Thursday, December 9, 2010

Interesting Comments on BoLS

by SandWyrm

In case you haven't noticed, my article criticizing battlepoint tourneys was picked up by Brent and re-published over on Bell of Lost Souls yesterday. The response has been impressive: 200+ comments as of this writing.

By and large, the comments are mostly civil and positive, aside from a couple of small flame wars over unrelated tangents. I'm pleasantly surprised at their thoughtfulness (for BoLS) and how many people seem to agree with my points.

I'm especially surprised at how many avowedly "uncompetitive" readers had very positive responses. Particularly to my idea about having multiple undefeated winners splitting the prizes. Which I suppose reinforces a couple of truths. 1) These guys feel left out. 2) Everyone likes a fair event.

Marshall Lambie had a good idea too, which I'll repeat here for our consideration:
what you really need is a nationwide masters tournament type deal, where the best people at a local club play for the top 2 spots, then go to a regional event, top 2 or 3 from that go on to state wide or district wide, and then have a final ultimate deathmatch arena tournament, all the baby seals will be weeded out, but still have had their fun at the lower levels, and the "big boys and girls" can duke it out amonst themselves, with the disparity between best and worst player diminished.


  1. I try to stay away from BoLS, as I am constantly apalled at some of the egos and mindsets over there. I just come here to read your posts... There's plenty of competitive tactica here without the megalomania!

  2. Zing! Result Sandwyrm... that system makes perfect sense to me and mirrors the approach of many 'proper' competitive individual but 'open' sports. The opportunity for the talented beginner is held up, while giving no one a 'safe' ride to the top table.

    At the main tournament - gloves are off. Combined with your suggestion, this is a fair and excellent way to reduce numbers.

    HOWEVER ... for your WAAC players, wouldn't they simply change affliation/catchment area and prey on a weaker clubs/store in order to cheat their way in? So the journey to the ultimate tourney isn't fullproof, but the mix at the tourney is hard as nails.

    Good work.

  3. I like that Idea. It kind of takes the Tournament Circuit Idea but makes it more accessable. Nice.

    Great job on your article making it on BOLS. I even read someone said it was the best article Brent ever wrote. Brent did reply it wasn't his. Great Job!

  4. I reckon the vast majority of WAAC players would be scared to move demographical area, especially since they won't be able to compete with the genuine cream of the crop using their one-dimensional approaches.

    Congrats on being BoLS'd, and I'm glad the responses have been positive, because you are right.

  5. @Suneokun

    If someone wants to join multiple clubs and travel to other cities for multiple shots at a spot... eh. As long as they're playing by each club's rules it's not cheating. I'm sure the same thing happens with the PGA masters. The time and expense will also limit this somewhat.

  6. Wow, talk about completely missing the point of your article.

    Yes, I think that is a great idea. Be it states, regions, districts, whatever. It would never be organized or implemented, but it's a great idea.

    However, it has nothing to do with the hobby style tournament. All that system does is promote seal-beating on a national scale. Yes, you will have the two best seal-beaters duking it out, but YOU WILL HAVE THE TWO BEST SEAL-BEATERS DUKING IT OUT. What does that have anything to do with a hobby-style tournament?

    Also, think about the results. Whoever wins the national seal-beating contest will be put up on a pedestal and his name will be thrown around the forums and blogs as the Player Everyone Should Be Like.

    He will actually be the politician you describe in your first post!

    It is funny to see people who are so stuck in the "competitive tournament" box that they can't possibly see the alternatives. Your original post started the wheels of thoughts turning. The "deathmatch" arena idea is nothing but an example of what your article pointed out as the problem.

    There are many ways to hold "tournaments" that promote the hobby aspect. Your solution is great. I went on a different tangent with my articles ( The idea is to get people thinking about how to hold tournaments that don't promote seal-beating, WAACs, and politicians.

    Putting a higher percentage of the overall score on painting or sportsmanship is not the answer - it's just more of the same. So the politician will get someone to paint better or will work on his personal skills more for the tournament. He's still being a seal-beater and skilling some of the better aspects of the hobby as a whole

    There are many people who avoid tournaments because of the reputation (right or wrong) that tournaments are filled with WAACs and rules-lawyers. There should be alternatives to this scene.

    And putting all the local tournaments into a ladder-style national seal-beating scoring system is not it.

  7. I guess I'm just out of the Loop on this one. I don't see how seal-beating is all that bad honestly. They signed up to play. Let them play their 3 games or however many if they lose they lose. I don't think the seal-beating is the issue at all.

    The real issue are the people beating the seals. The seal beaters are the ones that need to step up and talk to the seals after the games. Lets face it you play against a seal it takes you maybe an hour of a two hour allotted game time. Ask the seal if they'd like to talk about their army help them out. Keeping the seals from the beating isn't helping them at all. Instead give them a stick.

    Show the seals how to construct a better army and play style. Answer questions honestly when they are asked. Too often I see a vet beat a seal and laugh about it. Are you proud of beating a 12 year old? The seals aren't to blame with the right guidance they will be as good as sandwyrm or farmpunk with time.

    To sum it all up, give the seals a stick of their own. Protecting them will only make them that much more valuable and sought after in tournaments. Let the seal take it's bumps and bruises it makes them strong.

  8. And it's 239 as of this morning!

    It doesn't surprise me; it was a quality article and the Bell audience is meticulously fair... which isn't what I expected my first go around either.

    You'll always have the small percentage who refuse to read what you've set down in type but rather jump to assumptions about your character. WAAC is a bad word now. Ah well!

    Anyway, well done!

  9. yes, but can FAAC be just as bad a word? actually, It's more the AAC part of both. that's the problem. darned extremists.

    @rhionnay If seals show up to a tournament, they should expect to be beaten. At least a few times. Someone always gets to be the guy who sucked mud all day. It's reality. with winners, there are losers.

    What we are trying to mitigate is grinding their bones to make bread. To encourage more enjoyable games.

    We're trying to grow the hobby and encourage people to come to tournaments, since they're a good place to see new armies and meet new people.

    This thought process isn't something we woke up one day and had dawn on us. This has taken us 9 months. ok, we've been with this W/L concept since August, especially with how well NOVA went over.

    I suppose you could say we're selling the concept Mike Brandt and some others came up with for creating a fair, and friendly tournament environment.

  10. Win loss I understand completely, however I don't see W/L saving seals.

    If someone wants to slam a seal battle points or W/L will not save the seal. Some people are just savage. I've played against people who I have had to drag through the mud kicking and scream tabling them because they wont admit they have lost.

    In a W/L system come turn 3 if you are beating the lights out of whoever you're playing and they wont scream mercy what do you do? Keep beating them. Seals don't know when to stop and just say mercy, so people keep beating the hell out of them.

    W/L sounds like a great concept but why do you support it is the real question?
    -to protect seals
    -reward good sportsmanship
    -reward the best player
    -cut down on WAAC

    None of these things get fixed. The best thing to do is find a way for the seals to fight back. Seals still get hammered, sportsmanship goes unseen, the best player of course will always win, WAAC is still going to fly under the radar.

    On a side note I played a game against a guy that played with 2 different sized dice. I have heard the rumor that there are ways to roll big dice to make them land on certain things or w/e. Can someone find me the facts or an article explaining this? WAAC and cheating with dice go hand in hand for me.

  11. I don't think it's a matter of saving the seals. WAACs and seal-clubbers will always be around.

    It is more of a question of how to structure a tournament so simply beating the snot out of someone isn't the objective of every game.

    For example, in an objective based game, why do tournament organizers have victory points as being part of the scoring (or some other variation of killing more of your opponent). I am sure we have all played games where we lost most of our army because we played the mission, not just a variation of "kill the opponent".

    The reason they do this is to come up with a system where there are many elements to the scoring so someone can be declared "king".

    What happens, however, is that the games become very one-dimensional.

    So, this is not an effort to help newbs, make everyone feel "good" about themselves, or just another variation of group-hug therapy. This is an effort to create a tournament where the scoring system doesn't promote 90 variations of Annihilation, but allows for a variety of tactical styles and army variations.

  12. I have always been a fan of Kill points based on the total amount of points the unit is worth ex:
    0-75 1KP
    76-150 2KP
    151-225 3KP
    226+ 4KP

    so assume I take my 4 raider list I would have 21 KPs (ouch) however a razor wolves list would have roughly 18 KPs not a huge difference (assuming 5 man squads).

    This system can be easily filtered into a tournament that's W/L along with further leveling the playing field for seals. This is my way of giving the seals a club to fight back with.

  13. Per-point KPs has always been and will always be an awful idea. It leads to MUCH less decisionmaking in an army build, and becomes solely about maximizing the point brackets--whatever they may be.

    Say you have a unit that costs 75 points, like Scouts. Do you want to buy them a cool upgrade that costs 5 points? Well, you're doubling their Kill Points. Guess you aren't buying the cool upgrade.

    It becomes a contest to see whose army can stuff the most units into the very top ends of the point brackets. Do your units come out to a neat and tidy 150, or 155? If they do come out to 155, you'd better find a way to drop 5 points or shove in another 75 points to game the system--and if your 155 point unit won't function properly at 150 or 200+, then that unit has become a hindrance solely because of arbitrarily chosen point brackets.

  14. @Rionnay

    I see the objectives of this discussion as the following (in order of importance):

    1) Encourage True Competitive Play Instead of Random Seal-Beating.
    2) Make Tourneys More Inviting To Newbies.

    I'm not suggesting we coddle Newbies, but let's not use a system that encourages their humiliation. Newbies can usually handle losing. It's the humiliation of being ground into the dirt that keeps them from coming back the next time.

  15. @Lord Aki

    A national masters circuit like the one that Marshall Lambie suggests depends on a lot of other pieces falling into place first. You need regional clubs, standard tournament guidelines, a reliable ranking system, etc. But I think it's a worthy long-term goal.

    Done right, it would be nothing like the Seal-Fest that GW's Vegas event is going to be. Because GW has done nothing to standardize the qualifying events, much less ensure it's actual competitiveness.

  16. @Rionnay,

    We support it because it is a better way to run a fun, competitive tournament for a wide variety of people in our hobby. As a TO, it can be very stressful when there is major conflict during a tournament. And for all of those out there trying to find a nerdy, smarter than I am reason......, just come to one and you feel and see the difference. There isn't always an answer that is going to turn a skeptic into a believer. But I can tell you from playing in and winning the comp system style, battle point style, and the Win/Loss Style, I prefer the Win/Loss. As a TO that has run all 3, I also prefer Win/Loss.

    We tried something new with this last 28 person tournament. With a Win/Loss tournament and 28 players, we only used 1 TO/Judge. THATS IT! That was all that was needed. How amazing in itself is that? I spoke to players who actually told me. "I didn't feel I had to fight over every rule because there was less pressure to kill everything."

    Sometimes the right thing is a "feeling".

  17. I'm not a skeptic I just figure if GW wanted a Win/Loss system wouldn't they support that? The old rouge traider rules weren't that way they were battle points.

    So any info on the cheating dice?

  18. OH! We have a post from 6 months ago about that shows how to flop dice. Let me try and find it. I also played a guy in the semi-finals that used Casino dice to roll high. He rolled a 6 75% of the time. :(

  19. This the link for the "How do you call out a cheater".


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