Signals from the Frontline #409


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Alan “PJ Pants” Bajramovic: ITC Champion

Alex Harrison, LVO 2016 40k Champion

Alex Harrison, LVO 2016 40k Champion

Steve Sisk LVO 2016 Renaissance Person

Steve Sisk LVO 2016 Renaissance Person

Obi Hampton: LVO 2016 Best Appearance

Obi Hampton: LVO 2016 Best Appearance

IMAG1710 IMAG1713

IMAG1693 IMAG1694 IMAG1700

  • HUGE thanks to everyone that came and helped out and to the attendees that made it possible.
  • Pros of the event:
    • Ran on time, very organized.
    • Scoring app was a hit, few minor glitches.
      • Working on a way to have it send you your table number to your phone.
      • Track all factions, not just primary.
    • Tons of fun, everyone was saying they can’t wait for next year.
    • Stream was awesome with a few minor glitches.
    • Great attendance.
    • Vendors loved it, can’t wait to come back.
    • Tons of fun events such as DzC, X-Wing, Infinity, Warzone, 30k, Hobby Classes, etc. that got very positive reviews.
  • Cons of the event:
    • Food and Water in hall, already working on a solution for next year.
    • Some hiccups with the Live Stream on day 1, but in general was great.
  • Discussion points:
    • 40k Champs: what points should we play at?
      • Lot of voices for 1500 or 1650pts in order to speed up game play.
    • 40k Narrative: should we include it in the ITC as a year long narrative campaign that culminates in a final battle at the LVO?
    • ITC changes for this season:
      • Altering the math on scoring points to have a smooth progression from small events to large events, no break point at 16 players.
      • Do we track primary faction based on which detachment has the most points?
      • How do we split up the various sub-factions? Track each sub-faction but get an award for factions grouped together? The cost gets pretty crazy to award every sub-factions.
      • Figure out a way to create a list database.

Upcoming ITC Events


Final ITC rankings for the 2015 season will be up on line next week.

Rumors: The Rumor Section is gathered from the web and is not in any way information we receive from  any manufacturer nor is it necessarily accurate. This section of the podcast is intended for entertainment purposes only.

  • Crazy looking stuff looking like it will be coming out for Daemons and Space Wolves!
    • Very powerful looking “Decurion” style detachments.

Rant Session

Tactics Corner

Rules Lawyer

Completed Commissions

List Review


About Reecius

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

67 Responses to “Signals from the Frontline #409”

  1. Andrew February 12, 2016 12:40 pm #

    That app sounds cool (hearing about it second-hand, so might have information wrong). I’d like to see players able to download the app and input their scores from their own phones instead of a provided tablet, then any disagreements between results are flagged by the app so nobody can cheat.

  2. DCannon4Life February 12, 2016 12:57 pm #

    Perhaps people playing for ‘Best X’ should be required to play pure lists. War Convocation could be it’s own ‘faction’ provided there are no allies.

    Players running hybrid lists are competing for the overall prize.

    • Reecius February 15, 2016 12:18 pm #

      Not a bad idea, but the bookeeping gets pretty gnarly and it will piss a lot of players off that have hybrid lists as most people do these days.

  3. abusepuppy February 12, 2016 2:10 pm #

    I don’t think changing faction to be the part of the army with the most points is particularly needed; certainly, it’s possible to abuse things somewhat by taking a minimal detachment, but that has mechanical disadvantages to it (your warlord trait will be more limited and only apply to some models in your army, etc.)

    With regards to the multiplicity of factions, I think consolidating a few of them down would save a lot of headaches. Legion of the Damned should be considered part of Space Marines; Harlequins and Corsairs part of Eldar; Militarum Tempestus part of the Imperial Guard; and the combined “omni-faction” for the various Mechanicum, Inquisition, and Assassins probably works just fine, though you could potentially put the latter two in with Grey Knights or Sisters of Battle if you wanted to. I also think that Daemonkin and Renegades should be consolidated in with Chaos Marines, since they count as them for most rules purposes- though that one is a lot more arguable.

    • Reecius February 15, 2016 12:20 pm #

      Yeah, the factions are very fuzzy now, it’s been a challenge to distinguish between them.

  4. Sunhero February 12, 2016 2:21 pm #

    I watched the stream all three days and by the third day you guys had it down it was great.

    • Reecius February 15, 2016 12:20 pm #

      Glad you enjoyed it!

  5. Sunhero February 12, 2016 2:40 pm #

    1850 with chess clocks on request.

    with a loss if you go over time it will make people play so quick.

    It works I have tried it.

  6. williegoat February 12, 2016 2:52 pm #

    Unsure if chess clocks are the right answer. If there was an opponent feedback on the new app we used at LVO where we could say if we were slow played or not.

    I overheard one of the bloggers at LVO say that he doesn’t get slow played normally because his opponents know they will be put on blast on the writeups afterwards.

    Maybe something to keep track of what turn you get to when recording scores and then after day one they can get a slow play warning. It’s hard to play against a gladius and only get to turn 2. It is nigh impossible to excel in most of the game formats when there are 15+ objective secured units and not enough time to play the mission at hand.

    Overall, LVO weekend was definitely the highlight of my 40k career over the last 5 years and I look forward to getting to know more of the community from around the world in coming years. I already have 4+ GTs I plan on going to in the midwest in 2016.

    • Adam ( February 12, 2016 10:25 pm #

      I’m with you on chess clocks, it puts horde armies at a huge disadvantage, and with how the game involves rolling saves and removing models on your opponents turn, playing the chess timers really starts to not make sense. When you play chess, your opponent isn’t playing at the same moment you are, leave the timers in chess (and WMH). Lowering to 1500 is a much more elegant solution and keeps the game fun without adding an extra, external source of stress.

      • Reecius February 15, 2016 12:21 pm #

        But how does Chess Clocks hurt Horde armies any more than they already are hurt? You still need to be able to finish a game in the time allotted.

    • abusepuppy February 13, 2016 12:02 am #

      I know at earlier BAO and LVO events one of the questions on turn-in was “Did the game come to a natural conclusion?”, which I was kinda surprised they dropped.

      I generally don’t have a lot of problems with time, though. Matches sometimes do go to the clock, but that’s typically only against opponents that end up taking above-average time for whatever reason. Rolling Scatbike squads isn’t exactly hard to do. 😛

      • williegoat February 15, 2016 7:44 am #

        For instance. A scat bike with guide and doom shooting at a gargantuan creature. Roll to hit, reroll to hit, roll to wound, reroll to wound, armor save/invuln, feel no pain. Thats 6 transactions in one shooting phase. That just eats time.

      • Reecius February 15, 2016 12:22 pm #

        True on the game finishing question but we were working on the scoring app up until the last minute. Didn’t have time to fine tune it to that degree, but we will.

    • happy_inquisitor February 13, 2016 7:07 am #

      Keep chess clocks for chess. They work there because nobody is really at a chess tournament to have fun.

      I really think the points level needs to drop and then free up an extra few minutes between games to grab a drink or whatever. I think 1500 would really open the field up to horde type armies that are verging on the unplayable with the current format. I doubt if they would be that good but if it allows more people to bring the models they *want* to bring that would be a good thing.

      The year-long narrative idea is just awesome. Sadly not likely to catch on in a big way this side of the pond (ITC is a rare thing here) but I would be properly jealous of people being able to play in that.

      • abusepuppy February 14, 2016 9:57 am #

        “Nobody is really at a chess tournament to have fun.”

        This is true. Most chess players HATE the game of chess.

        • happy_inquisitor February 14, 2016 10:42 am #

          I used to play competitive chess. There is a lot of satisfaction in tournament play but not a lot of what you would call fun.

          It is all taken rather more seriously than that.

          • abusepuppy February 14, 2016 11:56 pm

            Just because you’re being competitive or serious doesn’t mean you aren’t having fun.

    • Reecius February 15, 2016 12:20 pm #

      Glad you enjoyed it! That’s awesome you plan on going to more GTs.

  7. dr.insanotron February 12, 2016 6:12 pm #

    i for one am all for 1500 or 1650pts

  8. Mike February 12, 2016 7:35 pm #

    -great job on the LVO! Streaming crew was especially awesome. Onto discussion:

    -time of games issue: Lowering the points to 1500 or 1650 sounds great. It’s not only the new formations, free models, free rules, extra game phase, but also that models have been lowered in cost over time as well. I say this with some reservation, as I love the game at 2k and higher points. At giant point values, I feel like many imbalances becomes too insignificant to care about, and the spectacle becomes awesome, but it’s just not feasible to play in an organized setting under a timer.
    If you get people playing super-fast, yes they can still finish. It’s not impossible, but the attitude you need to bring into the game (move move move make those saves now now now!!!) is just not the attitude I want to see in any format of the game, competitive or non. 40k has always drawn me in as a gentlemen’s game. I remember every single person I played over the events in the last year. In Magic tournaments, I’d struggle to name more than a couple. The guys I played were just a win or a loss to X deck and we moved on. This is not the kind of game I want competitive 40k to become.
    I believe the points drop is a necessary move to keep games timely without people turning into jerks about time.

    -chess clocks: Please absolutely no not now not ever. See above about my view of a gentlemen’s game. Chess clocks run a mood very contrary to that, and I have used them.

    -army faction based on points plurality: Another great idea. If we’re going to have “best of x faction” recognized, I think their list should legitimately be THAT faction, otherwise the distinction lacks any real point. No one should be recognized as “best Astra Militarum” when it’s actually just a commissar and some grunts bubblewrapping a Court of Knights or a White Scars battle company. (Remember that battle brothers get to share warlord trait as well!)
    If the “best of x faction” lists aren’t legitimate, I question why have them at all?

    Well that’s my major feedback on the issues at hand! Thanks for a great year of events and here’s to many more!

    • Reecius February 15, 2016 12:24 pm #

      Thanks for the awesome feedback, Mike!

  9. Hotsauceman1 February 12, 2016 7:54 pm #

    Have you guys considered a mab of the tables? like a big on telling you where the tables are?

  10. trazz February 12, 2016 9:05 pm #

    3 hour rounds instead of a point drop
    Ban the VSG, when most armies bring them it’s a red flagKnights and Skitarii/Am
    Knights, Skitarii/Admech, KDK should be there own category
    Bring back Come the Apocalypse armies, maybe think of a nerf instead

    • Adam ( February 12, 2016 10:21 pm #

      3 hour rounds would be crazy… Getting there early for pairings and registrations, hour for lunch, half hour between the other round and you’re talking nearly a 12 hour day. 1500 points at 2 hours would be much more about playing and less about torturing people.

      • abusepuppy February 13, 2016 12:11 am #

        2hrs for 1500 would be about on par with where we are now, I think. 2:15 would be a bit more of a cushion, and 2:30 would make it so only the slowest of the slow wouldn’t finish. But yeah, 3hr games would be pretty brutal for most players.

        I’m totally in favor of allowing CtA allies, though. The rationale for banning them was flimsy at best and transparent favoritism at worst.

        • Dayone916 February 13, 2016 12:46 am #

          I’m very much ok with allowing the Coke the apocalypse allies in as well.

  11. TinBane February 12, 2016 11:31 pm #

    Fucken Ossies 😛

    • abusepuppy February 13, 2016 12:12 am #

      Hey now, I have some good friends from Ostralia and I won’t have their name impunged.

      • MidnightSun February 15, 2016 10:27 am #

        Did that hit you like a punge to the face?

  12. Dayone916 February 13, 2016 12:40 am #

    What about tracking how many points are used for each faction for events, and then whichever faction you have the most points used at the end of the year determines your main faction.
    That way it is actually determined by what you’re playing as opposed to what mini ally you claim to be your primary so you can snag best of that faction when you barely play it.

    Also I’m very much in support of 1500 points

    • westrider February 13, 2016 2:00 am #

      How much of an issue has it actually been, with people taking their Warlord in some small Detachment, while most of their Points are spent on a different Faction? Thinking back over the posts I’ve seen through the Blogosphere about what people are taking to events, I really can’t think of more than maybe a couple over the last year or two.

      Any kind of detailed tracking would be a serious headache for TOs as well. To the point where it could really derail the ITC’s path to acceptance.

      • Mike February 13, 2016 8:16 am #

        I’ve seen a fair amount of it. One of my dark eldar buddies didn’t want to bother with events because we saw a dark eldar player at our first event of the season that had 1500+ eldar points. He was just like “meh I’ll pass, tell me when they fix that.”

        Going for best of faction is a nice goal that says “My book may not be able to win the whole thing, but I can get some recognition for running it really well compared to others using the same book anyway!” If the lists aren’t legitimately of that army, it loses hat purpose entirely.

      • bigpig February 14, 2016 11:38 pm #

        My son lost best blood angels player at the 2015 LVO to someone running 4 Knights with an a 300ish points BA cad to fill in some troops. He took it SOLEY to make his warlor BA for best BA run and to work on top BA player for the ITC yearly. My son was running a full BA cad and a small allied SM contingent. So, it does happen.

        • westrider February 15, 2016 2:27 am #

          Dude. That sucks. Sorry to hear it.

    • Mike February 13, 2016 8:10 am #

      I don’t think any crazy detailed tracking is needed. Just the TO entering “most points faction = X” in a field for each player should be fine, and it wouldn’t be any extra work since the field for primary faction is already there, we’d just be changing the meaning from “what is your warlord?” to “what is most of your army?”

      • bogalubov February 13, 2016 8:47 am #

        The way this is tracked doesn’t have to change. When you register for the tournament you would provide the information about your primary faction and the answer would be based on most points instead of warlord.

  13. Jp February 13, 2016 9:15 am #

    Problem with lowering the point costs is these free upgrade armies advantage becomes soooo much more powerful. Playing 500 points down is a lot easier at 1850 then 1500…

    • Mike February 13, 2016 9:29 am #

      Those same armies are going to have to cut just as hard as you. Gladius won’t be able to afford as many free points because it needs to pay for some teeth like grav cannons and meltes at the time time, that means they may have to cut some of the units that would’ve got free rides like the command squads or podded dreads.

      War convo barely fits in 1500, and will have to make some hard cuts. Just off the top of my head, if they run a crusader, I doubt they’ll be able to afford to grab a pod from a marine detachment for the vanguard, which is quite important, or afford a culexus for anti-psychic-deathstar-tech.

      The “free point lists” are going to remain powerful, but they will be losing more than 350 points, believe me.

      • Reecius February 15, 2016 12:26 pm #

        Yeah, I don’t know how the ratio of free points would play out at lower points, honestly. I think it would pretty much be the same thing in terms of advantage as it is now.

  14. KAPcom February 13, 2016 10:21 am #

    One thing that I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere is that certain armies struggle to bring well rounded forces at 1500 pt. Trying to bring a take all comers army these days is getting more and more difficult, and changing the standard point limit to 1500 or 1650 would make it almost impossible. I would argue that we would see a sharp increase in “hammer” type lists, in a meta where this type of thing already makes up a significant chunk of the field.

    The other thing that concerns me is the inability to even bring some armies at that point limit. War convocation doesn’t fit within 1500, and the Gladius doesn’t fit as well. I think it would cause a lot of issues for folks that play these armies, and might cause more harm than good.

    As someone who plays a Gladius with 9 pods and a total of about 70 models, I get to at least turn 5 in 90% of my games, which I understand is empirical evidence but goes to show its absolutely possible.

    • dr.insanotron February 13, 2016 10:31 am #

      Both of those armies fit in 1500 so i dont know why you think they dont

      • KAPcom February 14, 2016 9:54 am #

        Thanks for the correction, I knew it was close, but I only added a rough estimate together. I’m much more concerned with the loss of flexibility in army lists at lower point levels.

    • bogalubov February 13, 2016 11:23 am #

      Both War Convocation and Gladius fit in 1500. It’s just that War Convocation without drop pods or an assassin is not as scary. The Gladius can’t take take as many upgrades and are limited to the number of units they grab.

      • dr.insanotron February 13, 2016 11:29 am #

        i was the highest placing War convo at LVO and i have no drop pods or allies really in my list. so i know you are incorrect

        • bogalubov February 13, 2016 12:10 pm #

          I didn’t say it wasn’t good. I said it wasn’t as scary, which is pretty subjective characterization.

          I’m all for 1500 too.

      • Julio Rodriguez February 13, 2016 10:31 pm #

        1500 pts is perfect for Gladius. Its pretty much my 1850 list without a Culexus in a pod.

  15. David February 13, 2016 10:40 am #

    Game Size: How about 1500/1600 pts for the first part and 1850 pts for the final 8. The first day is about having fun, so emphasizing that with lower point values and relaxed time is the way to go. Plus you’ll sell more beer if players have time to go get one. The last day is all about smashing each other in the dick while hung over, so 1850/2000 could be a reward for getting to there.

    Extra Point formations: How about giving the opposing player bonus maelstrom points when facing one of these things. Kind of like the super heavy bonuses. 1mp per 100 free points kind of thing.

    Best of Faction should always be from the greater point value. I know I would be livid if I lost best Blood Angels to a Skitarii list using a BA Taxi service.

  16. bogalubov February 13, 2016 12:15 pm #

    No one’s mentioned it yet, but I think most people would agree that pre-game setup is also a lot more involved now than it was in 5th edition.

    Why bother with the random nature of warlord traits or psychic powers? Let people choose their warlord trait and psychic powers. Then it’s noted on their list and much easier to keep track of. This creates a much different meta for sure, but soon enough you know what the top lists are.

    • abusepuppy February 14, 2016 10:01 am #

      Being able to choose Invisibility, Shrouding, Doom, Fortune, Incursion, Cursed Earth, etc, etc, every game would be tremendously unfair. Likewise being able to 100% guarantee Infiltrate/Stealth(Ruins)/reroll reserves.

      • bogalubov February 14, 2016 12:06 pm #

        Is it unfair if both parties can do it?

        Seems only unfair when one side hits the jackpot and the other rolls “your warlord causes fear”.

        • Codi February 14, 2016 10:28 pm #

          We did pick warlord traits for a long time in our local group. One of the problems is that it invalidates some special characters, since they generally come with weaker WL traits.

          We also used to have players roll pyshic powers once at the beginning of the day, and those were the powers you had all day. Doing this means you miss out on some interesting tactical decisions pre game.

          Allowing players to pick pyshic powers would invalidate Sevrin Loth and Tigi; and makes armies with access to invisibility that much more powerful.

        • abusepuppy February 14, 2016 11:59 pm #

          Not all armies have access to the psychic tables, which is where the real power is. (Picking warlord traits, while obviously more powerful, doesn’t HUGELY change the game; it just means that all ruins are always 3+ cover.)

          Invisibility is a very frustrating ability to play against; I don’t think putting more of it on the table is a good thing.

    • bigpig February 14, 2016 11:30 pm #

      May as well do away with warlord traits if we are going to pick them. You would see the same 2 or 3 on every table. Why even bother? And, as AP pointed out, picking powers is a huge boost for psyker heavy armies. It really doesn’t take that long to roll them up. Less than a couple minutes if the players plan ahead and have a sheet to record their powers on.

      • Vercingatorix February 15, 2016 1:37 pm #

        Considering that if someone were to make crooked dice it would be to select the powers they want I think its fair to say that it would make a HUGE difference.

  17. Pascalnz February 14, 2016 4:48 pm #

    awwwww, thanks for the shout out:)

    • Reecius February 15, 2016 12:27 pm #

      Missed you at the event!

  18. Sean McNamara February 14, 2016 5:32 pm #

    1500 points will be my vote. When are we voting?
    No cta allies.

    • Reecius February 15, 2016 12:27 pm #

      Vote will be the end of the week, this week.

  19. Bigpig February 14, 2016 7:46 pm #

    Please start tracking faction based on which army you have the most points in. I find it really frustrating for people to win the best of when they only had 200 points in that faction and another player took all their points in it. It really allows for some gaming of the system

    • Reecius February 15, 2016 12:28 pm #

      You’re not alone in that sentiment.

  20. Codi February 14, 2016 10:31 pm #

    I would prefer to stay at 1850. I think imbalances in armies are more apparent at lower points. Plus I just like it better…

  21. forkt February 15, 2016 10:49 am #

    I am also for 1500, some the crazy ness goes away, easier to complete on time as well. I’d hope that it may drive more players to stock up on meat and potatoes units to ensure the have the staying power at the lower points level, rather than fragile hammer units that are expensive.

    • Pascalnz February 15, 2016 12:23 pm #

      fragile hammer units??? which ones are they?
      thunderwolves, knights? wraith kngihts, command bike squads, thunder hammer storm shield termies?

      if anything the lower points cost makes people do more outlandish its because it’s even more unlikely someone will have a list with all the tools.

      • Vercingatorix February 15, 2016 1:39 pm #

        I think we’ll see armies like tyranids do way better because they don’t get a significant boost by yet another hive tyrant/mawloc and people will have less tools to deal with them at 1500. Will adjust but I like knowing that I won or lost a game on the table not in the list building stage.

  22. Daemonrider888 February 16, 2016 1:23 pm #

    I’m for keeping the 1850 point level. I played 6 games total at the LVO with a army that has 88 models all but one of my games went to turn 5. I have spent a fair amount of money and a lot of hours painting to be able to play Hellforged Hunting Pack this next season and if the points change to 1500 my army will not be playable. If someone is going to slow play there still going to know matter what the points or the time that is given to play the game.

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