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Thinking about tournament packs


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Just something I was thinking about...

Tournament packs. 

TOs agonize over their packs, and how to level the playing field toward some sort of ideal of balance.  Make up points (probably less so now that we have Real(TM) Points), limit certain unit types, require minimums of other unit types.  Make up custom scenarios favouring certain army makeups and disfavouring others.  Even add on house rules to curb some of the excesses out of the ruleset.

Where does the effort pay off?

The top quarter or so of the crowd is utterly unaffected by the rules pack, except in that they might have their purchasing/painting schedule altered.  These top 25% will still find ways to use the pack, to make it work for them rather than against them, and they'll still finish toward the top of the standings.

The bottom quarter or so of the crowd will be similarly unaffected by the rules pack - they'll do whatever they like, have a fun time, and be back for more next time.  They're living at the bottom of the standings and couldn't care less.

It's that middle 50% of the crown that actually feel the crunch of the pack.  Folks that maybe have learned only one way to play, and when it doesn't work within the pack they don't know what to do.  Or people with limited collections, who scramble to field a legal list.  Or people who are a bit poo at Warhammer but have enthusiasm (*cough*).  Some of these folks will pop up into that top 25% region, some will drop down into the bottom 25% region, and the rest will find themselves sorted, almost arbitrarily, by the event pack.

Anyway.  Just something I've been thinking about.  Thought I'd put it down.  Don't know if there are any conclusions to draw out of this, other than that maybe it's not worth too much agonizing to hone in on a perfect pack - no matter what you do, the winner is going to come out of the same subset of players.

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  • 1 month later...

In furtherance of this, I've been thinking about a related thing.  House rules that we're so used to, we take them for granted.

"Measure to bases" is one that we do acknowledge.  It's a house rule, and it's a good one that almost everyone does, and it's usually mentioned explicitly in event packs.

How about this one:  "For this multi-round event, use the same list for each game".  Pretty standard fare.  But it's not in the rules for AoS - in the GH the process starts with selecting your army, then allegiance abilities, then deployment and so on.  Tournaments will, without saying anything, assume that the first couple of bits are done once before the event, and each game starts with deployment.  Another fine rule, but not generally acknowledged as a house rule - it's just the way things are done.

I'm noticing it now only because for AoS there's that intermediate step of choosing allegiance abilities that isn't obviously/definitively part of either list writing before the event or of pre-deployment activities at the table.  Some people think it's obviously one way, other people think it's obviously the other way.  And events, at least in my part of the world, are slow to be explicit about it in packs.

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