Thursday, January 20, 2011

What I want in tourneys [editorial]

by: farmpunk

When 40k Tournaments come up, there are certain things I prefer to see, as I decide if I will attend or not. Location, Ruleset (which includes comp, missions, pairings), and opportunity cost. SandWyrm and I have spelled out some of the things we like to see as we plan an event. In planning an event, you honestly get to choose how you feel to BEST do your event. When choosing to go to someone Else's event, you're not so lucky.

I'm a gamer. I play games. Games are fun to me. Gaming also implies competition. I don't mind competing with people. There are a few rare games that don't rely on one group competing with the other. (Shadows over Camelot, Forbidden Island, and Arkham Horror are a few I recall that are co-op) My wife really likes those games, and I do as well.

40K isn't a Co-op game. It's designed for two people to play against each other. One person wins, one person loses. I prefer to only have to know who won, and who lost. In a competition, winning or losing is what matters. In the spirit of KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid), winning or losing is the measurable outcome of the game.

40K is not like the GRE or ACT, where relative ability is possibly measured. 40K can measure who beat whom. I feel trying to get into how much someone beat someone else is beginning to attempt to split hairs, and introduce a different game into a 40K competition.

I suppose if you want to compose a different game (Battlepoints+PaintPoints+SportsmanPoints) to play superimposed on a series of games of 40K, go right ahead. A tournament system can be as complicated as a TO wants it to be.

A ranking system can be devised, but also needs a lot of data points (games), and preferably a standardized game (no weird missions, like anything that DeepStrikes is worth 3x it's KP's, or BattlePoint tourneys vs. W/L tourneys. If the ranking system is based on BP's, what's to stop people from making outrageous missions to boost their buddy's scores?) Without standardization, the ranking system can quickly skew to favor people, and then fails to be a representation of what it's meant to be: a ranking for the skill of generals. I don't think a ranking system should expand to include Paint or Sportsmanship. Do Separate rankings for Sportsmanship and Paint.

I used to like going to BattlePoint tourneys where the goal was to read the missions ahead of time, design a force to best compete at the released missions, and maximize the number of points you could squeeze out of your opponent/mission/paint score combination.

The thing was, those tournaments were pretty much the only game in town. If you wanted to compete, you had to play in a tourney with Comp, home-brewed missions, and do everything you could to accumulate the most points (through painting, and sucking up to your opponent). Every aspect of the day is competition. Even down to how nice you are to your opponent is a competition (bring cookies). Of course, your opponent could still decide to be a jerk, and rate you low on Sportsmanship points, It's a subjective score after all.

Comp was supposed to 'level' the playing field, so only the 'best' generals (with their handicap lists) would win, and the prizes went to the people who got the highest combination of Battle Points, Sports Points, Composition Points, and Painting Points. This would show you who the Ultimate 40K gamer hobbyist was.

One thing that always got me was the practice of paying to have your army professionally painted, to get higher scores, and therefore place higher at tournaments. Then One could tie or minor victory their first game, so they play easier opponents to crush during the rest of the day (maximizing their point totals), and then win best overall, without actually having to play very challenging opponents in the pairing system.

I've come to appreciate a much simpler concept for tournaments. Multiple categories of scores, jockeying and playing the game of the tournament system to maximize your totals at the end of the day, is TOO COMPLICATED. I'm not saying a BP tournament system with multiple score categories is wrong, it's just not my cup of tea. (I prefer warm Chai with a half teaspoon of sugar, or Irish Breakfast straight)

I think a BP system with layers of scoring, and swiss-pairing according to BP's, allows for an unnecessary layer of game superimposed on the tournament system.

I like to see the aspects of the Hobby separated out, as distinct elements. This means a Painting competition, and a tournament of games. Perhaps a Separate Sportsmanship award (if needed)

I hear Painters and Hobbyists complaining about how at events, The Hobby Aspect isn't appreciated. I think Hobby should be celebrated, even though it's an aspect I'm not fascinated by. (I don't honestly have an abundance of time for modeling and painting)

There Should be a Painting (and possibly even a Conversion) Contest at every event. I Suppose you could come up with a scoresheet to evaluate every entry for complexity and skill. You could also have a few 'experienced' artists evaluate each category. Category? Sure, why not?

If we're celebrating all aspects of the hobby, why not have a category for a troop, transports, and a Heroic figure?

Painting your own stuff should be rewarded, and rewarding.

Sportsmanship is good to have too, but is a quality I think that should be expected of people who attend a tournament. I think Sportsmanship doesn't need to have a prize, as it's hard to standardize judging how nice someone is. You can vote on a best sportsman, but what's to stop Scroodge McDuck from bringing more cronies allong to vote for him? You can have a dedicated judge for sportsmanship... really? Shouldn't we just expect people to behave? (aka Don't be a dick)

I think the Judges of the event should be given Cards. A Red, and a Yellow card. 3 Yellow Cards is an ejection, and so is 1 Red card. Gentlemanly conduct is expected at all time.

I haven't worked out in my head what conduct garners a yellow vs. red card. I think most definitely striking at or threatening your opponent is a Red Card.

It's possible You could work out some system where prizes are garnished for incurring yellow cards.

Games. I want to see Win/Lose evaluations. How badly I beat someone shouldn't matter. What matters at the end of the day should be who won the most of their games. Crushing your opponent doesn't matter in W/L. The margin of victory is unimportant. I've found more people to act in a more civil fashion when they just had to win, not grind their opponent's bones to make their bread.

Does W/L stop people from being Jerks and pulling dirty tricks? (WAAC behaviors) no, it does not. Any competition will have people who persist in attempting to cheat (like paying someone else to paint your models in a paint competition) heh. Paint at all Costs.

For W/L to work well however, you need missions that are difficult to tie. Mike Brandt (MVB) at Whiskey & 40K, of NOVA Open fame, has put forth a good deal of thought on the subject. And done some playtesting. I've put in my own thoughts as well.

I like having Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary objectives, with VP's for tie breaking, and swiss pairing according to W/L record.

For missions:
5 Objectives (one in the center of the board, and one more in each of the table quarters) As MVB states, in his playtests, this objective favors Multiple Small Unit forces, as they can spread out, and contest/claim a lot of stuff.

Table Quarters (amount of Pts. per quarter decides winner) This actually is a disadvantage for MSU armies, as they're going to be in areas where Bricks can dominate, and outweigh them

Kill Point %. I really like doing a 4+1 or a 3+2 KP mission. As Dodger3 will point out, a lowered KP mission favors MSU too much. It's pretty easy even with a 3+2 mission for an MSU army to hide KP's in reserve, or in tanks.

On the converse, a regular KP mission heavily favors Bricks too much. I'm toying with the idea of using KP% (and winning means you beat your opponent by 20%). I think it might more accurately represent the amount of casualty.

Another idea put forward by MVB, is the margin concept, where to win a KP mission, you must win by 3 KP's. This does serve to balance high KP forces against Bricks, and not make a KP mission an auto-loose (like when I bring 23KP's of WH up against an 8KP army. I can kill 90% (simplified) of his army, and all he's got to do is kill 40% (simplified) of my army to win with straight KP's.)

Then there's always good 'ol Victory Points. They serve best as a tie breaker, I think.

 I'd love to see tournaments that are as fair as possible to all entrants, that encourage separate competitions for all aspects of the hobby. Tournaments should be as objective as possible. Leave subjective voting to stuff like American Idol, and Popularity contests.

Also, don't restrict what people can or can't bring and play. That impinges upon their right to show up to an event and have fun with what they feel like bringing.

Let's make tournaments about who wins the most, and Paint about who wins at painting. Then, give out an award to the person who scored highest in the two competitions.

at least, that's what I'd like to see


  1. Honestly, I think you convinced yourself that Table Quarter VPs hinders MSU just to help sell yourself on %KP.

    I can't see any way whatsoever that Table Quarter VPs hinders MSU. A "brick" can outweigh them? What? We're playing with the same amount of points. Put four of your 100-point units in the same quarter as the 400-point "brick" and you've balanced it out.

    If anything, MSU has dramatically more flexibility in a Table Quarter VP mission. Imagine we're playing a simple boardgame with 4 squares where the goal is to have a higher presence in each square than your opponent, and whoever wins the most squares wins the game.

    You get 10 cubes worth 1, and I get 2 cubes worth 5. We both have 10 "value" worth of cubes.

    I put my two "5" cubes in two squares.

    You then proceed to put one of your "1" cubes in each of the four squares.

    You officially cannot lose this game. I am unable to spread my presence to all four squares, and the weight of my presence in other squares is wasted--winning 5-1 does me no good, all I'm doing is winning one square, which is worth just as much as you winning 1-0.

    Playing a Table Quarter VP mission, you'd be FAR better served with 15 units that cost 100 points apiece than 5 units that cost 300 points apiece. I can't even imagine how you came to the conclusion that this hurts MSU.

    It's also important to point out that I don't believe this is a LARGE difference in practice, just that if there is any difference at all, it is absolutely one that goes directly opposite to what you've stated.

    In reality, the most important factor in a Table Quarter VP game is MOBILITY, not the size of your squads. The ability to spend Turns 5/6 rearranging your force to where you need the points weighted in your favor is what will usually decide these games. And we all know that mobility, via the majority of the army being bunkered in Transports, is another cornerstone of MSU.


    (p.s.: a lowered KP mission favors MSU too much)

  2. Bricks can easily sit in the center of the board, and dominate it, then shift in the last turn to outwiegh the MSU forces where they need to. The brick's mobility is the fact that it can dominate center table with high resilience units.

    I'm not saying it's a huge margin, but in Mike's playtesting of table quarter missions, they found brick armies to come out on top over MSU's in TQ missions.

    The brick has to pick off MSU stuff, and then outweigh the opponent. It's easier for a brick to take out bits of a MSU force (transports?)

  3. You can only sit your Death Star in the middle of the board if the enemy plays it like an Objective game and fights you for the middle of the board. That's simply people doing what they're accustomed to rather than adjusting for the mission at hand, and bad tactics do not make a bad mission.

    What "brick" armies are you even hypothetically working with that can ever win a shooting war against a modern IG/SW army? I don't care if you're Fatecrusher or Nob Bikers or Thunderwolves or a giant mob of Death Company, you're only winning if you're bashing in heads. There's not really a viable "shooting Death Star" in the game at the moment, and that means these "brick" armies are almost exclusively relying on Assault.

    You know the problem with Assault in a Table Quarters game? The enemy gets to decide where the fighting happens. If the enemy is dumb enough to allow this to be anywhere near the table center, then they deserve to lose.

    I assure you, no amount of Nobz or Bloodcrushers can just sit in the table center being shot at for six turns and then spread out at the last second and achieve glorious victory.

    In essence, the table center is only relevant if both players decide to make it relevant. An MSU player allowing this to happen has made a dire tactical mistake, and should absolutely lose the game because of it.

    It's like that game that most of us have had, playing Seize Ground, where we're destroying the other player and then suddenly realize that we're not playing Annihilation and get a 0-0 or 1-1 Draw because we weren't paying attention. People putting their army on auto-pilot rather than playing to their strengths based on the specifics of the mission is far too common, and accomodations should not be made for their benefit.

  4. your analysis is what I'd thought at first also. I'm basing some of my opinion on second hand playtesting.

    I suppose a deathwing could sit in the center and do well (but only since last week's FAQ update)

    here's mike's article. I will hotlink it in my article.
    It's from back in September.

    I think too many people try to point and click with their armies. I like missions that require a bit more thinking than, "Grok SMASH!"
    or 'peace through moar heavy weapons, and Str10 pieplates'
    I think 5th ed brought mobility into much higher importance.

    although I ran similar lists in 4th ed, because my codex hasn't changed, and light armor saturation worked then (but not nearly as well as it does now).

    I had thought about a KP's left as a balance to KP's killed. but I think it's about as silly a mission as KP's killed, and almost as unfair.

  5. The difference between KP's left and KP's killed is that someone actually starts the game winning. Before a shot is fired, before turn 1, before deployment, someone is winning and probably by an insanely wide margin. They get to play defensively the entire game without ever having done anything to earn that right.

    It's also really clear once you even LOOK at the concept of Reserves that it absolutely would not function the same in reverse. You'd have armies with Reserve tricks who could purposefully KEEP themselves in Reserve until Turn 5 if they started the game with more KPs and effectively win by not playing the game.

    It also gets right back into all the same problems we had when we saw the missions for since-abandoned Feb. 12 tournament where half the missions were based on "units" and every Space Marine army gets to double up at the start of the game.

  6. heh. your first paragraph outlines almost exactly how I feel when I'm lining up against someone with half the KP's I have.

    all they've got to do it pop a rhino and they've won. (which is usually how I lose games, they pop a few cheap transports, and I've got to kill 2/3 of their army to equal that.)

    Reserves manipulation are a good deal of why I think inverse KP's is a silly mission. In curing one problem (point imbalance of KP's) you're creating another problem (no play wins).

    I think I'd like KP's much better if they were by force org slot, so the squad is the KP. or just use VP's.

    as it stands, Smurfs have a HUGE advantage in being able to combat squad. A good advantage in quarters, objectives, and KP missions.

    When I read the Feb12th missions I thought "so if I want to compete, I'd better play 'counts as' a Space Marine Chapter"
    I didn't like the mission design.

    I'm curious how WargamesCon (BoLS con) will handle their missions this year.

  7. "heh. your first paragraph outlines almost exactly how I feel when I'm lining up against someone with half the KP's I have."

    The difference being, you can tweak down the KPs in your army. It's vastly harder to tweak KPs UP for other armies.

    Instead of taking two 5-man squads of Grey Hunters in two Razorbacks, you can take a 10-man squad of Grey Hunters in a Rhino and you just halved your KPs. These are the sort of decisions a KP mission forces people to make, and because of the inherent advantages of MSU in Objective games, is the entire point.

    On the flipside, what does a Tyranid/Daemon/Horde Ork player do if they want MORE KPs? All we can do is swap 200-point squads for other 200-point squads. Not everybody has the flexibility of the Imperial armies, which is something plenty of people tend to overlook.

    KPs by Force Org slot can't happen, solely because of how the Codexes are designed. You buy three Sanguinary Priests for a single Elites slot, so who cares about Sanguinary Priest #1 and #2? Keep the third one hidden in the back and you have an unkillable KP that's still actively contributing to the game.

    And I went with "Sanguinary Priests" in that example because even thinking about Guard Platoons in that system would cause blood to spurt out of my ears.

  8. I hate kill point missions because I play MSU style with Guard, Space Wolves, and Daemonhunters. Even with the tyrnaids, KP's suck.

    Now if I played Daemons where I could take 7 kill points and beat face then maybe that would be different. I understand I could take 8 kill points with Space Wolves, but I don't enjoy that type of army.

    The problem is that people look at any circumstance in their life as positive or negative for them. Positive for me that I have multiple small units in 2 of 3 mission, and negative in KP's. Unless I change my army and style of play which is highly unlikely, I will always think KP's suck for me.

    Now maybe when the New Grey Knight codex comes out I will be able to field 7 kill points like Dodger3 can and I will have no issues KP's but until that happens......

    And Dodger3, since when have the other 2 missions had ANY affect on your ability to win games.....?


  9. This all comes down to my biggest problem with tournaments. It used to be you showed up and played your best. If you wanted to be competitive you built an army that was able to accommodate all missions possible. Now it’s how to make it equal for all play styles and armies. The answer is you don’t at least not with a variety of missions. If you want equality then use VP’s. If it’s truly just about winning then just play to kill your opponent. Make it single elimination and play until one man is left standing and he gets all the glory. No points for second place. If you think hard enough it’s probably the best way to do it without doing a full round robin over the course of a week or so.

    The biggest problem is it just isn’t that much fun. That’s where people try and get creative with missions to make a more interesting event. Now let’s be reasonable you can probably do 3-4 games in a day maybe 5 but that’s pushing it. With that few of games you don’t get one champion so then you haven’t determined at all who the best player is. Which is what a tournament should be about right? That is where all the soft scoring and stuff comes from so that at the end of the day you could have just one champion. I am not saying it is the best way but if you really want a tournament and want a champion then you need a way to rank players. If you don’t have a single champion is it really a tournament? I would say it isn’t. If you want a competition then by all means have a competition.

    I would just say save yourself the headache of trying to determine who the best is and being equal to all armies. If you really want to know who the best is have a season or organize a massive round robin event. Sure that way takes a long time but that’s what happens when you play a game that takes a long time. As far as events/tournaments I will attend as many as I can because I enjoy them. There is no one system better than another there are just different systems. I play the game to play the game and that means sometimes I play missions that suck for my army. Sometimes I win and sometimes I lose it’s part of the game.

    Bottom line is. Adapting to the mission at hand is part of the challenge. I think for most competitive players they prefer a solid challenge. Usually that means a solid opponent. But if you think about the victories that mean the most aren’t they the ones where you’ve had the greatest challenge to overcome both with an opponent and with a mission. For me if I lose a mission like that sure it sucks nobody likes losing but it’s no more a loss than any other mission but if I win it’s more than just another victory to me.

    The problem is if the missions aren’t fair then giving out prizes for winning isn’t fair. If you’re worried about your ego because you lost believe me it will pass. I say for those of you who want to hold an event hold one that you would like to play in. If people like it they may hold events similar to it and you may get the chance to play in one. For guys that want to play just roll with it you can’t win them all and you never know you might just enjoy something different.

    It just seems that there are people on a quest for the holy grail of 40k events. What is the best format and such? I say the best event is one you would like to play in and that is the kind of event you should hold. There is no perfect system out there and there is no best system either. If you’re one of those who wants to know whether or not you’re the best player out there let me help you with that. You are. Now let’s get on with the game.

  10. My idea for KP missions has always been this:

    EnemyKPKilled + YourOwnKPRemaining = Final Score

    Which solves the problem of people having one elite model left, but winning a mission where they only killed half of the enemy army.

  11. "Which solves the problem of people having one elite model left, but winning a mission where they only killed half of the enemy army. "

    And somehow the reverse circumstance of killing half the enemy army, while they only kill a unit or two, somehow resulting in a win doesn't strike you as worse?

    I think everyone is optimistically underestimating the difference between the difficulty in killing something versus the difficulty in keeping something alive.

    If you allow someone to play defensively from the outset, you are granting them a ridiculous upperhand for no reason aside from "well, your army had more units, so go ahead and turtle up in cover."

    Missions that begin with one player ALREADY winning the game are inherently flawed. Saying to one player "well, stay alive" and to the other player "outkill him by a 2:1 margin and you might get a draw" is deeply flawed.

    A tournament I attended in Cincinnati had a mission that was designed attacker/defender Victory Points. The defender's goal was to keep X amount of their VP's alive, and the attacker's goal was to gain X amount of the defender's VPs.

    Out of twelve tables, the defenders won eleven of them. Any mission that grants you equal points for keeping your KPs alive (or vastly worse, ONLY for keeping your KPs alive) would result in this exact scenario, where the player with more KPs plays the role of the defender.

    There were literally whole tables where it looked like a game hadn't been played. Anyone playing defense against Tau/IG/Shooty Marines just went to ground or hid behind LoS-blocking terrain and won by actively refusing to play. There was an Ork (attacker) vs. Eldar (defender) table of seven Skimmers Flat Out'ing across the board every turn; I'm not sure the guy ever even got a chance to swing at them.

    Comparing situations like that to "well, it FEELS like I'm already losing KP missions, because I have Transports" is ludicrous.

  12. @Dodger3

    Your example is passionate, but doesn't address my idea. You're not understanding the formula.

    Let's say an 8KP army fights a 16KP army. Let's say that they each kill half of the enemy army's units.

    Under the standard system the more elite army gets 8 KP, while the MSU army gets only 4. If they each kill 3/4 of the enemy army, the scores are 12 and 6. The Elite army therefore has a 50% advantage across the board. That's rediculous. MSU doesn't give you that kind of advantage in objective missions.

    Under my idea/system, the elite army would get 12 KP (8 Enemy dead + 4 Surviving) for a 50/50 split, while the MSU army also gets 12 KP (4 Enemy dead + 8 Surviving). If they each kill 3/4 of the enemy, then the elite army gets 14 KP (12 + 2), while the MSU army gets 10 KP (4 + 6).

    Therefore, the Elite army still has an advantage. But it's not an auto-win advantage. They still have to get out there and kill things, and after the 50% mark, their advantage increases steadily. The more they kill the greater their advantage will be.

    I think it's a very simple, elegant solution that as both an MSU (IG) and Elite (BA) player, I can get behind.

  13. And your math is only working with examples where DRAMATIC damage is caused to both sides. The mission would flat out not play like that. Saying the elite army has an "advantage" (i.e., a draw) if they kill 50% of an army that's playing defensively from the outset requires you to blatantly ignore how such a game would actually play out on the tabletop.

    If each side kills 25% of each other's army, the MSU army wins 14-10.

    First, everything goes in Reserve. The game does not begin until Turn 2 (the bottom of Turn 2 if MSU wins the roll-off, and would elect to go second), upon which half the enemy army arrives, with a six-foot board edge to determine where the most defensible position is--plus any Outflanks to make things worse.

    The elite army now has 3-4 turns to kill ALL OF THAT, while the opposition does nothing except attempt to stay alive. How hard is it to get all your Chimeras behind AV14 fronts of Russes? Or all your Rhinos behind Land Raiders? Ever watched an Ork/Daemon/Tyranid army try to shoot through AV14? Or try to catch a wall of Cruising Speed Vehicles just to get an attempt to hit them on sixes?

    Anybody on this board can bring me their Guard army and play my Daemons under those conditions.

    And again, people often neglect to think about non-Imperial armies, but a Tau army with sufficient KPs could nearly auto-win this mission against an elite opponent by only putting ~4-5 units on the table prior to Turn 5.

  14. Ok, first off, I don't know of any way to keep half of my IG off the table until turn 5. The odds say that most of my army, the vast majority, will be on by turn 3. Even without reserve manipulation, such as an astropath or BA's decent of angels, that only brings them on sooner. Whether I like it or not.

    Second, piddling my force in from reserves is the most sure-fire way to LOSE to an elite army, regardless of the scoring system. It allows them to concentrate on my weaker individual units one at a time.

    All that Sanguinary Guard, Nobs, Daemons, or the new Deathwing would have to do is control the middle of the table and mop me up as I came on with their long-range fire (or Fateweaver supported CC units). The only reason they'd have to advance on me is to kill my Russes, assuming they don't have multi-meltas available.

    No, the best way to kill elite armies is to stay on the table and castle up. But every castle has a weak point that can be hit. It's not hard for one Nob unit to kill 3+ tanks if they can get into your defensive ring. Multi-charges are a bitch for MSU. While spreading out lets a fast elite army like Eldar or Sanguinary Guard to jump around and defeat you in detail.

    Staying off the table doesn't work for Tau either, as they depend on blocking units like Kroot to slow down opponents so their Suits can do their work. Take away a part of the army and the rest falls apart.

    Yes kills + survivors gives MSU an advantage in the early game, but I can count on two fingers the number of games out of the last hundred I've played where there weren't at least 50% casualties on both sides. You forget that to deal with Terminators or other CC specialists that MSU armies have to FEED them troops to delay their advances long enough to shoot them dead.

  15. "Ok, first off, I don't know of any way to keep half of my IG off the table until turn 5."

    The half of your army that arrives on Turn 2 are likely to be the only viable targets, as any Assault-based army will have to react in force against those targets. Anything arriving later can claim even safer refuge by coming in distant from the fighting.

    Regardless, that's the amount of stuff an elite army would have to kill--with 3-4 turns to do so.

    "Second, piddling my force in from reserves is the most sure-fire way to LOSE to an elite army, regardless of the scoring system. It allows them to concentrate on my weaker individual units one at a time. "

    Playing ANY OTHER MISSION, you'd be correct. But this isn't any other mission.

    "their long-range fire"

    What long-range fire?

    DoA BA rarely have anything with greater than 12" range.

    You know the odds of 10 Lootas to kill a single Chimera that's getting a cover save from Smoke (guaranteed for a turn) or hiding behind a bigger tank (common sense for the rest of the game)? 19% on the average roll of 2 shots. 28% if you jump them up to a guaranteed 3 shots.

    Take a second and picture three MM/HB Land Speeders. Now imagine those Multi-Meltas didn't actually have the Melta special rule and the Heavy Bolters were 24". At 2000 points, add a fourth Land Speeder. That's the anti-tank Shooting my Daemon tournament lists are capable of.

    [Blogger is cutting off my post; cont. below)

  16. "Staying off the table doesn't work for Tau either, as they depend on blocking units like Kroot to slow down opponents so their Suits can do their work. Take away a part of the army and the rest falls apart."

    Find a Tau Codex and look up something called a Positional Relay. With a 16:8 KP advantage, they could practically guarantee a draw by staying off the table, even if their units on the table prior to Turn 5/6 ALL died and killed nothing in return. If one of their oriignal four units survive OR they kill one unit (including the huge force that rides onto the table on the final turn, guns blazing) they win, no questions asked. That is a flawed mission.

    "but I can count on two fingers the number of games out of the last hundred I've played where there weren't at least 50% casualties on both sides."

    Again, you're making the mistake of assuming this will play out like any other mission. Your "last hundred" games haven't used this mission.

    Your idea would work great if you told everyone they were playing Annihilation, then ran up at the end and yelled "SURPRISE! We're playing modified KPs!" so the games all played out exactly like a normal Annihilation game.

    From that perspective, I'm sure it looks fine. I'm sure you've done math at the end of your normal Annihilation games and gone "man, if this was KPs killed + KPs surviving, that would have been a really close game!"

    Unfortunately, people WOULD NOT play this like an Annihilation game. They SHOULD NOT. The person with more KPs in their list starts with a drastic tactical advantage and to NOT take advantage of that would just be stupid; any matchup with a ~5 KP spread between the two armies results in the person with more KPs playing a stall/keep-away game via Reserves and vehicle movement.

    All of your math, and all of your assumptions, are based on the core idea that both players will play this like any other mission and go after each other's throats. But they won't.

    Like I said, I've seen this. You have no idea how unhappy everyone was about that offense/defense VPs mission after that tournament in Cincinnati. Imagine being the Ork player who's forced to chase a Mech Eldar army which has no incentive to ever do anything but Flat Out every turn--or in fact, every incentive to do just that. And if you don't kill 50% of that Eldar army, you lose.

    How can that possibly sound like a fun or balanced mission?

  17. Dodger:"The half of your army that arrives on Turn 2 are likely to be the only viable targets, as any Assault-based army will have to react in force against those targets. Anything arriving later can claim even safer refuge by coming in distant from the fighting."

    SW: And they'll be facing the full fury of the entire elite army. I need all my firepower massed to deal with Daemons or Blood Angels dropping on me. How do you think I'd fare with only half of my units, randomly assigned?

    So that's 50% gone right there. After that the odds for the elite army only improve, while the MSU army takes it in the shorts for not deploying all at once. Yeah, I can save maybe 25% of my remaining force by coming on far away from you. But that's all. You're going to kill at least 66% of my army, while losing maybe 33%.

    Dodger: "What long-range fire? DoA BA rarely have anything with greater than 12" range."

    My revamped SangGuard will have 4 Multi-Melta Speeders with an effective 36" range and 2 Typhoons that can hit anything on the table.

    ALL LISTS need effective long-range anti-tank fire. I'm sorry if Daemons don't have many options, but you do have invulnerable saves and Fateweaver. They didn't have any problem beating my castled MSU army… twice in a row. :)

    D3: "You know the odds of 10 Lootas to kill a single Chimera that's getting a cover save from Smoke (guaranteed for a turn) or hiding behind a bigger tank (common sense for the rest of the game)? 19% on the average roll of 2 shots. 28% if you jump them up to a guaranteed 3 shots."

    But you have a much greater chance of Stunning or Immobilizing that Chimera. Which makes the unit vulnerable later to close combat. 10 Lootas WILL do something to an AV12 target. Orks also have plenty of fast units that can roll up a spread out force.

    D3: "Find a Tau Codex and look up something called a Positional Relay.

    SW:The positional relay has to be on the table to function. Do you really think that Daemons couldn't kill this model (or models) on turn 1 or 2? Really?

    Or, you know, use tactics. Put that huge unit of fiends along the table edge and force all walking reserves to come on where you want them. This includes his Kroot, unmounted Fire Warriors, and Broadside Suits. Put your flying Daemons in the middle of the table so they can assault his suits as they arrive piecemeal.

    "Again, you're making the mistake of assuming this will play out like any other mission. Your "last hundred" games haven't used this mission."

    If 95% of my game included > 50% casualties on both sides, then YES, my experience does count. Because that's the math we're talking about here. At any kill rate over 50% an elite army would have an advantage.

    You still seem to think that one person is "winning" the game at the beginning. But that thinking is flawed. Because you can't go through the game unscathed against any but the most incompetent or unlucky opponents. What matters is the score at the end.

    And again, that offense/defense mission (as described) IS NOT WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HERE. Apples and oranges. Not the same.

  18. We can playtest this idea any time you like.

  19. Works for me, as long as I'm the one playing IG. I'm at G2D4 every Saturday, feel free to bring me an army resembling this:

    CCS, 3x Plasma
    Chimera - ML/HF

    Vets, 2x Melta
    Chimera - ML/HF

    Vets, 3x Melta
    Chimera - ML/HF

    Vets, 3x Melta

    Vets, 3x Plasma

    Vets, 3x Plasma




    Russ Battle Tank, Lascannon

    Russ Battle Tank, Lascannon

    That's 1500 @ 14KP vs. my 8KP tournament list, so you'd only have to win by 4 KP rather than 5 like 16v8.

  20. I'd rather the most experienced player play each army, with advice from the other. Less a competitive match than a mutual attempt to break the system.


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