Friday, July 13, 2012

GW 40K Doubles Results - finally!

The doubles tournament was nearly a fortnight ago but I've only just had chance to start posting again so you'll forgive me I hope for being a little late with my report. At previous doubles events (we've been to 2) we've done reasonably but a bit of bad luck here and there has prevented us from achieving greatness. Now personally I didn't think we'd every do very well but Matt has always been keen for us to take something competitive and prove to ourselves that we can hack it on the top tables. Here's what we came up with this year (warning contains cheese):


"Titanic Fenrisians" 2x 875pts (GK/SW)

875pts of Space Wolves
Rune Priest w/ Chooser (Jaws/Lightning)
Rune Priest w/ Combi-melta (Jaws/Hurricane)

3x Wolf Guard (2x combi-melta/PF and one cyclone terminator)

2x 8 Grey Hunters (melta, standard, MotW) in Rhinos

6 Long Fangs (5 missile launchers)

875pts of Grey Knights
Inquisitor Coteaz

5 Purifiers w/ 3 halberds and 2 psycannons - Rhino
Venerable psyfleman dread

2x 3 Warrior Acolytes in Razorbacks

2x Psyfleman dreads

I think you'll agree that's a pretty cheesy list. It has the ability to put out 12 twin linked and 7 normal S8 shots at 48" and has 3 potentially nasty combat units thrown in too. Double JotWW is always pretty devastating too. Suffice to say I felt pretty dirty taking it but we'd tested it to death and were confident it could take on almost anything and come out on top.

Now the eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that my portion of the list is actually illegal but this was a genuine mistake (despite checking and re-checking the list) and wasn't picked up upon until after our last game (the judges didn't see it at all). We could debate how much difference it made but it would've been simple to rectify without hampering our list much.

Anyway, you may or may not be wondering how we did. I'll be posting a full game-by-game report tomorrow but for now let me tell you we came 2nd!! Well sort of. If you read the official results on GW WHW's facebook page you'll see us in 4th. So why do I think we came second? To explain that I'll have to briefly explain the scoring system first.

Games Workshop's system of scoring for this tournament was that a win was 5, a draw 3 and a loss a single point. In order to help differentiate between people on the same points they also included some secret secondary missions (which I'll rant about shortly). These ranged from being in control of a pre-chosen piece of terrain at the end of the game to being able to get all of one Force (half of the army) into your opponents deployment zone. There were several to choose from of which you presented your opponent with 3 face down and he picked the one you'd be using. Each mission had an easy and hard version giving either 1 or 2 points (or 3 but I'll get to that). Finally, both players in each team could vote on their "favourite game" at the end of the tournament to recognise teams who had given their opponents a fun game i.e. 10 pts maximum from 5 games.

We won 4 of our 5 games and drew the other giving us 23 points plus an extra 14 for our secondary missions giving us a total of 37. This would've meant 2nd place but for that fact that GW very briefly mentioned, by which I mean mumbled it into a microphone, that the Favourite Game votes would be included in the points. Therefore, since we'd all but tabled all 5 of our opponents we weren't expecting many of them to have enjoyed it and unsurprisingly we scored 0 favourite game votes. This meant some guys who'd only scored 31 points but 6 favourite game votes ended up taking 2nd and another team who'd got 35 points but 2 favourite game votes came 3rd pushing us down to 4th.

As you can imagine we were pretty pissed off. I'll talk about how stressful our final game on table 2 was tomorrow but to have gone through that to find that we'd missed out on 2nd by such a ridiculous system is some way galling. Now don't get me wrong I hate playing arseholes but less than half of the people there actually voted for a favourite game and it's a totally arbitrary system so I hardly think it's fair to base the final results from it.

The problem GW has is that that scoring system simply doesn't separate people enough. If you look down the proper scores (not including favourite games) you can see that there's several teams with identical points meaning a farsical number of tied positions. I asked the GW referees why they didn't just use VPs but they said they would "never, ever, ever use VPs in a GW tournament". The reason being that apparently it makes people try to totally annihiliate their oppponents even if they'd already won the game. Is it just me or is that the point? Now I'm no power gamer but if you're clearly out classing your opponent why shouldn't you get a whopping number of VPs? Essentially the GW system means that a win is a win regardless of how close it was.

The main problem I have with the inclusion of the favourite game votes (aside from the fact that no-one loves us) is that the guys who took our 2nd place only won 2 out of 5 games! Having put our all into coming up with and testing a solid list and playing it to the best of our ability we lost to guys who took something more enjoyable for their opponents. I love a friendly game as much as the next guy but at a competitive tournament you expect to get your ass kicked once in a while.

So, favourite game votes aside. The secondary missions aren't a better way of separating teams. In my experience if you give people the opportunity to cheat, they will. Now I can promise you we never did (though we wish we had for a single extra point) but it would be very easy to cheat the secondary missions. You don't show your opponent what missions you had until the end of the game so it's not difficult to look at the board at the end and then go "oh yeah we had this one that we've managed to do" even though you actually failed the real one your opponent chose. To make the game fair the organisers should take steps to minimise cheating not practically encourage it!

Matt "waaghing" like a dick at the front left
Now let's take a look at the guys who won the tournament (and two other trophies). They scored the most secondary mission points out of everyone on the day. This is because there was one pair of missions that gave you 3 points if you completed them instead of the 2 points given by the rest of the missions. This mission involved having none of your independent characters attached to squads for the entire game and for killing an enemy HQ in a single combat. So let's think about what armies could actually do this effectively...... Necrons and err...... nope just Necrons. This mission was practically designed for overlords in command barges! They're never going to want to join a unit and with warscythe attacks it isn't difficult to imagine them killing an enemy HQ in combat. The question is, how did these guys manage to get that mission in pretty much every game they played? Now obviously statistically it's possible but even so it's unlikely. As I said, give someone the opportunity to cheat....

You might be thinking "well why don't you try and organise a better system if you're so smart" but my answer is I already do. I put a huge amount of effort into Blog Wars twice a year and that's me, on my own. This is GW with a whole team of people. Yes there's a lot more people taking part but that doesn't really affect the scenario building or score system that much. What annoys me is the amount of effort I put into working out missions that don't overly penalise/benefit a particular army and a scoring system that not only separates the players but also gives representative results. Not to mention checking through all the army lists myself with codexes I know little about. Clearly their team of expert judges missed our mistake! The point of list checking is that it gives players the confidence that they don't have to worry too much about if their opponents list is legal or not as the judges should've checked for them.

Anyway, the point is that GW really need to put more thought into their scoring system. To pay £90 per team, win 4 draw 1 and lose out to someone who only won 2 games is pretty ridiculous. Not that the crappy certificate for 2nd is worth winning! Rant over!

I might actually persuade Matt to take something that's more fun than competitive in September after that I'm not sure I'll go to another GW tournament. It's just a shame I love playing doubles 40k so much.

2 comments:

  1. There's nothing wrong with your lists, it's exactly the kind of competitive list GW should expect if they give no restrictions on the FOC chart. If GW wanted more friendly lists they should restrict the FOC a bit, such as no more elites/hevy support/fast attack that you have troop choices.

    However I do see where GW is coming from with not using vps. It favours armies which can wipe out the opponent, and some lists can't do that, but can be played well to get a draw. I particularly don't like vps scored (rather than vp difference) as that favour some type of armies significantly, as an example my own army (Dark Eldar) particularly.

    Sometimes I do think that "sportsmanship" scores go a bit too far, and don't encourage good sportsmanship that much, and sometimes lead to come dubious tactics. However there are lots of different type of tournaments. I've been to Spiky club tournaments which tend to be quite competitive, and I've been to Vanquish in Bristol, which has bonus special missions (which are put face down on the table so can't be switched) bonus points for no duplication thoughout the entire FOC etc. Both tournaments were enjoyable but I think you have to look at the rules pack and see what type of tournament it is, and take the right mindset.

    At Vanquish my mate was the only person to win all 6 games, and finished outside the top 3, I won 5 and drew the last getting the highest tournaments points for games and special missions, but came 2nd. However I can't complain as I knew the rules, and I didn't have the time to improve my army to maximise the painting scores which were more detailed than the 3+ colours to get full points. It's good that there are different types of tournaments that can cater to a wide spectrum of the player base, rather than ONLY the die hard gamer.

    Saying all this I haven't been to a GW tournament in years, and I don't see that changing in the next few years. The organisation is normally poor, and they are expensive for what you get.

    If you like doubles tournaments Spiky club are running one on the 5th Aug.

    Rathstar

    ReplyDelete
  2. There's nothing wrong with your lists, it's exactly the kind of competitive list GW should expect if they give no restrictions on the FOC chart. If GW wanted more friendly lists they should restrict the FOC a bit, such as no more elites/hevy support/fast attack that you have troop choices.

    However I do see where GW is coming from with not using vps. It favours armies which can wipe out the opponent, and some lists can't do that, but can be played well to get a draw. I particularly don't like vps scored (rather than vp difference) as that favour some type of armies significantly, as an example my own army (Dark Eldar) particularly.

    Sometimes I do think that "sportsmanship" scores go a bit too far, and don't encourage good sportsmanship that much, and sometimes lead to come dubious tactics. However there are lots of different type of tournaments. I've been to Spiky club tournaments which tend to be quite competitive, and I've been to Vanquish in Bristol, which has bonus special missions (which are put face down on the table so can't be switched) bonus points for no duplication thoughout the entire FOC etc. Both tournaments were enjoyable but I think you have to look at the rules pack and see what type of tournament it is, and take the right mindset.

    At Vanquish my mate was the only person to win all 6 games, and finished outside the top 3, I won 5 and drew the last getting the highest tournaments points for games and special missions, but came 2nd. However I can't complain as I knew the rules, and I didn't have the time to improve my army to maximise the painting scores which were more detailed than the 3+ colours to get full points. It's good that there are different types of tournaments that can cater to a wide spectrum of the player base, rather than ONLY the die hard gamer.

    Saying all this I haven't been to a GW tournament in years, and I don't see that changing in the next few years. The organisation is normally poor, and they are expensive for what you get.

    If you like doubles tournaments Spiky club are running one on the 5th Aug.

    Rathstar

    ReplyDelete

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