The weekend of the Slobberknocker GT has come and gone… and it was an excellent tournament throughout. It’s always great to see the local scene be able to put on such a good tournament and attract a lot of new players (and new armies) and to make our presence known on the Midwest gaming scene. Stephen McElroy (along with the many others that helped him out) put on a great tournament and help to set the stage for future Slobberknocker GTs. There were 32 players total and covered regions from OKC, Wichita, and a few guys made it from as far away as Denver, Colorado. Contact information was exchanged and it looks like we have now built up enough momentum to make the Midwest a prominent gaming area. The guys from Denver – appropriately named “Droppin’ Deuces” – have a good scene up there and we are all going to try to get in sync in order to hold more local tournaments as well as support each other as much as we can. As far as the attempt to generate more interest in the gaming scene, and tabletop gaming in general, I believe the weekend was an immaculate success.
I was slated to make the Dwarfs give their first appearance on the gaming table but at the last minute decided to change it up and got the approval from the T.O. to do so. My Dwarfs were not all the way put together and I still hadn’t even played a game with them so I opted to bring the Lizards out of retirement. I made a couple of changes to the list but still managed to put together a good showing. My 3 games on the first day were Daemons of Chaos, Vampire Counts, and Empire… I got obliterated by the Daemons of Chaos – and eventual Overall Champion of the tournament – and was able to bounce back with impressive wins against the VC and Empire. So after day 1 my Lizards were 2-1. Sunday came and I was against another Lizardmen player and finally a Warriors of Chaos army. Was able to put together back to back Draws against each one of them and had some pretty good Bonus Points in the last game so I finished out 2-1-2. For my efforts I ended up 7th place overall which came as a surprise to me but was very pleased that I managed to pull that off. For our entire B.A.W.G.S. gaming group, we managed to put 5 guys in the top 11 slots, which is a great showing! Rob and his Skaven army ended up 4-0-1 and pulled out 2nd place Overall Champion and walked away with some great SWAG.
The Slobberknocker GT took place in the lobby area of a local Sheraton hotel located in Midwest City, OK. The venue was very nice, large and spacious and offered all the essentials right within walking distance (bathroom, water fountains, outside for the smokers…) They even had a small snack bar set up on Day 1 that offered the basics if you need something quick to snack on. The bar, however, didn’t open until 2:00 PM on Sunday and it was a decent walk if you wanted to grab a beer or cocktail. Situated right on a busy intersection in Midwest City, there were plenty of options to get lunch during break as there are several restaurants nearby. I thought the venue was excellent and offered all that was required for a GT. Well done!
The following is a list of Pro’s and Con’s that I make for each and every Grand Tournament that I attend, here we go! First, the Con’s:
– Late Start. This one was not nearly as bad as some GTs I’ve been to… Not as bad by a LONG SHOT! I understand that these GTs take lots of time for preparation, print outs, recording results, etc, etc, etc…. and then there are things that are simply out of your control, such as players showing up late, computer shuts down unexpectedly, etc, etc… so this is not that big of a deal at all. The first day there was a slight late start but we were able to get back on track and the rest of the day went smooth. Same thing with Sunday. To me, this one is a given at most GTs I’ve attended simply because of the volume of things that you’re having to deal with so again, it’s not huge. The ones that I’ve had real beef with were ones that lagged beyond 30 minutes and higher… Definitely not fun but the Slobberknocker was run pretty smoothly despite the short delay on Day 1.
– No Sportsmanship Award. There were several awards given out at the end and the prize support was amazing. However, one thing that I’ve always thought go hand in hand with this game is the sportsmanship between 2 opponents. This is more of a knock on Games Workshop than the Slobberknocker because I believe the T.O. was going off recent trends but the Sportsmanship award is slowly going the way of the dodo… The scoring for Sportsmanship was a simple Pass or Fail on the bottom of each of the score sheets. In the past, there were always about 3-5 options for the level of sportsmanship that your opponent displayed during the game and that added up to an overall Best Sportsman award during the Awards Ceremony…. but now, it seems to be the norm that Sportsmanship is not as big a deal as it once was. As stated, you got the option to either give a thumbs up or a thumbs down for sportsmanship and if you gave a thumbs down they asked you to explain why. There was no Sportsmanship Award given in the end, so they used the numbers somewhere in the overall formula for something, though I’m not sure what exactly. I thought there would be something given out for Best Sportsman but it was not to be… so that’s really my one gripe for the Slobberknocker, though I think this trend will sadly make its way through the rest of the gaming scene across the country in years to come…
Now, on to the many Pro’s:
– Scenarios. The scenarios were different enough to provide a great challenge to the generals. I think it’s standard ops that at least one scenario is a straight up “kill each other” and then there’s some others to throw some monkey wrenches in the plan and these were all on par in my opinion. It made some games end up differently than they normally would because of certain bonus VP’s awarded for various things that are not normally awarded and I’m 100% ok with that. I thought the kinks in each scenario provided plenty of change from the norm and that made for some excellent games.
– Prize Support. Throughout the tournament Stephen McElroy – the T.O. – stated over and over again that they would not be keeping any money at all and were planning on handing it all back to the players and they absolutely did! First Place Overall Champion basically got about $400 worth of Chaos stuff, 2nd Place got about $250, and 3rd place got a little over $100. They gave awards for Best Unit, Best Monster, and Best Single Model and each of them had prize support as well. Every single award that they gave out was accompanied by prize support and that’s a thing of beauty at a huge tournament. Also, first place was given an awesome Slobberknocker GT 2014 Belt in addition to all the SWAG! I was very happy to see the guys at Slobberknocker GT gave back all the money they brought in… I think it always gives a warm and fuzzy feeling to guys that are giving up $60 to play in a tournament. Definitely pleased with the prize support.
– Raffle. On both days the T.O. took a few minutes to give out a total of 10 Raffle items. Upon checking in you were given an envelope that had your Raffle number. If your number was called during the raffle then you won something! That simple! 5 on day 1 and 5 on day 2. It’s always nice to win some free stuff and this did the job. The items ranged anywhere from a simple blister to paint sets.
– S.W.A.G. when checking in. Also upon checking into the Slobberknocker GT, you were given a folder that contained all paperwork necessary throughout the entire weekend. They had the scenarios, the score sheets, and even printouts of the Lores of Magic for quick reference. This was yours to keep at the end of the tournament. Also, we got the option of picking out either a blue or green water bottle to take home and use for the weekend. Lastly, there was a small bag that had 6 random dice in it and 3 custom poker chips that were used for Scenario 2 and yours to keep in the end also. Even if you didn’t win an award, you were able to walk out with something just by signing up which is awesome!
Overall I would give two big thumbs up to Stephen and the other organizers of the Slobberknocker GT. This was the first year they held it and it’s sure to only get better from here. Having 32 players is an excellent start and I don’t think lots of people know this, but it was held on the exact same weekend as the Lonewolf GT in Dallas, Texas, which is one of the bigger Fantasy GT’s in the country. So they were competing for players from that tournament as well. Still, having 32 for the first tournament is an excellent turnout and I think it will only grow from here. We’ve now gotten in cahoots with each other and Wichita and OKC have something great going as long as we continue to support each other. Having been to several Major GT’s across the country I can honestly say that the Slobberknocker GT ranks up at the top and I’m very much looking forward to see what happens in the future.
I’m glad I got to play and give the Lizards one last go. They’ll now take their place on the display shelf and make way for the Dwarfs and some other projects. April 26th is the next tournament in Wichita, Kansas and the Dwarfs will make it to that one, for sure! Congrats to all the winners and thanks to everybody that made the long trek from Denver. Great things are coming! Let’s continue to get the Midwest Region on the map and do big thangs! As always, thanks for reading!