Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Changes to Appearance Scoring

Posted: September 25, 2018 by Lord Commander Militant of the Imperial Guard in Uncategorized

With the shift to a narrative event, and away from a ‘competitive’ one, we have had the chance to make a lot of changes. One that we tussled with a lot was appearance scoring.

As you know – in the past Christian and I would spend a lot of time going over armies, painstakingly scoring them according to a rubric and trying to give folks feedback. This was nice in that we got to enjoy people’s armies, but it had some downsides. First, it took a LOT of time. Second, no matter how careful we were, there were always some folks (generally only a few) who simply were never happy with their scores. We’d try and explain to them that getting really high painting scores was hard, etc. but while most people were very reasonable, there were always some folks who weren’t happy. What’s more, they weren’t even always being unreasonable. Sometimes we were just too pressed for time and missed things. We tried really hard, but we’re human, and we make mistakes.

Another thing that came up, and this was a bit of a sore point, is that we weren’t playing against the army and so would have a different ‘experience’ of it than those playing. An unfinished model or squad at the very back of a display board we might not catch, but it might be very obvious to someone playing against the army. When we missed things like that scores were wrong and we’d have to try and correct them. Tough stuff.

With the event no longer being a ‘tournament’ we decided to try a different style of appearance scoring. In this iteration, each player will be scored on a much simpler rubric of 0-5, with the rubric right on the scoresheet. And they will be scored by their opponent during play, ensuring that all models played with are seen and really impressive models don’t get missed. With 5 games a possible maximum total of 25 points for appearance is possible and with a simpler rubric we hope that the scores will also be more accurate. This will add to each player’s ‘Best in Faction’ scores, rewarding players for putting in time and effort on their armies.

Remember, please score honestly and by the rubric. Don’t just give everyone fives, please. There are some armies out there that deserve all fives (looking at you Jonathan) but they are likely quite rare.

See you on the weekend!

On Narrative Objectives

Posted: September 25, 2018 by Lord Commander Militant of the Imperial Guard in Uncategorized

One thing that is going to be different in our new v8 Narrative events is the concept of ‘Narrative Objectives’.

These are new, and I can hear everyone saying to themselves, okay – so what the heck is a ‘Narrative Objective’ anyway? How do I use it and what do they mean?

In the past, we had points and objectives to create a win, a loss and a draw and you could earn additional ‘battle points’ by fulfilling certain secondary objectives. Narrative objectives have replaced these. They are similar in some ways, different in others.

In the past, if you earned some ‘secondary objectives’ you just added on a couple points. Done and done, good for you, slightly better swiss score. Let me be clear though, that is NOT how the Narrative objectives work.

Each scenario will have FIVE Narrative Objectives. Some will be relatively easy to accomplish, other might be harder. It is always possible to get all five, but it is not always possible for each player to get all five, although in many cases, both players could score some of them during a game.

The big difference between secondary objectives and narrative objectives is that the latter are first of all, inspired directly by the ‘story’ of the scenario. They literally are narrative. They might encourage you to have your commander do something or be someplace at some point during the game. You might need to make use of a given scenario stratagem or have something (good or bad) happen to your army during the course of the game.

Second, the Narrative Objectives aren’t just ‘points’. They do add to narrative points, but in addition they tell us, the organizers, cool things that happened DURING the battle. As such, if you achieve Narrative Objective A, which is to have your Warlord standing at a given objective at the end of the game, then make sure to check the box on the score sheet for A, not just any one of the boxes. Yes, we do have a reason for this and we hope you’ll enjoy it, but it’s a secret for now.

See you all in Milton on the weekend!

Scoring Update

Posted: October 13, 2016 by The Master of the Adeptus Administratum in Uncategorized


We have updated our Scoring page for The Imperium Besieged to include a scoring reference for each of the four categories:  Gameplay, Sportsmanship, Appearance, and Theme.

This should assist players when scoring their opponents each round.  This is something that many attendees have asked for us to return to our events, so we hope this will be a welcome addition.


On Narrative events

Posted: June 8, 2016 by Lord Commander Militant of the Imperial Guard in Uncategorized

So – The Imperium Besieged…

Xian and I have been kicking around the idea for this event for well over a year. Once we finally committed to actually DOING it though – the development happened very fast. I guess 16 years of event running gives you at least some kind of skill at quickly knowing what is likely to work and what won’t when working together. It’s been exciting and very very cool.

So finally we consider ourselves ready – we book and confirm the space, people are talking excitedly and then we throw open the Registration.

And – in less than TWENTY FOUR HOURS – the event is half full.

It’s five MONTHS away!

Local folks are talking about potentially flying out to Toronto to play. There may be interest in a Winnipeg version too, which we would really welcome.

For a long time, it’s felt like very competitive events were all that could succeed. Outside of Toronto, Astronomi-con events have been falling off the tree, one by one due to simple lack of attendees. I’ll be honest with you – it’s been pretty heartbreaking. This event has been a big part of our lives for a long time now. In fact half the time I’ve spent doing the Games Workshop Hobby – I’ve been running Astronomi-con. We’ve seen it all, the rise and fall of Armorcast, the creation of Forgeworld, the rise of styrene models and the phasing out of metal models virtually completely. More and new races, new vehicles, the incorporation of flyers, of detachments and of formations.

It’s been quite a ride.

And through it all – the more ‘narrative’ type of events like Astronomi-con have been falling away, replaced by more ‘hardcore’ events. There is nothing wrong with that, mind – it’s not my cup of tea, but not everyone’s choice of how to play is ever going to be the same, but narrative events – there seemed to be less and less and, more importantly less and less interest.

Wow, folks. Wow.

Apparently we could not have been more wrong.

The level of support for The Imperium Besieged, the level of excitement and interest and passion – it’s really exciting. I haven’t been this excited about running an event in some years now. It’s literally THRILLING.

Thank you folks. You’ve made it a great time to be an event organizer and I really can’t thank you enough for your support, your excitement and your passion for the hobby.

The Imperium Besieged

Posted: May 27, 2016 by The Master of the Adeptus Administratum in Uncategorized

Astronomi-con Rivals

As has been discussed over the past couple of weeks on our Facebook group and Yahoo! mailing list, we are excited to announce a NEW narrative event:  The Imperium Besieged.

This will be a weekend of narrative battles at a scale never seen at an Astronomi-con event in the past, and players will be representing their factions on the battlefields.

While there is still plenty of work for us to do with respect to getting all of the fine details worked out, the broader workings have been refined to a state where we can begin sharing them with you all and at a date in the near future opening up registrations to be part of this event weekend!

Armies will be Battleforged and selected in three sections:  a 1400 point “Main Force”, a 700 point “Offensive Sideboard” and a 700 point “Defensive Sideboard”.  Lords of War are allowed and the weekend will  see each participant play 5 games.  Most games will feature the Main Force and one of the Sideboard forces, while there will be one game which players will get to use all three!

A great many more details will be posted to the website soon, so stay vigilant for all of the information as it gets published.  Once all of the key information has been posted, we will make an announcement regarding Registration.

This is not a Tournament per se, as players will never be directly playing opponents they are in competition with.   Awards will be based on your Faction – and by design you’ll only be playing games against opponents from another Faction (based on a mix of <50% Imperium Faction players).

We are very excited about this new event, and hope that players will take this opportunity to really explore the narrative side of their armies and their place in the 40k universe.

We hope to see you there!

Army List Submissions

Posted: April 9, 2016 by The Master of the Adeptus Administratum in Uncategorized
We have asked players to submit their army lists in advance, as you can well imagine checking everyone’s list takes a fair bit of time and effort! We thank those that have already sent in their lists for us to check correctness and score Composition.
Many people have asked us if there is a deadline to get their army lists in, and have also asked if there is a cut-off as to when newly released codices and units can be included. In the interests of allowing as much ‘cool stuff’ as we can, we have removed any such cut-off. Our stance is: If it’s out, it’s available to use.
Now, this approach can put us organizers in a bit of a bind (see above about scoring lists). We ask that players submit their lists to us as soon as they are ready.
With the upcoming Space Marine releases, many players may want to check out what’s available before submitting their lists – whether or not they themselves are playing Space Marines – or may decide to play them instead of the faction they are considering bringing.
Players are encouraged to send us their lists now should they wish. If you feel that the upcoming release is impacting your own list choice, please hold-off and get your list to us once you’ve had a chance to review the new release.
We will accept list revisions over the next couple of weeks, but be sure to get it in so we can make sure your list is legal, and get you your Composition score.
Composition is used to seed players for the first round of the tournament. If your list isn’t submitted in advance your Composition score is zero for first-round seeding purposes.
If you don’t submit your list in advance and the list you bring to the tournament is deemed to be illegal, then you will be in a difficult position. So, please get your lists in as soon as possible!

Astronomi-con Weekend!

Posted: November 27, 2015 by The Master of the Adeptus Administratum in Uncategorized


We are looking forward to another fun-filled weekend of the best of what the hobby has to offer at this weekend’s Astronomi-con event!

Our schedule for the weekend can be found here.

We look forward to seeing you there!


Welcome to the home of the Soldiers of the Morning Star

Posted: July 2, 2015 by The Master of the Adeptus Administratum in Uncategorized


I started this page to give me a place to put all the various fiction and other bits as a central depository of the 4th Danikan Imperial Guard. Fiction, Art, you name it – I plan on putting it here…

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Throwback Thursday

Posted: June 25, 2015 by The Master of the Adeptus Administratum in Uncategorized


In case you missed it when it first was broadcast back in November 2010…

This interview we did with 40k Radio may be a few years old now, but the insights and discussion about what Astronomi-con is all about still ring true.

Our interview with the 40k Radio crew starts a little after the 2:00 hour mark.


On Army Sportsmanship and the gaming Philosophy of Astronomi-con

Posted: April 5, 2015 by Lord Commander Militant of the Imperial Guard in Uncategorized

Okay – something to consider when building Astronomi-con armies etc.

Astro is an event which strongly encourages and supports not just winning games but also painting, army lists, sportsmanship and play which is themed for the 40k universe.

In reality – we can only make just so many rules with the current rules set without making things impossible to understand.

Army Sportsmanship was intended to deal with exactly this issue. What it is asking is ‘Is this army something you would see in the 40k Universe?’ ‘Is it fun to play against or simply something designed to blow the opponent off the table in as little time as possible?’ Etc.

Really – what it’s asking is – is this army fun and appropriate to a game which Forges a Narrative?

At a local Astro some time ago we had a fellow show up with an army which had Necrons allied with Nurgle Daemons. Lots of flying croissants and plague zombies with Helldrakes added in. The player is a good guy but the army? Can you imagine reading about such an army in a piece of 40k fiction? Not only did it take what were, at the time, pretty much the most powerful models from those ‘dexes which would compliment each other, but there was no theme of any kind other than ‘I want to win games’.

And he did win a lot of games. He also got hammered by Army comp sportsmanship and was very upset by it. He seemed to think ‘This army is legal and therefore everyone should be fine with it – people gave me a bad score because they lost.’

No, they didn’t. They did EXACTLY what they were supposed to do with Army Sportsmanship.

The difficulty was that this particular player simply did not agree with the core philosophy of what Army Sportsmanship is about. He expected a good score and was very annoyed that he didn’t get one and truly couldn’t understand it.

This is a difficult thing – and in truth it’s why I’m writing this. The player in question is a good guy – but he has a certain philosophy of gaming that some folks (and I am one of them) don’t share, which is ‘any kind of army is okay as long as the rules say it is and everyone should be okay with that’.

The thing is – while lots of players ARE okay with that, a lot of other players are not, and playing armies of that sort – armies which don’t Forge a Narrative, armies which are simply not fun to have on the other side of the table etc. – these things ruin their enjoyment of the game.

I was chatting recently with this same fellow when I ran into him at the GW store and in that conversation I had a real epiphany about this as he pointed out something I hadn’t realized myself. I’m a family man. I have a partner, an 8 year old daughter, a house which I often need to repair or renovate, 2 cars, a full time job as an Auditor for a multi billion dollar corporation etc. That makes me BUSY. My partner likes to spend time with me. So does my daughter. My work and home and other logistical stuff like my daughter’s school and extra-curricular activities all eat time like nobody’s business.

As such, when I make the (considerable) effort to set aside time for a game I want to ENJOY that game. When I go to a multi-day event that is an even bigger investment of time and resources. If I have a bad game – that is a significant portion of my very limited entertainment/relaxation time squandered, gone and which I won’t be getting back.

Why is that important? Well if I had lots of time and played lots of games, one bad one now and again wouldn’t be a big deal – but I DON’T. EVERY game is precious. Win? Lose? That doesn’t matter. I don’t need to win. What I need to do is HAVE A FUN GAME. Having my army blown off the table without my getting to do much of anything – that isn’t fun. At all. It’s a waste of my very limited entertainment time and I resent it. In fact I resent it a lot MORE than others might, because that time is so much more limited for me.

So – what has all that to do with Army Sportsmanship and selection for Astronomi-con?

Well, we have often said that Astro is ‘the tournament for people who don’t like tournaments’ which is kind of true. But really what that means is ‘it’s the event for people who don’t like certain KINDS of tournaments – namely those which have become increasingly common over the last few years. Ones in which armies are powerful and consist of strange alliances and mixes of troops and the like all designed to win as many games as possible to win.

That’s a fine attitude for those playing games which have very tightly constrained play – like Chess or something. No one is telling a story in a Chess game. Or Go. Or Checkers. Or Poker. No one feels particularly attached to the right hand knight on their chessboard or has written stories about their experiences and the like. No one is going to argue about how a Knight can move or if he’s in range etc. That’s all very well defined.

But in 40k a lot of us do all these things. I have probably a dozen short stories and a novella featuring the exploits of characters in my Imperial Guard Regiment. I have spent hours ripping apart and combining models and figuring out the best rules sets to use in order to reflect those stories on the table top. When I’m playing my IG, I’m telling a story. In a story, sometimes the good guys win, sometimes they lose, but if it’s not a good scrap, it’s a boring story.

Astro draws those kinds of players. A lot of them. Family men, executives in business, doctors, police officers, EMT folks, you name it. People with busy lives who want to enjoy the story of their models. Yes, it brings in a few others too, but the scenarios, terrain scoring systems and philosophy – these things cause a disproportionate representation of these kinds of people at our events.

So – when they arrange their force on the table, they aren’t setting up a game of chess where it’s all about getting a checkmate. They are trying to live a 40k fiction story through their miniatures. THAT’S why folks were so upset by the Nurgle/Necron army of doom.

Funny thing is – I think if the player had done more to ‘sell’ the concept – something like Necrons corrupted by the Dark Mechanicum or some such, the concept would have been a lot more palatable. I’m pretty sure his score would have been better. In fact I’m positive about it. Imagine the modelling opportunities of an army like that! But he didn’t and his opponents didn’t like it and some, sadly, were a bit intolerant about it. I probably would have to admit to feeling a little that way myself, much to my regret.

I wrote all this to give you some idea of what Astro is meant to be and to help folks who are putting together armies realize what might happen with Army Sportsmanship. Remember, your opponent may be a busy guy or gal who cares a lot more about a good game than about a chess match victory. If you do your best to give that to them – even if they lose, they still will appreciate it. In fact, some of the best games can be losses – as long as they are fun.

And when both players have fun, you both win. Regardless of the outcome on the tabletop.