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Matched Play events. Are Dual lists good or bad for the game?


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Hello folks,

 

I wanted to see what everyone's thoughts were on Dual list events. Since the turn of AoS and the Generals handbook I have seen a mix of events some with Dual lists, sideboards, and single lists. 

 

What at are your thoughts on these Dual lists and even the sideboard? Have you seen highly competitive players play extremes on both their lists in this format? Have you seem minimal changes to lists? Or alternatively have you seen no impact on your event when they have been played. Do you think they add something to the game or do they add so much skew and tailoring that it hindered your enjoyment?

 

For full transparency I am asking because I am trying to entice people back into playing and the Dual list is something that is a huge sticking point with them. They have experience Dual lists in war machine and seen the imbalance that can occur from it so are hesitant to enter the US scene where within the 14hr zone off attending tournaments we have seen at least a couple of events favor the Dual list format. 

 

Tl;dr are Dual list format events bad for the game? Do the wreck your experience or do they add something? 

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Dual lists or sideboards make summoning even weaker in matched play than it already is. The flexibility of being able to choose what you need to tackle a scenario/opponent is the main benefit to sinking a bunch of points into a summoning pool and something to do that summoning. If everyone gets that flexibility for free then nobody will pay points for it.

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We had a two day event at the start of this year playing five of the GHB scenarios (skipping escalation) that went for the two list option. What ended up happening was people either only bothered with one list or they bought their main list and a three places of power list where they spammed heroes. The general consensuses from the players and organisers after this event seemed to be that 1 list for all comers and all scenarios would be better.

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Without allowing 2 completely different lists, it might be interesting to allow a few tweaks  - for example, coming up with a list of 2250 points and having to select 2000 out of that pool for each game - this would enable people to slightly tailor their forces based on the scenario/ objectives. Not sure if this has been done before and what the feedback has been...

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2 hours ago, Veillotron said:

Without allowing 2 completely different lists, it might be interesting to allow a few tweaks  - for example, coming up with a list of 2250 points and having to select 2000 out of that pool for each game - this would enable people to slightly tailor their forces based on the scenario/ objectives. Not sure if this has been done before and what the feedback has been...

Holy Wars did something similar this year.  You brought 2500 points and you deployed up to 2000 for each match.  I honestly think this is my favorite format.  This changes the landscape so that skew lists are significantly weakened because hard counters to those lists can be sideboarded.  This also adds a significant amount of tactical acumen into the deployment phase.  This format also doesn't allow for an entire second list to customize for a particular scenario, although it does allow you a couple of unit swaps.  

My preference would always be this type of format over any of the other matched play variants. 

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36 minutes ago, Thomas Lyons said:

Holy Wars did something similar this year.  You brought 2500 points and you deployed up to 2000 for each match.  I honestly think this is my favorite format.  This changes the landscape so that skew lists are significantly weakened because hard counters to those lists can be sideboarded.  This also adds a significant amount of tactical acumen into the deployment phase.  This format also doesn't allow for an entire second list to customize for a particular scenario, although it does allow you a couple of unit swaps.  

My preference would always be this type of format over any of the other matched play variants. 

I agree with this. A sideboard goes a long way to avoiding many of the rock-paper-scissors match-ups in AoS. 

This idea would scale well with vanguard sized games also as lower points are a lot of fun, but can feel very restricted. 

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Having run, and played in events with one list, two list and sideboards for force construction.  It gives each event a different feel.  Several shows and TO's have suggested senecio tweeks at events to favor varied builds to keep lists fresh and players on there toes at events.  I'm not a fan of concealing battleplans for tounaments, giving a list larger than the event will use, yes.

Events should have different set ups to fit their purpose.  One list at around 1000 to attract new players or as a stage in an escalation league.  A two list system to adjust to battleplans.  Sideboards to match your opponent on the field. I see format as the key, not list builds.  

As for summoning, I don't think you loose the power of it when the event uses sideboards.  You have a pool you can choose from to fit what is happening in the game at the moment.  Also they can be placed around the table in adventagous ways.  

This is not to say that at some point in the future a flaw may arise with one of these systems, but for now I've not seen an issue.

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The point of a game tournament is to find out who is best at playing that game, be it Warhammer, Magic: the Gathering, or chess.

There's no provisions in the rules for Warhammer: Age of Sigmar for double lists, side boards, or any such silliness.

Play the game straight up. If you cannot win the game by it's rules, then you're not the best at playing the game... you're just the best at playing to your TO's game.

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Personal opinion: multiple lists are bad but sideboards are good. I think multiple lists leads to instance where you get into "list chicken", ask any Warmachine player about that and you'll get an earful. Sideboards, say 500pts in a 2000pt event, are awesome and lead to flexibility. If this were to become standard GW could print more niche models.

For example, some models are good against Monsters but you won't take them because you might only go against one Monster, or none. In this instance you swap those bad boys out for something else. Now of course your opponent can do the same so you can argue we're right back to list chicken but there's more depth since you can only swap some things, you know what the available swap is, etc.

I think sideboards need to be a thing for all miniatures games and would prevent a lot of negative play experiences or one-sided games. It's a very healthy addition. But it would have to added to the game, not added by the community. Things added by TO's always create arguments, if it's added by GW then people will get over it even if they don't like it. Not sure why this is, but it is.

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16 hours ago, Ryan Taylor said:

e Dual list format events bad for the game? Do the wreck your experience or do they add something? 

I recently played a duel list tournament so I'll pop down few thoughts

  • Most people brought two similar lists with small differences between them, maybe 500pts of interchangeable units
  • It was fun to look at two opponent lists and try to figure out which one they would use and what i would use
  • Most people i found used one list for the majority of the tourament 
  • My TO has since scrapped the duel list for the next one and i like the idea of having a balanced force for all games 
  • It was a pain in the butt having to bring more model than I needed but that was my choice
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I'm not sure multiple lists are as necessary in aos as in games such as warmachine. Warmachine has the potential to allow extreme skew lists, especially with the warcaster/warlock system.

I've yet to play a game of aos but at a glance the rules(read: having obsessively read the rules since deciding I was interested) seem more streamlined and less susceptible to abuse.

Dual lists were designed to counter the rock paper scissors nature of warmachine but in many ways accentuated it by allowing players to either take two skew lists or one skew list and one balanced list. There's nothing more fun than picking the wrong list and feeling from the start that you're at a severe disadvantage. This seems less likely to occur in Aos , largely because everything can damage everything, whereas in warmachine it's possible to take a list comprising entirely of models that can only be hit by the most accurate or damaged by the hardest hitting.

I'd rather not see dual lists become the norm in age of sigmar. It's counter to the fundamental design of the game which seems to be about easy access and flexibility.

It seems to me there are obvious examples of models that can be used to form a skew that need toned down or made more expensive, such as stonehorns and mournghouls and the like, but with he updating the generals handbook I feel these issues are in hand.

Sorry if that was poorly constructed.bim jigging a baby as I write.

 

Cheers

 

 

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Having played Warmahordes I think 2-list works really well for that game (and is really a must to avoid having it entirely dominated by skews), but for AOS (and 40k for that matter) I'm not certain.  I'd rather have a sideboard, because that's my preferred way to play anyways:  Build a solid "core" list and then buy extras so I can swap things in and out as I see fit, which lends itself nicely to say a 2000 point list with a 500 point sideboard approach.

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6 hours ago, Thain said:

The point of a game tournament is to find out who is best at playing that game, be it Warhammer, Magic: the Gathering, or chess.

There's no provisions in the rules for Warhammer: Age of Sigmar for double lists, side boards, or any such silliness.

Play the game straight up. If you cannot win the game by it's rules, then you're not the best at playing the game... you're just the best at playing to your TO's game.

Except the FAQ addresses this exactly

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7 hours ago, Thain said:

The point of a game tournament is to find out who is best at playing that game, be it Warhammer, Magic: the Gathering, or chess.

There's no provisions in the rules for Warhammer: Age of Sigmar for double lists, side boards, or any such silliness.

Play the game straight up. If you cannot win the game by it's rules, then you're not the best at playing the game... you're just the best at playing to your TO's game.

This is why any serious competitive game needs a tournament packet that has optional missions/restrictions you can apply.  See Warmahordes' Steamroller packet for exactly how a game should allow for extras in a competitive environment.  That's what AOS (and 40k, but they have ITC which kinda does this) needs to be taken seriously as a tournament game.

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7 hours ago, Thain said:

The point of a game tournament is to find out who is best at playing that game, be it Warhammer, Magic: the Gathering, or chess.

There's no provisions in the rules for Warhammer: Age of Sigmar for double lists, side boards, or any such silliness.

Play the game straight up. If you cannot win the game by it's rules, then you're not the best at playing the game... you're just the best at playing to your TO's game.

There is no such single game called 'warhammer' or 'age of sigmar', there are only how versions of it depending on how you play it. There is no tournament which will show you who is the best AoS player. There are only tournaments which will show you who is best at playing the game as per the TO's rule set.

This game is a multiplicity of games and we should embrace that.  The more different decisions tournament organisers make, then the more varied games we will all have.

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Dual lists work better in a smaller scale game like Warmachine where you only need to paint a handful of models to have a second list. I think 20-25% sideboards work best for Age of Sigmar.

26 minutes ago, Carnelian said:

There is no such single game called 'warhammer' or 'age of sigmar', there are only how versions of it depending on how you play it. There is no tournament which will show you who is the best AoS player. There are only tournaments which will show you who is best at playing the game as per the TO's rule set.

This game is a multiplicity of games and we should embrace that.  The more different decisions tournament organisers make, then the more varied games we will all have.

I understand the spirit of what you are trying to convey, but this sentiment is pretentious nonsense. Tournaments do not drastically change the rules or core strategies of Age of Sigmar, they are just layers of additional rules on top of the same base. The best players will be able to adapt and thrive to those additional rules and come out victorious. 

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15 minutes ago, PJetski said:

I understand the spirit of what you are trying to convey, but this sentiment is pretentious nonsense. Tournaments do not drastically change the rules or core strategies of Age of Sigmar, they are just layers of additional rules on top of the same base. The best players will be able to adapt and thrive to those additional rules and come out victorious. 

Did you read the quote I was responding to which states we should not play with double lists or side boards because they are "silliness" that is not accounted for in the rules? It also states that tournaments should simply determine who is the best AoS player.

That's what I disagree with. The General's Handbook itself explicitly states there are many different ways to play the game, all of which are equally valid. 

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There are as many ways to play Warhammer as there are pairs of people who want to play a match and can agree on how they want to futz about with the rules or scenario because they think it will be fun... But much like the old MontybPython bit about five tennis players playing doubles, that's not the standard rules. It's a fine thing for beer and pretzels night, but terrible for a tourney.

If the North Southfield Tournament and the East Westforks Tournament run their tourneys using one set of house rules, the South Northville Tourney uses a different set, and the West Eastland Tourney uses yet a different set... The results of the tourneys tell us nothing useful about the state of the game, the quality of the lists, the balance of the factions, or the skill of the players.

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7 minutes ago, Thain said:

There are as many ways to play Warhammer as there are pairs of people who want to play a match and can agree on how they want to futz about with the rules or scenario because they think it will be fun... But much like the old MontybPython bit about five tennis players playing doubles, that's not the standard rules. It's a fine thing for beer and pretzels night, but terrible for a tourney.

If the North Southfield Tournament and the East Westforks Tournament run their tourneys using one set of house rules, the South Northville Tourney uses a different set, and the West Eastland Tourney uses yet a different set... The results of the tourneys tell us nothing useful about the state of the game, the quality of the lists, the balance of the factions, or the skill of the players.

Which again is why there needs to be a standard, accepted tournament packet that modifies the rules in such a way to be better suited for tournament games, whatever that may entail.  So it becomes the normal approach, and then you can of course have your special events which deviate if necessary (e.g. more narrative tournaments or team tournaments or what have you).  AOS doesn't really have such a thing currently, just the basic Matched Play outline; I'm sure as it grows there will be a more accepted standard, I just wish it was something that would come from GW themselves and not rely on an ITC-esque independent group to do it for them.

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