Sunday, 5 March 2017

40K Starter Tournament - Feedback

Since I'm running short of time to make one more post before the end of the week (this is being drafted on Sunday morning) and Games Workshop have posted an FAQ about the Fracture of Biel-Tan, I'm gonna hold off on discussing the Aeldari. There is a lot to talk about with that faction, so it's worth sitting down and planning what I want to say.

In the meantime, I sent out a survey to the players that attended the 40K Starter Tournament. I'll instead use this post to discuss the results and how they affect things going forward.

How satisfied were you with the event?
This was a Linear Scale question rated 1 to 5, with 1 being "Not very" and 5 being "Very much". I'm happy to see that the results were thirty percent 4 and seventy percent 5. This sets a definite goal of increasing the 5 to one hundred percent, while setting a standard to not slip below for future events.
How did you feel about the amount of scenery on the tables?
This was a Multiple Choice question (most of them were). Three simple options too, "Not enough", "The correct amount" and "Too much". This was one that concerned me, as I was trying to get the tables to have a similar layout utilising the available scenery. Also, when choosing terrain, I'm never sure if I've placed too little or too much. I'm glad to see in this case that the result was one hundred percent "The correct amount".
 How did you feel about the amount of Line-Of-Sight Blocking scenery?
This was a Multiple Choice question. The result here is interesting. No player said there was too much, nor too little. Ninety percent of the players felt that there was enough of it and that the placement on the battlefield was fine. Ten percent (one player), however, felt that while there was enough, he wasn't happy with the placement. It would be interesting to chat to that player and ask for more information on his concerns. It maybe that he started on the same side of the battlefield each game, and would have had a different opinion from the other side of the table. It may even have been something army specific. It's something to bear in mind for future events.
How did you feel about the total points value of the event?
This was a Multiple Choice question. Eighty percent of people were happy with the event being 1000 points. This allowed for a 2 hour round time and was chosen in case some of the players only had a small collection. Twenty percent were not happy, opting for larger games so they can experiment with units that wouldn't fit in the points limit. I whole-heartily agree with those two. While the limit was great for the event, it's frustrating not being able to play some of your stuff. There are Formations and Detachments that don't fit within that limit, and models/units that seem like too much of a gamble when they are between a third and half of your points. The good news is I intend to experiment with the points limits for future events, and have appropriate missions for those limits.
What points value would you like for future events?
This was a Multiple Choice question. I put forth a variety of points values, from 500 to 1850. One player wants to stay at 1000, one wants to shift to 1250, two want to go all the way to 1850 and the rest want to settle at 1500. This says to me that the players don't want games of less than 1000 points, which as I said above I agree with. 1850 is nice as it's in line with a lot of competitive events, but requires larger tables and more time. I will look to the feasibility of doing that  in the summer, however it would require a 2 day event and more tables and terrain at the venue. 1500 is probably the largest I'd want to see on a 4x4 table anyway, so it's something to build up to.
How did you feel about the build restrictions? (can pick more than one)
This was a Check Box question. None of the players thought there were too many or too few restrictions and all checked some variation of saying they were fine, most saying that they were fine for the points allowance. As we increase in points, restrictions can be lifted. Which brings us neatly on to the next question.
If the points went up, what would you want to see allowed? (can pick more than one)
Another Check Box question. I'll address each option in turn;

Fortifications - 5 people want these. They weren't actually restricted in the event. My guess here is that players aren't using them because they aren't in most Codexes. I'm yet to pick up the book with their rules in myself, so I shall do so soon and have a peruse. Maybe this will spur people to have a look into the available options.

Allies (Battle Brothers only) - 5 people want this. On the one had, I see little harm in this if that's how people want to play. Plus most of the players only have one army. On the other hand, there can be powerful combos within the Battle Brother armies. This is one to consider for future events. I don't want to encourage things like Wolf-Stars, but I don't want to inhibit the guy who wants to add Daemons to their Chaos Space Marine army.

Allies (Any) - 2 people want this. This one I'm more dubious about. Allies of Convenience may be okay, as that would allow armies like Genestealer Cult/Tyranids. On the other hand, Come the Apocalypse probably shouldn't be allowed as there is little fluff reason for such an army at these events other than looking for the best combo. This is something I'll discuss with the players, but I personally would prefer flavourful armies.

Fliers - 8 people want these. I'm assuming/hoping that people assumed that this included Flying Monstrous Creatures. My personal take; Fliers are fine in games over 1000 points. At 1k or less, a Flier can dominate a game, and if you dedicate points to dealing with them and your opponent doesn't have any those points can be a drag on your army. So I'm happy for this restriction to lift as we increase the points. I imagine most people saying yes to this either have or are about to purchase models that this restriction stops.

Lords of War - 5 people want these. This is a restriction that annoys me, which is a topic for another day. However, much like Fliers, I feel these are fine at higher point games. Probably still a good idea to limit them to 1 in a 1500 point game though. These units can dominate a battlefield. It'll be interesting to see how people deal with them/field them if this is lifted.

Certainly a group of things to look at for unrestricting. The next event is a simple repeat of this one, so I've got some time before I have to consider what points/restrictions for another event.
Do you think the event should allow Forge World rules?
This was a Multiple Choice question. This was an interesting one. I didn't restrict them for the event, but one of the players questioned me about it beforehand as they wanted to use one. The question itself got a 50/50 split. Which echoes my feelings on the matter. It feels like Forge World models are either over-pointed fluff units or under-pointed powerhouses. I understand that that's subjective, and not coming from having seen all the rules for all the units. Still, I'm just a bit wary about blanket allowing these. Possibly the best route is to get players to okay Units with me first, like Chris did.

That's the feedback. The comments were all short sentences saying people enjoyed the event. It's encouraging to see the first event do well in the players eyes, as well as get an idea of what path they want the events to take. There is little point in me making changes that the players don't want. After the next one I'll send out another questionnaire, see if opinions have changed and maybe get a fresh perspective if other people attend.

Next post should be about the Aeldari. I may then follow that one with my Rant about Lords of War in current 40k.

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