Thursday, April 26, 2012
Berks Spring Assault 3 Review
Posted by Brother Cornelius at 4/26/2012 08:04:00 AM
Brother C here, after playing in Berks Spring Assault 3 this past weekend, here is my review of the event. I participated in Berks Spring Assault 2 last year, and I thought the third edition of the event was leaps and bounds over the 2nd. Mission reviews and brief battle reports will follow sometime in the future. I went 3-1 for the day and we saw Lemun Ross and his draigowing take 2nd place overall. As well as 3 army domination awards, both best youngblood and best youngblood sportsman, raffle prizes, and Erik's 2nd to last award, we did very well as a club in total.
now.. onto the review..
Venue: The venue for the event was great. It was the right size for our group for sure. I really enjoyed the table area, after your round was over, you had a place to chill out while the others completed their matches. You werne’t standing around between gaming boards, getting in people’s way which I thought was a huge problem last year. There was plenty of room for the gaming boards as well, everything was much more spread out and it made for a very favorable gaming experience.
Boards: I have to hand it to the guys, the boards were beautiful. I thought this was a vast improvement from last year. Some of my biggest complaints were the urban boards where there were more buildings than flat ground, that it just did not make for a very tactical game. This year, every board had a theme, which terrain that matched. I loved the idea of area clubs / stores sponsoring tables. And most every table had a good variety of LOS blocking and small difficult terrain that didn’t necessarily grant cover saves. It made for very tactical games where terrain was utilized but did not dictate the winner or loser (don’t let the haters tell you differently)
Meal: Meh. It was a deli-style make your own sandwich buffet. Macaroni Salad, potatoe salad, fruit sald, a little dish of ice cream and/or cake for desert. Honestly, by the time lunch came around I was so hungry it didn’t matter what you put in front of me. I thought it was kinda weak that the place only provided 1 pitcher of soda per table for lunch. At a table that seats 8-10 people.. yeah.. it filled 4 glasses. Luckily we had a Chef Todd with us and he knew how to get the rest of the table their fill. At a place that charged 2$ for a tiny soda which was mostly ice, I thought it was pretty bad form for them to scoff at a pitcher refill. They were making money hand over foot off of us.
Raffles: Great selection of terrain, black library books, paint, citadel gaming board, restaurant gift certificates, and of course plastic dudesmen. Not much really more to say about these, they were great as always.
Achievements: Very fun idea. Loved it. However, there needed to be a way to announce to everyone when an achievement was achieved. I know we had a microphone later in the day, but man that would have helped earlier. I could hear people shouting something from across the entire room but I could not make out what they were saying, so I basically ignored the achievements. Sad, I did want to actively go for those, but not much I could do. I hope they include these again next year and we can figure out a way to announce these better.
Time: I thought the time was great. The stuff at the end was VERY long. It took forever to calculate scores etc. one of the nice parts of the NOVA format, but saying the awards will start at 7 and not starting them till about 8:30 or so was a little too long. Again, still think it was an improvement from last year and they’ll be even better next year I have no doubt. Also, 1.5 hours to finish a round was plenty of time. Only in my round 1 match did we not finish all games turn we had. I think these mostly had to do with my opponent being very slow to deploy and understand the mission. He was uber cautious, and I wanted him to take his time, I don’t want to win just because he is rushing to throw his models down. It cost me quite a few battle points in the end, since we only got to turn 3, but that’s ok.
Vendors: PLEASE PLEASE get more vendors. The hazeknight stuff was great. Would have loved to see some others.
Missions: I will save these for a future post.
Prize Support: Excellent as was last year. Ross from our club came away with 2nd best overall and he walked away with over $200 in prizes. Very nice turn around there for a $40 entry fee. I love the BIG table full of prizes, and that you rank the awards, and everyone gets to choose what they want from the table. Nothing is removed as ‘tiers’ of prizes. If no one picked the storm lord in the top 3, a young blood could nab it. I love that. Sponsors are donating prizes for the event, what do they care if 1st place wins it, or best youngblood sportsmen?
Competition Level: MUCH higher this year in comparison to last year. From our club alone, we had to very new guys to the game, and we had recommend this event because it would be great for new players. And don’t get me wrong, it TOTALLY IS, but I did have to feel bad for my guys Dan and Erik, they definitely did not get special treatment. (which I feel is a good thing for them) they both said they had a great time, so I will leave it at that. I personally felt that I had more tactical games this year. I had played a very new player last year and just wrecked him not because I am a WAAC (win at all costs player) but simply because he did not know how to play his army or even the game in general. I do not enjoy those types of games, nor do I care about stat padding. I don’t want to go around clubbing seals, I want it to be a fun game, where both players are enjoying the match.
Staff: (not the hotel staff, the event staff) I thought the staff was fantastic. Here is just one example I have of how I feel EVERY tournament should be run from a judge’s perspective. In round 1, I explained a rule to my opponent. He was unsure of my interpretation of the rule. It had to do with unit size and falling back. I expressed to him what I thought the rulebook said, of course he didn’t want it simply believe me because it would have very strong consequences to our game. We agreed to ask a judge and get his ruling, the fair and right thing to do. A judge quickly came over and OPENED THE RULEBOOK and directly read us the rule from the book with the page and everything. THAT my friends is how you judge. You don’t simply say.. oh.. well.. it says this.. you QUOTE the book or the FAQ or the INAT, whatever your event has decided to use. No arguments, no whining. Just simply, here is my proof that in this circumstance, it is played this way. End of story. Well done staff, well done.