San Diego Game Empire GT Review

Here is a brief recap of the San Diego Game Empire GT I attended last weekend.

Warning, some mildly NSFW content in the video!

Hey everyone, Reece here again from Frontline Gaming to talk about the San Diego Game Empire GT I attended last weekend.

First of all a big thanks to Game Empire San Diego and to Dave Fay for putting on this really fun event. You guys did a great job! I am offering up some critiques here, but I want to be crystal clear in saying that I really enjoyed the event and this is my way of offering up feedback to possibly help improve things.

This event was capped at 34 players due to space issues, but the skill level there was VERY high. 8 of the top 50 players in America (according to RHQ) were present, and some of the regulars there are easily good enough to be in the top 50, they just aren’t able to go to the big events to get the points needed to rank (which I am sure many of you reading this article can relate to).

The event used a modified Bay Area Open scoring format. The BAO uses all 3 book missions simultaneously with alternating book deployments. The player winning more of the missions wins the game. This event assigned 4 points for an achieved objective, 2 for a tied objective and 0 for a lost objective, meaning you could get between 0 and 12 battle points per game. Battle points allow players to feel like a loss doesn’t disqualify from victory you outright. However, it still encourages the absolute smashing of your opponent to achieve maximum points.

This was also a soft score event, meaning that your paint and sportsmanship score factored into your total score. We’ve talked about the pros and cons of this until we’re blue in the face, so I will just touch on the ups and downs of this type of scoring system quickly. With battle points weighing in at 60pts, Paint at 25pts, and Sports 25pts, soft scores account for 46% of your total score.

Soft scores were determined after your 5th round game. You ranked all of your opponents on paint and sports between 1 and 5. You HAD to give out every number, so someone was getting a 1 and someone was getting a 5, etc. This forces players to stratify the field by not just handing out all 5’s as often happens (and therefore making the scores less meaningful), but it also forces you to give one of your opponents a low score, even if they didn’t really deserve it.

The other downside to this type of system, and the one that I dislike most, is that if you aren’t a really outgoing person, or have a very nicely painted army, your odds of winning are very low as you start the event down on points. I don’t think anyone should be punished for not being sociable or a talented painter. A simple fix to this is having a Best General, Best Hobbyist, Best Sportsman and Best Overall award and having each score separate from the others (apart from Best Overall of course). There was a Best Paint, and Best Sports award, but they went to the players who did not already have a Best Overall 1-3 award.

However, like I said, it was a great event and I like both Competitive and Soft Score style events, I simply prefer competitive style events from a philosophical perspective (although I have won more Soft Score events, which always amuses me!).

The event itself also produced some interesting data. The top finishers according to combined scores were:

1.)    My Footdar

2.)    Warboss Russ’ Battlewagon Orks

3.)    Dirty Hippy’s Green Tide Orks

4.)    LaJollaGrad’s Tyranids

5.)    Junior’s Blood Angels

6.)    GeoffZ’s Battlewagon Orks

7.)    Kevin’s Crons (mixed Scarab Farm)

8.)    Grimgob’s Battlewagon Orks

9.)    Braulio’s Draigowing

10.) Nilbert’s Draigowing

That’s a spread that will shock the internet pundits if ever there was one! I managed to take Best Overall despite only having 3rd most Battle Points because I tied for first in Paint Points and had above average Sports Points. Going strictly off of Battle Points, which is a more objective metric we have:

1.)    Junior’s Blood Angels and GeoffZ’s Battle Wagon Orks at 56

2.)    Blackmoor’s Draigowing at 52

3.)    My Footdar at 50

4.)    Warboss Russ’ Battlewagon Orks and Mortetvie’s Mechdar at 46

5.)    The Dirty Hippy’s Green Tide Orks, Nilbet’s Draigowing, Dok’s Mixed Grey Knights at 44

That still knocks conventional internet wisdom right on its butt, which I love. Nothing pleases me more than seeing good players win with “bad” lists. Orks taking the most victories beating out Grey Knights! Orks just stink, right? Ah man, I love beating that dead horse! Eldar in there too, still competing despite all the net-hate to the contrary.

The point that I strive to make over and over is that any army can and will be competitive in the right hands. Don’t let the talking heads on the net (who more often than not, have never actually won anything themselves) convince you that your idea for a list is bad. Try it yourself and see what happens, you may be pleasantly surprised! The best players in the country, most of whom don’t talk a big game as they are busy actually winning events, will say the same thing: a good player can and will win with an army from any book that they have built and fine tuned themselves over time. There are very rarely “garbage” and “auto-include” choices as the hyperbolic internet likes to say, simply more and less efficient choices dependant on overall list construction and play style.

So walk your own path and be an innovator instead of an imitator!


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!
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Red Corsair
Red Corsair
10 years ago

Well said man, congrats on the win! I hope you do more just like these they are fun and help give players like me more perspective on bigger events. I live in a rural area so I can only attend two or three good tournies like that a year. Unfortunately the locals don’t run as many events, I think that you being in such a populated state may be a big reason too though 😉 I just can’t figure out how Blackmoore manages to go to so many events all over the country!

10 years ago
Reply to  Reecius

“The point that I strive to make over and over is that any army can and will be competitive in the right hands. ”

I don’t see Tau, Sisters, or even Codex marines anywhere in that list. In fact nobody brought them to play, and this was a tournament full of people there to win. there is a limit to what player skill can do. But yes with a 5th ed codex, generally I would agree.
This has a lot to do with meta as well, with GK to bash on, eldar are scary good, and since there are a lot of GK, alot of people bring eldar to counter.. then the orks get to smash a bunch of puny little elves.

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