This Week in the ITC: I’m Back and a Lot Has Happened!

Tournament 40k fans and ITC followers, SaltyJohn from TFG Radio here, and I am back after a break to bring you news from this past week in the ITC.

I took quite a break from writing these articles, I went on a family road trip and when that was over I hopped on a plane the same day to fly to Orlando to Judge Games Workshop’s 40k US Open. A lot has happened in the ITC since the last article. Besides GWs return to the tournament scene the Lone Star Open, one of Frontline Gaming’s new marquee Majors, took place as well as some tournaments in Europe and elsewhere. So let’s look first at the current ITC Top 10.

The biggest change in the Top 10 since the last article is the number one spot has changed! Sean Nayden was dethroned by John Lennon. Lennon has been on quite the tear lately, especially with his Adepta Sororitas list, and the hard work has paid off. That number one spot is all his for the moment.

John has quite the mixture of armies in his tournament placings, his top 5 scores only repeat Ultramarines as a codex. That’s quite the fluidity in faction fluency. Fluency with a list, or book, is often one of the things that makes a player really good with that faction. This is the case with Sean Nayden for example, the fact John is able to play several factions well is impressive.

The two big events from the last few weeks are the Lone Star Open from FLG and the US Open in Orlando from Games Workshop. I mentioned above that the Lone Star Open was won by John Lennon. Here are the LSO top 5.

There’s a lot of talent and a fairly diverse faction showing in that top 5. Although Sisters, Drukhari, and Admech are still at the top they aren’t all that’s up there. The strength of the 3 codices is undeniable, however. The US Open in Orlando had a very diverse field overall. Walking around while judging the event I saw a large number of Knights, Necrons, and even a decent number of Tyranids. In the end, the best books would again be playing on the top table at the end of the three days, but the field itself was diverse and the meta was healthy in Orlando.

Richard Siegler was able to hold off John Lennon in the final round and take the Best General award home. The Best Overall award at the US Open was a mix of Hobby and Generalship which I think is a great direction for Games Workshop to go with their events. The format was also not the usual format we’re used to, with straight win/loss for two days then a top 8 day 3. Instead, they used a bracket system, made famous by NOVA. This was my first experience judging an event that used the system and while it is different I definitely like the system. I think it’s healthy for the competitive 40k scene to have various ways of playing a competitive event. Having different structures to the tournaments makes for variety around the core game itself. The other big difference between the events was with how they handled terrain but I plan to discuss that in another article. Suffice it to say I liked the result of both event’s approaches to terrain and as a fan of variety that shouldn’t really surprise anyone.

The last big ongoing debate in the community the past few weeks has been around how to prevent submarining. If you’re unfamiliar, the concept of submarining is to win games with as few points as possible in order to avoid the harder matchups in the subsequent rounds, assuming that the worst players in the winners’ bracket will have the lowest winning scores. This has been discussed over and over for a long time as to whether or not this should be a tactic that’s allowed or something that should be discouraged. Personally, I think it’s an ok strategy to use but it is open to abuse, and that abuse should be curbed. However, if TOs want to stop people from doing it, they should. A simple solution is to pair the rounds randomly among the players with the same records. It’s a quick fix and TOs should avail themselves of the option in BCP if they want to. Like I said earlier, there’s nothing wrong with having tournaments utilizing different formats.

Stay tuned for another article discussing the new paradigm shift in terrain at 40k Tournaments and what I think of the two newest systems from Frontline Gaming and Games Workshop.

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

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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.

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