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Open Fire! Tournament Packet

Mission Pack for the Open Fire! Tournament at Event Horizon:

 

Pre-Game Process

  1. Once at your table, swap lists with your opponent and study what you’re up against.
  2. Place the Relic at the center of the table (if necessary)
  3. Place Objectives per mission rules
  4. Choose/Roll for Warlord Traits
  5. Choose/Roll for Psychic Powers
  6. Determine Deployment: Both players roll off, rerolling any ties. The winner rolls a single die to determine the deployment type (p.216-217). Once the map is determined, the loser of the roll off chooses his/her deployment zone.
  7. Alternate Deployment as per BRB, starting with the player who did not choose their deployment zone.
  8. After both players have finished deploying their army, roll to determine first turn. The player who finished deploying first receives a +1 to this roll. The player that wins the roll can choose to go first or second. The player who is chosen to go second may attempt to seize the initiative.
  9. Shake hands and start playing.

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Should 8th Edition Play-Testers be Competing at Major Events Close to Release?

Games Workshop has finally reached out to the community for this edition. Apparently they’ve had some of the best and brightest 40k players actually play test this edition before releasing it publicly. But, with some major events like the American Team Championship falling only a month or two after the rumored release date, this brings up a question. Should 8th edition play-testers be competing at major events close to release?

Right from the start I want to make it clear that I really appreciate all the time and effort guys involved with events like Adepticon, Las Vegas Open, and Bay Area Open have put into this edition. And I’m glad the new GW is waking up to the fact that they survive based on the community. From the teasers we’ve been getting daily, I think many players are going to find 8th edition to be the quickest and easiest to play 40k edition in years. While I’m still skeptical, I think the hard work play testers are putting in is what will really set this edition apart.

Is it Fair?

So with all that said, is it fair for play testers to get to compete at tournaments right after the new edition comes out? The first several months of 8th edition are going to be crazy. So many current 40k players are going to have to relearn a lot of basic game play. Since GW has made it a priority to interact with the community, I’m sure there’s going to be several FAQ’s in the first few months as well. We’re all going to be trying to learn and play a very different game. Frankly, those play testers are going to have a huge advantage. When it comes to big events people travel for, everyone goes with access to all the same resources and rules everyone else does. Seeing how different people play and what they can do with those same resources on a level playing field is what makes the experience fun. I don’t know if that’s going to be possible if some groups of players have had access to the rules for an extra six months.

Why not teach?

Now I do want to say play testers absolutely should be going to and organizing events. I just don’t know if they should be playing competitively at events within a few months of release. It seems like they should be teaching the community how to play this new edition they helped make, not trying to win prizes or awards. Someone who play tested 8th edition claiming top prize at any tournament immediately after release just seems ridiculous. Every gaming group has that one guy who only plays new players because they like clubbing baby seals. We all hate that guy because he’s not even playing a fair game. That’s how it feels for play testers to be winning trophies and prizes in this new edition right out of the gate. Come on guys, help judge, come hangout and promote your blogs/podcasts/battreps/whatever, but don’t come to be THAT GUY.

Conflict of Interest?

One last thing I want to bring up is less about how fun the game is and more about what the community should want out of events. I know many of the older guys in my group wish that Games Workshop would more tournaments and really try to drive interest that way. With this new influx of support from GW in tournaments and blogs I do start to wonder at what point there is a conflict of interest. If Games Workshop is sponsoring your blog, should you really be trying to compete in tournaments run or sponsored by Games Workshop? I might not mind so much if I wasn’t paying and traveling to play in those tournaments, but there just feels something wrong about all of that.

Final Thoughts

Again, I want to thank all those play testers who are trying to make 40k great again. I also want to thank Games Workshop for finally doing some community outreach. However, with all these changes I do think the community needs to start asking itself at what point is there too much involvement by Games Workshop and their affiliates. If Games Workshop is sponsoring all the blogs that used to post articles calling out their BS, what happens when GW does actually mess up? I hope groups like Frontline Gaming and Adepticon keep putting out their own ITC or FAQs to keep GW rules in check but I don’t know if that’ll happen if they’re being sponsored. Finally I hope play testers and those who make a living off of 40k that get sponsored by Games Workshop directly choose not to compete in events run or sponsored by Games Workshop just to keep everything above board. I don’t like having to ask why someone won without knowing they could crush me any day of the week!

Let us know your thoughts!

Warhammer 40000 8th Edition – What We Know

Games Workshop has been trickling out information every few days about the release of Warhammer 40000 8th Edition. There’s been a lot of speculation without even seeing one solid rule but the rumors are flying. I wanted to take the time to talk about some things we definitely know, some concepts we’ve heard, and what could those mean? In this article we’ll go over what we know.

What We Know

So let’s talk about some things we definitely know. We know there will be movement characteristics for each unit. We know that charging will allow at least one (if not all) attacks before the charged unit can strike. And we know that templates are out. That’s a lot to cover right off the bat.

Movement

For me, movement characteristics are going to totally come down to execution. If just about everything moves 6″ except for big monsters that move 9″ or orks that move 7″ just because they get a bonus, then fine. I just want it to be consistent and obvious. Every unit being an arbitrary “oh this just moves 8 inches and that moves 10 inches and that moves 11 inches just because” is going to drive me nuts in the middle of a game. That’s more mental load for a game and not less. Hopefully base size and kit like a jump pack will make it obvious how far a model will move. In 7th you could just say “Hey this is a jump pack unit” and your opponent would know all the rules associated with it, not just its movement. The loss of those unit type templates that everyone could look up in the core rule book makes me wary of how well this will go in competitive play. I don’t necessarily trust my opponent to read all the way through his super unique snowflake rule and remember to tell me the negatives his units take for their cool ability.

Charging

We also know that units that charge will get to strike first in some capacity. From a fluff perspective this feels natural. From a gameplay perspective though I think an Ork Nob charging with 4 or more powerfist attacks is going to get frustrating. Oh, or when I bayonet charge with however many guardsmen I can bring to the table. That’ll be 100 or more attacks before you get to do a thing. One thing that could make this more balanced is definitely overwatch although we haven’t heard much about how overwatch will be represented in the game. I’m concerned because I haven’t heard it mentioned in particular and I think that was a good way to balance shooting units that are awful in close combat. At least they got to do something before being torn apart. If we’re trying to find the line between game balance and fun it’s always nice to actually be able to do something in your opponents turn instead of just watching as they cut through your army. If Games Workshop doesn’t take that into account, welcome to 40k Lite, Assault Edition.

Templates

Alright we got through those first two, now let’s talk about templates. I’ve been cautiously optimistic so far but this one hurt for me. A big part of Warhammer 40k is firing my big guns and doing big blasts that hit multiple units or using flamers to punish enemies who get too close. From a gameplay perspective though templates add a layer of tactical positioning. They keep opponents from clustering models, whether that’s right at the edge of their shooting range or nearly base to base to brace for a charge. Many times I’ve seen players spread their units to max out 2″ just to get charged and not be able to strike with all their models in combat. Players who try to get the most out of their units by clustering up have to risk getting pounded by artillery or other blast weapons. Templates add a level of risk/reward as well as a level of randomness which I think is exactly what a game needs. If artillery and blast weapons just turn into D6 wounds or other random amounts that just feels like firing a blunderbuss, not shooting my big artillery guns.

Now on the other side, the way 7th had handled blasts was definitely not great. Players rarely agreed on how many models were covered and the scatter direction was almost impossible to align exactly right. That’s fine in normal play with friends but I’ve definitely seen it cause conflict in tournaments. Maybe the lack of templates will help speed up the game just by limiting conflicts?

Welcome Dernicus and Glorious Spacenoid

Hey everyone,

I wanted to touch base and give some updates on where we are going with the blog. Personally, I’ve had a tough last couple of weeks with work, school, and my lungs collapsing. Because I haven’t been able to post this week, my good friends Dean and Frankie will both be debuting. I hope they’ll continue to contribute and add a different flavor other than what I can offer.

As far as when I’ll be posting, I hope to be putting out at least one article a week on Saturday morning. If there is more content or an especially exciting week, then I’ll also post on Wednesday night. Both Frankie and Dean will hopefully be posting at least once a month either in addition to, or instead of me. Frankie’s Crux of the Matter and Dean’s tournament reviews should become staples here. It is also possible that we will be able to reach out to other gaming communities and arrange some guest posts.

Since Games Workshop has slowed down their Warhammer 40,000 release schedule I’ve decided to attempt some codex reviews. The basic format will be an overall review, basic tactics, spamming/alternative tactics, best/worst unit, and what I’d like Games Workshop do with the codex in the future. These posts will probably have quite a bit of input from our local gaming group and hopefully I will get some good feedback.

Finally, I’d also like to start collecting tournament data from around North Carolina and the South East in general. There’s currently no good place for local gamers to see what their regional meta looks like. There isn’t a great place for me to find out what type of lists I’m likely to face at top tables in my area unless I make every tournament every weekend. I’d like to change that.

And without further delay, please welcome Dernicus and Glorious Spacenoid!

-Jordan S. Malik

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