Thursday, July 25, 2013

Building a Better Blog Wars - Summary

The last few posts have been all about building a better Blog Wars. I've talked through some of the scoring and scenario issues and hopefully addressed most of them with my plans for Blog Wars 6. Today I just wanted to pull everything together before tickets go on sale tomorrow.

Whilst I'm still somewhat torn between W/D/L and pure VPs, I have to say I'm leaning more towards pure VPs at the moment. The changes to the scenarios should mean that the scoring is more representative of actual performance rather than just meeting the right opponent. There's always going to be an element of luck involved and, in my opinion, there's no such thing as a perfect scoring system. Some are better than others of course but realistically there'll always be people who end up further down the rankings than they perhaps deserve.

To that end I have to make simplicity my priority. In my experience from the first 5 Blog Wars (and the multitude of other events I've attended) if you make the scoring system too complicated you end up with people simply not doing it right and therefore the scores become unreliable. This essentially just creates an admin nightmare as you have to chase around checking scores etc. This is the main reason I'm a fan of the pure VP system. Everyone is keeping track of the VPs throughout the game and it's the mechanism that people are used to.

Blog Wars 6 will therefore (unless I see a convincing argument against it) stick with a very similar scoring system to Blog Wars 5 where each game has Primary and Secondary VPs recorded. Whilst I'm on that subject, the secondary VPs won't be included in the overall total but will instead be used as a means of settling ties. I like the idea that was suggested whereby you get more points for Linebreaker/Slay the Warlord if you got them but your opponent didn't. However, it's something to look at down the line so we'll keep it simple for now.

These really go hand in hand with the scoring system. The way I saw it there were two main issues to address. Firstly that Purge The Alien is very dependent on how many VPs are actually available from your opponents army and secondly missions like the Relic and Emperor's Will have a disparity with the other objective missions where total VPs available is concerned. To address these issues the missions at Blog Wars 6 will be:

Game 1 - Purge the Alien with Hammer & Anvil deployment
Game 2 - The Emperor's Relic with Vanguard deployment
Game 3 - Crusade with Dawn of War deployment

Crusade will be as normal but with 5 VPs per objective. The Emperor's Relic is a combination of Emperor's Will and The Relic (obviously) with a central objective that can't be moved (so not much like the Relic actually) and two other objectives. The central objective is worth 10pts to whomever claims it whilst the other two vary. If you control your home objective you score 5pts, if you control your enemy's objective you score 10pts making a total of 25 possible points.

Purge The Alien is somewhat different. I'd talked about the idea of all armies being worth 25 VPs regardless of the number of units but actually Matt has suggested what I think is a better system. Essentially you score VPs for the number of points you destroy of your opponent's army. The way this would work would be like 5th edition style VPs. You'd both simply record the number of points-worth of enemy units you managed to kill. Totally destroyed units/vehicles would be worth their full value. Vehicles with 50% or less of their HPs remaining and units with 50% or less of their models remaining would be worth half of their value. I'd then plug these numbers into the spreadsheet which will automatically divide by 74 and give a score out of 25 (since 74 x 25 = 1850).

I'd like to know what people think of these missions, in particular the Purge The Alien scoring. Whilst it does level the playing field a little, it isn't perfect. It does, however, prevent people from doing sneaky things with their extra VPs like the other system allowed. I'm not totally happy with making people add up points as it's a bit of a faff but hopefully it addresses the elite vs. horde problem and I've made it the first game so you aren't trying to add up when you're knackered/drunk. What do you guys think?

I've tried to pair the missions up with deployment types that work well with them. Again though, if you have a strong argument for or against a particular combination let me know.

Everything Else
As mentioned in the comments, I'm planning on insisting that the chosen Special Character must be in your primary detachment. This will hopefully prevent people from bringing a token allied detachment for a particular SC.

Pretty much everything else will be remaining the same. The prize system might get tweaked a little but otherwise it'll be the same as in the last few events.

Tickets will go on sale tomorrow but in the mean time please comment on what I've said here. Seriously, even if you think your opinion doesn't matter or you aren't even planning on attending, I'd love to hear what people think. I don't want to belligerently push through changes that players really aren't happy with.

Otherwise I'm looking forward to what I'm sure will be another awesome day.


  1. Hi alex. I think these changes sound really positive. No scoring system will ever be perfect but I think the one you have chosen strikes a good balance. The new missions sound cool as well. Love the idea of the 10 pt enemy objective. It forces people to think outside the box a bit and stops castling to a certain degree. Makes games much more fun and challenging to play. Looking forward to the next blog wars. Nathaniel :)

  2. Yeah, I think the vps Idea for the purge the alien is great. :) primary detachments for sc I think whilst affects me is a sensible idea.


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