Tuesday, August 25, 2009

EDITORIAL: Thoughts on BoLScon





Hi everybody,

Things at BoLS are slowly ramping back up in the wake of BoLScon, so forgive us if we seemed a little groggy over the past couple of days. Getting you guys the news, updates from the floor, and running a tournament at the same time can really take it out of you.

I wanted to take a few moments to talk about what I hope we achieved with the tourney. BoLScon had several big-picture goals and some controversial guidelines I wanted to speak to.

Emphasis on ALL Aspects of the Hobby
We set out from the get-go to offer something for almost anyone in the hobby. We had the traditional 40k, and WFB, as well as newcomer War of the Ring tournament tracks for the competitive minded people out there. We also offered painting competitions, and our own narrative track Apocalypse/Planetstrike events for those looking for something completely different.

We found that the narrative events were a big hit, as well as the consolation bracket for the 2nd day of tournaments that allowed the bottom half of players a fresh start and chance to win prizes. The GW rep on site commented on the uniqueness of the narrative track and how much fun the players were having.

Emphasis on Quantity and Quality of Games
From the first press release, we knew we wanted to offer a truckload of games for BoLScon attendees. The tournament players got 7 games in 2 days, with 2 hour time limits for 2000pt 40k games and 2250pt WFB games. On the narrative side, we packed 4 Apocalypse games into the 2 days for each of the 3 narrative tracks.

Many, many people said the time-limits were impossible and the schedule would never be kept. In fact, BoLScon achieved over a 90% completion rate for our tournament games (all systems) and ran no more than 15 minutes off schedule across the entire event. The time-limits were possible.

Our judge staff's first and foremost duty was to help players keep their games moving. They were proactive at not only answering tough questions and throny situations, but helping players look up rules, and making sure everything moved along in a timely manner.

Fun Above All
More important than the other two was the overall goal of fun. From the 80s Rock mission themes, to the famed battles over the Siege of Terra, to the random team prize draws, we tried to run the entire event with the flair of a gameshow and not the SATs. By the end of Sunday, we saw a group of dog-tired players with huge smiles on thier faces. We made many new friends and got to meet a lot of our online blogging brothers in person for the first time. All in all, it was a great way to spend a weekend!

~This is an open thread on not only BoLScon but touneys/conventions in general. For attendees, please tell us your overall thoughts of the the events, and what you most enjoyed and your best memories. For everyone else, lets hear about what you would like to see BoLScon grow into to make it the best gaming convention on the planet. The floor is yours gentlemen.

Monday, August 24, 2009

REPORT: BoLScon ala Aventine

So I just completed 7 great games of 40k over the course of two days at the first annual Bell of Lost Souls Con. You can see the list I played here. It was an early morning start on Saturday, and it started off in a panic. They announced that pairings were posted, and I was nowhere on the list. Fortunately for me it was just a clerical error, and there was another person who had been left off as well. So with a little shuffling I was ready to sit down to Game 1.

Game 1 'Welcome to the Jungle' v. Nick S.'s Eldar
Objectives
Primary- Seize Ground
Seconday- Have more units in terrain than not in terrain at the end of the game.
Tertiary- Score 1000 or more VPs.
Bonus- Kill all vehicles and monstrous creatures +2
If your opponent has no heavy support left +2
If you end the game with an HQ in a terrain feature +1

Nick was a very new player. Being very familiar with the Eldar I was able to help him with the rules questions he had, but I wasn't going to tell him tactics (I didn't think it would be fair to him or me). He had a mixed force with Eldrad, an Avatar, a Wraithlord, a Falcon, and a boxed set worth of a half dozen Aspect Warriors. My droppod full of Lysander and Sternguard landed right on target and blasted Eldrad away with a bevy of bolter drilled hellfire shells. The picture above shows all ha had left at the end of the game. I got all the points besides a couple bonuses. 44/47.

Game 2 'Another One Bites the Dust' v. Colby A.'s IG
Objectives
Primary- Modified Annihilation (No KPs are awarded unless the enemy HQ is dead)
Seconday- Never place an HQ in a transport.
Tertiary- End the game with more of your units outside your deployment zone than in it.
Bonus- You gain bonus points equal to the turn number in which you destroy the first enemy HQ.

Colby was fielding a pretty butch army consisting of a Company Command in Chimera, four vet squads in Chimeras (2 triple melta, 2 triple plasma), Marbo, two individual Banewolves, a Battle tank squadron, and two single Demolishers. I was able to start collecting KPs pretty quickly thanks to Shrike getting a first turn charge on the Company Command, who were on foot because of the Secondary objective. My Land Raider threw a track on some rubble and spent the game far away from the battle, and the rest of my force just didn't have the staying power to deal with that kind of firepower. I got the secondary (a gimme) and tertiary, plus 3 bonus. 25/48.

Game 3 'Beat It' v. Adam T.'s Blood Angels
Objectives
Primary- Annihilation
Seconday- Score 1000 or more VPs.
Tertiary- Destroy all non-vehicle troop choices.
Bonus- +1 for each category of your opponents army with no units left at the end of the game.

Adam had a pretty cool Rhino based Veteran Assault army with Dante, Corbulo, and a few Attack Bikes. I was over aggressive with my forward elements (Shrike's infiltrating Assault Terminators and Lysander's Sternguard). If I had held back he would have come at me anyway, but instead I put the control of the game in his hands. My mistake. I managed to get the Secondary by Dante making a unit of Devs fallback, he couldn't catch them or stay within 6" of them, so in my turn they swung back around and blasted Dante in the face with a lascannon, pushing me up over 1000 VPs. 15/47.

Game 4 'Purple Rain' v. John E.'s Sisters of Battle
Objectives
Primary- Seize Ground (5 objectives)
Seconday- Kill HQ.
Tertiary- Have units in terrain
Bonus- +1 for each category of your opponents army with no units left.

Well it took until my fourth game to play someone from Austin, but to my great fortune it was actually someone I had not ever played before. John was fielding an army of mechanized Sisters with a whole mess of Exorcists and Immolators, all led by Saint Celestine and her Seraphim bodyguard. The army started with an impressive 12 Faith points. He held a large portion of his army in reserve (I'm still not sure why). My first turn pressure units were able to kill a Rhino, and the whole squad inside whilst my Land Raider rushed towards his lines. I was able to kill his Seraphim with some great shots from my Thunderfire cannon (causing 19 wounds in one turn kind of great shots). My melta Tactical squad accounted for both Exorcists and an Immolator. By turn 5 all he had left was Saint Celestine, who was saved from being charged by Shrike and Lysander because the game ended. 33/47.

Game 5 'Back in Black' v. Josh R.'s Deathwing
Objectives
Primary- Modified Seize Ground (5 objectives). Models may permanently claim objectives after turn three, gaining fleet, furious charge, and rage if they do so.
Seconday- Score 750 or more then your opponent.
Tertiary- Table quarters.
Bonus- Kill HQs and heavies.

So I did not treat myself nicely on Saturday night (mainly due to goatboys bachelor party) and it showed in my Saturday morning game. Apparently I also somehow upset my dice. I'm sure I wasn't razor sharp with my tactical decisions, but I couldn't roll a dice through a wet paper bag. Some examples from the game: Shrike charges a missle launcher dread (no DCCW) and is dead within three rounds of combat (pictured above), my Assault Terminators charge a unit of regular Terminators and are wiped out to the man, my Land Raider immobilizes itself trying to take an objective late in the game. Maybe it's just this table (it was the same one I played the Blood Angels on). 0/47. That knocked me down about six tables. ugh.

Game 6 'Born in the USA' v. Michael A.'s Tyranids
Objectives
Primary- Capture and Control
Seconday- Annihilation
Tertiary- Have more units in the opponents deployment zone then they have in yours.
Bonus- +1 for each table quarter
+1 for killing the highest cost HQ

So I finally played someone who I knew from Austin, guess it had to happen at some point. Michael had a bunch of over 200 point big bugs supported by a big brood of Warriors, some 'without number' Gaunts, and a unit of outflanking Genestealers. This time taking the fight to the enemy didn't seem like the logical choice, but it was definitely the right one. Shrike got a first turn charge on the Warriors, almost died, but the Terminators caught up right on time to save him. Lysander and the Sternguard came down (Pod landed on his objective) and hellfired the Flyrant to death. The game devolved into a big scum in the middle (Lysander v. 3 Fexes), while my rearguard objective holding force staved off iminnent assault two times. One of his Fexs destroyed the contesting Drop Pod, but my Land Raider rolled in at the last minute to steal the win. 46/47.

Game 7 'The Final Countdown' v. Jawaballs' Blood Angels
Objectives
Primary- Modified Sieze Ground (6 objectives) at the end of each turn roll a d6 for each objective, on a '6' the objective takes off. If a player is controlling the objective at the time, then the models are removed from play, the objective permanently belongs to that player, and the unit that was holding it deep strikes back onto the board the next turn.
Seconday- Have units in all four table quarters.
Tertiary- Kill half the units in the enemy army.
Bonus- Assault the enemy with an HQ choice +1
Have a surviving HQ +2
Have a scoring unit within 3" of the table center. +2

In round 7 I played jawaballs of 'Way of Saim Hann' fame, who is a real nice dude. He held a bunch of his units in reserve, which I didn't understand. I combat squadded onto a couple objectives and decided to 'outflank' Shrike and the Terminators for the first time in the tournament. It was a fun game, but it is kind of a blur because of how tired I was at that point (that point, ha, I'm still exhausted). I had two of my units take off and claim objectives permenantly, while jawa had one of his units do it. He managed to kill my Land Raider in the last turn to grab an objective and force a 2-2 tie. PIctured above is Lysander getting killed by an exploding 'Baal' Predator. 37/47.

~All together combined with my paint and excellent sports scores I pulled off 9th overall. Not bad considering the size of the tournament. I'm already stoked about next year. Woo! Any of your other BoLScon attendees feel free to drop in your stories, thoughts, and best moments from the weekend's festivities. You can also follow the BoLScon threads in the Lounge.

40K: BoLSCon Overall Winners



Hi all, Jwolf here. Here are the lists that won overall and second overall at BoLSCon. I think their success has a lot more to say about the quality of their players than the perceived strength of the armies.

Michael Strange’s Tyranids
Super Winged Choppy Tyrant

Foot Tyrant, Dual Devourers and 2 Guards

3x 20 Improved (WS, Str, In) Hormagaunts

8 Spinegaunts, Without Number

Lictor

3 Zoanthropes

2x Carnifex – Barbed Strangler / Venom Cannon

Comments: When I checked this list in, I did not foresee a winning list, but Michael made it work, spending all of day one at first table and rallying back to take the title from the Guard army that beat him in round four. Michael has put a lot of hard work into the army, and he has clearly put a lot of working into determining how best to use it. I am pleased that an army that I would not have considered likely to win won in our almost completely tabletop scoring tournament. Kudos to Mike.


Ben Andranka’s Orks
Warboss Power Klaw; Shoota/Skorcha Kombi-weapon; Twin-linked Dakkagun; Stikkbombs; Attack Squig; Bosspole; Cybork Body; Warbike

9 Lootas

11 Kommandos – 2 Burnas
Boss Snikrot

6 Nobs + 1 Painboy in a Trukk. Striped for wound allocation.

9 ‘Ard Boyz + Nob in a Trukk

19 Boyz + Nob

19 Boyz + Nob

19 Boyz + Nob

20 Gretchen + 2 Runtherds

4 Warbikers + Nob

Battlewagon w/ Deffrolla

2 Killer Kans

Comments: This was another surprising list. Orks are a strong Codex in 5e, but this list doesn’t fully capitalize on the Ork strengths. Ben played with a straightforward aggression the hid a lot of nice tricks from his opponents and showed skill in a very un-Orky way.

~What strikes me about these lists as winners is the basic truth of 40K – no list makes nearly as much difference as the skill of the player and their ability to use their units effectively. I’m sure a lot of you can figure out ways to improve both of these lists, but they worked great for their players. If we are lucky, Michael and Ben may drop into the comments with their view of BoLScon and how their lists fought their way to the top.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

BoLSCon Update: More Photos From the Floor



Another late night, another early morning and BoLSCon rolls on. Competition is heavy in both brackets as we sprint to the finish. Here are some more photos from the floor.

Sisters, Prepare for Battle!

Old vs. New

One Shot, One Kill.

What's That Smell.... OH MY GOD!

They're Breaking Through!

The Edlar chases the Arbites Knight Titan

We Will Re-Take the Temple Men!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

BoLSCon Update: Some Photos From the Floor


BoLSCon is cruising along. Here are some pictures from the floor.

Titans Prowl the Battlefield...


...but Eldar Rule the Skies.
Blood Angels Dreadnought taking names

Tyranids vs. Chaos

Stompa On Overwatch

I Have Them In My Sights

Holding The Hive

Beware the Cult Of Flame!

More updates to come!

BoLSCon Friday Update!

Hey Everybody, it's Friday night and BoLSCon is ON!

A Few of the Models Available for Open Gaming

Some of the BoLSCon Prize Support

NEWS FLASH!!!

JWOLF DEFEATS FRITZ!!!

Brick-in-the-face > 5th dimension!


[More details coming soon...]