Archive for the ‘Rules’ Category

Astronomi-con – Thoughts For The Future

Posted: February 22, 2018 by Lord Commander Militant of the Imperial Guard in Events, Hobby, Narrative, News, Rules, Scenarios
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Christian and I had a deep heart to heart on Astro this past weekend. We talked and schemed and thought hard about the game’s past and the game’s future and the possibilities provided by 8th edition.

We have come up with some very exciting new ideas.

When Astronomi-con was first begun, we were in many ways a ‘standard’ Rogue Trader Tournament event. One of the very first ones in fact. However even at that very first event in 2001, we did some things that were completely different and ground breaking and that no one else did.

One thing was that, instead of trying to ‘make every game the same’ which was the standard from GW on down at the time, we realized that we simply did not have the resources to have matching terrain for 20 odd tables. Really only GW could do that. So instead, since the terrain would never be ‘the same’ we decided instead to embrace the differences. Make every table different, not only the terrain – but the actual scenarios that went with it too. This would give each and every person a truly unique tournament experience. Yes, it sacrificed some ‘balance’ but the more we thought about it – well games were never perfectly balanced anyway. Some armies have always been more powerful than others and there has always been a certain amount of ‘rock paper scissors’ with some army interactions, where army A could beat army B almost every time but army B would beat army C which would then, surprisingly, beat army A every time. We couldn’t make 40k play like Chess. It wasn’t designed that way. Instead – we chose to embrace those differences and try as much as possible to keep the game and the event ‘fair and fun’ while understanding that perfect balance was not something that was possible.

So – different terrain, different scenarios. Transparent scoring systems (almost unheard of at the time). Converted models. Forgeworld (also close to unheard of at the time). When it came along we allowed VDR – something no one else ever did that we know of. We allowed flyers when they were FW only, the rules were clunky and pretty much no one else did. We embraced difference.

That is our legacy.

Now the world of 40k has changed. There are now specific rules for ‘matched play’ and very specific expectations of the word ‘tournament.’ But there is also Open Play and Narrative play.

So – we are going to take a chance and again lead the way. The Astronomi-con ‘Tournament’ will now be the Astronomi-con Narrative Event weekend.

Okay – that seems a change that may startle, but take a deep breath and bear with us here. In many ways, Astro will not change. There will still be awards, points, scoring for the things that we have done in the past. We will change some of how that works of course, but 8th required that anyway.

We’ve tried a number of things recently and have had some very good success with them both conceptually and at our Narrative event at JimCon. We will be looking at ‘narrative’ match ups rather than pure ‘who kicked butt’ swiss systems. So that the whole eldar on eldar, guard on guard, marine on marine thing will be reduced or eliminated.

Scenarios will become even more engaging with Stratagems for each scenario making CPs even more important than ever. There will be scoring for Army Narrative – how well the army tells its ‘story’ within the 40k Universe (this will replace ‘theme’).

Awards will still exist – although we are looking more toward ‘Best Faction’ so that the person you are playing against will never be someone you are competing against. Instead the Necron players will be striving to do well as a team, with the one who does the best taking home the trophy (as an example).

We plan on using Power Level for army building, rather than matched play points, but there will be a hybrid system so that summoned critters are not ‘free’ etc. in order to keep things fair and fun.

The end result will be something truly new. Not a ‘tournament’ in the sense that LVO is – but something different, exciting and – we hope, huge fun and rewarding for every single attendee, win lose or draw.

We hope you’ll enjoy it – certainly we are SUPER excited about it. More to come as the work continues.

Mike M. and Christian A.
Astronomi-con Co-Organizers


Open War! – Scoring

Posted: November 7, 2017 by The Master of the Adeptus Administratum in Events, Hobby, Narrative, News, Rules
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We’ve released the Scoring rubric for the upcoming Open War! event at JimCon 7 on Saturday, November 18th.

As primarily a narrative event, we wanted to ensure that all aspects of the hobby were well represented – and thanks to player feedback from previous events we’ve posted scoring guidlines for our attendees to ensure all participating are able to score their opponents accurately.

We’re looking forward to a great day of 40k and hope you can join in on the fun!

On New Editions and 21st Century Changes

Posted: April 22, 2017 by Lord Commander Militant of the Imperial Guard in Events, News, Rules, Scenarios
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And so it begins…

Games Workshop has announced the 8th edition of 40k. Unsurprisingly it draws somewhat on their experiences with their (eventually) successful experiences re-booting Fantasy Battle into Age of Sigmar.

And, of course, a lot of people are losing their minds, preparing to rage-quit etc. etc.

One of the first things I did was read their FAQ on the new edition to get some kind of idea what they were going to do. The second thing I did was think on what this could mean – for our events, for the hobby, for my own efforts etc. The third thing I did was to call Christian – the fellow with whom I run Astro.

So – what does this mean?

Well, let’s take a (capsule) look at what GW has said. The game will be changing. This is a major rules changes that necessitates old Codex books going by the wayside. So – very strong game changes not just ‘tweaks’. GW is also breaking the hobby out into ‘Free Play’ (throw models down and shoot stuff – much like the old unbound, I expect), ‘Narrative play’ (build your forces in themes and campaigns from the 40k universe) and what amounts to Competitive or Tournament play.

I don’t expect Free Play to amount to much. By and large players like some structure. This might be okay for teaching folks, but I wouldn’t expect to see much more of it than that.

Competitive/Tournament style play – this is interesting stuff. GW is taking back the competitive scene from outsiders such as the ETC and ITC crowds. They will have their own lists designed for competitive play, likely limit over the top combos etc. This is very much going to change that side of the hobby. I expect a lot of the ‘broken’ stuff to get taken out. Those playing versus play are likely going to have to really learn how to play their armies. Broken combos will get fixed lickety split. Many very good tourney players will welcome this as it will really emphasize skill. – That is – if it turns out this way. This one – the execution is going to be very important. However GW has promised to look to the community for changes and feedback. It may take them time to get it right – but I think their hearts and minds are in the right place. They will get there – and the hobby will benefit from it.

For Astro, of course, well we’ve always been about Narrative play even while we put the aegis of a ‘tournament’ over it. From the very first Astro the crazy scenarios and the fact that people didn’t all play the same scenario meant that the ‘tourney’ style play we did was a very different experience from more conventional events. I think, at first, even we ourselves didn’t realize how much. Yet a lot of people embraced our vision.

For us – the organizers of Astronomi-con – we have a really unique opportunity. Christian and I are going to go ‘back to the drawing board’ with Astro. We are going to carefully outline our philosophies and, in the light of an entirely new system – we are going to create from Astro – which began as a ‘v3’ tournament long ago – an entirely new creation focused on narrative play, enjoyable times and crazy fun. We will still support our core philosophies of keeping everything above board and out front, crazy fun narrative story based scenarios and having people play armies which are as evocative of the 41st Millennium as we can manage. Within those bounds – we are going to do our best to create something new, cool, and hopefully totally unique – and fun as heck out of the new edition.

Change need not be a bad thing. With all change comes opportunity and this one looks to have a great deal of wonderful opportunity for event organizers like ourselves who have long had a hard time balancing the narrative and competitive aspects of play. With them neatly separated by the rules set, we can focus on what we do best and really try to create new adventures, battles, and wars in the 41st millennium.

Welcome to the New Age. Cadia has fallen. Biel Tan broken. A Primarch has risen and daemon princes stalk the stars. We’re going to take that stage, dress it up and bring your armies to it!

Astronomi-con FAQ Update

Posted: March 28, 2017 by The Master of the Adeptus Administratum in Composition, Events, FAQ, News, Rules
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Some updates to the FAQ for Astronomi-con:

  • Lifted restrictions on Independent Characters joining units during deployment.   The current GW Rulebook FAQ has addressed the most pressing issues and having additional restrictions seemed unnecessary.
  • Added information on how the Death From The Skies supplement will be used at Astronomi-con.
  • Added Captain Centos as an allowed special character.
  • Clarified how Formations composed of a single unit composed of multiple battlefield roles is to be handled.  (E.g. Deathwatch Kill Teams, Inquisitorial Henchman Warbands)

FAQ Update!

Posted: April 19, 2016 by The Master of the Adeptus Administratum in FAQ, News, Rules

With the recent release of the Imperial Space Marine 2016 and the new Adeptus Astartes Psychic Powers we have updated our FAQ page to address these.


Changing The Rules

Posted: November 18, 2015 by The Master of the Adeptus Administratum in Events, Forgeworld, News, Rules
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As Tournament Organizers, we are ultimately responsible for the way our events are run.  This covers all aspects of the tournament, from something as simple as how many points each player is allowed to use when creating their armies, to what restrictions will be enforced such as disallowing multiples of the same formation or limiting Lords of War.

Some Tournament formats such as the ITC produce their own FAQ’s and impose their own limits on abilities and limits for their events.

Astronomi-con while generally very open to using existing units and rules sometimes has to put a few of its own ‘fixes’ in place to address rules oddities, or potentially abusive combinations.

As such we have two such items listed on our FAQ page.

One item gives new rules for the Lucius Drop Pod produced by ForgeWorld.

The second restricts the ability of units embarking in Allied transports and Independent Characters joining Allied units.

These changes have been made in the interests of fun thematic gaming and to downplay potentially abusive combinations.

Ruleset Updates

Posted: October 14, 2015 by The Master of the Adeptus Administratum in Composition, Dataslate, Digital, Forgeworld, News, Rules
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In an effort to ease questions about what is and is not allowed with respect to codices, units, and formations for Astronomi-con we have simplified things somewhat from our inclusive list of codices and supplemental rules.

Astronomi-con has always been about including as much of the 40k universe as possible within the scale and scope appropriate to the points level being played with the goal of encouraging narrative thematic fun games for all participants.

To address the questions of what units and codices are allowed, we have opted to do away with the 30-day restrictions on new releases.  Currently it seems new units with their rules are made available almost every week via White Dwarf, in advance of a codex release.   If a unit has complete rules available then they are permitted.  If a unit is released with an incomplete set of rules – such as referencing special rules or wargear that has not yet been released then that unit will not be permitted.

All currently published Codices, Dataslates, Formations, Supplements, and their associated FAQ’s will be permitted unless otherwise noted on the Ruleset page.   This also includes Forgeworld Imperial Armour books, Experimental rules, and their related FAQ’s. Black Library hosted rules are also permitted.

Check the Ruleset page for complete information!

Ruleset Update

Posted: June 25, 2015 by The Master of the Adeptus Administratum in Composition, Dataslate, Digital, Expansions, Forgeworld, News, Rules
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At long last we now have a comprehensive list of codices, supplements, dataslates, and Imperial Armour books cataloged on the Ruleset page.  Players may select their armies using units and formations from these sources, following the tournament rules for Army Selection.

This list of approved sources of units is now over 60 published sources, so players have an unprecedented amount of choice for how to compose their armies.  Army lists must be submitted to the organizers for validation so when preparing your list be sure to note the source(s) that your force is selected from.

There have been a lot of changes to the 40k ruleset over the past year, and it has been a great deal of effort to organize and present this list.  So should something not be listed, please let us know.

Army Selection Update

Posted: June 21, 2015 by The Master of the Adeptus Administratum in Composition, Dataslate, Events, News, Rules
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We have revised the Army Selection rules:

Players must select their armies using the Battle-forged method as detailed in the main rulebook page 117.

Players may select any number of Formations but cannot select the same Formation more than once.

Players cannot select Allies classified as ‘Come the Apocalypse’ in the main rulebook.

Players cannot select units or Formations that are designated as “Apocalypse”.

Players cannot select units that have a battlefield role designated as “Lord Of War”.

Players cannot select a Formation that includes a unit which has a battlefield role designated as “Lord of War”.

It is important for players to understand the differences among a Detachment, Formation, and a Unit when creating their Battleforged army. This is all detailed in the main rulebook and in each codex.

Astronomi-con Toronto 2015 – Registration Now Open!

Posted: May 8, 2015 by The Master of the Adeptus Administratum in Events, Hobby, News, Rules, Scenarios, Terrain
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Registration for this year’s Astronomi-con Toronto event is now open!

We have been debating the exact format of this year’s tournament for the past couple of weeks and have decided to go with a more traditional format which excludes Lords of War.

There are a few updates to the website which are still underway, so expect a few changes over the next little while, but we wanted to get registration open to allow everyone to get signed up and allow us to prepare for the event.

We would like to add some more sponsors to support this year’s event, by providing terrain, prizes, or both.  If you or your organization are interested in being a sponsor, please contact the organizers.

We look forward to seeing you this summer!