Standish Standoff 4: The Day is Done

Yesterday Crossroad Games hosted the 4th annual Standish Standoff. The day is a 1,650 Warhammer 40K tournament with three games and features soft scores as well as battle points. It more an event celebrating all elements of the hobby and not just the ability to win games. It was something we created in the aftermath of ‘ard Boyz. God, you ever get to play in that? *shivers*

Pre-Game Pictures

Anyway. I got some pictures but I wish I got more. You end up standing around talking to people you see once or twice a year and forget to go snap shots.

First up, a few shots of my army.

Now, some armies I thought were awesome on their display boards before the first round. This is always when armies look their best because after round one things just get chucked on the board to shuffle to the next table. Again, I didn’t get to walk around as much as I wanted so no offense to those I didn’t get shots of.

Painting Competition Entries

I didn’t get any close up shots of these. By the time I could get in there to get shots the judging was done and players were picking up models. So, I had to shoot quick before they were all taken back by their owners.

My Games

I won’t do a battle report, though I will give a briefing, but first some shots of those games I played. Well, two of the three anyway.

My first game was against Dylan and his Imperial force of Grey Knights and Space Marines. Dylan is a cool guy and plays in a gaming club in Massachusetts, Dorkamorka. Myself and fellow 40K’ers often drive down when they host events and they do the same for us. Anyway, it was a rough game for Dylan. He reserved most of his army and it decided to arrive piece meal over the first four turns. That let my army fight basically 25% of his at a given time. Combine that with some terrible dice rolls and it just wasn’t his game. That being said, Dylan is awesome and took it all in stride, never once complained about his luck and just had a blast. I won 15-6.

Second game was against what would become the best general of the day. He played Dark Angels and his list was entirely on Bikes, plus a Land Raider Crusader, and featured lots of small units like single Attack Bikes, squads of three Bikes, etc. What this list of his does well is makes it nearly impossible to pin down, too many units, and really makes you waste effort to remove anything. Meaning, to kill one Attack Bike I fire an entire unit on it to remove a 2-wound model. You end up over-killing most things and with so many units zooming around I just couldn’t come to grips with it. I lost this one 19-8.

Final game was against four Knight Titans and an Avenger Strike Fighter. Need I say more? I lost 14-0.

The Results

I ended the day of gaming 1-2. I’d be lying if I said I was OK with that. All my play testing and effort and the one game I won was more because of my opponent’s dice rolls than any grand strategy of mine. It’s a bit disheartening.

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Gaming aside, as I never go into this day expecting a trophy for that, I didn’t do poorly overall on the day. We’re scored on what we call soft points: painting, sportsmanship and a pub quiz. In this arena, soft points only, I was 2nd place – which isn’t a prize but it’s cool to know. Overall, battle points + soft scores, I did finish 9th out of 24, so not bad at all.

The painting competition is the one area I have the most hope for winning something. Normally it’s called the Bronze Spawn, our play on the Golden Demon, but this year we got purity seals for first place instead of Bronze Spawn trophies. That was disappointing as well as the fact that they only awarded first place this year instead of first and second, which we have always done. Painting is an area where every player can compete on their own merit. There’s no dice involved, no bad match pairings, it’s all you and your brush. The awards in this area are highly sought and second place is a damn respectable prize against the competition. I just hate seeing only 1st place awarded for anything.

Rant aside, I took home 1st place painting in the 25mm category for my Sorcerer, Warforce, as well as the 60mm category for Soulgore. Warren took home 1st place for the vehicle/monstrous creature category for his Knight Titan.

Here’s some shots of our winning entries that we previously posted on the blog. The quality of these shots are better than the ones taken yesterday.

All-in-all a good day but I feel like being honest here. If you aren’t a local player who attends the Standoff then feel free to check out now as the rest wouldn’t pertain to you. Feel free to continue reading if you’d like though.

Feedback

The day just did not have the vibe it usually does. In the past, the Standoff was an event that was looked forward to for the entire year. The event has had varying max-players, ranging from 30-40 over the years, so this was the smallest yet at 24-players. I didn’t understand the choice, as the reality is (space permitting), we probably could have bumped that to 50 players and sold out. Not a big deal to me but it’s part of the overall change this year that left the event feeling flat.

Leading up to the day I just got the feeling things were being thrown together and lacking organization. Questions remained unanswered and ticket sales proceeded event information. This is not common and was unexpected. I held off on buying a ticket until there was some event information, weeks after the event was posted. When information was posted it was more a broad overview and you really couldn’t be sure what to expect for the day.

I already covered the painting above.

Leading up to the event there’s a buzz. Players are getting their army’s fully painted, determining what to enter into the painting competition and working on lists that will win them the day. That excitement and anticipation generates an aura that surrounds the event but this year it was lacking. Other than Warren, I heard no talk of the painting competition. I had talked to maybe two players who talked about the list they were working on. Our forums were just barren of any Standoff discussions, the first time ever.

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This year just did not have the same feeling for the Standoff that it normally does. Maybe it’s just me but I strive to be honest here and I want the event to succeed. That’s why nothing I’ve said is meant as an insult to anyone who contributed to the event. I know people busted their butts to get this thing off the ground and to run as smoothly as it did, and it did run damn smoothly. I have nothing but respect and gratitude for those people. What I said above is information I put down on the event review sheet yesterday, it’s just easier to expand on it here than on a small slip of paper.

Am I the only one who felt this way?

  • Gratz on the double win. I do have sympathy that the event wasn’t as satisfying as years past. I have had the same thing happen to me; anticipation … let down.

    • Thanks.

      It was disappointing but by no means a wasted day.

  • It’s too bad it was missing some of the flavor of past events. Was it something different about how it was run/set up or more just the mood of the crowd attending?

    • The crowd was great and the day ran like clockwork. It was more the lead-up organization and information, or lack-thereof, coupled with the change in prize support/trophies. Things just felt thrown together last minute.

      • Wasn’t one of the results of feedback from last year’s event a request that we award more prizes to the wider field and less to the painting submissions? I have a distinct memory of people asking why we gave 12+ awards to painting submissions and only three or four to the wider field. That may be a reason the second place awards went away.
        The major awards have fluctuated from year to year. The first year was a three-trophy event, while the second and third were four-trophy events, but also larger 30 and 40-person fields. This year was back to three and 24 entrants. /shrug

        • You’re probably right that people wanted prizes spread more, I had just hoped it would be prizes/trophies/awards and not random hand-outs. But maybe they wanted random hand-outs instead. I have no idea. *shrugs*

          • Me either. I wasn’t privy to the decision.

  • Ming

    Man, I had a totally different experience. Not only were my pairings cruel, I was awarded at the end with an icon of Chaos for my troubles!

  • In regards to the “lead up” not being there, I think we have to factor in two big things: one, our community is pretty much silent these days. The board went from dozens of posts a day to one every dozen days. Two, the group’s most excitable painters are gone. Some moved away, some are MIA, and others quit the hobby or the game system.
    I feel things were quiet because there’s no one on the airwaves.

    • Oh, I agree. Most of those who are playing 40K these days are very quiet on the forums and at the shop. It’s not a very active group of 40K players in multiple regards. I’m not blaming the event for a lack of build-up by any means, just the situation itself.

  • JD Brink

    Congrats on your well-deserved painting wins! And don’t feel too bad about losing to those armies… Those are some ROUGH lists! Especially 4 super-mech with like 10 hull points each or something. Crazy. No fun at all.
    Of the other armies you have pics of, I like the Grey Knight force there. Looks like he has lots of cool old-school models, and I like what he’s done with his tunneling drop pod! (I assume that’s a drop pod?)

    • Thanks.

      Losing to the Dark Angels list was fine. It was a fun game and ultimately a very close one that he pulled out in the end. The Knight list was just brutal though. I don’t mind losing but it just wasn’t a very fun list to play against. No offense to my opponent, a regular player I know.

      The Grey Knight army was awesome. All old school models painted in the old school fashion. It was indeed a very old Drop Pod. I think it’s an Armorcast one.

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