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Overview of the tournament scene

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11 minutes ago, SwampHeart said:

Leaving a 2 day event because you had a bad first day is the definition of poor sportsmanship.  You've created a headache for the organizer and other players specifically because you haven't gotten what you want. Hopefully the TO has a ringer ready, hopefully a player doesn't spend 30 minutes of round 4 waiting for pairings to be reshuffled, and hopefully the tournament doesn't score on SoS. 

To be honest in MTG things like that happen constantly, it's a normal thing for player to do (I don't understand it either, even if I'm not going to place I still want to play).

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 I don't see it as bad sportsmanship at all.  Bad sportsmanship has to do with your behavior at the table.  Leaving a tournament because you don't have any chance of placing is a common thing in pretty much every game with an established tournament circuit.  I value my free time, and if I'm going to travel to a tournament to place, and I fall in the standings and cannot place any longer, there is no longer a point for me to be there.

Its a business to me.  Tournament organizers in every other game I play are adept at working with this because its so common.  The only time I could see that this would be an issue is if you have fixed pairings for the entire event, which I have never once seen.  Typically your rounds are prepared before the round even starts because they use a swiss format where you have to wait for the current round to complete so you know where everyone stands before you can even create the standings, so players leaving aren't putting anyone out at all.  

I think its more that you feel its bad form, and I don't feel its bad form, but sportsmanship debates are rather useless in my opinion because they are all nothing but personal opinions.  In my case, you won't change my opinion.  If I have a chance to spend the day doing something I'd rather be doing over slogging through an entire day where I have no chance to place, I'll always be spending the day doing something else.  

The only time that isn't viable is if I've traveled with a group and the group is still playing, in which case I'll stick around and play because they are as well.

As to gotcha tactics in tournaments, thats what tournaments are.  A way to test your ability to play the game, know the rules, and react accordingly.  If you know the rules you cannot be gotcha'd.  If you don't want to be gotcha'd, take the time to memorize the rules.  With Sigmar thats not that difficult, there aren't many rules in the first place.  The hardest part is flash carding the most common warscrolls you might face so that you can memorize them, and even that is not as big a deal.

Edited by Dead Scribe

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22 minutes ago, Dead Scribe said:

 I don't see it as bad sportsmanship at all.  Bad sportsmanship has to do with your behavior at the table.  Leaving a tournament because you don't have any chance of placing is a common thing in pretty much every game with an established tournament circuit.  I value my free time, and if I'm going to travel to a tournament to place, and I fall in the standings and cannot place any longer, there is no longer a point for me to be there.

Its a business to me.  Tournament organizers in every other game I play are adept at working with this because its so common.  The only time I could see that this would be an issue is if you have fixed pairings for the entire event, which I have never once seen.  Typically your rounds are prepared before the round even starts because they use a swiss format where you have to wait for the current round to complete so you know where everyone stands before you can even create the standings, so players leaving aren't putting anyone out at all.  

I think its more that you feel its bad form, and I don't feel its bad form, but sportsmanship debates are rather useless in my opinion because they are all nothing but personal opinions.  In my case, you won't change my opinion.  If I have a chance to spend the day doing something I'd rather be doing over slogging through an entire day where I have no chance to place, I'll always be spending the day doing something else.  

The only time that isn't viable is if I've traveled with a group and the group is still playing, in which case I'll stick around and play because they are as well.

I think the disconnect comes from the history of this game and GW as a whole.  For 20+ years the game system was marketed as a hobby first and a game second.  The change GW has made in the last couple of years is to recognize and market toward the more competitive game side of the market.  For 20+ years the game focus was not on who won but on the hobby aspects of the armies and having a beer and pretzel good time.  That to me is why this discussion keeps coming up.  Unlike MTG, Warhammer was never intended to be or marketed as a highly competitive game until very recently. 

I think both sides have value its just two very different perspectives that are currently interacting more frequently.

 

Edited by TheWilddog
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I can understand that I suppose if you have been around for a while and are steeped in the hobby aspect.  I am a pure gamer though, and most of the games I play have no hobby component, and really as far as miniatures tabletop go I don't involve myself in the hobby there either and pay to have others do that for me simply because it doesn't interest me.

However things were done before, to me it seems that the company is moving toward highly competitive gameplay though and I'm the target audience for that.

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1 hour ago, Dead Scribe said:

Its a business to me.

With that I'll simply agree to disagree. I doubt that there is any common ground between the way you and I view the hobby at all - despite both being tournament players. 

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1 hour ago, Dead Scribe said:

 I don't see it as bad sportsmanship at all.  Bad sportsmanship has to do with your behavior at the table.  Leaving a tournament because you don't have any chance of placing is a common thing in pretty much every game with an established tournament circuit.  I value my free time, and if I'm going to travel to a tournament to place, and I fall in the standings and cannot place any longer, there is no longer a point for me to be there.

Its a business to me.  Tournament organizers in every other game I play are adept at working with this because its so common.  The only time I could see that this would be an issue is if you have fixed pairings for the entire event, which I have never once seen.  Typically your rounds are prepared before the round even starts because they use a swiss format where you have to wait for the current round to complete so you know where everyone stands before you can even create the standings, so players leaving aren't putting anyone out at all.  

I think its more that you feel its bad form, and I don't feel its bad form, but sportsmanship debates are rather useless in my opinion because they are all nothing but personal opinions.  In my case, you won't change my opinion.  If I have a chance to spend the day doing something I'd rather be doing over slogging through an entire day where I have no chance to place, I'll always be spending the day doing something else.  

The only time that isn't viable is if I've traveled with a group and the group is still playing, in which case I'll stick around and play because they are as well.

As to gotcha tactics in tournaments, thats what tournaments are.  A way to test your ability to play the game, know the rules, and react accordingly.  If you know the rules you cannot be gotcha'd.  If you don't want to be gotcha'd, take the time to memorize the rules.  With Sigmar thats not that difficult, there aren't many rules in the first place.  The hardest part is flash carding the most common warscrolls you might face so that you can memorize them, and even that is not as big a deal.

Even as someone who likes competition, I don't think I can get behind this.

If you really care about competition and getting better, stay and play the day out. What are you going to do otherwise, go home and do nothing? I'd rather stay and get more tournament experience outside my personal meta. You can always learn something from playing out those games even if you can't win a trophy, whilst you learn nothing from going home and waxing poetic over the event that got away. 

I mean, I agree, the TO doesn't care if you drop or not. All it takes for them is to do a different input into whatever software they're using. And if you don't know anyone there, no one else cares if you leave. It just seems a bit silly on a personal level to pay for an event and then peace out because you won't podium. But it's your money and time to spend, I guess.

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1 hour ago, TheWilddog said:

I think the disconnect comes from the history of this game and GW as a whole...

Well said, I think this is really at the heart of these discussions.

 

37 minutes ago, Dead Scribe said:

However things were done before, to me it seems that the company is moving toward highly competitive gameplay though and I'm the target audience for that.

Here here!

As for leaving day 2 of an event, I come from MtG where it's just a given.  If the list you're playing isn't good enough to make it to day 2, it's back to the drawing board.  There isn't much left to be learned playing a list that can't perform.

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27 minutes ago, Dead Scribe said:

the company is moving toward highly competitive gameplay

genuinely interested in what you think they're doing to move the game as a whole towards highly competitive gameplay?

sure I can see that they're providing a bit more support and rules clarifications for tournaments and I could see Underworlds as being designed for more competitive play, so maybe I'm wrong, but it still feels like with the main game every chance they have they reiterate that narrative style play is what they see as the game's platonic ideal.

and indeed some of the things they've recently done like additional realm rules for tournaments actually seem designed to make those games have more of a narrative feel and annoyed a fair few people who just want to smash faces in on flat boards with no random elements involved.

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3 minutes ago, Requizen said:

I mean, I agree, the TO doesn't care if you drop or not.

Boy I don't know about that.

I mean, if it's a business, and all the TO cares about is maximizing their profits (ie. the thing you use to keep score in the game of business) then sure, I guess they don't care since they already collected your points/money.  You know, all those wild profits that TOs are famous for making from their warhammer tournaments.

But if *everyone* who was out of contention dropped out after day one, there'd be, what, 1/3 of the field left for day two?  Seems like a bit of kick in the whatsits to me.  A personally targetted F U from each player directly to the TO.  And, really, why wait for the end of day one?  If you drop a couple bombs in game one and two, what's the point of game 3?  Even more, if you drop a bomb in game one, and go down early in objective points in game two, why even finish game two?  Just kick off for home after the 3rd round.

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Can't say I speak for everyone but for me it's because for day 1 I'm already at the venue. Making the trip out for day 2 when I'm already 0-3 just isn't an efficient use of my time.  Could spend it working out a better list.

22 minutes ago, amysrevenge said:

 Seems like a bit of kick in the whatsits to me.  A personally targetted F U from each player directly to the TO.

Genuinely curious, why is that?  It's not a reflection on you as a person or on the event itself, it's just the math and time management.  I've dropped from plenty of great events on day 2 since the commute and time just didnt make sense at that point.

Edited by relic456

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19 minutes ago, amysrevenge said:

Boy I don't know about that.

I mean, if it's a business, and all the TO cares about is maximizing their profits (ie. the thing you use to keep score in the game of business) then sure, I guess they don't care since they already collected your points/money.  You know, all those wild profits that TOs are famous for making from their warhammer tournaments.

But if *everyone* who was out of contention dropped out after day one, there'd be, what, 1/3 of the field left for day two?  Seems like a bit of kick in the whatsits to me.  A personally targetted F U from each player directly to the TO.  And, really, why wait for the end of day one?  If you drop a couple bombs in game one and two, what's the point of game 3?  Even more, if you drop a bomb in game one, and go down early in objective points in game two, why even finish game two?  Just kick off for home after the 3rd round.

Eh, depends on a lot of stuff. Yeah, if it was everyone, that'd suck, but most of the time it's like a 5-10% drop for this type of thing, which sucks but for bigger events is basically nothing, just a handful of people who care about placement too much. Look at Adepticon. Both 40k and AoS have plenty of drops after round 2 or 3 as players start to lose the ability to contend and would rather do other stuff, but it's no big deal.

Now, if you travel to a store one-day and drop after round 1 because you lost... well now you're just being kind of a putz, because they might not even have a ringer. But for GTs or something where it's big with a lot of glory, there's generally enough people and structure in place where even ~10 people dropping on the first day isn't a problem.

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1 minute ago, relic456 said:

Genuinely curious, why is that?  It's not a reflection on you as a person or on the event itself, it's just the math and time management.  I've dropped from plenty of great events on day 2 since the commute and time just didnt make sense at that point.

Because as a TO I now have to adjust pairings (and more than just yours, I have to re-pair the entire event and I need to make sure everything still lines up) and as a player you've completely FUBAR'd my SoS and there is now going to be a delay on day 2 (especially if you don't tell the TO the night before). If you've never run a 2 day event I'm sure it doesn't seem like that big a deal but I can tell you that even with good planning its a huge PITA to deal with day 2 drops because it impacts the entire event and the time table. 

As to spending your time better? I'd suggest reading Nick Nanivanti's thoughts on the subject. Staying and playing through day 2, even with a bad list is a better use of your time than being at home writing a new list. You have more opportunities to practice various skills, try specific plays, and learn specific match ups after a bad day 1 than any other time. There is no pressure to perform at that point so you can focus on developing and refining specific skills in a more 'live' environment than you usually get access to. It takes a longer view but you don't get better by quitting after day 1.  

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1 hour ago, Dead Scribe said:

 I don't see it as bad sportsmanship at all.  Bad sportsmanship has to do with your behavior at the table.  Leaving a tournament because you don't have any chance of placing is a common thing in pretty much every game with an established tournament circuit.  I value my free time, and if I'm going to travel to a tournament to place, and I fall in the standings and cannot place any longer, there is no longer a point for me to be there.

Its a business to me. ....

How do you make this a business? I am curiuos, this is so alien to me. What AOS tournaments as an example have a lot of players leaving day one and  a lot  of  players trying to win with gotcha tactics (instead of for example strategy)?

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2 minutes ago, SwampHeart said:

Because as a TO I now have to adjust pairings (and more than just yours, I have to re-pair the entire event and I need to make sure everything still lines up) and as a player you've completely FUBAR'd my SoS and there is now going to be a delay on day 2 (especially if you don't tell the TO the night before). If you've never run a 2 day event I'm sure it doesn't seem like that big a deal but I can tell you that even with good planning its a huge PITA to deal with day 2 drops because it impacts the entire event and the time table. 
 

Eh, I can sorta see that, but now there are so many TOing tools (BCP and Warscore are the top ones imo) and they're so robust, literally all you have to do is mark a Drop and reset the round. If you were still doing it by hand, sure maybe, but for anything larger than 30 people I'd never do it manually (heck, for 12 person events I use an app because I'm lazy).

Messing up SoS is a legit complaint, since it can warp top spots, but unless SoS is your primary tiebreaker or the scores are just that close, I don't think it overall matters too much.

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some people are desperate to win, if they can no longer do that some might rather hang out with mates they've not seen in months/years and have fun with them rather than play a game against someone they dunno which has every potential of being a really un-enjoyable game as much as it does being an enjoyable one 

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Just now, Requizen said:

Eh, I can sorta see that, but now there are so many TOing tools (BCP and Warscore are the top ones imo) and they're so robust, literally all you have to do is mark a Drop and reset the round. If you were still doing it by hand, sure maybe, but for anything larger than 30 people I'd never do it manually (heck, for 12 person events I use an app because I'm lazy).

Messing up SoS is a legit complaint, since it can warp top spots, but unless SoS is your primary tiebreaker or the scores are just that close, I don't think it overall matters too much.

I used BCP and Tabletop TO - both are great apps and make the process much easier but even with those if you've got 10% drops on day 2 even the drop and repair options can cause problems, especially if you didn't have a ringer on day 1. Having to add a new player mid round and then adjust pairings manually (depending on how you approach the bye/ringer pairing) isn't fun. If everyone who dropped told the TO the night before it wouldn't be so bad because you've got 8+ hours to deal with it but having to fix it 10 minutes before the start of round 4 is crappy even when you prepare for it.  

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24 minutes ago, SwampHeart said:

Because as a TO I now have to adjust pairings (and more than just yours, I have to re-pair the entire event and I need to make sure everything still lines up) and as a player you've completely FUBAR'd my SoS and there is now going to be a delay on day 2 (especially if you don't tell the TO the night before). 

I'm sorry, I assumed an event where this stuff has been automated.  I thought I read somewhere there was an app now? You can disregard if that isnt the case.

24 minutes ago, SwampHeart said:

As to spending your time better? I'd suggest reading Nick Nanivanti's thoughts on the subject. Staying and playing through day 2, even with a bad list is a better use of your time than being at home writing a new list. You have more opportunities to practice various skills, try specific plays, and learn specific match ups after a bad day 1 than any other time. There is no pressure to perform at that point so you can focus on developing and refining specific skills in a more 'live' environment than you usually get access to. It takes a longer view but you don't get better by quitting after day 1.  

I'm familiar with the conventional wisdom of playing it out and in the general case I agree.  Where I disagree is that if my list is a real stinker after day 1 (0-3), then on day 2 I'm likely also facing other 0-3 lists, which won't represent the top lists I'm trying to beat.  Specific skills like positioning, placement, deployment, etc. would be better developed by trying to get matches with the peeps who did well on day 2, sometime after the event.  They are piloting high performing lists and obviously had the supplemental skills to succeed.  I've found that (in all things really) engaging and befriending the successful people improved my skills the fastest (and they're usually nice and fun to hang with to boot!).

Edited by relic456

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Just now, relic456 said:

I'm sorry, I assumed an event where this stuff has been automated.  I thought I read somewhere there was an app now? You can disregard if that isnt the case.

See above - even with automation it isn't a 'click and be done' scenario.
 

1 minute ago, relic456 said:

I'm familiar with the conventional wisdom of playing it out and in the general case I agree.  Where I disagree is that if my list is a real stinker after day 1 (0-3), then on day 2 I'm likely also facing other 0-3 lists, which won't represent the top lists I'm trying to beat.  Specific skills like positioning, placement, deployment, etc. would be better developed by trying to get matches with the peeps who did well on day 2, sometime after the event.  They are piloting high performing lists and obviously had the supplemental skills to succeed.  I've found that (in all things really) engaging and befriending the successful people improved my skills the fastest.

I'm just going off what one of the most successful 40k players thinks about the subject. I'd never drop on day 2 for a huge variety of personal reasons so its a moot point for me personally. 

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Wow this went off the rails fast! My 2 cents - people bringing good/ tough lists does not make them a "poor sports" or "win at all cost". In fact I could argue that the worst games I've ever had at any event - including MtG - is usually against players with the less optimum lists. The 'pros' regardless of scene tend to be the best and nicest of people to play. 

In any case here's a little something to get this back on track - I call this table - "Chris Tomlin is amazing at AoS (and Frostheart Pheonix's are quite good too....)"

image.png.92c607d09200d66513cbc6f8d12551ab.png

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32 minutes ago, SwampHeart said:

Because as a TO I now have to adjust pairings (and more than just yours, I have to re-pair the entire event and I need to make sure everything still lines up) and as a player you've completely FUBAR'd my SoS and there is now going to be a delay on day 2 (especially if you don't tell the TO the night before). If you've never run a 2 day event I'm sure it doesn't seem like that big a deal but I can tell you that even with good planning its a huge PITA to deal with day 2 drops because it impacts the entire event and the time table. 

As to spending your time better? I'd suggest reading Nick Nanivanti's thoughts on the subject. Staying and playing through day 2, even with a bad list is a better use of your time than being at home writing a new list. You have more opportunities to practice various skills, try specific plays, and learn specific match ups after a bad day 1 than any other time. There is no pressure to perform at that point so you can focus on developing and refining specific skills in a more 'live' environment than you usually get access to. It takes a longer view but you don't get better by quitting after day 1.  

Well now I want to go to a tournament. If I don’t care about winning a trophy but just about getting mechanically better and being exposed to new armies no one in my store plays then it seems like a good way to personally improve by simply going through the motions of deployment, movement, practicing positioning, and even learning why my list wasn’t great and how to use the same list but refine it down. 

This sounds fun. 

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Apologies for my part in the derailing, it's a topic I'm passionate about and cant seem to help throwing my 2c whenever it comes up.

Does Chris Tomlin have any further insight on how his list is killing it? He's obviously a strong player, would be interesting to know if there's anything specific about how he pilots the list that he thinks contributes to its success.

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4 hours ago, Dead Scribe said:

Anyone know why that is?  Why is being competition-focused seen as such a bad "toxic" thing where you'll get picked at for it and called a cartoon character?  I feel I'm pretty tame compared to a lot of people I know that post in other forums and groups for other games. 

The other things that are referred to, leaving after a day if you can't place, playing with the exact best of the army list / models those things are pretty much normal fare everywhere else I look, I'm not sure how that destroys the community here if you play that way.

I dont think it does at all.  I think that if someone doesn't like those things that those people should stick with the people that like what they do and it all will be fine.   

It is a difficult question to answer, and one that doesn't have a single answer.  Speaking for myself, the challenge is a matter of expectations and where the hobby falls within the scope of life.  I don't view competition-focused as toxic.  I do however see it as a different set of values from my own.  I would love to compete, but I recognize that being able to do so requires an investment that I don't wish to make at this point in my life.  

I like to use the analogy of playing basketball.  I love playing basketball in the Dad's league because the other players in the league are at a similar level as myself in terms of priorities and skills.  Yes, sometimes we get someone who is outside are target "audience", but generally speaking everyone is on the same page.  Now, if I was asked if I wanted to play in the semi-pro league, I would likely decline because I am a step slower and cannot practice 3-5 days per week.  Its not that I don't enjoy the game or desire to compete, I just don't wish to compete at the same level as players in the semi-pro league.  

When some people throw around toxic, or in my case harass my more competitive friends, its coming from the perspective that we cannot compete with them  but still want to participate.  Since there is a gap in desired outcomes, some people tend to resort to name calling in an effort to get the other party to move closure to what they want (United States politics anyone).    

 

3 hours ago, SwampHeart said:

Leaving a 2 day event because you had a bad first day is the definition of poor sportsmanship.  You've created a headache for the organizer and other players specifically because you haven't gotten what you want. Hopefully the TO has a ringer ready, hopefully a player doesn't spend 30 minutes of round 4 waiting for pairings to be reshuffled, and hopefully the tournament doesn't score on SoS. 

 I need to disagree with your point.  The job of a TO is to organize and keep things moving forward over the event.  If someone wishes to drop after the first day and has done the proper courtesy of notifying the TO in a timely fashion, that is not poor sportsmanship.  As a former TO, I never had an issue with someone dropping after the first day if they are not enjoying themselves.  Time is too precious to be wasted on being miserable at something that is ultimately intended to bring joy.  I also prefer not to "force" them to play and risk the chance that their negativity will impact other players on the second day.  What you are describing is more of a complete failure by both parties to handle the situation properly.

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1 hour ago, relic456 said:

Apologies for my part in the derailing, it's a topic I'm passionate about and cant seem to help throwing my 2c whenever it comes up.

Does Chris Tomlin have any further insight on how his list is killing it? He's obviously a strong player, would be interesting to know if there's anything specific about how he pilots the list that he thinks contributes to its success.

I think @Chris Tomlin possibly did a write up some where on TGA ?

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It’s interesting to note that some of the most popular choices aren’t the absolute highest win rate, like SCE and LoN. It may be because of cannibalizing each other, many same army face offs, in which for every winner of the army there’s also a loser of the army. 

Also it’s interesting to see the win rates compared to the “tiers”. For instance Ironjawz is stated to be low tier 2 but low tier 1 with a certain list yet their win % is 42, whilst BCR are considered super unviable garbage tier 3 yet sit at the same win %. 

Reflecting the win %, are the tiers perhaps wrong? 

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Win % is fun to look at but maybe isn't a super useful tool in the end, without a muuuuuuuuch larger sample size.  The confounding factor of an outlier choosing to play a dumb army and win with it (hi @Chris Tomlin ) is too big of a swing in the results at this scale.

 

I'm more interested in things like what % of all tournament players choose a certain faction.  I'd be even more interested if there was a way to weight it based on how many tournament games each of these players has under their belt (but I realize this data is not available).

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