Well time has flown since the 3rd incarnation of First Blood, it is more than 2 weeks ago and I am not sure where the time went! When I reflect on First Blood I’m going to be honest, it was a full on day! This post is pretty much a wall of text and the original post has been split into two so stay tuned for the second part in the coming days. If you aren’t one for plowing through and reading my reflections of First Blood and all the words check out the photo reel for First Blood here.
First Blood ran alongside Young Bloods, for a full post on that event check out the wrap up and the photo reel.
The event started beautifully, again we had so many volunteers there that set up was so smooth, I owe Courtney (and Alan who tagged Courtney in my begging post) from TSC a huge thank you for doing a Maccas run (McDonalds for any of our non-Aussie readers) for coffee. I don’t normally drink coffee but wow I was desperate for it that morning. Perfect start to the day! With all the helpers there setting up I actually had time to drink the coffee semi-warm before we had to start the registration. I had been worried as this was our biggest event and there were so many names on the list that I didn’t recognize (new players) I wasn’t sure if we would have help to set up. Thankfully the new players turned out for set up as well and everyone was happy to pitch in and help including some that weren’t playing (Courtney) and a friend of ours that thought he’d pop on over (from Armadale) to help at 6.30am (thanks Jeff).
The registration ran pretty smoothly, over 80 players attended the event and EVERYONE had pre-registered. That made the registration so much easier. You all rock! Thank you so much for getting onto that and for being amazing! (See the next post for more info on the registration process)
Hiccups for the day.
Overall the day ran pretty well. With 82 players in the First Blood event, playing five 90 minute rounds the day felt very hectic! It was a stinker of a day (the weather was very hot – for our non Aussie readers) and the air conditioning in the room didn’t stand up to the pressure we put it under. I had complained to the venue about this in the past and they said it was fine but luckily the lady who organizes the bookings happened to be at work during the event so we could take her into the room and say ‘see, I told you this wasn’t working!’ They are now getting it checked which is perfect because our next two events that will be in the summer season are being held in different venues but it should be up to scratch for WATC.
We had a few slight issues during the scoring between rounds with BCP. At the end of round 2 an android user tried to enter his scores, they didn’t work so he tried to enter them again. This then caused a major technical glitch, the entire round had to be deleted and re-matched. M did blame one of the players on the day in jest as we have known that player for a long time and so M was joking around but for new players we don’t generally shame attendees over the PA system (or even without the PA for that matter! Good humoured banter is ok, public shaming, not so much!). It wasn’t actually anyone’s fault, however, if you do have an issue with BCP at an event, pop on over and see M or I and we can try and sort it out for you. When we re-matched the round, some players had been matched with different opponents so we had to find those players and manually change their match ups and then players had to re-enter their scores. The players were amazing, M was totally on to it and had worked out how to fix it on the fly and he and I worked with fast fingers to get the matches correct and it was all fixed in less than 5 minutes. Admittedly they were the longest 5 minutes of my life (outside of my children being born) as I had that sinking feeling of ‘oh ****, we are going to have to manually score this entire event!’ and thought of all that that would entail. There was another glitch in the system at the end of the day and BCP would not allow M to export the data which meant that although we could access it all from the app he had to pull it all out manually and enter it into a spreadsheet to work out the results. It was a nightmare when you are trying to work quickly feeling under pressure to get the results out and to have the software not play ball was very stressful. The players were fantastic and were really patient while we did the data entry to find out the winners of the categories. We really appreciate not only your patience but also that so many players who knew they hadn’t won the event sticking around to be a part of the awards ceremony!
The other part of the event that we had mixed reviews over was the five 90 minute games. As a TO 90 minute games are a nightmare. My whole day was spent running. We would just get the games started and then start the next job that we had to do and all of a sudden my alarm would go off to remind players there was 30 minutes left. Before we knew it we were giving the 5 minute warning and then getting the next round underway. Short games always make it feel rushed and busy. Give me 2.5hour games any day, the day feels so much more chilled and relaxed even at higher pressure events! I think some players felt that as well. They really felt the time pressure of trying to get a game finished, even at only 1000 points, in 90 minutes. A lot of games were finishing up just in the 90 minute limit but some players found that they didn’t finish a game. Check out my next blog post for more on this.
The five games in a day was an issue for some people as well who struggled to hold concentration for that long. M and I found that interesting as game play was actually much shorter for this event than for most others. Something else we will discuss and think on.
Pack up didn’t go especially smoothly either. I had this great idea that if I made slips for each table that said who the board, table and terrain belonged to it would make pack up easier. It didn’t! I was wrong. M and I were busy sorting the scores and so players pitched in to help pack the room up (which is so very appreciated! If we had had to do that by ourselves we would have been there until midnight). Stuff ended up everywhere! We I have said on many occasions, we could not do pack up without the help of players so I really need to come up with some sort of system to make that process simpler and smoother. Something else to add to my to do list! Huge thank you to all the players who helped with the pack up and to Brad and Bodie who stayed until the very end! I don’t have words to express the gratitude I have for you staying. I was unwell and in a huge amount of pain (autoimmune condition so not contagious) at that event (and have been since) and I would have gone home at lunchtime if there was not so much to do i.e. painting scores, so I literally could not physically get all the last things done as my movement was so restricted by the end of the day and you guys pitched in and got it done. Thank you both so much!
About the actual event.
We had 86 players register for First Blood, 82 players start First Blood and 78 players finish First Blood. The players were restricted not only to 1000 points but also to a single faction with no options for Lords of War. There was a fairly even spread of armies attend with most armies represented; only Harlequins, Sisters of Battle, Death Watch and Ynnari not present. Prior to the event an attendee, James, started the stats for the event on the ObSec Gamers page and I was going to be lazy and just rip them from there but since not all the lists were in when he did it I thought I should probably do it properly so the spread of factions is here:
The top 10 Factions for the Best General scores were also interesting to look at, for example Space Marines were the most heavily represented, yet only one Space Marine Army ended the day in the top 10, there were only 3 Chaos Daemons players and all of them ended the day in the top 10. Here are the results for Top 10 Factions for Best General:
Exciting parts of the day
We had 82 players in the room and worked out that the maximum capacity of the room is actually 112 players so we still have some room to grow which is pretty exciting. We can have 18 teams for WATC, lets go 40k players, let’s see this room at capacity! Of the 82 players 80 were male and 2 female (which makes me so excited!) Come on girls, don’t let the wall of men put you off, they are all lovely, accepting, genuinely nice guys and as one player put it ‘I’m here to play games, I don’t care who or what you identify as, if you can roll a dice there is a space for you at the table!’ Sadly I didn’t get the stats but we had a great mix of new players (at least 50% of the players attending had not been to an ObSec event), players who haven’t missed an ObSec event, and players who are returning after a break from the game. I’m not sure whether the number of new players in the room may have contributed to the difficulty in finishing a 1000 point game in 90 minutes but it is a consideration. There was a diverse range of ages in the room and we had so many spectators through that I lost count.
The missions were straight from Chapter Approved 2017 book released in December. If you want to see the specific missions the players pack is still available here. One of the problems we did run into (actually a couple) the first was that chapter approved didn’t come out until December so we had to wait for ours to arrive and Australia Post at Christmas does not run particularly smoothly. So players pack was delayed as we waited for the book, the second problem was that some players did not have the book and so were seeing the missions for the first time on the day of the event. I have no idea what we do to try and reduce the impact of these things but I’ll think on it.
Missions were run as per the rules and they were really well received by the players. We used ETC victory point differential to work out the margin of victory (out of 20). The reason that we are really positive about using this method of allocating victory points is that it means that at the end of an event the highest number of points any player can achieve is 100 (for a five game event). This gives more level playing field, everyone is playing for a score out of 100. Some events don’t use the point differential and instead the points scored is the number of points that the player is awarded. If one mission has the possibility of a player earning a huge number of points it means that one really good win can give a player an unbeatable lead.
When you have 82 players in a room there will always be players you aren’t overly fond of playing and players that you really enjoy playing against. That’s to be expected. What we have never yet experienced (touch wood we don’t) is the poor attitude to play (i.e. WAAC), or lack of sportsmanship that we have heard of in other events held outside of WA. We have a few players who are slow players, for some it is because they are still learning the game and they are slow to process all the phases of their turn, others because they are moving 200 models, others due to cognitive impairment. We don’t have players that are slow for the sake of ‘slow play for advantage’ (and if this does occur please see myself of M straight away so that we can address the issue ASAP). I had a conversation with someone recently about events in the US and the attitudes of players that he had encountered. I could honestly say that I had never encountered anything like that in WA. He gave me a condescending smile and said ‘hmmm and how much tournament experience have you actually got?’ The look on his face when I could say that we had been running tournaments for 2.5 years across multiple systems with about 50 events and at least 300 unique participants across those events was pretty darn priceless. I keep hearing how isolated Perth is, well if that isolation means our players are good sports then I am happy to embrace that isolation! As always it was a really good day, the atmosphere felt upbeat, the volume in the room was at a happy buzz all day and the players all gelled really well. I personally really enjoy spending my day with you all having a laugh and a joke.
Lastly I need to congratulate the winners of the event. M made some back end changes to the website to make it easier to access the results now. So you can find them here. The results from this event are very heavily weighted towards soft scores so if you saw the rankings for Best General in BCP and you look at the rankings for Best Overall you will see that there has been some serious shift. That is because painting and sportsmanship make up approximately 56% of the scores. Some events later in the year are heavily weighted on battle points, others are not. We like to make it a mix.
*ineligible due to another award
2018 First Blood and Young Blood winners