Kirb your enthusiasm!


"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lords of Terra: Final Thoughts Part 2 (comp & paint)

So, painting and comp. Here’s where Lords of Terra annoyed me. Again, I knew this coming in but there are things which really stood out as poor IMO but I still had a good time. Kyle got a lower comp score than me. Kyle will be the first to admit his list was worse than mine (I think I got tied 7th lowest comp?) and I’ve already mentioned MarksmenCypher from Warseer getting a similar comp score to me with virtually no shooting in his force. We talked about this and both agreed he deserved a lot higher because his army could not compete in the shooting phase. Same with Kyle’s outside of his Long Fangs. Basic understanding of 40k please if you are going to subjectively ‘nerf’ individuals' chances to get prizes. Oh also, Vince’s list got lower comp than me. Oh, Tri-Las Preds are good now are they? Vince & I thought we'd meet up in the last round as our scores were similar and he was hoping we didn't because my list was better...and he got lower comp? Let’s look at what comp should be if you really want to encourage non-optimised lists in a tournament setting on a 5 scale basis.

0= gimmick armies. Shrike Termies. Nob Bikers. Farsight bombs. They look good on paper until they come into a balanced army. This is what comp is trying to get rid of and is generally cried out as cheese. This armies look scary but aren't. Can't say I saw any of these type of lists so good sign there.
1 = balanced armies. This is what comp gets rid of when it shouldn’t. These are the type of lists I bounce around on here where you can deal with anything and everything to a reasonable extent. I saw very few of these lists at LoT which is bad. This is the top-line of 40k army list building which is a part of this game.
2 = non-optimised armies. These are armies that are pretty good but have wasted a fair amount of points on extra wargear or a couple of so-so choices. The theme or list concept is good but there are tweaks which need to happen to make it really good. This is the majority of armies I saw and their comp scores varied from 2/5 to 4/5.
3 = So-so armies. This (and maybe 2) are the spots the older books should generally land when building good lists as there are serious weaknesses in their lists. Vince’s & Cypher's armies should of sat here. 
4 =crap armies. There are some good choices but a lot of extra points in upgrades, wargear, super-characters and little synergy, etc.
 5 = terrible armies. Rainbow choices, etc. I saw only one army like this and it wasn’t fluffy at all.

Notice at the end of 5 how I said it wasn’t fluffy at all. I believe part of the problem for comp is the organizers except comp to encourage fluffy armies. Wrong. Some books can do fluffy & competitive much better than other armies. Thank you for your subjective and unbalanced nerf bat. You want to get rid of ‘power armies’, then actually know what you are bitching about and that’s unbalanced armies rather than balanced armies. I think a fair amount of players know this and then just switch their lists around so they can get 3-4 on comp but still run a pretty decent list.

So now let’s look at painting (the document has been taken off the LoT site…sus! I have one at home which I can check when I go back). I was pretty irked by my painting score. I know my army wasn’t fantastic by any means but it had all the bases covered. Let’s look at the marking criteria and then discuss perhaps what it should be for future tournaments. Outside of my extra gants all my guys had custom bases which were painted through drybrushing and highlighting. All of my guys were shaded and highlighted with the details picked out. Squad markings were hard to find and it was suggested I have different head colors. Uh no, didn’t see different head colors on any of the other Tyranids and I made sure each turn my opponent knew what squad was which. My Tyrant was obvious to pick out…it was a Tyrant but apparently the paint judge couldn’t see him… I had 4 rather large conversions of my Tervigons & Tyannofexes which had to be pointed out and got me a…point. The Hobby aspect I didn’t have time to do and just typed up a sheet of people screaming about Tyranids. Objectives were just ripper swarms so fine that I didn’t get points there but 15/36?

To me that’s a shit painted army and I know my army wasn’t great but it wasn’t shit. I had a lot of compliments on my army on color choice, my bases and the conversions (particularly the old carnifexes). Whilst I agree they weren’t fantastic or top notch and armies like Vince’s and Eddie Jordan’s (you will see in Round 5 bat rep) were well deserving of a lot more points than me but when another Tyranid army who Vince played has barely any highlighting and thick paint gets 4 points higher than me? *shakes head.* I know I didn’t have all the extra gants painted but that was a max of 3 points, everything else was based nicely, painting well above table-top standard (oh look…blending ffs) and had an army theme. *drums fingers.* Subjective across the board marking (by one individual) FTW.

So I thought the paint checklist written up for Lords of Terra was a good idea but when it’s not applied…not very useful I’m afraid. So as I said before, painted armies on themed tables with good army lists and generals are the best of games. Even just painted armies are better than non-painted armies but with all of the subjective crap scores going on, it’s not a tournament. So let’s see what we can do to “fix” this.
We looked at comp above and I’d only use that to generate initial matchups but if you want to have it affect the outcome of who wins and who doesn’t…you need to make it way too many points and it’s not a tournament. Get rid of it.
Painting. 10%. If you have a painted army with 3 colors & basic highlights you get 100% of the painting marks. Scores then range from unpainted at 0%. Have a separate comp for the painting of the pretties but this encourages you to paint your army but doesn’t allow subjectiveness into it. You’ve painted your army, I tick this box, you get full marks.

Sports. 10%. Was this guy a dick? Would you play him again? If Yes to the first or No to the second the tournament organizers find out way. If the player in question was a general douche dock him/her otherwise this should not play a bearing on your tournament results. I actually think the Sports was done quite well for this tournament though it should be feasible for every player to get full marks. Best sports should either be separate or bonus points.

Everything else is battle. This is a tournament. You want to have paint and comp affect your score, go to the other tournament we have right next to us. That’s the ‘soft’ tournament for the ‘noobs’ rather than our special invitational for the ‘best.’

Even with this sort of system I’d still only place in the top 15 so it’s not like I’m sitting here bitching about not placing. I’m complaining about the mindset. Even Vince who doesn’t hop aboard my “comp is stupid” train agreed with me and we both made our thoughts known with the feedback form. Will they listen? Unlikely. So who wants a 3++con!? lol

P.S. my apologies for the potty language last couple of posts but the insults to my painting ability and the beauty pageant feel of the tournament have mildly irked me =p. 

18 pinkments:

Chumbalaya said...

You go girl

pika-power said...

Have you got Pictures of your models anywhere here?

Kirby said...

Aw Chumby *blush.*

There are some pics earlier pika-power but they are pretty bad but you can at least see the shading, highlighting and base work on them. The bat reps will be up over the next couple of days so you can check them out there too (some of the pics are decent for that) and will take an army shot with nice lighting when I get home mid-week.

Kirby said...

Earlier on this blog that is. Check: Tyranid Progress in the search function.

Vinsanity said...

Firstly, I can't imagine how difficult it would be to run a tourney, especially one with 2 tourneys at once and 50 and 40 people respectively. So a huge Kudos goes out to Mark, Alex and Marks missus for the work they did and its a shame to see Mark isn't doing it next year :(. Saying that,

<3 Will, you had a beautiful army with an oldschool tyrant and old school fexes and conversions galore and bases which apparently Alex didn't like (but hes a bit queer that way isn't he? :P)

I was in slight theoretical disagreement with you about comp but after this tourney I agree with you almost 100%, comp should be out of the equation or perhaps a very very small part of the overall scores you can get. In that questionaire they gave out I said 5% for comp and 10% for painting and 75% for battle and 10% for sports which is what I estimate about right. Perhaps more points on painting 15% and less on sports 5% and then if there are any nobs who are rotten sports then a quick word to the TOs would notify them and they can try and sort it out or just dock the nob the points for sports...

But this comp issue then begs the age old question of how does one adjudicate comp? Well, I still haven't come up with an answer tbh, I don't think there is one absolute way to do it but your comp 1-5 lists looks ok. What definately didn't work however was fucking 'penal' :P judges.

(Nerdrage on!) There 6 absolute pros of the 40k game who I am imagining are sitting in some castle chamber (or nerds basement) or whatever and snickering like fat greedy englishmen when they award a 2.1/5 to Kyle who according to the scale had a tougher SW army list with only the best choices selected in order to win games convincingly and leave the enemy soundly beaten. Right.

I got a 2.1 as well which merits the same characteristics. My 'efficient' tri las pred and possessed Vindi and 1 unit of 3 Oblits, 4 x 7 PMs in Rhinos with stuff and a Nurgle Prince. Sound like a hard army? I concede the Rhinos and PMs are tough but it doesn't appear to be a hard army by any means...

Will got a 2.3 which is moving towards 'balanced army' on their scale but is still around the hard army terms. His list was notably tougher than mine and I'm sure most people will agree here. I didn't want to play his as I thought it would pwn me quite well... And Will gets better comp than me and Kyle?

Dom who I played in the second round had a 2.6/5 with his CSM and his list was Kharn, Slaanesh lord on DSteed with DWeapon, 3 x 5 Slaanesh Marked CSM with PW Champions, 2 x 9 Khorne Beserkers with Fist Champs in Rhinos, and 2 x 2 Obliterators. Hard list right? Going to convincingly beat anyone?

So wtfbbq is going on here? Well the only theory that fits is that these 40k pros don't know shit about the game and especially what a fucking balanced army is. They are bias from the outset about possibly waht armies they collect, like, dislike, etc. They most noticably give higher comp scores to older codexes which I can understand, but don't blanketly do this. the 2 Dark Eldar armies got 3+/5 and most noticable, CSM got like 2.1 and 2.3/5 almost irrespective of what they contained. Only one CSM army out of like 6 or 7 got higher than 3/5 and most got the 2.1. Dom should have gotten a better comp score, Kyle should have gotten a better comp score with the SW.

Well if you want to check out the army discrepency and adverse score issue, just go onto and look at armies tab and comp tab and there you go, a whole bucket of fucking inconsistency and bias comp scores (/nerdrage).

Fark this is long, maybe I should have made a post about it :D

AbusePuppy said...

This is pretty much exactly why I dislike comp- it's a purely subjective approach to scoring and basically gives the judges free reign to assign whatever scores they want to people. Yes, many comp systems have guidelines as to how scoring should be done. Key word: guidelines. What if you disagree with them? I greatly doubt there is an appeals process or anything of the like (and even if there was it would mostly be flooded with people who just want more points and are willing to throw a fit about it.)

>So wtfbbq is going on here? Well the only theory that fits is that these 40k pros don't know shit about the game and especially what a fucking balanced army is.

This basically summarizes the 40K tournament scene most places.

The Wolf's Lunch said...

Yay, a 2.1 comp score when I had a 225 point wolf lord? Fluffy? Like hell it is, what not to love about a tooled up hero?.
Made to win? Only wanted to win one game to leave happy as larry(which I didn't get lol).
They were really inconsistent throughout. And yay an encouragement prize! That's like saying 'sorry you suck, have this and give us more money next time!' Despite Matt Archer commending me on nearly beating him (forgot to use my scouts properly, cost me dearly).

I hope they fix up their scores, especially if I go next time (and to other tournies aswell). Got to find someone who wants to trade me an Imp Guard heavy weapon team...or start a Guard army.

Eltnot said...

Ah comp nerdrage, music to my ears...

Some points to remember, the judges were basically asked to give you a score out of 10. One judge will give the army 3, another might give it a 4. You should score somewhere between 3 and 4. Complaining about the margins you guys appear to be is pointless as the only reason those decimal places come up is because not all of the judges have given exactly the same answer. If you make it more in depth than that, it simply takes too long to mark the lists. The systems used for Army Comp/Handicap, aren't perfect, I'll happily admit, but they're a lot better than the awful abomination that is the US tournie scene. I think I'd rather cut off my left testicle than be forced to endure it.

I'd suggest that instead of wailing on any inconsistencies, why don't you put your energy to improving the system.

Agama said...

I hear you Kirby. I am all for a best sports or best presented army award but they should take play any part on the actual tournament results.

Comp has no place in a tournament because it is so subjective and its probably the biggest reason why I haven't bothered to get into the local Aussie Tournament scene. When it comes to a tournament it should be purely down to your performance on the table - not these 'soft scores'.

Borkai said...

Nice wrap up, sorry to hear about the inconsistencies. Really whatever the breakdown of points, it doesn't matter as long as there is consistency... A marking scheme before the comp helps people be prepared for the most competative score possible, and should be adhered to even if it is wrong, (wrong meaning a comp explanation that is biased towards a particular race or style of play, or even overlooks a powerful build).

As for the style of tournament, I go to a tournie to play, to have competitive games. I have been guilty of the prime/proxied models and sauce bottle for terrain on occassion AT HOME, and am not a huge fan of painting, BUT I know that and know I will never score well for painting. Because that is not what the hobby holds for me.

Tournament organisers can't make everyone happy, we are all in the hobby for a slightly different mixed of the aspects, from painting, gaming, fluff, modelling etc. It is best to go to the tourney and enjoy it for what you want. That said if I were ever to get a best general or something, I may lament how my comp and painting scores sucked and I only came 10th overall... but I came to play competitive and that is what I would have done so I shouldn't bitch!

Consistency is vital for organisers, transperancy is also crucial, I suppose the last is that they understand the game well enough to have well prepared tables and missions that are challenging, so that the better general on each table will be able to outshine his opponent.

VT2 said...

Comp is very rare here these days, and have been since about 2008.
People have learned to enjoy A-games instead, and only tiny tournaments stick to the silly comp rules.

Kirby said...

@Eltnot; I did. The above 5 point system is mine, not theirs. Honestly as said by others and by me here often comp should rarely be used. Penalise people all you want for gimmick armies (they suck anyway) and give bonuses to people who bring armies who are actually fluffy. You know, Wolf Guard with individual wargear, mono-Chaos, etc.

@Vinsanity; Thanks Vince for Dom's score, couldn't remember his name. He deserved a 5. What did the Eldar player you played last get? Tim didn't deserve a 3.3 in comparison as he took all at least decent units and they combined well, etc. When you consider my ratings about and when you walk around the tables...most people were looking at a 3+ and only a couple of 1s (me included) and a smattering of 2s. Glad you don't like comp now though :). End of our stupid arguments! Do a post :p.

@Borkai; spot on. I also knew this coming in and only focus on the General prizes (which I admit, I failed at miserably). My painting score...meh, I'm an above average painter and my Tyranids reflected this and yet...shafted ^^.

Again I'm more irked by the paint, I knew comp was screwed going into the tournament but feel bad for players like Vince, Dom & Kyle who had softer lists and yet weren't given the advantage they deserved. This is what comp is for yes?

Jt3n said...

-looks at progress of tyranid post and pics-

Painting score 28/36. At least! The bases on the extra gaunts would be the only thing bothering me about the painting.

I agree with ya that it is my belief that best painted should be separate from tournament scores. Bonus points for having the 3 colors and highlight etc but nothing out of hand. If it was me hosting a tourney, the paint and sportsmanship (which I think to be a awesome idea and have not seen at local tourneys I've observed thus far) should be for a separate prize.

Ben said...

3++con eh? I'd be up for that!

Kirby said...

Ya I said something like 24-27 (24 if I was docked points for bases/paint job on the extra Termagants). Vince gave me the painting guidelines so here we go:

Standard (out of 15) : - Are the majority of your models painted to at least 3 colours +6; is the army fully painted (3 colours and WYSIWYG) +6; are bases painted and textured +1; does army look like an army, same uniforms etc +1; squad/unit markings to distinguish squads +1

12 for the first two. My whole initial army was fully painted and out of the extra 25-30 Gants I had, 80%+ were 3 colors or more. Everything was WYSIWYG. +1 for bases and +1 for uniform, everything was the same. I wouldn't say +1 for markings as they were hard to see but he suggested different head colors...which detracts from army uniformity... So 14/15 there.

Extras (out of 15) - fluffy squad/unit markings (extras like knee pads, tattoos, brand marks, barcode (wtf a barcode?), strategic coloured toxin sac (strategically coloured wtf? lol) 0-2; details painted like eyes, grenades, etc 0-2; blending shading 0-2; centrepiece standout 0-2; freehands 0-2; conversions 0-4; extra effort put into bases 0-2\

Nothing for beginning, details were painted (claws, eyes, veins, etc.) so +2. Blending and shading was the whole army...+2 and my centerpieces were all on 60mm bases and taller than everything else with more color and depth added...+2. Conversions +4. There aren't any Tervigon or T-Fex models. No freehanding so nothing there and blending/highlighting on bases is extra effort I think? +2.

Bonus (out of 6) - Judge discretionary points 0-5; player paint army themselves +1

I clearly got 0 for discretionary points and I painted it myself so +1.

That's 27 all up and seems reasonable. As a judge I might dock a couple for the so-so spawned gants or just give 0 discretionary points but we are looking at least 10 more than what I was given on a checklist...lovely.

The_King_Elessar said...

@Vinsanity - I'd rate both those lists a 4/5 according to my understanding of the Aus idiotic Comp Scoring.

Essentially, only the best possible Chaos list goes below, and gets a 3...

Lurker from C said...

Lol, I look forward to attending 3++ con, sounds like you have everything worked out.

Stormy said...

Oh, Convictcomp systems: The irony is for a country largely built by criminals there appears to be a lack of cut-throat events over there.

I was originally thinking that it was better to have the detailed table for painting but on closer inspection that just looks really anal. If you are running a tourney and using points outside scoring surely keeping them as simple as possible is the way to do things?

Something like:
1 point for 3 colours
1 point for based
1 point for conversions
1 point for squad markings
1 point for details

Simples. Saying that I'm still not fond of awarding points for painting - I think its better to have more prizes for the better painted ones.

Post a Comment

Follow us on Facebook!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...