SeerK here to talk a little about Tournaments. Well 6th Edition has been out for a couple months now. Tournaments on the local level have been popping up like weeds over the past month. The First major large tournament of the new edition, Nova, has come and gone. Many players have been critical of 6th edition in regards to tournament play or rather how it affects tournament play, the randomness of things as well as the new fortifications and changes to how terrain works and it set up. The rules changes and lack of clear answers as to how special rules from the codex translate to the new edition are proving to be a challenge with just casual play.
I did not go not Nova con so I would like some input from spectators and participants. I am interested as to how they handled things. I did hear last years winner won again with a rather simple Space Wolves list. Of the 3 tournaments I have played in so far in the new edition two were 1850 and one was a 2000 pt. The first allowed fortifications and allies as well as Forgeworld models that had the 40k approved mark on them. The second was a strait 1850 with no forgeworld, allies allowed and no fortifications. The 2000 point was like the first but with a dual force org.
So what have I learned so far? Smaller is better. I don’t know why so many were theorizing that standard games would be 2000 points when we were waiting for the new edition to come out. The rules for allies and fortifications basically have one intent, in my mind at least. They are there to get you to buy more models and spend more money with Games Workshop. Clear and simple.
This is especially evident in a tournament format. The game begins to get very unwieldy and difficult to keep track of once you start getting above the magic 1850 point line. Clear advantage goes to the player that is playing to the missions and has a list built to exploit as many points as possible in the missions presented. Although you can do this easily in large point games, adding in allies and fortifications does not always give you the synergy it would seem to give at face value. In fact it can hamper many lists and armies. I really do thing that tournaments should remain at 1850 or below.
Old School touched on this last week. He played a 1500 point game and it was fun. Playing at smaller point totals forces you to really stay on task and play to the mission. As an Eldar player I have to do this with just about every list I make because of the specialized nature of the army and its high point costs. Grey Knight players also have this inbuilt into their list creation. The Grey Knights are a small and specialized force. Having said all that and having run a few tournaments myself I have a few notes on the game as it stands in a tournament format. Remember this is just an opinion and is how I would run a tournament. If you have nothing constructive to add as a comment then keep it to yourself.
A tournament, unless there is a special theme involved, should not exceed 1850 points. A Big GT tournament should run at this point total or less. This helps keep games shorter and forces players to build more focused lists.
To keep things simple and despite what the rules say, terrain should be set up before the tournament starts. The terrain should be set like it has been for years. This makes sure you have a consistent play area for all the games of the tournament. I personally would avoid using the Mysterious Terrain rules. So far games I have played they have not been any sort of factor and its one more thing to remember that most players don't. I would use mysterious objectives though as they can make a difference and most players will remember them as they can give a tactical advantage.
This is a tricky one. As it stands right now fortifications, namely the aegis defense line, is really the only kind of air defense that armies have if they lack flyers. If I were running a Tournament I would allow them. I would do this only because the only one you are likely to see is the Aegis Defense line. This balances things out a bit for armies that lack flyers. Keeping the point totals down also really puts a limit on what a player can spend on fortifications as well. If you want a functioning tournament list you aren’t going to take a big fortification.
I would allow allies for the same reason as the fortifications. Point limits are going to limit what you can take and most smart tourney players wont take allies unless it actually gives a tactical advantage. Rules must be clear though. This leads us into our next section
Well before you run a tournament you must provide players with a forum to ask questions. The rulings for those rule questions must be compiled into a master list that is available to everybody. This is especially key for a larger tournament. Players want to know how rules that are currently in question will be interpreted by the judges and Tournament Organizer. Players must know how things are going to work for list building. If you rule that Blood Lance cant hit flyers, which it shouldn't, and their local store has been running it as it can they will need to know that to make a list that works in the tournament environment they are playing in. Really the FAQ is probably one of the most important things to do while preparing for a tournament. You have to sit down and make the tough decisions about questionable rules and rules interpretations.
So there is my 2 cents in the subject of tournaments. Be it big or small Tournaments can be a very fun experience. In fact the smaller ones tend to be more fun that the larger ones. Tournaments are a good way for a local store to really show off their war game community. Its also a way for the community to come together and maybe get some bragging rights. Regardless a tournament should be planned out well in advanced and planned well. You can't plan for every possible situation, but you can make it a lot easier for the stuff that pops up often.
Until next time..............
Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!