Tournament Report – Battlefield Birmingham 17

This honestly feels like a weird thing to write, given how much things have changed since the weekend, but we’re not going to have much tournament coverage for a while, so here goes.

This past weekend, in the happier times when our leaders were still assuring us things were mostly fine, I went to a tournament. I even did really rather well!

The event in question was the 17th iteration of Battlefield Birmingham which, while it’s now a bit of an outlier in the tournament scene, holds a special place in my heart because my very first tournament was BB13 about two years ago. I’m clearly not the only person for whom that’s the case, because despite running with what’s now a very unusual event pack and not submitting scores to the ITC, the event attracts an extremely competitive field and tends to sell out immediately – even after an unusually high number of dropouts there were 90 players, including plenty of names that veteran tournament watchers would recognise. That speaks to what a good event the BB team tend to put on, and how much loyalty they’ve earnt by running events all the way through the rather darker times of the previous few editions!

Combined with the impending lockdown of most major events, however, the unusual nature of the tournament pack does present me with something of a conundrum – I’m aware that much of our American audience has been assured that non-ITC formats aren’t real and can’t hurt them, and the metagame is likely to have shifted substantially by the time it next matters. I also forgot my iPad on day one so have way fewer photos than normal. With all that in mind, I’m going to fire through my games with extremely quick summaries, and then do a rundown on what I thought of Schemes as a tournament format.

Tournament Format

As you might have inferred from the preamble, Battlefield Birmingham was using an event format including the Schemes of War missions. Specifically, we were playing an ETC-style setup where each match had an Eternal War mission and a Schemes of War mission, both of which could contribute towards the scoring (with Maelstrom cards giving fixed 2VP instead of d3 where relevant). In addition to this, tournament points coming out of each game depended on your margin of victory as follows:

  • <=3VP difference: draw, 6TP each
  • 4-6VP difference: minor victory, 8TP for the winner, 4TP for the loser.
  • 7-9VP difference: major victory, 10TP for the winner, 2TP for the loser.
  • 10+VP difference: crushing victory, 12TP for the winner, 1TP for the loser.

While this probably looks extremely strange to people who’ve only played ITC, it’s historically been a relatively sensible thing to adopt in games with Maelstrom cards. Needing a VP margin to win theoretically prevents a sudden swing from a card on the final turn turning a loss into a 1VP victory for the player behind, while having the “primary” tiebreaker between players on the same record be an aggregate of their margins across all five games is important. That’s because the VP margin you can rack up in some of these missions if you take a crushing early lead is eye watering, and you don’t really want placings to be based on “how hard did you dunk the one opponent where you ran super well”. VP is still the second tiebreaker, so there’s some of that, but over the course of the event only a single player managed a straight five crushing victories, so the margins genuinely did matter.

As a final point of difference from ITC events, all pre-game choices (other than cards chosen for Maelstrom deck, which you could select each mission) were locked in on your army list, meaning there was a bit less game-to-game flexibility than normal, and a few more constraints to what you needed to include. That brings us neatly on to what I decided to play at the event. Spoiler – it was elves.

My List

Falcon Grav Tank
Falcon Grav Tank. Credit: Wings

To be more specific, while I’ve got a few newer list concepts in the tank I made the decision that for this event I was going to go a bit old school, and see how a list pretty close to my older style worked out in a post-Marine nerf world. I played the following:

Army List - Click to Expand

+ PLAYER: James Grover
== Battalion Detachment == Asuryani, Alaitoc [ 70PL, 1209pts] 5 CP

HQ: Farseer (110), Witchblade (0) [6PL] [110pts]
Powers: Doom, Executioner, Smite
Free Relic: Faolchu’s Wing
HQ: Warlock (45), Witchblade (0) [2PL] [45pts]
Powers: Quicken/Restrain, Ghostwalk

TR: 5 Dire Avengers (40), Exarch (0), 5 Avenger Shuriken catapults (15), Exarch Additional Avenger Shuriken Catapult (3), Exarch Power Bladestorm [3PL] [58pts]
TR: 5 Dire Avengers (40), Exarch (0), 5 Avenger Shuriken catapults (15), Exarch Additional Avenger Shuriken Catapult (3), Exarch Power Bladestorm [3PL] [58pts]
TR: 9 Storm Guardians (54), 2 chainswords (0), 5 aeldari blades (0), 2 flamers (12) [6PL] [66pts]

FA: 8 Shining Spears (160), Exarch (0), 8 Twin Shuriken Catapults (16), 7 Laser Lances (56), Star lance (10), Exarch Power Skilled Rider [14PL] [242pts]

DT: Wave Serpent (120), Twin Shuriken Cannon (17), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2) [9PL] [139pts]
DT: Wave Serpent (120), Twin Shuriken Cannon (17), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2) [9PL] [139pts]

FL: Crimson Hunter Exarch (150), 2 Starcannons (26), Exarch Power Hawkeye [9PL] [176pts]
FL: Crimson Hunter Exarch (150), 2 Starcannons (26), Exarch Power Hawkeye [9PL] [176pts]

== Spearhead Detachment == Asuryani, Alaitoc [ 27PL, 483pts] 1 -1 = 0 CP
Specialist Detachment: Windrider Host (-1CP)

HQ: Warlock Skyrunner (60), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2), Witchblade (0) [4PL] [62pts]
Powers: Protect/Jinx, Focus Will
HQ: Autarch Skyrunner (95), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2), Laser Lance (8) [6PL] [105pts]
Warlord: An Eye on Distant Events (no overwatch)

HS: Falcon (100), Aeldari Missile Launcher (20), Crystal Targeting Matrix (5) Twin Shuriken Catapults (2) [9PL] [127pts]
HS: 3 Dark Reapers (27), Exarch (0), 2 Reaper Launchers (44), Aeldari Missile Launcher (20), Exarch Power Rapid Shot [4PL] [91pts]
HS: 3 Dark Reapers (27), Exarch (0), 2 Reaper Launchers (44), Tempest Launcher (27), Exarch Power Rain of Death [4PL] [98pts]

== Battalion Detachment == Drukhari, Kabal of the Black Heart [ 19PL, 308pts] 1 -1 = 0 CP

HQ: Archon (55), Huskblade (6), Splinter Pistol (0) [4PL] [61pts]
Extra Relic (-1CP): The Parasite’s Kiss
HQ: Archon (55), Venom Blade (2), Splinter Pistol (0) [4PL] [57pts]

TR: 5 Kabalite Warriors (30), Sybarite (0), Shredder (8), 4 Splinter Rifles (0) [2PL] [38pts]
TR: 5 Kabalite Warriors (30), Sybarite (0), Shredder (8), 4 Splinter Rifles (0) [2PL] [38pts]
TR: 5 Kabalite Warriors (30), Sybarite (0), 5 Splinter Rifles (0) [2PL] [30pts]

DT: Raider (65), Disintegrator Cannon (15) [5PL] [80pts]

The old hits are basically all here, with the major change from what’s gone before being the Shining Spears to give me a proper push and/or counter-charge threat. They’re effectively taking the place of the Hemlock from some of my older builds, as I’m not a big fan of them at the moment – there are just far too many opponents where getting close is a complete death sentence.

The choices that probably look slightly weird are including the bike Autarch as the warlord, even without access to Index kit, and the two small Dark Reaper units.

The former is down to a few quirks of the format. First off, who your warlord is determines which faction Maelstrom cards (Corrode: Wings didn’t mention this up top, but yes, the faction cards were in play too) you get access to, and Eldar have some very good ones in Khaine’s Wrath, Combined Strike and Master of Runes. All three of these can nearly always be immediately scored for 2VP by this list (and you can sometimes pull off the 5pt version of Combined Strike) making them top tier cards. The extreme mobility of the bike Autarch is also great, as the Priority Orders Received card is absurdly powerful in Schemes and having a warlord that can zip 22″ around the board and plausibly kill stuff helps you score it. That mobility was also the reasoning behind paying for the Windrider host, but that literally never came up, so I guess I probably shouldn’t have! In ITC I’d still be tempted to take Autarch as the warlord for access to overwatch suppression and because Faolchu’s Wing is the important relic for the list, but there’d be an argument for having one of the Archons pick it up.

The final, less strategically important reason, is that the way the event decides whether you’re eligible for a best in faction is whether you have 1500pts+ from a single codex and your warlord from it. Because most of my list was Craftworlds, picking an Archon for my warlord would lock me out from that, and given my relaxed approach to the event I wanted another trophy to play for!

The other odd-looking choice was the two MSUs of Dark Reapers and the Falcon. They’re in the list at all because I needed to make a valid third detachment so I could include a fourth character, and they seemed (along with the Falcon) the best way to pull things together – they would still do some damage, the Falcon would let me start all my Craftworlds infantry in transports, and in a non-ITC format having a few vulnerable units isn’t as bad. However, on the way back from the first day I suddenly realised I’d over thought it and could have made the list way better – swap out the tempest launcher Reaper Squad and the Falcon for two Night Spinners, and I have my detachment while still just being able to fit all infantry in transports (Storm Guardians and Reapers in one, 2x Dire Avengers + characters in the other). This would have been way, way better, and since I provably liked Night Spinners before it was cool I’m ashamed I didn’t spot it.

For what it’s worth, the list performed pretty well on the table, and I’d be totally happy taking it along to an ITC event with that swap made.

The Games

As mentioned earlier, I’m not going to go as much in depth on these as I normally would, because while there is a lot of strategy turn-to-turn in Schemes, it doesn’t lend itself as well to my normal writeup style, which relies on being able to talk about an overall game plan from the start. Instead, here are the key events from each.

Also, I’m not going to go into full details on how each mission works, so if you’re interested do go and have a look at our reviews of the Chapter Approved mission set that I linked earlier.

Round One – Possessed Bomb

The first game saw me coming up against Matt Smith, whose Mega-Nob heavy Ork list I looked at when reviewing the Element Grand Slam last year. This time he was packing a Possessed bomb with Nurgle Daemons and a Disco lord as backup, complimented by Thousand Sons characters and a full squad of Cult of Duplicity Rubricae as a tool to apply additional pressure early game.

We were playing Four Pillars (four primary objectives, 1VP for end-of battle round hold more with troops only or 3VP for hold all, 1VP kill more) and Disruptive Tactics (scry some card from your opponent’s deck each turn and put one on the bottom)

I won the roll off to choose Attacker/Defender, and allowed him to be the Attacker. While I was tempted to take the first turn and see if I could blow the Possessed bomb off the board, my calculation was that if I went first I was never going to score any points from the Eternal War mission, as he had more than enough Nurglings and Cultists to ensure that he could always out-hold me with the second turn.

Instead, I backlined to ensure the Possessed couldn’t get to me, and largely weathered the firepower of his Rubrics, who teleported up to try and kill my Spears. I was fine with that, as given they were his only real shooting threat, losing my Exarch to tank most of their shots was fine. His Discolord also failed his charge, and in response I was able to take the Rubricae off the board and pick off the Discordant, although I missed a few card points because my attempts to kill his Nurglings kept failing.

On turn two his Possessed hit my lines and started ripping a reasonable amount of stuff apart (while wrapping some Dire Avengers) but at the same time my Raider came into his backline and started evaporating Cultist squads and threatening the hold more point. At the same time, I was able to bring my Spears up from where they’d finished off the Rubrics and Quicken them in to pick off some characters and form a distraction, as I had some cards that needed me to do this.

On turn three, they got wiped out and he did some real damage to me, but I also largely consolidated control of his backline and was able to use Priority Orders Received to pick up a big point swing, having been holding it in my hand all game waiting for the right moment. Unfortunately, the first few turns had been stupidly complicated from both sides and we ran out of time and called the game. The scoreline was 20-17 to me, which was a draw under the comp and honestly felt about right – without the extra swing from me landing POR we’d have been level pegging, and from there on out he was likely to pick up kill more each BR while I would get hold more.

Score: 20-17 – DRAW

Match Score: 0-0-1

Tournament Points 6/12

Round Two – Raven Guard

My opponent had something of a combined arms Raven Guard list, sporting plentiful smash characters, a big squad of Aggressors to teleport, some Intercessors and lots of Eliminators, capped off with a squad of Assault Centurions to bring in from deep strike.

We were playing Scorched Earth (the CA18 EOT scoring version) and Covert Maneuvers (player who is behind gets to keep their cards face down).

Unfortunately for him, we were on a relatively open board, rolled up Frontline Warfare and I got the first turn. He didn’t manage to seize, and the game quickly became a complete bloodbath.

My Spears Quickened up the board and got amongst him, while I could comfortably bring all of my firepower to bear on his army. This had predictable and unfortunate consequences – by the time the smoke cleared the Aggressors, Chaplain, Scouts, Thunderfire and numerous Intercessors were all dead. With such massive losses he couldn’t do much more to my army than pick a few things out, and I got to continue to inflict carnage while also closing most of the board off to his deep strikers.

Those did come in, but to cap off the overwhelming feeling of this just being one of those games where nothing goes right for one player, they missed several charges and those that did make them whiffed their attacks. They were swiftly dispatched, and I spent the remaining turns scoring my entire Maelstrom deck while sitting on every objective.

Score: 69-13  – CRUSHING VICTORY

Match Score: 1-0-1

Tournament Points: 18/24

Round Three – Astra Militarum

A new (and frankly rather intimidating) version of the classic Guard car park faced me down round three. He had lots of battle cannon Tank Commanders (including Pask and one with the Hammer of Sunderance), a squad of Armoured Sentinels to alpha strike with the new strat and two Full Payload Basilisks, all backed up with lots of bodies, some punisher Russes and some mortars. His army was also awesome, being converted and Necromunda themed and including amazing Goliath Mortar teams made with Ogre Kingdoms models.

We were playing Dominate and Destroy (end of turn VP on objectives plus a VP for each kill) and Confined Command, which introduces a sort of bluffing minigame to putting cards into play. Given the nature of his list, I made sure to seed objectives around the board so that if he castled up I’d be able to use my high mobility to outscore him on the primary.

It’s a good thing I did that too, because he went first and I learnt a valuable lesson about what Guard can do now. Last time I brought Alaitoc to Battlefield Birmingham I had one game where my opponent went first with Guard and killed nothing through Prepared Positions. This time, with a combination of all the shooting buffs he had, one Crimson Hunter got blown clean out of the sky via Hail of Fire on the Hammer of Sunderance, while the other ended the turn on 3W remaining, a fate it shared with a Serpent which took a horrific beating from the Sentinels unloading on it.

That immediately put paid to any realistic chance I had of out-shooting him, so I instead focused on playing and scoring the objectives, and stripping away his tools to interfere with that. With that in mind, I prioritised taking out his mortar teams and reducing the number of Guard bodies he had on the board turn one, while moving stuff onto objectives and out of sight where possible. On turn two he blew up quite a bit more of my stuff, but still didn’t manage to contest much of the board, while on mine I brought in my Raider to close down his infantry on one flank and the Spears to start a fightback on the other. I was looking horrifically thin on the ground already, but the Spears were able to come in and wrap a doomed Russ while picking up several smaller units. I nearly screwed this up with a stupid mistake – they high-rolled their pre-re-roll wound rolls and put the Russ down to only 4W remaining, at which point I should have just chosen not to re-roll the rest (as Doom is “can” re-roll), but luckily only added one more so the wrap stuck, leaving him with not much he could shoot on his turn.

The Spears continued their rampage and wrapped another tank on the next turn, keeping him on the back foot and letting me rack up more objective scoring. On my fourth turn I finally had to leave them exposed, not having enough CP left for Feigned Retreat but needing to pull then out to kill off some Astropaths with shooting to max some otherwise somewhat bad cards. That meant he got to use his fifth turn deploying the entire of his army’s firepower to go through the Protected squad, but although he got to use the sixth turn to effectively level most of what was left of my forces, the number of points I’d racked up from progressive objectives and cards prior to that meant I still got a max points win.


Match Score: 2-0-1

Tournament Points: 30/36

Round Four – Adepta Sororitas

I was hugely excited about this round, because I got to throw down against current ITC #1 Sisters player Matt Robertson using a new variant of the list he’s been crushing events with (and that we wrote about in Start Competing). The new list honestly made it even more exciting, because it included the Triumph of St. Katherine, something I’ve been dying to see on the board since we reviewed the book. Other than that, it included three units of two Mortifiers in place of the Seraphim his other builds have sported, but kept the three units each of Zephyrim and Repentia.

We were playing Crusade (start of turn progressive scoring) and Critical Objective (reshuffle one card each turn). I won the roll off and chose to go first, with my reasoning being that if I could take out his two Rhinos that would put him under a lot of pressure, as he would no longer be able to hide his Repentia, and it would give me a turn to get some shooting value out of the Crimsons then circle back to safety so that the Zephyrim couldn’t get them.

That definitely sounded good in theory but quickly came somewhat apart thanks to bad dice. I concentrated a lot of my shooting threats around my Autarch and Farseer so I could use Runes of Witnessing to maximise damage without going into the kill zone, but some terrible rolls (and judicious use of miracle dice by Matt) meant that the sum total of my first turn accounted for a single Rhino (and the three Repentia who died in the wreck). I had at least backlined enough that Matt’s first turn wasn’t stellar either – but most of the advantage I had from going first was negated, especially as more of the objectives were at his end of the board. Through a combination of the cards presented and the window I had, on turn 2 I made the call to zip my Spears up to go after his main bubble, but low rolled a bit again and had to use them to mop up some stragglers rather than going after the Triumph as had been my original plan. I did at least get to pick up a good amount of kills, and keep him back, somewhat.

I compounded this by using Vect to stop his Repentia coming up for a wrap on my flank on the next turn, and took them out in response, while gradually plinking wounds off the Triumph with my planes (as the tip of its ornamentation was just taller than the buildings in the mid board). However, at the same time his Zephyrim were making a complete nightmare of themselves on my other flank, keeping me from picking up start of turn scoring and denying me a chance to score several cards.

On turn three, I brought in my Raider to try and take his backline objective, and tried to screen it out from a Zephyrim counter-charge with a Crimson Hunter. Sadly he could just get within 12″ of it still, but because this was a game of swings and roundabouts his unit low rolled massively and failed to kill it, giving me a chance to bail some models out and take an objective for a turn. That helped me keep level in the scoring, because while I’d been gradually repelling them Celestine, the Zephyrim and the final unit of Repentia were causing havoc in my lines. Ultimately, both of us managed to mess with each others scoring at key times and keep a fair clip of card scoring going, and while at the end Matt was a few VP up, it wasn’t enough to take the game out of the draw bracket.

Score: 24-26 DRAW

Match Score: 2-0-2

Tournament Points: 36/48

Round Five- Asuryani

Round five saw me up against a fellow Eldar player using an unusual concoction including a mixture of characters and Aspect Warriors. I’ve played lists like that enough myself to know that they can be deceptively dangerous, so went into the game pretty wary. We were playing a modified version of Big Guns Never Tire (1VP for each unit killed from a chosen battlefield role + 3VP per objectives 1-4 held at game end) and Ambitious Surge (choose an objective card for the opponent each turn, and they get an extra VP if they manage to score it).

My opponent  went first, but ended up on the back foot straight away – the exact set up of the terrain was pretty unfavourable to him, not allowing him to bring all of his Dark Reapers to bear straight away and forcing him to split his forces to contest objectives and score cards. After he’d done his movement he kicked off with a double one for his Warlock in the psychic phase and after consideration I decided Vecting the re-roll was worth a punt. The Warlock duly exploded and took a huge chunk out of both nearby Farseers, and also stopped Jinx going off, saving my Wave Serpent. From there, I counterattacked brutally, killing off his forward Serpent and everything inside, along with one of the Farseers, while building up an initial score lead.

Credit where it’s due, my opponent used what he had left to make me really work for the win here. Clever use of his remaining tools forced me to split my attention, and while the dice were overall massively in my favour this game, he used every opportunity they gave him to try and draw things back. Ultimately, however, the swing on that first turn was just too much to recover from, and I was eventually able to just about close this with a max point win by using my mobile threats to gradually pick apart his forces, and again deploy Priority Orders at the right time for a big scoring turn.


Match Score: 3-0-2

Tournament Points: 48/60

Final Position

5th place out of 90 players.

Best Craftworlds

Definitely happy with that – “undefeated” at a major-scale event is always nice (even if two were draws) and even under ITC scoring it would have been a perfectly credible 4-1. The list honestly felt pretty great, and in the unlikely event that the ITC manages to ramp up again in a big way sooner than everyone’s expecting I’ll almost certainly give it a go at some events (with the Night Spinner swap discussed earlier).

Tournament Schemes of War – Thoughts

I’d been absolutely dying to try Schemes of War out in a competitive environment and while “but it’s your last event for months” is a bit of a monkey’s paw way of that coming to pass, I’m still glad I got to try it.

The long and short of it is that it felt really good, and orders of magnitude better than playing any of the old Maelstrom missions. I think that’s also reflected in the results – take a look at the top 8 finishers at the event and it’s all the same people you’d expect to thrive at an ITC major. The combination of the deckbuilding element, mulligan rule and the universal stratagems to change your cards if needed significantly smoothed out the risk you sometimes had with old Maelstrom of drawing a bad hand and basically losing on the spot. While there were points in some of my games where one player had slightly kinder cards, it was never a complete blowout and the player losing out on them was usually the one with weaker board control. Close fought games between players in the top bracket were also close, making me think that the 4pt VP margin needed for a win was probably too high – I wasn’t the only player near the top of the standings with two draws logged.

Outside of that, I think the other potential challenges that TOs might want to look at if they’re adopting the format are as follows:

  • The Priority Orders Received objective card is extremely good, maybe too good. In old Maelstrom this card was problematically random, but in the new missions where you choose which card to attach it to it’s super strong for any faction with a mobile, deadly warlord. I knew this going in to the event, which is why I took the Bike Autarch, and I absolutely didn’t regret doing so at any point. If everyone had access to equally capable warlords this might be OK, but as it stands it probably skews things a little bit much towards Aeldari and Chaos Factions, who tend to pack the kind of characters that can exploit it.
  • The factions with bad faction objective cards are at a notable disadvantage. Most factions have at least two good ones and one great one, some (such as Genestealer Cults and Thousand Sons) pushing that a bit further, but a few (Drukhari and Necrons being notable examples) are complete trash. I found that aiming to score 80%+ of the cards in my deck in every game was realistic, so the fact that some factions are just going to have fewer cards that give out lots of points is a reasonably big problem.  It’s a tricky problem to fix without sucking some of the variety out of the game, but if Schemes is going to seriously take off as a format it would need a fix.

I really can’t stress the disparity on the latter point enough. By design, every faction has at least one “blowout” card that can go as high as 6VP if you meet all criteria.

Craftworld Eldar get Combined Strike, which I’d put at the low end of top tier among these – you get one point for killing an enemy unit in one of the psychic/shooting/fight phases, d3 if you manage to do it in two phases and d3+3 if you do it in all three. Tricky to set up, sure, but almost every competitive Asuryani army can do it, it’s rewarding you for achieving things you’d want to do anyway, and in Schemes you can hold it till you see an opportunity.

Necrons, on the other hand, get a firmly dumpster tier card in this slot. Age of the Machine gives them 1VP for killing an enemy Vehicle, d3VP for killing three, and an extra 3VP if any were Titanic. While it is good against enemy Knights (effectively granting 4VP for a kill), it’s only usable in those matchups – against most other armies Necrons functionally don’t get a big card.

At the other end of the spectrum we have Genestealer Cults. Their big card is Kill the Unbelievers! This gives you 1VP per enemy unit killed in a turn, up to a maximum of 6. That’s it. You were expecting complications? Fail cases? Nah. The worst thing that can be said about it is that it can be a little fiddly working with it when you’re trying to wrap stuff, but otherwise it’s absurdly generous – no hoops to jump through other than “have an alpha strike turn” and a scaling reward that means you never narrowly miss out on hitting the target. Corrode: This doesn’t even mention the Thousand Sons version, which is “1VP for every two psychic powers you cast, up to a maximum of 6”. Basically any Thousand Sons list can trivially score this, and they can even do it by just spamming Smites into a wall, since you don’t need to actually be in range for a power to work to take a Psychic test.

Cool though they are, it’s possible that just removing the big score cards from the pool might be the solution here – while there’s some disparity elsewhere, there isn’t anything as glaring as the contrasts between this class of card. You could argue that this is academic, as adoption of Schemes over ITC is still rare, but there are other events using it and there was (at least at one point) a plan for the ETC (now WTC) to do the same. I’ll certainly be interested to see if any events using the cards do start making modifications to the available pool, or other little tweaks to the format.

Wrap Up

That’s it for this event and, sadly, probably for the foreseeable future tournament wise. Thanks to the organisers of Battlefield Birmingham and my opponents for making the last event before lockdown a real blast, and for those of you who come here for the competitive content rest assured that we’re going to do what we can to keep the relevant content coming. As ever, if you have any comments, questions or suggestions, hit us up at