Overall, on the scale of 5 stars, I give it a solid 4. It was definitely worth going to, and I look forward to the next time we can be at an event this large in Maine!
In retrospect from my expectations of the morning - some were met, some were exceeded - both good, bad, and ugly.
You'd have to know, as part of the story, is that the store's biggest flaw when it comes to 40K is that the owner and his employees do not claim to be experts in 40K, do not blog about it, do not really know what is going on in it outside of the store, do not attend other 40K events elsewhere, and by-and-large themselves do not have it as their most favorite game. They do, however, have to be respected as one of the stores in the Northeastern US with the largest current 40K sales numbers, and a consistent group that play the game there.
The best surprise was that the organizers did not use generic, BRB Maelstrom Missions! That part was totally awesome, and hearkened back to the day when Thor at Creative Twilight did them! Besides having a metric to "level" the Maelstrom points, there were three bonus tasks that were unique to each game. Thus, a player could score 0-20 points for each game or so including bonuses. They even brought in table quarter deployment in the third game, with a King of the Hill twist to set the stage for epic third game efforts!
The second best thing was the number of players - we were concerned about this, and we were able to have 22 players in total, including a fill-in from the store, to make sure every table was full. I was hoping for 24 or more, but, 40K has in fact seen a lot of defections in the past 5 years.
The third best thing, I think (but I often glaze over on game day) - was that everyone (for the most part) had an awesome "can-do" and up-to-the-challenge attitude. Most of us looked at the variety of armies and there were few armies, if any, that any of us would not have wanted to be challenged with. That included seeing a few armies with models and such that had not been seen on the table!
As compared to previous years, painting points seem to be a source of pride and anger. From what I saw, an impartial judge who used to play 40K (and has amazing painted armies) went around and scored the paint for each army - There was a simple rubric they used - which I think was distributed in advance. You could in fact, probably go through and self-score your army strictly to the rubric and come close to what the scorer probably gave you. My only real issues with this remain - I'd want the paint scores to be provided as you get scored (on a participation ribbon or card) - and disclosed to you up front so that you can verify later that the score on the sheet was proofable to the score in the computer. I just hate errors! Especially in an event where the scores can get close!
The pizza lunch was OK.
The painting comp was pretty good, considering there were 22 players. I entered four different entries and got nothing. Not a big deal, I did not spend any time at all on painting competition entries.
Worst thing was when the software they were using crashed - and they may have had to re-enter the data or do the math in their heads to determine who was playing who for Round 3. When numbers are tight - it is important to have an accurate, error free process.
Now on to some photos
A sort of Armies on Parade! For more pictures - go see Crossroad Game's facebook page! I used my i-Phone - as usual - so I don't get the best of closeups!
First off! Here is my own army - packed to head over to the event. A Ultramarines Battle Company! My list is over at Bolter and Chainsword...You can see my "scratch-built" Whirlwind - Overall, it was fun to use both my Blue and Red armies in a combined force! It goes with those drop pods I'd painted a few years ago! Also - as a matter of fact - this was the FIRST army list I've played as Ultramarines since their codex came out! (You know I've just been playing Blood Angels and Astra Militarum for most of the last year!)
Another Battle Company - Podded White Scars! Totally different than my list!
Necrons Decurion! (I played against this army in Round 3) Will be baaaack....
Ultramarines Demi-Company - from the Shiny Rhino at Thin Your Paint. Very pretty, not Gritty.
Orks! A big mess of em'. I think I could have beat them. Maybe.
Word Bearers. It looks kinda small. I'm told everything had the max of upgrades possible.
Marines of some kind with a Librarian Conclave. Did extremely well. Frankly, take this to heart...the hole tray should be just dumped into Simple Green to start over.
Tau with a large centerpiece that looked to hard to wreck...and could be ignored.
And even more Bugs! An official INFESTATION! (Unbound....)
Some sort of converted Dark Eldar. The conversions are amazing. No display board though, which kinda detracts from it.
Chaod Marines - I don't know if it was KDK. We told the guy to just get some spray paint and finish them before paint scoring....
Eldar! I played agains this Army in Round 2! Fast and Furious!
Nurgle! I played against this in Round 1! I got a cold just taking this picture. Plague Flies are off somewhere....
Eldar, of the Wraith Kind. D-lite-ful.
My personal favorite army of the day - Skitari!
And this one...missing a...
There were a few other armies - but either they were not set out at the beginning, or looked so unpainted I chose not to photograph them.
Next Up - How I Actually Did and then Felt About the Results!
Come back next time! I have a 48 hour rule for discussing results...