Berks Spring Assault 4 Review:
Brother C here with another tourney review. We made the trek up to Reading, PA for Berks Spring Assault 4, which is marketed as a Warhammer party with a tourney. Usually this event is marked but crazy missions, crazy lists, good friends and tons and tons of raffle prizes.
This is by FAR my biggest gripe. We were in a large ballroom with an elevated dining area and bar. The main ball room was filled, absolutely filled with tables. When everyone arrived, since the room was so packed, we all migrated into the dining area with all our carrying cases, display boards, and just general stuff. About 30 mins or so before the rounds were supposed to start, after everyone had gotten out their armies and were settling in, we were informed that we would have to move all of the stuff back into the main room and clear the dining area for eating. Needless to say, the main ballroom was now STUFFED to the gills. There was hardly room to move in that place. If you had to go to your oppponents side of the table, you had to squeeze past 4-5 bulky bodies on each side. All the display boards had to go onto the ground unless you were using a shoebox (yes at 1k, you can actually do that) which is also very annoying and frustrating. There is no room for dice, templates, lists, mission papers, anything.
Secondly, the food at the place was meh, but whatever, I'm not going to nitpick food, we should just order pizzas and sodas and call it done, but I'm sure there is some deal with the venue that includes meals, etc. supposedly there were drink specials that were not announced. But the service of the place was really poor. Any time I went to buy an opponent or a friend a drink, the bartender was nowhere to be found. Talking like 5-10 minutes to even take my order. And there was always some gripe about asking for free water or something. Just overall such a downer.
It was sad because last year we were in the larger ballroom, which had tons and tons of space to spread out and this year was the completely opposite, everything seemed so stuffed.
I was a little sad that I did not see terrain for sale this year. I also try to throw my raffle tickets and money into terrain for the club. I made the mistake last year of not purchasing any which I was hoping to do this year. Even something small. There was a store open selling mostly GW stuff, which was nice and even a 10% discount at lunch. Not bad. I would have done a 10% discount after the raffles, so people can see what they didn't win and go over and drop some cash, specially since we had a large vat of empty time between the raffles and the presentation of the final awards.
I was nervous about the mission. Last year, I got boned hard in one of the missions because it was not fully though through. The mission was about traitors. There was a traitor in your troops section and your opponent go to choose which model was the traitor. I had to give up a terminator apothecary while my opponent gave up a DE warrior. Lame. But its fine, I can deal with a handicap, the issue I had was the mission objectives. There were 2. Kill the traitor, and kill the unit that the traitor is in (had to be in the unit it was taken from originally) which is just BAD BAD mission writing. Its basically the exact same objective. Kill specific unit, win the mission. How about throwing in objectives or quarters or something that if my opponent decides to completely hide in a corner, he can't win. But oh no, that's exactly what he did. There was a no window building with only one tiny entrance facing my opponents side of the board, off in one of the corners, guess where he put the unit and the traitor. I could not even get line of sight to the unit the entire game.
This year, the missions were fantastic. One was just straight up victory points. Love it. One was WE got to choose which of the categories was scoring (heavy, Fast Attack, or Elites), one had to do with warlords and getting line breaker, homeland security (basically reverse of line breaker), a couple missions with multiple objectives including a nova format one. Very nice, nothing crazy and wonky just simple, good times. Excellent mission writing. I would have thrown a relic in too, but can't complain.
As always, amazing boards. Just great. It would be cool to make it a requirement for club's supplying boards to have their name or logo on it somewhere, would have liked to give credit where credit is due.
Very nice as always, not as great as last year, but can't always repeat when companies give you hundreds of dollars of free transports for prizes. Heck, I was the last person to go up to claim a prize and there was still quite a selection to choose from.
Raffles were equally as great, would have loved to know how much Brandon T dropped on those raffles as he came home with probably 6 or 7 of them including a titan. Great job of splitting the drawings up into 2 parts.
Rounds were good, plenty of time for the most part, although I didn't play any orks and tyranids. Heh. My only suggestion is to get a projector that we can project the matchups and the time remaining in the round on the wall. They did this up at BFS and it was great.
And the elephant in the room… the HUGE delay between the final round and the results. According to the schedule we were supposed to be finishing up around 7 and I bet we didn't get out until after 10pm. And 80% of that time was just spent sitting around waiting for tabulations. Not gonna rant too much about that, software malfunction, whatever. You guys have to work that out, but you already know that. Would be nice to be able to let the wives know what time to expect us home is all.
Comp and Competition:
I thought the level of competition this year was better than last year. Which is a compliment to both the comp rules for the event and 6th edition. There seems to be a balance across the board. Yes, there were some strong builds but I did not hear anyone complaining like we heard last year. No one took draigo and paladins at 1k, no one took flaying monstrous creatures, no one took an unkillable seer council. And you know what, I think everyone had a better time because of it.
I think young bloods needs to be increased to 16 years old. I think only one 14 year old or under was at the event. Maybe next year will be different though.
In closing, it was a fantastic event, we had a bunch of first timers from our club at the event and they all seemed to have a blast. Where else can you spend an entire day, getting 4 quality games in with great people, without an entire weekend commitment? Great great event, and I just want to give a shout out to the guys because I came in 3rd place for appearance, but the judges ruled that the other guy had won. They later informed me that it was so close in voting, that they didn't feel it was right to snub me on a judges call at this event and they let me pick from the table scraps at the prize table. You guys didn't have to do that, but it is MUCH appreciated. There wasn't much on the table left that I wanted so I picked up a coupon for the new Tau flyer for DantheMan.
Looking forward to next year's event.
A full battle summary of my games is coming in the near future.