Author Topic: Are tournaments even playing 40K?  (Read 938 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Eryx_UK

  • Battle Brother
  • *
  • Posts: 137
    • View Profile
    • March of the Damned
Are tournaments even playing 40K?
« on: February 11, 2017, 05:40:39 AM »
This is a post that I made to a blog a few weeks ago. Posting here to get different opinions.

I run two invitational Warhammer 40K tournaments a year for my local players. I'm always looking at ways to make the events better and more appealing. After all, at some point I want to open up the events to more players at some point and make these events something good for the local region. I run the rules as written. If it is legal in a regular 40K game then it is legal for the tournament. Forge World units and rules equally suitable. But then these events are designed to be competitive. I want players to bring their best lists and their A game.

And that is where I find my current level of confusion and surprise. I keep looking online at other event's tournament rules and scenarios for inspiration. What I find surprises me. It looks like so many tweak the rules, changing rules, disallowing perfectly fine units and options, and using bland looking home-brew scenarios. It looks to me as though tournaments are not playing 40K but some strange hybrid of their own making. A tournament should be fun but competitive. I don't think players should not be penalized in army selection and the rule book missions are perfectly suitable for tournament play. Now I do prefer those missions which use the tactical objective cards and I can understand the point of view which says they are too random for tournament use but in the couple of occasions that they have been used for our tournaments they worked fine.

It's hard to balance these things and I guess I'll just keep looking and pondering ways to make our invitational events fun.
My Death Guard narrative blog: http://thedeathguard.blogspot.co.uk/

Online SharkoutofWata

  • Chapter Master
  • *
  • Posts: 720
    • View Profile
Re: Are tournaments even playing 40K?
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2017, 06:52:40 AM »
A tournament should be about player skill first and foremost, followed by army building ability and THEN luck, outside of obvious clutch dice rolls during the natural course of the game.  It should never be "I played better, had the better army and lost because my opponent drew three cards saying 'secure Objective number right under your ass' and I drew 'Kill every single Psyker in the Tzeentch Army'".  A bland mission is exactly what a tournament needs, where both players have a nearly equal chance of their scenario being ideal and even more importantly, armies can be built for that goal.  It's a minor form of tailoring, but having a specific set of parameters means that everyone should be building towards the same goal. 

To put it specifically, my Genestealer Cult will almost never lose a game using the mission type that has six Objective Cards on Turn 1 because I promise you, I will have a unit on every single point when I deploy.  That means that at the close of Turn 1, I can have something like nine Victory Points while my opponent might get a total of two or three and they have to struggle uphill while I just try not to get tabled.  A defensive Tau player will almost certainly lose that same mission type.  Limiting the missions played means I'm not going to have that wild advantage and the other player, who might be better than me any other day, isn't screwed over.

Limiting units is just common sense in a game that was built without it.  Do you honestly not see the issue with a T8 creature firing S10 guns six times at two targets and having FNP, 2+ armor, can only be hit on 6s because it flies and who knows what else is on the Harridan.  And the Harridan is a modest offender from Forge World.  What is Billy Minimum Wage going to do against a fleet of Tau'nar?  Billy might as well not show up because Billy is just going to get wiped.  Yes, Billy isn't ready for a tournament, but there's plenty of other people above Billy's level that also can't spend a grand on plastic toys.  Your tournament will be dominated by the rich prick who doesn't care who has fun.  GW does not and will not balance their game properly in this Edition, so the worst offenders need to be banned by players.  Tournament Organizers need to be players too and ban the offensive stuff.

You're not talking about players bringing their A game, you're talking about players bring the one unbeatable list and all others need not apply.  Fan run things like ITC and LVO have issues, and I don't personallly like playing them or their rules but they do what GW refused to do.  They brought some sense to the game and made changes to boost up what needed to be boosted.  My Venomthropes survived the Thundercannon Barrage because they hid under roofs, which in ITC stop Barrage weapons.  The blast hits the highest floor of where it lands, as if it fell from the sky.  My little trick made my Nids playable more than they should have been at the time.  It kept me playing because there was a chance of actually surviving instead of seeing Thunderfires and conceding right then and there.  And that's just one story among many of where a tournament FAQ or rule change made the game better.  FNP on a 1+, or rerollable 2+ Cover Save are others.  Do you legitimately think those should be allowed in the game?  What do you think folks can do against that?  Fixing these massive foul ups that GW allowed makes the game fun again when people are bringing their A game instead of making it a contest of whose broken cheat unit is more cheaty.

There are some systems that are genuinely awful, like player comp events, and I truly despise those.  I don't think a player should be penalized for bringing Codex Eldar, but at the same time, I don't want to see a 25pt Inquisitor and a 1825pt Titan in a 'tournament legal' 1850pt list just because GW decided they both can get their own single unit Detachments.

Offline Kvekan

  • Battle Brother
  • *
  • Posts: 120
    • View Profile
Re: Are tournaments even playing 40K?
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2017, 07:12:39 AM »
I really like the format that SN battle reports use for no retreat. It is very limited though.

1 CAD-like detachment and one formation from the same faction. 1750 points.

You play for a primary mission (eternal war), a secondary (maelstrom where you discard all cards and draw new ones for objectives that are unavailable) and a tertiary (first strike, warlord kill, line breaker). If you only win the primary and lose the two others you draw.

Means you can focus on what your army is good at and you get no silly Taudar, Spacecrons or other silliness. Admittedly it does limit some things that I would still consider fluffy and balanced. But on the upper hand the format does seem to make the weak codexes perform a lot better. No one likes a tournament of all eldar wraith knights and gladiuses.

I think a tournament should still contain some semblance of 40k narrative and the armies "make sense". Otherwise you might just as well play something else that's balanced competitively to start with.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2017, 07:32:57 AM by Kvekan »
"For those we cherish, we die in glory" ...And we die a lot.

Offline Eryx_UK

  • Battle Brother
  • *
  • Posts: 137
    • View Profile
    • March of the Damned
Re: Are tournaments even playing 40K?
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2017, 01:05:32 PM »
Just for the record my friends and I are very fluffy players, preferring narrative games and much fun. I host these two big events just for us so we can have the opportunity to play the sort of games that we don't normally. For that reason it's just a bit of fun. It's also not the sort of tournament I am thinking of trying to set up. What I want to do is hopefully over time, ruinous powers willing, to create a local regional event each year which would be more grounded than that. In a way this thread is part of my research on that to see why TO's come up with the rules and missions that they do.

I prefer not to be restrictive. If it is legal in a regular 40K game then I don't see why it can't be used in a tournament. restricting LoW's, for example, makes sense for a variety of reasons. As for the tactical objective missions, I much prefer those over the standard hold objectives, kill the enemy type ones, which quite frankly are rather dull and predictable. The randomness of the cards makes a game more interesting and they have proved popular in the leagues and tournaments that I have run. I asked two of my regular players what they thought recently about using them in a regular tournament (not the big OTT ones that I mentioned).

Quote
I like the Tactical Objective cards. I think that it does balance out the game as gun line armies have to be prepared to move round the table a bit to keep scoring points, and close combat armies need to keep a few things back to cover the objectives on there side of the table to score maximum points.

Quote
I don't think you can go wrong with the objective cards. It means the players have to think more tactically about there lists than just spamming heavy weapons and sitting in the corner and if it's a tournament then the idea being the best player wins so cards are well suited to that but that's just my opinion anyway

Now that is just the point of view of myself and two of my local players and doesn't swing the discussion.

The point of the original topic was that the big events that I've read the pages for and their tournament rules seem to change how the game is played. I know that if I went to a tournament I'd want the rules and missions to be the same as what I play in a home game.
My Death Guard narrative blog: http://thedeathguard.blogspot.co.uk/

Offline Sensenbob

  • Battle Brother
  • *
  • Posts: 174
  • WHERE IS THE DEAFF COMPANYYY!?!?! :D
    • View Profile
Re: Are tournaments even playing 40K?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2017, 03:21:03 AM »
I read somewhere (probably this forum, can't remember whose post though :-\ ) that an organizer kept Tactical Objectives but allowed the players to sort their deck of Objective-Cards before the game (before knowing which mission is played).
Apparently people loved it and it adds another layer of tactics to the preparation phase and balances out the randomness of Tactical Objectives.

Edit: Oh.. found it ... Adepticon does it http://thewarmaster.com/index.php?topic=7483.0 courtesy of DCannon4Life
« Last Edit: February 13, 2017, 03:24:59 AM by Sensenbob »
=Blood Angels=

Offline Eryx_UK

  • Battle Brother
  • *
  • Posts: 137
    • View Profile
    • March of the Damned
Re: Are tournaments even playing 40K?
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2017, 10:26:53 AM »
Thanks. I'll take a look.
My Death Guard narrative blog: http://thedeathguard.blogspot.co.uk/