Normally when I write up events time has flown since the actual event, this week it has been the absolute opposite. I was feeling guilty that I hadn’t managed to get to the write up yet and then realised that only 5 days have passed (since I wrote this, M does all the SEO and he forgot to hit publish). I have been saying ‘I just need time to slow down’, well it seems like it has because it feels like over a month has passed!
So where do I even start, at the very beginning, a very good place to start. Last year was our very first Mixed Doubles event (there were lots of very firsts as it was our very first full year of events). We had a small number of players, M and I remembered the event differently, he thought there were 14 teams, I thought there were only 12, he thought there were 5 women playing, I thought only 4 (I could remember 4 and was really upset I had forgotten an attendee). I’ve actually just trawled the archives and seen that we had 18 teams, 36 attendees and 4 women so although it was more players than we had remembered it was still a small event. With the advent of 8th edition we weren’t sure whether we would even get as many teams as last year but we hoped we might be able to entice 20 teams out to play. In a 400sqm hall, 20 teams playing on 5 tables (4 players to a table) was going to leave a heck of a lot of spare space and being a more relaxed narrative event we anticipated it may leave M and I with a bit more spare time.
With this physical space and mental space available, I invited both Warmachine/Hordes (WMH) and Bolt Action players in WA to come along and we would host events for 3 gaming systems. While both communities were excited by the idea, sadly majority of the BA players had to work (pft something about needing to generate income to be able to afford their ‘plastic crack’ *their words, not mine!*, darn work getting in the way of fun!) and we couldn’t get the BA event off the ground, however the 40k community and WMH community decided they did want to come out to play!
We had been hoping to attract 20 x 40k players and a minimum of 8 WMH players. We ended up with 32 teams for 40k, 64 players in total with 5 women playing! When 3 players were forced to pull out at late notice we were able to fill those spots and 64 players attended. We had 9 players and 1 ringer for WMH and due to unforseen circumstances one of the players couldn’t attend. We were a bit worried for a while because 3 of the WMH players hadn’t turned up at the time we were supposed to kick off. Apparently WMH players are a more civilised bunch, not only do they have (amazing!) minimum terrain requirements but they are also used to a much more civilised (aka later) start time so the 8.15am briefing for an 8.30am start was a shock to the system for some.
I do need to say a big thank you to James McTernan who initially wrote the WMH players pack and was the official/unofficial TO for that event and Stephen Thompson who was my personal terrain consultant as well as the group of WMH players that M was sending 9 million photos to of the terrain and asking steamroller questions etc. We are still learning your system and we appreciate all the support that you gave us (especially Earl who also brought a box of terrain just in case mine sucked, I’m choosing to believe you were being kind and not that you had no faith in my ability to produce terrain – joking aside, I really do appreciate that you brought it along to support the event!). Through your support we hope that we can in turn support the WMH community through providing events and strengthening the community.
The day itself went well, there were a few small technical issues, the WMH players were able to use Best Coast Pairings and this time it worked without a hitch, but our mixed doubles couldn’t because we didn’t know how to actually use BCP for teams so we went back to the old software for this Doubles event which meant we put the pairings on the data projector so we had to turn out the lights at the front of the room. Not normally an issue but this event it was because I had put the WMH players at the front closest to M and I on the TO desk. We put the new kids closest to the teachers so that we could look after them, poor guys ended up having to play part of their games in the dark surrounded by 64 40k players gathering around to check what tables they were on. Sorry about that guys, my heart was in the right place but next time I promise to stick you in the back corner.
M and I had anticipated a pretty cruisey day, we were wrong. Other than making the WMH guys play in the dark I think their event went off without a hitch. There were some shorter games and one very exciting game between Earl and Neil that went down to the wire and 5mm made all the difference and Earl took the win for the game and the event. Despite Earl’s complete lack of faith in my terrain, the players were all pretty happy with the tables (with the exception of a couple of the buildings that were a smidge too big) and all in all most players seemed to have a good day.
The 40k event also went without a hitch but it wasn’t the cruisey day that M and I had anticipated. It was a different event to the normal matched play events. We ran it as a narrative event with narrative missions and some of the players didn’t exactly think that through and applied matched play rulings to the scenarios. Tom and Olly only realised that the narrative event meant that attempting to cast a psychic power is not limited as it is in a matched play event in the final game for the day (they weren’t the only ones!) but it didn’t seem to matter as they still took out the event. One of the other issues was that we were on a VERY strict time limit for play. Each match only had 2 hours and each player had a power level of 50. When M play tested the missions he did so knowing that there was a 2 hour time limit and so chose the army accordingly (I put that sentence in purely so that you know we do actually play test all of the missions etc and they are not just on the fly whim decisions for time allocations, power levels, points etc). Some players had also chosen their armies based on the strict time limit and had brought only 5 models (although for some that was also because we enforce a strict painting requirement for events and 5 was his painting limit – yes, I’m looking at you Al), where as others brought what seemed like 100 models. 4 players moving 100 models per game made for some very slow turns, a couple of the first games didn’t manage more than one battle round with other teams managing all 5 battle rounds. About an hour and a half into game one when we realised a third of the tables were still on round one, M and I had a very quick meeting to try to decide whether we should stick with 4 x 2hour games or if we should re-shuffle the day and run 3×3 hour games instead. We made the decision to leave it at the 2 hour games and that seems to have worked because by the third game most players were getting in 4 or 5 rounds and finishing their games. M is suggesting that the missions for round one and two were heavily lopsided and so that may have impacted on people not getting past rounds one or two as it is a different playing mindset. (I will take his word for that). If you want to check out the missions then have a look at the players pack . As I said it wasn’t a cruisey day, M answered a bazillion rules queries and I am not really sure what I was doing all day but I was busy doing it what ever it was.
I sadly didn’t get photos of armies on parade as I was cooking lunch and didn’t make it out of the kitchen before the next round started so missed photographing the armies all set up. Luckily Matthew McConnell had his handy dandy camera there and managed to get a heap of photos, we shared his album to our Facebook page so you head on over to the page and check out his photos. I did manage a few photos of the day and of some of the models but I had no rhyme or reason with the pics I did get so if I missed your army then I am really sorry. I was very aware of trying not to get in your way while you play. For future reference, if you see me taking photos of the game, please don’t feel you need to move out of the way so I can get the photo, I am attempting to be as unobtrusive as possible so just ignore me (or photobomb, smile, give a thumbs up, those photos make me smile the most when I am editing them before I post them). The photos I did take will be in a subsequent post (but here is a photo of said smile and thumbs up that made me smile).
I put a photo of the awards up on Facebook. It isn’t a brilliant photo but it made me laugh, and it really encapsulated everything I hope our events will be. There is a mix of men and women in the photo, there are veteran players and brand new to ObSec players, players who have been playing for years, players who are returning after a hiatus, and relatively new players, city players and players who had driven up from Australind, 40k players and WMH players (not a bad mix considering there are only 9 people in the photo right?). In the photo everyone is smiling genuine smiles, Earl is striking a pose and Neil is hanging off him with a goofy grin. The reason that I mention Earl and Neil is that this was only the second time I had met them both and they both felt comfortable and confident enough in the space to muck around and have a bit of fun. THAT is the kind of events I want to run. I want new people who come to our events for the first time to feel as though they are welcome, to feel comfortable and to feel as though they can be themselves and that they fit. I recently did an interview for ‘The Campaigner’ and they asked me do I think that my interaction with players on social media is important. Of course it is. You are my ObSec family and it is really important to me that new players feel welcome and returning players feel like they are welcomed as family and friends. Beware, because you are my ObSec family it means I can tease you (with affection) about your army not being painted or blaming the dice when you lose and skill when you win.
Of course I do need to congratulate our winners and explain because of the way this event was scored the rankings for the event may seem slightly off. The overall scores were made up of a potential 12 game points, 12 points for sports and 12 points for painting so because of the way we judge painting and sports it has affected the overall rankings with teams who won 3 out of 4 games coming below teams who won significantly less games. M and I have again had much debate over this, I had just convinced him we needed to go to a system where everyone got a sports and painting score and we were going to trial this at our first event next year when GW released their players packs for the GTs where they use a very similar system to what we are currently using and all my arguments are apparently no longer valid (that isn’t true, they are still valid, it’s just GW trumps me for some reason :p) Now to the congratulations. (Sadly I also missed getting photos of individual winners), Congratulation to WMH players Neil Stoney who was not only runner up but also awarded the peer voted sportsmanship medal, and Earl Clarke who won the event overall, for 40k players congratulations to Raging Honour (Daniel and Alison Newton) who, despite losing every game, were peer voted best sports, Double Doug (Doug Bowen and Doug Todd) who took out peer voted best painted, Best Generals went to Terrible Persons Cabal (Tom White and Olly Paun) and big congratulations to Keeley’s heros (Keeley O’Grady and Peter DiBona) who won highest ranking couple and the overall award.
I didn’t think I had much to say about the event when I sat down at lunchtime to write this. 2500 words later, imagine how much I would have written if I DID have something to say :p.
Thanks to everyone who came to play, thanks to those of you who came down to spectate, thanks to those of you who watched the Facebook live videos. We love running events (even if I deny it the day before the actual event!) and hope to see you at the next one, did I mention it is Southern Hemisphere Open, SHO! You should totally come along!