The road to the Throne of Skulls is over and in a few weeks a winner will be crowned. With over 100 events between all the Games Workshop systems it is safe to say that GW has successfully passed the torch from its own Grand Tournament system to the wargamers themselves. It was not without many bumps and bruises and the system is FAR from perfect. Looking back it wasn’t so obvious a new GW was forming– one more hands off than ever before.

Here is the good and bad that was the first The Tournament Circuit of the new Games Workshop

The Good

The Power to Players

By far the biggest best change was the growth of independent events. Before the circuit was defined by the Regionals Games Workshop put on across North America; now it would be defined by Indy events from Adepticon to Astronomi-con, putting the spot light on all types of events that would could have gotten lost in the focused of official GW events. Tournaments sprouted up overnight to fill the void left by GW, everyone tried to get their event on the circuit in the hopes of boosting attendance and prize support.

Anyone could be a Winner

No longer was the circuit the personal playground of those who could afford to travel or happen to live close enough to a GW regional. We had events from Nova Scotia to Arizona giving every general a chance at glory. No one person or list would dominate the circuit (like  Orks dominated with Nob Bikers in 2008).

Play whatever you Want

For the most part the circuit allowed players to convert or proxy any model to represent whatever they wanted. Gone was the time when GW forced you to only use GW models, this opened the floodgates for great looking armies using third-party parts and generally made battlefields look profoundly different from the ones found at a GW hosted event.

Getting Creative

Because of Games Workshop hands off approach TOs were able to create whatever type of event they wanted. We had team tournaments, escalation, 1500-2000 point games, one to three day events, and as long as you could get people to attend you could do pretty much whatever you wanted.

The Bad

Too Hands Off

While being completely hands off had it bonuses, it also had problems. Even with simple guidelines like point levels and no soft scores GW could have stopped a lot of headaches, taking potential poor decisions out of TOs hands. Without even the most minimal level of standards we had events that ended up with only 8 players to ridiculous convoluted methods of scoring.

Throne of Skulls

We all thought the idea of the circuit was to win and have the tickets we earned mean something. We expected a similar no comp simple system that the British had used for years, instead we got some seemly hackney Jervis monster that was intent on showcasing armies not generals at the Throne of Skulls. It was a feeble attempt to force parity and will end up having half of the winners skip the event and put a bad taste in the mouth of many hoping this was going to be great event.


Without GW interference TOs were able to charge whatever they wanted leaving players with events that ranged from $20-$100 bucks: wild price fluctuations based on the notion that because if you were on the circuit people would automatically show up events. This lead to many low attended events with TOs forced to eat much of the costs associated with events. Many players felted gouged when an event didn’t turn out as advertised.


With so many events there was bound to be cheating. The level at to which top tables had problems was jaw dropping. Many events had judges and systems that were not active enough to catch even the most basic of cheats leaving the Internet to pick up the pieces after the fact.

Prize Support

Many events had varying degrees of prize support due to GW financial or regional fluctuation. Some events would get great support while others seemed to get very little leaving many to wonder was GW playing favorites?

These were the major good and bad of the first year of Tournament Circuit, but going forward let us look at what we can expect…

It seemed GW had some plan after all when it came to setting guidelines for their events. The first year was an obvious experiment: by allowing anyone and their mother to hold event it gave GW the chance to see exactly who would sink or swim. This ended up leaving only the strongest events for year two of the circuit. It also allowed GW to see exactly what type of events people were running. So now GW has made some changes. No longer will Team events count and only the top finisher will get a ticket. Now we know what to expect as the Jervis ToS doesn’t look to be changing, but the biggest change is anyone can PAY to get into the event. This makes it more like a competitive Games-Day and less like the end all be all of 40k competition. As the Independent Tournament scene develops it becomes clear: being on the list is only good for minor publicity and the chance to pass out a free ticket for paid GW event and is by no means necessary for event success.

So how did numbers exactly stack by army for the first season of the Circuit? Here is the final breakdown…

Imperial Guard-25
Space Marines- 25
Orks – 17
Chaos Space Marines-14
Space Wolves – 11
Tyranids – 6
Dark Eldar – 5
Blood Angels – 2
Deamons- 2
Tau- 1
Grey Knights – 1
Witch Hunters – 0
Dark Angels – 0
Necrons – 0
Black Templars – 0

As you can see Imperial Guard dominated along with Space Marines each for different reasons. Imperial Guard dominated because competitive players saw them as the best army to play where as Space Marines won because they happened to be the most played. Going forward we expect to see this change a lot with as fast the meta changes. Already Grey Knights are on the rise and with the potential for Necrons to break Imperial Guard expect the numbers to change dramatic from this first year. Oh yeah and there is little thing called 6th edition coming out next year that might have something to say about all this.

For anyone wanting to know if there a event close to you I have a website dedicated just for that. Check out the Blood of Kittens Events website for details…

Tournament Calender




Here is the master list of all the winners from the Circuit up to the end of February.


The Conflict GT10-Jan1stAlexanderFennellImperial Guard
The Conflict GT10-Jan2ndChrisDubuqueSpace Marines
ConQuest Seattle Slaughter10-Jan1stChaseLinboChaos Space Marines
ConQuest Seattle Slaughter10-Jan2ndZenZhengSpace Marines
Broadside Bash10-Feb1stSteveSiskSpace Marines
Broadside Bash10-Feb2ndTobyWalkerEldar
Broadside Bash10-Feb3rdDavidFeyChaos Space Marines
GottaCon10-Feb2ndDougLawrenceImperial Guard
St Valetines Massacre10-Feb1stBradleyNicholsSpace Marines
St Valetines Massacre10-Feb2ndDameonGreenChaos Space Marines
Adepticon10-Mar1stEricHobinImperial Guard
Adepticon10-Mar2ndJonWillinghamSpace Marines
Adepticon10-Mar1stThomasReidySpace Marines
Adepticon10-Mar2ndJasonRoyChaos Space Marines
Adepticon10-Mar1stNicolasRoseImperial Guard
Adepticon10-Mar2ndJonathonWolfChaos Space Marines
Warhammer Spectacular10-Mar1stJasonHallEldar
Warhammer Spectacular10-Mar2ndAnthonyDalla LammaSpace Marines
ConQuest Ragnorak10-Apr1stTylerCarmichaelEldar
ConQuest Ragnorak10-Apr2ndMattEstesOrks
Slaughter in Space10-Apr1stDavidFayChaos Space Marines
Slaughter in Space10-Apr2ndJustinHilderbrandtDark Eldar
Astronomi-con Toronto10-May1stNathanStevensOrks
Astronomi-con Toronto10-May2ndJohnBeckEldar
The Alamo10-May1stJohnBrockImperial Guard
The Alamo10-May2ndThomasReidySpace Marines
Bolter Beach10-Jun1stMarcParkerOrks
Bolter Beach10-Jun2ndMikeWalshSpace Marines
Patriot Games10-Jun1stJeremyYatesImperial Guard
Patriot Games10-Jun2ndMattHarpSpace Marines
Battle for Blobs Park10-Jun1stJustinCookImperial Guard
Battle for Blobs Park10-Jun2ndAlEdelImperial Guard
Game Summit10-Jun1stNickChallonerOrks
Game Summit10-Jun2ndMarcPageImperial Guard
Astronomi-con Dallas10-Jun1stClaySmithOrks
Astronomi-con Dallas10-Jun2ndChrisAllenSpace Marines
ConQuest LA Invasion10-Jun1stBradTownsendSpace Marines
ConQuest LA Invasion10-Jun2ndRyanShepardImperial Guard
The 14th Black Crusade10-Jun1stMichaelDavyTyranids
The 14th Black Crusade10-Jun2ndThomasWalkerSpace Marines
Ard Boyz Chicago10-Jul1stColeMarkgrafImperial Guard
Ard Boyz Chicago10-Jul2ndAlanBajramovic
Ard Boyz LA10-Jul1stDavidRolstad
Ard Boyz LA10-Jul2ndAJVan Valkenburg
Ard Boyz Showcase10-Jul1stClarkWelch
Ard Boyz Showcase10-Jul2ndBenMohlie
Buckeye Battles10-Jul1stDavidTalbotChaos Space Marines
Buckeye Battles10-Jul2ndJasonGarnerEldar
ConQuest BC Annihilation10-Jul1stWesleyCodgalChaos Space Marines
ConQuest BC Annihilation10-Jul2ndDaveWalzEldar
Astronomi-con Winnipeg10-Jul1stBrockJansenImperial Guard
Astronomi-con Winnipeg10-Jul2ndDaveViolagoEldar
The Big Show10-Jul1stAlEdelImperial Guard
The Big Show10-Jul2ndRagnerArnesonSpace Marines
The Big Show10-Jul3rdStevenMcDanielTyranids
SpoCon10-Jul1stBobKelleyChaos Space Marines
SpoCon10-Jul2ndJaysonBesanconSpace Marines
ICGT10-Jul1stAlEdelImperial Guard
ICGT10-Jul2ndVadenBallSpace Marines
War Games Con10-Jul1stBenMohlieSpace Marines
War Games Con10-Jul2ndPaulMurphyImperial Guard
GW Hobby Centers10-Jul1stTimFournierImperial Guard
GW Hobby Centers10-Jul2ndEricJahnSpace Marines
The NOVA Open10-Aug1stDanielMatulichImperial Guard
The NOVA Open10-Aug2ndTonyKopachSpace Marines
ConQuest Apocalypse10-Aug1stNakoaThompsonSpace Marines
ConQuest Apocalypse10-Aug2ndMarkMcDonaldDark Eldar
Astronomi-con Vancouver10-Aug1stNickDanielsImperial Guard
Astronomi-con Vancouver10-Aug2ndMarshallReevesSpace Marines
SoCal Smackdown10-Sep1stTroyCriswellOrks
SoCal Smackdown10-Sep2ndReeceRobbinsSpace Marines
The Warmasters Challenge10-Sep1stRickyJohnsonTyranids
The Warmasters Challenge10-Sep2ndAndrewTrippleOrks
Da Grand Waaagh10-Oct1stWalterDenlingerOrks
Da Grand Waaagh10-Oct2ndCaseyMcNamaraSpace Marines
Storm on the Coast10-Oct1stJeffSherwoodChaos Space Marines
Storm on the Coast10-Oct2ndGregParadisTau
The Warmasters Finals10-Oct1stRidvanMartinezDark Eldar
The Warmasters Finals10-Oct2ndRickyJohnsonTyranids
Slaughter on the Strip10-Nov1stGeorgeMasonSpace Marines
Slaughter on the Strip10-Nov2ndJohnHermannTyranids
MechaniCon10-Nov1stChrisDubuqueSpace Marines
MechaniCon10-Nov2ndMattCassidyImperial Guard
Battle for Supremacy10-Nov1stMatthewRodgersSpace Marines
Battle for Supremacy10-Nov2ndJasonSperkaSpace Marines
DaBoyz GT10-Nov1stGregSparksEldar
DaBoyz GT10-Nov2ndChrisPelletierTyranids
The Conflict GT11-Jan1stAndrewGonyoImperial Guard
The Conflict GT11-Jan2ndJorgeRuizSpace Marines
Ironman XVII11-Jan1stErikMillerSpace Marines
Ironman XVII11-Jan2ndErikKurimotoImperial Guard
GameCon11-Jan1stJamesTurnerImperial Guard
GottaCon11-Feb1stSamanthaFosterDaemons of Chaos
GottaCon11-Feb2ndDougLambSpace Marines
Broadside Bash11-Feb1stFranklinGiampapaChaos Space Marines
Broadside Bash11-Feb2ndDaveFayChaos Space Marines
Broadside Bash11-Feb3rdCharlieNicholsSpace Marines