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Disturbing News from NOVA


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I know some of the guys that went to NOVA this year, and heard reports from the top tables, and what I am hearing is very disturbing. 

People deploying their units 2" apart to gain an advantage. Losers accusing their opponent of slow playing just to complain. Rolling a questionable charge and then moving the models super fast before the distance can be properly measured. Re-rolling dice for no reason because they don't like the first result. Moderators having to threaten disqualification.

I heard of one incident where a moderators made a call that is the wrong rule. That is very disappointing. If you are a moderator you should know your rules in and out. I know people are only human but I've actually heard this from other tournaments as well. A wrong ruling can ruin someones entire tournament, we need to have serious legit GM's at our major tournaments. The first time GW came to LVO and was moderating, it was great - they pulled out the book and cited the rule with every ruling. This is the kind of GM we need at major tournaments.

Sportsmanship is extremely important. At NOVA, sportsmanship was a 1-5 rating on the sheet - the sheet that you have to walk up and hand in together. This prevents you from being anonymous in any way. This is a very bad system. 

This is just the tip of the iceberg. I only know some of the people who played. One of the reasons I go to AoS tournaments and not 40k is because I hear all kinds of this stuff from 40k but not really AoS. You get the over competitive guy now and again but its not something you should just expect every tournament. Seems like the sportsmanship is going downhill. I really hope that tournaments start to properly promote sportsmanship and not let tournaments totally degrade to some kind of slug-fest. 

 

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Knowing some people who heard some things from tables they didn't play on or see? I'd take it with a grain of salt. It's very easy for little things to get wrongly repeated and misinterpreted when the information is second or third hand 

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Sportsmanship can also be used to unjustly punish opponents for crushing them. Let’s be honest, we all know that there are plenty of vindictive gamers that are sore losers. The bottom line is that there really is no perfect system. 

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Sports was a 1-4 rating.

At adepticon I was given a 2/5 for using GW death guard dice with my Nurgle army, and debuffing his army into oblivion. I have been on the receiving end of mean people taking out their frustrations with sports scores. It sucks...but it needs to be a part of the scoring to maintain some semblance of and tracking of bad opponents. 

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The problem is most people don't even understand Sportsmanship as a thing to score. Plus in general the majority of players are pretty good sports most times so even if people understand it there's often little to really score. It would only ever be a "great time" or "OMG this person was abysmal evict them". 

 

For the rest they kind of go on if they enjoyed the game; which means if they lost many score lower jut because they didn't enjoy that bit. It's not so much vindictive as it is simply not understanding what sportsmanship really is; plus also not being held accountable to any standard.

 

 

It's one score that I think really shouldn't count for anything or if it does then it should be separate from all other scores. 

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5 minutes ago, Overread said:

The problem is most people don't even understand Sportsmanship as a thing to score. Plus in general the majority of players are pretty good sports most times so even if people understand it there's often little to really score. It would only ever be a "great time" or "OMG this person was abysmal evict them". 

 

When I played at Middle Earth events they used a very elegant sportsmanship system where, after the last round, you voted for the most sporting person you played, and whoever won the most votes would win the sportsmanship award. It meant that it was an elusive prize, but didn't colour every interaction you had.

I don't see the necessity in rating every opponent after every game and actually think it results in people thinking their opponents are worse sports than they are. Asking someone to rate an opponent immediately after playing them is the same as asking someone to recall everything their opponent did that was wrong or impolite, and rate it. It's a sort of rigidity that doesn't allow time for people to get over minor infractions. The real answer is that AoS needs better judges and TO's with rock solid rules knowledge. If someone suspects their opponent hasn't checked the newest errata for their army and is playing with outdated rules; there is a good chance they will have multiple people scouring the internet for a specific PDF and ultimately be told 'no' even if they are right because the logistics of keeping players happy and on schedule.

I still love the game and have had nothing but good experiences so far, but I think we could borrow from Magic when it comes to the culture of rules enforcement. In Magic, if you goof up at an event, the norm is that you live with your mistake and learn not to make it again, because at the more important events there is an actual judge there who will give you warnings etc. In AoS, if someone realises they forgot to do something in the hero phase, most opponents let them go back and do it. I don't mind this, and I actually think it is a testament to how laid back most players are; but the game could do with establishing a more central ground where mistakes aren't OK, but people understand they are only being held to their mistakes so they play better next time.

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1 hour ago, WoollyMammoth said:

I know some of the guys that went to NOVA this year, and heard reports from the top tables, and what I am hearing is very disturbing. 

People deploying their units 2" apart to gain an advantage. Losers accusing their opponent of slow playing just to complain. Rolling a questionable charge and then moving the models super fast before the distance can be properly measured. Re-rolling dice for no reason because they don't like the first result. Moderators having to threaten disqualification.

I heard of one incident where a moderators made a call that is the wrong rule. That is very disappointing. If you are a moderator you should know your rules in and out. I know people are only human but I've actually heard this from other tournaments as well. A wrong ruling can ruin someones entire tournament, we need to have serious legit GM's at our major tournaments. The first time GW came to LVO and was moderating, it was great - they pulled out the book and cited the rule with every ruling. This is the kind of GM we need at major tournaments.

Sportsmanship is extremely important. At NOVA, sportsmanship was a 1-5 rating on the sheet - the sheet that you have to walk up and hand in together. This prevents you from being anonymous in any way. This is a very bad system. 

This is just the tip of the iceberg. I only know some of the people who played. One of the reasons I go to AoS tournaments and not 40k is because I hear all kinds of this stuff from 40k but not really AoS. You get the over competitive guy now and again but its not something you should just expect every tournament. Seems like the sportsmanship is going downhill. I really hope that tournaments start to properly promote sportsmanship and not let tournaments totally degrade to some kind of slug-fest. 

 

Sorry. As I've been reading this there have been more inaccuracies so I must do a followup post.

1) I have contacted several people I know who were at the event, because I saw them there. I have heard no reports about what you describe.

2) Moderators are human. That said, I myself had a rules dispute, so my opponent and I went up to the moderator to get his take. He wasn't 100% sure on the answer, so he pulled out a book and we all looked up the exact wording together. That's how it was done throughout the tournament. There were only 2 moderators there, so unless one was good and one didn't give a ****** (and having interacted with both, that's not the impression I got), I don't see how the incident you describe could have taken place as described.

3) Your description of the sportsmanship score is just flat our wrong. First of all, it was a 1-4, and you were required to write your justification for the score on the sheet. Secondly, it was anonymous. You would get your opponent to sign your sheet after you had put the raw, objective data down, then fill in the sportsmanship data, THEN turn it in. Still not a perfect system, but far superior to the nonsense you describe.

4) If you're going to say it's just the "tip of the iceburg" you're going to have to go into greater detail, because so far everything you have stated about how the NOVA AoS GT has been completely wrong from my first-hand perspective, and the first-hand perspectives of those who went with me that I've shown this to in order to gauge its validity.

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Shot in the dark, are you friends with the guy with the Nagash list in 5th place? You are the only person I have seen really saying negative things about the event. I have been reading a lot of reports from attendees with no  reports similar to what you mentioned, so I am really not sure.

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The worst thing about these negative posts about "disturbing news" after every event is that if something truly concerning does happen we'll all be left wondering if it's just another post-event negativity thread based on very little or if something really went down.

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Sports was a 1-4 rating.

At adepticon I was given a 2/5 for using GW death guard dice with my Nurgle army, and debuffing his army into oblivion. I have been on the receiving end of mean people taking out their frustrations with sports scores. It sucks...but it needs to be a part of the scoring to maintain some semblance of and tracking of bad opponents. 

This event was run, organized and executed very well. There were some grumbling about slow play. I talked to the guy personally while waiting for pizza. But it was based on the guy not knowing certain things about his army. At that point, the person being “slow played” needs to point to the clock and explain how events work. 

I heard grumblings about poor measuring. And over extending movement distance. If my opponent is using an aoe ability and it looks long to me...that’s why the dark gods made tape measures. It’s a tournament. I don’t care if I’m playing a family member I will tel them that’s not in range. I checked a few opponents measurements with a quick measure of my own. Right before I did... I said the words “trust  but verify.” Turns out it was like 1/4” short. If he had said “my intention is to be x” away from...” while measuring at the same time..then I will Give then the benefit of the doubt because the tabled gets bumped, or models tapped or something...

that’s not cheating. Cheating implies intent. And without any proof (such as the bulshit that went down at gen con in the 40k event where the guy was caught on camera moving models closer by nudging the with water bottles) it’s just a slight against he organizers. This whole thing stinks of a salty game of “telephone” 

Edited by sal4m4nd3r
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I attended this event and will give some thoughts. First off, I'll say it was a solid event. Not the best, and far from the worst. My rounds were all friendly and competitive, particularly on day 2 on the top tables, where the balance between fun and tense can be tenuous. 

Here's the good:

-Rounds fired off on time pretty much every round. This is a big logistical hurdle for many events. So, hats off to the crew staying so efficient.

-Nearly all of my opponents were a ton of fun to play against. Day 2 had many big swings on the dice back and forth and my opponents handled the heavy variance well, taking it in stride.

Now the bad:

-The terrain, put simply, was weak. I unfortunately didn't grab any photos, but it was at least lackluster for a tournament of this size, particularly at one of the largest events at one of the biggest wargaming cons in the world. I'd say 80% of it was dry-brushed pieces of lightly-carved pink foam. Even with terrain that cheap/easy, it was sparse.

-I heard multiple reports of players simply giving each other secondary and tertiary objectives regardless of outcome. This was particularly frustrating for me, as I won all my games on day 1, but missed out on these extra points several times by playing honestly. I warned the judges near the beginning of day 2 to keep an eye on it.

-I'll agree that the sportsmanship scoring could have better, but I'd like to stress that no sportsmanship system is going to tackle the issue of bad sports. It will unfortunately happen and I believe that you should report behavior that is flat-out unacceptable to the judges, if it ever comes to that. For this event, I did not witness any sportsmanship drama worth discussing here.

The ugly:

-The paint scoring. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason here. I heard a few scores that did not remotely match the rubric, with others scoring much more or less than they reasonably should have (as others agreed who I spoke with). When I heard someone question their score, the head judge stumbled to give an explanation or break down the rubric, leading me to believe it was an eyeball test for the points, instead of actually using the rubric that was laid out in advance. Paint scores were a big factor for overall points, and I feel this wrongly knocked at least a few players out of contention (or into contention undeservedly). I will clarify that I actually benefited heavily from the paint judge's lack of perception, with a higher score than my army deserved, so I had no horse in this race.

Edited by RoloMcFury
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10 minutes ago, RoloMcFury said:

I attended this event and will give some thoughts. First off, I'll say it was a solid event. Not the best, and far from the worst. My rounds were all friendly and competitive, particularly on day 2 on the top tables, where the balance between fun and tense can be tenuous. 

Here's the good:

-Rounds fired off on time pretty much every round. This is a big logistical hurdle for many events. So, hats off to the crew staying so efficient.

-Nearly all of my opponents were a ton of fun to play against. Day 2 had many big swings on the dice back and forth and my opponents handled the heavy variance well, taking it in stride.

Now the bad:

-The terrain, put simply, was weak. I unfortunately didn't grab any photos, but it was at least lackluster for a tournament of this size, particularly at one of the largest events at one of the biggest wargaming cons in the world. I'd say 80% of it was dry-brushed pieces of lightly-carved pink foam. Even with terrain that cheap/easy, it was sparse.

-I heard multiple reports of players simply giving each other secondary and tertiary objectives regardless of outcome. This was particularly frustrating for me, as I won all my games on day 1, but missed out on these extra points several times by playing honestly. I warned the judges near the beginning of day 2 to keep an eye on it.

-I'll agree that the sportsmanship scoring could have better, but I'd like to stress that no sportsmanship system is going to tackle the issue of bad sports. It will unfortunately happen and I believe that you should report behavior that is flat-out unacceptable to the judges, if it ever comes to that. For this event, I did not witness any sportsmanship drama worth discussing here.

The ugly:

-The paint scoring. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason here. I heard a few scores that did not remotely match the rubric, with others scoring much more or less than they reasonably should have (as others agreed who I spoke with). When I heard someone question their score, the head judge stumbled to give an explanation or break down the rubric, leading me to believe it was an eyeball test for the points, instead of actually using the rubric that was laid out in advance. Paint scores were a big factor for overall points, and I feel this wrongly knocked at least a few players out of contention (or into contention undeservedly). I will clarify that I actually benefited heavily from the paint judge's lack of perception, with a higher score than my army deserved, so I had no horse in this race.

I 100% agree with this assessment. I was there and let me preface by saying that I had a blast at the event. That said things could definetely be improved on. Just looking compared to the LotR tables next door, the AoS terrain was pretty pathetic to say the least. A few hills and one L shape that barely mattered was a poor representation of hobby. I know it’s extremely difficult to provide 50 tables of terrain, but I expected more. 

I felt secondaries and tertiary objectives were very loosey goosey on some tables. You didn’t even have to write down your secondary on the turn in sheet, so who knows if people were honest when turning it in. If I wanted to, I could have probably just used the same secondary the entire tournament (I did not though). 

The paint scores seemed to vary as well. Let me say that I improved my overall position with paint scores but it seemed that there was no standardization. From my understanding different judges scored different areas of the tournament hall, atleast from my observation during the lunch break on day 1. If that wasn’t the case I’ll happily edit this, but that just goes to show how painting scores weren’t communicated well during the event.

Overall though, I hope this doesn’t turn off anyone from attending a large GT event. I had a blast and all of my opponents were excellent. I just feel that some of these issues could be addressed and make an even better tournament.

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10 hours ago, sal4m4nd3r said:

Sports was a 1-4 rating.

At adepticon I was given a 2/5 for using GW death guard dice with my Nurgle army, and debuffing his army into oblivion. I have been on the receiving end of mean people taking out their frustrations with sports scores. It sucks...but it needs to be a part of the scoring to maintain some semblance of and tracking of bad opponents. 

What's wrong with your dice? They are awesome!

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@ClockworkGeo91 nothing is wrong with the dice* however Sal4m (seriously that name is a nightmare ;)) point was to show how the Sportsmanship award is very haphazard in how people award it and interpret what it means. And because its given by other players to the players they just won/lost too it can be a very emotional and personally attached award. 

In contrast when one has a judge and painting competition, one at least assumes less direct emotional link between the judge and each entry and at least a rough single standard that they are judged upon. So even if the judge has a bias at least its a constant; whilst sportsmanship can vary all over the place even with the same person they might award different people different scores even if they were all equally as sporting.

 

 

* unless one gets into the complex and often variable world of trying to find the perfect rolling dice

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1 minute ago, Overread said:

@ClockworkGeo91 nothing is wrong with the dice* however Sal4m (seriously that name is a nightmare ;)) point was to show how the Sportsmanship award is very haphazard in how people award it and interpret what it means. And because its given by other players to the players they just won/lost too it can be a very emotional and personally attached award. 

In contrast when one has a judge and painting competition, one at least assumes less direct emotional link between the judge and each entry and at least a rough single standard that they are judged upon. So even if the judge has a bias at least its a constant; whilst sportsmanship can vary all over the place even with the same person they might award different people different scores even if they were all equally as sporting.

 

 

* unless one gets into the complex and often variable world of trying to find the perfect rolling dice

Ahh! Forgive my silly question :) I don't mind losing, so I don't really understand these quibbles!

 

Thanks for the explanation

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+++ MOD HAT ON +++

Unless anybody has any FACTS about what happened at NOVA, this is just fish wife gossiping. Loads of gossip like this comes out of events usually by people who weren't there or if they were, they were no were near the incident. 

I'm now locking this thread now. If some of you want to start a conversation about Sportsmanship, that is fine but please remember the TGA Rules ;) 

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