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Matched Play: How "Optional" Should Terrain and Realm Rules Be?


soak314
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9 minutes ago, The Jabber Tzeentch said:

It certainly is feasible. There’s multiple large 100+ events in the UK that use majority of GW terrain on every table alongside non gw

You mean the ones where TOs used to asked players to bring terrain? Because I've seen coverage from most major UK tournaments and I've seen maybe half? And that number has dropped as organizers pick up stuff from places like Dark Fantastic. 

To add to this, I worked for GW for roughly 8 years and even we used to make MDF terrain to supplement things like Games Day tables and store tables because GW wouldn't shell out for all GW terrain at the time

Edited by SwampHeart
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9 minutes ago, SwampHeart said:

You mean the ones where TOs used to asked players to bring terrain? Because I've seen coverage from most major UK tournaments and I've seen maybe half? And that number has dropped as organizers pick up stuff from places like Dark Fantastic. 

To add to this, I worked for GW for roughly 8 years and even we used to make MDF terrain to supplement things like Games Day tables and store tables because GW wouldn't shell out for all GW terrain at the time

“Used to” there’s people with stores of the stuff now alongside the roll out gaming mats that you can hire for events all over the uk for a reasonable price. 

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46 minutes ago, SwampHeart said:

How much money do you think TOs have to run events? 

Here are pics of tables at LVO and SoCal Open. Some are GW some are not... it’s not a problem in GH19. There are rules for custom/unique terrain so I would recommend all TOs follow those.

 

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B69F1F8F-50D2-4B60-A45D-5FB3A0E74035.jpeg

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RE: Terrain, the main thing is that terrain has to be meaningful.  I see way too often like just a ton of rocky outcrops or similar that are easy to make and ultimately useless except as decorations or to block off lanes because they have gaps so don't do anything to block LOS, are too narrow to really give cover, so are just there so you aren't playing on a flat table. 

That's another topic but I find there's a serious lack of good terrain in most games.  It might be functional, but it doesn't do what terrain should do.  However, my mind is clouded because in my area people rarely if ever use the mysterious terrain rules, if we use them its forgotten about 99% of the time, and a lot of the terrain is  leftover stuff from WHFB that doesn't really fit or IMHO is suitable for AOS and is better suited to rank-and-file games like Kings of War.  However, other than GW (which is still too limited IMHO) I haven't really found any good terrain that fits the AOS aesthetic and isn't just your typical WHFB Empire/Bretonnia medieval European building.

Edited by wayniac
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38 minutes ago, svnvaldez said:

Here are pics of tables at LVO and SoCal Open. Some are GW some are not... it’s not a problem in GH19. There are rules for custom/unique terrain so I would recommend all TOs follow those.

Right but that's directly counter intuitive to what you posted (and what I quoted). 

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4 minutes ago, SwampHeart said:

Right but that's directly counter intuitive to what you posted (and what I quoted). 

Is it? The key take away I got was TOs should set up the table and provide the terrain. Ideally they would use all GW terrain but there are GW rules on how to implement custom terrain if needed. 

GW terrain would use rules from their scenery warscrolls. Other pieces you roll on the table.

Edited by svnvaldez
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3 hours ago, wayniac said:

Well part of that is because hills, lakes, rivers etc. are useless.  They serve no purpose other than to add visuals to the game.

Back on topic the fact that TOs think they know better (ITC is especially guilty of this) is always going to be an issue.  Even in the old days you had RTTs that had additional rules, just it was less prevalent.  I personally feel GW needs to have an actual tournament pack, an official one based on what they feel makes the game, and make using it a requirement for "official" tournaments.  So your "GW tournament rules suck" person can run their own event, just it won't be officially recognized.  You'd still have people like the ITC trying to undermine and usurp (which they already have done in the USA) but I think most people would be using the official from GW rules and not from an arrogant third-party who thinks they know better than the designers of the game.

What is the difference between the tourney suggestions in GHB19 and a seperate published tourney pack, containing basically the same thing?  One would assume what they included in the GHB IS what GW thinks a good tourney should look like.  If they removed the bold on top stating it is optional, I guarantee you it would be used exactly 0 times more then it already is going to get used.  Just like the realm rules as have been clearly stated, are not optional, yet very few tourney's use them.  The US has never followed GW rules very closely in their tourneys, and for that matter neither has continental Europe given that in 8th edition when the US was all comp all the time, the 2 comp systems most used in US were both created in mainland Europe.  I think its really only ever been the UK that has often tried to play the game "as intended" for events, and this makes sense, given its GW's home base, the number of prominent players and organizers who seem to have personal relationships within GW and the only country you can find any significant number of GW sponsored tournaments.   Even then from what I have seen online most AoS tournaments in UK are not using realm rules and are at least lightly modified.  So really not sure what an "official GW rulespack" would do to begin with, considering GHB19 basically released one, and no one is going to use it.  What does "officially recognized" even mean?  Is GW going to start running tourney circuits where events must register and prove use of their tourney pack is in effect with player rankings in each country with regional and national championships etc?  Because that is the only way they get any traction on something like this.

Edited by tripchimeras
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11 hours ago, svnvaldez said:

6 Terrain for the battles will be
provided and set up by the
tournament organisers. All
terrain features will be scenery
models from the Games
Workshop range, and will use
the rules from their scenery
warscroll (scenery warscrolls
can be downloaded from the
Games Workshop website).

This is what you said. You quoted this as something you'd like to see done - obviously then posting a tournament using non GW terrain as an example of what good looks like is counter intuitive to this quote. 

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Yes I would like to see full GW terrain.

But if needed GW provides rules for custom terrain. Size restrictions and a roll on the table.

What I read from point 6 is -  TOs should set up the table and provide the terrain. Ideally they would use all GW terrain but there are GW rules on how to implement custom terrain if needed. 

 GW terrain would use rules from their scenery warscrolls. Other pieces you roll on the table.

Edited by svnvaldez
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On 7/25/2019 at 5:24 AM, soak314 said:

Would you frequent these hypothetical tournaments, knowing they followed the frankly much more random nature of the GHB's official take on matched play?

Yes, I think it would make the game feel more thematic, immersive, and alive. Also I don't necessarily have to win every game. I'm just along for the ride/story and to see what happens. I'm also not very good at the game. So if it was all kind of automatic I think it'd be a lot of fun. 

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On 7/25/2019 at 5:55 AM, The Jabber Tzeentch said:

With unknown battlefield terrain, unknown turns and many other factors, the emphasis gets placed on the player reacting in the best possible way they can for that unique situation.

Bro you should hear about some of stuff Julius Caesar had to go through. Urban Warfare in an Egyptian City, and also he was in the center of a valley sieging a fort, while the enemy army sieged his army from the hills. The way he got out of these situations was crazy. Hell, I'm not even sure he was a good general, just sort of crazy and lucky hahaha. 

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15 minutes ago, svnvaldez said:

What I read from point 6 is -  TOs should set up the table and provide the terrain. Ideally they would use all GW terrain but there are GW rules on how to implement custom terrain if needed. 

Then you should elucidate on this point because the exact language is the opposite of that it says "All terrain features will be scenery models from the Games Workshop range...". This doesn't say ideally, it says ALL which has a very clear meaning. 

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6 minutes ago, chord said:

Seems like from reading all the posts some want the game to be about list building, whereas others want it be more dynamic.  

There very much is two sides to this it seems. Realistically it makes sense to play the game GW have produced if it suits your tastes, rather than expecting tournaments to cut out the bits you don’t like. 

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32 minutes ago, SwampHeart said:

"All terrain features will be scenery models from the Games Workshop range...". This doesn't say ideally, it says ALL which has a very clear meaning.

I guess I don’t understand you. Yes you should use all GW terrain imo. You should run your tournament as GW set out on pg 70-71.

If you can’t you should make as few changes as possible. One example is if you can’t afford GW terrain... then use the GW rules for custom/unique terrain.

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On 7/25/2019 at 8:16 AM, soak314 said:

Anyone can mathhammer an even playing field, not everyone can keep themselves form breaking when things look hairy, and manage to pull wins out their ass in a random, unfair environment.

Like I said, look up some of the bat-*&^% insane stuff Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great had to go through. Half the time it seems like they're ambushed or surprised, or otherwise not expecting a fight and yet because they're geniuses they figure it out and make it work, even when it looks like they're losing. I mean, Julius Caesar literally had a wall building competition to encircle an enemy and they just literally did the Imperial Fist/Iron Warriors FORTIFY/SIEGE meme in real life. It actually happened. 

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On 7/25/2019 at 8:30 AM, SwampHeart said:

When I play in the realm of Ghur and I bring a Ghorgon for my monster and my opponent brings a Magma Dragon there is no 'adapting my tactics' there is just a 300~ point difference in the game now. 

yeah but you can control the magma dragon if you play it right :P now it's YOUR magma dragon haha.

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On 7/25/2019 at 8:43 AM, tripchimeras said:

I think you far oversimplify the effects of realm rules on lists.  Some of them are pretty extreme, and very few army books put emphasis on every phase of the game in equal measure.  Sure I can make a deepkin list with some magic and shooting and infantry, but none of them are particularly good.  In fact I think the best builds in almost all armies do not go COMPLETELY skew, I don't think king eel spam is the best deepkin build, I think the more balanced flip tide is.  It doesn't change the fact that Eels are the beating heart of both lists and if there was a realm that prevented flying and/or deepstrike it would significantly hamper the tactical options in both cases, particularly if my oponent was completely unaffected by the rule.  Over the course of many games, who cares, and yeah its a good challenge to see if I am good enough to overcome it.  But if it is table 1, round 5 of a tourney between 2 presumably closely matched players, do you really think I would be wrong to be pissed about that?  Even if the book were stronger Karadron are always going to be a shooting heavy army, a balanced list in a world they have a few more options might have some combat units, but the beating heart of their list is going to run on shooting.  Ulgu is going to bone them even if they take a balanced list, maybe against a significantly worse player at least in that dream scenario where they at least have SOME combat options they might be able to win, but not at a top table of a tourney.  And that is not how you want a tourney to run/end.

Honestly the best players I've met don't focus on killing. They move in ways that maximize objective control, and use units to simply tie up my army and basically outmanuever me. As Khorne I lost to an all Troggoth list because I was focused on trying to kill all the trolls, while my opponent merely walked onto the objectives and didn't actually kill much of my people. Due to my army getting bogged down by his meatshield of trolls up front I couldn't realistically capture objectives. he out-deployed, and out-manuevered me and didn't even care about killing. 

I think a lot of people forget this game is about objectives and all the best players here always tell me to focus on objectives, make getting objectives and keeping them the #1 priority and not to worry about getting kills. 

It's like League, a lot of people want to carry and have massive K/D/A and be the lone star hero, but it's a team objective based game and getting towers, dragons and other stuff is more important to map control and winning than just killing a lot of people. I've lost games a lot with like 29/5 K/D/R but I've also won games with like 5/9 because we focused on towers/dragon/baron/control. 

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8 minutes ago, Ravinsild said:

Like I said, look up some of the bat-*&^% insane stuff Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great had to go through. Half the time it seems like they're ambushed or surprised, or otherwise not expecting a fight and yet because they're geniuses they figure it out and make it work, even when it looks like they're losing. I mean, Julius Caesar literally had a wall building competition to encircle an enemy and they just literally did the Imperial Fist/Iron Warriors FORTIFY/SIEGE meme in real life. It actually happened. 

In abstract, I agree 100%.

In the reality of our pretend game, it doesn't work that way - all of the random surprises and ambushes and terrain wonderments that *should* force good generals to plan ahead and prepare and make on-the-fly adjustments and figure it out only affect *some* generals.  A Stormcast general needs to be able to adapt to Ulgu or Aqshy or Hysh or whatever, and roll with the punches and improvise and hope to battle through adversity.  A FEC or DoK general just needs to push it all forward like normal through any set of circumstances with zero consideration or modification, because practically none of the existing terrain or realm or even battleplan variations really force anything out of them.

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Every rule in the game is optional. Every rule in every circumstance. You could choose to ignore To Hit rolls if you wanted.  There might even be a type of event where that's appropriate and fun.

You might also get some blow back on that idea since To Hit rolls are one bit of randomness everyone expects and so they choose not lump it in with the terrain rule randomness they claim to hate but that's neither here nor there.

If you are planning or hosting an event, it's wise to take the reasonable expectations of your participants into account but that doesn't change the fact that you can use or not use any rule as you see fit in your games.

When running an event the only rules that aren't "optional" are whatever you think the event's participants expect. 

Edited by Kamose
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1 minute ago, Kamose said:

Every rule in the game is optional. Every rule in every circumstances. You could choose to ignore To Hit rolls if you wanted. You might get some blow back on that since To Hit rolls are one bit of randomness everyone expects and so they choose not lump it in with the terrain rule randomness they claim to hate but that's neither here nor there.

If you are planning or hosting an event, it's wise to take the reasonable expectations of your participants into account but that doesn't change the fact that you can use or not use any rule as you see fit in your games.

When running an event the only rules that aren't "optional" are whatever you think the event's participants expect. 

This is completely true, but I think a bit orthogonal to the thread.  I don't think anyone disagrees that a TO (or any two consenting players) can do whatever they want.  The thread is about how much, if any, of the game can be set to optional and still be considered Matched Play.  I don't think you would try to argue that your hypothetical "no To Hit rolls" game could be advertised as Matched Play.

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I don't know man, I come from Blood Bowl and it just seems like a given. The entire game IS skill based. It's risk management simulator with some fun and wacky antics and skins thrown on top. The kick off can result in half of your team being stunned which can mess up what you thought you were going to do. Blizzard can make passing harder for teams who loves to pass (and those who don't :P), the kick-off random events table, weather table, and everything in between (injuries, special balls and more) are all core parts of the game. That's what makes it so much fun. Also that NUFFLE completely screws you every chance he gets. 

Some teams are objectively weak, and some are objectively strong, some start strong and peter out, and some start slow and end up extremely good. Some teams are good all of the time. That's just the feel and balance of Blood Bowl. 

I'm not sure why the Age of Sigmar crowd is so opposed to this kind of thing. Blood Bowl is LITERALLY how you play the game, not what team you brought. AoS with weather tables (realm rules) and all of that could be fun and how you play the game (not what army you brought) too...but people seem like that's the worst idea ever? 

Edited by Ravinsild
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1 hour ago, amysrevenge said:

In abstract, I agree 100%.

In the reality of our pretend game, it doesn't work that way - all of the random surprises and ambushes and terrain wonderments that *should* force good generals to plan ahead and prepare and make on-the-fly adjustments and figure it out only affect *some* generals.  A Stormcast general needs to be able to adapt to Ulgu or Aqshy or Hysh or whatever, and roll with the punches and improvise and hope to battle through adversity.  A FEC or DoK general just needs to push it all forward like normal through any set of circumstances with zero consideration or modification, because practically none of the existing terrain or realm or even battleplan variations really force anything out of them.

That's true. I play Ironjawz and Khorne (mostly Ironjawz these days but my Khorne is there forever I'll never not use Khorne) and those armies are kind of one trick in nature. We have a little bit of "magic" (Ironjawz do for real, but prayers and judgements aren't really magic....) and very limited shooting (Maw-Krusha scream and uh...Khorgorath, and the demon cannons...) and overall the idea is to just charge in hard and fast and melee attack a lot. 

However weather (realm rules), terrain set up, terrain effects (deadly, sinister, damned, arcane, mystical, etc...) can be tactical for where to maneuver troops to lure opponents to pick fights you want, or to avoid places you don't want to be, etc.. 

I think there COULD be more nuance to "i run forward and charge" (Ironjawz for me) with different maps, battleplans, objectives, terrain, weather and more in play. That's just me though. 

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A lot of people don't like terrain because most terrain for WHFB was made to basically prevent movement on or across it - either by having nowhere flat to put your models, or just being basically a big rock in the way. This is why many players don't like terrain - if there are too many terrain pieces that are not pathable it's just going to gum up the table and make things less fun. This also drives people to ignore terrain and make sure it's not an effective part of the game.

I'm glad that GW is starting to produce terrain with a clear intent that it can have models placed on it easily and fought over - which will encourage more players to use it.

I've not used the realm rules but I'm keen to, many of them seem pretty fun, but a few, like those that limit sight range in Ulgu and stuff, just hose some armies and that's lame. 

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27 minutes ago, amysrevenge said:

This is completely true, but I think a bit orthogonal to the thread.  I don't think anyone disagrees that a TO (or any two consenting players) can do whatever they want.  The thread is about how much, if any, of the game can be set to optional and still be considered Matched Play.  I don't think you would try to argue that your hypothetical "no To Hit rolls" game could be advertised as Matched Play.

Sure but whether the players use the realms (and presumably per the base Matched Play rules determine the Realm at the table as part of the pregame process) or if we actually use all GW terrain is indeed something posters are taking opposites sides of 'it's optional' vs 'its required if it's a matched play tournament.' 

As noted before I think a lot of people make  unconscious assumptions  'everything I really like isn't optional'  while also saying to themselves 'but of course these things that aren't really what I like or that feasible are optional.'

It's a highly flexible rules set designed at it's heart for friendly games amongst peers.    It can be  used  for tournament play but there are quite a bit of (conscious or unconscious) assumptions and adjustments to be made to make it work well in that setting.    An extra pregame terain set up phase for example is a big challenge given that a sizable percentage of AoS games at 'standard 2K size' aren't finished in 2-2.5 hours.     I don't think the GHB 2019 GW suggested model is the best model for tournament play at all.  

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