You knew it’d be back. You asked for it. We finally caved in.
It’s time, Dear Reader, to return to the BLUNDERDOME.
I won’t lie to you; it took us quite a while to figure out what we wanted our second Blunderdome challenge to be. The previous challenge of building the worst possible lists? Honestly, it wasn’t particularly appealing or viable with a full slate of codexes finally out – that last challenge really leaned hard into having 8th edition codexes and bad Forge World options to work with. So we took to the drawing board. here are some of the concepts we considered:
- The 24-carat gold-plated Blunderdome, wherein participants had to build the most expensive possible list, on a per-dollar basis, they could field. This ended up being more difficult than it sounds, as most units in 9th struggle to hit worse than a $2-per-point ratio, though some Tyranid and Deathwatch builds could rack up a ton of cost on conversions from various kits.
- The Fantasy Draft Blunderdome, in which participants would draft datasheets rotisserie style from a given book to play with. This ultimately needed to happen around the time of the NFL Draft, and everyone was too busy. Also it was only kind of OK as an idea.
But then Codex: Votann hit, and shortly afterward Games Workshop issued some errata to the book, increasing the point costs of its units and changing the way Judgement tokens work. Immediately we saw a small but vocal group of players emerge who were absolutely furious about the book being “invalidated” so quickly, and others for whom these balance documents did not matter because they wouldn’t read them anyways.
And that’s when it hit us: We’d been trying way too hard. It was time to take a more casual approach.
The Casual Blunderdome
We decided to return to a more simple format and shed all this nonsense – 40k isn’t supposed to be a balanced game anyways, we’re told. So we told our usual murderer’s row of competitive tryhards that they’d need to build lists for a casual environment and forget all this garbage about FAQs and updates. We asked them to build lists using the current books completely as-written.
And look, we know what you’re thinking – our degenerate group of WAAC fuckos can’t “turn off” their competitive edge. So we took it away from them and handed it to someone else – a group of much more chill, casual players. Let’s run through how it works.
The Blunderdome 2 challenge consists of 17 players, broken into nine teams. Each team contains one top-level competitive player and one casual player, with one exception, which we’ll talk about below. The competitive players are all ITC tryhards. Our casual set, much less so – none of these players have won so much as an RTT in the last year. The competitive player’s job is to pick the team’s faction and write a list for the casual player to use, and provide them with about a page worth of notes on how to play the list. They can do more if they like, or less. Whatever, be cool about it.
Look, we can all agree that GW ruined the game with a constant stream of FAQs and balance updates, dataslates, and point changes – we just want to hang out and roll dice and play with the $50+ books that we bought. So on that note, here are the rules for building an army:
- Players can use any print Codexes and Supplements (including White Dwarf supplements) to build their armies. Any book that hasn’t been outright replaced is a legal option (i.e. you can use the Iron Hands Supplement, but not Space Wolf rules from Saga of the Beast).
- Books and supplements are used with their exact, printed wording. No FAQs, no errata, no balance dataslate. Other than replaced books, ignore the legality document.
- Ignore any army construction rules and dataslates that aren’t in the Core Rules, your Codex, or a Supplement you’re using
- Use only rulebook point values, as printed
- Players must build 2,000-point, battleforged armies using the construction rules in the Core Rules Eternal War Matched Play section
We’ll be using the Eternal War Missions from the Matched Play section of the Warhammer 40,000 Core Rules.
So that’s it – rules as written, no updates or FAQs to manage and pore over, and mission rules straight out of the rulebook. It doesn’t get any better or more casual than this.
Why Not Use PL?
Because PL sucks.
Now that we’ve got the ground rules laid down, let’s take a look at our teams:
- Danny P & Rocco – Leagues of Votann
- Innes Wilson & Norman – Tyranids
- Jack Harpster & Andrew – T’au Empire
- Curie & Andrew “Pendulin” Haywood – Adeptus Mechanicus
- Erik Nelson – Harlequins*
- James Kelling & Dan “Swiftblade” Richardson – Drukhari
- Ben Jurek & SoylentRobot – Orks
- John Lennon & Condit – Iron Hands
As you can see, we’ve lined up a proper group of
war criminals top players here to build some casual lists and help out our casual players. Note that Erik Nelson is our lone solo player on the list – while Erik hasn’t won an event this year he has placed 2nd at a number of RTTs and that puts him dangerously close to being “too good for this group.” As a result, we’ve handicapped him a bit by forcing him to pick his own list.
Similar to the previous Blunderdome, we’ll be having our players play off in a very casual, loose 3-round bracket. We’ll seed the lists top to bottom in terms of faction strength.
Next Time: The Lists
That wraps up our intro to this series but come back tomorrow and every day after for a look at each of the lists our players will be using in the event, with some thoughts on how they’ll play and how we think they’ll fare in this super casual environment. Then after we’ve knocked out lists, we’ll get on to the first round of games. The whole thing looks to be a fun, chill time, with games that take a long time to play out and involve a lot of back-and-forth. Finally, 40k the way it was meant to be played.
Have any questions or feedback? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at email@example.com.