Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Equinox Experience - 40k

As you can see from the previous post, Dunn Senior put up a post on the Equinox experience as a whole from the fantasy perspective, and I thought I would do one similar for 40k.

Here's my runthrough of observations.

What Worked:

Attendance - This was the third Equinox 40k event. The initial one had 27, the second sold out at 40, the third sold out at 40, however only 36 people seemed to have shown up.

Terrain - For the most part, terrain was adequate, which is more than you can usually say for any tournament ever. In half my games I was able to solidly block line of sight to my crucual units, meaning that not only was there enough terrain, but that it was suitable for 5th edition as well. So often terrain was never adapted from the abstract of 4th, and left LOS wide open, but that was less so here.
That being said, there were a couple of tables that seemed far more open, but these were by far the minority.

Table Numbers - I felt obliged to put this here purely because it was in Pete's 'what didn't work'... we had table numbers and they performed the required job perfectly adequately.

Primary Missions - While it would have been nice to have one or two primary kill-point missions, the primary missions in the pack were sufficiently different from the boring rulebook same ole hash to keep things interesting, while not going crazy or whacky and thus being random. They allowed for good solid competition and a way of determining the better in each game, which is what TO's should generally be aiming for.

Location - as mentioned by Pete, that side of town seems fairly optimal for the majority of participants.

Players Pack - for 40k, I was satisfied with the completeness of the pack, and the timing.

Weighting and Judging - Listen. Do you hear that? No? Neither do I. That is the sweet sweet sound of no one bitching. 108 games of 40k took place last weekend. In those 108 games, only 1 had a sports hit. The average painting mark was 37.39/40 - 38 was full marks for painting and another 2 marks on top of that for a display tray, so people I imagine are fairly happy there too. The impact this had was that it was almost entirely a battle point tournament, that happened to encourage people to make sure their models were painted and that noone threw their toys. That's a win in my book.

What could be improved:

Out of Towners - this is not for the event organisers to improve. This is for the community. TRAVEL TO EVENTS YOU LAZY BASTARDS :P! Unlike fantasy, the total number of out of towners was very, very low. While this is fantastic that Auckland has such a large and healthy 40k community, it would be fantastic to see more people coming from out of town.
If Haydn Korach can show up with 1 hours sleep, literally less than 6 hours after someone has made a literal attempt on his life, you can drag your latte sipping butt up the day before ;)!

Venue - While Pete thought it was fantastic, I feel that you are now reaching such a level of success with attendance that you are limiting yourself by the relatively low maximum cap of 40 per event. I am of course assuming you are striving to make the event bigger, better, and more prestigious in the future. Otherwise the venue itself was actually nice, even if I did destroy a toilet cubical both mornings.

Waiting List - With the event capped at 40, but only 36 showing up, it would have been great to have a list people could join to show up at late notice. I can think of a couple of people at least that were available and keen for that weekend, but their status was too unknown to commit early enough before sell out. The person I stayed with that weekend actively sacrificed his own attendence so his friend who wouldn't have been able to play otherwise could attend, so its always a little bit sad when you see that actually, they both could have played no problems.

Secondary Missions - This is an area we're all still looking at trying to improve, and I'm not sure any of us have it right. In this case however, the secondarys tended to be a bit too hand in hand with the primary, and the tale of "I either 20-0'd or got 20-0'd" seemed to be all too familiar over the weekend. You never want it to be counter intuitive so that it's almost impossible to 20-0, but ultimately what you strive for in your results is some sort of gradient between 10 and 20 for a win depending on how close the game was.

Round Draws - the same goes here as Petes feedback, something minor but from experience actually makes the life of the TO a lot easier.

Terrain - I mentioned that the terrain for the most part, was functional and great from a game perspective. Some of it needs a little love though, and is looking a bit tired. That being said, some of it is the same terrain that looked tired 5+ years ago when I eeked out a draw against Jack Dunn, so my expectations are low :D

All up, it's a pretty positive report card and hopefully I've not caused much offence for the first time in my life.

- Charlie


  1. Thanks for the summery. I wanted to go but didn't have the bling bling. Sounds like it was a fun weekend though, glad to see most things went smoothly. What happened to Haydn?

  2. I'd have been happy to travel to this even if it didn't sell out... It seems that the advertising to out of towners was only started once the aucklanders got their fill :(

    1. I think I got invited to it through facebook and saw an update that it was selling out soon. That was how I heard about it :O!

  3. I'm pretty sure there was 38 people there on Day 1 (only 19 40k tables), but I know one guy rage quit the event and Craig's kid was sick so he didn't make Day 2. Hence the drop. There were plenty of ghost players around though, but they really only get used to make up uneven numbers as if you have multiple ghost players you start messing with the results a bit (everyone bouncing off the bottom with 20-0 wins).

    While it wasn't uncomfortable the venue was getting pretty cosy with the number of tables in there, I think 40k had the smallest gaps between tables as well. This is purely a case of being a victim of your own success as you mention, this event could easily get up to 50-60 for 40k. In fact I think that was the expectation, but Warmachine was far bigger than last year and filled up really fast, and there is only so much space in the hall. I'm sure Phil will be looking at his options for next year.

    Secondary's remain tricky to get right. I was the textbook example, 20-0 all my wins (including one which was actually very close) and 0-20 both my losses since there was no way for me to grab some points while I was being shot off the table by Psyiflemen and Mech Guard. Apparently a decent number of games were close though, and functionally the difference between a 0 point loss and a 2 point loss isn't much (particularly when its the same for everyone). Mostly this seems to be a limitation of the victory conditions in 40k, which purely care about the situation when the game ends rather than looking at the entire game.

    @ Ryan. Haydn is a cop fyi.

    @ Blaise. There is still space at the Open if you are keen :).

  4. Thanks for the feedback bro.
    It is always my intention with the missions each year to try something new, hoping that it will somehow better the scene for it :)
    I think the problem i had this year is that i tried too hard to make the secondaries interesting rather than what i did last year which was to make them literally the opposite of the primary to make it so that the loser has something to go for.
    The 20-0 thing from my end didn't seem to be an issue. The top players, or those with more one dimensional lists scored all or nothings just because top level 40k lists are at this stage atm, but there was a huge amount of 12-7 s over the weekend, more than the 20-0s overall. Solid amount of 15-5, 10-0. Not many 14-4.
    The first mission however, was exclusively 20-0s across the board and that will be looked at.
    Although kill points as a primary will most probably be making a return, i think that having kps as a secondary in every mission was a good idea.
    The thing about 40k scoring, and why its so hard to find a system that works, is that it all comes down to the situation at the end of the game, no matter how close it was in order to get to that point.
    Ive got some ideas for next year, although with 6th on the way, well see what happens but thanks a bunch for everyone for coming along and supporting us yet again.
    See you all at natcon and the open!

  5. How was the prize support for the 40k event?

    1. Same as fantasy pretty much. I got a raider for winning? Not too fussed as I'm not exactly in it for prizes. One of the more enjoyable prize experiences though is when you win OTT, Mark One I think it is sponsor them with vouchers, and if you head there right after prize giving theres additional discounts, its how I wound up getting my skullvane manse for 14 dollars when using a 100 dollar voucher :D
      It's quite fun though as dozens of people from the event are there and show up picking out stuff.