Thursday, September 15, 2011

What's Wrong With SandWyrm?

by SandWyrm

I'm hearing through back channels that a bunch of people are very pissed at me for my last post. The one that was critical of the hotel/location at the NOVA. I suppose that's a good thing, because it means I'm still respected. Otherwise they'd be yelling at me in person. :)

The general gist of it goes something like:
"SandWyrm is just feeling butt-hurt because he didn't do well at NOVA. Why's he crapping all over the event?"
Well, am I butt-hurt? Do I have an axe to grind? It's a fair question.

I lost 4 games and I won 4 games. Competitively I came in 114th or so. My competitive score was .476, but that's not a straight percentage. As Tony's winning score was only .92. So hey... middle of the pack. On the low side of average when ranked up best to worst.

Third place in appearance. 5th in overall standing (RenMan).

Do I think that I should have done better? Well yeah, who doesn't? Spag came in 18th, Farmpunk came in 21st. Based on how I do against them here in Indy, I feel like I should have come in somewhere between 36th and 50th on the competitive track.

But is that feeling really justified? If you look at my performance at Adepticon, I won 2 games and lost 2 games. I also came within spitting distance of best overall there too. So hey, same old same old. Right? Maybe. It would certainly be logical for anyone to think so.

Let's Discuss Play Styles

Farmpunk and I usually have very close games, but he's got a new army that better fits his play style. So he should be expected to do better than me. Farmpunk is also a quick thinking, adaptive player. Like Spag, he watches what you do and adapts. That makes him better in the late game than the beginning. He'll make mistakes early on from lack-of-plan, but then turn it around on the last 2 turns. That's his style.

But I'm the opposite. I'm a planner. An analyzer. That's my style. I have to crush your ability to respond within the first 3 turns, because after that I start making stupid mistakes. It's the reason I'll target your fastest units and skimmers first. Because I have to limit your ability to exploit my errors later on. I have to make you more predictable. :)

So with that in mind, how do you think someone with a planning style is likely to react when the battlefield is radically different that what he's used to? Yeah, not so well. How does a reactive player react? Quite well. It's not like they had a set plan to start with. They'll just do what they always do and adapt.

So Am I Bitter?

Eh... Not Really. At least I don't think so.

The LOS issues can be adapted to and planned for. So that's a one-time shock thing. The terrain spacing issues that tripped me up were, aside from a couple of bad tables that I didn't play on, due to player movement of terrain and a bad judge call. Those were apologized for and John made sure to discuss it with the other judges before the second day's games began. It wasn't nearly as much of an issue my 2nd day.

That leaves the boredom of playing on essentially the same terrain layout for 8 games. But is that really a competitive issue? Or just one of variety/fun? We'll discuss that in a later post. I don't think that it's germane to this one.

So let's get to it: My goal was RenMan.
I didn't expect to win best appearance or to even make the top 5. Despite my skills, that's not how I think of myself, and it's not what I'm really interested in. I didn't even know for sure that there was a pure appearance award until I asked Mike about it on the last day. Could I have spent more time on model X or Y to make it look better? Sure, but I don't see the point. Gabe won Best Appearance on theme, not technique.

Can I fault the appearance judges? Heck no. Not in the slightest. The appearance judging was the most perfect thing about NOVA and a pinnacle for events everywhere to emulate. I'm perfectly happy with my appearance score and placement. That's not where I failed.

Best General? Not ever likely. Because at some point my love of pretty always gets in the way of utility (and vice-versa). In real life I tend to be the 2nd or 3rd best at a lot of different things. Sales, programming, graphics, whatever. So RenMan is a great goal for me.

So Let's Discuss RenMan

Going into NOVA, I figured that I could bag the RenMan if I could win 6 of my 8 games. I won 4.

How many losses can I blame on the terrain spacing? One. If I plug one more win into the full spreadsheet that Mike made available (An amazing thing for him to do!), what would that get me?

2nd Place Overall. 67th competitively. I still needed a 6th win.

How many losses can I blame on having so much LOS-blocking terrain? None. It was an issue in my first match, but I was still winning until I made a stupid mistake that cost me the game. It was an issue in my 4th game too, but I always lose to Thunderwolves anyhow, and I forgot to bring on some of my reserves.

Now, how many additional games would I have won if I'd brought a different list, like this one that I was testing as far back as last December? At least 2, and probably 3. Including the one where I got boned by the terrain spacing. Because I would have had the tools to work around it.

So who do I blame for my not winning RenMan at NOVA? Myself.

One of the first lessons I learned about 40K is this: If all your games are close losses/draws (as mine were) then your list is at fault. Full stop.

I had a list I loved to play. One that worked for me and matched my style. One that I'd practiced a few dozen games with over the last year and a half. One that would have required less painting before NOVA to finish up. But what did I bring instead? A more static list that I only got 3 games of practice with before the trip.

Why? Because I had a bug up my ass about Thunderwolves. So I designed a list to torrent them that didn't do the job. Why? Now that I think about it, if I needed to win 6 games, then why worry about Thunderwolves? I could have taken a bad-matchup loss and still reached my goal. Stupid. I should have seen the forest for the trees.

I also let my uncertainties about Dark Eldar get the best of me. Well, I've since played a variant of that better list against a local Dark Eldar player. He lasted a little longer than usual, but he still would have been tabled if we'd gone to 5 turns instead of calling it at the end of turn 4.

So all I did was trade a good list that I knew well for a mediocre one that I didn't because I was insecure. My fault.

So Are You Bitter Or Not?

Nope. Disappointed in myself, yes. But not bitter at the NOVA. I'm even re-enthused about 40K now. Which is nice.

So Why Are You Crapping On The Event?

I don't think I am. I got a little riled when Mike posted his surveys and basically said everything was great but the hotel, which was only mostly great. Because I know what people said to me during the event, and that reality doesn't match mine. But at the same time I acknowledge the survey results and admit my own fallibility. Some people saw stuff I didn't, and vice-versa.

Honestly, I was planning to do some comparison articles before I ever went to NOVA. For the reasons I stated. Because I kept getting asked how it compared to Adepticon. I don't think that pointing out that Adepticon did X better and NOVA did Y better is going to destroy the competitive community. Any more than 2 years of arguing win/loss vs. battlepoints has destroyed it. It hasn't! We're stronger now than ever!

Is it a mostly negative article? Well yeah. But Hotel/Location was where NOVA fell down the most. I would have liked to start out with sunshine and roses, but I can't really talk about things like round scheduling without first laying the groundwork of describing the hotel and food issues. Because the two subjects are so closely intertwined. Be patient, the praise IS coming!

But You Still Seem Biased!

Everyone's biased. Spag won $1000 at the invitational. Do you think he's going to complain about anything? Farmpunk helped Mike plan out some of the details of NOVA and did quite well overall. So he feels invested in how the event is perceived. Other people are emotionally invested in what they think that the NOVA represents. So they're willing to overlook almost any problem. Still other people have issues with certain armies and love that NOVA seemed to nerf them a bit.

Me? I'm a nationally-average player with high expectations. I didn't win anything but a door prize. I've pushed win/loss as a blogger, but didn't actually help out with making the NOVA happen (aside from judging on Friday). That gives me a different perspective. Down in the middle of the pack we bitched about the terrain. But we also relaxed and had fun because the pressure was off. All that drama that you heard about on the top tables? Gone! After the first 2 games I didn't have to deal with the pressure that Spag and Farmpunk did. We had fun! That's a story worth telling too!

Are my expectations too high? Possibly. I like to compare the best to the best. But my posts should contain enough info to let you make up your own mind about how valid that is.  My goal isn't to tell you what to think. It's to give you enough information to judge what I say for yourself.


  1. I hate you, you suck hippie!

    Okay so I really don't hate you nor do I think that you suck. I just wanted to be part of the noise that has been going on, but you are a hippie :)

    Truth be told the only person here I don't like is that dirty get Spag. Now he is a jerk and I look forward to the chance to crush at the table so bad that he leaves crying.

  2. Thanks buddy. I hate you too! ;)

  3. "So who do I blame for my not winning RenMan at NOVA? Myself."


    Nice write-up :).

    I think it would be interesting to see if Mike (or others) can come up with multiple table layouts which still fit within the 5th edition definition of terrain, what Mike wants (to be able to hide portions of your army) and not make it very similar every game.

  4. I think you should write what you like about whatever you like mate. Censoring your real opinion of something doesn't do anyone any good, it certainly wont help the event out at all.

  5. @Kirby

    Mike has different goals than I do about terrain. To him, it's a scientific study. He wanted to have every game as identical as possible so that he'd have reams of validly comparable stats to pour through later. Ammo with which to prove or disprove certain perceptions about 40K.

    I can respect that, but I don't agree with it.

  6. No, that's not the reason. The reason is more akin to why football games on Sunday are all played on 100 yd fields. The spice and variety is readily found n the thematics of the terrain and the above table cameraderie. Terrain thematics wil improve.

    My interest had nothing to do with scientific jazz about 40k, and everything to do with providing as fair a field as possible from my end for all participants.

    You only tick me a little when you presuppose MY motives or misrepresent my statements. I would consider us friends, and you can just email me before an article and say "is this how you feel?" I.E. presenting the inaccurate position that I thought all but the hotel to be rosy. Since I don't feel that way and haven't said that, it's pretty unfair to say I do/have.

  7. @Chambers,

    Soon my newly found nemesis, I will make the trek to St Louie and we will see who is crying!!! mwahahahahahhaaa!!! LOL


    Sandwyrm, I am generally happy about anything. Thank you for your honesty. I cannot wait for US to finish putting together OUR INDY OPEN event together and look back and see how great it was!

    Which happens to be planned for March 2nd-4th.

    With 64 players.

    With a $250 cash prize for Best General and $250 for Ren Man.

    With over $2,000 in additional prize support.

    and.... Sorry got carried away there. But yes Sandwyrm will be making the official announcement soon. :)

  8. You formulated your opinions based on your first-hand experience. I respect that.

    You even lay prostrate your own performance and took responsibility for it- all of it (rather than blaming the event, or event participants')-bravo!

    In the process you outlined one fatal flaw planning type personalities share: Over-analyzing to the detriment of one's self!

  9. This is a great article..clearly a great way to cover up how bitter your are!!! =P j/king.

    Well written and a good run down of events.

  10. I listened to the 11th Company's NOVA roundup episode and they seemed to have pretty much the same things to say about the Hotel.
    I figured it was pretty much consensus that the Hayte sucked.

    But I don't get how criticising the venue is seen as an attack on NOVA itself anyway. It wasn't Mike landing hidden charges or outrageous food prices.

  11. Good stuff. It's true though that people in the lower tables by and large had more fun as the urge to "OMG I Needz to be #1!!11!!" was gone.

    Only crappy game I had on day 2 wasn't due to my opponent or the table. It had everything to do with my dice. Like I legitimately couldn't roll higher than a 3. So what should have been a close, fun, competitive game betwixt my opponent and I became a bloody route.

  12. The article about the Nova hotel seemed objective enough. Adepticon has had 10 years to find a good location & there have been a few clunkers along the way.

    Year 3(?) at the Holiday Inn by O'Hare - almost exactly matches the description of the Nova hotel. Big fancy hotel with expensive food, expensive parking and few stores within easy reach. Everyone was glad when Adepticon moved on to a new hotel.

    Then there were the tent years for WFB....

  13. I think that a football analogy is probably not good as in football everyone has the same rules. 40K is not even close to that. A fixed terrain pattern for all tables will favor certain armies.

    I think the prize structure should be more rounded. Same prize levels for best general, army(painting+conversion), sportsmanship, and all around.

  14. The prize structure was well rounded in that capacity.

  15. This is a proxy post for Uberdark (apparently teh intarwebz in Kokomo won't let him comment):

    @ sandwyrm: ill just say it. i like have taught me a lot over the past two years. but your posts of late.....tbh for the past 6 months come off very high and mighty and you end up sounding like a kid who's whining that he got the smaller ice cream cone. it just seems like everytime something happens that doesnt work for you, you end up coming up with an excuse as to why.
    take our games for example. first time i won, you said it was because you were sick. second time i won it was because of rolls. i mean honestly could it be that i just beat you better those times? yeah ive had horrid rolls....but lets not forget that you have beat me soundly other times as well and i admit freely you trounced me the last game. what was it a turn 2 defeat.
    in the end get over complaining about the crap at nova, adepticon and the like....stop whining about gw price increases and their apparent lack of love for the hobby......just get back into enjoying the game for what it is. a game....or quit..... i guess im saying what a lot of people havent said and i hope it doesnt end our friendship...but sometimes a quick jab to reality might help ya.

  16. Sandwyrm, As someone who has run a few events I can say I value your opinions as a player even though we tend to disagree on several things but most of it's really just that we each have our own approach to the game. You're a player and have the right to say how you feel and state what you would like to see done different. That doesn't mean that you’re right it’s just how you feel. The same is true for guys who feel different than you do. I'd tell you keep posting your views as I think they give people different perspectives to think about and good topics for discussion.

    Now with that said this is a general complaint about negative opinions on events. There is a lot of work that goes into running an event even one that might flop. When people dedicate their free time to try and give other people a good experience and not be compensated for it then yeah attacks on the event do seem to become personal to the organizers. The complaint isn't that people complain but more so when they don't confront the organizers first and discuss it with them. I feel organizers are willing to fix things but they don't want to randomly see a blog post about how their event sucked the big one when the blogger never expressed concerns with the organizer first. Not saying that is the case here just saying that I've seen it before.

    So what may you have done different? Present your point of views and also make notes where there was an issue in your opinion what Mike said he would do different in the future if anything at all. That lets people reading see your point of view but still suggests the event may be better or worse in the future based on the responses of the organizer. Also since you would have already expressed your views with the organizer it seems much less like an attack and more of a critique. Either way keep posting this is just a thought on what might get fewer complaints in the future if you care.

  17. @GoneWild

    "In the process you outlined one fatal flaw planning type personalities share: Over-analyzing to the detriment of one's self! "

    You nailed it.

  18. @Mike

    How can I claim to be at all objective if I'm e-mailing you for pre-approval on what I say? How can I comment on how I felt about something you said if I have to copy/paste your entire post to do it? I can't.

  19. @Strung

    I appreciate how much work goes into both of these events. Really I do.

    But when you go see a movie, do you appreciate how much time, money, and commitment went into making it? Or do you take a step back from that and judge it on it's merits versus other movies?

    Is your opinion of The Phantom Menace's good and bad points affected if I tell you that friends of mine worked on it? That they solved huge problems and invented new technologies only to have the movie be critically panned? How would that make you feel?

    I once worked on a movie called "Antz". It came out shortly before Pixar's "A Bug's Life".

    Now that movie was an absolute pleasure to work on. From an organizational and production standpoint, our company nailed it. But did anyone appreciate that when it came out? Nope!

    Most reviewers compared it to ABL and panned it for being "inferior". Some (not unlike Tasty) found a convoluted way to turn Antz vs. ABL into Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates so they could sell magazines based on a made up conflict.

    But some, a precious few, took the time to go through and compare the 2 films on their merits. They compared the 2 films in terms of target age, story, technology, characters, and whatnot. Such that it was clear to their readers which film they would probably enjoy better. Based on their age and sophistication.

    I'm trying to be like that last set of reviewers. Because what hurt us the most was when people went into our PG rated film assuming that Animated == G rated Disney flick. If they'd had their expectations properly set beforehand, there wouldn't have been a problem.

  20. @Uberdark

    I'm sorry that you think I was making excuses. Really, I wasn't. If multiple posts of careful explanations won't make you understand, I don't know what will. I was trying to explain various concepts that I don't think you ever got because you were pissed.

    You're a good player. Know that. But you need a different army than the Orks to reach your full potential. At least until they finally get updated and you start stomping us all into the mud. I hope you haven't sold them yet.

    I complained about Games Workshop's crappy actions. You quit the game. Which is more positive?

    I'm not complaining now.

  21. @ Sandwyrm

    There is a difference between movie reviews and reviews of events like these. I'm not sure about Mike's case or the guys who run Adepticon but most event organizers and even at these events most of those who work there do it out of love of the game. They don't get paid to do it they simply donate their time for others to have a good time. That makes it seem a bit more personal to many. When your friends made those movies I bet they got paid for their work. Anyone who has ever done something for someone else out of kindness and was told after that they sucked even a little knows how frustrating that can be.

    If after listing a complaint you went as far as to say Mike(in this case) is aware of the situation and is looking to improve it for next year. That you might catch a little less flak. It just makes it seem like you're stating your experience and pros and cons but not attacking the event.

    From another perspective do you think people like most movie critics or critics in general for that matter? We might find what they say useful but think "man what an ass". The key is really the approach not the review itself. Like I said though keep posting but maybe think "what if this was my event, how would I want to be reviewed?"

    After the Indy Open and all that time has been spent and all you expect to get out of it is the hope you provided a good time to players you don't know and maybe get some good reviews but you get people who evaluate everything good and bad and don't say anything about you being aware of it and that you are trying to fix it for future events. It might really change your persepctive on how you critique other events not how hard you critique them or even the criteria used but how you approach it. :)

  22. SandWyrm,

    I certainly don't think you feel "butt hurt" or anything of the sort. You did well, played well, and frankly you should give yourself much more credit for that army. If you want I can tell you what made us go with Gabe's army over yours. It was exceedingly close, and actually came to technical details over theme for the most part.

    I'm inclined to agree with much of what you said about the hotel. Based on my experiences it seems that the Hyatt chain is designed for business travelers who have an expense account. We're going to definitely take a look at the hotel situation and see what alternatives are available.

    Also I'm pretty sure I was the judge that told you the terrain was fine that first day. That decision was based on what I was told when we were setting up, which was that terrain needed to emphasize blocking LOS in the center. After John updated us we spent the morning checking every table to ensure terrain was not an issue.

    I can't speak towards your list, aside from the fact that it was hilarious to watch Fabulous Bile run away from it.

    To be honest I appreciate your input regarding how to make the NOVA better. It's extremely thoughtful and provides a good perspective on things that we can improve. I look forward towards next year!

  23. @Beer

    Technical Details? Ok, spill it. I need something else to agonize over. ;)

    No prob on the call. It happens. Not your fault. The response to the problem was more than satisfactory.

    Fabious did run Fabiously. :)

  24. Keith,

    It's not about pre-approval, it's about being better than a shoddy journalist. You have ready any-time access to a major player in the subject matter you are investigating.

    If you intentionally misquote me (or absent-mindedly misquote me), you destroy the fundamental value of your beginning points.

    If you claim my motives are what they are not, similarly, you destroy the value of your objections.

    To provide the two concrete and applicable examples here -

    1) You stated that I thought the hotel was the only major issue. This is false.

    2) You presented that my reason for having the same terrain on every table was scientific, and to prove things about the metagame/balance/etc. This is false.

    These are two falsehoods upon which a great deal of your outlook and position is based, and thus your position is severely harmed for no reason other than an unwillingness to contact a freely available resource. This does harm to your point of view, and to me, for no reason on either count. The hotel DOES need to improve, as do other things, and my outlook on terrain is not what you think it is (Which also will help you to see and better understand why uniformity has great importance to the PLAYER, as opposed to it simply benefiting the organizer's p.o.v.).

  25. Also, I will roflstomp you with orks every game out of 10 on any terrained board you like. Don't join the "Orks r bad" internerdisms. For serious!


  26. Thanks for the compliment on the appearance scoring. Creating a fair system is much harder than I though when I first agreed to do it for NOVA 2010. And it still needs work. I remain less than fully satisfied with the conversion review process, and the single miniature review process needs some adaptation to better account for players who nominate vehicles in that category. No rest for the weary.

    Theme did play a minor part in Gabe's win, but mainly because the top armies were so close in other aspects. Awarding the Best Army prize in Fantasy was easy compared to the quandary into which you 40k guys put us. But we forgave you. Especially the non-space marine armies. If a century passes before I see another space marine it will still be too soon.

    I mentioned in commentary to a previous post of yours things which we saw in your army which concerned us. (apparently to some bafflement on your end?) I did want to mention these concerns to you at the NOVA, but things were way behind schedule (too far behind. ) I had to leave before the end. Once I made the connection SandWyrm= Lawrence of Arabia army, I had a compulsion to post then and there. Sorry for the confusion.

    Reporters generally contact subjects of their stories to get the subject's side of things. Hence we hear the disclaimers; "Person X declined to comment on this story." or "We were unable to contact person X for comment." What Mike is asking is that you simply verify the accuracy of things which you attribute to him. He is not asking for any sort of veto or approval power over what you may write. (at least I hope not.) Opinions based on fact are far stronger than opinions based in feeling.

    Had to delete this post earlier due to too many typos etc. SO much for posting from a mobile device eh?

  27. @G Red

    Ah! I wasn't sure who you were. Thanks for the comments.

    The Vendettas were painted that way based on actual photos of Black Hawks that had collected dust on their bottoms in Iraq. But I'll admit the technique wasn't as smooth as it could be.

    You didn't like my transfers? Pity. I like scratching them up to look worn. Still, it's something that's potentially addressable without having to build/convert an all-new army. Maybe I have a better shot than I thought.

    Of course then someone will probably bring a Battle of the Planets Eldar army next year and still beat me after getting the idea from this comment. ;)

  28. @Mike

    Ok, the terrain goals thing was an assumption, and I apologize. I'll be more careful in the future not to put words in your mouth.

    As for the other:

    "Several people are complaining about the terrain at various venues, loudly! Let's look at what the participants as a whole thought:

    [snip favorable stats]

    Other than a few more complaining sorts, the response to terrain, game hall, and sportsmanship was overwhelmingly positive!"

    What am I supposed to take away from that Mike? My admittedly subjective take was "Terrain was fine, BE HAPPY! GO NOVA!". You weren't exactly sympathetic to my terrain concerns at the actual event. John was. You weren't. I won't quote you out of respect, and because nobody who wasn't there would understand the context of your words. But I was moderately insulted.

    Further down, I got called (by implication) a "more complaining sort". Which is nice-speak for whiner. Now, as not just a neutral "reporter" but a participant in this story, what are my options?

    Well, I could contact you and get a nice-nice answer that likely wouldn't match my personal experience on the issue (as the survey didn't). Would that be more honest and objective than what I did? I don't think so. Because even if you truly believe what you say, it may not be the objective truth of the situation. And I knew that you'd be able to comment, which you did.

    I'll leave it at that. If you want to discuss it further, we can do so privately.

    Still <3 Mike

    As for the Orks, I never said they were bad. I said they were more random and therefore less reliable than other armies. But go ahead and bring them to the Indy Open and I'll demonstrate it for you (said the nationally average player to the Tony-beater)! ;)

  29. @SandWyrm

    In terms of things that made us pick Gabe's army over yours, the two things that stood out were the gaps seen in some of the vehicles and the use of decals.

    The problem with decals isn't so much that you used them, but that it was obvious they were present once you hit the surfaces with a flashlight. You could see where the edges of the decal were located because it produced a different sheen in the light. In contrast Gabe freehanded his lettering, and it was done incredibly well.

    The other issue was with the construction of some of your vehicles. There were a few noticeable gaps between components.

    As Geoff mentioned we also had some issues with the drybrushing used on the underside of your Vendettas. I think that using a dust weathering effect is a great idea, but it was poorly executed especially compared to the rest of the army.

    It wasn't that Gabe's army was perfect. We had some issues with the lack of shading on the rivets of his Chimera, and the missile launcher of one of his models wasn't painted all the way down. It was evident if you shined a light down the missile launcher box.

    That said deciding between your army and Gabe's was by far the hardest decision of the night. I knew the moment I saw your army that it would be top tier, and the other judge's agreed with me. And the scoring reflects that. You should be proud of what you produced.

    When it comes to paint judging our job is not to worry about theme, color choice, or any other subjective aspect of painting until the very end. When we're scoring the armies it's all about technical proficiency. We look at things like how cleanly were the armies painted, or did they do all the proper preparation, or if they went above and beyond in terms of demonstrating highlights and multiple techniques. The top tier armies are the ones who not only paint their models flawlessly, but also put in details and touches that otherwise wouldn't be on the model. Only when we've selected the absolute best in terms of technical proficiency do we then take the top armies and judge them with our own preferences in mind.

  30. @G Red and Beer

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Can you write up something on the overall procedure you used to judge appearances? I'd like to get that out into the community for comment and adoption. I especially liked how you "calibrated" the judges. Farmpunk keeps going on about how taste and smell testers go through the same process. :)

  31. "We had some issues with the lack of shading on the rivets of his Chimera, and the missile launcher of one of his models wasn't painted all the way down. It was evident if you shined a light down the missile launcher box." My God. You all take this very seriously don't you? I have no basis for comparison our biggest event can usually scrape up to 200+ players but of all different games. This has been eye opening gentlemen!

  32. @ Sandwyrm - again, contact me for one (the presumption that I would give you a spin doctor rosy quote is also insulting); fully quote me for two ... you continue to leave out the rather important:

    "Do we have a lot to improve on? Hell yes! The best part of this review was the contribution of constructive suggestions for improvement."

    The note I take away from the NOVA is as follows:

    "The NOVA was awesome, it was a hell of a lot of work, and almost everyone had a great time. The NOVA CAN improve in almost every category, will improve in almost every category, and MUST improve in a few key categories."

    Orks aren't random, nub! Actually, they're quite nice ... as long as you don't take something silly like nob bikers or lootas.

  33. I'm a great fan of introspective posts, and wish certain bloggers occasionally did more of them themselves.

    With that being the case, I loved this article.

    I don't think that SandWyrm has been unduly harsh, going to some lengths to stress that that wasn't his intent - and everyone knows that (virtually) the only person who wants NOVA to fall down in *any* respect is a certain worthless and incredibly poor quality blogger.

    Although, I certianly agree that contacting mike about the article(s) beforehand would have been both polite, and better reporting technique, I think if it'd been myself, with my own fairly self-assured writing style, and confident that Mike would take what I wrote in the spirit it was intended (and I haven't even ever met the guy remember) I would merely have gone ahead, and emailed him to inform him of the post itself.

    While more communication would, as ever, have been better, it's clear there is no real issue here, and it's more people (perhaps wilfully) misinterpreting Sandy's words and getting defensive over very little: though that isn't the case with the people emotionally invested in the event, as far as I can tell.

    I have my own disagreements about the terrain, but I've largely refrained from commenting because I wasn't there, and because I'd much rather do it with pics of example terrain layouts I'd favour for balanced games, and that's not something I can arrange at the drop of a hat.

    As last year, NOVA seemed to be (from the outside) an excellent event, and one for other events to look at and compare to, regardless of the extent to which they implement similar things.


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