So, yesterday morning at the crack of dawn (well, it was like eight thirty, so a little past dawn tbh), myself and three other brave souls set out on a cross state journey from Olympia, WA to Butte, Montana.
Our destination: Montana 40kon, a GW approved Grand Tournament largely unknown to us. My sole source of information prior to this was from a few postings about the event last year on Yes The Truth Hurts. I know only that the tourney organizer is a YTTH Zombye, and that this is the only large event I know of which uses a variation on Stelek's 5 x 5 system (here are the primer missions, unchanged from last year's event).
After driving across parts of three states, we arrived in historic Butte. The town has obviously seen better days, but the facility we will be playing in is nothing if not spacious. Terrain seemed plentiful and of a good variety, a good variety of large ruins, small lateral walls, and area terrain. Though I don't expect this to be a huge event, I think they could comfortably accomodate 50 players with their space and terrain, which means that if we get 30 players (which is closer to what I expect), then we should be quite comfortable.
The missions are interesting. I have spent most of my mental time over the last year or so in "NOVA mode" so the tiered missions there are my baseline. These missions will present a special challenge. The basic 5 x 5 (5 Objectives, 5 Kill Points) is a solid base to build upon. The TO tried to add his own unique flavor by adding Primary and Secondary Achievements which can also score points towards your game victory. Reading the primers led me to some concern about these achievements. Things like "destroy or immobilize your opponent's transport vehicles" are not what I would call balanced. For example my army has but one transport vehicle: a drop pod. So at the start of the first turn, that pod comes in and becomes immobilized, and my opponent has achieved his objective immediately without firing a shot. Likewise, how do you play such a thing against transport-less armies such as Tyranids or foot based armies? Any objective that assumes a certain army composition is a flawed objective, outside of the HQ and Troops that all armies are required to bring.
I was able to speak to the TO about this, and he indicated that it had been brought up last year too, and that he has changed the missions to make them more balanced. We'll see how that goes.
I am going to post another article right after this one, and submit a comment. I will then be able to update the comments on that post throughout the day from my phone, and I will try to give full batreps tonight.
Wish me luck!