State of affairs

The last couple of months have been very intense for me, and that goes double when we’re talking Warmachine. Since I returned to Cryx I’ve been preparing for the two February events and as you know, if you’ve been keeping, up I won both of them, going undefeated through both.

This was something of a surprise, since I usually go 4-1 in five game tournaments, either because I can’t handle four games in a day, or because I lose a game to some bonehead mistake.

I’ve been trying to figure out what’s changed. I don’t feel like the dice were a factor in any of the ten games, I don’t feel I got particularly lucky with match-ups, and I don’t feel my opponents were particularly easy (I faced at least three players who has beaten me fair and square in the past).

The only reason that makes any sense is, that the time I spent with Circle/Legion gave me a better understanding of the system as a whole (despite my misgivings). I was lucky a few times of course, but I was never ‘clueless’ as to my opponents intentions with a move, and that’s something I vividly remember from before the ‘Age of Hordes’.

I began the AoH with the intention of becoming an active player, dictating the games instead of reacting and countering, and initially I thought that experiment had failed. Now I’m not so sure, and I found myself dictating more than a few games in February, using pieces like Helldivers to move my opponent around, and forcing him into my plans instead of simply countering his and waiting to win.

This should make ‘Roar’ happy, as that’s something he’s been trying to teach me for a long time. This is also why I think I managed to go undefeated twice in a month, because many of the games I usually lost were the ones in which my opponents didn’t make those mistakes I count on to win. It remains to be seen how much of an improvement this really is, but it’s certainly interesting from my point of view.

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27 Responses »

  1. Does the new SteamRoller had any influence in those wins ? Maybe the combination of your Hordes experience coupled with the new SR could suit your gameplay better.

    Oh, and first by the way.

    Last question with no real connection. Why do you think character restrictions for 6 lists in a 3man team tournament is such a horrible thing ? Don’t you think it promotes team choices and avoid seing like 3 Nyss Hunters squad in every single team ?

    • I think it promotes boring lists. I can honestly say, that I’ve never been to a tournament that featured more boring lists than this one, because people had no room to play around and do something interesting.

      Horde lists are barely even affected by it, and the one match I had against a WM faction player, featured Khador with the full compliment of silly solo characters + Winter Guard, Widowmakers, and all the usual suspects.

      On top of that, every single Cryx player had either pSkarre or eSkarre, with Blood Witches, as their back-up list. Character restrictions, in every shape, size, or form, have always and will always produce exactly the opposite of the intended result.

      • As a last test of the experiment we need to try out the “3 lists with CR – play each list at least once during the tournament”-setup. In theory this should solve a few of the problems you have with CR, and actually make CR influence the games and metagame.

        Seeing the same 14pt-Cryx package (and Xpt X-faction package) over and over and over and over again also becomes slightly boring – I know you rarely netdeck, and always use strange and fun stuff in your lists .. but this is not how the majority of gamers work – not saying your are broken .. just bent;)

        With 2 lists and CR, you can just play your powerlist all 5 games and CR being of no consequence. – at least lets try and sit down and make a mock-up 3-lists selection with CR for an imaginary tournament? How it influences choices knowing all 3 lists have to see table time – yet not having access to the “usual”-named suspects in all 3 lists.

    • Concerning the SR 2013 changes, I’m still not sure. It seems to me, that it’s only possible to win on scenario if your opponent lets you, and of the four games I’ve lost in SR 2013, none of them have been on control points.

      I’ve also only had one scenario win in SR 2013, out of more than 20 wins, in which it wasn’t a total mental breakdown that allowed it to happen. I quite like most of them, though Destruction is bullshit, but winning them requires major brainfartyness from an opponent. The 14″ kill box is made from pure win though, and makes me very happy indeed.

  2. Congrats to the wins… and yeah, I guess branching out helps a ton when it comes to increasing your understanding of the game and how to play towards your factions strength…

    • I did feel bad for the second Circle player, who outsmarted himself and had an eKaya Vs. eDeneghra match on his hands. The game ended with him having 0 control points, and not having killed enough of anything for army/victory points either.

      • No need to feel sorry for me, I fully deserved that beating. The result would have been exactly the same with my eKrueger list as that was my first game against eDenny in Mk. 2 :)

        Would have loved that my feral was in range after the trample just to leave eDenny on one box. That would have been epic.

  3. “and the one match I had against a WM faction player, featured Khador with the full compliment of silly solo characters + Winter Guard, Widowmakers, and all the usual suspects.”

    As I am sure you know, Michaels list was not made to include the “must have” models, but to make sure his list was relatively easy to play. (Michael had never played a warmachine game before this weekend). I guess it means you can´t really use this example as a viable argument ;)

    I actually think that character restrictions across a team is a good thing. I would welcome another type of restriction only affecting specific models such as Eiryss, Kovnik Joe, Tartarus etc. The only problem being that people wants to stick to SR rules and not try something else.

    Cheers,
    Jan

    • Well I’m organizing a 3 man team tournament in april, and the player started whining about these restrictions. It’s a big tournament so we don’t won’t to spoil people’s fun in making wrong decisions.
      Though I agree with you Jan, and I know French players are the biggest wimps ever, I don’t want to make a wrong call on this.

      My point of view would be that it emphasizes the team experiment. We do not allow Specialist either to force people to work on their list building as a team, and come up with a good pairing system that will allow them to fight the good matches and sacrifice their players smartly.

      Anyway thank you Jan and Lamoron, if you have any more input that would be great I guess. If you have some experience as an organizer (you were one of the organizer am I right Mister D’Souza ?) / player of team tournaments, I value your opinion :p

    • I have to disagree with you Jan, a lot actually. While the stand-ins and newbies should be kept with hookers and beer ad libitum for showing up with such short notice, the argument is in no way invalidated by the players lack of skill or who actually made the list.

      I attended your tournament in good spirit, and I shut my mouth about the restrictions when you asked me to, but I think it’s utter bullshit to enforce a system that has no effect on two thirds of the broken combinations in the game, while making it harder to actually create an interesting list.

      Nothing you can say will persuade me otherwise, just as nothing I can say will persuade you that I’m right. It’s the Backfire Effect in action, and there’s nothing we can do about it.

    • I wholeheartedly disagree with any types of restrictions. You would be better served learning how to deal with the broken combos, than you would by whining about them and imposing restrictions (speaking generally here and not saying that you are whining Jan).

      Some combos might be broken (I guess that’s a question of perspective), but we’ve always had a history of dealing with this ingame rather than outgame in the danish meta at least.

      • I know you’re not talking to me but I want to emphasize the point of giving TEAM restrictions to improve the “team spirit”.
        You know you have to make the lists together as a team, and then when you see the opponents list a month before the tournament you can prepare your pairings and stuff.

        I’m not saying this is good or bad, and I can’t be a target from the backfire effect since I don’t have any hard position on this. I’m trying to know if people think this is fun/interesting to make lists together and prepare a tournament, or if it’s boring and just a general pain in the ass.

        Now I don’t want to turn this into an internet argument on Lamoron’s blog who has already expressed his feelings (after 3 edits to censore himself, (I saw taht !!)), I’m just really curious what you guys think. ^^

  4. Arbitrary restrictions are a thing of evil. The second player A tries to enforce restrictions based on his “perfect” knowledge of a gaming-system everything turns to shit.

    Playing around with the restrictions PP themselves have added is ok in my book. ex.

    Team Tournament.
    3 players per team. 1 list per player. CR across the Team. (add in same faction across the team or 1 faction + mercs/minions maybe?)
    – specialists may be a good idea to balance bad-matchups?

    Attending the ETC the one thing that really stood apart as new, fun and very entertaining was the added metagame of opposition selection. We had great fun sacrificing me, hoping that id swing it against all odds (I did not) – but still the fact that some games are “rigged” from the start (by your own side) actually adds a whole new dimension.

  5. Laurents: I guess we disagree on a couple of this in this. That said i totally recognise the issues you have stated here and elsewhere. And I would much rather use a restriction called FA 1 or some home brewed army selection than CR. Sadly this is not possible due to peoples “loyalty” towards Privateer Press.
    As I have written elsewhere the character Restrictions as a part of a team tourney is a way to implement a more teambased feel of the listmaking phase of the tournament. I still believe that the “team feel”is strenghtened by this.
    I don’t know if it was I that got you “up there”. I trust you know that it was not intentionally. I just wanted to clarify what I thought was a misplaced argument.

    Cheveu: you asked me of what I learned being the TO of this team event. We used two lists AND specialists, which in retrospect was a mistake. If I was to organise another team event I would advocate for 1 list and specialists.
    Another thing is that 3 player teams works quite well. Team events are quite vulnerable to dropouts. It is somewhat easier to replace 3 persons than 5 for instance.

    Cheers,
    Jan

    • Lack of sleep after the weekend, followed by three days convention, and then right back on the evening shift… that’s what got me up there :D

      Three man teams were great, and specialists with one list would most likely be fantastic. Specialists is what this game has needed for a long time, and one list with specialists makes it much easier for rookies to get a good list painted and played as well.

  6. Jan its not a loyalty to PP that makes homebrew selection systems a no go .. its the homebrew part – gamers are not able to be objective when it comes to their wargames, and every single AS ever made is proof of this – therefore keeping to the original game-design is a must.

    I like more or less everyone in our WM/H community, i respect most of them as individuals and intellectually .. but I would not trust a single one of them to create a non-biased selection system – not a single one.

    • You’re forgetting Roars ‘Almost Completely Non-Efficient System Using Prime (Point Evaluated) Numbers‘ Jonesy. That’s the most fun I’ve ever had making an army list, and every list there was completely bonkers because the system destroyed almost every possible power combination. The first Prime numbers are 2-3-5-7-11, which means:

      You could have a minimum Bane Thralls (5), with UA (3), but neither Tartarus (4) nor maximum Bane Thralls (8) are Prime numbers. The ‘Almost Completely Non-Efficient System Not Using Prime (Point Evaluated) Numbers.‘ could have a maximum unit of Bane Thralls (8) and Tartarus (4), but not the UA (3).

      It was glorious!

      • True .. i forgot that one! :) and it is truly non-biased .. since not a single thing in it relates to balance – and it is based on random numbers. :P

  7. I’m glad this didn’t not escalate to a full blown war like on the French forums. In the end I made an article on my blog to express my point on view on that, I’ll give myself 12 hours to think on it and make a choice tomorrow I guess :p

  8. Arbitrary restrictions on gaming serve no purpose other than to move the goal posts closer and most of the time end up pulling the goalie too. I am sorry there are players who game at non competitive levels who then go to tourneys and complain its too hard. We all have a hated combo ans pet favorite. Character restrictions just reinforce bad players and bad play.
    Do we see the same lists and combos of course. That’s an internal balance issue. PP doesn’t make all units equal. Never have.
    Character restrictions across a team is just.more butt hurt organizers trying to put training wheels on their big wheels to make people play like they want .

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