Monday, August 12, 2013

Ordo Fanaticus Club Challenge (OFCC)

August 9th-11th 2013 saw gamers from Vancouver BC all the way to California descend on Portland Oregon for its annual and unique team-based Invitational Tournament.

The basic concept of the tournament was begun when the organizers got tired of power gamers and WAAC players dominating the newer or just mid-tier players with win button lists that would make Abaddon think twice before engaging in a 14th Crusade.  They decided to create a tournament whose tenor was that of a games day, but with the ability to still compete for pride and allowing for weaker lists (or Generals) to still compete and have fun too.  Many tournaments cater to the establishment of gaming pecking orders, but this one is different.

To get competitive play with the underlying idea that it was more FUN for everyone if you DON'T take uber lists, they instituted a system.  Lists for the tournament have to be turned in and scored.  The scale has differed from year to year, but they are generally rated according to its relative strength to the field.  By doing this (lets say on a 1-4 scale) you could then tell a team that their four players collectively could only have a total score of 9 for example.  This insures that the TEAMS will be representative of the tourney ideal, and also makes it easy to match the team with correspondingly strong or weak teams.

Once this is done, the Captains of each team meet and work out which of their members will be the best matchups for each other, to further refine the ability to have a competitive game with neither player allowed too pronounced an edge.

At the end of the tournament, prizes are randomly raffled, so you can win all 5 games and win nothing or lose all five games and get top prize!  Winning and losing are the goal while you play but ultimately the real goal is to have fun and enjoy the gaming experience with armies you might have always wanted to try out; or perhaps you'd like to bring team themed armies like my team has brought.  Or perhaps some other kind of motivation.  Either way, you can do it without the pressure of HAVING to win to get prizes.

As one can imagine, this takes a LOT of work to organize sponsors for, and to carry out the essential functions a 96 player tourney creates.  To that end they have created a Senate of involved, active Ordo Fanaticus club members whose job it is to oversee the operation and carry forward the plan  Typically the Head of Gaming makes the decisions as to the style of tourney it will be, subject to Senate approval, and part of the fun of the event is never knowing exactly what it will be like, making it an event you simply must attend to get the full experience.

This year featured, for the first time I think, a 4 game singles tournament the day before the actual team event, which proved to be a valuable practice stage.  First prize was $100, so not too shabby.

Besides entering the team event, there are other reasons why you might consider going.  For one, just seeing the paint jobs and conversions of some of my opponents made the trip worthwhile.  Absolutely amazing works of art are on display and I won't lie:  I feel a bit small in comparison to some of those paint jobs I played against.

The comradery after the day of gaming was great too.  We did barbecues at a friends house and had a great time while I was there.

The tournament list scoring was a little less clear this year.  It's the first year the individual ratings for armies weren't announced (to everyone) and it was also the first time I have seen some fairly rough builds allowed.  The event even broke tradition and allowed Forge World to be included in lists.  All of those changes put me ill at ease but all's well that ends well.

My final performance this year was 5-0, with almost maximum bonus mission points.  A very strong showing for the Tau!  As a team, though I haven't seen the official scores, we were 4th place or something close to that in Battle Points, and we felt pretty good about that even though the overall score was badly hurt on paint.  When those final scores are posted I will try to post them here.