Sunday, September 18, 2011

‘Ard Boyz Shenanigans

While listening to podcasts and to people who casually play 40k games, it is funny to hear what their thoughts and perceptions are of tournament games and gamers. When they go to tournaments and do podcasts there they are always surprised that there are no problems at the top tables and people are having fun. It seems like they think that tournament gamers are all power gamers with their win-at-all-cost attitudes that will do anything to win a tournament. They think that whenever you compete for a prize that it brings out the worst in players.

In my experience, the opposite is true. Tournament gamers are prepared and professional, and they play well, and they play fair. I do not remember the last bad game I have had at a major tournament. I think one of the reasons why is that you have to pay a reasonable amount of money, and that most people there have been to tournaments before and they are not there for a prize, but to have a fun weekend playing 40k, and have themselves good and challenging games.

Now on the other side of the coin is the ‘Ard Boyz tournament. Since they are free, and every shop runs them they are a lot of people’s first and only tournament experience. Not only do you get stores that might not have run many tournaments before, and the fact that it is free means that everyone plays, and that the players that look at the chance to win prizes, and have that carrot dangled in their faces to try to do anything and everything they can to win. I think part of the problem is the way that GW markets the event with no painting not sports, just bring your toughest army and try to be the ‘Ardest Boy.
So some of my worst games I have ever played have been at the ‘Ard Boyz tournaments. Slow play, questionable rules knowledge, etc have been in play. To give you an example I will talk about my last game of the ‘Ard Boyz semi-finals.

First off, once you get out of the first round you should expect to be playing good players who know what they are doing. You expect a higher standard than you do with the first round. These players have been the top 3 of one of the preliminary tournaments so they know their way around a game of 40k.

So my progress after 2 rounds of the semi-finals I scored a massacre and a major victory, and another player had 2 massacres so we had a commanding lead on the field. So I get paired up against him, and this is what happened.

#1. No army list
That is right, game 3 of the semi-finals and he did not have a list. He opened up his laptop computer and showed it to me on army builder but what does that do for me? I have no way of comparing that to what he has on the table top and seeing if he has extra items or units. Heck, how many points is he using? I also scrolled down when he walked away and his list had harlequins in it, and when I asked him about it he said that he did not have harlequins. Whatever. Also, I had no idea how many incubi then he had, and that was huge. If I knew he had 9 of them with Vect floating around I would have made more of an issues over shooting down there raider. When I found out that he did not have a list I should have had a fit right there. How can someone not have an army list for me? He said that he lost his list, but the dog eating it is not an excuse. He should have been writing it down during our lunch break. There is no excuse.

#2. He did not know his army.
Here he is finishing in the top 3 of his store, and then after 2 massacres he does not know his army? He tried to shoot me with blasters at 24”!!! How on earth did a Dark Eldar player not know that they were 18” range? Here is another DE rule that he got wrong. He had wytches with hydra gauntlets. Those let him roll a D6 for their extra attacks but it counts as their extra attack from their 2 CC weapons. He added +1 attack for 2 CC weapons+D6 attacks. When I challenged him on it he said that he was doing it right.

#3. He had a million grey models.
This is not normally an issue, but he had about 4 squads and about 45 wytches in a giant scrum with my paladins. Both of us had no idea where one squad started, and another ended. When he was taking break checks, he was forgetting a squad, and I had to remind him of it. Also it was important when his squads broke and ran that they would have enough models so they were over half strength, but I had no idea how many where left in each squad.

#4. Dice Rolls
a)     At the beginning of the game during deployment I reminded him to roll for his wytch drugs and he said that he all ready rolled for them. I did not see that roll, and he did not inform me of it. By the way, he got the best result for him (re-roll wounds)
b)    When he rolled saves, he would roll them one at a time. This might be something that they do at the store/group he plays at because I played one of his friends the round before and he did the same thing. If he/they had to roll 10 saves all on the same profile he would roll his dice one and a time. Now with his friend it was not a big deal because he was playing plague marine CSM and his army was not that big. Dark Eldar on the other hand have a lot of dice to roll, and we need to play fast to finish our game. Now I was playing with 26 models in my army, and 12 of them did not enter play until turn #3 and we did not end up finishing our game.

#5. Re-attacking
He attacked my Librarian with about 6 wytches. He did not know that he had a 2+ Inv save so after all of this attacks he only did one wound. The then said that he made a mistake and attacked the Librarian with 6 more wytches killing him.

I should not have let him do most of the things that he did and I should have complained but I am mostly a laid back guy and just let it go. If they game was played correctly I might have won the tournament, but who knows. As it was I scored 3rd place.


  1. Yarp. At Ard boyz its also part of the tournament to challenge people on these things. Its his job to do them etc, but maybe more of your duty to challenge and be a hardass.

  2. Same on my third game Blackmoor. Ork players with a handwritten list, who slow played and even had the balls when he heard 19 minutes left to take over 5 minutes to move 1 battlewagon and not move 6 lootas. He then decided not to bring his 30 mob on from reserve and tried to call the game. Fortunately the head judge had been watching him due to others complaining about him and ruled we could finish turn 4. The douche lost by massacre. I should have tabled him just for kickers but I didn't. Hope to see you at the finals.

  3. Sorry that happened Blackmoor. We had a few games with shenanigans like this but luckily they were all at the low to mid range tables after round 1 so the top tables weren't affected. I had 2 opponents not supply me with lists. So I made an annoyance out of myself by constantly asking what was in what transports, at least I nor he ever forgot!

  4. It is a shame when people ruin things for others. Where I played (Game Empire Pasadena) they didn't let anyone without a printed copy play and they said that if you do not finish at least 5 turns by the end of the game you get 0 points and the game doesn't count-They had judges going around telling everyone what turn they should be on and if someone wasn't they would sit there and watch and make sure they hurried up. I think those things really kept things moving along.

    Also, it really is up to you to call people on rules issues/things and just get a judge and have him deal with it, that's what I'd do. I had an issue with my first round opponent (by the way he was really nice and not trying to cheat IMO it was a simple rules thing so not trying to defame him or anything) who tried to shoot the embarked unit from the turret hatch instead of the back hatch and a judge came over and told him no so that was that, we moved on and no big deal (it was kind of important because the front hatch was in range of my harlequins but not the back haha).

    Anyway, don't be a push over-if something irks you call the player out on it in a nice way and call a judge over to deal with it =). Good luck in the finals Allan, I hope they host it in the LA area instead of norcal this time!

  5. Ard Boyz really is the worst. :) I would agree with the sentiment that every other tournament I attend is usually pretty awesome. I have officially hand one bad experience at a top table.

  6. I do not even understand how people can blatantly cheat their opponent and then feel okay about it. If I cheated to win some tournament I think I would feel terrible about it.

    Also, where is your bat rep against me. I wanted to see your thoughts on the game. :)

  7. I understand that you're a laid back guy and all, but you should have stood up for yourself a little better in that last game. Even if you didn't care about winning it, you might have taught the DE player a lesson, and he might not try pulling off those kinds of stunts at future events.

    Cheers on your placing though!

  8. Sadly, this was a huge reason why I didn't even bother making the trek for the semi finals. The time it takes to travel/play in the event just isn't worth the headaches I've experienced with Ard Boyz.

  9. Yet another reason why that 'tournament' is a laughing stock.

    You should've had him DQ'd.

  10. Don't let yourself be bullied.

    Did his two previous opponents just fold as well?

    Did no one talk with the TO?

  11. Well, Blackmoor, I spoke too soon. Looks like I ended up playing the SAME DE player Blackmoor did and the guy was pretty much the same.

    I called him on a few things but the thing is that early on you try to be nice and let little things slide but then it all adds up in the end when he tries some major crazy stuff (especially regarding slow playing at the end of the game-its like he slow plays the slow play ala poker hand tactics).

    If anyone cares, they can read about him in my blog but man, some people just kind of sneak up on you and you don't expect this sort of thing. It really comes down to the judges needing to have a handle on this sort of stuff IMO.

  12. When you play a game you think everyone you play against will be like you, and they will be laid back and cool.

    You often times do not know that you are playing "That guy" until it is too late. Now I know if I play against him again I will not give him the benefit of the doubt, and act accordingly.