Saturday, December 12, 2015
Announcing Double Trouble - A Different Kind of Doubles Tournament
Before I go into what makes Double Trouble different I want to talk about why I'm keen to run an event like this. I look back on the five years of Blog Wars with great affection and I hope that many of you do to. I originally started the event as an attempt to show that you can have a friendly atmosphere at an event without losing the tournament aspect. I also wanted to show that, unlike the official GW events, you can offer excellent prize support without losing any money! I'm confident that anyone who came to any of the Blog Wars events will agree that I achieved the latter at least and I'd hope they'd agree about the atmosphere too. Whilst I want to try to keep the same atmosphere and prize support, I want to wipe the slate clean with regards to event format and do something new.
With Double Trouble I'm going to try something which I hope is unique. Blog Wars was unique in that the army selection required a Special Character to be included and the missions and tournament in general were loosely themed around this central idea. My regular doubles partner Matt and I have been to several of the official GW doubles (now Battle Brothers) events and always enjoyed them. There's something about doubles that you just don't get with singles events. It's not only the chance to discuss tactics with your partner but also having four guys around the table instead of two makes for a better atmosphere from the start. Unfortunately the GW Battle Brothers events have dwindled in popularity thanks to a combination of insane ticket price (considering they own the venue and don't give out any prizes to speak of) and army selection criteria. By allowing Unbound and not insisting that players bring an equal share of the army it feels more like a singles event with extra people around. I want to restore the doubles spirit and give out a crapload of prizes whilst I'm at it.
What Makes Double Trouble Different?
Well, I've thought about running doubles events before but one of the things that's stopped me is that I know a lot of people coming to Blog Wars were either attending on their own or in odd numbered groups. Neither situation makes these players likely to come to a doubles event. I originally thought I'd let people buy tickets as either doubles teams or singles and then pair up any of the singles players before the event and let them come up with an army together. There are obvious issues with this so my next idea was to sell single tickets and then randomly pair people together at the start of the day. The problem with this is that you might get put with a total mismatched partner either in terms of your respective armies or just your personalities.
The solution I've come up with is to pair people randomly in every round. That way you'd have to be unlucky to get put with a bad partner in all three games. Obviously this format requires some time allowance for introducing yourself to your partner and deciding on strategy so I think 1,500pts is a sensible limit and I'll aim to keep to 2.5 hour games which is be plenty of time I reckon. That will mean 750pts per player which should be enough to give people a chance to play something they'll enjoy using and hopefully stop everyone bringing the same thing. In order for this to work I'll be throwing the allies chart out so it won't matter what you get paired with, there'll be no bonuses or penalties.
Having such a comparatively low points limit per player has other advantages though. Firstly I shouldn't need to implement so many army restrictions. This will hopefully mean players can bring whatever they want (provided it costs less than 750pts of course!). I'll announce more details about this when I put the Double Trouble page up and tickets go on sale but any suggestions are welcome. It'll also mean I'm checking 52 x 750pt lists rather than 50 x 1,850pt ones. That's a massive plus for me!
With regard to scenarios I'm considering having a two-tiered scenario in each mission with tactical objectives (from a custom deck) coupled with blood points. You'd then be scored based on both and I can offer prizes for Bloodiest General and Master Tactician for the player who scores the most in each category. Whilst the deployment would be randomised in each round (again from a custom selection), I'd be keeping the scenario the same. I think there'll be enough variety in the games with the change of table (and hence scenery), change of partner and change of deployment. Keeping the scenario the same avoids any delays in getting the games started too as everyone knows what's happening from the off.
The custom tactical objective cards will be heavily themed towards doubles play. For example, the card for securing an objective marker will be worth 1 VP if a unit from either half of the army controls it but 2 VPs if a unit from both does.
I'll be posting more details about Double Trouble in the run up to tickets being released but I'm keen to hear your thoughts at every stage. Obviously none of this is going to work if I don't sell any tickets so I want to know from you lot if there's something I've suggested so far that you think is daft or generally anything you think would make it more enjoyable. I really hope everyone will be as enthusiastic as I am about this new tournament and that it ends up being a success like I consider Blog Wars to be.
In the coming days I'll also be posting about the plans for the singles event that will take place in November so keep an eye out for that. I hope both events will get your support.