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

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Email in: about [Swedish] comp

Here is an e-mail from a Swedish fellow furthering the discussion on comp. My comments will be in blue as I felt replying to his points in-text would be a lot easier for everyone. Snowmobile debate style!

Hi, Will! He knows my naaaaame!

My name's Erik. Hello. Swedish, of course, and fascinated by the comp-discussion regarding your latest blogg (and, of course, Abusepuppy's). You was asking about some information about comp to help you understand it better and so I will try to give an answer. I'm writing in a second language and so spelling errors should be frequent but I've tried to make it readable. Better than us who know only one :P. Also it's a long post. I'll understand it if it's not interesting enough to read through but I'm hoping you will read it anyway :-).

First up: I won't change your mind. My hope is to give an understanding about why it has become something regular on half of Swedish tournaments. But I have never heard one to change their mind about comp when speaking about it. I've seen some changes when it comes to actually gaming (in both ways!) but never when discussed on a forum or likewise. So I'm not even going to try. Fair enough for strong contenders for either side but these discussions help irk out ‘the truth.’ The majority of contributors and readers here are strongly anti-comp for the reasons I will explain but as Puppy has said, if comp is shown to work excessively well and do what it sets out to do, we would use comp as well. We aren’t blinded by our beliefs but rather decide based on information and I think through this e-mail we will find our information differs.

Since there's seems to be several opinion that past experience is extremely important I'm going to introduce myself. It’s not here at least. Good ideas are based on merit, not who’s saying them. Oh if only the world could operate so. I'm a hardcore Tyranid player that has had some success on tournaments (and a lot of...not-so-successfull-days, too). I've organized about 5 larger-than-30-participants-tournaments and several smaller ones in the latest couple of years. Two have been "uncomped" and three with some sort of comp. I'm not pro comp per say, more of a pro variation. I'd like to vary my gaming experience with both comped and uncomped tornaments... now that's maybe a lie. I think I'm more of an "play-at-what-ever-you-can-kind-of-guy" but if I had to choose between a tournament that's uncomped and one that's not in a specific weekend, then I would choose according to whatever I've played least the latest time. I'm going to have my 30-year-old-crisis next year You’re a bit early for a mid-life crisis yes? Lol and been in tournament gaming about 10 years. My experience is purely about Swedish tournaments but I'm hoping for some brittish Grand tournaments in the future. My most successfull placements should be 2:nd place in the latest Fantasia Fanatica and 2:nd place in the Fantasia Fanatica that was before that. Fantasia fanatica is always uncomped (though they had three restrictions last time). Same bastard beat me both times...


As I understand it, there seem to be some kind of opinion among your blogg's readers that 40k is good as it is and as some posts seems to mean that only stuff from the rulebook is 40k. I'm of an different opinion. Missions, point values, painting scores and terrain set-up are all things that you can change to create different 40k games. Which aren’t then 40k. Yes the missions in the 40k rulebook are meh because they encourage a lot of draws (see DoW w/C&C) and tournaments often have to create new ones but very rarely do they base these missions off of actual 5th edition concepts. When you start adding in painting, comp, funky terrain rules, etc. you get a very much hobby-oriented setting which is fine but you’re not catering to the two distinct populations in 40k. This is why tournaments like NOVA and Centurion are so fantastic, they cater to both sides without significantly deviating from the 40k game with strange FAQs (INAT), wonky missions or hugely penalising comp scores. Especially missions are boring if you only go by the book. Missions in Sweden (interesting to know if you have the same experience or if it's only rulebook missions on your local tournaments) usually have some kind layout that force players to change how they play their army each tournament-round. Some missions demands more Troops, some more fast advancing units, some missions demand you to just kill while lasting it out yourself and so on. I don’t know the missions so can’t comment hugely but for the most part, when missions change significantly they introduce odd deployments and objectives and you take away from the 40k side of it. That’s not to say they aren’t fun or well-balanced and may actually work really well for 40k but a tournament isn’t about who can work the missions best but rather who can play to the missions best. Missions which are designed well for 5th edition should basically require little to no change for a balanced army list then. For me, the step to comp is a small one. It's just another way to vary the game and force player to take extra heed to what they bring to the battle field.

For me, the 40k is what an tournament organizer make of it. An organizer set up rules. Which is another of our beefs. It’s ultimately his/her choice. This is fine when we’re all abiding the same rules (BRB + GW FAQ) but when external documents are added in (even if they are liked and agreed upon by the community) it has become a subjective interpretation of 40k. He decide on missions, terrain and other stuff. And I, as a player, decide to (or not to) compete during those conditions. This is also fine as they are your models. If you want to play that way, we aren’t going to stop you but we will campaign against subjectively handicapping 40k through comp. Sweden seems a lot different from Australia/NZ in that there are a bunch of comp and non-comp tournaments to choose from. I rarely hear of non-comp tourneys here. Usually all the information is available through contact or the ""-forum so everybody who joins in knows how the tournament will look like. Very important. Transparency FTW. In short: my 40k game is what the organizer and the players make of it. Here are one difference between your readers opinions and mine. What 40k is isn't cut in stone, in my opinion. What happens if two professional sports teams and the referees decide one day to play by some different rules. Change things up, etc. The impact is obviously huge on the standings if this happens more than once as the whole ‘data’ collected for the playoffs becomes invalid as some games were played under different rules. If you want to play modified 40k, by all means go for it, but there are restrictions placed upon doing that. Browsing the Swedish forums and blogs I see a lot of “Don’t diss Sweden, we do awesome at ETC.” As Puppy has pointed out, ETC is a completely different format of 40k with the pairing system and so in our eyes, is invalid. This isn’t to say you don’t have good players but rather we don’t externalise the results of ETC and most comped tournaments.

I'd like to point out that I haven't really found that there are more variations in a comped or uncomped tournament among participating armie's units. Same shit, I would say. Which is interesting as one of the strongest and loudest arguments for most pro-comp players is it encourages variety. My experience is more in the difference in the top armies. In uncomped torunaments. The armylists aren't that surprising in an uncomped tournament (exception always exist, though). They are hard hitting, tough-as-nail-armies. But they are not, for instance, Necrons.

Someone in your blogg posted that people couldn't play with this and that unit according to the compsystem discussed. I'd like to turn it around: Why can't someone play with any army and still have a chance in an uncomped system? This is the basic idea with comp.

In general, this is the difference between pro and anti about comp. If you think it's more fun if you can play with exactly whatever is in the codex - go comp! Not sure I follow you here as non-comp players want to play whatever is in the codex with no restrictions on doubling/tripling up, etc. If you think that the game balance shouldn't be changed and it's tough luck (until next codex) for necron-players - go uncomp!

Here's a secret: they are both really fun to play. I don’t think that’s a secret ^^, they are still games afterall but to take my army list and be handicapped at a tournament because I don’t want to pay money on what I see as “less viable units” or to fit my army into comp is a turn-off for me to even go. If I can take my list without changes to a comped tourney and feel like going, I will as in Australia that’s pretty much the only way I’m going to go to a tournament. I know going in that comp is there and if it’s done right (as objective as possible) I’m not going to complain even if it costs me a prize because one would imagine I had fun. And exciting. Overall, you get the same feeling in both types of system. It's just a matter whether you think it's more fun to change the game balance slightly to make sure more players can play with whatever they want and still get the feeling they can win - or not!

Comp will, however, never be perfect and so is always under development. Just like 40k, look at the effort GW is putting into the new books atm. I’d argue against building two systems at once because of the added complexity. This is good and bad. Bad is that it will never be perfect (in case you missed it first time I wrote it :-) ) and good as you can make changes to game balance as you wish and long before Games workshop does it. I'm one that hate that GW never update anything. How hard can it be! Just release an FAQ to tweak units and get it over with! Agreed and hopefully they will change this but they have done infinitely better than usual over the past couple ofyears. Whilst the Tyranid FAQ was a bit disappointing with it’s few unpredicted changes (Tyranid Primes, SitW, etc.) GW has done much better with rule design and fixing problems. Look at 8th ed fantasy, how quickly did those FAQs come out? Couple weeks at most. Sure releasing an errata that Eldar tanks (except vyper) are all 15 points cheaper, Necrons are stubborn, modifying CSM/BT/DA points to be more streamlined would make all of these armies more viable in the short-term but at the same time, I believe GW believes they get more sales by completely re-vamping the codex every couple of years (or decades in the case of DE).

Now for a small story. It has truth in it but is...ah...dramatized somewhat, for the fun of it. Lars (I thought about using a more modern swedish name but thought it more fun with Lars) plays at a tournament without comp. He get crushed and sees the top players list and now know much more of hot to pick an army. Then he plays in an comped tournament with the same army and get boosted because he chosen units that look cool and is fun to play with - not because their effectiveness. He realize he can actually win without sacrificing the bad units he oh-so-much love in his army. Next year, on the same tournament, Lars bring 5 buddies. And soon after, Swedish tournaments are twice as big! And so on. Or Lars could go “I’m going to win a tournament” and work really hard at building a list and improving his skills so he can win a non-comped tournament. Or Lars could go to a comped tournament with a ‘net-list’ and get hammered by comp but still do well in games and feel discouraged and leave, etc. Lot of options here =D.

The comped tournament gives a feeling that you can play with more of the units that aren't that good but fun to play or looks cool - and still win. But looking at the new books how many units “suck” or aren’t good? Not many and most of the time you can have those units counts as something or work them into a good list for minimal downside. An uncomped tournament you many times will have to make a sacrifice. Those cool pyrovores and lictors has to be more cool-looking than how effective the hive guards are. And you will probably loose more games because of it. Comp is a faulty system (though the general population don't think it's worse than Games workshop's codex) and so wíll never balance the game straight out. But it will level it. How does it level it though? It simply changes what is good and whilst it may or may not make more army lists good, there are still over-powered options, etc. Does it make a bad player’s skills better? No. Your Lars story above is the “best” example of comp but it’s not always going to work like that. You said yourself you see the same armies at both comp and non-comped tourneys, are the top 10 players significantly different? Does a player who attends comp tourneys regularly place in the top 10 and place in the bottom 10 at non-comped tourneys? Whilst 40k punishes poor list building and comp tourneys minimise that punishment, the same skills are still needed by any party to be successful at a comp or noncomp tourney so I would be surprised to see that unless the player was taking a terrible list and being boosted by their comp score. This then comes back to W/L versus battle points where some people believe people who lose more shouldn’t be able to place better than those who win more.

Uncomped: Play with whatever you like OR play for the keep! or Play with whatever you like and play for the keep. Works here too.
Comped: Play with whatever you like AND play for the keep!

Also I think that ETC is a tournament that actually can show how skilled a country is in 40k. Even though its not Abusepuppys idea of 40k. It still takes skill. A different type of skill though. Paired games were not designed for in the 40k BRB. Also, Swedish tournaments have great variety and so offer hardcore uncomped tournaments, hardcore comped torunaments and everything in between. Which is great. As has been said, we’re not going to say “play 40k like this or gtfo” and if there are enough tournaments with good attendance for anyone to go to whatever tourney they feel like at any point in the year, go Sweden. This is not what it’s like in Australia which is why we have a very firm stance on this subject (beyond our belief we dislike comp). The comp system have made 40k larger in Sweden and I'm one that think that something that makes the hobby bigger is good. Worldwide the comp scene and 4th edition made the 40k scene smaller. The early to mid naughties saw a large drop in market share for GW as a lot of players migrated to other systems. I’m not sure if this trend has reversed or stabilised, but I know I got back into 40k because of 5th edition balance (hell I started 8th edition Fantasy, too) and I know American tourneys are a lot less comped than they used to be. Also the arrival of such tournaments as NOVA and Centurion bode well for the expansion of the game as a whole because it caters to everyone at one venue. Especially if it doesn't remove any options for comped or uncomped tournaments.

So all in all I think there are 4 major ways that pro-comp-speakers base their opinion on.

1. The difference between the hardest and the nicest army list is smaller in an comped tournament. I imagine this is true to some extent but you can still ‘abuse’ the comp system and go for a non-optimised but good build and get a really good comp score.

2. Play with whatever you like AND play for the win. But you can do this too in comped. I love all of my armies (I wouldn't play them otherwise) and whilst some are worse than others, they are all very good lists. Yes there are some units I’d like to use which I won’t but those units are very minimal in the new books.

3. It does balance out some of the games edginess and an organizer should be allowed to do so if he so wishes. Again, subjective. Remember that what is considered overpowered by the internet often isn’t.

4. variation adds to the pleasure. Yet you said yourself you don’t see different armies. There may be variation within the armies but there’s always going to be variation within armies under the new books. Sure older books are a lot more restricted and comp could make foot armies for Eldar, DE and Witchunters winnable but does it actively encourage un-used armies? I see no evidence to suggest so at Australian tournaments and again, you said yourself you don’t see different armies between tournaments.

Even if one doesn't agree with these points I hope they can actually understand them and respect their opinion. This goes for both sides. The tournament scene is big enough for both of them. of course we respect (well most of us) your right to play and modify the game as you wish. That doesn’t mean we have to agree with the points if we don’t believe they are right or agree with the system as a whole. Again, in a country where you have lots of comp and non-comp tourneys where one is able to go to whichever they feel like on any given weekend, that’s awesome. I may not like comp and wouldn’t go to comp tourneys but if as a country your gaming group can organise and run that many varied events, kudos to you. Most places however, do not.

I hopefully have made some points to why some people like comp in Sweden. As stated above. I don't expect to change any opinions whether which system is best - all preferences are equally good, and should be respected (as opposed to people on bloggs that shout "idiots" just because they don't agree. I'm just hoping I might change some minds so that they think that any system, as long as it brings more players to the hobby, is good for the 40k tournament stage. And if it does that’s great. All versions of 40k-tournaments bring variation and more fun to more players. If uncomp is a vanilla milkshake then it's sometimes nice to taste the chocolate-one as well.

Erik Robertsson

Thanks for the e-mail Erik/egge. Let's hear what others think!

35 pinkments:

winter said...

Totally agree with you Kirby. As a fellow Aussie player, it is somewhat frustrating to see all these amatuer designers who feel they can make a better 40k. It's not better, it's just different and usually crap and annoying.

My approach would be to make a tournament where the rules are:
1) Don't be a dick

That is basically it.

Henrik said...

From the little I've heard about your comp environment in Australia, I am pretty sure very few of my fellow swedes would enjoy it.

We very seldom add sportsmanship points to the total score, and if we do, it is a very small fraction. Similar with painting - if it is painted in three colors, you would only lose something like 5/100 points compared to the very best looking army.
It is very, very rare to give bonus for fluff reasons.

One big motivation with our comp system is to increase competitiveness. This was the reason we started using it many, many years ago, when 40k was broken to the point where playing skill only played a minor part, and army lists would amost win by themselves. Then, comp was invented to be able to make some sense in competitive play.

I think that everyone agrees that 40k is much more balanced now, especially the codices that has been released from 5th ed.

This is why the comp score has a lot less effect now compared to, say 4 years ago.

I am pretty sure our beliefs are more similar than what it seems. I understand that many players are pissed at comp if it 1) does not do the job well and 2) is forced upon you in every tournament opportunity.


Messanger of Death said...

The way Comp is handled in Sweden sounds like it would be easier to swallow. However, as a Black Templar player, the current KP system really screws my codex.

As Brother Loring and myself discovered it is impossible to build a balanced foot slogging list at 1500 points above 80 KP. On the other hand the 5th Edition codex can achieve a balanced semi-mech list above 80 KP.

The system still has flaws with some knee-jerk reactions based off player bias.

Also, keep in mind the results produced in 40K tournaments are neither valid or reliable with too small a sample size to generalise it to the wider community. So the experiences of a select few do not accurately reflect those of others. It is one of the reasons why the results of the ETC mean very little to the rest of the World.


fester said...

Kirby argues that people don't get to play unused armies under a comp system:

Right: Some odd-ball armies I saw at the last event I went to:
: Nurgle Chaos Daemons (mono)
: Deathwing
: Kan Wall Orks + Horde
: erm... my memory now fails me, i had this list in my head all day waiting for this article to post!
: Footdar (came in top 5 from memory)
: Pure GK

Very few of these would see play in a no-comp environment.

fester said...

Oh, and as an aside, the list I ran here:
scores the best so far...

-25 ish.

Andreas said...

"Totally agree with you Kirby. As a fellow Aussie player, it is somewhat frustrating to see all these amatuer designers who feel they can make a better 40k. It's not better, it's just different and usually crap and annoying."

The two things that are important to know about swedes are,
1. We're kinda smug and think we are better then everyone else. So if noone else has made a working comp ofcourse we will!
2. We are better. ;)

But to be serious the swedish comp is a living document made by all players competing in swedish torunaments. Everyone contributes in one way or another, some more some less. Some just by playing comeped tournaments and some by activly discussing it on forums.

My said...

Great post! I think I more understand your point of view if uncomped is so uncommon. Would your opinion change if it was...say 50-50?

Regarding Lars - the swede. That is what happened! Comp might or might not have been a part of it (the specific tournament I have in mind is arranged very well so that should have played a part of it) but when people realized they had more of an chance, even if they played those units they though looked cool, more people came to the tournament next year! Now it's a 120 man tournament and I think it's a rather big event (second largest in Sweden) even if compared to other, larger countries.

Also. On my point 4, I meant that variations in tournament set-up is more fun than just uncomped (or just comped for that matter). Not the army lists. I'll excuse myself by saying a midget made me miss that one...

My tournament, RydCon, was based on other of Swedish tournaments. There was fewer uncomped tournaments at the time and so we chose to hold an uncomped tournament (though the missions was extremely special). As I understand it, If I would hold an tournament in Australia - it would be a hardcore-competitive-to-the-blood-2k-tournament-with-perfect-balance-of-terrain. This mind-set, as an organizer, is one point of what brings the hobby forward.

Erik/Egge - through my woman's login

Henrik said...

"As Brother Loring and myself discovered it is impossible to build a balanced foot slogging list at 1500 points above 80 KP. On the other hand the 5th Edition codex can achieve a balanced semi-mech list above 80 KP."

Perhaps you are correct. BT is quite rare in sweden, and the comp for them may be a bit off.

However, do try to aim for 50 instead of 80. You will only get 3 BP bonus (out of 20) for playing at comp 80 against comp 50.
Also, please be aware that the pdf is written as if BT:s get 3++ on storm shields and 2 shots/cyclone.

winter said...

I still don't see what the point of comp is.

It doesn't make anything more competitive, it just changes what competitive is. Does anyone that gets boosted by a comp system really think that their army is more competitive than an army with a lower comp score? Do they really think that they achieved more because their results are artificially boosted?

Why not just have a best painted, most fluffy, best sportsmanship in addition to a straight battle results award?

Anyone who really cares about their "overall" result is just going to game the system, the only way to "prevent" that is for the TO to give their gut feeling on every list which gets back to the tournament no longer being 40k but rather TOk where you are playing whatever the TO wants to play (and also has all the bias involved in such a system).

Or we can just agree to play 40k and just play that without all the armchair games designers getting involved.

I think it is pretty obvious that all comp does is make people find different ways to make strong lists (i.e. game the system) or introduce TO bias into every single result. It can't do anything else.

VT2 said...

ETC is a very bad thing to drag up.
My summary of ETC: special olympics 40k.

For those who must know more, go check out Stelek on 'my butt hurts more.' He covered the last one, and pointed out how flawed and insanely useless the system was.

Comp exists because someone (the mafia, Adepticon, svenska40k, etc), has decided that certain units, items, or combinations are evil, and must be softbanned, hardbanned, or at least regulated.
The intention is always to make it so lesser books can 'compete,' but one the 'lesser' books include tau and tyranids, you know the people making the comp have no idea how the game even works.

daniel said...

As Henrik said, the competion is not to have the highest comp score in anyway, it is to make a great list at a decent comp. At 1500p you should probably be around 45 - 55 in comp unless you have a very strong list that will win big everytime, then you could go down to 25 in comp just as well.

I personally played a very nasty BT list at a major tournament with comp 25. I was topp 5 until the last game where I unfortunatly went to the table still drunk and lost massively to a very skilled player.... But if I had won that one, I would have placed top 3 with a comp 25 list. So don't become comp score blind.. It is a way to "balance" lists, but I think it is better to build a great list and then suffer slightly on the comp penatly.

Regarding soft scores. There might exist, but I have never experienced any fluff scores at all, painting gives scores, but usually as Henrik says: a sum of x for almost everyone, a sum of x - y for people with unpainted armies and a sum of x + y to the once that are "best painted and the y in this equation might be 2-4 points out of a total of 100 - 120, I don't in teori like painting scores, but on the other hand I hate playing against non painted armies. So for me, when I arrange a tournament, I will probably have a disclaimner that says: Bring a painted army or stay at home. But i wouldn't give out soft scores.

My nickles and dimes.


The Wolf's Lunch said...

I have only been to one tournament so far (outback australia ftw!), but it's already kind of set me off comped tournies. The arguments for pro-comp is that it allows people to play with what they want, fluffy lists, or the small amount of models they can afford. I've never had a job, so my money has been scarce, but I've managed to get a fun wolf list (working on getting some terminators because I like them) consisting of models I've made fluff for. Sure a few models I used to use in the old codex I don't use anymore, but that's because of the diversity in the new dex (no longer do I need to take a Venerable Dreadnought as a third HQ because my army usually hit 1501 points. Would be cool if I could still take a ven dread hq apart from bjorn though), which I think is a good thing.
I took what I had to LoT which was comped, and my army, built for fluff and because they're the models I had, no duplicate units apart from two long fang squads with rockets (but they're dirt cheap, how can you resist?), and my comp score was nearly the same as Kirby's nid list, which he made precisely the way he wanted it, optimised to play well against most armies.
I came dead last by a large margin - why? comp, painting, and fluff. All my games were hard fought narrow losses - all losses as a result of me forgetting things (chooser of the slain, scouts, atsknf), but still largely enjoyable.
Also didn't help that Mr High Lord decided the other High Lords would make his tournament too challenging and difficult, and when someone fails to show there's no backup army, and only a draw, when other people who didn't get a game got full score.
Wonder why I'm going to centurion next year? Probably not anymore.

The Wolf's Lunch - Being eaten by Comp.

Kirby said...

+1 to Henrik and winter's first posts.

@fester; I did a quick look on some results from the most recent 40+ player NSW tourneys and when you combine all of them (think 4? tourneys) there were generally <5 of DH, DE, WH (don't think I saw any), Tau, BT, daemons and DA. Each was largely populated by BA, SW, CSM, Eldar and IG with Tyranids, Orks and SM all 'common' but not a ton of players. That's pretty much what Nova looked like and what I imagine Centurion will look like minus DH and DE unless a load of players realise Tau are good. When I think of comp as prompting diversity I would imagine there to be a lot more of the uncommon and meh codecies which do poorly in 5th edition.

@My/Erik/Egge; it wouldn't change as I still think it defeats the purpose of the game. Would I complain as loudly as I do? Probably not as I get my "fix" when and where I want it. My point with the Lars story was it could happen the other way around as well and fair enough re: point 4.

@winter's 2nd post: +1

@daniel; comp is a soft score. It has nothing to do with the dice and game at the time yet it modifies your overall result. Yes swedish comp relates it back to the result (from what I understand) but it still affects the outcome of standings not based on wins but on a subjective score.

The Wolf's Lunch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marshal Wilhelm said...


... the possibilities are endless....

Jon said...

@winter: totally agree. There are problems with all comp scoring in balance (see below).

@Erik: I like your comments about variety and transparency.

@Kirby: I think you're being a little too harsh on what you consider "40k". Doesn't Swedish comp seem closer to, say, a battle mission or special scenario? I agree it's not balanced (not even "as" balanced), but it could be fun. Not competitive, or for (major) prizes, but fun.

Swedish comp (per unit): by discouraging certain units, you make other units more powerful. Make tanks less attractive and the heavy bolter gets stronger. It's a nightmare from which there can be no waking (unless you have a *lot* of time and test games, at which point you have now designed a new game!)

"Tier" comp: "Strong" armies are decided by people who, generally, decide how much better an army is based on what they've heard or played against (Paper: "Scissors is overpowered! Nerf Scissors! Rock is fine"). Even weak builds of an army are penalized for the perceived strength of the book (You should have tried harder to make a better list!)

"Personal" comp: See above, but now every guy you play gets to have a say instead of just the TO.

"double-blind" comp: when everyone gets an army list at the beginning and rates how powerful it is. Kirby or Abuse talked about this already

Overall, you see major problems in all the comp environments. In fact, the "Swedish Comp" system is the least crazy. It's most similar to playing special mission rules than vague penalties. The only real problem is that it purports to be more fair and balanced. It is not even more balanced than GWs RAW, as the comp scores seem to me to be balanced around perception over experience.

Iggy said...

what I don't get is the following: say that someone wanted to play a 'fluffy' list at a tournament. In the way it was described in this thread and the previous one, under the current system this player could bring his very fluffy or his normally 'uncompetitive' army (necrons, demons, etc), and even though he would get trashed by the players with competitive lists, he wouldn't do so bad points wise. Now, my question is the following: if this person wanted to play a 'crappy' army, because he'd rather make a list he enjoys than play something more standard, then why would he care if he got more points even though he got trashed? I agree that it's not fun to always lose, but if the idea of the system is to allow people with less competitive armies to bring them out and play all the same, this doesn't achieve that. What it achieves is giving points to someone even though they lost, and I can't imagine how that can be satisfying. The unsatisfying part of losing all the time is losing the actual games, not the tournaments, and this doesn't prevent losing the games.

Furthermore, if it was a 'casual' player, then wouldn't he not care about tournaments anyway?

In my eye, the most reasonable solution is to run a tournament which is not single elimination, so everyone can get in as many games as they want, with no comp, and then add as many 'hobby' prizes as you want. You can even make it so the prize for best painting, best fluff, best theme army, etc can be larger than the prize for the tournament, but why would you want to mix the 2?

I hope that made sense, I think it's a bit rambly, but hopefully I got my point across


Thud said...

As for people changing their minds; I'm still against comp, but I'm far less negative to Swedish comp now than I was before this discussion began.

Anonymous said...

Oooohhhh.... I'm going to snowmobile this. Can we snowmobile something and re-post it on the same blog?

Sage said...

@Iggy: Good stuff.

This isn't us saying comp sucks. This is saying your comp is NOT doing what it's supposed to do.

Imagine I want to play a Tau list. Then I get slapped in the back of the head for trying to use Fish of Fury (common crappy Tau strategy involving shooty troops + a transport). Well, I build a better list to deal with the general rules, and while it isn't perfect, it's not bad. I start to like it too.

Then I look at your comp list and watch as I get hit for choosing what I want (FoF probably gets hit equally hard compared to Kirby's list for Tau). Note of course that this is a general description of the comp list. I can probably list out a general Tau list I'd field, and explain how I could just change a few things to win even more, arbitrarily.

The disconnect here is that assuming buffing the reward helps the process. The journey TO the reward is far more valuable, and this cheapens that. The problem is the rules. They need changes. I currently don't see anything in the comp system to change that. It's a bandage. Bandages don't heal things, they just mitigate some of the bad effects till you can deal with the wound itself.

Sage said...

Also, Kirby, great points, their comp system is at least better then others. That just doesn't seem good enough to me. I think I like Iggy's ideas more, though (and I'd suggest any Swedish players here consider talking about a system like that to see if they like it).

Sage said...

Erik: 'In general, this is the difference between pro and anti about comp. If you think it's more fun if you can play with exactly whatever is in the codex - go comp! If you think that the game balance shouldn't be changed and it's tough luck (until next codex) for necron-players - go uncomp! '

@ Erik(the emailer): Ok, this isn't a choice. :/
This first implies that comp solves anything. That guy who wants to use Necro Monoliths isn't going to do very well in your comp system. They'll get penalized for it. If the base is supposed to be ~50 comp, well, they might not get hit too hard for taking one, right? But they're not that great in the regular system either.

So what's good and what's bad? Where to the rules have flaws? That's what Sweden's comp needs, an explanation behind every comp stat. Also, take a page from 4th Ed DnD, and eliminate negatives to some extent. Choosing a race gives bonii, negatives are hidden. Choosing a melee weapon you're proficient with gives a bonus to hit, with the penalty of the previous system factored into the opposing monsters' defenses. Bake penalties in secretly, behind the scenes, buff things that need buffing, and always give reasons for buffing something.

Because this is supposed to be an expression of freedom, an additional choice. A binary or trinary choice isn't one: To play in a comped system, uncomped, or not play at all.

An expression of freedom is a creation of a choice. Players must choose for themselves what they feel they want to play. The arbiters must have decided before-hand which play-styles were weak, and given them a small push forwards.

VT2 said...

Sage wins.

Now for the next stage of the hilarity: the 'does VT2 go to a comped tourney in vikingland, and will doing so make him change his mind on comp?'

My said...

@Sage: Comp solves, at the very least, a need. Honestly, can it really be so misunderstood? People seems to think that it went this way:
"This comped tournament sucked! Let's do it again and again and again!" It must solve something. Even if it's just a need about "giving me a bit more chance to win with my necrons". But this differ, or course, among individuals. But it must solve something, otherwise I think it would have died out.


Stormy said...

'It is one of the reasons why the results of the ETC mean very little to the rest of the World.'

'For those who must know more, go check out Stelek on 'my butt hurts more.' He covered the last one, and pointed out how flawed and insanely useless the system was.'
Its a completely different kettle of fish, built with team and not individual performance in mind.

It doesn't reward balanced lists as much as it does outright aggressive or defensive lists as they usually don't grab or deny enough VPs respectively.

That's by the by. I'd go with Iggy's suggestion as anything else is simply moving the goalposts.

sean said...

The only thing i like about the swedish system is that you know before hand if your army is nasty.
I come from NZ and we gotta piggy back the OZ'ies harsh comp system and its annoying not knowing beforehand if im taking a broken army or not.
But i still prefer the OZ system (cough) because there is no loopholes or potential for broken

Sage said...

The problem is that the codecies are imbalanced, but you're not fixing them. You're fixing winning conditions. It's not a great fix, so there are errors.

I'm sure I could run Kirby's Tau list and get 70 points, maybe 80 if I screwed around a bit to boost Comp score. But dealing with Comp score is somehow makes me want to bash my skull in. It looks unfinished, some choices aren't subjected to proper negatives, and some are blatantly removed.

You're also ignoring the psychological factor of having to deal with negatives. From the beginning, comp scores negative you. It sucks to see your list criticized for good tactical choices. If I take a -4 for every Tau commander, why don't Tau start at 4 points lower (or two points lower, because ethreals get negatives too). Why penalize Sniper Drone Teams, a choice that will probably kill as much as an individual crisis suit?

AbusePuppy said...

The fact that people continue to use it is not proof that it works. Millions of people the world over continue to use/believe in systems that don't work. You only need the _perception_ that the system works.

What is it you think comp solves?

Kirby said...

+1 to iggy/43, well said. I rally need a like comment function...

@Jon; Battle missions/platenstrike/cityfight/cities of death, etc. are aren't 40k either. It's not as extreme as this (unless the missions really are that different ala ETC) but it does move, as others have put it, "the goalposts."

Sage said...

Alright, so since this is kinda going nowhere (beyond Iggy, good job man), lets look at Iggy's idea.

Here's a general tourney and there are categories. Comp aint here, but people compete for different prizes. There's the competitive prize area that has prizes for winning(also might include sportsmanship, although that's a Drama-black-hole). There's the painting prize. There's the prize for best looking army.

So, if you realistically throw decent prizes in all areas, you attract the collectors and the competitors. You can also give lesser armies a small points boost, although this is highly subjective. Most people aren't equipped to deal with power, just look at the governments out there. Even the great ones aren't that great.

Sage said...

Yeah, Kirby, a comment of comment would be nice. So would edits.

My said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
My said...

I think we have reached a point were new arguments can't be laid forward. @Puppy: about what comp solves; I think this information is on the other posts and I think I've said it myself. But as a final time, perhaps? :-)

Comp wishes to make it so that every unit in the game become valid in an tournament. It doesn't do that. It do, however, push it a bit in the direction it wants. We have seen more vespids in army lists that would be considered competitive in this environment and that is a unit that is not represented a lot in any uncomped tournament.

*We do se more of the units not usually field.
*The difference between the hardest list and the nicest list do become lower.
*We still se lists with Eldrad.
*We see players with nicer army lists that do consider themselves to have a chance (with that army list) in an comped environment but not in an uncomped.

This is what comp do. In practise. As we can see, for people to like this they must consider this a "problem" first! If you are happy as it is then it solves nothing, because there were never a problem But if one think this is a problem and the points above is the effect of Swedish comp then wouldn't you agree that, for these people, it solves something?

As for the discussion in all I've found it interesting (latter half much more giving than the first) and want to say thanks for it :-)

I'm taking the following points with me:

*You have a bit "narrow" view on what 40k is, so I really can't fully relate. I consider expansions, campaign and more part of 40k and think that it should continue to inspire tournaments and from there the jump to comp becomes smaller.
*Having a hardcore tournament with only battle points and in the same tournament having painting and comp (or whatever) included for different prizes is a good idea and I'm really tempted to try it out.
*There are countries were one system dominates and this will of course give birth to strong opinions on another view. Sweden has great variety when it comes to tournaments and I think this is because someone thought "Hell I'll make my own tournament and help other as well", and then had a well organized tournament that gave birth to more of the same kind.

I hope I have made a few points clearer since the first blog about it, that started it.


/Erik – who vote for a tournament climate that allows all types of tournaments in some sort of balance.

Sage said...

You have to look at these things critically, My. It's nice to hear that you're thinking about making your own Tourney, though. Remember, the point of Comp is to buff weaker units, so it should never subtract, only add. But the real problem is the rules.

Also, take a look at Jon's post:
Some decent things to think over there.

Sage said...

Also, about looking at things critically, remember to critique your own system(s). Look at the facts, and be as harsh as them. Find something better if you can.

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