2009 Masters Event Last Minute Changes

Preregistration for Masters has been closed and tickets have been bought.   I hope nobody had their Masters lists finalized, packed, and painted, because with a month left before GenCon Privateer Press has released a rules addendum to their Masters event.   The big change is this:

The GenCon 2009 Masters event encourages players to not only demonstrate mastery with a single warcaster or warlock but with their entire faction line-up. A warcaster / warlock that appears in one of a players’ lists cannot appear in another list for the remainder of the Masters event. Mercenary warcasters can only appear in a players’ list[s] if that player is playing Mercenary contracts for the whole of the GenCon 2009 Masters event.

The Masters event takes place over three days, each at a different point level (500, 750, then 1,000).   Each day a player brings new lists.   With this new change a competator is going to have eight different warcasters/warlocks in their lists over the course of the weekend.   Even if they only play one list each day that’s four warcasters/warlocks that they have to be able to play well to succeed.

There’s also an added tactical element that I think is interesting.   Every player has their go-to caster(s) but now they have to decide when to use them.   Do you bring your big guns out early to try and maximize your chances of advancing from round to round or do you gamble and save them for the finals?

This is an interesting aspect to add to what is effectively Privateer Press’s National Championship event.   I hadn’t planned on playing in Masters this year but the challenge that’s added to event preparation intrigues me.   I look forward to seeing the impact it has on the format meta.

I have to say though that I think Privateer Press dropped the ball on this timing-wise.   By this time many people who planned on going to Masters – who already purchased tickets – have spent a couple months tuning their lists.   Since there was no similar restriction the last few years there was no reason to assume things would be changed this late in the game, but changed they were.   And with just over a month left before the event, too.

A rules addendum like this should have been announced when registration for the event was first opened at the latest.   Doing it this late in the game after registration has been closed and players have already been refining their lists adds a bad taste to what could otherwise be a good addition to the format.


  1. Yeah, this is a cool change, but the timing is really weird. I guess there’s 5 weeks to go, but that’s a really close shave, especially if they do not own every warlock/warcaster for their factions.


  2. Agreed. I like the idea that we won’t be seeing Vlad/eVlad every round (or for that matter, other go-to casters). However, there’s a huge financial burden now on the player and some players may not have the ability to shell out for 6 other casters or the time commitment to paint them if they’re obsessive or habitual about it.

    I’m not playing in Masters, but I’ll definitely be interested to see how it turns out…

  3. While the timing could be better, I like this. They call the event “Masters,” but typically you really only show mastery over a single list or even a particular trick/tactic/bizarre rule that’s “on the list” and therefore exploitable. Telling players that they really need to demonstrate a thorough mastery of the faction in general really makes me feel that people are more “masters” than in previous years. More variety means less gimmicks, less about “X is totally broken,” and more about general competency (or perhaps a buttload of luck.) Other than the timing, how’s that bad?

    As to the cost, yes, that’s there. Maybe I live in a very spoiled area, but I couldn’t see someone on hard times trying to go to Masters not being able to borrow the models. I know if I thought a local had a good shot of going the distance, I’d lend him my army to help him in that. Just so long as he gives due credit on any paint jobs. 😉

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