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Supplementary Awards for AoS Events

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Brendan Melnick and I started talking a couple years ago about potential supplementary awards for AoS events. In particular, we were interested in awards for "casually competitive" players: folks who enjoy going to events but who also enjoy playing non-optimal builds, or generally uncommon armies, for a variety of reasons.

Those discussions led to Brendan ironing out the kinks for two awards that he's been offering at Brew City Brawl: 

The Sigmar Hardmode Award (AKA the "Special Snowflake"): Eligible for players that finish at least 3-2 with an army that is both unique and challenging to win with. Assessing the winner can be done in different ways. Brew City, e.g., has a small, private group of trusted voters who make the final selection.

(Sidenote: We were thrilled to see @domus and AoS Coach add a similar award to Midwest Meltdown and Sydney GT respectively.)

The Big 3 Award: At Brew City, the Big 3 is awarded to the player with the highest total score whose list includes only 3 Leaders, in addition to the rest of their 2K list. Of those 3 Leaders, 2 must be Unique and 2 must be Behemoth. (Thus 1 must be a Unique Behemoth Leader.) Of course, some armies can't meet those requirements, but as a supplementary award, I think it's OK if it has some exclusions.

Different parameters could be set for both awards as well. The Big 3, e.g., could be reoriented to make it more broadly accessible. (In that regard, @Ben Johnson was part of our original inspiration, in light of his well-known love of running at least 3 Behemoths.) However, I think Brendan ended up with the limitations that he set for the Big 3, in part because it's not that usual nowadays to see lists running 3+ Terrorgheists, Bloodthirsters, Keeper of Secrets, and so on.

Recently, he and I have been discussing another possible award. At tournaments, it's common to see lists that duplicate the same warscroll: 18 Morrsarr Guard, 60+ Witch Aelves, 60+ Dryads, etc. We thought it'd be cool to have an award eligible for players who bring faction armies that better reflect the variety of that faction's model range.

We don't have a name worked out yet, and would love to hear any suggestions; but here's some early thoughts on one potential spec.

The award could be eligible to players with a faction-specific list that includes:

  1. a minimum of 4 Leaders and 6 Non-Leaders
  2. no duplicate warscrolls, unless the faction has 2 or less Battleline/Battleline If options, in which case you can duplicate that faction's Battleline/Battleline If, up to 3 total Battleline in your list (note that a duplicate warscroll still only counts as 1 warscroll toward your minimum 6 Non-Leaders)
  3. allies limited to Heroes only (e.g., this allows factions without Wizards to add them as allies)
    • #3 could be removed possibly i.e. no extra restrictions on allies

The above excludes some factions that have a small range (e.g., Ironjawz), but most of the ranges are eligible. 

Here's an example of a 2K list under the above conditions:

Aether-Khemist (160)
Arkanaut Admiral (120)
Aetheric Navigator (80)
Endrinmaster (120)

10 x Arkanaut Company (120)
10 x Arkanaut Company (120)
10 x Arkanaut Company (120)

6 x Endrinriggers (240)
6 x Skywardens (240)
5 x Grundstok Thunderers (100)

War Machines
Arkanaut Ironclad (420)
Grundstok Gunhauler (160)

Total: 2000 / 2000

The above has 4 Leaders and 6 Non-Leaders, with the duplicate Arkanaut Company only counted as 1 warscroll toward the minimum 6 Non-Leaders.

In terms of competitiveness, some factions will be able to build lists with excellent variety that are stronger on the table than the variety lists of other factions. That's inevitable, and perfectly cool. (On average, though, lists will tend to be less optimal.) The main goal here is just to have an incentive and award for players drawn toward collecting and experiencing a faction on the table that more broadly reflects the faction's model range.

So that's one potential spec for another award to go along with Sigmar Hardmode and the Big 3. It probably has some kinks, and other specs might be better.

Would love to hear any thoughts on the above, or other potential supplementary awards for AoS events.

Edited by scrubyandwells
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I like the idea of aiming to reward gamers from different niche groups within the competition other than just the competitive winners/best painters. At the same time the biggest issue I can see is that this is the kind of thing that gets very complicated rather fast as you try to balance out a system that works without having a bias toward some armies over others. As you say some armies will be able to build with this type of system better than others in a competitive sense. 


The other factor is how would you pick a winner - sticking close to the theory of building for the reward is one thing, but at the same time you could easily end up with multiple potential winners. At which point what makes the choice? Pairing a lower win rate to the army composition might work, but at the same time its again overcomplicating matters. 



Personally I wonder if it wouldn't be simpler to have a very basic set of guidelines coupled to something like a "generals favourite" award which is basically the organiser picking an army they felt was the most fun for the day, possibly from a selection of gamers who win below a certain number of matches on the day. This is sort of what you're going for but less formal and basically angles that its a totally bias award based on the organisers choice. Which is basically the same as your complicated system, just without the pretence of the complications. I think its a fairer system in so much as its not something people can deliberately build to win and it doesn't mean that you get people arguing that they built to the "rules" for the award better than others etc... It's simply "your choice". 


Of course bias awards can backlash if they come with a prize and also if the organiser doesn't keep good records and ensures that they are not simply awarding the same person over and over or just their friends. So I can well see justification for going a more complicated pathway that aims to remove bias. I just don't know or think that you'll practically reach a point of no bias. Plus lets not forget things like painting awards are already bias based when it comes to picking the top few choices from the day. 

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Another thing I'd like to point out regarding Brewcity was the secondaries. I REALLY enjoyed them. Besides the fact that I find your standard secondaries to be pretty swingy at best and winmore at worst, Brendan's secondary list really reinforced the vibe. I wouldn't call it a "soft" tournament in terms of competition. There were plenty of hard lists and filth there but the pack had variety. The easiest things tended to be flavorful like shouting "no survivors!" after bodying your opponent's battleline or attempting to bribe a TO (my favorite). It really lent itself to a closeknit and friendly atmosphere. Who'd have thought 50 folks there for hardware could be so damn fun to just be around...

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Back on topic though,

What About the "No Scrubs" Trophy where every unit in the army must be over a certain point cost per model. You'd further more have to play up the no scrubs thing by adding unique expensive heroes.

Edited by Mephisto
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