Las Vegas Open by the Numbers

Hey everyone, Reecius here from Frontline Gaming with the results of the LVO 2014 Warhammer 40K Championships exit poll and the data is really interesting to say the least!

The Las Vegas Open 2014, for those who do not know, was a 3 day gaming convention held at Bally’s Casino in Las vegas, February 7-9th.

It was a blast! We had a great time and the event was a success. We are already planning next year!
As we always do for our events, we sent out an exit poll to the attendees of each individual event to get their feedback on what they liked and didn’t like. I really enjoy looking at this data as I feel it helps us to stay on top of what our community wants in an event and helps us to make informed decisions going forward. We are still getting results from other games and will post those results on FLG once we have a chance to collect and compile all of the data.
You all may remember that we ran a similar poll of our attendees going into the LVO after the crazy changes in December of Escalation, Stronghold Assault, Formations and Data Slates and used that information to shape what we would do. Many other events have had to make quick choices faced with all the upheaval, too. I thought this would be a great opportunity to see how opinions have changed.
So, without further ado, let’s jump right into it!
Question 1: Did you enjoy yourself at the LVO 2014?
 
This is the most important question for us as the entire purpose of the event is to have fun.
I call that a big win! Almost everyone said they had fun (only 1 person said they didn’t) and the vast majority said they had a great time! Awesome.
Question 2: Would you recommend a friend attend a future LVO event?
 
This is a good way to see if we can expect growth and how much next year.
Right on! Another big win and we are stoked to see people happy to spread the good word about the LVO!
Question 3: Did you enjoy the more relaxed schedule at the LVO?
 
We decided to not go with the currently common and quite grueling, 4 games per day schedule in tournaments in favor of a more laid back approach that is conducive to being in Vegas. Start time of Noon every day, 3 rounds Friday, 2 Rounds Saturday, 3 round finals on Sunday for those who qualify.
So again, and not surprisingly, most folks like playing less games and having more free time. We had a number of folks that wanted to jump up to a third round on Saturday and I think that is a good idea as it allows us to scale up above 256 players and it means you can lose a game and still make the finals which helps to keep people engaged.
Question 4: Would you like to see Character Data Slates such as Be’Lakor or Cypher in future events?
 
This one I was fairly certain I knew where it would land. Previously with our last poll leading up to the LVO after all the craziness of December was a landslide against allowing this stuff. However, 2 months and change later, let’s see what people said:
Almost a 100% flip flop on the result. We have a huge change here, and folks are totally open to allowing Character Data Slates going forward. This honestly doesn’t surprise me, and I personally am fine with this. We will be allowing these at the BAO.
Question 5: Would you like to see Formations in future events?
 
I was very curious to see how this one would fall. Last time we polled, Formations got massively voted down.
Very, very interesting. It seems that people have opened up to allowing a lot more stuff into the game like Formations. Not the above graph shows that the largest number of votes was against Formations, however, I simplified it into positive, neutral and negative votes to get a better idea of the overall feeling on the topic.
Here we see a majority vote in favor of Formations. Very interesting. Again, a huge change. Now, how to handle this is an entirely different question. Of those who voted in favor of Formations, most of them wanted restrictions. I did not specify what shape that would take, but, limiting some of the more powerful Formations, or having them count as allies are some of the ideas we are batting around. Some armies like Space Wolves and Tyranids really benefit from Formations while some of them, such as the Tau Formation, are just straight up stupid. We’re going to bat around some ideas on this one before making a decision.
Question 6: Would you like to see Lords of War in future events such as the Baneblade or Knights?
 
This one surprised me the most by a mile. Last vote it was over 90% no on Lords of War. Again, what a difference 2 months and change makes.
We see that most folks voted no out of the 4 choices. But as above, I reduced it down to positive, neutral and negative votes to get the following graph.
By a slim margin, there are more folks in favor of using Lords of War than against. This really shocked me, to be honest, I did not expect it at all. What this means to me, is that folks are really starting to embrace the crazy that is 6th ed 40K.
However, what to do with this information is an entirely different ball of wax. I like using Super Heavies personally, but am STRONGLY of the opinion that D weapons do not belong in the game. Yes, they kill the obnoxious Deathstars that are so prevalent in the game right now, but bear in mind that you are letting in a new Daemon to kill the old one! Lords of War very well could become the next “Deathstars.”
We have discussed a lot of options but even some of the non D weapon Super Heavies are so incredibly powerful, that it can easily disrupt a game. On the other hand, some are pretty mild, honestly, and fun to play with and against.
So, we’re batting around a lot of ideas on how to handle this data. We could do nothing, have a separate event that allows LoW, or throw caution to the wind and let them into normal tournament play with restrictions (as of the positive votes, most of them wanted some limitations). A 1 day, 2K double FoC, NHB style tournament would be a lot of fun though, like Adepticon’s Gladiator! We will be discussing this a lot over at FLG’s forums, so feel free to jump in the conversation if you plan on going to any of our events and want to make your voice heard.
Question 7: Would you like to see Forge World Army Lists in future events such as the Death Korp of Krieg or Eldar Corsairs?
 
This is a question we have gotten a lot over the years. We figured hell, the game is opening up like crazy, what about this, too?
Once again, a progressive vote wins the day by a good margin. Seems folks want to use their Armored Company (which would be AWESOME to see!) and Corsairs! Cool, I like variety but, we need to play-test these before giving them the final thumbs up of approval. The community is open to them, though.
Question 8: After having played with the nerf to the 2+ reroll saves, do you want to continue to use them or go back to the BRB rules?
 
This one was near and dear to my heart as I positively HATE 2+ reroll saves as for me, that is the one rule above all others that makes the game less fun to play. No unit, under any circumstances, should potentially be invincible for the entire game. I could live with it if it were a once per game effect like a Feat in Warmachine, but all game? That is just flat-out not fun.
Well, there you go. Proof in the pudding. Most everyone wanted to keep the nerf, and the minority wanted to go back to the BRB rules, of which I wonder how many were Screamerstar and Seercouncil players? =) I joke of course, and bear in mind, a Seercouncil List still won the event, even with the nerf.
What this tells me, and what most of us already knew, is that players sense that the game is a bit out of whack right now and that the community is willing to accept changes to things that are deemed really too far out there. We will be keeping this change going forward and will be hoping that if we do get some type of rules update soon as rumored, that this will be addressed and we won’t have to house rule it any more.
Question 9: Would you be open to more rules changes for our events if it were deemed necessary and no reasonable alternatives were available?
 
This is the question that many tournament players fear: the slippery slope of going from TO to amateur game designer. Trust me when I say that no one here at FLG wants to change rules. We hate doing it as it causes so much drama. Here’s what the community feels about it:
Suspicions confirmed. Players want balance in their game. I believe the key is to do things slowly and only when absolutely necessary. I think one of the reasons FoB got so much flak for their proposed rules changes was because is was too much too soon. Going slowly and erring on the side of caution is the prudent choice in this course I believe and establishing trust with your players is key. If they feel that you will only make changes when there is no reasonable alternative and for their increased enjoyment of the tournament experience, you can make slow progress.
That said, do we have plans to make any other rules changes? Not right now. But it is good to know that the door is open and any other TOs out there, if you see something in your local meta that really is disrupting things, have the confidence to do what you think is the right thing for your gaming scene. A vocal minority may rail against you for doing it, but as here, you may see that a majority of folks very well may support your decisions.
Question 10: What did you think about the terrain coverage at the LVO?
 
This question meant a lot to me as we worked INSANE hours to make as much terrain as we possibly could. I also have to give a huge shout out to Steve “the Architect” for helping us make the very cool buildings that players saw all over the tables at the LVO.
Hell yeah! The hard work was worth it. We got a GREAT response on this and that is awesome. What we plan to do now is go through the terrain one table at a time and fine tune each one to make sure it has a really good amount of coverage and that it also has a unique look to make it stand out.
Question 11: Did you like the BAO missions?
 
We always ask this question to make sure we continue to deliver the best tournament missions we can as these are hugely important to making a fun and fair experience.
Just what I like to see! We have consistently gotten great feedback on our missions and so I wasn’t surprised to see this but still very happy to see it.
The missions are a hit and I really feel they do a great job at providing multiple paths to victories to get around bad match-ups.
Conclusions
 
So there you have it. Some very interesting data in there and a lot of food for thought for how we will shape future events that we run. We still haven’t decided exactly how we will apply this information but it is super useful.
Thanks again to everyone that came and made the LVO such a great time!

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About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

23 Responses to “Las Vegas Open by the Numbers”

  1. Shadowmancer February 19, 2014 12:45 am
    #

    Don’t condense the information for the Lords of War and Formations one because it is a bit of a different sentiment. Yes with Restrictions doesn’t mean an unmitigated yes. If you asked the general question of yes or no, the results could be different. Bad Statistical analysis isn’t helping anything.

    • Reecius
      Reecius February 19, 2014 9:36 am
      #

      Haha, I always get this type of criticism on the way I ask the questions, the way I present the data, the way I analyze the data, etc.

      You are free to disagree with how I collect and analyze data, but this is the way we do it.

    • Gordy February 19, 2014 9:44 am
      #

      Yes is still a yes. If there are restrictions involved, those are details we can work out.

      • Dash2021 February 19, 2014 10:31 am
        #

        I think aggregating these two answers is a valid choice if, when making the decision to integrate a “yes” answer, the more conservative choice is used.

        I.e. When allowing Lords of War, do so with restrictions.

        People who voted an unmitigated yes would presumably prefer some inclusion of the rules as opposed to no inclusion at all.

        The opposite, people who voted yes with restrictions accepting unrestricted usage, wouldn’t be a valid use of the data though.

        • Reecius
          Reecius February 19, 2014 11:40 am
          #

          My sentiments exactly, Dash. And is this Dash of Pepper by any chance?

          • Dash2021 February 19, 2014 12:31 pm
            #

            No, can’t claim any fame here. Just a guy who appreciates what you all do for the game.

  2. Brent February 19, 2014 3:56 am
    #

    I really love this article… Finally, a quantitative look at tournament play and what people want and don’t want!

    • Reecius
      Reecius February 19, 2014 9:34 am
      #

      Thanks, Brent!

  3. JPong February 19, 2014 4:24 am
    #

    I keep seeing you guys mention it, but I haven’t found it anywhere, what exactly was the nerf to the 2+ rerollable save?

    I am going to have to see about going to next year’s tournament since it sounds like a blast.

    • Nutzin23 February 19, 2014 5:50 am
      #

      They changed the reroll to a 4+

    • Reecius
      Reecius February 19, 2014 9:37 am
      #

      As Nutzin23 said, we changed it from a 2+ followed by a 2+, to a 2+ followed by a 4+.

  4. Chalkybot February 19, 2014 5:51 am
    #

    I’d love to hear the negative voters reasoning for their votes – seemed nearly everyone had a blast, but unfortunately ya can’t please everyone I suppose. I live in Ireland and I’m seriously considering hitting up the next one it looked awesome, your enthusiasm and hard work to create a stronger community encapsulate exactly why I want to be part of this hobby!

    • Reecius
      Reecius February 19, 2014 9:39 am
      #

      Thanks! And sometimes negative votes come as a result of someone having a bad game, or whatnot and it being prominent on their minds. Maybe Vegas wasn’t there thing, etc. You never know but I too, am curious.

  5. D February 19, 2014 7:31 am
    #

    Reece,

    The only thing I would caution you about is combining the “Yes” and the “Yes’s w/ some restriction” votes when analyzing the data. I would bet good money if you added a “No, w/ some exceptions” choice, a good bit of those “Yes w/ some restriction” votes would swing into the negative portion, placing the divide between positive and negative responses much closer.

    • Reecius
      Reecius February 19, 2014 9:41 am
      #

      I understand that, but the issue is that when there are 2 positive votes and a single negative, it diffuses the positive votes. You could do a follow up question such as, if you voted yes to Lords of War, would you would restrictions, yes or no? Etc. If we added a no with restrictions question that is essentially the same thing as yes with restrictions said in a different way.

      But, this is just to get an idea of what’s going on with players.

  6. Adam
    Adam February 19, 2014 11:08 am
    #

    I’m really excited by this data, I can’t wait to see Lords of War in some competitive games. Honestly though, I don’t see Lords of War dominating the top tables, and even if they do, it will be short lived. What they will do is probably make the top tables a bit more diverse. Lists that rely on a 2++ with re-rolls to save their bacon will have a hard counter. As the meta has always done, when there is a hard counter, those hard counter lists become popular until the list they de-throne is no longer at the top, then the meta will shift again and lists that can counter the new leader will be popular, and so on. What’s happened lately is that nothing has shifted the meta away from the 2++ re-rolls, so they’ve stayed on top longer than they should.

    I know it sounds like Rock-Paper-Scissors hammer, but that’s generally how the game always has and always will work, it’s more based on the trend of popularity than anything. Besides, right now we’re not even playing RPS hammer, we’re playing Rock-Paper hammer, Scissors is missing, which is why Paper is always winning.

    Hard counters keep the game interesting.

    2++ < Destroyer Weapons < Flyer Spam < Infantry/AA < 2++

    • Smuffle February 19, 2014 12:31 pm
      #

      Nailed it Adam.

      I personally want to see GW release more units/rules that take advantage of precision shots/focused witchfires and maybe even some that can’t be ‘Look Out, Sir!’d which would make it easier to snipe out the characters in Deathstar units (obviously they still have a good save, but you could also snipe out the bulk guys if their save is worse!)

    • Gordy February 19, 2014 12:38 pm
      #

      First off, no offense, but “Hard counters keep the game interesting” is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. I. Do. Not. Enjoy. Games where I take one look at my opponent’s list and think ‘well, good game, buddy, good game’. It’s shitty gameplay and shitty game design and the only fun to be had is in spite of the hard counters, not because of them.

      Second, right now it’s not so much rock and paper missing scissors, as only rock missing everything else. Ignoring the questionable idea that this game should even be rock paper scissors in the first place (which, as I mentioned above, is stupid), the question of Str D vs Deathstar vs everything else is not one of rock paper scissors. It’s a game of ‘if you have str D, you win. If you don’t have str D, but you have a deathstar and your opponent doesn’t have the D, you win. If you don’t have either, you lose.’

      That makes for terrible gameplay. Balance is not a bad thing, and unbalancing the game even further is not a good approximation for balance. You might think that introducing the D will counter deathstars, and sure, it will, but it will counter literally everything else as well. Soon, the game will forget all about deathstars and it will come down purely to who has the most D (and if both have the D, who has first turn). That. Is. Not. A. Good. Thing.

      • Adam
        Adam February 19, 2014 1:35 pm
        #

        Without hard counters what do we have? Tournaments with predictable results. Hey, a Seerstar won the LVO? Wow, I’m shocked! That must have been a challenge, because he could have totally had a hard time against… oh yeah, nothing.

        I think you missed the analogy, RPS with only Rock means only ties, RP means if you’re not playing Rock, you lose. If you’re not playing a 2++ star at the moment, you lose, it’s not rocket science, it’s the state of the game. There are units that have been put into the game with literally no counter, unlike anything else (force weapons and poison > MC; blasts > infantry; flamers > cover; etc.).

        Also, stop confusing Str D with Revenants, play a few games of Escalation with things like Shadowswords and Stompas and see what Str D does there, it’s not nearly as impressive as you seem to think it is. The presence of Str D in the meta doesn’t mean Str D > All, it means that certain armies suddenly have a match up that doesn’t do well for them.

        If imbalanced armies end being less appealing because they have specific hard counters, then more well balanced armies will prevail. Think of Flyer Spam before Tau. People complained left and right about flyers because there wasn’t much of a counter available, suddenly Tau came out and now Flyers, while present, are nowhere near as common. That’s how meta should work, it’s self leveling.

  7. Fulcrum February 19, 2014 1:01 pm
    #

    I can say for me personally I will not be attending any events that allow lords of war & likely formations as well. That’s just not the type of game I enjoy or would even want to begin to prepare for. At some point I just have to say enough is enough. How many hundreds or thousands of pages poorly written & untested rules do I have to deal with. The game is just becoming overly complex with more & more gaping holes in the rules. Less is more some times in game design.

    These are just my personal views & not something I am looking to get into a debate about.

  8. Anonymous February 19, 2014 6:30 pm
    #

    I lol’d at the one “I didn’t enjoy myself” vote. Honestly, I would have done the same thing even if I had a blast.

    Democracy!

  9. Xaereth February 19, 2014 9:49 pm
    #

    Yep, pretty awesome event! Just want to give another shout out about the terrain – it was really impressive! I wish all GTs had as much terrain density/LOS-blockers. Makes the games far more tactical when you can actually use terrain to your advantage for more than “my guy is standing in area terrain for a 5+”.

    I’m really surprised by the Lords of War votes – really hope LVO doesn’t allow them next year, it would really make me hesitate to attend, sadly. I’ll try to stay open minded though 🙂

  10. bugsculptor February 20, 2014 2:58 pm
    #

    I’m looking forward to having some big bugs and hive crones tear open some Knight Titans and revenants at the BAO. Don’t spoil my dream!

    Then I’m going to have five individual Lictors AND Death Leaper pop up next to every objective on the table… Lictors ftw!