Well, this week brought a lot of changes to the ITC! While the actual top ten rankings didn’t change and there was little change to the faction rankings as the Holiday Season begins and the tournament season comes to a close, there was a big shakeup to the ITC as a whole heading into the Las Vegas Open. I am going to discuss these shake-ups and then I have interviews with two more top 10 ranked players in the world, Nick Rose and Josh Death. For the better part of this past season, we have seen event after event have issues with sportsmanship, player conduct, list submission, list validation, the terrain being played incorrectly, the list goes on. The LVO/ITC Head Judges, Frontline Gaming, and the ITC Tournament Organizers Facebook group got together to begin working on some of these issues collectively and some individually. The culmination of these separate, and combined, efforts were released this past week for preparation of the Las Vegas Open. The LVO 40k Championships is the largest Warhammer 40k tournament in the world and it grows year after year. It is unique in many respects and requires a bit more work than regular GTs and Majors. Best Coast Pairings and Frontline Gaming worked together to come up with a list submission format for use at the LVO to make list submissions universal. Check out the video below for more info on that.
The other big announcements that will affect the ITC are the ITC Code of Conduct and the ITC/LVO General Terrain Guidelines. If you’re attending the Las Vegas Open to play Warhammer 40k you should read both documents. Practice with the Terrain guidelines with your teammates and gaming group, it will help your chances of winning it all! I recently played two games using the FLG Hangar terrain piece and the new Terrain Guidelines to test out the rules prior to us posting them. You can see a battle report from those games in the video below.
In reality, the terrain guidelines simply codified the way FLG terrain was already being played. If you went to LVO last year some of the rules will be familiar, some have been changed a bit to make it more clear. The same is true if you attended the Bay Area Open or So Cal Open this year as well. The Terrain guidelines are only one and a half pages, and at under 900 words it is easy enough to go over and practice, there’s certainly no room for any surprises to be hidden in there! We tried to make them as clear as possible. Both the ITC Code of Conduct and ITC/LVO General Terrain Guidelines are subject to change but we will have a cut off date for changes prior to the LVO. The ITC Code of Conduct is really an exercise in common sense, and common decency. It is unlikely to matter to the vast majority of the players attending the LVO. It is still a good idea for you to read it, whether you’re a more casual gamer coming to try your luck at the big show or a more edge case WAAC player. Knowing what is in there is important, even if chances are it won’t come up in your games.
All that said let’s move on to the interview portion! Josh Death and Nick Rose represent two more players who are currently ranked in the Top 10 in the world according to the ITC. They’ve both been in and out of the top 10 all year and in and out of the top players in their factions as well. Here is a quick look at them, followed by the interview.
With the ITC Season coming to a close, can you give me a rundown on how you feel the ITC is going as a whole and where you would like to see it go in the future?
Josh: I have truly loved watching the ITC grow over the past few years. From filling the void for competitive 40K during the Dark Ages of 6th and 7th to embracing their relationship with GW during the 40K renaissance of 8th. They have put their heart and souls into it and it has truly grown into an amazing thing. I would love to see 40k actually push into the professional style competitive scene that it is so close to being and I feel the ITC is the one that can/will make that happen.
Nick: I feel like ITC needs a change. It would be nice to redo mission design as it feels too flat. would like to see or leverage missions out of the book in some ways such as what comes out of Chapter approve much like Age of Sigmar does with General handbook missions. The Kill one and control one with who holds/kills more feels like its holding the game back from unique builds.
How do you feel overall about your ITC season? Clearly, you had some great successes, probably some setbacks too.
Josh: I was really happy with the way the season started out. I had some good success for a while and was doing quite well. I got lucky and found a couple mechanics that worked really well for me early and was able to ride those to an early lead in the ITC. Some family and personal life issues kept me from being as active in the season following the mid-summer months and I have not attended as many events and not been able to maintain the practice schedule I had previously. Things have definitely settled down recently and are hopefully going to be ironed out by the new season and I am hoping to be able to have another equally as successful season this next year.
Nick: I have been kind of meh as I haven’t been focusing on it. This year I focused on ETC and that was it only looking to build a list that could help America win. Which mean I had to make sacrifices as long the way. That said I feel okay as I do feel like I pushed what you could do with a Genestealer cult army further then what it should do.
What do you think was your greatest accomplishment this season? Greatest failure?
Josh: I feel creating (and then subsequently getting fixed) the Death Blossom was my single greatest competitive accomplishment this season. But I think more so finally starting to find my identity as an individual 40K player is the big one for me. I have made many mistakes in my past and tried to be a certain kind of player before, one I was not too happy with. I have put a large amount of effort into becoming the type of 40K player I want to be rather than the one I thought I was supposed to be. I am wanting to really push the motto of “it’s not if you win, but HOW you win”. Something those who knew me in the past would know wasn’t always the case. That is the accomplishment I am most proud of, and the one I am hoping will be my defining trait moving forward.
Nick: Ha winning a GT with GSC. Greatest failure was probably losing at Nova to Tony with the list. I had a plan and didn’t follow it which hurt me in the long run.
Are you planning to attend the Las Vegas Open?
If you’re planning to attend, how do you prepare for the largest Warhammer 40k tournament in the world? Is it different than preparing for a regular Major or GT? Explain.
Josh: A little bit different yes. Normally practice isn’t quite the same. You have to really examine terrain layouts (other FLG events are great for this as they are really good about publicizing). Scenarios are a huge factor; learning them is a huge factor. Speed of play becomes a large factor as at such a large event you have to account for there will be times when it may take you an extra 20-25 minutes just to find your table and get settled in with your opponent, and that is almost 20% of your overall time that you may not be used to not having. And of course with so many people this year, just going undefeated isn’t enough anymore, you have to make sure you win with a solid margin if you want to make the top 8 this year. That changes the way the LVO is going to play out this year from previous years.
Nick: Prepare? Those days are long gone. Wing it and see what happens.
What do you like, or anticipate liking if you’ve never been, most about the Las Vegas Open?
Josh: The sheer magnitude of the event. It is such a massive event that you can play 8 games against people from literally all over the world. It is 40K on a scale unlike anywhere or anything else you have ever seen. Truly a sight on its own.
Nick: It is Vegas… it is a place where your soul gets lost. Otherwise, it is meeting friends and playing loads of Poker. PS. As Alex Fennel will tell you; you win more money in poker then you ever do in 40k!
Do you know what you will be running for the Las Vegas Open yet? If so, or if not, how do you think Chapter Approved is going to shake up your choices and the overall meta of the LVO?
Josh: I have been on the fence with about 3-4 different list ideas over the past month or so. Unfortunately, it is also 3-4 different factions, as sad as that is. Chapter Approved is going to be a massive release that I feel (and hope) will change things up for both me and the meta in a great way.
Nick: I guess it depends if a GSC book comes out or not. If not maybe Tau or something that can hold. Really feels like Chapter Approve was a disappointment as it didn’t shake up the meta as much as I was hoping for.
Thank you to Nick and Josh for graciously agreeing to be interviewed! I look forward to seeing both of them at the Las Vegas Open this year, we might even see one of them crowned as the ITC 2018 Season Champion! As always let me know what you thought of the article in comments and don’t forget to review the List submission, ITC/LVO General Terrain Guidelines, and ITC Code of Conduct!
And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!