And the excrement hits the rotational cooling device

****** EDIT ******
I do want to say that this is NOT due to the person with the beautiful army - he was a gentleman and we actually had a good talk at the event about the paint scoring.  This issue was brought up by people who weren't at the event and apparently saw a video (that I did not know was being taken) of the awards and got butt-hurt about them.

Also as for the timing - the Best Appearance and Best War King awards were completely decided Saturday night during round 4, as was the decision not to include the voting in the overall.  It was not done at the end, it was done as soon as I realized what happened.

So this is a rant.  Fair warning.  It is not about being balanced or fair.  If you don't like that, stop reading now and go read here instead.
The first War Kings GT wrapped up today, and I hadn't even managed to get home (we did stop and eat) to unload everything and I saw the shit storm that came up on Facebook (who could have ever guessed THAT could happen).  I feel I need to address it, and I have several responses.

First of all, thank you very much to everyone that attended the first Kings of War GT in Ohio.  We had a total of 26 players and that was simply fantastic.  I do this for the players, and it seemed that everyone had a lot of fun.

I have seen a lot of comments from people who weren't there.  Honestly, I shouldn't care what your opinions are, because again, YOU WEREN'T THERE.  It did not affect you.  At all.

Personally I was a little frustrated that after driving down to Nashville three years in a row to run tournaments (and I was planning on running Manticon again this year before it was unfortunately cancelled) at the request of people down there, I had such poor response to our tournament.  But that was my choice, to spend my own time and money to run events six hours away, and I understand that does not make anyone feel like they need to participate in my other events.  But honestly that is sour grapes.

What a few people seem to be losing their minds over is they feel that someone (I will not put names here, the people know who they are) deserved to get a slightly larger piece of plastic than he did for playing with toy soldiers all weekend.

They seem to be upset that he won the award for "Best Appearance" for the best looking army (without a doubt), instead of winning "Best Overall" (over two people that BEAT him in their games, and four that had a definite better win/loss record than he did).  This is on the basis of his extraordinary paint score.

So let me back up a bit.  My philosophy about tournament scoring is simple.  Painting is important, but it is NOT the most important part of the tournament.  I do NOT want to exclude anyone because they have an unpainted army, but I also do not want superior painters to run away with the awards.  My experience in my years with miniature wargaming was that years ago, if you did not have the very top tier of paint skills, you had no chance at all of winning, because the paint scores counted so highly.  I didn't like that.

There are painting competitions (Golden Daemon, Crystal Brush, Brush with Death to name just a few).  These ONLY about painting.  The person in question needs to be in these, and (in my opinion) he would be winning them.

When I started running tournaments (and today finished the 35th Kings of War tournament I have run in the past 5 years (for a total of  459 players)) I knew that I did NOT want this to be a painting competition.  I am not qualified nor capable of truly judging painting, I don't have the skill nor the training (nor the eyesight) to do it.  As such I developed a painting rubric (and adjusted it with feedback I received) to allow me to do the paint judging as objectively as possible.  The majority of it was simple yes or no questions - did the army have this or not.  I did have 0-4 points at the discretion of the judge.  In addition, only the top section (worth 20 points) was counted towards your overall score.  The rest would be counted toward the best painted award.

One thing I wanted to incorporate though was player feedback.  For the majority of events that I have run, we have not had enough people to justify a "player's choice" award.  This is my favorite - mainly because it has been the only one I have a shot in hell of winning.  I am not the best technical painter out there, and never will be.  But I do make some memorable armies (and people remember them) with fun themes, and I have won player's choice with some of them at some larger tournaments.

So I incorporated the player votes into the best appearance and overall score.  In the past this has served me very well.  Until today.

My mistake was trying to modify what worked.  I wanted to run a bigger event, and I have been scaling the favorite opponent votes bases on size, so I thought that this time I would do the same with favorite army.  Instead of a single vote, I gave everyone a 1st & 2nd choice.

This was my first mistake.  Apparently the packet that I put out months before the event is a sacred document that cannot be deviated from in the slightest, become nothing ever changes or grows or needs to be adjusted.

We did the paint judging, and honestly, this was the first time that my rubric was not adequate - because there were some of the best EVER armies there.  I really wished I had a better way to indicate this, but all I had were the check boxes and 4 points.   The person in question got an almost perfect score (37 out of 38 possible).  Another army scored 36 for the total.

Then I got in the player votes - again this was the system I had changed on the fly.  (oh, and by the way, if I absolutely followed the player pack to the letter, there would be two best overall awards and no best general (I found that typo just the other day).  I also changed the schedule from what was in the packet - I am such a wild maverick that way - ignoring rules and throwing all caution to the wind just to satisfy my own selfish desires to run a better event.

I have been accused of ignoring the player pack - however I cannot find ANY mention there of how appearance is scored, or how it is calculated as part of the overall score.  In fact the ONLY mention of the painting is the following:
Painting is STRONGLY encouraged, though not absolutely required.  However your appearance score is a significant part of your overall score.
I state there is a Best Appearance award, but I can't see anything else in here that I chose to ignore.  Please correct me if I'm wrong.  I apparently edited it out for this tournament.

Back to the votes, when I added them up, it was not surprising at all who won.  What was surprising was how many points he got via player votes.  I am much more used to the votes being very spread out, and often best appearance is very close.  This wasn't.  It was a blowout.  He had 33 players choice votes - which was more than two wins (without scenario points)!   If you look back to what I discussed above, my intention all along was to NOT have painting outweigh the game results.  I looked at the rankings with full player votes in them, and they were way skewed because of this.  In fact, there was a chance that this player could do nothing more than show up for his last two games (thus getting the minimum 5 points per game) and win the whole thing based on just this painting score.  That felt very, very wrong to me.

In addition, it has always been my policy that a person can only win 1 trophy.  You can't win best appearance AND best overall.  I did add the Best War King, but that went to someone else (and honestly, the war king just didn't stand up to the spectacular job of the rest of the army).

So if I added the player votes, everything would be skewed.  I made the decision then and there to keep them as part of the best appearance award, but NOT part of the overall.

Had I used the point method that I changed on the fly, he would have won overall.  The person with the best record, who beat him when they played, would have come in second.  In addition, the person who now would have received the best appearance award did not, in fact, have the best looking army.  I have given best appearance to the 2nd best looking army in the past because the best looking army legitimately won best overall, but that was not the case here.  There were four people that had better win/loss records, it was wrong to have him jump over them based on this inflated favorite army vote that I had set up.

The simplest solution was to not use the players choice votes in the overall.  Again, there is no place in the players pack that says ANYTHING about the players choice votes, and only that painting is a significant part of your overall score (try to win if you don't have that 20 point base painting score!).

After I saw this controversy, I was a bit taken aback.  I then went in and recalculated the player's choice votes according to the OLD system I had previously used (again, this was never specified or defined in the players packet for this event.)  In this case, this person would have gotten 16 players choice votes, not 33.  This, to me, is still too much for the overall, but I would have dealt with it.  It would have resulted in him coming in 3rd overall instead of in a 3 way tie (before attrition) for 7th.  And would NOT HAVE CHANGED THE AWARDS at all.    The best of race and best of alignment certificates were based SOLEY on battle score (including scenario).  The only scores that the players choice had any possibility of affecting where best appearance (which he very deservedly won), and best overall (which I cannot see how he ever would deserve that in a tournament where playing the game is the primary thing).

So, should I have changed the player voting - in hindsight it feels like a very bad idea.  I take it as a lesson learned - and moving forward I will do like I do for the judged painting, and limit the number of votes that can count towards overall (I'm thinking max of 10).  This then would also need to affect the sportsman scores as well, since they use the same system of player votes.

Several people have said that they would never play in one of my tournaments again.  Honestly, I do not expect to be heading back to Nashville to run tournament again, as the community down there is now strong enough that they don't need me to.  And if you don't like the way I run events - then don't come up (since you didn't come up anyway).

I have always firmly believed in running the type of events that I would want to play in, and I do.

To be completely honest, a very similar situation happened two years ago at the Adepticon Team Tournament.  I did NOT do the paint judging since I was playing in it as well as helping run and score it.  My son and I won best themed team army with "The Martian Dead" army.  If you included the painting score in the overall score, then we would have also won the entire tournament, beating out the team that went 3-0 (and that beat us in the first round).  Again, it did not feel right for the team that went 2-1 to win the tournament over the team that beat them, so I did NOT include the paint scores in the final, and we gladly took 2nd instead of the top spot.

So some people who WERE there and as such, whose opinions I do respect in this matter, have wondered what my opinion on this is.  I hope I have expressed myself as clearly as I can.  Those who say I ignored the player packet ignore that fact that this aspect was never mentioned in the packet, so I could not ignore what is not there.  The best looking army won best appearance, and the player with the best record won the tournament.  All is right with the world, and I will sleep soundly with my decisions.

Finally - remember when it comes down to it, we are a bunch of grown (mostly) men and women playing with toy soldiers and rolling dice to enjoy ourselves over a weekend.  The object of playing a game may be to win, but the purpose is to have fun (and these are NOT mutually exclusive).

Because it is all fun and games . . .