Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Seattle Open Thoughts and Reflections


The Seattle Open was last weekend, and I had been prepping pretty hard for it. I'd dojo'd out some sweet tech for Wurmwood with a Moonhound Argus and Woldwyrds a-plenty, and I had also decided to bring a massive ARM skew with Baldur 2 and two Woldwraths.

I had all my tokens, my templates, and other knick-knacks all ready to go. I even had a water bottle, which doesn't always happen.

I ended up going 1-1 and dropping, and the games I played were both pretty emotionally wrenching and tilting, so I won't be doing full on battle reports for them.

I would first like to make a SERIOUS disclaimer - this is all from my perspective, and I am human, flawed, and deeply biased towards myself.

That being said, I am going to do my best to give an objective accounting of what happened. I'm not looking for pity, nor for condemnation, although I might deserve a little of both. The goal is, as usual, to be informative, helpful, and honest.

Game 1:

Game 1 I was dropped into a Cygnar player who had Haley 2 and Caine 3. I dropped Baldur 2 and away we went.

The game went pretty much as expected. I slowly killed off his Shadowfire models and he killed off everything but my Woldwraths.

Caine's feat turn only did about 15 damage to one Woldwrath after completely taking out Megalith, and I healed the Wrath up to 5 boxes off full.

At this point my opponent proceeded to one round a Woldwrath with pow 12 shooting.

Needless to say, I was fairly frustrated after that turn, especially since over the course of the game my opponent had gotten minor rules on his models incorrect and I'd helped him remember. Examples include Ace having a Shadowfire gun, the Squire only being speed 6, etc.

The following turn, in order to keep my remaining Woldwrath away from Caine, he ran.

He measured 4 inches, placed Caine. Measured 4 more inches, placed Caine. Measured an additional four inches and placed Caine again. He then measured 4 more inches directly away from the Woldwrath and placed Caine once more.

Side note for those who don't play Cygnar - Caine is speed 7, so he can run 14 inches, not the 16 my opponent had attempted to.

At this point, I made a massive mistake. I informed my opponent that Caine was only speed 7, took my 2 inch widget, and bumped Caine back 2 inches from his ending position.

My opponent finished his turn, shoving everything he could in front of the Woldwrath, and at the end of the turn we realized that Baldur was now in charge distance of Caine, and indeed charged and killed him the next turn.

Now, this was massively not okay on my side, and I realize that. First of all, I should never be touching another person's models at a tournament unless I have their permission to. Secondly, I didn't call a judge.

That is the big one right there.

In this situation, I should have raised my hand, screamed "JUDGE" at the top of my lungs, and had the TO come over and resolve the situation. I am fairly certain that the TO would have ruled similarly to what I ended up doing, but this way it would have been legitimate and not given me a fairly illegitimate win.

I would like to say that I wasn't thinking clearly, that I was on tilt after an absolutely unreal turn of dice play by my opponent and after a game of constant corrections, and I was, but the truth of the matter is that NONE OF THAT MATTERS and what I did was WRONG.

I am not proud of that game, and I will remember it for the rest of my life. If my opponent from that round reads this, please know that I am incredibly sorry and that it will never happen again.


I nearly dropped after that game, and I almost wish I had.

Game 2:

I played Wurmwood into Zerkova 1. The details of the game don't really matter except for these few points:

1) My opponent had a lot of countercharging models, and at one point he forgot to clock back over to me after he did for an unspecified length of time. I feel that length of time was between a minute and a minute and a half, and my opponent felt that it was more in the 3-5 minute range.

2) I gave my opponent 1 minute of my clock.

3) At the final turn of the game, the clock was 29 seconds on my time, 3 seconds on my opponent, and the score was 3-3 tied.


On that turn, I quickly said that I wasn't doing anything with any of my models, and clocked over with 14 seconds of time remaining.

My opponent instantly clocked back to me, and I clocked right back, informing him that he had a 15 second minimum turn length.

While that happened, his clock ran out.

My opponent then tossed 3 dice twice, representing a mark 2 great bear swinging at the objective, and said that he killed it and scored to 5.

I called the judge over, but because there were no bystanders able to corroborate, and my opponent believed that he actually should have had more time left on his clock than he did, the judges were unable to give a legitimate ruling and were going to give both of us a game loss.

My opponent asked if he could have ten seconds of time to move 3 iron fang pikemen with ghost walk to charge the objective and see if they killed it.

Rather than have both of us take a game loss, I agreed, and my opponent killed the objective with exact dice.


Heart-wrenching is how I would describe that experience. Certainly I haven't gotten so low on clock in nearly four years of playing, and that experience is stressful.

Lessons learned here - when the clock starts to get low, call the TO over to make sure that everything is done on the level. There should have been absolutely no confusion about who won that game, but instead there was bedlam and ultimately my opponent and I were forced into a really crummy roll off to see who would take the game. Don't let this happen to you.

Furthermore, check with your judge before the event and find out their clock policy. Most judges will say that each player is responsible for clocking back their time to their opponent. Establish this before the game.


I am, to put it bluntly, extremely disappointed with myself and my performance at the Seattle Open. I still need to grow a lot as a player, especially as a competitive one.

I am glad that I have several months before the next large even I plan to play in. In that time, I will be focusing very hard on cleaning up my play, making my opponents and myself both accountable for our time, and in general just pushing myself to be a better player, opponent, and proponent of the game.

This won't be happening again.


  1. I don't want this to be on the forums as it'll be come a huge thing. And I want to preface this as a I don't know you or the other guy much other than hearing things from people who've played him, and your writing.

    While I wasn't there watching during the time snafu when it actually happened. I was there when time got switched over and the conversation happened, and was pretty positive you both agreed it was a minute to a minute and a half. I watched that part where you just let the minute go doing nothing (and he thanked you). I watched that turn and some smatterings after, but didn't see the actual ending though I was nearby.

  2. The insight is the important thing. I redirect your narrative... You're smart, you'll correct!

    I had tournaments like this when I was playing 40k at a high level. It sucks! I learned to push for a win and allowed less leeway.

    Then years back I lost in the finals at Adepticon largely due to time and it was awful. My opponent's army played slower than mine and I was forced to make risky plays to win in the 4th round. I didn't. My loss was on camera! Time has changed my perspective. My opponent was awesome and I am glad I handled it with class rather than passive aggressiveness or something. Sadly, I know I could have been that person, which I would have regretted.

    I play a different game now but that doesn't mean competition isn't a valid way to play. It's why I love WarmaHordes, though I'm not that good!

    Cheers! Keep blogging, please.

  3. So you admit to cheating in a way that unequivocally won you the game, and you try to obfuscate that by accusing your opponent of cheating because he forgot model stats and had good dice?

    Also, you never had the guts to actually apologize to him or try to correct the record.

    1. I never did try to obfuscate. I clearly and straight up say that I was in the wrong in all caps. I did apologize after the game.

    2. If you click the name its the same person who posted a reply below, I wonder how I make my name unknown tho

  4. I know Jaden, and know that he isn't that type of person. So, while one could come to the interpretation that you apparently did, it is erroneous.
    Life happens, and people are not perfect. Often, it is not until after the fact when you have had time to distance yourself from the immediate situation that you realize a better way of handling things. Sometimes you are lucky enough to talk to your opponent then. Many other times, you are not.

    1. I have never in a competitive game picked up somebody else's model and placed it somewhere else (with the exception of things like TK/Rampager).

      I'm not saying that Jaden did it intentionally (I don't believe he did), but he clearly cheated and won the game because of it, and to turn around and accuse his opponent (who is also a highly respected member of the community) of using weighted dice is incredibly rude. Especially since he already won the game.


  5. Tabletop games are a cooperative experience - if both parties aren't actively working towards a common goal (completing the game) it becomes impossible to play. We make a hundred little allowances over the course of a game: a model nudged here, some messy measuring around the corner there etc. We have to allow for some level of human inaccuracy or get bogged down and quit playing altogether.

    This system of gentlemanly understanding works 99 per cent of the time but when stakes are high it can sometimes break down. The final seconds on the clock and the last millimeter of charge length to the caster are prime examples. I don't lay this break down at your feet or your opponent's. It's simply a reality of tabletop games and, in your account of events, you've done a good job of dealing with that lapse of cooperation in a mature way. All of us will eventually experience something similar (hopefully not in back-to-back games). The best we can do is be more tolerant and communicative without resorting to cynical views of our co-players.