Ok, Chris and I have been kicking this idea round for a week or so, and here's the finalised rules.
Each month each gamer will submit a 500 point list of what he has to paint. He will do this to me by the last day of the preceding month. I can then put all the lists up on this blog for all to see. These lists do NOT have to be legal armies. He will then have till the last day of the month to paint those models to be on time. Failing that he will have one extra week to paint the models for them to be considered painted late. Failure to meet this deadline counts as unpainted. Models can be confirmed painted visually by the other members, or by emailing pictures to me at email@example.com before the deadline day. Provided I receive the pictures before deadline day, they'll count as on time. Any gamer can email me the pictures if they wish (even if we get visual confirmation) in order to spruce up the blog entries :oP
At any time should someone wish to drop something they have previously painted and replace it with another unit (perhaps playtesting makes you think you've made a poor selection) then you may do so. This is extra work and is your choice to do so. If you wish to swap a unit out, then the replacement unit will have to be painted. As mentioned, this could entail additional work for you. There will be a penalty of 1 point per unit for any unpainted replacements. Replacements brought in in this way can be painted at ANY time, provided they are painted before they are needed. This is to help those who may already have done a couple of core units without prior knowledge of this contest. Any unit dropped from the list will be added to that gamers apocalypse force (for the final challenge.) In this way gamers who realise they haven't painted a legal army yet can correct this mistake before it is time for them to play any games.
Here is a basic rundown with dates where they are known. Please get your 500 point starter lists to me by the 31st October.
Month 1 - 500 points by the 30th November. 5 points for on time, 3 for late (7th Dec), 0 for unpainted.
Month 2 - 500 points by 31st December. 5 points for on time, 3 for late (7th Jan), 0 for unpainted. Bonus 3 points available for getting a test game against someone (not necessarily a ToFG competitor, anyone will do. Get a couple of pics if possible.)
Month 3 - 500 points by 31st January. 5 points for on time, 3 for late (7th Feb), 0 for unpainted. Also, will play a mini-league with each competitor playing each other competitor. League rankings will determine 5, 3, 2, and 1 points. This will take place late january (date TBC)... as such unpainted models from that months batch will be allowed (as it should take place before the deadline.) We will look to book the club for a Sunday to get the games in.
Month 4 - 500 points by 28th February. 5 points for on time, 3 points for late (7th Mar), 0 for unpainted. Bonus 2 points for modelling an objective marker. Further bonus 1 point for a further objective marker.
Month 5 - As much extra as you wish for Apoc. Legendary Units, Super Heavies, whatever you like. Deadline is the day of the apoc game, probably late March or early April (date TBC). There will be no points available for painting, but simply put if it isn't painted you can't use it. Any units dropped from earlier 500 point blocks can be put back in here. All forces will join our standing 2000 point armies. The sides will probably be Rich and I vs Chris and Ken (Chaos and Orks vs Guard and Tau makes most sense from a fluff point) but if anyone has any particular objections we can negotiate that later. Any difference in points will be covered by additional strategic assets for the poorer party. Scoring for this month will be 5 points for each person on the winning team. There will be an additional 5 points for the "Champion" of each team. This will be decided by completing a secret personal objective (so secret even their team mate isn't allowed to know!)
I believe these rules are as fair and clear as I can make them, but any questions either comment below or email/text me and we'll sort it out. I believe the armies will be the following, but feel free to correct me if you have a sudden change of heart.
Ginge - Orks
Chris - Imperial Guard
Ken - Tau
Rich - Chaos Space Marines
Best of luck to all the competitors. And don't forget to have your first 500 point list to me by the 31st October.