Team Tourney Theme??

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Team Tourney Theme??

Postby Nidzilla517 » Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:07 pm

PLease excuse my ignorance, but, I am just wondering what accounts for team theme?? A couple years ago we got stiffed on team theme and I am just wondering how the judging for that is?? Is it if you have a banner, dress like warriors, write a book,etc. you get high scores???
A few years ago, We played Grey Knight with stormtroopers and got hammered for composition and theme. I cannot believe that we didn't get high marking for that. ANd it wasn't overpowering. It was a very equal roster for all four of us. Not that we were up in the running, but we spent alot of time trying to equal out our rosters and we got skunked. Please let me know how that really works so next year, we might get better marks.
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Postby Papa_Nurgle » Tue Apr 29, 2008 6:31 am

Nidzilla,
Let me give a couple of thoughts on theme.

1) Army Appearance. Let's say I take 4 Inquisitorial armies. How do they look? Are all the stormtroopers painted alike? How about your Grey Knights? Do they look the same? Are there army badges on the models? What in your 4 armies appearance ties them together? If each of you takes your own Inquisitor force from back home and put them on the table, that is a lot less theme-wise than if you model, convert, and paint to show a theme.

2) Display base. Do you have 4 from home, or did you go the extra mile and SHOW your theme. Lander on a demon world, Assaulting a chaos temple, or something else that demonstrated your theme.

3) Army List. Did you use army builder or did you have and Inquisitorial data fax listing forces available and the overall mission for your force.

4) Team Spirit stuff. T-shirts, banners, warcries, Computer slide show presentation.

Look at what you did and compare it to others around you and be honest about the appearance of it.

4 armies that make sense = 20 points.
Display base = 1 point (up to 7 if done up. If you don't have a base that matches Cassus Belli, for example, you're not going to get the 7 points).

Appearance: Did you model and paint all your armies the same? A few years ago, DP Fun went and modeled a DIY chapter. Each of us used the same paint scheme on every single model. So we ended up with 4000 points of a DIY chapter, basically 2 companies worth. 2 Captains, 2 chaplains, 12 SM squads, 4 Dev squads. 2 companies minus the Fast attack. It made for an obvious theme when you looked at it. No question that we were a space marine chapter. For painting, tac squads had red helmets, Dev squads had blue, and 1 guy took assault marines with yellow helmets. Consistent painting throughout. Chapter symbols and army badges matched (2 days of nothing but chain painting chapter symbols -blech)

That's the level of detail that gets points for theme.

This year, Team TnA scored the highest raw score for theme. What did they do?

1) Decide on a theme. (In this case beer fest with a goal just to have fun).
2) T-Shirts Fukher und Leever beer.
3) Costumes - like the movie - Too bad I couldn't be there to wear the wedding dress.
4) Display base. The Shnitzengiggle with lights and music.
5) Team TnA beer mugs with the mudflap girl.

Obviously, there was a great deal of effort put into preparation and planning. It wasn't about the costumes or anything else. It was about the amount of time put into each of the different categories.

Theme is almost more about amount of effort put in than anything else in my opinion.
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Postby Redbeard » Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:01 am

Papa_Nurgle wrote:1) Army Appearance. Let's say I take 4 Inquisitorial armies. How do they look? Are all the stormtroopers painted alike? How about your Grey Knights? Do they look the same? Are there army badges on the models? What in your 4 armies appearance ties them together? If each of you takes your own Inquisitor force from back home and put them on the table, that is a lot less theme-wise than if you model, convert, and paint to show a theme.
...
Appearance: Did you model and paint all your armies the same? A few years ago, DP Fun went and modeled a DIY chapter. Each of us used the same paint scheme on every single model.



Not to knock your team, but honestly, the "we're all the same" doesn't say 'theme' to me, it says, "too lazy to think of a theme other than everyone being the same". And, I'm not trying to call you out, my team did "we're all emperor's children" last year. It's an easy way out.

Your point about the Inq. Stormtroopers - is it more of a theme if the stormtroopers from Ordo Malleus look the same as the ones from Ordo Xenos, or they're given a different paint scheme because they're operating from a different order. Hell, with Inq. armies, if you have 4 different inquisitor lords, I'd expect each of them to have a different uniform for their troopers.

Yes, 4 marine armies painted the same way look amazing on the tabletop; it's more marines than you normally see, and they're all uniform. That naturally looks good.

But, for 'theme', I'd rather see someone who took the time, and researched, for example, the Armageddon sourcebook, and noted that the Black Templars, Salamanders, Blood Angels, and Ultramarines all fought there. A uniform "Armageddon Ash Wastes" basing scheme, with these four chapters says "we have a theme, based on a future-historical battle" so much more than "we're all playing grey marines this year".
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Postby Nidzilla517 » Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:34 am

Obviously, there was a great deal of effort put into preparation and planning. It wasn't about the costumes or anything else. It was about the amount of time put into each of the different categories.

Theme is almost more about amount of effort put in than anything else in my opinion.[/quote]

Papa, we played against you when we played a Chaos army back a few years ago. Now, I have been in charge of building bases since we have been playing in Adepticon. GReg has put together the armiy lists and the rest of the guys, which has changed every year, just played. Now I don't build multi-level bases, have video, wear customes ( although we always where our team T-shirts), but the bases always match the team theme.

How do you determine how much effort someone put into there base or models, or anything. I may be able to build a base in 2 hrs., and another guy takes 2 months, for the same base...so how can you judge on the amount of effort??? Do the judges ASK the team how long it took, or are they judging on THEIR opinion?? What if a guy spends 5 months building to the best of his ability and it just isn't enough, does he get dinged for that? Even though his EFFORT was great?

Papa, do you see where I am going with this? There is not set STANDARD on theme judging, it's all opinion on EFFORT.


Since I have a family and 3 jobs, I can't and won't spend 800 hrs. to build a base. Our bases and models are always above par and we never seem to get the judges nod. 2 years ago I build a modular 4-piece base when we played Space marines. Each center stone had each sectors sign built into it. BUnker, large building, and alot of hrs., still no top honors. It gets frustrating.

I am not the only team that feels that Theme and comp. are not judged fairly. OUr buddies from Wi. got hammered this year. And alot of time went into the base and theme. Now I we feel that no matter what we build or how our theme is, it is not enough. That is frustrating.
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Postby Papa_Nurgle » Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:41 pm

Redbeard,
Good points. But then I'll go back to, "Why are the ordos xenos and ordos hereticus working together?" 4 inquisitors from different ordos does not scream theme to me. 4 Inquisitors working together makes more "sense." Heck, 1 Inquisitorial army (with sisters and IG as allies), 1 Sisters army (with an inquisitor), 1 IG army (with an inquisitor), and add one other army with an inquisitor, all kitted out to be an inquisitor lord and his underlings combining to face some threat with the uniforms matching shows theme. You can look at the armies and see how they fit together.
You're absolutely right. Doing "everything the same" IS an easy way out. It's an automatic visible way to demonstrate the theme. Crusading Black Templars, One cult from chaos, one Eldar craftworld, etc... So that's easy. But what separates "all the same" from something that shows work is in how the lists are developed.
To expound: Once you get past the "all the same," where do you go with it? If you're playing Emperor's Children, are all squads in 6's? Even the CSM squads in support? Did you choose units that fit with the backstory of the army as generally accepted and known? If you take Eldar, do you have Aspect warriors as part of the Biel Tan force or do you load up on the unkillable falcons and jetbikes for objective grabbing?
And I agree with the 4 chapters being based the same, especially if they had the same army badge. That's an obvious one that could be supported by having photocopies of the White Dwarf that described their actions to help explain to someone newer to the hobby exactly why those 4 chapters were working together.

Nidzilla,
I don't remember your particular army, sorry.

If you're frustrated, then I recommend you contact the council and offer your time to make it better for everyone else. All it takes is 1 Sunday a month for a conference call (or trip to the bunker if you can make it) and you can have a voice in fixing the situation. The council needs help. Going back and forth about "why did my team get hosed." really isn't productive.
Let's fix the problem in the future. Give the council suggestions. Plead your case as to why various things should be changed. Put together a scoring checklist. I'm sure the council would love the help and input of someone who has been to Adepticon several times.
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Postby Shotgun » Tue Apr 29, 2008 1:05 pm

As a former theme judge, let me chime in here.

Yes, effort is subjective. Effort also isn't the "end" point. At the end of the day we, well "I" looked at finished product. Team A took 5 months to build their base. It is an average base that does help to bring out the theme. I give them a 5. Team B has a comperable base. Same relative skill level, same end point, but it took them 2 days. See Bob of Team B is a college student majoring in architecture so he had the time and tools...yadda yadda yadda.

Frankly, I mentally gave them a 4. Same end point, same solid results, but is a 4 subjectively different than the 5?

But that is just me. I had something like a 3rd of the lists to judge, maybe a 4th. As theme judges we tried to make a concerted effort to make sure that we were "recalibrated" and judging fairly. There is just too many teams to judge for one person to do it.

My advice?

1. Don't ask yourself "what did the winners do last year?" Twenty other teams are going to do exactly what last year's winners did on the idea that it is the gold standard. It is better to ask yourself "what hasn't anyone done yet?" Special cut acrylic bases? Indvidually lit led Night Lords on black display?

2. Have someone sitting by your army from the beginning of set up until a theme and paint judge has come by. Someone that knows exactly what went into each part of the theme. Nothing put s me off more than anything than having to repeatedly run back to a team because "The guy that knows" is off socializing, getting food, or something. Is that petty? Maybe. Personally it immediately puts me off, especially if the guy that is there can't or won't show some enthusiasm about the army. Or, conversely, be willing to call theguy back and drag him away from what he was doing. A small mantra should be "don't make the judge wait."

3. If you are planning on constructing the Parthanon as part of your display, get there with more than 15 minutes prior to comencement of judging. There is no guarentee that you won't be first on the list.
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Postby Brian » Tue Apr 29, 2008 1:15 pm

I disagree that it's about "effort." I think "effort" actually works against some teams if their theme is too complex.

Right now I'm actively trying to remember as many team "themes" as I can from Adepticon 2005-8. I can't remember many.

The ones I CAN remember have one thing in common: they can all be fully summed up in one short sentence or one word. They were simple AND good.

Beerfest

The defense of *can't remember* Basilica

Radical Inquisition allied with Puritan Inquisition

Pre-Heresy Death Guard

Ork Aircraft Carrier

Ork Race Track Speed Kult

Imperial Guard Penal Legion (all the models and the team members had orange jumpsuits. Here's an example of how you don't need a complicated display base to have a memorable theme. I don't remember their display but I remember their theme!)

I'm totally not remembering the ones which required a 1/2 page of text to explain why the Space wolves of the 13th company have allied with a radical inquisitor and an imperial guard regiment to hunt a fallen Dark Angel or some such randomness.

I want to see a Nurgle themed team in which all 4 team members show up to the TT suffering from a really drippy upper respiratory illness, a severe skin rash, and severe gas. That's LIVING YOUR THEME! [/jk]
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Postby Redbeard » Tue Apr 29, 2008 1:44 pm

Careful what you ask for. My wife works in a microbiology lab... :shock:
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Postby Papa_Nurgle » Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:42 pm

Penal Legion.

Had soap on the floor by the shower. Brilliant!
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Postby Brian » Tue Apr 29, 2008 3:34 pm

Redbeard wrote:Careful what you ask for. My wife works in a microbiology lab... :shock:


So do I but all we have around here are foodborne pathogens.

It's hard to win the TT while your team has to run for the bathroom every 20 minutes. I guess diapers could be worn but that's not very Nurgle at all.
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Postby Papa_Nurgle » Tue Apr 29, 2008 3:48 pm

Why do you think OGRE wears a kilt? Saves time.

After all, who ever heard of a potty trained Space Wolf?

We now return you to your regularly scheduled thread dealing with you and your team's theme.

What if each team got feedback from the judges? Their check sheet along with a couple of brief notes with what the judges liked or didn't like on their particular score? Would that be beneficial or would it cause a warpstorm the likes of which the tournament scene hasn't seen since I scored higher than Jay Barry in painting at a GT?
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Postby Redbeard » Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:42 pm

I think publishing the results of the judging, for both painting and theme, is the biggest improvement that adepticon could make in terms of adding transparency to the process.

So much so, in fact, that I'll publically volunteer to do the data entryfollowing the tournaments next year, and even this year if the judging sheets are available and the staff is willing to have it done.
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Postby Nidzilla517 » Tue Apr 29, 2008 6:46 pm

[Nidzilla,
I don't remember your particular army, sorry.

If you're frustrated, then I recommend you contact the council and offer your time to make it better for everyone else. All it takes is 1 Sunday a month for a conference call (or trip to the bunker if you can make it) and you can have a voice in fixing the situation. The council needs help. Going back and forth about "why did my team get hosed." really isn't productive.
Let's fix the problem in the future. Give the council suggestions. Plead your case as to why various things should be changed. Put together a scoring checklist. I'm sure the council would love the help and input of someone who has been to Adepticon several times.[/quote]

If I had the time, I would help out, but I seriously don't have time. That is why I am suggesting here. Maybe the voices above can hear my concerns.

I don't want to be a constant complainer, i would just like to see some uniformity. I don't play that often to have a voice in the matter, but I am just a fan of the game and would like to keep it fair to all of us that put 1-1000 hrs. into the building and painting of the models.
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Postby crashwell » Mon May 12, 2008 5:10 pm

The first thing to understand, I think, is that there is no 'magic formula' for Theme scoring.

"If we do thus and so, we will score great in Theme!" That doesn't happen. There is no order of operations to making a cool theme for your armies.

Asking "How do I get a huge Theme score?" is unfair. Making a detailed checklist of theme scoring points for attendees to adhere to, so they can score well in Theme, would shackle the truly brilliant creativity that the Team Tournament has become known for. That's just my opinion, though.

Of my four teammates, two of us were Adepticon virgins. Strangely enough, we - the two new guys - designed all four of the lists. Here's what we had in mind when we were building the lists and the theme:

1 - We decided to take a team about 9-10 weeks before Adepticon, so we had to use one of our personal armies as a basis, there wasn't enough time to start armies from scratch. Luckily, I'm a freak with way to many points in Dark Angels - so Dark Angels it was.

2 - We're playing Dark Angels, so we're not going to be a contender for top battle points unless we get some seriously favorable matchups. Damn you Jervis!

3 - We have four above average players (i.e. no "dice puppets" who make few - if any - decisions, and just do what their teammate tells them), so we don't need list superiority to at least put up a good fight.

4 - My co-designer and I wanted form over function. We decided to take a full-on Battle Company. 100 Marines (plus the 4 HQ choices) with exactly 60 Tactical, 20 Assault, and 20 Devastators - all in 10-man squads or 5-man Combat Squads. Additionally, since we were Dark Angels, we wanted 2 Deathwing squads and 2 Ravenwing Squads to help reinforce the theme and combat doctrine for the way Dark Angels go to war: Ravenwing for scouting and flanking, and Deathwing for teleport strikes into the heart of the enemy. Suffice it to say that squeezing that concept into four 1000 points lists, while adhering to the restrictions we placed on ourselves, wasn't easy - not if we wanted any semblance of strength on the table, anyway. We then made sure each squad had badges and squad numbers to match the Battle Company theme.

5 - We planned a display base that fit the background (the obligatory Dark Angels ruined chapel). The concept of the dispay base was simple and probably redundant, but our teammate did a great job in building it with a new spin and used colors that were in contrast with the army, making a cool visual and functional piece out of something tried and true.

6 - The shirts (which we had many compliments on over the weekend) were done in the chapter colors and chapter iconography. The right sleeve had "Deathwing" on it, symbolizing the strong right hand of the DA, and the left sleeve had "Ravenwing" on it "symbolizing the left hand - or "the shot you may not see coming". Simple but evocative. I thought it was fitting and at least marginally cool.

7 - Finally, when the judges came around and asked, we spoke simply and succinctly about the theme. It went something like this:
[judge] "Wow, thats a lot of Marines!" What is your team about?"
[me] "Yeah, there's a full Battle Company."
[judge] "Seriously?!"
[me] "Yep, 10 squads of 10 Marines, 100 total." "That is the entirety of the Dark Angels 3rd Battle Company with support from the 1st company , the Deathwing, and the 2nd reconnoissance company, the Ravenwing". The 1st company and the 2nd company are usually spread all over the galaxy in support of the Dark Angel Battle Companies, rather than being deployed in force ... blah blah blah". You get the idea. The point is that the judges were instantly curious about the concept, and with just a few sentences I could fully relay the theme of the entire force and have plenty of time to explain some of the cool details we had which added weight to the Theme as a whole.

After all is said and done, it was the Battle Company theme that got us our score, and I was happy with that score. People can say that it's a lame "out-of-the-box" theme, but putting a simple spin on a standard army can add quite a bit of character in the end.

Two things I think mattered to most:

First, staying simple and still having a strong visual theme (number and types of models, for example. Not their appearance). If you write a 40 page background it will most likely get a cursory examination at best. The Theme judges are pretty overworked. They only have so much time to spend with you. I don't think adding more Theme judges is the answer either - one person (or group of people) scoring Theme will make for a much more consistent scale. If the judge is hard to impress, he will be equally hard to impress for the whole field. You'll get less score disparity for similar armies.

Second, the judges are not stupid. If you build four beatstick lists and break out the duct tape and baling wire to plaster some lame-o backstory on your forces - they'll see that. Take special note, however, that I don't think they are scoring composition - they are judging theme.

That's my opinion of how to get a tolerable Theme score, but don't trust me. Hell, I never even had a chance to see the Theme score sheet. I'm just going off of my experience this year.
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Postby Nidzilla517 » Tue May 13, 2008 8:33 pm

Well, Dave, thanks for Your opinion. The problem is that we stood by as the judge came by and he didn't say anything to us concerning anything. So, you got lucky. When we trying saying something, he looked uninterested. But, 2009 we are trying something new, and if this doesn't work, we are going back to Screw theme, and just kill everything.
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