I arrived early last Thursday spending the entire preceding Wednesday to paint a few more big models and then pack everything... It was a long day starting at 8:30am and not finishing until 9:30pm that evening. I then had to get back up at 4:30am the next morning to catch my flight to Austin. I came to play in the 40k team tourney on Friday then play in the large 30k event on Saturday. I also played in a huge 40k Apocalypse mega battle on the Sunday. I enjoyed each and every event... Most especially the 30k event. There were two other 30k World Eaters army along with mine. It was fantastic to see all of the beautiful 30k armies, one of which featured a gorgeous Blood Angels jet bike command squad - they are quite vicious to say the least!
This was my first time playing in a non competitive event so it was a new experience. Both the 30k and Apocalypse events were very well organized by the two TOs running them... They really did an outstanding job! If they have another 30k event I will definitely play again next year. I found it overall to be more fun than a GT... Everyone participating was cool and there was not one rules argument to the best of my knowledge. Each phase for every turn was timed so you didn't have to deal with a few players eating up all the time. It's not for everyone but I really like 30k a lot and it's not like you can do something like this every weekend. I will try to most more pictures soon.
Moving onto to my observations on the 40k GT... It seemed like the 1850 point level worked well and the TOs were able to stick to their schedule. As it turned out three of the four top armies were very heavy assault oriented:
#1 Necrons/Orks - Ben Mohile
#2 Daemons - Gareth Hunt
#3 Daemons - Kenny Boucher
#4 Imperial Guard/Dark Angels - Alan B.
There was a lot of buzz on the Internet about the allowance of Forge World this year in the 40k GT. Of the four top armies only fourth place had any Forge World units featuring lots of Saber defense platforms (twin linked lascannons) and Thudd guns. To me this demonstrates that Forge World is not as overpowering as some claim... That is just my opinion though. If you stop to think about it there was a lot of complaints on the Internet in regards to flyers when sixth edition was first released. Funny enough things like the Saber defense platform were one of the first major deterrents to flyer heavy armies.
The two daemon armies were unique enough from each other which I found very interesting. Prior to this GT my opinion was daemon armies are not that competitive but probably I was wrong. I learned a lot about the new daemons this past weekend and will have to reconsider. Tau did not do that well and I'm thinking they really need a good ally to be more competitive. I believe the fifth place army was Tyranids - the army list reflecting what you most commonly see on the Internet in terms of being competitive (e.g., Flyrant, Tervigons, Doom, etc.). I have been a strong advocate for assault armies being the most competitive in sixth edition which is mostly due to the current meta - again just my opinion. The results from this past weekend tend to support this view. If armies tended to be more balanced rather than the current over emphasis on shooting I think the heavy assault armies would not fare as well overall. The assault units in these types of armies must be both very mobile and highly resilient... e.g., Flesh Hounds, flying monstrous creatures, Canoptek Wraiths, etc. Note that Ben Mohile's army featured an Ork Warboss in mega armor attached to a squad of mega armored Nobz (troop) riding in a battle wagon.
The missions had players place the terrain. I was originally against this remembering many tournament games in third edition where most of the terrain ended up either along the table edges or clumped up in the middle. Having played in the 40k team tournament though I can say that for me this was not the case. Also like I said the tournament ran on time to the best of my knowledge so it did not seem to be a big deal in terms of a negative impact.
So in conclusion another fantastic GT. It seemed like everyone had a great time that talked to during the weekend.