Where Has Army Composition Gone?

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Postby Generalissimo_Fred » Sun Apr 12, 2009 7:22 pm

Blackmoor wrote:
Generalissimo_Fred wrote:I would like the original poster to provide his rules for composition at a tournament. Give us your rules and guidelines to monitor composition of armies. All I have read is armies must match the background of the codex. That is much to subjective and not quantifiable at all. Give us something to test.

In the past every attempt to judge composition has lead to a redifinition of overpowered armies. We have found the boundaries simply are moved and the results you are looking for never happen. Let me hear what you have to solve this problem.


Although I am not the OP, there are several ways to do comp.

#1. Player judged (No one really wants this). Or what you can do is expand the check boxes a couple more to take comp into consideration.
#2. Have a judge give a comp score.
#3. Affirmative action. Give a boost to the armies that are underrepresented. For example: give Tau players 50-100 extra points.
#4. Penalize the most abusive units (And we all know what they are). -5-10 battle points for each Lash, Nob Biker, Bloodcrusher, and Seer Council or Land Raider over 2 etc.



#1. What should players judge? Is it subjective for each player or do you have specific guidelines. What would you include in the extra checkboxes? What specifically would they be?

#2. Is the judge allowed to make their own interpretations or is there a specific set of guidelines the judge must follow. If the latter, would this be available to everyone before the game and if so what are they.

#3. Does this mean in a given tournament if the field has only one Chaos player they would get extra points or are the 'underrepresented armies' declared beforehand? How would you break this down? If we have 1 vanilla marine list, one Dark Angels, one Blood Angels would you count this as 3 marine players or 3 seperate armies for representation?

#4. Is this the all inclusive list of abusive units? Everything else is open gaming then?
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Postby 00Enron » Sun Apr 12, 2009 7:34 pm

Composition has no place in a competitive setting for the following reasons:

1. No way it can be judged fairly for every army

2. Affermative action? 1 dark eldar player gets points and then gets them all taken for the dark lances.

3. Army composition gives people who play the army and lost an excused to why they lost. (not speaking about anyone in particular).

4. Why wouldnt I bring a competitive list to a competitive tournament?

5. WAAYYY to subjective.

Army compostion in the current TOURNAMENT environment should be taken out.
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Postby Ed » Sun Apr 12, 2009 7:53 pm

As a member of a team that fielded 8 land raiders, I agree with the OP.

I hope we can add drop pod meltaguns, multi meltas, dark/bright lances, melta-bombs, and chainfists to the list of stuff that I'm allowed to automatically chipmunk my opponent for using.

:roll:

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Postby GregSwanson » Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:27 pm

As far as comp tghe only thing I really hate seeing is multiples of the same unit. Not that I ding anyone for taking whatever they want but I would like to see any unit besides troops that is taken have a point increase. Maybe the second lashing daemon prince costs 50 % more than the orignal one, to me that would at least bring some variety to the mix. Maybe the first set of oblits costs x, the second set costs 1.5(x) and the third costs 2(x). Of course thast would have to be putin by the game designers so I dont see that happening....

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Postby RAMSEY » Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:13 pm

As far as sportsmanship goes, I have always believed that a person will be one sided when they are having their butts handed to them. People will ding you just so you don't win for any reason. Sportsmanship is "suppose" to be about fairness in the game not for children that didn't get their way. There is no good way to goven this.

I do agree that a good general can win with any army. If someone is playing that uber army you should take it as a challange or a compliment. That person can't win with a "balanced" army so has to uber it up just to win. That's a complement that they had to do that just to beat someone. And it's also sad for them that they can't win any other way. Also keep in mind the newer rules with just troops capturing objectives. Take out the troops and at least you'll have a tie.

If it's in the codex bring it on. There are no "cheesy" list. Just "cheesy" people. Question is, are you "cheesy"?

I like the tournments that have the rules that you have to bring a certain amount of units. The tournment were you had to make at least a 3rd of your army troops was a great idea. Why don't we see more of that? If you don't like the tournament rules that are being used, make one of your own. Bring your ideas. If you want to ding someone for too many of the same units then print it out. You make the rules. I complement the people that do the planning and organizing. Why don't you be one of these people?

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Postby Blackmoor » Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:27 am

This is why comp will never work. You can't make a sweeping rule that everyone has to take 30% troops because that will only hurt a few armies. Take Nob Bikers, one of the hardest lists around (when they are not fighting Lash or demon armies). They are about 90% of their points in troops. Same with every other hard ork army. So you penalized some armies without good troops, but do not punish some of the worst offenders. I think this is why GW made only troops scoring is because you do get penalized if you take 2 minimum sized squads.

Same the the guy who did not like redundancy. I played Witch Hunters last year and I took 3 exorcists. I had a couple people complain about taking 3 of them, but without them I could never compete against the real heavy hitter lists.

Even though I am a fan of comp, I know what it will never happen. Comp died 2 years ago when the GW GTs dumped it.

The only thing I can do is bring an army that can beat the overpowered units, without adding to the problem by bringing an Ork. Demon or Lash army myself.

Actually this is the first year I took a fun and fluffy list to Adepticon, and I had fun playing it against the heavy hitters.
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Postby muwhe » Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:07 am

Actually this is the first year I took a fun and fluffy list to Adepticon, and I had fun playing it against the heavy hitters.


I wish more people had this view. I have never understood why people let factors outside their control .. effect them in such a negative way. Any day of playing miniatures is better than working folks. No one is going to ruin my day.. by bringing some over the top army.
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Postby Elpana01 » Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:21 am

I don't understand what the problem is. If a unit is in their codex and they want to use it. Then what is the problem?

All this heavy hitters army are hard but never unbeatable. Simply prepare for it.
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Postby doc » Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:29 pm

Generalissimo_Fred wrote:I would like the original poster to provide his rules for composition at a tournament. Give us your rules and guidelines to monitor composition of armies. All I have read is armies must match the background of the codex. That is much to subjective and not quantifiable at all. Give us something to test.

In the past every attempt to judge composition has lead to a redifinition of overpowered armies. We have found the boundaries simply are moved and the results you are looking for never happen. Let me hear what you have to solve this problem.


Here is a really simple, easy to use, proven, and well respected one.
http://www.mts.net/~xian/astronomi-con/ ... sition.htm
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Postby Redbeard » Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:13 pm

doc wrote:Here is a really simple, easy to use, proven, and well respected one.
http://www.mts.net/~xian/astronomi-con/ ... sition.htm


I have no respect for it. It's simplistic. It doesn't account for different codexes strengths or weaknesses at all. All it does is punish people who want to play armies that focus on one type of slot as opposed to another.

If I play a Biel-Tan flavoured eldar army, and I have three different aspect warrior selections as my elites (say, a unit of banshees, a unit of scorpions and a unit of dragons), I get 3 points off, while this is extremely fluffy and in no way overpowering.

Meanwhile, if I play an ork army, I can run a full unit of nob bikers, 60 boyz, and 15 lootas and get a perfect comp score... I could run 2 units of nob bikers for a total of -1 for having a second HQ...

I could run an effective twin-lash list for maybe a total of -2 points (one extra oblit slot, one extra HQ).

So, it does jack-all to stop power builds, and dicks over fluffy builds.

Who respects this system?
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Postby doc » Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:17 pm

I should have pointed out that it designed for 1500 point games...
As for who respects it - Phil Kelly and Jervis Johnson for two - they have both played at Astro!
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Postby Redbeard » Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:34 pm

doc wrote:As for who respects it - Phil Kelly and Jervis Johnson for two - they have both played at Astro!



I don't know what to say. This is just too easy. Phil "I designed nob bikers" and Jervis "we don't design our games for competitive play" like your system. Well, that's... swell.

Seriously, I looked at that page and it took me less than a minute to realize that it does absolutely nothing of any relevance (a point or two) to stop power builds, while infringing pretty heavily on fluffy builds.

1500 dual lash (-2 comp) (Off the top of my head)
2x lash prince
6 obliterators
2x plague marines w/ rhinos
1x berserkers w/ rhino

1500 nob bikers (-1 comp)
2 warbosses
2x10 nob bikers w/ assorted upgrades
1x 10 grots

How can a comp system that more heavily penalizes random fluffy armies than the heavy-hitters be considered even remotely reasonable?
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Postby doc » Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:45 pm

Well, the players who attend Astro find it reasonable!
Maybe it is a "cultural" thing... if you play in a WAAC environment no matter what comp system is presented to you you'll not like it. If you play at an event like Astro, where EVERY table is unique, with objective based scenarios (tableling won't win the game for you), it works just fine!
I've seen it used in other events... maybe it does not work for all.

On your lists...
I'm glad you didn't call the CSM list "fluffy" - the "one-god" purists hate those builds...
-2, and you'd not win many games at Astro... it ain't that powerful
the ork bikers list is tougher - again you are correct at -1, but again, I doubt you'd win a single game at Astro.

This is the beauty of that system - you need to balance your army composition to be able to cope with variable scenarios. they are weird, they can be frustrating (I won one a couple of years ago - I had 60% casualties, and killed ONE harlequin - but I made the objectives, he did not), but one thing is always true - an "eggs in one basket" approach will not get you wins.

Lets face it - NO system is prefect, I've written a couple over the years that have been "satisfactory", but never closer than that.

The organizers put a LOT of effort into bringing the system up to date for 5e; at first I did not like it, as it penalizes troops, but in some of their scenarios troops may not be the game winners! The only think I still object to is the 2nd HQ - Space Wolves take auto hits for that!

And as for Phil/Jervis - you asked I answered. I have personally played both of them at tourneys and I find them to be great gamers. Despite what they may publish...
Oh, and it is not "my" system :D
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Postby Redbeard » Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:09 pm

Then what you're saying is what Fred already proposed (either in this thread, or the other one) - that intelligent, complex missions solve the problem, without needing a comp system. Perhaps why Astro works is because of this, and the comp system, which seems to only detract from themed armies, has nothing to do with it at all.

I don't doubt that Jervis or Phil would be great fun to play a game with. But there's a big difference between being a good gamer, and a good designer. GW has institutionalized values GW (championed by Jervis) that discourage systematic playtesting, and that is what allowed these things to get into the game. No one is perfect - I work in software and we're always finding new bugs... But, a well-designed playtesting (QA) process would catch the extreme builds that seem to make it through in each codex. But they're simply not interested in doing that.
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Postby Generalissimo_Fred » Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:12 pm

doc wrote:
Generalissimo_Fred wrote:I would like the original poster to provide his rules for composition at a tournament. Give us your rules and guidelines to monitor composition of armies. All I have read is armies must match the background of the codex. That is much to subjective and not quantifiable at all. Give us something to test.

In the past every attempt to judge composition has lead to a redifinition of overpowered armies. We have found the boundaries simply are moved and the results you are looking for never happen. Let me hear what you have to solve this problem.


Here is a really simple, easy to use, proven, and well respected one.
http://www.mts.net/~xian/astronomi-con/ ... sition.htm



Very interesting set of comp rules here. I must say it is simple, yet devious at the same time. You are right it seems not able to work above 1500pts. Some lists just wouldn't be able to get to 1850pts without losing points. I wonder what the overall points total for the tourney is? How many battle points per round? How many rounds? If it's like what we are used to, then losing 4-5pts in comp won't make much difference if the possible battle points are big enough.

1500pts is fun to play because most high points cost units have real power since there are fewer enemy guns to shoot those stronger units.
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