Explodes on Six just wrapped up its first foray into competitive 40k. We sent a three man team over to Grand Forks, ND for the Slaughterhouse GT and had a generally positive experience. Between the three of us we had an 8-7 record (3-2, 3-2, 2-3 for each of us). Placing 6th,12th, and 21st with a killer Knight/Ad Mech combo, a fire warrior heavy Tau list, and a Dark Angels hellblaster gunline (me). The team really excelled when it came time to hand out awards for the various “best painted” categories. EoS took home three trophies and a runner-up award in Best Open, Best Unit, Best Army, with the runner up in the best monster/vehicle category. We even walked away with some great raffle prizes! The tourney itself has traditionally been organized as a charity event to give sick kids over at Fargo’s Children’s hospital games and toys to keep their spirits up and minds active. You’d have to have a heart as cold as a Necron Overlord not to think of that as a great cause (and an event greater excuse to get together for some dice chucking, xenos stomping action).
So lets talk about the tournament itself. We saw 28 players compete in a 2,000 point ITC format with the pairings created by Best Coast Pairings. There were five 2.5 hour rounds (three matches day one with the last two on the second day)that went in order of the ITC “champion’s missions” format scenario 1 thru 5. The lists present at the tourney were fairly diverse and ranged from the fun and fluffy, to the crunchiest cheese you’d probably expect from a GT. There were however, no Orks to be seen (which is a shame), and it seems there were a fair amount of Imperial Knights on the tables. Although I suppose the latter is to be understood. The night before the big tournament, the War Hogs (the local club) host an event known as the Knight’s joust which involves a knights only free for all slug fest and given how recently their codex came out, probably couldn’t have come out at a better time.
The players themselves were a solid collection of pretty good dudes. The War Hogs team was a dominating presence and most of them were pretty polite and gracious opponents. We did have one instance where our Tau player had a disagreement with one of the War Hogs Knight players over how the game was being scored, but after some debate, the War Hog member in question eventually saw his error and gave our man the win. In the moment, I didn’t think very much of this. Based on my team’s side of the story, our guy clearly won and was in the right…But the more I think about it, the more pleased I was with the outcome. Our opponent had a home field advantage: He had a lot of teammates who could have backed him up, most of the judges were locals who were either members of the War Hogs club, or friendly with them. If this guy wanted to, he probably could have had his way and walked off with the W. But he backed off, and even though he clearly wasn’t pleased with the outcome, it still says something positive about his sportsmanship as well as the team’s character as a whole. With only a few exceptions, the non War Hog members who came to play were also great opponents. My personal favorite was a match up of my Dark Angels against a player from Winnipeg who was fielding Drukhari. Even though I lost by a single point, I couldn’t have asked for a better game of 40k. This guy had a really fun list and a great personality to go with it, and I can honestly say it was the best game of 40k I’ve played so far in 8th edition. It was games like that which made the tournament worth it!
The raffle they held throughout the weekend was also great with tons of opportunities to win some genuinely awesome prizes. They were giving away everything from high end brushes to the new Renegade box set. We managed to score a really nice Feldherr army transport case, a Feldherr brush and dice bag. We also took home a cool score tracker and a “Slaughterhouse GT 2018″ 6” measuring tool. I would say my only complaint about the raffle was that they spaced it out over the two days and they kind of dragged it out a little bit by offering a few prizes between each match. Mind you that they had a TON of prizes to give away, but I think I would have tried to give everything away by the end of the first day of competition. The venue we were playing in had plenty of booze and food to sell, so I think people would have been comfortable hanging around. It was difficult for me to focus on the raffle while I was trying to figure out where my next opponent was and simultaneously trying to pack my army up to move to the next game. Honestly, by the end of day two I just wanted to finish my last game, see who won what, and head home (we had a four-ish hour commute). The day two raffle just made the event feel like it was taking too long to wrap up. Still, its worth emphasizing how great those prizes were.
The Trophies were also really great. The overall winner was awarded with a giant, hand made, chainsword. The majority of the other trophies were pig themed. The “best painted awards our team racked up were known as “The Golden Bacon” in their respective categories. Additionally, they had a lot of joke awards. They gave out rubber ducks for moments of supreme silliness. our knight/admech player was the recipient of one such ducky. Evidently, he lost some of his troops and had spent the better part of a half hour looking all over the venue for them. He even went back to his car to see if they somehow ended up in there. Lo and behold, they were simply sitting on the base of one of his knights the whole time. The duck given to him gave a lot of us a good laugh at his expense. The ducks were a pretty fun and easy way of inviting people into their community while getting to share a few yucks at those embarrassing moments, exclusive to warhammer, that most (if not all) of us have experienced ourselves. Another fun award they gave out, which I was personally thankful not to win, was the piglet. The piglet was a child’s stuffed animal pig that they gave to the player who finished dead last. In addition to the plush pig, they gave the “piglet” player a start collecting box for Age of Sigmar as a lighthearted gesture for them to try their luck with a new game.
Over all we had a great time, met some great people, and were pleased with the War Hogs as the hosting club. They put in a lot of effort to put on a great event and we’ll definitely be back next year to win it all!
I’d post the results from the tournament but BCP updated its app shortly after and we lost the final standings. The TOs are rebuilding the list for us and I’ll include that with this article as soon as they put it up!