My 2018 LVO, as a 40k Head Judge.

Hello everyone, SaltyJohn here from TFG Radio and one of your Las Vegas Open 2018 Head Judges here to bring you a run down of my time as a Head Judge at the 2018 Las Vegas Open!First off a huge thank you to Reece, Frankie, and the whole crew at FLG for putting together a convention of this size. The fact that it keeps growing year after year is testimony to how well organized and well run it all is. This was my second year as a head judge for the Warhammer 40k events, with a focus on the almost 500 player Championship Event. As a judge and simply an attendee of this marquee event in the 40k calendar I wanted to put together an article of my thoughts on what went on at LVO and perhaps some thoughts on the future of Competitive 40k with those observations in mind. If you follow TFG Radio on Facebook, Twitch, and YouTube then you already know we did our LVO 2018 wrap up episode last night with special guest, and fellow #REKT team mate, Jeff Poole who made it to the top 8. The video of the Twitch cast is embedded below and if you prefer our Twitch Casts as Podcasts then head on over to iTunes, your podcast app of choice, or click here the episode is live!

I am going to break down my LVO experience into three categories: the good, the bad, and the ugly. The good, obviously was what came out of it that was good, the bad is more like things that are easily corrected or on average fine, the ugly is stuff I disliked. The last category is, thankfully, quite small.

The Good:

  • 8th edition rules. Luckily 8th edition proved to be truly less complex in terms of rules, I say luckily because we definitely could have used another judge or 2, especially on Sunday. Most of the judge calls were questions about the missions and terrain, rather than the rules of 8th edition itself. To me this means that the simplified 8th edition rules make it easier for players to grasp the rules and to settle disputes on the rules themselves rather than needing an outside arbitrator.
  • Players know the rules. This is similar to the above but I put it separately because I noticed a significant increase in the number of players in the 40k champs who really understood their rules and knew their stuff compared to last year at LVO during the waning days of 7th edition. It was refreshing to walk up to tables and have players be able to accurately and succinctly articulate the rules issues they are having. It makes being a judge an easier, and more pleasant, experience. I attribute some of this to a popular reading rainbow based meme:

  • The space and terrain. The Bally’s hall we hold the 40k events in is great, and the vendors hall plus other gaming space is equally great. It’s well lit, clean, with free water all over. There’s space for both GW and FLG to have their Live Streams set up near the Judges table and still be cordoned off enough to eliminate too much “fishbowl” effect. The tables were, once again, great and getting better. The terrain looks amazing, and having the terrain match the FLG Mats makes the event look really slick; furthermore the terrain is done in such a way that it makes the game more competitive, by helping mitigate the First Turn dominance effect to a certain degree. A great venue, and nice tables are the first and most important steps to having happy players, and happy players make great events.
  • Army diversity. Walking the hall over the course of the weekend, for a total of well over 20 miles of walking, I got to see most of the armies people brought. There seemed to be a lot of different armies in the field, much more diversity than last year. The 2017 LVO was dominated by Riptide Wings, Wraithknights, and Battle Companies. The mix this year was much better. I credit the edition still being relatively new along with the constantly changing meta due to the rapid fire release of codices, FAQs, Errata, etc. This is a good thing for the game overall; the more diverse the field the more inclusive the events are and the larger they can grow. Diversity in faction can also translate to a more competitive environment in which the TAC, or Take All Comers, list is required over the lists tailored to deal with the 3 most common builds.

  • Army Quality. What I mean by this is the visual quality of the armies markedly increased this year over previous years. The fact we continued what began at So Cal Open of enforcing the long running painting requirements for being in the event went a long way to making an event with a distinctly better quality of army appearance. For the vast majority of players the game experience can hinge upon the visual nature of the game in regards to their opponents army being painted and based to a certain standard. The quality of this on the whole was vastly improved over previous years, and I hope changes can be made to make it even better in the future. While we had a few instances of specific models being pulled for not meeting the criteria, or a few models that were simply being played as one thing with no conversions attempted it was rare in a field of almost 500. There was one notable exception where the majority of an army was not up to the requirements but on the whole players were respectful of us enforcing the requirements. With a single exception.
  • Food and Drink. This year the food was reduced in price, which was great, and the alcohol continued to flow in Vegas like quantities. While the restriction on outside food and drink remained, that caveat stung less given the more reasonable prices of food this year. As far as con food goes it was good as well!

The Bad

  • The BCP. BCP App struggles in Round 1 and then the debacle with the Round 2 info getting accidentally deleted wasn’t so great. To their credit the BCP guys remained 100% professional in the face of what could have been a major disaster, and salvaged the day handily. The remainder of the weekend went very smoothly with the App and by Sunday the memory of the hour and a half delay in day 1 due to BCP issues was an almost forgotten part of the weekend for many people. The App and BCP will only continue to improve as they are consummate professionals, which was on display Friday for the entire 40k Champs to see.
  • Time. The problem of games not finishing, or only going a few turns continues to be a problem in 8th. While I think it is more common right now due to the edition still being new, and rules coming out rapid fire, it is certainly something that needs to be watched. Many players were explaining to their opponents how their games at LVO were some of their first of 8th edition, and while it’s awesome to have new players, it is also the responsibility of those newer players to insure they play at a decent clip to give their opponents the opportunity to play a full, and fulfilling, game.

  • Sportsmanship. There were a few problematic sportsmanship related problems. This is a really sticky situation in terms of how to approach it from a community and judges perspective. If you go the European route and implement a red and yellow card system with actual repercussions for going back on things like gentleman’s’ agreements in regards to player intention you could end up with players trying to get their opponents flagged for penalties incorrectly. There’s a reason why men’s soccer is rife with men flopping around on the ground like kindergartners when an opposing players touches their sleeve with the nail on their pinky finger. Hopefully a meaningful discussion can be had around the concepts of time and Sportsmanship and changes implemented in future events.

The Ugly

  • For me there really isn’t anything that fits this category from LVO 2018. I think the only thing that’s ugly is the dominance of Eldar in the top 8. If I remember correctly there wasn’t a single Eldar in the bottom 90 players. So there may be an imbalance issue but not enough of one for me to put Eldar into the Ugly category.

Eldar and Chaos

Ok, you know I wasn’t going to let it go with just the above statement. So Eldar had a clearly strong finishing in the top 8 but also in the field in general. I don’t think this is only due to the strength of the Eldar codex, nor do I believe it is an indicator of Eldar being OP and in need of nerfs from Games Workshop. If you watched, or listened to, our pre-LVO show on TFG Radio you’ll have heard my prediction that no Primarchs would make it into the top 8. I was correct on this. My reasoning behind this was most people were using the ability to beat the Primarch lists as the benchmark of a list being viable. Much like how the checklist of a good list in 7th was if you could effectively deal with Eldar, Wolftide, Battle Company etc; the measuring the stick for the meta running up to LVO was if you could deal with a the Primarch lists. This helped Eldar dominance in two ways. The first is Eldar are quite good at dealing with the Primarch lists, and the second is lists that are good at dealing with Primarch lists aren’t great at dealing with Eldar lists. This effect is compounded in the current meta where not all the codices have been released. Personally I believe that with Dhrukari, Tau, and Necrons coming out soon we’ll see a shift in the meta away from the Eldar dominance that was on display at the Las Vegas Open without a need to nerf them.


I decided to put this outside the structure of the good, the bad, and the ugly, because it doesn’t override what I said earlier about the painting/modelling requirements being good and an overall boon to the event and the scene as a whole. Rather, this is more an addendum to those thoughts and observations. While the guidelines and process of having conversions approved helped quite a bit in regards to terrible “counts as” or “conversions” at the LVO there were still enough questionable ones that I must reiterate a previous stance of mine. I personally think the time of conversion, proxy, and counts as armies in competitive 40k needs to come to an end. If you want to bring that to Narrative, Friendly, Apocalypse, or RTT events that’s fine but in the hyper competitive environment of Championship events I think if there’s a model for it, you should be required to use it. I know that’s an unpopular opinion and hopefully with continued enforcement of the painting and modelling requirements my stance on this will become unnecessary.

The Las Vegas Open 2018 was an amazing convention filled with great events, good people, and fun times. Staying up until 3:30am Saturday morning probably wasn’t one of my better ideas, but it was Vegas and is something you really would only do at a 40k that’s held in Las Vegas! I can’t wait to see what improvements can be made for next year and I’m excited to come back to Head Judge again if Reece and Frankie want me to.

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!



About SaltyJohn

John has been playing Warhammer 40k since the 3rd edition box set with Space Marines, Dark Eldar, and weird green palm trees were in the set. He is currently a 40k Head Judge for the Las Vegas Open, the largest 40k tournament in the world. An avid board gamer, a huge fan of video games, and a guest spot on Geek and Sundry as a "Historian" during an episode of "Game the Game" round out his geek credentials. You can catch "Salty" John on TFG Radio's Twitch Show, and Podcast, as well as find him streaming video games on Twitch on the TFG Radio Twitch page from time to time.

65 Responses to “My 2018 LVO, as a 40k Head Judge.”

  1. Adam S. January 31, 2018 5:59 pm #

    All lies and innuendo!!!!!!!

    • SaltyJohn January 31, 2018 8:48 pm #

      Aren’t you in the video? 😀

      • abusepuppy February 1, 2018 6:34 am #

        Fake news, my friend.

  2. Davis Centis January 31, 2018 6:22 pm #

    Great recap! Glad to see a judge’s reactions. As the hobby (hopefully) continues to grow, and the LVO and similar events grow, there needs to be something made in the same style as Magic’s DCI. An Infraction Guide should be drawn up, with specific consequences.

    • Reecius February 2, 2018 9:28 am #

      Yeah, we’re working on judging guidelines now, actually for more uniformity.

  3. abusepuppy January 31, 2018 6:45 pm #

    I would have to strongly disagree with your stance on proxies/conversions, SJ. For a lot of players, being able to convert models is just as important (or more important!) than the painting aspect of the hobby- and being denied that will drive quite a few of them away. Certainly there are bad conversions just as there are bad paint jobs, but since there is now an approval process for ensuring that conversions don’t get out of hand, I think that rejecting all non-GW models (which is what the policy would entail, at the most basic level) is incredibly detrimental to the game and to the hobby. If that, why not also reject all models that are not painted in an “official” color scheme under the presumption that it is “confusing to players” to try and determine what or they are from?

    FLG and the ITC have done a great job of growing the hobby and making it more accessible to players; I don’t think we should be walking down the opposite path in an attempt to enforce some kind of imagined purity of model on things. After all, even if people are using official GW models, there can still be plenty of issues- just think about the potential for the use of the 25mm base Terminators, old Celestine, 2e Rhinos, original Hive Tyrants, etc; even just within the context of GW’s own product there are massive variances to be seen.

    • StayHandsome January 31, 2018 7:17 pm #

      Both sides have merit. In a big tournament you want to remove the ambiguity and keep rules broad and simple for everyone so that no one individual feels slighted and it’s practical for judges. The downside of that is that the rules can encroach into territory that they don’t belong—after all we’re talking about artistic expression here and hard rules don’t have a comfortable place in that domain.

      This may be a place where technology can reduce the burden on judges. I’m envisioning a system where any units you’re using as “counts as” or conversions must be finished one week after the final rules are decided, to allow people to make any changes heh need to if there’s an FAQ or codex release that changes how they write their list. Even before submitting your final list, you take some pics of your conversions, submit it through the app with a quick description, and the judges fly through and flag them as approved or rejected. Then there are no surprises, and the judges would have a record of their approvals and rejections, so if they go around to a table and someone is using a model that looks borderline, they can open up the app and see if it was approved or not.

      It obviously would make the pre-tournament prep take one more step, but if the system is simple and robust, it’d be no big thing for the judges. It’d make it so much easier for the judges making the call on whether it’s valid at the event itself because they can just say “nah bro, you’re using Abaddon with a jet pack as a Wave Serpent, no one approved this before the deadline”. And then you swipe all their models off the table and everyone around yells “SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!” for dramatic effect. Gotta get those twitch views.

      • Mikillangelo January 31, 2018 8:39 pm #

        That’s a pretty cool idea. You could also crowdsource the reviews. That would take the preasure off of the judges. Someone clever could build a model version of Or just create a section of DakkaDakka for reviewing tournament worthiness of a model. Basically, if you get enough thumbs ups or above an average score, you’re good. You could still give the judges veto power so people don’t game the system.

        Now, I’m going to go pull the jet pack off of my Abaddon model…

    • KingCro January 31, 2018 8:10 pm #

      Perfectly put. I 100% agree

    • SaltyJohn January 31, 2018 8:47 pm #

      “After all, even if people are using official GW models, there can still be plenty of issues- just think about the potential for the use of the 25mm base Terminators, old Celestine, 2e Rhinos, original Hive Tyrants, etc; even just within the context of GW’s own product there are massive variances to be seen.”

      I’m also of the opinion that old versions of models should be disallowed in the top competitive events. It’s tantamount to modelling for advantage in many cases.

      • Adam S. January 31, 2018 8:53 pm #

        Leave my Gorkamorka Trukks alone!

      • AngryPanda January 31, 2018 9:42 pm #

        Don’t give them ideas. If GW figures out they can force people to buy a slightly bigger marine every year they’ll go for it.

        • SaltyJohn January 31, 2018 10:35 pm #

          I hadn’t thought of it that way………

          • abusepuppy February 1, 2018 2:41 am

            Yeah that seems like a very dangerous slope to run down. Are we seriously going to contemplate disqualifying someone because they used the 2008 Tactical Marines kit instead of the 2014 one, even if they’re on the right bases? Because that would for sure telegraph to me that this is a hobby that I do _not_ want to be a part of.

          • AngryPanda February 1, 2018 7:16 am

            Always think that way. They will.
            Step 1: Ban all non GW models from supported events.
            Step 2: Ban all conversions using non GW parts.
            Step 3: Insist on WYSIWYG weaponry and change which ones are good frequently.
            Step 4: Reach for even more and hopefully implode due to some new act of AOS level insanity.

            One and two is just their track record. Three I’d bet money on. Four is just my imaginary light at the end of the tunnel.

          • Beau February 1, 2018 7:52 am

            Lol that reminds me of the time when I saw a guy ripping off all his guns and 25 mm bases from his tacticals when the 32 mm base models came out. He didn’t even care that arms and legs were just tearing right off and ruining paint jobs. I asked him why he was doing that so haphazardly, and he just replied “It doesn’t even matter in a few years the kits are just going to change again. As long as these frankensteins are WYSIWYGit doesn’t matter if I glue the legs on backwards.”

    • AngryPanda January 31, 2018 9:40 pm #

      It pretty much is the hobby for a lot of people. I used to own 5k Necrons with every single model a conversion in different levels of complexity. Even the most basic warrior had straight legs and their gun integrated into their arms like the Destroyers.

      Rejecting all non-GW models is something I just expected to creep back in now that they got involved in events again. Enforcing purity used to be their thing so much that I’m a bit stunned they haven’t insisted on it yet. Sort of assumed my armies to be locked out by now.

      • JOSHBOB1985 February 1, 2018 3:43 am #

        I wouldn’t worry too much about GW taking that stance. I have attended events at WH World and they are actually pretty chill about stuff. A friend of mine had an IG army where every infantry model was converted with non-GW parts. He was playing on a spare table rather than in the event because he thought his army would be illegal. A GW staff member came over and said how cool his army was and that he would have been fine in the event. They said they have to put the no non-GW parts in the official stuff to stop people taking the piss, but that they always let stuff through if it looks good and is clearly done by someone who is into the hobby side of the game.

        • AngryPanda February 1, 2018 1:17 pm #

          I can’t speak about Warhammer World but I remember the actual tournaments they used to run and there was nothing chill about those. Maybe that attitude won’t come back but I’m not gonna bet on it.

    • Ytook February 1, 2018 3:09 am #

      Yeah I’m with AP on this one, I think that’s degrading the hobby purely for the purposes of the game and I think the two are intrinsically linked. Even setting aside the fact that models aren’t cheap and take not inconsiderable time and effort to make look presentable.

      GW themselves allow conversions and any old models at their own events (as long as it’s GW stuff which at their own events is fair enough).

      I think a degree of sportsmanship is needed in terms of modelling for advantage, i.e. don’t. (Which is also why I don’t think 40K/AoS can or should be eSports style professionally competitive but that’s a different issue).

    • Carpatheon February 1, 2018 12:34 pm #

      I generally dont have a problem with conversions, but taken to the extreme it can be very annoying. I once played a game against and admech army, that was made entirely of non-gw models that were an approximation of imperial guard. The ironstriders were dunebuggy looking things, and the dunecrawlers were some WW1 looking tanks. There wasn’t a turn that went by that I didn’t have to ask mutliple times, “Ok so what are those guys again?”. It made the game take far too long, and time is the primary reason I could see some kind of limitation in a tourney setting.

    • Grimjuc February 15, 2018 11:45 am #

      #plusonewithabusePuppy seriously one of my favorite 40k bloggers #fan and I totally agree with him.

      I represent one of the founding team members of Team Bad Decisions, we attend Adepticon’s team tournament and other minor tournaments. Our team has completed incredible projects with models and armies that generated pictures shown all over the internet. Like Eldar/Dark Eldar conversions using nagash, grot guard armies, a Khorne coffin, a Tzeentch sarcophagus, and our latest endeavor will be something released at Adepticon.

      Our number one goal in 40k is to wow people with models no one has ever seen before. We don’t perform this because it is cheap, or because we are playing for an advantage. We do it because we want peoples heads to snap and their feet to grind to a halt when they walk by our table. Our conversions shine, they are over the top, researched, and creative. Often we use models from 3-4 different companies GW, FW, secret weapons, and much more to make a single unit or model. We don’t have any golden daemon winners on our team but we put in enough effort on paint to be considered top 10 best-painted armies at any large tournament.

      Our team has been playing around with going to LVO. It is a time crunch to make it to LVO because it takes us all year to build/convert, paint, and build the display. Plus we don’t fit into anything that says “Championships” in the tournament name. I was competitive back in 4th-6th edition but I find I enjoy a tournament where part of the focus is on the hobby aspect and not just the game.

      The fact that a judge would even consider not allowing conversions is enough of a turn off that we may never attend this tournament. I understand that was his personal opinion but if someone is modeling for their advantage it is apparent and even more so during a game. Thinking back on every tournament I have attended I have noticed a hand full of people modeling to their advantage and two of them were at major tournaments. That is less than 1% of the players I have ever played, and the people that were doing it were (insert your own expletive here).

      The rules of thumb that need to be enforced.
      1) When using different models or weapons, are they should be uniform across the army.
      2) Models should be the same size or larger than the of the original model. Models with an aura of any kind must be on the same base.
      3) substituted models can’t already exist in the game. I saw someone using beasts of Nurgle for bloodcrushers of Khorne which made my eye twitch.

      Kind of a long-winded post. I don’t think we will make LVO unless more awards are handed out to the hobby aspects of the game.

  4. Daniel Micallef January 31, 2018 10:24 pm #

    I also disagree to banning conversions, however I can see the point and agree it should be more clear what the model is supposed to represent, so the ruling should be looked at further how much it shifts.

    However I personally would push for a shift in the rule for minimum 3 colour painted models. If you were impressed by the increase in quality miniatures from this rule, just imagine how good the event armies will be if you increased the minimum standard, or even gave bonus points to players if their army was painted “above the standard”, or even more for “professional standard”. This to me would encourage players to make more effort, as well as shift mentality for meta players to do more than simply collect the latest and greatest combo army and do the minimum just to win a tournament. Nick seemed like a great guy, but that army he played infuriated me to watch on twitch and others too in the channel as they continued to ask if it was even painted to the minimum standard.

  5. Zeev January 31, 2018 11:27 pm #

    If conversions of all sorts are banned at ITC events I will probably end up never attending one again. It will certainly stop me from attending LVO and any other events you choose to make this the standard. Espepcially when I didn’t really see any unreasonable conversions at the event.

    • Rob Butcher February 1, 2018 6:40 am #

      good conversions are allowed

      painting a lascannon blue and saying it’s a plasma gun isn’t

      • Zeev February 1, 2018 3:01 pm #

        That doesn’t look like what the author of this article is saying.

        As head judge of the biggest event in the country he wants to stop all conversions…full stop.

        I cannot agree with such a position.

    • Reecius February 2, 2018 9:27 am #

      Please remember, John is expressing opinions, not eminent changes.

      • SaltyJohn February 2, 2018 11:01 am #

        Yes, my powers of influence are greatly exaggerated. 🙂
        I am allowed unpopular opinions I think 😀

        • Reecius February 2, 2018 12:48 pm #

          Of course you can share your opinions, buddy. I just want to make sure folks understand the difference between your opinions and ITC policy.

          • SaltyJohn February 2, 2018 1:04 pm

            What!? That’s oppression 😉

          • Reecius February 2, 2018 1:33 pm

            You’re triggering me, bruh! =P

  6. The Traitor February 1, 2018 3:36 am #

    For me conversions and modelling are a huge part of the hobby, I think seeing cool thematic armies in events is one of the things we all like the most, and conversions make those a lot better. For me unpainted<painted<converted<converted and painted<converted and painted to a good standard.
    What should be disallowed is modelling for advantage, and that is easily prevented by asking for photos of converted or old versions of models when submitting your army lists, which should be approved by a judge in the same way the list is.
    The only thing on that line that I understand is asking for models to be based on the actual base size GW is using, as it does have a relevant impact on some games.

  7. JOSHBOB1985 February 1, 2018 4:04 am #

    I made a longer reply but it hasn’t shown up grr.

    “GW themselves allow conversions and any old models at their own events (as long as it’s GW stuff which at their own events is fair enough).”

    Having attended a few events at Warhammer World I can tell you that they actually do allow non-GW parts on conversions. The told me they obviously have to put that in the information packs but that if someone has made conversions that they think are cool and not taking the piss they are happy to allow them. The staff are just nerds that get excited about cool conversions like anyone else.

    • Ytook February 1, 2018 8:23 am #

      That’s cool. Haven’t attended any GW events myself so was purely basing that on their streams.

      But that doesn’t fit the narrative so, “they kicked my dog cos I saw a Kromlech Ork once!”

      There we go, that’s better 😉

      • AngryPanda February 1, 2018 1:22 pm #

        Yeah. Seriously. What is up with people expecting they might do things they did in the past. As someone who never attended one of their events that doesn’t even match my own experience at all. Oh wait..

        • Ytook February 1, 2018 2:23 pm #

          Sure thing Panda, you keep at it 🙂

          • AngryPanda February 1, 2018 3:52 pm

            At believing the things I remember? You bet. You keep being smug and vague about calling it lies.

          • Ytook February 1, 2018 4:59 pm

            You’re not lieing, they were shitty in the past and if they go back to it they’ll be shitty again, just don’t get the point of assuming and waiting for the worst when the worst isn’t happening at all.

            And snarkiness is one thing, you’re very good at it and funny with it even if I don’t agree with the points you’re making, but I’m sorry for coming across like an a-hole.

          • Reecius February 2, 2018 9:22 am

            You guys are jumping at shadows here, there’s no draconian model policy inbound.

  8. Tomguycot February 1, 2018 6:09 am #

    As someone who owns 150+ old metal daemons on 25mm bases (ie what they shipped with) enforcing a ban on either old models or base sizes would be a good way to ensure I never attend an ITC event. Same with conversions. It is as much a part of the game as painting.

    • Rob Butcher February 1, 2018 6:38 am #

      rebasing is not that difficult … for some I’ve even added a piece of plastic card to the bottom of an existing based model

      base sizes have changed / increased to prevent the number of elites getting into combat

      • Beau February 1, 2018 7:55 am #

        When models I use got a bigger base I just glue the original base right onto the larger base and extend the terrain so they are now on a hill.

      • Tomguycot February 1, 2018 8:32 am #

        Are you volunteering to rebase them?

  9. Don Tomaso February 1, 2018 10:26 am #

    No eldar in the bottom 90.
    Eldar op the slightest big, oh noes, no need for any nerfs what so ever, move along, nothing to see.

    • Garry leonars February 1, 2018 4:01 pm #

      Eldar are only really o.o in ITC missions because the missions randomly need out astral millitarium and Magnus abit more than is message and reward elite low wound models in decently large units.

  10. iNcontroL February 1, 2018 10:43 am #

    Good job John! Sorry I vaguely threatened to attack you if you called dice down after Aleong took up turn 6 😉

    • SaltyJohn February 1, 2018 11:39 am #

      LOL, I didn’t take that as a threat of attack honestly. I was taking it more as a threat to do a “stand in” protest at table 41 until you were removed by force.

  11. BloodHawk February 1, 2018 12:44 pm #

    Resolving the time issue is extremely simple, and honestly I am still shocked that 40k can’t seem to get it right. Simply use a death clock system present in virtually every other modern day competitive game. To my knowledge they use deathclock in (Warmachine, Malifaux, Infinity, and several others). In the case of 3 hour rounds this would mean each player has a 1.5 hour clock. If the clock hits zero, you lose.

    The main issue with this is that the mission structure would have to be adjusted accordingly, but ITC does that anyway. Some people may suggest that this limits the viability of certain types of armies, which is completely accurate, and not a problem whatsoever. The current system of allowing unlimited turn time is doing the exact same thing, simply incentivizing different things.

    People quickly adapt when it comes to this type of change, and clearly it would be a healthy one for the game as it gives a black and white look at something that is currently grey.

    • Reecius February 2, 2018 9:21 am #

      It’s not as easy as you make it sound, we’ve been experimenting with it for a while and because both players are acting in both turns, you pass the clock back and forth constantly, not just on each turn.

    • mike February 2, 2018 12:26 pm #

      There are a ton of issues with clocks. Mid-game rule discussions, pre-game time when you need to look at lists, ask about units and rules, and come up with plans and pick objectives, constant clock-passing, the clock’s position on the table and the likelihood that you will be across the table from it when you need it…What if one guy needs to have a quick restroom break once in the 2.5 hour game, which is completely reasonable?

      Then there’s the practical issues like having hundreds of chess clocks provided by the TO.

      And to go even further, there are aesthetics issues. Many people, even in the “competitive” events, aren’t really there with the expectation of fighting for the top ranks. I see this in events everywhere. Usually up to half of the tournament shows up to “have fun playing against new people all weekend.” Chess clocks discourage this player from playing. They also run counter to the “gentlemen’s game” atmosphere that 40k has. Imagine putting chess clocks in golf and the attitude changes you would see.

      They also discourage newer participants from joining events. Many of the prospective newbies are already skittish, especially with the typical “tournament horror story” myths that get spread around by people with the “hatred against competitive play” agenda, and putting up a big “you must be this fast to join the tournament” sign just scares even more of them off.

      To put it bluntly, chess clocks won’t work in 40k. Way too many issues.

  12. Nick Wenker February 1, 2018 1:29 pm #

    I agree with the article except getting rid of conversions. I’d rather run the risk that 1% of games encounter a moment where the players need to make a mature decision on what to do rules-wise with a conversion than that 100% of cool, time-consuming conversions are banned from events. As someone who has spent the last 6 years painstakingly converting and sculpting a huge army that’s about to get commission painted, suddenly being punished at a competitive level just due to putting so much extra work into the hobby would make me flip a table.

    On the other hand, I also think it’s up the person with conversions to make sure they are reasonable, and if there’s a model issue that’s 50-50 on the fence, the guy with conversions or unique models should take it upon him/herself to gave the benefit of the doubt to the opponent as to whether or not they can see the model to shoot it or whatever the dispute is.

  13. Icoop February 1, 2018 4:23 pm #

    Direct quote from Nick Nanavati about “Are you worried GW will nerf your army?”(Aeldari):

    “Yeah, I really hope they do honestly. This army probably shouldn’t exist; it’s way too strong. (um) Soulburst (uh) I know they nerfed it, they nerfed it a ton, but let me put this into perspective for you. So like a normal army spends 2 command points to shoot again with a unit, like 3 command points to fight again for a unit? I do that every single turn. So basically every time I shoot the reaper squad twice, shoot the guardians twice, fight the spears twice, every time I do that I’m using like 2 to 5 command points that I just don’t have. So my army has 10 but really it has 25? How is that fair?”

    From latest episode of “The Long War”. He goes into more detail on how Eldar are bent like bananas.

    • AngryPanda February 2, 2018 8:22 am #

      It is a bit sad that it was talked about in The Long War and not here. But then that seems to be one of the few groups that hasn’t started to sound disturbingly on brand ever since GW started to reach out to some.

      • Reecius February 2, 2018 9:19 am #

        That also may come down to opinion, lol, not everything is a conspiracy theory, Senor Panda.

        • AngryPanda February 2, 2018 10:47 am #

          I don’t think of conspiracy or you guys selling out or any nonsense like that. I do think that partnerships with vastly different levels of power naturally influence the people involved in them though.

          • Reecius February 2, 2018 12:47 pm

            Fair enough, but no, we’re not afraid to call it like we see it or what have you. I think a big part of the perception of Eldar right now is largely because they are both good and because many of the top level players all chose to play them. Had the top dogs all played Nids or something, we’d probably be having a different conversation.

            Ynnari though, are still a bit much. As Nick pointed out, Soul Burst is just a flawed game mechanic, IMO.

        • Icoop February 2, 2018 3:30 pm #

          eugh. I didn’t mean to inspire that kind of comment. I like that most of the media hubs for 40K information are positive these days. If I wanted to hear people bitch about 40k there’s more than enough comments on Dakka and Reddit. There’s really no benefit to it, while there is benefit to finding the good in things.

          I find it hard to argue that at least Ynnari aren’t overpowered; if not Dark Reapers. I found it cathartic that Nanavati believes so too. I have a lot of faith in GW to tweak them regardless of what anyone wants to argue, it’s been their style in 8th.

          Also I think it’s funny that Reece spent the last 4 months trying to tell everyone that Eldar are “really good”™ while people poo poo’d about how inconsequential they were and here we are post-LVO, with 5/8ths of the top 8 were Eldar(of sorts).

  14. Doty February 1, 2018 4:43 pm #

    for some hobbyists such as myself, we’re way more into kit-bashing/conversions than the actual painting. That being said, we should do our best to approximate the size (height & width) of the models represented.

    A pre-approval app./process sounds good.

    • Reecius February 2, 2018 9:20 am #

      For sure, no one wants to stifle creativity. It really comes down to how the end result comes out and what was intent. Some just try to cut corners, some want to create something unique.

  15. Doty February 1, 2018 4:48 pm #

    Was Nick Nanavati’s army that crummy-looking??
    If so, well then maybe he should use some of his winnings/purse to commission FLG/someone to paint is army to tournament standard minimum.

    If there’s a good chance you’re good enough to get streamed… then take some pride in your army, rather than just your mad skillz.

  16. SacTownBrian February 1, 2018 6:23 pm #

    First a heart felt thank you to everyone who helped put on a great event; Frontline gaming, Volunteers and Vendors alike. I played in two events and played a bunch of demos. I certainly encountered gamers of all stereotypes but I had a great time at every game regardless. My goal was fun and it was achieved with or in spite of what happened on the table. I’ve been a TO and I give those individuals that judged and ran the events a very special thank you.

    I left energized and motivated and wanting more. I can give no higher praise and I can’t wait for next year!

  17. mike February 2, 2018 12:05 pm #

    @Saltyjohn and other figures of event authority:

    I would like to hear your thoughts on a rules issue. In the Mark vs. Jared stream game, there was a rule played incorrectly that led to a very significant event in the game. Specifically, Mark used the descent of angels stratagem on a captain that then made a long charge into a fire raptor, which then blew up and showered Jared’s several surrounding units with wounds, quite possibly changing the entire game. The rules issue is that the stratagem can only be used on a jump infantry unit that was set up on the table that turn, and the captain absolutely had not been.

    To add to the situation, Jared saw the possibility of this charge earlier, and directly asked if the stratagem had any restriction, and Mark incorrectly told him that there was no restriction other than the unit being jump pack equipped.

    I’ve run into a few different opinions on this. Some people insist that every tournament player should know every rule and stratagem from every army, and if something slips past you, it’s your fault. It gets said “oh he should’ve made him crack open the book,” but game time is already an issue as is, and that sounds like victim-blaming. I could counter by saying “The other player should’ve been playing his own army’s rules right in the first place, rather than expecting the opponent to catch rules errors (or more likely letting them slip by) for him.”

    There just isn’t time to make your opponent show you every rule you’re unsure of. To insist on that being done places players in a catch 22 where they need to call for the book several times, while not being annoying to the opponent and look like a bad sport, while also not being accused of using the rules lookups as a slow play tactic.

    I would personally like to see heavy handed penalties applying to players in the tournament that incorrectly apply their own army rules in such a way that would be advantageous to them. It is much more reasonable to expect each player to know their own 2000 points rather than expect each player to know the other almost million points of army in the event.

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