Sunday, February 03, 2013

Blog Wars 5 - June 22nd 2013 - Details & Tickets on Sale

It's that time of year again. Time to release the tickets for the first of this year's Blog Wars events. Blog Wars 5: Vengeance will be the second of 6th edition and hopefully the best BW event yet! Tickets are available now from the link on the right or by contacting me directly for multiple tickets. The event page can be found by either clicking the blog wars logo on the sidebar or the link on the tabs. This contains all the information you need about the event and a list of current attendees. Oh and to Andy Gosling: Did you predict cyan/turquoise as the colour of the number this time around?

I've been thinking for a while about the format for BW5 and what can be better. I'd like to discuss a few of the changes and why I'm making them.

Prizes
With Maunsfeld not likely to stock Games Workshop in the foreseeable future I'm not going to offer vouchers this time around. The prize structure is remaining the same as BW4 with £25 for 1st, £15 for 2nd, £10 for 3rd, £5 for last and then £15 and £10 for the painting comps. There'll also be spot prizes and a raffle again. I'm sure this makes Blog Wars the best for prize support on the calendar! Anyway, the prizes this time will be purchased in advance. Whilst I've tried to avoid this in the past (as its difficult to pick stuff everyone will want to win) vouchers really aren't an option as I'm still chasing people to give them the prizes from BW4.

If anyone has particular ideas for prizes let me know but my logic on it is. If you don't like it sell it on eBay or else find someone who will buy it.

Matchups and Seeding
With what is becoming known as the "Andy Problem" I've been looking at ways of trying to avoid him winning a 5th straight title. As we've discussed before, by hampering him he's not really being beated by his opponents but the tournament itself, which I don't like. Some have suggested this new "Swedish" system where armies are comped individually based on the supposed strength of individual units. Whilst this is fine in the super-competitve tournaments, it feels harsh to penalise people who bring the "stronger" codexes but without the experience. Also, the system isn't perfect and it's still possible to bring something horrible without breaking the comp. Therefore, in short, he can bring what he likes, as can everyone else (except the compulsory SC comp of course).

The problem we've had in the past though is with players getting a totally mis-matched first game. Now there are several ideas to avoid this such as seeding etc. However, if you seed people completely then you either (a) end up with two separate tournaments being played at the same time or (b) give everyone a fair first game but run the risk of a miserable second game instead!

As a tournament organiser at some point you have to accept that you can't please everyone. Whilst I'd love to see someone else win it. If Andy brings his usual strong list and plays it well against the right opponents then he'll win again regardless of any shenanigans on my part. The only solution is for everyone else to make it difficult for him or simply enjoy themselves regardless. I intend to do the latter thanks.

Simplicity & Scenarios
There seems to be a general drive for simplicity in tournaments. 6th edition can be complicated enough without TOs adding in anything to overcomplicate things. One of the things I appreciated by not being able to play at BW4 was that people don't necessarily read the scenarios properly, choose not to play the rules I've suggested or simply forget. This leads to some people playing a very different version of the scenario to others and skews the playing field.

A prime example of this is the Archeotech Horde rule I tried to apply at BW4. The idea was that if you're in a ruin you roll a dice and on a 6 it's an Archeotech structure so you roll on the chart. This was played in a variety of ways. Some people played it for all the scenery, some played it for all ruins without rolling a 6, some ignored the whole thing and a very small number actually did it right when they remembered! Unsurprisingly I'm ditching the idea! Similarly, there's no point trying to force people to play Mysterious Terrain. It's in the book so in my opinion you should use it but I understand why people don't. Objectives should always be mysterious though.

The scenarios from last time were pretty simple, however, as they were just rulebook missions with slight variations. I had thought about making it random missions so that Scouring, Emperor's Will and Big Guns became options again but I actually think the missions are fine as they are. Emperor's Will is a bit boring most of the time and Big Guns/Scouring favour armies with decent FA/HS choices.

Scoring
As you may have read in my Battle Brothers coverage the scoring system they used was to record the absolute VPs scored in the game. Having thought long and hard about this I think it's actually a reasonable system. It allows for it to be clear who won a game but without ignoring the difference between narrow and easy victories. I've tried a score out of 25 in the past couple of events and again, people get it wrong.

The problems people mention are some armies having more VPs on offer to their opponents. In the two objective games this won't be an issue. In the Crusade game there's 18pts on offer (3pts for each of 5 objectives and 1 for each secondary) and in the Relic game there's a potential 6 VPs on offer (3 for relic, 1 for each secondary). In Purge the Alien the points are, of course, dependent on the army you face. Some will have a ton of units and hence a lot of points available whilst others will have significantly less. This was always the case at tournaments in 5th and people can tailor their lists to recognise this problem. No matter what I try and do there's no way I can make this even. Still, at least by recording the absolute points it'll be clear how close the game was. Again I'd love to hear your opinions on all of this.

Finally, in the past four events I've been asking people to record 5th edition style VPs to help split people. Whilst I'm still a fan of this (because it results in definite separation), people again struggle to get it right and it's a faff at the end of a game to work out.

Therefore the players will be ranked as follows:

  1. Total VPs Scored
  2. "Goal difference" as in VPs won minus VPs given away
  3. Primary VPs Scored
  4. Seconary VPs Scored
  5. VPs given away (lowest to highest)
If I still can't separate people after all that then I don't know what to do!! Seriously though, this number of levels and the possible combinations should prevent duplicate pairings. 

Other Bits
  • The score cards will be better and clearer to use.
  • There'll be a proper ballot box for the painting comp so people know where to put them.
  • More spot prizes for more interesting things (open to suggestions here)
  • The presentation that's running throughout the day will give reminders of the scoring etc as the game goes on.
  • Better name badges!
Conclusion
I say this every time, with varying degrees of success, but I really do want to hear from people about what needs to change. I want this tournament to be the best it can be and I hope it shows. If something annoys you or puts you off coming then please let me know.

I look forward to seeing you all again in June and let's hope we can stop him this time!

21 comments:

  1. The thing that stops me coming is that it's only one day. Long way to come from Scotland for a one day tournament! Two days for BW6?

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    1. I've been considering this. I'll suggest it at 5 and see what ppl think. Trouble is that as many ppl want a two dayer for travel as would prefer single day for time commitment. Tricky one. I'm happy to give it a go!

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    2. A 2 dayer would also be preferable to me & a lot of my gaming clubs - Nottingham isn't particularly easy to get to from down South (even from the big clubs along the M4 - Cardiff, Bristol, Reading, London). All that effort for just 1 day and you start asking yourself "Is it worth the effort?"

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    3. Could you split it maybe? So have 2 days of gaming, a prize for the winner on day 1, but then for those that want to stay over 2 more games on Sunday, with another award for the winner over 2 days. That might also deal with your seeding "issues", at least on day 2. Let Day one seed day 2, sort of Nova style!

      Just a thought!

      EYIG

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  2. Looking forward to it as always, Alex!

    I'll check the calendar in the morning when I get back to the office to make sure I'm free, then order my ticket at lunchtime. As usual now, I'll be bringing my my Squat Guard.

    One question - will IA Aeronautica units be allowed? I fancy bringing a couple of Vultures (my counts-as Airships).

    As for seeding, I'm all for it. There's no challenge in top players thrashing us 'fun runners', and getting tabled in record time by a spam-list isn't much fun either! I'd suggest taking an average of the last few tournaments' results, and then doing a simple 50:50 split for the first game. For any newbies, simply ask 'em which half they'd like to be in - unless ifs obvious that they're a top player, that is!

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    Replies
    1. Seeding is tricky but I'll see what the lists are like and who we buys a ticket. If there aren't enough top players it becomes trickier.

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  3. Seconded! Also from Scotland, I would embrace a 2 day event! The whole scoring system might take a bit of reading through again, but I like the way it looks.

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    Replies
    1. Its actually very simple for players as they just have to remember to record primary and secondary separately.

      The headache comes for me in working it out. Thank God for excel!

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  4. Really looking forward to it, and as for the "Andy Problem" - what more do you want from me? I finished last at BW4 damn it, I can't do any more to give everyone else a better chance.

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    Replies
    1. After your performance at the doubles I think the Andy problem is you throwing your games to steal Graham's spoon!

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  5. Andy, you're so WaaC you just don't know it!

    Care to tell the group how you and Gav tabled a little girl at the 40k Doubles event last weekend?

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    Replies
    1. Outside of gaming circles that last sentence would sound a bit wrong!

      We all know it was Gav making him play like a power gamer!

      Delete
    2. I think I'm more LaaC than WaaC. And the thing about tabling a little girl at Battle Brothers is greatly exaggerated ... but her Dad did have to stop her flipping the table on turn 4!

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  6. Ticket now bought for Blog Wars 5. Looking forward to bringing the Squat Guard along to another tournament!

    Cheers,

    Graham.

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  7. I know its a bit basic but for potential seedings you could add together previous players placings and the lower the number - better the player so test case "Humphreys" would = a 4 the lowest and best possible.

    Not sure what would run yet, either Deathwing again, Pure Death Company (scoring units are for sissys) or something I'm might try against Mr Symcox this week.

    If you try a 2 day thing one idea that has been in my head for a while is a mirror match mini tournament - everyone has the same list, granted it would have to be some form of power armour.

    John

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  8. my advice is to do what you think is best, as you're never going to please everyone.

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  9. Do the SC have to come from your primary detachment?

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    Replies
    1. Nope. As long as you have one I don't mind where he is in your army!

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  10. You got me on the hop with that, never saw cyan as the colour of choice, so unpredictable :D

    I'll be checking to see if I can come (most likely out of work), and buying my ticket as soon as I can. Looking forward to it.

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  11. Got my Ticket and looking forward to the Event, now to sit and write a list for my first tournament (even if it is only a friendly!)

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