Astronomi-con Vancouver 2013

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Astronomi-con Vancouver 2013

Post  Aegwymourn on Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:54 pm

I am going to do a write-up later this week of our trip to Astronomi-con this weekend. I was definitely different than any other tournament I've been to.

- - - -

First off, hats off to Mark and Mike for doing all the organizing of the trip. Mark booked all the hotel rooms, made sure of where the tournament was in relation and got the schedule of the event for us so we knew where we had to be and when we had to be there. Mike got the rental car all sorted out and did a huge amount of the driving. Thanks a bunch you guys for basically making the trip happen. Also thanks to Brian for making that magic 4th spot so everything was split out evenly and its huge to have another person in the car.

Now on to the main event, the tournament itself!

So Astronomicon is basically a large "beer and pretzels" sort of tournament at its heart. Everything is based around themes and narratives rather than perfectly balanced missions. This means at its core Astro is not going to be for those people who simply want to "do the math" and "netlist". I am going to go through each part of what I think are the important parts of the tournament and my opinions on them.

For the Tournament organizers Christian and Mike, they were good TOs in all respects. They were helpful and polite and seemed to want to get everyone's feedback on the tournament. They do know what kind of tournament they want to run but admit that everything is a work in progress and there will be mistakes.

The missions were almost exclusively narrative based with a total of 15 battle points available. Out of the 20 or so boards only 5-6 or so used Unit Points (basically old school VP from 3rd edition) for objectives. Everything other mission had very different objectives ranging from table quarters to grab multiple movable objectives. The upside to this is that with the terrain being set up by the TOs the boards were very cool and fit the mission to a tee. The downside is that if you had a run of missions that were particularly difficult to score highly on (of which I'd say there were at least 25-40% of the non-Unit Points missions) you could end up with a skewed number of battle points. For example for my first mission I got Unit points for the objectives, defending essentially a bunker complex, against Deathwing. Couldn't have gone better for me, tabled him by the end of turn 5 and got my 15 points. My next game I got "The Convoy" mission, against Orks, only managed to get through three turns and scored 1 point. So sometimes it felt more like you were playing against the mission, or in that game time, rather than your opponent. If my second game had gone on till turn 5+ I was confident that I would have scored significantly more points (one of my riptides and skyray never even came on). Also there could be a little bit of gaming the system going on (for example in my first game the guy was super cool about getting the worst match up imaginable so I "mistakenly" let him kill an extra 200-500 points just so he could get something and not end with a 0 because of the mission.

The terrain was awesome. Apparently it was all local terrain from the clubs in the area. It is really nice to get on such wonderful terrain with "fully" painted armies. Definitely makes a big difference.

All of the guys at the tournement were really cool guys. About the only complaint I personally had is that there was a bit of rules issues with stuff. I know that it is a "thematic" type of tournament, but I have to spend 10-20 mins going over my list each game because nobody knows any of the Tau rules, or I have to remind my opponent each turn that blessings are at the start of the movement phase. It can make a smooth match up turn rough. For the amount of money it costs to get in it can be a little frustrating. With the amount of stuff I let slide I'm particularly interested to see what I got for sportsmanship.

The Venue was good. A little cramped and very noisy (just about blew out my voice day two) but air conditioned, so all good.

Food options were meh, since a lot of the campus stuff was closed/under repair due to it being summer.

The last big portion of the tournament was soft scores. Astronomi-con has a lot so I wanted to talk about them in their own section. They have a total of 6 different soft score which are: appearence (which includes not only painting, but a large chunk is conversions as well); Sportsmanship; Composition; Theme; Army List (the physical list you submitted/brought to the event, one guy had a scroll with all kinds of random stuff for his mechanicum army); and Army (which your opponent rated what he thought of what you took for your army). Appearance Mark and I found to be incredibly subjective as the two who were closest (myself at 14 and Mark at 16). Now I was please as punch to get as many points as I did, but my army looks like shit compared to Marks. There should have been a solid 10 point difference between our appearance scores. Some of my stuff (pathfinders and drones especially) only had the 3 color minimum. Perhaps GW washes come with mind control pheromones or something? The composition system was incredibly complex and brutal for some armies. We spent a bit of time talking with Christian after the first day talking about it and while I don't necessarily agree with the way they do it (since I agree with Mark that you are really just replacing one set of rules with another) its their event at the end of the day. Theme was judged by your opponents and my least favorite soft score. I think it would be nifty it did what it was intended, that everyone has a backstory and you get judged by how much your list coincides with your backstory. However in a timed event we could barely complete the games let alone read somebody's fluff (a mistake I learned on game two). So generally I just gave people a 5. You took orks with your orks? Have a cookie and a 5/5. Army list was interesting, but IMO should have been scored differently. The maximum score should have been for a neat tidy list that any player can pick up, read, look at your models, and not be confused during the game. All the bonus stuff for everything else should be part of your appearance score. Not a big deal, just my opinion. And finally there was the Army score. Basically I treated it just like another Theme score and just gave people a 5.

Overall I think Astronomi-con is one of those events everyone should go to once just to experience it. I was glad we took the time and did it. I do know however that I will not be doing another 17 hour drive one Razz . In the future I might end up going to the one in Winnipeg since its only a 8-10 hour drive and I have in-laws to bum a room at (hooray for no boarding expense - really the worst cost of the trip).

If anyone has any questions or wants some game reports, let me know.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/49788502@N02/9554537101/ - Mike and I - game 1 day two.


Last edited by Aegwymourn on Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:03 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Astronomi-con Vancouver 2013

Post  Rhaevyn on Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:31 am

13 different toilets over 4 days!. including the black hole of dhoom with the rainbow mountain view.

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Re: Astronomi-con Vancouver 2013

Post  Aegwymourn on Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:42 am

Rhaevyn wrote:13 different toilets over 4 days!.   including the black hole of dhoom with the rainbow mountain view.
IT CAN'T BE UNSEEN!

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Re: Astronomi-con Vancouver 2013

Post  Rhaevyn on Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:46 pm

my next heldrake is going to be modeled to look like a dolphin.

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Re: Astronomi-con Vancouver 2013

Post  Lore Weaver on Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:48 pm

Rhaevyn wrote:my next heldrake is going to be modeled to look like a dolphin.
*eee* *eee* *eee*

=====


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Re: Astronomi-con Vancouver 2013

Post  Aegwymourn on Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:48 pm

on a rainbow? Razz 

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Re: Astronomi-con Vancouver 2013

Post  Lore Weaver on Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:50 pm

Put a little hut with a green roof on the base.

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Re: Astronomi-con Vancouver 2013

Post  Aegwymourn on Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:00 pm

- bump - edited first post with information.

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Re: Astronomi-con Vancouver 2013

Post  Lore Weaver on Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:09 pm

John and I in Round 3.

How'd that deathwatch treat you buddy? :-)


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Re: Astronomi-con Vancouver 2013

Post  Lore Weaver on Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:15 pm

Here's where I had a 'nid player down to 2 models.


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Re: Astronomi-con Vancouver 2013

Post  Rhaevyn on Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:27 pm

Echo most of what Tom put in his top post.

The difference in painting between my and marks army is not a gap of 10 points, i was scored 24.  

Just goes to show just how important soft scores were, i came in 3rd in best overall and 3rd in best general.  i couldn't do anything about the best general, some missions just don't give up the points and day 1 i had two games that got away from me, best overall though, i could probably pulled off with just a couple more points of Fluff and BS in the army list and them areas. 15 extra minutes spray painting my display stand and glueing on some flock.

My only other major complaint is paying a $95 entry fee and not seeing any prizes worth anything.  Trophies are great mementos, but i can have those trophies made up for less than $20 each. I would much rather support a local event or store where more of the Significant entry fee can go back to the community. No offence to the astro guys, who were great... but paying thier air-fare and hotels probably ate up the lions share of the money, and i've been to better venues that cost less.

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Re: Astronomi-con Vancouver 2013

Post  Aegwymourn on Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:14 pm

oh, they apparently post results of everything in about a week after the tournament. its the full excel sheet that they do during the tournament.... "supposedly" /consipricytheory Razz

oh and mike, on the astro yahoo group they just posted their breakdown for cost and yea, air travel and stuff tanked it. although apparently those trophies cost like 660 bucks or somethin.... >.>

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Re: Astronomi-con Vancouver 2013

Post  Planes on Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:44 pm

I have to say, the table that Tom linked to looked really spiffy. A lot of the others in the same photoset didn't hold a candle to it, though. I like the modular design, though.

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Re: Astronomi-con Vancouver 2013

Post  Aegwymourn on Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:46 pm

Well that was one guys personal board. He said it took him forever to build. And it gets scratched to hell whenever someone plays on it. It wasn't much fun to play on (lots of difficult terrain and stuff). Its a lot like playing on Mark's city board. Only more one-sided Razz

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Re: Astronomi-con Vancouver 2013

Post  System Commander on Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:00 pm

I dont know why.. but these days i actually prefer trophies/unique prizes over kits.

As the years pass.. i enjoy the plaques/trophies and remember the event.. the ones i won gift certificates or prizes for .. harder to remember.

Thats just me though.. i know for a lot of people they want to see real game related prizes. I was definitely of that opinion for years.

We went to Astro winnipeg years back.. but man.. i was so hung over i have no idea what the scenarios were or even what the tables looked lime. I remember two things from the event.. i played agaimst a deathwing with an almost all berserker list whwn they had chainaxe..s.. the game ended on turn 3. I also remember leaving during my second to go puke outside. Never did that at a tournament again.
It was decent though.. id consider going to astro winnipeg again.

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Re: Astronomi-con Vancouver 2013

Post  Rhaevyn on Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:18 pm

they are using a picture of our game as thier facebook background at the moment tom.

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Re: Astronomi-con Vancouver 2013

Post  System Commander on Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:22 am

What armies did you guys play against there..  and what did you see floating around?
 
Who won? Oh..and how was the drive?

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Re: Astronomi-con Vancouver 2013

Post  Lore Weaver on Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:17 am

I played against Daemons, CSM, Wolves, Nids, Dark Eldar, Grey Knights.

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Re: Astronomi-con Vancouver 2013

Post  Aegwymourn on Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:49 am

The drive was a ton of fun. Although like I said before, to long just for a two day tourney. 

I played against: deathwing; orks; chaos marines (john); chaos marines+IG (mike B); orks; Space Wolves

There was a rather large assortment of armies from what I remember. Just about 1-2 of everything. 

Tau took best general with one of the worst lists I have seen from walking past it (none of us played it). Supposedly he tabled his first two opponents. Although technically if you have victory conditions other than Unit Points you still have to be able to capture objectives inside the turn limit (your opponent just doesn't have a turn at that point). So I wonder if they did that correctly. 

That's kinda funny they are using our picture. Since I don't think either of us enjoyed that game, haha. Mr look at me I seized on as the defender on this crazy ass board Razz

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Re: Astronomi-con Vancouver 2013

Post  Rhaevyn on Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:39 am

I played... mass csm/plague marines on foot. - - This guy won best Sportsman. and it was deserved, probably the nicest guy you'll ever meet from an island with no phones and dressed like hes about to harvest some shrooms. bonus points for suspenders.

Farsight w/suites and two skyrays. ... overall. i thought his army was bad, i lost this game because i siezed. last turn Farsight precision shotted an objective holder and made him drop an objective that would have turned the tide. also assaulted me with fire warriors to make me drop n objective. judged apparantly ruled 2 games later that i could have picked it back up with my consolidate move.... which would have given me another 3 VP's and maybe Best General and/or Best overall.(Blah!)

Coteaz army with no grey knights in it. very cool models. cool conversions, great theme...... stupid non-GK GK list with stupid abuse of every rule possible in the dex, hate hate hate this list. similar to what Planes played in league finals, only worse. nice guy, schtoooopid army. I hates it precious. I shield break your lords 4++ with my assassin and then drop str 10 ap1 templates on your face with precience and the other one that ignores cover..... (tied anyway, table had too much terrain)

Toms tau. meh Sieze win. scenario favored me as well, the reason CSM get the bunkers just on principle over xenos didn't make sense to me. i had lots of troops, but moving them forward and trying to take those lines away from a shooty tau army? heh, fail.

Space wolves rhino/razor spam. - attack the farm at night scenario. poor guy, it was probably his most frustrating matchup. i had a 18x18 corner o the board and he had to take it away from me to get any points, if you saw my list, i want nothing more to hunker down behind my aegis line and shoot at you... oh and the rules forbade him from deploying in his transports or else he had to come in on reserves with Everything.... 4 sabre turrets and a quad gun would have had a field day with his units as they trickled in from reserve. He did force weapon my nurgle lord with a runepriest., but yeah lots more fun for me than for him

NIDS. - standard killpoints mission, table edges. i went 14-0 and only didn't get the full 14 points because his list was 1499 and Unit points are counted in full 250 increments.


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Re: Astronomi-con Vancouver 2013

Post  Rhaevyn on Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:41 am

And yeah. tom our battle was pretty ass. And actually a prime example of a mission that can kill you battle points. Its always going to be super lopsided. Whereas a killpoints mission could go 15/10

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Re: Astronomi-con Vancouver 2013

Post  Aegwymourn on Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:20 am

Rhaevyn wrote:And yeah. tom our battle was pretty ass. And actually a prime example of a mission that can kill you battle points. Its always going to be super lopsided. Whereas a killpoints mission could go 15/10
Well like I said in the car that is my biggest issue. They either need to do all theme missions with no unit points or all unit points missions. The swing between them is crazy (like that cultist board John and I played on, nobody was walking away with more than 10 and that would be crazy good, I bet the average on that board is 6-7 which would kill you for best general). I bet if I go again (probably to winnipeg) I'll bring a list to do those goofy missions and then get all the standard unit points ones.

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Re: Astronomi-con Vancouver 2013

Post  Planes on Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:23 pm

Rhaevyn wrote:Coteaz army with no grey knights in it.  very cool models. cool conversions, great theme...... stupid non-GK GK list with stupid abuse of every rule possible in the dex, hate hate hate this list. similar to what Planes played in league finals, only worse. nice guy, schtoooopid army. I hates it precious.   I shield break your lords 4++ with my assassin and then drop str 10 ap1 templates on your face with precience and the other one that ignores cover..... (tied anyway, table had too much terrain)
Wait, people actually run Temple Assassins? And no GK at all, not even Dreads? I'm guessing his composition score would have been ass, at least, as war bands are all "native" to the elite slot.

I want to see this list now, as anything meaner than "2 las-cannons, 2 plasma cannons, orbital strike relay, prescience, perfect timing" with dedicated spot light support sounds terrifying.

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Re: Astronomi-con Vancouver 2013

Post  Aegwymourn on Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:27 pm

As long as there wasn't any duplicates it only moves half the points there. Which isn't nearly as bad. Actually helps him not go over to much on troops. All he rand that was GK was a single psyfle dread.

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Re: Astronomi-con Vancouver 2013

Post  Planes on Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:40 pm

If he had no GK as troops he would have been running at least triplicate, as regardless of what the warband is composed of, the "unit" is still "inquisitorial warband", and warband spam can easily push you into 6 troops because of how affordable and versatile they can be.

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Re: Astronomi-con Vancouver 2013

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