The blogosphere has been rife with 'Ardboyz related material this past week. Everything from why 'Ardboyz is or is not a good tournament, its scenarios are or are not crap, it does or does not bring out the crappiest players around, etc. I have also seen a ton of discussion on what to bring to the prelims. I have seen everything from Grey Knights gun lines to Tyranid reserve lists. Make no mistake. 'Ardboyz hysteria is upon us.
From my perspective, it seems to have become the GW focus here in the USA now that Gamesdays have gone a little by the wayside. This doesn't mean that it is a good or bad thing, merely that it is perhaps the most anticipated, talked about, and prepared for GW event these days.
So, why do I like the idea of 'Ardboyz? There are a few reasons.
1) I love the larger points value which allows you bring combinations and armies that you normally wouldn't see taken. Playing at smaller points values really restricts what you can take and forces you to really strip down your army to the bare essentials that allow it to remain functional. At 2,500pt. though, you can bring everything and the kitchen sink to boot. This does allow for some rather abusive combinations, but it creates and entirely different gaming experience without being apocalypse.
2) It's free! Perhaps this should have been my first one. The greatest thing about GW sponsored events (Gamesday aside) is that they are generally free. If you live near an active hobby center of battle bunker you may corroborate this with me. 'Ardboyz is no exception. Free entry with possibly decent payouts is great. Sign me up.
3) Playing a diverse group of players. During last year's 'Ardboyz, I met people that I would never have met otherwise. They came from regions outside my city to play. It allowed me to see some armies that weren't currently being played by gamers at my local store.
Yes, I know that there tend to be a lot of crazy gamers that come out for 'Ardboyz, but I think the establishment can have a say in how that type of behavior pans out. My LGS doesn't accept poor sportsmanship and as such, most games stay very civil, even at 'Ardboyz level.
Yes, I know that some of the scenarios are positively craptastic. Last year, giving 3x kp for models that move greater than 6" a turn was just dumb. However, this year's scenarios don't look too terrible. Nightfight on every scenario might be laborious, but hey at least it isn't always at the beginning of each game.
Though it has a somewhat sordid past, I choose to be the optimist that 'Ardboyz can be a fun experience.
So, are you going to 'Ardboyz? What's your opinion of it? If you are going what army are you taking? Do share. I really want to go, but family responsibilities may not allow me to. We will have to see. Post a comment and share your thoughts on 'Ardboyz. Please keep them PG-13 rated, but feel free to share your mind otherwise. I'm just curious to see what the opinion of the people is.