex was amazingly good fun can't wait for the next one 😁

  2. Was a great day with some fun games. I am seriously disappointed in my own performance though. I didn't think I had quite done that badly. I'm glad I didn't see the results yesterday, it would have taken the shine of the day really. Some people are just not made for tournaments it seems!

  3. It was a really great day, my three best games of 8th where it actually felt like tactics were involved not just getting killed. However, I think that might be because it's the first time I've ever 'won' three consecutive games on blood points (I was on the killee side, not some much the killed).

    As for the tournament 8ll have a think but you did just come up with a good name 'Awesome 40k Event' 😉

  4. Fang-tastic 40K?
    Northern Fights 40K?
    Elemental 40K?

    Another great event I see, well done mate, hopefully one of the WeeMen can come support the next outing.

  5. Happier than I should have been? I had three fun games of 40k against 3 great opponents and had a right laugh! The fact that I lost those games is beside the point, AND I got a voucher out of it and a tiny epic trophy (well I think they're epic, but I would...)

    Feedbackwise: I wouldn't change too much. I'm not sure the comp that was in place really made much difference. Most of the armies still seemed to heavily feature one or two units (or a deamon primarch). Maybe it could be an idea to make people fill out a detachment completely before adding a second or third? I mean that won't curtail guard who can fill it up without breaking a sweat! Timing is about right to fit nicely in the day, but I wouldn't feel cheated if the points were a bit smaller; maybe 1750-1850. Should help get more people get to the end of their turns. That said, only my first game didn't get to an end (turn limit or tabling), and that was only because I was a bit out of practice with 40k. I've always been a reasonably quick player though, so I may not be the best yardstick.

    Thanks again for running a great event! Very much looking forward to DT3 and the next singles tournament, whatever the name!

  6. Great event Alex. I had a great day played some good games with some top opponents. I entered NMTBW thinking it may completely end my 40k hobby having played a few games of 8th and feeling slightly let down. After this event I feel enthused again and enjoyed the event having had 3 great games and coming away with my 3rd ever painting award which I was shocked but chuffed to bits about.
    Thanks again and I will defo be back for the next event.
    I took Astra millitarum and noticed I actual finished in the lowest position for Astra players. But then my army was basically what I had from 6th n 7th so maybe that was why as looking at most other Astra armies they all had Pask and loads of leman Russ tanks with battle cannons. I'd like the event to focus on objectives without killpoints the thing I've always loved about maelstrom is you can still have heavy loses and win..

  7. Thanks for putting on this event Alex, I had a great time! I've been thinking about stuff over the last couple of days, and have posted a debrief on my own blog, but here's my feedback on the day.

    1. I don't think I nor many I spoke to understood the scoring system. Looking back at it now I've figured it out, but many people on the day were talking about having won on blood points and lost maelstrom or vice versa. It might be worth looking at clarifying that for your scoring system, or adding the blood points in to the maelstrom totals first to see who's won. For example winning maelstrom, and hence the game, by 1 pt but losing almost all your army to an opponent who doesn't score much but doesn't lose much either does seem harsh, even though that's how the main rules work. Totalling blood points up as victory points during the game would mean you couldn't just sneak a win without actually trying to kill stuff (that may have been what you meant about totalling everything up, if so I apologise). I always think it feels a little dirty when I win a game despite having been roundly beaten in terms of units lost.
    2. Hammer and Anvil is a horrible deployment to use when you have tables laid out next to each other, perhaps look at using the table quarter deployment from the rulebook instead?
    3. Whilst having the same mission every time made things nice and simple, it does lean in the direction of particular build types, favouring mobility over solidity. Mixing up the missions would lead to more balanced lists I think - I really liked the 3 objective mission (the middle one of the day) from blog wars 9.
    4. Whilst I know it's a 'less competitive' atmosphere, people still like to know where they came, maybe having the spreadsheet on the screens at the end of the day would be a good idea?

    I think that's everything, but if I think of anything else I'll email.


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