Veteran 40k Player and Co-Overall for the 2009 GT held by Neutral Grounds
Picture this......a room full of laughing people moving toy soldiers and rolling dice. Lots of tables lined up and painted armies in action. A set of trophies prominently displayed to be won. Shouts of success, groans of failure. Scenes from last weekend's GT? Nope. This was a scene sketched in my head when I participated in my first WHFB GT around 10 years ago, in a location somewhere in QC.
Flash forward to last weekend. Same scene, except this time the GT was in a more public place in Robinson's Galleria. This is 1 big change from 10 years ago. Our hobby has grown in exposure in that it once could be considered elitist and underground, but is hopefully gaining momentum as a more "mainstream" game, which is good as it nets new blood, more exposure, and therefore potential FRIENDS to meet, know, game and have fun with, both during the game and after the game!
This year's 40K GT is definitely a successfull one. Kudos to Freddie Tan and the organizing team! Getting 18 people to compete in a 5 game 2 day event is a feat. There have been past GT's where only 8 people showed up! I completely agree that a GT should have at least 4 games, as 3 games may penalize early losers who had the bad luck in the early matchups. The scenario breakdown and variety was also good, although the vortex grenade scenario was a bit over the top as it tends to penalize elite armies. I would have dummied down the effects of the vortex to be more like a melta blast with ap1 that causes d3 wounds and is autopinning, but hey if them US folks can live with this scenario then so can we!
Another thing I would like to comment is that for the existing environment, it is difficult to complete 5 turns in 2.5 hours for armies like my horde IG. In the old days, 2 hours was enough as pointage was at 1500, and most armies then were marines. Veterans have noticed that GW has been slowly pushing for armies to have more model counts in both 40k and WHFB, as that is good for business. In addition, horde armies are getting to be the norm, as GW started to make more plastics, unlike in the eraly days of 3rd ed 40k when the IG, nids and Orks only had metal infantry models (Ouch!!!). I remember the days when a WHFB chaos army had only around 25 models in a 2000 pt army! And SM armies only 30+ models. My advice is that GT tourneys in malls where you have set opening and closing times MUST start earlier. This gives more leeway for time extensions. In 2006 when we organized the 40K and WHFB GT this was no problem as we held the events separately outside the malls, and I insisted we started early. We held 4 games in 1 day, and there were no complaints of short times, stalling, etc. There were no PYTs though to look at. Nothing is ever perfect anyway!
However, my best advice is to come into GTs with a healthy attitude of playing the game to have fun. We all want to win, that is for sure, but to do that with a poor attitude robs a good gaming experience for your opponents. In addition, certain conventions should be clarified, explained, and re-explained before the tourney starts (like for dice rolling) as misunderstanding arises among people who do not play regularly versus each other over these issues. It is really bad to leave the GT with the feeling you were cheated (I know, as I was a victim of this in my first toruney!), or worst be accused of cheating even though you really did not cheat! It is understandable that certain people are hot blooded and really want to win, but to do this at the expense of your enemy is really poor form. In a community as small as ours, word gets around, and sadly such a player may become ostracized from the community by his/her own actions, which is really a shame. So everyone brighten up! And any new opponent is an opportunity to gain a good friend. I have gained a kumpare through this hobby (Sir Larry), and I'm sure others also as well!
Again, any new GT brings distinct memories. Past ones include wiping out Warner's 500 pt Chaos Knight unit with the "Assault of Stone" spell from my Slann, My Slann Mage getting killed by the Staff of Nurgle by Pat Uy's Chaos Sorceror on a Griffon, then it being wiped out by poisoned skink arrows the next turn, My saurus warrior unit surviving a charge from Pat's Chaos night unit by rolling a lot of 6's for the "Scaly skin" save, then grinding them down in the next turns, killing Sunny's Orc Giant in the first turn with a single cannonball shot, seeing Arthur (Omegatron) do a first turn inflitrate then flame toasting my HQ with his Chaos Raptors led by a lord, and of course winning the WHFB Best general plums in 2002 and 2004, and Best overall in 2003 and 2005. This year adds a lowly guardsman dealing the final wound to Ghazskull Thrakka the turn the Beast charged, thus gaining me the primary objective, Matthew's horrendous luck as Edlrad Ulthran's unit and 2 more skimmers are sucked in the warp by Vortex grenades, and definitely the 5 1's I rolled for the to wound roll from a flamer hit on Paulo's infantry, which failed to remove it as a scoring threat! And of course, winning the 40K Best Overall title together with Pat Chua. I also got to game versus new people like Felix and Wiley. I hope to do so again!
Great memories, good friends, and having a blast moving toy soldiers in a friendly competitive atmosphere, win or lose. THAT is the essence of WH GT gaming. Long live 40K and WHFB (although GW really does have to settle the imbalance issues with WHFB)!