Thursday, July 12, 2012

FOB TO Musings

I thought I would put down a few observations from a TO’s viewpoint as to how I thought Fields went this year. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, rather points I noticed that may be of interest to those that attended or are interested observers.


There were no real rules disputes over the weekend. I’m not sure whether this was due to:
a. People knowing the rules as they reach the death throes of 5th Edition

b. Where I had to make a decision, people were happy with the reasoning; or

c. People not really caring and just getting on with the game.

This area was my biggest concern before the event as I have taken little or no interest in any codex starting with the Blood Angel release. Therefore my army specific knowledge was less than what I was happy with – Blood Angels, Grey Knights, Dark Eldar and Necrons made up almost half of the field. I appreciate the help from the guys I deferred to when I hit a snag, but to be honest they were few and far between.


The venue was the star of the event. Carpeted, including the walls, it reduced the ambient noise making it a much more amenable experience. This was backed up with excellent technology – sound and vision – which meant that games ran to time far more than in previous tournaments.

On top of that it was in a better location for the transport of tables and its proximity not least to my home meant the organisation was far easier.

It was also half the price of the previous venue which meant I didn’t take a financial bath with lower numbers.

Army Size

Another success was the reduction in army size to 1500 points. This work on three levels.

Firstly, games finished – and I’m putting that in no small part to 1500 points versus 1850 points in 2010. There I had to flog some players even to get to Turn 4.

Secondly, the drop to 1500 points took the edges off No Comp. Hard choices had to be made which weren’t necessarily going to have to be at 1850 points. No Comp worked for me as it reduced the whinging from participants over whether they got 2.6 average or 2.8 average (yes, seriously) and meant less organisation.

Thirdly, it impacted painting (see below) due to less models.


Being a Nazi over list submission meant they were all in and checked on time. This probably flowed through to gameplay to, as people could check anything that they were unsure with in the lists.

The vast majority submitted correct and legal lists first time. Generally, those that didn’t were people who left it until the last 24 hours – go figure.


The overall painting standard at Fields was the best that I have seen at least for 5-7 years. While you could question the very top end – I thought there were only 2-3 really standouts from a painting point of view – the average standard was light years ahead of recent 40k (and Fantasy) events.

I put this down to three things. Firstly, I set very clear expectations as to what was acceptable and what wasn’t. I indicated that if they didn’t pass a minimum hurdle then they wouldn’t be welcome. In the end I relaxed that for two people – Mathew Collett (my Bye Buster) who was always on standby, and one participant who had his leave cancelled in the week of the event. Both received much lower painting marks.

The second reason was the checklist I sent out 3-4 months ago. This was a how-to on what to do to score full painting. Given this guide I know a lot of people ensured that they had ticked the boxes.

Lastly, 1500 points meant less models.

I appreciate not everyone can be Golden Daemon but here everyone made the requisite effort and it showed.


  1. May I ask what was the venue for Fields of Blood, where it is and if Skitterleap will be based at the same venue?

    - Adam Richards

  2. The painting checklist - per chance could you post it or email it?

    I am getting back into my gaming / painting and that sounds as if it would be useful :)