Monday, 22 February 2016

LVO 2016 Review

I’ve just about recovered from the Jet Lag caused by my trip to the LVO, so I thought I would post up a few thoughts. I’ll do it in three instalments – general review of the trip and the tournament, a (very) brief report on my games, and a list review.

This is the first time I’ve been in Vegas, and it’s one of the weirdest places I’ve ever been to (and Mrs Geek and I’ve have been to some pretty weird places in our youth). For those of you who’ve been, hopefully you’ll know what I’m talking about, for those of you who haven’t……..imagine Disney Land, but for grown ups – tacky, entirely fake, but fun “if you like that sort of thing”.

It took me a few days to decide, but I’ve eventually come to the conclusion that I don’t "like that sort of thing”. All in all, Vegas is pretty seedy, horribly expensive, and the attractions (gambling, drinking, shows, hookers etc), just don’t appeal. Somebody said in a forum comment that it “reeks of human desperation” and they’re not wrong. Having said all that, I can see that why it appeals …. maybe I’m just getting old!

Enough of Vegas – the trip as a whole was an absolute blast. The event (simply calling it a tournament isn’t enough) was fantastic. My buddy and I competed in the championship and the team tournament, and my brother in the narrative. We all had a great time (with one exception I’ll mention below). I played 8 great opponents over the 9 games, and one guy who was a little “disappointed” in our game, but I’ll come to that.

The event was very well organised, and I enjoyed the rules pack and the changes they’ve made to the game to try and make it a little more balanced and fun. To be fair there are a few of the changes that I might question, but overall, I was more than happy. 

All in all I would go back to the LVO in a heartbeat ….. if family and finances allowed!

There were only 2 things that marred the experience, one relatively trivial, but the other a little more serious.

The trivial first – the food and water in the convention hall was a rip off. Five dollars for a tiny bottle of water, and (from memory) $15 for a pretty awful  meal. But worse than that, hotel security were on the door actually confiscating drinks and food brought in from elsewhere, forcing you to buy the overpriced nonsense. Reece has posted elsewhere about why this happens, and I do understand  - it boils down to “because it’s Vegas”. Doesn’t make it any less irritating however. For me (and I accept I may be in the minority) it makes me questions whether holding the event in Vegas is worth it.

The less trivial point was over games finishing. I think I finished only 2 of my nine games on a dice roll (2 finished early on the basis of a concession). The one game which was less than “entirely fun” was against a dark angles gladius, and I think we got to the end of turn 3 before time was called (to be fair that was in the team tournament where quite a bit of time is taken up with match ups etc). Don’t get me wrong – nobody was slow playing deliberately, and the game itself was “happy” and good natured, but my opponent (who won narrowly 11-9 from memory) was very disappointed not to finish.

This was a bit of theme for the weekend – in one of my buddy’s games in the Championship, he only got to turn 3 against a Tau army. He plays Demonkin – all he does is move and run for 2 turns. His (very strong view) is that he was deliberately slow played to avoid the inevitable assault which would have wiped his opponent off the table.

This is being discussed at some length on various forums – it seems it was an issue across the whole event. People are suggesting various “solutions”, from chess clocks, to dropping points levels to 1500.

To be fair I don’t have a particularly strong views on the matter – if you pressed me I would probably vote for 3 hr rounds, and keep points at 1,850, but if a tournament went to 1,500, I would still go. The problem of course is that the idea we should be able to play a game in 2.30 -2.45 arose during the “hey day” of competitive 40k in 5th ed. That was a much simpler and more streamlined game, and your points didn’t go nearly as far as they do now. Armies are simply bigger, and the game is more complex. IMHO expecting an 1,850pt game to take 2.30 is unrealistic. Sure it’s possible if both players hustle, hustle, hustle …… but it’s not a lot of fun!

So that’s the general overview – overwhelmingly positive.


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