Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Warhammer - New Tournament Format?

I'm in the final stages of preparing for this years Orktoberfest and it just dawned on me that I really ought to change the format.  Not so much in the actual rules of the game, but in how people select their army lists.

Currently (and in previous years) I opted for a fairly large points value for the area (2500 points for Warhammer Fantasy and 2000 points for Warhammer 40k prior to the double FOC rule).  That might have limited the number of people who wanted to participate as a lot of them thought it was a bad thing to have so many points.n

One of the chief arguments was that making army lists was a no-brainer as you could take anything you wanted.  I never saw this as a bad thing because it meant that you had an answer to whatever anyone brought and it was up to you to deploy that answer in the proper way.  Most people in the area prefer smaller points values (around 1500) so they have to think carefully what they put in their list.  Most arguments against this points value (and I agree with these people) is that the smaller points values tend to favor certain armies/lists and if you aren't prepared for it, those lists just steam roller you.

A good example of this was the dual-lash chaos list from a few years back.  At 1500 points it was nigh-impossible to beat if someone wasn't prepared for it.  Similarly triple raider lists at that points values were hard to deal with unless you specifically tailored your list to fight it.  Now if you aren't prepared for that kind of game, those lists would just steam roller everyone at a tournament.

So to solve this problem, for next year's event I might opt for a smaller points value with 2 flexible detachments.  For example in Warhammer 40k I would play 1500 point games with a 1000 point core detachment and a 500 point flexible detachment.  The core detachment would contain the required 1 HQ and 2 Troops and then the player would have 2 flexible detachments of 500 points.  The idea being that you would have the option to switch your flexible detachment based on your opponent.  So maybe one flexible detachment would contain lots of melta/plasma to combat monstrous creature spam while the other contained massed templates to fight hordes.

I'd have to figure out away of how the players choose which detachment to use against each other without giving either player a huge advantage.  Like using an anti-monstrous creature detachment against a Tyranid player only to have them switch all their monstrous creatures out for hordes.  Might have to tie it in to the deployment roll (i.e. player who deploys first chooses his detachment first) or the player's placement in the tournament (i.e. player who has a higher ranking in the competition chooses his detachment first).  Alternatively it could just be blind pick and both players reveal their choice prior to deployment.  Could create a Sicilian argument which could be fun.

Doing it this way is similar to how Warmahordes tournament players have two lists or how Magic: The Gathering tournament decks have sideboards.  This would allow people to fight against cheese lists with their own list and will make list building more involved as opposed to just cramming as many monstrous creatures into 1500 points as possible (or in my case Terminators).  I haven't read of any other Warhammer tournament that does this but I've been out of the loop as far as checking on the big events goes.

One of the sponsors to Orktoberfest is wanting to put on some smaller in-store events so I might try to convince him to let me run this style of tournament for one or more of those events as a test run for next year.

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