The 2011 40k Masters
Like all tyrannical and unjust regimes, Root’s day has passed and we have come to the end of his reign of terror. Having spent the past year torturing his betters, he now finds himself under the microscope. However, we are his betters and shall prove this through our kindness. I will be marking him out of 100 points rather than the niggardly 20 points he usually handed out. I also throw aside his despicable pretensions to speak for the common man and provide only my own opinion. Which is clearly the actual voice of the masses. Obviously.
The only identifiable flaws were the extremely early deadline for list submission and the mis-scheduling of Game 3. The random mission/deployment selection was wildly popular (with me) at Dominion Day III/IV and its migration south is greatly welcomed. The scorecards were that rare beast, an improvement on the much lauded Fisher approach. With army list, score card and scoring system all combined into one package, we can declare that item to have been perfect. All hail the Stowe score card. I suppose I should check the pack for spelling and grammatical errors but I’m rather lazy. I assume there is one present and dock you a point for it. 18/20 points.
I would prefer a shift away from the abundance of stunted, gnarled pale man-beasts towards top-heavy, slender brunettes but I’m informed that the budget won’t stretch to it. The players were moderately attentive, some were actually in the top 16 and some appeared to have washed recently. Bearing in mind that we are dealing with hardened nerds, that’s probably a 19/20 mark.
An interesting approach, rather than attempt to spread all available terrain over all tables equally, there appeared to be a design philosophy at work. Some tables were open in nature, others lent themselves to close quarter engagements. Frankly, it made for more variety in gaming than any bizarre custom mission would have. To ensure this continues, I award whoever was responsible a 20/20 mark. If it was accidental, then we should pause to consider the importance of catering to my whims by implementing this policy immediately at all cons.
With a ratio of one ref to eight players, rules decisions came quickly and erratically. Kidding. I must credit John and Shane for their willingness to take a few moments to double-check their rulings rather than operate by fiat. Admittedly, tensions were running rather low all weekend but the light-handed approach to disputes always plays well with the common players (i.e. me). The Twitter feed was wasted on me but remains a nice touch. 20/20.
There were cakes, buns, tea and coffee. The survivors were reinforced on Sunday morning but by tournament’s end, all was desolated. The only reason that full marks are not given is that we have been spoiled by Fisher’s breakfast farls. I award you 18/20 marks.
So, they enter the “justice” round with 95/100 points.
[Ed: Part 2 can be found here]