Monday, March 12, 2012

GT Review: The Indy Open

Well weekend before last I braved the weather and snow to travel down to Indianapolis for the first GT in Indiana at the Indy Open. It was quite a haul thanks to the weather but worth the trip. This is one of my GT reviews and will rate the various important aspects of the event and also have a small list of ways to improve it going into its second year. I review on a Great, Good, Average, Needs Improvement, and Bad scale. Onto the review!

The event was run by the local group of pretty competitive gamers down in the Indianapolis area. It was the first event they’d ever run and I can honestly say I had no idea what I might be getting into. That being said I knew the guys running it and had high hopes

The event was a Nova Style event with 6 rounds (4 on Saturday, 2 on Sunday) that were 2.5 hours long. It had two top prizes with the Tournament Champion and Ren. Man awards (Best General and Best Overall) with secondary prizes for best in record (i.e. all 5-1’s, 4-2’s, and so on)

Venue: Average – Borderline Good

This is a hard one. The event was held in the American Legion in Indianapolis.  It was spacious and did have a bar attached. However everything I owned reeked of smoke after the weekend. It wasn’t noticeable in the location and no smoking was occurring during the event it’s just the smoke must be in the ventilation. Also if it hadn’t been for the unexpected catering (even by the TO’s) then it was a drive to get to any food. Not a long drive but still not within walking distance. As long as it’s catered and someone cleans out the vent system to remove the smoke I’d move this into a Good to Excellent category.

Terrain: Average

Over the general run of the tables the terrain was alright. Some LoS blocking items but it started to get a bit sparser the farther down you went and some of the themed tables were a bit ridiculous. I played on a trench table twice with my all foot GK and felt bad for my opponent. Both times since they were mech armies I agreed to count the trenches as open terrain for them so that they wouldn’t take a test every time they moved. Basically it was above average for first year terrain but not quite where it needs to be. I see this improving greatly next year as Terrain is something that grows with the event.

Prize Support: Excellent

They had quite a bit of prize support. They had some blisters they were raffling off all weekend (I got another finecast Hive Guard!) and some big box sets they raffled off at the end of the event. The bracket winners got some solid prize support and the Ren Man and Best General got $250 Visa gift cards for the win. Overall it was excellent and very open with how the prize support was distributed.

Turnout: Excellent

Just like with the Dark Star how can you rate it anything less when an event sells out? They sold 64 spots though 2 people didn’t show which probably had something to do with the weather and tornados earlier in the week in the south of the state. But it was a well attended event with very few drops going into day 2.

Format/Scheduling: Good/Excellent.

Scenarios: Good

Nova standard style missions. Though they did modify capture and control on the spearheads which I was a little iffy about. This could prevent the need to move out of your deployment zone in spearhead which, given the extra distance you can create in spearhead, could have lended some strength to shooty style lists.

Overall: Good

It was a good, solid, first year event. It had some first year issues but none that would make me look back at the event negatively. The tournament ran on time. There were judges all over in case you had a question. There were no noticeable sportsmanship issues over the course of the weekend. Basically a great foundation to build off of.


1)     The Painting Rubric: There was an issue that the TO’s have already acknowledged and plan to fix regarding the fact that at least 2 of the top 6 scorers for the weekend (one of them the winner of the Ren Man award) both had unfinished armies. Each player had at least a single unit that was just basecoated and wasn’t up to the standard of the rest of the army but both scored almost max on painting. My personal suggestion would be to put a line at the top of the sheet stating that for advanced points to be earn that the entire army or 99% must be painted to the same standard.

2)      Terrain: Themed boards are cool there is no doubt. However care needs to be taken that they aren’t game changing. There was at least one table (that I played on twice) that without an agreeable opponent was a very poor table. This was made worse by the fact that it was generally populated by players in the running for the overall. Also a consistent spread of terrain as the LoS blockers tended to get a bit sparse toward the bottom tables.

3)     Table Assignments: The above leads into this. Find a way to ensure that people aren’t playing on the same table over and over again. One suggestion is to take a random table after pairings are made and start the top tables from there. This will ensure people don’t play on the same tables 2-3 times as was happening over the weekend.

That’s pretty much it. I had a great time and want to thank the Indy guys for putting this on. A great first year and I can’t wait for next year. Though this time I’ll probably be flying J