There's been quite the debate in the comments for my post on Why Battlepoints Are Gimping Tourneys on both theBack40K and BoLS. Particularly from FireTeam_Nova, who runs a lot of events at the GP-South here in Indy. He (and others) raise many objections to W/L which I feel deserve a post of their own for a proper response.
Objection 1: "WAAC Is Just Human Nature, There's Not Much You Can Do About It!"
That's easy for someone to say, but it's hard for me to believe it based on my life experience. Do you really think that people don't respond to incentives? If you could win this game by hopping on one foot you'd see competitive players falling all over each other to do calf-strengthening exercises. People will do what they have to in a contest to compete for a win.
As it is, Battle-Point systems reward players for slaughtering newbs and punish them for hard games against good players. I've not only witnessed it, I've held my nose and done it. I haven't had to do it for two tourneys now, and I like it. So do Farmpunk, Spangy, and ScottyDon't. Together we comprise about half of the top-tier players in Indy. All of us have won local tourneys multiple times. Three of us have been to the 'Ard Boyz semi-finals (the 4th qualified, but couldn't go), while ScottyDon't went all the way to the finals in Chicago. So as a group we know the dynamics of BP scored tourneys quite well.
We've all also had the experience of thinking that others in this small group were WAAC after having played them in local BP Tournaments. Only to see a different side of them after playing in a W/L event. There is a difference, we've seen it. W/L lets people relax and play for the win instead of the massacre.
As I've said before, we only have one true WAAC player in all of Indy, and he's been banned from almost every store in town. We have another in training at the North Store, but he'd be knocked out by the end of the 2nd round in a W/L event. While in a BP event he could luck out and carry the day with a couple of seal beatings.
Objection 2: "Win/Loss Will Make WAAC Worse, Not Better!"
This one's also come up a few times, but I've yet to see someone spell out exactly how this would happen. In a W/L format the only pressure is to win. Not to kill every model on the table.
Besides the difference in attitudes this leads to, it will also affect the type of lists that people bring. Run half a year of W/L events and you'll see even the WAACs bringing balanced all-comer lists. Rock lists like 5 Land Raiders only work when you can rely on luck to pair you against a Seal in every game. But their advantages disappear when you have to win every game instead of massacring your opponent in just one or two of them.
Or consider the IG Leafblower list that won a couple of large events last year. Darkwynn was very lucky, in that his alpha-strike list always went first. But he was also lucky because none of his opponents used reserves against him. Why didn't they?
Well, one reason is because of the Battle-Point scoring at those tourneys. If his opponent used reserves to eek out a close win, he wouldn't get enough battle points to win the day. So at least one of those opponents, by his own admission, chose to gamble it all on the seize initiative roll. Knowing that he'd probably lose, but if he won that roll he could get a major victory or a massacre and move up to the top tables. In a W/L format he could have simply gone for the win and knocked out the Leafblower in a close game.
Objection 3: Win/Loss Suffers From Bad Matchups Just As Easily As BPs
This is absolutely true! But let's consider the effects of a bad matchup in a BP system versus a W/L system:
The Seal-Beater not only wins, but he gets a huge BP advantage over every other player for the rest of the day. While players with more even matchups are penalized in comparison. The only way to come out ahead of the seal beater now is for two things to happen together:
1) Draw a Seal yourself and beat the snot out of him. If you draw a good player, your day is over.
2) Hope the Seal Beater doesn't draw another Seal. If he does, you might as well go home.
The Seal-Beater wins the match, but this just places him on equal footing with the rest of the winners from that round. He has to keep winning games to advance. He has no incentive to humiliate an opponent once his win is secured.
Now which system seems more random? Which one seems more competitive and fair? Which one will leave the Seals with no desire to ever attend another tourney again?
Continue to Part II...
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