Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Never Mind the Blog Wars - Event Format and Army Selection

Never Mind the Blog Wars (NMTBW for short) is under three months away (Saturday November 11th 2017) and I've yet to post up the rules pack. Ironically this is because I've found a lot of hobby mojo recently so I've been working on painting my models rather than blogging.

However, I've had a few emails and FB messages now asking about the format so I think it's time I committed to a plan. NMTBW will be a return to singles tournaments. That doesn't mean the death of Double Trouble, which will return with DT3 in June, but BWX was my last singles event in November 2015. I've been trying to play as much 8th edition as possible before writing the rules pack but that doesn't amount to much as I have a full time job and a family which are pretty big draws on my time.

It seems to me that the standard points limit for tournaments in 8th is 2,000. This is because there's been a general increase in unit costs but also because games are, in theory at least, a lot more brutal and therefore finish quickly. I'd considered a lot of different things to make NMTBW unique. You may or may not remember that my previous event series, Blog Wars, was themed around the fact that you had to take a special character in your army. At the time this was against the grain as a lot of events were banning SCs completely.

One of the things I learned from running Blog Wars over the years was that keeping things simple is the way forward. Trying to come up with unique missions or deployments etc. just confuses people on the day or worse, puts them off entirely. It's also pretty early in 8th edition too so I don't want to give people too much extra to worry about when they're still getting to grips with a new rulebook. What I propose then is:

  • Three games of 2,000 pts
  • Maelstrom and Blood Points simultaneously
  • Scores converted from raw VPs and BPs to a tournament point system that rewards margin of victory (as I used in BWX).
  • Straightforward Maelstrom of 3 objectives per turn
  • Possible custom Maelstrom deck similar to those I made for BW and DT
There's a danger of this event being too similar to others so as to not be very interesting. However, need I remind you how generous the raffle is?!? The key issue then is army selection. The way I see it the main problem with 40K at the moment is spam. Not just the number of times the same unit is taken but also the blobs of conscripts, horrors, etc. In a similar vein to Double Trouble I think the answer is:
  • Three detachments max
  • No unit can be taken more than twice
A bigger issue for some factions than others of course but as I'd discussed at length before, there's such a disparity between the factions on numerous levels that trying to find a one size fits all approach is impossible. I'd considered saying troops and/or dedicated transports were exempt from this but I think a straightforward limit is easier. I'd also thought about just vetting lists but I've explored that avenue before and it's fraught with problems.

Right, as ever, I'd love to know what you guys think. Are the army restrictions too harsh? Do they go far enough? Should I vary the missions more? Basically, tell me exactly what you want from a tournament, what you haven't liked about 8th edition events you've attended so far and what you think could be done to improve them. Blog Wars worked because you guys fed back to me, I'd appreciate it if that continues.

23 comments:

  1. Woo, hope I can attend this! For the unit limits, I would consider maybe allowing troops to have 3 or 4 of the same choice. My reasoning for this is that for some armies, it would be impossible to take a Battallion detachment as they only have a single troops choice. For example, my Deathwatch army would be impossible to field at 2000 pts with a limit on only 2 Kill Teams (not planning to take them, so not an issue, just an example).

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    1. Yeah, I'm more inclined to allow Troops to be taken in higher numbers than I am dedicated transports. It's difficult to figure out a solid way of limiting spam. Not everyone has a massive collection to allow them to run their army in different ways.

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    2. I just had a thought regarding Troops. What about having that limit on 3-4 of the same Troop choice was Michael suggested, but that they have to have different loadouts? Perhaps that would limit the opportunity of spam? That could prevent things such as hundreds of Conscripts happening, just for example.

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  2. Horde type armies (Orks, Tyranids come to mind) may struggle with a 2 of each unit max however I can see why it is there. Main thought is...Awesome NMTBW is here!

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    1. Glad someone is enthusiastic at least! I hope the regulars will trust me to make it a good event regardless but I don't want my restrictions to put too many people off.

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  3. Seems OK to me, my biggest concern being which army to take...

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    1. You best start a brand new faction right now I think. I'm not having you roll out anything that's appeared at one of my events before! :P

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    2. Do Genestealer Cult, Dave!
      You're working on them anyway and if need be, you can add some of your regular Tyranids. ;-)
      Also, hang in there! 8th is a good system, just takes some time to get used to the changes.

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  4. Sadly due a newborn I don't think I'll be able to make this one, however I'll keeping an eye on it all in excited expectation of Double Trouble 3 next year.

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    1. Nothing sad about a newborn!!! Congratulations. Still, bit of a poor excuse :P

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  5. I just can't wait till the tickets go up for sale.

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    1. Soon I hope. I've already drafted out the page/rules pack but didn't want to publish until I've got the army selection and format fleshed out.

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    2. Doesn't really bother me either way, but what you thinking about fw this time?

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    3. In some ways FW is worse than ever as I don't think it's been well translated into 8th in places. At least all the rules are in a handful of books now. I think it's most likely I'll not allow FW units again but I'm open to hearing arguments either way.....

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    4. From a personal selfish standpoint, I have my 30k Imperial Fists I would like to bring. Not allowing forge world really puts the kibosh on that, as the army just isn't the same without taking some of the units (Contemptors with more options than just a Assault cannon for example...)

      Although I concede some of the rules may be obscure, they are relatively easy to obtain. 1D4Chan will suffice for a brief overview, assuming of course that people must bring copies of the rules on the day...

      In terms of balance, Forge World does have a reputation, but I personally feel it is somewhat unwarranted. Yes there are obviously some units that are better than others. But it is no worse than regular 40k... (cough conscripts & commissars cough)

      Finally Forge World has been allowed to that last two double troubles, and as far as I am aware it has not been an issue. If people want to bring the cheese they will do it regardless of the division of Games Workshop they got their miniatures from...

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    5. I've faced a few FW units since the new edition - in particular I felt the scorpius whirlwind is undercosted, but the knight castigator I played wasn't significantly different to the standard imperial knight. Given the imbalance I've seen however I'd be inclined to say I'd prefer it to not be allowed, I know how much effort goes in to organising an event and to try and police lists including FW units would be a nightmare.

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  6. Hey Alex, the format looks good to me.
    Just allowing two detachments should be fine, as it forces people a bit more to think about what to pick. Also, as Michael has suggested, I'd consider allowing three of the same for troops and transports. For an example, Orkz could run into trouble otherwise (literally), as they are so slow on foot.
    And finally, why not stick to the original BWs idea with requiring a Special character? It's nothing huge and makes NMTBW that little more special.

    As much as I'd love to come, I fear I won't be able to make it, as it would be my fifth tournament this year in GB and it does cost me fair amount flying back and forth all the time. :-P
    Count Ze Germanz in for DT3! Ve'll be back! ;-)

    Cheers,
    Hendrik

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  7. Great to hear the hobby mojo is back! Looking foward to seeing more hobby content on here!

    I like the K.I.S.S approach. I'd allow a few more troops as others have said above; maybe specify a Troops unit from each codex that can be taken unlimited times if people so desire. I'm sure every army must have one that's pretty basic and wouldn't be a problem to spam (and may fix things like Guard infantry platoons or armies with only 1 Troops choice), just not Dedicated transports as well, particularly as they have their own battlefield role now ;)

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    1. Another way to limit spam; reduce the points!

      1500 limits the amount of extras you can take once you've taken the minimum requirements, particularly as most of the units people spam aren't usually the cheapest

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  8. As people have said, the troops limit is a problem for some armies - deathwatch for example. Because they don't have assault squads or dev squads or whatever, they just have kill teams - so you will quickly run out of options. So perhaps more for a troops choice would be OK...

    As for dedicated transports, I've seen people spam those... perhaps a house rule that you can only buy transports for actual squads as opposed to other choices. My friend played against girlyman, a techpriest, dreads and razorback. Seems odd to purchase like 6 transports for 1 solitary guy...

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  9. Perhaps allow 3 troops units to hit the minimum requirement for a battalion?

    Personally I liked the sc requirement too, but then I tend to use Kantor in my lists these days, so it's no trouble for me to bring him.

    Looking forward to it, really hoping to be able to come along again this time!

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  10. alex, is the 2 unit limit detatchment or army specific?
    as a nurgle daemon player i need the 3 limit to include my princes as a supreme command detatchment (which is the only thing that can kill anything), otherwise it will just be pointless showing up.
    i dont think this is spam as the rest of the army hits like a wet blanket.

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  11. I would agree with the above points on troops getting a limit of 3 rather than 2. Transports maybe should have this limit also but must admit I'm in the fence there. FW I don't think would be a bad idea if you have the 2 unit rule in play.

    I have 3 questions though. One is regarding codices. Will they be allowed as only certain armies will have them? Second is will there be a limit on command points? Third is will the painting competitions be the same as previously?

    Looking forward to the event either way matey! :D

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