Our resident Goatboy is back with his thoughts after surviving LVO 2017! Viva Las Vegas, Y’all!
Goatboy here again and I survived this last LVO. My voice isn’t doing that great – but I blame Vegas, recycled smoking air, and yelling at things/people/dreams. This year was another excellent LVO. This reinforces the thought that I should always be at this event each and every year. It does help that all my art is all over the table tops with banners, logos, and rad T-shirts. Still it is an excellent time and if you’ve wanted to go to an event I couldn’t recommend this event any more then I already do.
First of all – as it is Vegas this event has more going for it then just Warhammer. There are a ton of games, great vendors, and TONS of “non-game” options with shows, food, and other Las Vegas things. I didn’t get a chance to do any extra things this year due to the time frame I was there. I got in late Thursday and left Sunday Night/Monday Morning to let me save a bit of cash and brownie points with the wife. I think next year I want to try and get there a day early to let myself see a show at some point. We’ll see as the year moves on and if there is another baby on the way.
This year they added in another hall that really amped out how big the event is. The 40k Championship had over 400 people in it so the one hall was filled to the brim with the grim darkness that is the 40k universe. GW was there as well in that hall running their live twitch cast and a section was set up for Age of Sigmar. The other hall, that was just as big, was filled with a ton of other games. Warmachine, 30k, Bolt Action, and a ton of other things were running the roost there. The Vendor Hall was a part of this too and each year the Vendors keep getting bigger, better, with a ton more options to remove your money from the bank account.
Forgeworld was in the house, and while the exchange rate wasn’t as favorable as you could have gotten it was great to pick up the models right there. I ended up grabbing one of the character models that has a Cataphracii armor guy summoning a Daemon. It was a model I have wanted as soon as I saw it and was happy to grab it in person. I know a ton of people grabbed a lot of FW stuff and heard chatter it might have sold better then some other conventions. This is great as it adds a great prestige to the event and since you are in Vegas you are most likely coming with a looser wallet.
There were a ton of other vendors with extra bits to help play your games. I know Greenman was there with a cool idea to sell army trays and even allowing you to “rent” them for the weekend. He told us a newer size is coming to another event and I can hopefully see him another time and grab a new tray. I grabbed a Photo Background set from Table War as well to help me when taking pictures of my models. The quality is very high with everything looking good. I saw a ton of other things like terrain, models, and other companies.
I know Cool Mini or Not had a great booth, too! Privateer Press there representing and of course Frontline was throwing down with a well stocked GW store. Heck there was a Fez seller there too with some rad looking hats. I can’t remember their name but know that the fez’s looked very cool. There were some other vendors too – Tectonic Craft was there, Cool Mini or Not, GreenStuff Industries, and a plethora of others. This year felt like a full scale event as there were more vendors then ever before. I suspect it will just get bigger and bigger as the event keeps chugging along.
The event was run very well with Best Coast Pairings being used exclusively to help pair, run, and keep the event moving smoothly. I really liked the App as it let me quickly see the table, find my opponents army, and update with scores. It had a small hiccup in the beginning but talking with the programmers they suspect a small change is needed to make sure it isn’t nearly as slow as it was on the first day. Of course if you compare it to the time of moving to 2 different spots in the hall, trying to get close to the printed sheet, and not get crushed by the sheer mountains of meat that are Warhammer 40k players then the small time frame to wait for it to load is nothing to worry about. I really liked the army list pictures and feel this will be a much bigger help with keeping everyone in check and finding “illegal” lists before they get to far.
I went 3-1 and dropped after round 4 as I was getting a bit tired of 40k at the time. All the games were great and I played new people this year. This isn’t anything to do with the event but as a whole I am looking at AOS to fulfill my competitive thoughts. The one thing I noticed in the tournament scene it did seem like a lot of players were not finishing games. Some blame it on the free nature of the “good” armies of 40k, others are saying certain army styles favor keeping the amount of turns low, and some thing certain players specifically play that way – no matter the reason I think something needs to be done.
Too much of the time I heard a lot of players saying they only got to round 3. This is not fair to both players. I think something needs to be done where some kind of punishment needs to be given to players that do not finish their games. I know it happens from time to time – but really if 3 out of your 5 games do not get to round 5 then you need to be docked points. Until 40k gets a little more streamlined and hopefully things fixed, this will be the only way to curtail some of these bad habits and tendencies of players.
I got to spend some time with some other attendees and new friends at a loud dinner and voiced some of my 40k concerns. I like how Summoning is handled in AOS and find the amount of free stuff to be a big issue in 40k right now. Point costs for formations and other things would be a great thing and something to curtail the bloated nature of the psychic phase is sorely needed. I talked about how – when you played 40k for fun it really worked pretty well – but it doesn’t scale well into the competitive nature when you have such an open sand box of game. I have high hopes for 8th and think a competitive reskinning of the game could do wonders for it – especially with new players. I would love a “commanders” handbook we see each year with input from GW and competitive 40k players.
This year was great – saw a ton of friends I only get to see a few times a year, got a ton of love and really felt like this was another amazing year (Shayne it kicked ass to finally meet you after just stalking you through Facebook). I know competitive games are not for everyone but the Las Vegas Open has just about anything for anyone. You could play a Narrative game, try to run a spiked football into the Blood Bowl Endzone, get your hobby on with some painting seminars, and even try to win a few bucks in the Casino itself.
LVO is Goatboy Approved – Hope to see you there next year!