This post contains edits in light of new information and feedback from the TO and other sources.
So this post is going to have a lot. I just returned this morning from the ATC. For those who don't know, it mimics the ETC style tournament. This means you go as a team, but play individual games which collectively score for the team. Pairings for each round are based off of overall team score, and individual game pairings are determined by the two teams playing each other. In essence one team will put forward a player / army list, and the other team will select an opponent for them to play. Then that team will put forward a player / opponent, and the first team will select an opponent for them to play.
It results in really interesting matches and is really quite a fun format.
So let me get out front and center that Tim G and his team, "The Gypsy Curse", are a bunch of cheaters and were caught multiple times at the event doing so. In my opinion Tim should not have been given best grey knight player.
- Tim round one "Misplayed" Coteaz's "I've been expecting you", by not following the RAW and resolving the shots immediately after the unit arrived from reserve, and instead waited for a drop pod player to bring in/deploy his entire army, then shooting all of them (essentially crippling him). His opponent trusted him as Tim is a GT player, big mistake. He did not find out until after the game ended that Tim has misplayed it, and by then of course its to late.
- Tim was lying to an opponent saying Banishment is a 24 inch NOVA power. His excuse was that he had a BOLS print out saying it was so... Right....
- A team called a judge over for suspicious dice rolling
- They brought an army that was explicitly banned (Legion of the Damned), and played it. Despite the fact that lists are turned in a week a head of time, this was unfortunately missed. It was not caught by players until round 4. The TO's of the event solved this problem by docking 10 points per game played by the LOD player, and forcing him to change the LoD to vanilla marines.
There were lots of other word of mouth rumors about the bullshit he and his team were pulling, but those were the only ones I can directly verify as truthful / accurate, by direct participation or direct contact with opponents / judges.
Those alone, add up to a picture of a cheating, disingenuous team. As the saying goes.. fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.. Tim's repeated shengigans each round should have been more than suitable to incur serious repercussions
So that's out of the way..
What did I think of the event?
- The venue was solid and was priced beneficially to maximize player returns. The on site food / drink vendors was good.
- Shane and his judges made sure their presence was felt. They were responsive and friendly. I never felt like I couldn't find a judge, or couldn't have a reasonable conversation with one.
- The event more or less kept on schedule reasonably well
- Location was good with lots of hotels, food places and such
- Table themes, I enjoyed that the event organizers attempted to keep each table themed, so it felt cohesive and not a hodpodge of random types.
- The format was good, the atmosphere was positive and energetic, and that was quite an accomplishment considering how annoyed many of the attendees were by the before mentioned BS.
- It was difficult to see round to round progression and verify the results were correctly input. Only the overall results were displayed which is not ideal for a nervous team hoping their 72 points were entered properly and forgot their previous overall scores.
- Lack of clarity on terrain types and placement. Spending the first few minutes of a game having to discuss or arguing with your opponent about how to rule terrain pieces can be awkward. Especially as people play all sorts of different ways, impassible vs. not, battlescapes vs. difficult terrain, what's considered a ruin etc. I had the normal GT issue where people shoved their terrain out of the way to put models / displays / books on the table. Then left it that way at round end, and unfortunately next round opponents insisting that we don't touch it to fix it.
- The quality of the terrain. Many of the tables were just fine, but there were always one or two tables in each team match that needed some extra LOS blockage.
- Starts to damn early. I think it'd be better to do 3-3 rather than a 4-2 split. But that's just me grumping about waking up super early, so maybe its fine.
- Prize support did not follow as stated on their website. Their website explicitly stated teams 1-6 would receive prizes, instead at the event only teams 1-4 received prizes, and the top two teams were allowed to select a second prize each. Shane has noted since the event that this was an accidental oversight, and that the teams involved will receive their appropriate support.
- CSM award - Edited based on Shane's feedback.
- Swag bags could have used a bit more oomph. A secret weapon miniature base + random other thing, and a ton of advertising.
- Objective markers were randomly colored poker chips. When trying to run an event with 6 objectives on each table, 4 of one type and 2 of another, it left open the potential of people forgetting which colors represented which type of objective over the course of a long game. Shane has noted this was not the intent of the ATC to use the poker chips, but was to correct a last minute problem.
I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting for both positive and negative. So Shane and company, if you read this, I hope you take this as a critique, instead of me just bashing. The event is promising, and I think with a few changes it'll be much better in the future. I'll state for the record I do plan on attending again, so clearly I have faith that the team will fix issues, tighten up the rules ship and handle things properly.