Monday, April 1, 2013

NatCon - The Umpire's Report

Here is a Guest Post from NatCon Umpire Mike King laying some of his thoughts on the event. Enjoy.

So Natcon has come and gone, here are my thoughts on what worked and what I’d do differently if I ever umpire something in future. The last event I umpired was Natcon 2005 in Christchurch, which was 6th Ed from memory.

I wrote the players pack way back in October, 5 months prior to event and tried to tailor it for maximum appeal as I wanted to attract more than 12 entrants that Natcon 2012 attracted.

2500 points

2500 points rather than the prevalent 2400 points. Personally I would have liked to use 2000 points, as Natcon 2012 did, but this was widely criticised on the blogosphere and given as reason for vast numbers of people not going to 2012 event, so I discarded 2000 points as likely to give people an excuse not to attend and went with 2500 points basically just to be a little be different, as was still playing 2.5 hour games couldn’t increase the points used too much or games would not get finished.

Special Characters

Allowed Special Characters, at the time I wrote the pack most events didn’t allow them, so again was really just something different.

Only 2 Special Characters were taken, Ramhotep The Visionary (Tomb Kings) and Bugman (Dwarfs).

Monstrous Arcanum

Allowing Monstrous Arcanum Magic Items and Bound Monsters to be taken as long as they were in Kinship with army race, I allowed this for 2 reason, first was just to be different and second was if Chaos Dwarf’s can use a Warhammer Forge list, why shouldn’t other races also have the option of using Warhammer Forge units.
Only 2 Monstrous Arcanum monsters were taken, Dread Saurian (Lizardmen) and Nightmare Colossus (Vampire Counts).

Didn’t seem overly powerful, but would need to think about allowing Monstrous Arcanum monsters with either of these two rules in the future.

1. Largest of Monsters (can Thunderstomp anything without this rule)
2. Colossal Beast (can only be wounded by attacks with S4 and above, regardless of attacks Strength can never be wounded on better than a 3+, any spell or attack that would slay outright, does D6 wounds instead, and has 2D6 Thunderstomp)

The Vampire Player allowed Poison S3 hits to auto-wound the Nightmare Colossus, my reading of the Colossal Beast rule would be that that is not the case, which would make monsters with this rule a real handful for armies without warmachines.

I would also look at allowing Storm of Magic Monsters to be used in future, with some restrictions.  I have no issue with someone running a Choas War Mammoth for example, but would not allow the using of a unit of un-ridden mounts (such as Cold Ones) as this is just silly IMO.

War Machines and Template Weapons

Both were capped at 4, with 2 for 1 Warmachines counting as 1.

Would certainly not up the Template weapon cap, but would increase the War Machine cap to 5 or maybe even 6 to encourage the use of Bolt Throwers, my only concern with this is what it allows Dwarfs to take, another option maybe to exempt Bolt Throwers form the War Machine cap.

Lack of Race Specific Restrictions and use of Veto
I looked at the commonly used race specific restrictions in place at most events last October and could see the point of most of them, and once I dropped the ones I didn’t believe were necessary, I was left with a short list and just figured to was easier to drop them all and use a Veto to block lists with combinations that were over powered.

As I was allowing Monstrous Arcanum, and really had no idea how this would work out and would need to create restrictions based on theoryhammer, figured I needed a Veto mechanism was easier all round.

As it turned out no list came close to getting a veto, and other than an Ethereal Dread Saurian don’t know what else I would have veto’d, certainly any list with Teclis and Thorek any maybe some other special characters would have got an examination.

Scenarios and Battle Points

Played all Scenarios in the Rule Book. Playing Battleline twice and Battle for the Marbles to make up 8 games.

Would have liked to find another scenario to avoid the duplication of Battleline.

Played Watchtower, Blood and Glory and Battle for Marbles using 0-10 Battle Point Table, with other 10 points being achieved by holding the WatchTower, Breaking opponent first and holding Marbles. I did this as I wanted the scenarios to mean something. When I wrote the pack most event gave 600 VP for Holding the Watchtower and Breaking Opponent First, this lead to a lot of players (myself included) often playing then as Battleline for the most part.

I thought this worked well, in 2 of 9 games of Blood and Glory neither player broke, which resulted in 2 low scoring games, both being 6-4 from memory as other 10 VP were left on the table. The other theoretical issue with Blood and Glory is both players could break simultaneously, which would give both players the bonus 10 VP.

Painting Scores

I copied the painting scores checklist form another tournament pack and didn’t really think about it much. I think it was harsh in hindsight, everyone got half the available points for having a fully painted army, but the rest of points where based on basing scheme, display board and conversions and this criteria was somewhat harsh to a few armies.

As painting only made up 10% of Overall Score it didn’t make much difference in end, acted as tied break between 3rd and 4th and shuffled some placings lower down, but no moved more than 1 place as a result.

If I could do it over, I would probably remove the basing scheme bit all together and include it in Overall Impression criteria, where everyone got full marks and reduce the painting points display boards and conversions provided.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Mike for giving up your Easter to run a great tournament.

    Thanks to Pete for supplying most of the scenery. Always a huge plus playing on a nicely presented table.

    Congrats to Sam on a well deserved victory.