Monday, April 26, 2010

"POWWAH!!!"--Jeremy Clarkson reads my mind

OK, I have a chaos daemon army...I admit it. It is a guilty pleasure to see my opponent get all sweaty and start making mistakes when I set down 4 or 5 monstrous deep-strike.....all at one time.....

I am playing in (not running for once, thanks Drew!) a 40k campaign at my FLGS. The first campaign turn took place this past Saturday, and even though I scored a draw (stupid variable game length...grrrr) I had more fun than I have had in a LONG time. There are quite a few reasons this is happening.

First, I am playing games with people I genuinely like to be around. Not just my opponent Kennedy (who is a super nice guy), but everyone there. I don't have the universal jerk syndrome right now at the Armoury....(Gawd I hope it stays that way)

Second is my army. I haven't played the daemons in a while. I kind of wanted to play my Necrons in the campaign, but when another player stepped up there, I decided to spread out the armies and go with daemons. Why you ask? Don't they suck? Aren't they really chancy?

Why yes they are....and I think part of my love of the army is those factors. They press me to be a better player, and reward my really aggressive nature on the table. So how did I arrive at the Jeremy Clarkson quote as a title? Simple. 4 monstrous creatures.

FYI go watch Jeremy and his pals on the show is Top Gear. Even if you aren't a car guy these three are FUNNY!

The list is a quad power list using the strengths of every power....for now. I have a blood thirster and Keeper as my HQ, back by Tzeentch and Nurgle princes, then blood letters and plague bearers as troops. I currently have a large unit of blood crushers as a support/anvil unit as well.

I plan on making a few minor changes as the campaign goes on. First and foremost is to drop the keeper for a second Bloodthirster. Then I plan on losing the crushers to upgrade the Tzeentch prince to a Nurgle prince with noxious touch, and adding more numbers to my troops.

In the long run the list will drop the big guys as wave one and the troops in wave two (in a perfect world). That lets me get right in my opponents face and set them on the defensive while i drop my troops on the objectives.

So, I think I have a decent plan, we'll see how it plays out. Kennedy's Tau certainly didn't like the daemons, but Tim's Mechanized Eldar might not feel as bad about facing them.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I would say this confirms it....

as if we didn't already know....

So a little left field I know....

I heard something over the weekend at a parenting and motivational speech that really struck a chord in me....

"As Iron sharpens Iron, so a friend sharpens a friend" -- proverbs 27:17

Now, I am not a religious guy, but the truth of this statement really hit me. I have truly been shaped and challenged by my friends over the years. The people I care about outside of my family, Parker, Chris, Damon, Jeph, Craig, have all helped me better myself and I hope you have been challenged by me as well. If we do not challenge and each other to be better people on a daily basis we get dull, and fall into patterns or "ruts" if you will. This can be applied to gaming as well as day to day "real life".

Now I'm not gonna get all weepy and start gushing, I just wanted to take a second, and say thanks guys, I am better for knowing you!

Friday, April 16, 2010

If I were Napoleon where would I go? Waterloo!!!

Well, I have a habit of leaving myself a blind-spot. Farseer Jenkins pointed it out for me in his comment on my Socrates post. I have been off the grid in the hills and sticks of southern Kentucky for a few days with little else to think about. I think my core scoring system is sound, if in need of a heavier point allocation to the mission objectives. In the example I used before I was using 1500 point armies. Let's stay at that level for the sake of consistency.

A revised score might look like this:

1500 points possible for killing your opponent (and yes I know there is the strategy of coming to a 1500 point tourney with a 1400 point army)
1000 for primary objective
700 for secondary objective
300 for tertiary objective

Now, bear in mind these point totals can be adjusted upwards to balance with larger armies. I think 130-150% of the army size in play is about right. This means kills are important but not all important.

An example of how this balances comes up ALL the time at the armoury...I call it pulling a draw from the jaws of defeat....take 3 of 5 objectives with only 3 models left on the table at the end of the game. In this case the "losing" player has essentially tabled his opponent and still "lost". His kill points would offset that issue, and balance out the scoring, creating a more balanced score. In other systems this might create more chances for tie scores, but here, there is enough variability in the scoring that SHOULDN'T be an issue. What do you think now?

We are looking at 3500 points possible a round. Now, NO ONE is going to go three games and table all his opponents with no casualties, so a perfect score is technically an impossibility. "So what?" you ask? I think this works well to eliminate the tie scores I have seen so many of over the years. What do you all think?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

We can't forget So-crates

I have been thinking about tournaments a lot lately, and what might be wrong with them. I came up with the following (long) system that I think would work reasonably well as a scoring system. It has worked in the several tournaments I have run at Armoury Games, but here are the details:

The process of scoring games at a tournament is not easy. There are a lot of things to keep track of, and the layered objectives for each game add to the complexity. I propose that we look at an alternative system that might shave off some of the complexity by breaking everything into it’s component parts and assigning a point value similar to the basic army lists. In short, keep it simple, and don’t forget to think like So-crates!

The basic annihilation mission gives us the core of what I mean. Each unit in the game is assigned a point value, and that value is modified by any gear given to the unit. In tournaments we set a “point value” or PV for each player’s army at the tournament. For simplicities sake, let us assume it is 1500 points. At the core of each round’s scoring is the point value of the army, which is then modified by the objectives for each mission. So you have 1500 points for the army, and another 500 points for the three mission objectives allowing a total of 2000 points to be scored each round. At the end of the tournament, this sub-total is then modified by the player’s sportsmanship score and painting/composition score. In a perfect world this would be 4500 points, the objectives for three rounds at 500 per round, plus 200 for paint, and another 300 for sportsmanship. This will tally a maximum 6500 points available for the tournament.

As an example a round might break down like this:

Mission: Attrition, hell, go for the jugular

Primary: Score more kill points 250 points

Kill highest cost HQ 150 points

Kill highest cost troop selection 100 points

Random Game length, Spearhead deployment

You score the point value of the models killed, plus the above points, and turn in the total at the end of the round. So you play a 1497 point Blood Angels army in round one. You kill all but his chaplain with a jump pack and 6 of a 10 man tactical squad with the plasma gunner surviving. This breaks down to 125 for the chaplain, and 74 for the marines (16 each plus the plasma gun). If you total that you get a kill total of 1298 points. Then add your objective points, for this example we assume two of the three. (the surviving marines were the expensive troops), you then add 400 points for a grand total of 1698 out of 2000 possible for the round.

In an objectives based mission it might look like this:

Mission: I’m in charge and that’s my toy and you can’t have it!

Primary: 3 objectives, hold more than your opponent 250 points

Secondary: hold all 3 objectives for one total player turn, (only score-able once) 150 points

Tertiary: Kill all of the enemies HQ units 100 point

Variable Game Length, Dawn of War Deployment

Again you score off of the point value of the units you kill plus the objectives. In this game you play a 1500 point Tyranid army. Here, it is possible for both players to score one of the objectives, but not for both to win. Let’s assume the Tyranids managed to swarm across the board and hold all 3 objectives on turn 2, but by the end of the game you have pushed back and hold 2 of them. If you killed 1427 points and the expensive hive tyrant, but never hold all of the objectives at one time, your score would look like this: 1427 for the kills, 250 primary, 100 tertiary, total 1777 for the round.

At the end of the day, the tournament organizer simply tallies the points for the three rounds, adds the sportsmanship and painting/composition scores to get a total for each player. Highest points wins.

The advantage to this is that we do not need a separate battle score, and there is no looking up the margin of victory on a chart at the end of a game to see how many points were scored. There is no layered scoring, and a player can keep track of his own score easily if he wants to.

While this method has drawbacks, most of these can be easily fixed by making sure every player has a detailed army list that is printed and easy to read, and is clear on the point totals for that player’s army.

What the So-crates method does is streamline everything down into one set of points to tally. Each player is responsible for having that clear army list, and being able to do simple math. If the score for a round becomes unclear for any reason, due to player error in calculating a score (this should be double checked by the judge at turn in) then the round is invalidated and both players involved get points for a draw, ie. 1750 for that round.

The guys over at Central Ohio Battles have a nice system they are testing out as well. I sent this all to them as a possible alternative to start a discussion on what we all think might work as the BEST, and most fair scoring system for tournaments. The idea is to maximize fun by eliminating the arguments and general vagueness that some systems have. Let us know what you think, here, and over on their blog at .

Friday, April 2, 2010

Follow up to the Fleshtearers tutrial a few days ago

L. Bursley continues his space marine painting on

I like this one because it shows how he does bisected armour and keeps the line clean. Go check it out! Link on the right!