Sunday, 20 May 2018

Discussing Scenery: Are Tournament Organisers Breaching the Social Contract?

I make no secret of the fact that I am not a tournament player, it tends to bring out the kind of lists that are not fun to play against, and while testing yourself against such lists may be fun for some people, it's not my thing. My tournament attendance tends to be smaller affairs, run with more quirkiness, such as Double Trouble, Fluffageddon, Blog Wars - events that have unusual comp restrictions or flat out make the best prize the raffle in the hope of encouraging people to play nice. So cards on the table, my views on this point are most definitely those of an outsider to the tournament scene.

I know several people are, as I write this, attending the London GT. And the feedback I have received has been one of poor organisation and scenery that is... somewhat lacking. Apparently the scenery was a big complaint last time, and promises were made to do better, and this is what they have provided.



Now as I said, I'm not a frequent tournament attendee, and I'm not sure what rules are in place regarding army painting at the London GT... I know the tournaments I attend expect a minimum painting standard for entering armies. We're doing the hobby equivalent of putting on a nice shirt, smart shoes, presenting our best selves before we go to meet someone else who is hopefully doing the same. And then we arrive at the venue, both dressed in our finest, to find walls that have damp patches, carpet with holes in, crackly speakers... it's disappointing to say the least.

I want to see my fully painted army clash with someone else's fully painted army on a nice table. I want to take pictures of the game to write battle reports or just to remember the event. The pictures will look a little underwhelming when you have two beautifully painted armies fighting over a piece of polystyrene that hasn't even been painted. You may as well be fighting over the fun size cornflake packets on your kitchen table for all the spectacle it produces.

I know I'm spoiled. I run a gaming club with a wealth of scenery, so I have a weekly opportunity to play on boards like this.






Expecting a tournament venue to match that standard is unrealistic, I appreciate that, but surely there must be some minimum standard? Especially if you're expecting a minimum standard of entrants armies, and charging them for the privilege.

Recently a friend of mine gave me a battle rundown of a game he'd played on "planet bowling ball" that hadn't gone well for his going second against a gun-line army tyranids... here's the battlefield.


Now that may be lacking a little in LOS blocking terrain, but it is all at least painted. I would rather wing it as best I could with an army on that table than fight around old VHS tapeboxes - hey, they block LOS so what are you complaining about?

There are alternatives. I picked up a lot of cheap, easy build, wooden scenery online for my own gaming table. It isn't great, and as my friend points out, there isn't much LOS blocking stuff in my home collection, but I'm sure with a little more effort the kits could be modified to provide what is needed. Would it take a lot of time and manhours to do 200 tables worth? Undoubtedly, although the amount I did to give me options would probably populate half a dozen tournament tables and it took me a week single handed if I recall correctly. I'm sure a team, organising an event that was criticised last year for poor scenery, could do better than I could.







If I was expected to single handedly do 200 tables worth of scenery in, I don't know, a week... then you might get something like this...


Saturday, 12 May 2018

Productive Week

Well, one thing to be said for glorious sunshine... it gave me plenty of time to hide in a cool apartment and get some painting done...

So, with all this time, managed to get the Mad Max themed Ork project ready for Double Trouble, a month ahead of schedule :)
I have since added a little more to the task, but I reckon I can get those done within a week easily, and as they aren't strictly necessary I'm happy to show this off as basically a completed project.



Immorkan Joe - Warboss on Bike

Wartrak with Skorcha

TOtal squad of 4 wartraks

Four warbuggies with rokkits

Battlewagon, centrepiece, soundsystem...

Truk for the mandatory troop choice of ten boyz



Showing off a bit? Perhaps, but let's be honest...


I need to find something else to show off in summer right?

Finally, picked up some female orc cheerleaders/bloodbowl players from Shadowforge miniatures... they shall be painted to represent Joes wives, and will act as objective markers...


Joe had 5 wives, so my sixth objective will be a hastily converted female ork...


Furiosa!

I'll probably get my arse kicked, but hopefully will be in with a shout for best conversions, to defend my title from last year :)


Thursday, 10 May 2018

Witness Me!

Painted up a couple warbuggies for double trouble...

Get up! You can do it!

 
Witness me...



 
Morsov!

Witness him...

 
 

WITNESS!
 
Mediocre, Morsov... mediocre...
It is possible some of you may recognise the sequence of events I am paying tribute to here...

Monday, 7 May 2018

Investigating the Underworlds: Khorne Cares Not that he's last...

A double post to finish us off, as I have never been a great follower of the blood god, and these two warbands follow similar "just hit it" design ethos, the difference being the hardiness of the troops in each party.

The weaker party first...











In essence, the objectives are based around killing stuff. I've given plenty of upgrades and ploys to facilitate that. I loved "mischievious spirits" and wish I could find room for it in my ork deck, but they've already got earthquake which fufills a similar task, so these guys (who care as much about objectives as the orks do) get it instead. Great way to mess with your opponents best laid plans in a final activation.





I had to revisit this deck as my friend pointed out that the warband specific deck came with killing the enemy leader with the hound, and saving the enemy leader till last... and I had added in victorious dual to score if my leader killed their leader. Aside from multiplayer games I am not gonna score more than two of those at best, probably one in a pinch, so I tweaked it. My leader gets to claim that particular skull... hopefully...


I upgraded the hound a bit. Basically nothing gets in his way, they can't push him away, and he can push people around... using his faster legs to drag enemies back into range of the slower moving party members.

 
I've given a couple upgrades to my head hunting leader...


Zharkus had some nice upgrades too so they both went in... and the next few can go on pretty much anyone. I am more likely to bolster either of the above, but it's nice to know that if push comes to shove Ghartok can have something too...


I then have ploys to protect my fighters...


Ploys to avenge my fighters...


Plus a final few miscellaneous cards to round out the deck.


I'm not gonna lie, these guys have had less thought put into them, but I'll play a few games with them and see how things develop. I wasn't a fan of Steelheart and his pair at first, but after building the deck, playing the game, tweaking it... they're growing on me. Perhaps the same will happen for khorne too. But thus far they've been victims of the release schedule... there's always new stuff I want to try, whether a new warband or a tweaked ork deck, and the khornate loonies haven't been played nearly as much as any other warband. But if this is the final of the 8 planned, at least for a while, they will have their day in the sun. Well, in the shade...