Good day everyone , Mitch here with coverage of another great event that I cannot wait to tell you about!
(Apologies for the quality of some of the photos, due to the dim lighting of the venue and my camera struggling with low lighting in general some of them ended up being worse than usual and the photos of all of the armies on display simply did not turn out in a way that I felt would be flattering to all of the time and effort players put in.)
The Gentlemens Las Vegas GT (for the rest of the article I will refer to it as the GLVGT) is an event put on by Games Workshop alumni Ray Prado and Adam Bishop the proprietors of War Room Games both Games Workshop alumni in Vegas as well as their amazing team of volunteers. This is the events second year and I was fortunate enough to attend last year and based on that alone this event was a automatic must attend for me. Rays humble approach and willingness to take on feedback when it comes to running an event was impressive and it certainly showed this year. Enough of the preamble though lets get into the details of what happened this weekend!
At 42 players the event was solidly in the GT category and even more impressively there was 0 no shows which I think speaks to how appealing this event is, being located in Vegas and in the Venetian on the strip makes it very much a destination tournament with players coming from as far as Florida to attend. Set up in the event room of the Mercato Della Pesheria a upscale Italian restaurant and bar, the theme of the event was high end dress aka Dapper or “Dap Casual” with a prize for “Most Dapper” in part this started as a joke but people really took to it with almost half of the players stepping up their clothing game and several people bringing their A-game. This lead to a more upscale and polite atmosphere than the average room full of sweaty nerds and I will say there also was a noticeable lack or at least significant decrease in the smell of “Gamer funk” that many of us have experienced. Logging in was painless and accompanied with a excellent event exclusive laser cut, felt lined dice rolling box, wound counters, objective markers and a acrylic game tracker for you and your opponents cp, battle points and turn counter, all supplied by the excellent Hammerhead Games whose staff were in attendance to compete at the tournament as well. This was not unexpected as last year they had a branded dice bag filled with goodies for each player but they definitely went above and beyond this year.
Speaking of players attending the event, there was an incredibly strong showing with both Reece and Frankie from Frontline Gaming as well as James Carmona, Matt Evans, Aurelio Correa, number one Orks player Ben Jurek, Don Hooson of Plagueburst crawler fame, Number one Dark Angels Aaron Wisch, myself as the current top Astra militarum player and Daniel Olivas who is sitting at number one for Ynarri. As you can see the roster was stacked with some serious competition and it was anyone’s guess who would be taking home the custom made wrestling style champions belt as well as a fat stack of ITC points.
Looking at the armies present we saw a massive influx of Aeldari with them making almost exactly 25% of the field between Ynarri, Craftworld, Dark Eldar and Harlequins and the majority of them ending up in the top 15. Comparatively with another incredibly competitive dex we only saw 3 Tyranids players and only one of them broke the top 15. Imperium was popular as always making up around 40% of the field but placing all over the place, we only saw 4 Imperium armies in the top 15, 2 guard, one Custodes and Dark Angels though to be fair they took, first, second, fourth and 15th so still a strong showing. Chaos was much less common than I was anticipating with only 7 players half of which did place in the top 15, it feels like Chaos is in a bit of a weird place right now with Astra Militarum being so strong with Vengeance for Cadia they have some of the most match-up dependent games right now in my opinion. For other Xenos factions we saw 2 Tau players and 3 Necrons all of which ended up in the bottom half of the standings. While some of this can be put on their codexes being closer to second tier I also know several of the player fielding these armies were inexperienced and/or it was their first tournament, either way though it would be great to see these dexes be more competitive. We saw the only Orks Ben Jurek take 7th,which is excellent but I expect nothing less from such a fierce competitor who has a comprehensive knowledge of the game and someone who is running away with the number one spot in his faction right now.
Now onto the event itself, dice were scheduled to drop at 9:30am on Saturday, though due to some stragglers (not gonna name names 😉 the event got rolling a little later. I want to comment on the idea of starting tournaments earlier in the day on day one, I think its a great way to make sure everyone has time to enjoy their evening especially in a place like Vegas. We are all adults and even though it’s the weekend, starting earlier makes sense when you have to get 3 games in one day. In a surprise lunch was not after game one but 2 and it was catered by the restaurant in the form of some truly delicious pizzas as well as a full bar for the entire event which was excellent.
In round 2 there was a glitch in Best Coast pairings matchmaking which ended up pairing some people with a winning record with people who had lost their first game but other than that everything ran pretty smoothly. Judges were responsive and on top of things and there was a raffle day one which was fun. However not everything was not rainbows and unicorn farts, games not finishing was a serious issue with many games not making it past turns 2 or 3. I want to be clear this is not meant as a criticism of the people running the event nor the players participating, maybe it was the incredibly friendly atmosphere that lead to people playing a bit slower or it could very well have just been how many high model count armies we saw or the many players who were newer to playing in a competitive environment. However, either way I felt like this event really punctuated how much we need chess clocks in the competitive scene. Terrain was very good with Frontline sets, fatmats and lots of line of sight blocking terrain, I never saw a table that I felt was inadequate and Ray did a great job on clarifying how different terrain pieces should be played at the start of the event.
Now onto the winners of the event, We saw Aurelio Correa take the whole thing in his first GT win! Aurelio is a friend and one of the nicest and most helpful people in 40K and has often been the bridesmaid but never the bride, playing at a high level but just catching bad breaks in GTs, so seeing him take home the W after flying out from Florida was awesome, though with this win he will be nipping at my heals for top Imperial Guard player (I am gonna make you earn it, buddy!). Coming ii second is top Dark Angels player Aaron Wisch who also got Best Sportsman proving yet again you can play a smash-mouth list and still make sure your opponents have a great time.
In 3rd we saw top Ynarri player Daniel Olivas from team Unbound, loosing to Aurelio in the last round in a tight game that could have easily gone the other way. Coming up in 4th is yours truly, I was still rocking my Hellhounds, Shadow Sword and Blood Angels. I predicted before the event started seeing all of the Dark Eldar in the field I would go 4-1 with a tight loss to Dark Eldar and that’s exactly what happened, a one point loss to Herb Schauffers Ynarri/DE when none of my 5 Hellhounds blew up on a 4+ when I needed them to.
Rounding out the top 5 is Derek Page with a very unusual but gorgeous Renegades Knight list rocking a Porpherion and support units, he was able to beat Frotnline’s Frankie in the final round in a tight game when only the immense Knight was left on the field. I would also like to recognize Cory Oakes who was my second round opponent and had only played 5 games of 8th before this event. His stunning Grey Knights took best painted and he was a incredible sport and fun guy to hang out with. Also we saw Danielle Jurek tie with Matt Yacubic A.K.A. Lord Dabbington for Most Dapper and Wilson Hatcher take the Wooden Spoon with his space wolves, he was another great sport who was clearly playing the faction he loved and as a fellow SW player I commend him for fielding index wolves which is no easy task.
Well there you have it! Another great event where dice were thrown, friends were made and a good time had by all. No controversy, just great people and great fun. I highly recommend this event to anyone who can make it next year, I know I will be back. If you want more in-depth details on games as well as an interview with event winner, Aurelio Correa check out the podcast I co-host with Colin Sherman: Best In Faction. We try to cover every event we attend in detail getting into the nitty-gritty of the rapidly changing meta. As always thanks for reading and I we see you at the next event, in this case the Boise Cup next weekend which I will be attending and covering as well.
And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!