Friday 6 January 2017

Fluffageddon 2016: Tournament Review

Fluffageddon Tournament Review
As this was the first Fluffageddon, I thought I would give my opinion on how I thought the event went and what could be improved for next time. This post was ready ages ago, but I haven't got round to posting it yet. I contacted Matt to see if he wanted to respond to any of the points listed below, but I think he was too busy before Christmas to write a response. 

The tournament was held at the Outpost in Sheffield.

First off, I found it very difficult to find the shop. I put the postcode into the sat nav and arrived some time around 8.30 am. I could not find the shop, despite wandering the streets for a while. It turns out, there was a tiny little sign in one of the windows with the name of the store. I don't think that it was visible when the shutter was down, as it was when I arrived. I eventually saw it when a bunch of other gamers started to arrive at 9 am.

The shop itself was pretty cold and didn't really warm up too much as the day went on. I am told that this is only a temporary location for the store, as they are waiting on new premises, so is not really representative of what they want to have in the future.

The staff were very nice and the store had a decent selection of stuff to buy. I wanted to pick up a copy of Deathwatch Overkill, but unfortunately, they had run out that morning, so I didn't end up buying anything.

Another bonus is that there was plenty of parking around the area.

I couldn't find any sort of timetable for the event in the rulespack or online. I assumed it started at 9 am, but found out that it was due to start at 10 am the morning of the event after I had already checked out out of the hotel.
Fortunately, I was able to sit in my car, but others didn't seem to be so lucky and had to stand out in the rain until the store opened around 9.30 am.

A clearer indication of the start time for the next event would be good, especially if it gets me an extra hour in bed!

Most of the tables were a grey colour and most had a decent amount of terrain on them for the games.
The thing I did find was that there was a lack of larger line of sight blocking pieces on the boards that I played on. This made it really hard to avoid the enemy firepower and seemed to favour shooting armies more. I would have liked to have seen at least one large LOS blocking terrain piece in the central third of the board to combat this.

The tables themselves were high, which was great, no hunching over the board during games (my back was not killing me at the end of the day, which is rare!). They also had plenty of shelf space underneath for keeping army cases, notes and books, which was very much appreciated!

For lunch we got a burrito, drink and some tortilla chips. All delicious!

Army Selection
The tournament rules included:

  • No Superheavy Vehicles for Gargantuan Creatures
  • No more than 2 duplicate datasheets in the codex
  • Re-rollable saves were capped at 4+ for the re-roll
  • Power Dice capped at 12
  • No filth
  • Armies should reflect the background of the race/army

I think there was some confusion over the duplication of the datasheets. Some people thought that this limited you to a maximum of two units or vehicles (e.g for squadrons), but others did not. As a result, you could take two full vehicle or unit squadrons in the army and still be legal.

For example, there was one army featuring 3 Riptides (one unit of 2 and a unit of 1) and I faced six Leman Russ tanks in my second game. Even my own army featured a three-strong Landspeeder squadron. I think more clarification on this next time would be useful.

I really liked the lack of Superheavies and Gargantuans. I would hate to show up to this kind of event and have to face an Imperial Knight or Wraithknight.

Even though the saves and power dice were comp'd, there was no mention of D weapons. Whether Matt thought no one would bring them to the tournament or that removing Superheavies and Garguantuans would solve this, I don't know. There were two Eldar armies that I saw at the event. One had D-cannon artillery, the other had D-cannon artillery and D-Scythe Wraithguard. In my opinion, this gave these armies an unfair advantage. Eldar are already a very strong force and one of the only armies with reliable access to D weapons on infantry. I think most "fluffy" armies there would have struggled to deal with these forces. For the next event, I would recommend that no D weapons are allowed. I certainly think my last game would have been a lot closer had I not had to worry about the D-cannons and D-scythes. 

I think the aim of the event was to encourage less hardcore and more "fluffy" armies at the tournament. The winning list was the one I played in my third game, featuring two units of scatbikes, two units of Warp Spiders, D-cannon artillery, the Crimson Hunter (with D weapons) and D-Scythe Wraithguard. The list that came in second featured three Riptides. I think the list in third place was Dark Eldar, but I'm not sure. Even my own list could be considered "filth" thanks to the re-rollable cover saves (though those were still comp'ed). I also saw a Mechanicus army featuring what appeared to be six Heavy Grav Cannons and a bunch of other robots.

Based on the armies that won the tournament, I would need to say that it did not fulfil its goals. After I first submitted my list, I was told that it was perhaps too strong and would I consider changing it. I planned to submit a milder White Scars list that was assault based (my Ravenwing list I submitted was basically the only way I could have played them at Fluffageddon with the models I own). I would have been pretty annoyed to submit a weaker list and then face some of the armies I saw on the board. I think that if you want to go for a fluffier and less hardcore event, some list refusal would have needed to be done with many that attended (possibly even my own). Otherwise, next year, I will be bringing my Grav White Scars with Grav Command Squad and Grav Centurions if that is to be the standard of the lists considered "not filth".

I liked the three missions. They were similar to the ones at Blog Wars and I liked them there. However, I preferred the order at Blog Wars where the Blood Points/Kill Points game was first. I think there is more tactical thinking required for Crusade and Maelstrom missions. I certainly would have enjoyed my final game more if it was based on objectives rather than just a straight up "kill your opponent". With the Blood Points mission first, I found my second two games were a lot closer at Blog Wars and a lot of fun. I certainly would have preferred to get crushed by the Eldar army in my first game, knowing that the next two would probably be a lot closer.

Another pet peeve of mine was brought up at the tournament. Not a single one of my opponents had a paper copy of their army list for me. Instead, before each game I was handed a phone with a Battlescribe file to try and copy down some rough notes on what they have. I think it is just common courtesy to have a copy of your list for your opponent, especially at a tournament.

Some suggestions for the next Fluffageddon could be:
  • CAD only, no formations.
  • No D Weapons
  • Maybe have compulsory troops choices for each army- i.e. Space Marine armies must take Tactical Marines, Eldar armies must take Guardians. 
  • Perhaps allow these compulsory troops choices to have multiple units. I would consider taking my Orks if I was not limited to only two units of Boyz. 
  • Tighter list restrictions. This one is difficult, as everyone has a different idea of what constitutes "filth" and what is fluffy. 
  • Paper copy army lists for your opponent. 
Overall, I had a pretty good time at Fluffageddon. I got to meet up with some fellow bloggers and have a chat about the game and life in general. I was a little disappointed that the final game was so anti-climatic, but that happens sometimes at tournaments. I'll be interested to see how the event evolves in the next one.



  1. Its always a struggle to keep things level in a tournament, especially with so many different codices and supplements. I always carry a couple of paper copies of my army.

    1. Good man! Always good to see someone else with a paper copy of their army list.

      I agree, it can be difficult to get the balance right, especially when you have players coming from different gaming communities with different expectations.

  2. I always bring paper copies as a courtesy. I share the same sentiments to those who show me their list on a mobile. There's no way I am going to remember that for the next two hours.