My Games / Write-Ups:
- Catered Food – I felt like I got to eat at free buffets all weekend long. The food was fantastic too; steak, salmon, chicken, gourmet sandwiches, awesome side dishes. Desserts includes cheesecakes, tiramasu and canoles. Definitely a nice surprise. It was also nice that guests of participants were able to join for food.
- Excellent atmosphere and ambiance. The Pavillion at the Tropicana was large. There was enough space at each table for everyone to set their army up to the side of the table, and the tables were far enough apart so you weren’t backed up against anybody and people could walk through the tables with ease. There were 198 participants (for LotR, WHFB and 40k), and some of them brought guests but there was plenty of room.
- 100% FREE event. I only paid for gas, a reduced room rate ($90 a night for a strip hotel on the weekend is fantastic), and meals on Friday and Sunday evening. Easily my least expensive 3 day Vegas trip.
- FREE loot! In addition to the free event and free food, GW gave us twenty dice, a Throne of Skulls patch, a GW tape measurer, and a GW water bottle. Not bad at all.
- Consistent terrain. The terrain was relatively sparse as many will attest to, but it was consistent on every table. There was advantage or disadvantage to be had based purely on which table you were at. GW showed pictures of sample tables in the ToS information packet, so this was expected (and another reason why I took Flickerfields on everything)
- Book missions with W/L/D format. Simple and effective. Two Annihilation, two Seize Ground with 5 objectives, and one capture and control.
- The format. In a tournament of this size, a loss or a draw can immediately put you out of the running. I really appreciated not having to worry about how EVERYBODY was doing, my main concern were the other four Dark Eldar players. This made for a great mix of casually competitive. I think this event would have been much better received by the competitive gaming community if GW left out the Best Overall completely and just gave awards for Best Army.
- Even though the field was opened up to include friends of qualifiers, the competition level was still very high.
- There was a nice mix of armies there and every army was represented. The usual suspects were among the most popular armies in attendance, but seeing 4 Necron armies, along with 10 Eldar and 4 Tau was a nice surprise. The only army with one participant was Black Templars. I played against two Space Wolves, Imperial Guard, Deathwing and Tyranids.
- While it didn’t affect me, having to hear that some people had to play the same opponent twice is a disappointment. This is something that should never happen at any tournament at any level. GW corrected it for day 2, but it’s still unfortunate that it happened.
Overall, the event was a huge success. Everyone I talked to was blown away by how much GW put into it, and considered this a great gift. By winning Best Dark Eldar, I did qualify for the next Throne of Skulls in Memphis and I’m strongly leaning towards attending.
Additional ToS Coverage:
Dave’s Photobucket Alblum (very nice collection of pictures documenting the event)