First off sorry I have been away for so long, life has been kicking by butt recently.
Anyway I attended the Conflict GT this past weekend and figured I would put down my thoughts on my games and the event as a whole.
I'll start off by saying that I had a great time, met and hung out with a bunch of great guys, and played 6 fun games (2 of which were really great games, that were super close right up until the end.). The venue at the Palisades mall (home of this event and the Battle for Salvation GT) is always great, with easy highway access, lots of food options, and a decently large room.
All that said I think this event took a step backward from last year in pretty much every regard. Last year despite the fact that the TO really had little help, he did a good job of having the event organized ahead of time, updating the website, emailing requestes for lists, posting the missions, having packets ready at the event. Last year I had very few complaints (there was not enough terrain, the missions needed some work, and I think everyone thought that the TO needed a little more staff.). This year there was really no improvement on those concerns, and overall other things got worse.
So starting at the beginning, prior to the event I had to email the TO to find out when to turn my list in as the turn in date was not posted anywhere. Upon arriving to the tournament there were no tournament packets describing the rules of the event, providing sportsmanship rubrics, scoring for missions etc., these were available last year. Looking at the terrain, while it was a slight improvement, there was still very little terrain on most boards, especially terrain that blocked line of sight. I found that the mission for the first game had been placed on the table, and looked at the mission. It was the same first mission as last year, objectives, that scattered randomly, and were placed after deployment (2 by one player 1 by the other.), and that terrain was not set on boards but instead scattered randomly and could not come within 6" of the table center or another terrain piece (this was true for all missions, and I heard multiple accounts of players being unable to place all the terrain due to these rules). One player went to the TO, and described the issue with placing objectives after deployment, and it was fixed, but not every player heard the announcement of the change.
The first game was scheduled to start at 9:00, but as the start time rolled around we were told that 6 people had not yet shown up (to a 50ish person GT, ende up at 42 players) and that we would wait for them to show up, and start in 15min. While I don't agree with waiting for players at large events (especially when we are playing 4 games in 1 day), I figured 15 mins was not too bad, but 15 min became 30 and 30 became about an hour.... Finally, the match-ups were posted...and my name was not on the list. Well another player was not on the list, so ok we were paired together...until 2 members of the same club came up to tell the TO they were paired together, so I switched pairing again. Again no big deal, but just one more thing. As the round started we found out that because the Fantasy GT had spilled over onto the tables reserved for 40k that the table numbers were now wrong and we had to take time to figure out where we were supposed to be. THis all became a larger issue because the TO was pretty much running the whole event by himself (he had a couple of guys who helped hand out missions and put numbers on tables, but no judges, not paint judges, no main administrator, etc), this would be problem enough if it was just a 42 man 40k GT, but when you have a 70ish guy fantasy GT, a Flames of war tourney, a 40k doubles tourney (and a failed, i.e. no one showed, warmahordes event.)., it is just too much for one person.
As the tourney went on we all found that the TO just reprinted the missions from last year, and was using them again. All of these missions are far too easy to tie. Missions went 3 objectives, Get troops into your opponents deployment zone, Kill points, Table quarters (scoring to control, anything to contest), 3 Objectives, 3 objectives. NO tie breakers on any mission, so except the KP mission all of these were very easy to draw (hence I finished 3-1-2), and I know plenty of people who finished with 2+ draw results. This really hurts when you are on the top tables and the players all end up drawing, and get jumped by people playing easier games who win. (I think I have mentioned before I am not a big fan of kill points.
At the end of day 1 after many people had already packed up their armies, we were told to leave our armies out so they could be paint scored overnight....only to then get paint scored during our games the next day.
Other issues I heard from people were: NO time remaining announcements (people never seemed to know when the round was ending and it caused issues), lectures from the TO about painting (he told at least 1 person that if he had seen their army prior to the event he would have not allowed the player to play...if you are not going to check the armies prior to the tourney, don't bother with the lecture.), the tables were placed very close to one another, leaving little room to move around, and no room for display boards, but there was still empty space at the front of the room on both sides of the room, this resulted in delayed games due to peoples armies being on tables people were trying to play on (at one point another player and myself moved 2 tables to the center of the room so people could put armies their so games could get started). Lots of the 40k players did not feel the need to play 6 games (for a battle point tourney) especially 4 games the first day (5 if you played doubles which had 2 rounds friday night and 1 round at 10 pm on saturday.), then 2 on sunday which meant we got out pretty early sunday which was nice...but why not just 5 games 3 and 2.
Announcements, were made as to expanding the flames of war event to 30+ for next year....which gave me the thought that if the TO did not get extra help I would no longer want to go to this event. 3-4 tourneys are too much for one person to run/ref/paint judge, the room does not have enough space to comfortably fit 150+ players and tables. The TO of this event really needs to let go of some of the control and ask other people for help. I know that many of the players had a good enough time because the group of players in attendance was a great group of guys, but I also know many of them mentioned to me that they probably won't go next year. Which leaves me in a quandry, the event is local to me and an easy trip to make, I have had fun enough games both years, but I wonder if my money would be better spent at other, better organized events that the same group of players are attending....
Game reports will be upcoming....