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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tournaments, Terrain and Tough Calls!

 Wow that is a great deal of T’s there! Well, this I have noticed is slowly becoming a topic of debate among various forums and one major GT has already posted their primer.
 First let’s look at the issues you have to tackle as a tournament organizer with the changes to 6th edition:
 Terrain is a great spot to start as this has changed a great deal. For the most part you have to tackle a series of questions:
  • Mysterious Terrain and Artifacts allowed? Unless you make this scenario specific or set the same item of terrain on every table this becomes a very tough call. If you leave it up to the players it wastes more time with them looking up stuff and deciding to use the rule or not.
  • Buildings are now in and detailed more than ever. Will they work in a tournament? A tough call, to me it makes the game more complex working out results on a building and the squad inside.
  • Ruins are now the only thing that is 4+ cover and they have made them a bit more clearly on the rules as well.
  • Area Terrain covers a wide range now; just about everything has a 5+ saves.
  • Dangerous Terrain is rarely found in a tournament unless the table is set and it is clear.
  • Impassable comes up at times when you get that lump of scenery that just is silly and hard to work with.
  • Weird odd and end scenery like ammo dumps, fuel dumps, tank traps and such now also have to be reviewed as well if they are practical in a game.
 What we see here is that Ruins, Area Terrain and Impassable are going to be the common staples. Mysterious Terrain, Artifacts, Dangerous Terrain and Weird Scenery are going to only crop up to a well prepared event and perhaps local tournaments. If I ran an event I would have cards or a worksheet for a table stating the trees are Mysterious or that the fuel dump is actually that and provide the rules for easy reference. Spelling out a table to me settles any vague or oversights by players when it comes to scenery. This also takes more prep time from a TO than the usual unless you setup a format.
 Fortifications is another sore spot in events, it appears most events are going to try it with limits such as Nova has said no Skyshields and Fortresses. Our local tournament has allowed everything but the Fortress at our next event. These count to the amount of scenery which also has to be factored in when it comes to scenery.
 A TO here have to think about Fortifications and how to deal with them in a game, the obvious choices are:
  • Not allow them, thus saving the time and headache.
  • Allow them within limits (as I gave some examples above) and preset the scenery explaining the players can only place the fortification in the empty spots in their deployment zone.
  • Place scenery on the table for the first game, and then allow players to random it for the next game by rolling to move each item using a scatter and 2d6.
  • Preset the amount of scenery on every table and allow the players to place the scenery along with their Fortifications.
 Another thing to consider is non-GW Fortifications. This came up at our local tournament for August in the planning and was discussed. The early choice was to allow GW only items. Well, these limits to what players could take to fit their list. If they had Orks and Tau they was crap out of luck as they would either have to “capture or loot” an Imperial Variant. Then, I and others brought up why could not a Tau player make a Bastion or an Ork player scratch build their own to fit their theme. This not only adds to the hobby aspect of the game and enriches the game in visual appeal. The key here is to set the scenery size limits to avoid anyone modeling to an advantage (i.e. a Skyshield the size of 1/6 of a table section) to take advantage of the perk.
 Warlord Traits is another topic flying around being discussed by events. Here are some ideas I have seen posted:
  • Not allow Warlord Traits
  • Nova allows you to pick two charts, roll on each and pick. Time consuming.
  • Our local tournament added a layer that after each game the Warlord survives he can roll again on the next mission for another trait on a different chart. Thus at the end of a 3 round tournament he could have one from all three if they never die. As they gain each Warlord trait their VP value goes up also.
 The first one just eliminates the tracking and possibility of a dishonest player from taking advantage of the system. The other system makes it easier but you have to roll each game before the start, thus eating into time. The last, eats into time slightly, could be open to abuse as well if the other player is not paying attention or the player lies to the TO or if the results paperwork verifies it somehow.
 So, if I organized a small event of say 5-10 tables, here is what I would consider doing:
  • Set the same amount of scenery per table. With d3 per 2x2 that works to a 9-18 range. So the median here is between 4-5 (4.5 to be exact) add that to a minimum of 1 per section should work out to 13-14 items per table. Now if there are large items, you would reduce this, smaller you could up this slightly for balance.
  • Allow players to place the scenery and their fortifications as normal. Terrain is on the table and already defined. Get a table edge; put your fortification down or scenery (if you have none), alternate until everything is out. Rule is something should be in every 2x2 area (at least 1 item) you may place scenery anywhere on the table.
  • Terrain will be defined by a sheet of scenery guidelines and I would plan to bring my own scenery to fill in the gaps as needed.
  • Allow Warlord traits, changes each game and you roll in front of your opponent. You get what you get.
  • Allow Fortifications, bottom line is this anything goes as long as you work it into the scenery deployment. If you spent $115 for a Fortress and paint it, you deserve to play with it, it eats into your points (that is almost the cost of a marine squad with a rhino after upgrades). 
What do you think about the future of tournaments small and large?

1 comment:

  1. I'll start by saying so far I like the 6th Edition rules, and I do like tournaments and would like to get involved in them.

    That said, technically there aren't any 40k tournaments. There are tournaments based on the game Warhammer 40k, but they drop rules, make changes, and add rules and or limitations. They're not really playing 40k. Fundamentally 40k is not a level playing field balanced game, so TO's come up with their own rules based on the game 40k to hold competitions. It's not 40k. 40k the game as I read it, has warlord traits, you can purchase a FoR, has mysterious terrain, and allows 2xFOC at 2k. Any thing less isn't 40k. That's fine, and I'm cool with that, but calling them 40k tournaments is inaccurate.

    I find so many parallels between 40k and WoW. I see the same level of addiction and obsession that maintains the player base. I see the same attempts to make something competitive that is fundamentally flawed and designed NOT to be competitive or balanced. I also see the same "types" of players, casual(fluffy), WAAC(raiders), and competitive(PVPers).

    just mah $0.02.


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