There is a problem in the community right now, and that is many people are wanting to force Tournaments to open up and accept everything that Games Workshop has to throw at them. Escalation and the introduction of D-Weapons has hit the community like a giant rock in the side of the head, and we are all still figuring it out.
Most people know Mike is very much involved in the community and of course runs NOVA. It really is one of the top events to attend, and as the new year starts, its on my personal top list of events to try and attend this year. (I will be doing two, later in the year).
The bulk of this article comes from the comments sections here on Faeit 212. There is also an addition to what was said in the comment sections at the end of this article. This response comes from email back and forth with Mike.
There are rumors starting to show now that GW is looking to take this on, and attempt to balance it out with a new rulebook. In the meantime though, what are Tournaments to do? They risk a lot to run these tournaments in advance, and we in the community obviously love them. Once again I am going to ask readers to keep it civil. (I asked Mike if it was OK to publish his comments for this article.)
via Mike Brandt -taken from the comment sections here on Faeit 212
It's needless to encourage taking ownership; we do. On a personal level, my responsibility is to my attendees first, most of whom aren't hardcore players but are just looking to socialize and play fun games. I think it's VERY ill-understood by the majority who don't attend tournaments that most going aren’t WAAC or planning to win. That may be the case at smaller GT's or RTTs where all the attendees think they have a reasonable chance of winning, but it's not the case at the 256'ers.
It's important to note the majority of tournament attendees are similar to the majority of LGS gamers or social groupers (I certainly have met tons of tourney attendees, and spent my first five years in the hobby exclusively gaming in a social and LGS environment, no tourneys). Social groupers aren't really affected at all, b/c they all play within their own niche meta and there's a lot of social contracting about what is or isn't OK to bring. LGS gamers are ... basically ... tournament gamers. They're represented by a majority of players just looking to get some fun gaming in and meet new people. It's literally the same darned thing, b/c just like you are pretty unlikely to run into "That guy" or "Mr. WAAC" at a local friendly gaming store, you're also unlikely to do so at a big 256-person GT.
When the average person attending NOVA says they don't want a Revenant, it's b/c they don't want to get blasted off the tables in embarrassing fashion when all they want to do is have a few fun games and not have to worry too much about what to metagame. For all the Eldar and Tau at NOVA this year for instance, they didn't represent like 80% of the field or anything, and far fewer than a quarter of even those who did bring Eldar/Tau were not fielding hardcore lists.
Your small-% top tier tournament players will merrily take a cheesed out Revenant or Tranny C'tan backed by every possible tweaked-in hyperoptimal selection, and will even more dramatically table and crush people who are just looking to have a fun game.
While you're busy urging from the peanut-gallery that we take ownership, take ownership yourself. For every TO like myself who risks the loss of literally $50k+ in contract defaults if we do something astronomically dumb with our tournaments (and have the "reward" for doing everything right be .. people smile and are happy and we make $0 for thousands of hours of work), there's 20 internet commenters with differing opinions whose urgings have no deep bearing on their own personal lives; if you are able to build a decent friends group and all speak about what you want out of the game, you can routinely play games with whatever you want to play with. I not only want, but NEED the vast majority of my prospective attendees to be happy, or I lose literally thousands upon thousands of dollars from my own personal pocket. I take that very seriously, and thus take evaluation of what's "OK" or not in terms of game rules, allowances, denials, etc., very ... very seriously. We're not sitting here on the podium (or at least I'm not) flinging random swag guesses at what's ok or not, and we're not catering to some competitive elite.
The after-effect of all of this is not everyone will ever be happy with any decision made for the benefit of the largest whole, and sometimes this has unhappy consequences (i.e., NOVA "invented" the 1999+1 point level to address broad attendee concern from people who'd spent thousands of dollars and hours prepping and building 2k single FOC armies for 2012 NOVA, and then had 1 month with the release of 6th Edition to mad-scramble ... so even though it was never intended as a permanent and common points level, b/c "we" did it it's still globally common to see 1999+1 tournaments, presented in exactly that fashion). Per the parenthetical example, that HAD To be done for the sake of people whose attendance was necessary were we to not default on hotel room nights or something.
If you want to play a certain way in your local game group, talk through it with your regular opponents. No matter how influential big tournaments are on other tournaments and what-not, the reality is whenever I want to bring out my old home-built remote-controlled stompa (and it has blinking eye lights and such), I just rassle together a few buddies and we play with it. That said, I don't expect anyone to HAVE to play me with it either.
All probably TMI and what-not, but the long and short is this - TOs take huge ownership over our influence, and our decisions carry enormously risky financial consequences. I understand the individuals who want to field their $300 titan. I hope they'll show some understanding for TOs who want to avoid going bankrupt in the pursuit of putting on a fun time for a lot of fellow hobbyists.
(As an aside, the NOVA has multiple events where you CAN field your $300 titan! One of them even also lets you participate in really cool Model-UN type sessions to determine mission nuances, pairings, what kinds of battle areas you'll be deployed to, etc.!)
via email with Mike
PS the actual contract default is $70,000 per year for the next two years as of now. For every room-night under our quite high minimums we fail to fill, we basically owe the Hyatt a hundred dollars (meaning even low attendance can totally screw is out of thousands). I really do hope this helps people understand how much we risk and little we gain just to feel pride about doing something really awesome for fellow gamers.