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"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, September 20, 2010

Reply: Swedish comp

AbusePuppy posted something about Swedish comp to encourage us to try and break the system and have a few giggles along the way whilst also pointing out how ...well meh the whole concept of comp is. Swedish forum hits back! Some pretty funny comments when you translate it. Let's get a couple things straight.

Stelek and I are not the same, very different writing styles, very different egos, very different responses to critcisms, very different blog styles if aimed at a similar goal of encouraging good play. Last time I checked I also get out and play games, amazing isn't it. You'll also note that I don't walk around beating my chest and saying I win all games and crush opponents at tournaments, etc. Some people don't seem to get this so it's out there now (again). We also understand you start from a number (120) and subtract, good for you in reading English as Puppy clearly states that in his post.

Ya, we don't like comp. Last time I checked I was at perfect liberty to buy models with my money and use the rules GW set out for me. Oh, apparently you'd like to modify those? Well woopdedo, it's a wonder I don't like comp because you get to change 40k to what you think is fair.

Again, even if Vt2 has overexaggerated or has not found less restrictive comp tourneys in Sweden, it's there just like it's here in Australia (not America btw) and New Zealand. It sucks and attempts to balance older books with new books and generally does it wrong because of poor understanding of 40k. Out of the 5 new books + 4 old books which are good you can make a lot more than a handful of really top notch competitive lists that are very different. Take a look at the army compliation page, there are ~30 armies there and that's not exactly a comprehensive list. When I play games I have over 10 basic templates to choose from in my army pile when back in 3rd edition & 4th I basically had one per army.

Yes, the older codecies have issues compared to newer codecies. No, it is not your job to fix this. If you want to try and fix it, errata the old books for your tourney like Necrons are Stubborn or BT/DA vehicle prices/upgrdes are the same as the Vanilla book (which Sweden has actually done *clap*). Subjectively applying comp scores to units or armies as a whole is bad because your opinion may be vastly different from another opinion and is handicapping some individuals who have gone out and bought models. Swedish comp in point, some good units are comped very harshly and others are basically ignored or have bonuses (i.e. Harpy w/HVC). Subjectively changing the rules is crap too but when done with some brain power behind it, can make older armies more effective until they get updated (read: not super good but not 'why even bother playing'). This is not just a problem with Sweden, they have at least produced a pdf where it is very clear what your comp score will be, but anywhere that has comp. GW has finally figured out how to produce good codecies and rules. Let them rather than changing them.

Also a comment from Puppy's post by LegenMythMan:

"Well, that system has flaws and there are really huge problems with the loop-holes, it will be fun to see if you guys can break the system."

Which does seem against comp doesn't it? Now there are a whole bunch of new lists which are 'over-powered.'

But I must say that I really see a problem with using no comp at all, and that is the monotone army lists that you will see in the tournaments. Just take a look at NOVA, probably a lot of fun for people who wants to play against the latest two or three codices all day long; otherwise I guess no thank you."

Again, take a loot at the army compliation thread. Take a look at My Armies. The internet (forums) will have you believe only SW, Orks, CSM and IG are really good books when in actual fact they're wrong. Yes there are a lot more 3+ armies out there atm because of GW's release schedule and company design. One hopes this will change at some point in the future but it's not a case of 'newest is best.' Those days are gone. I can take lists from the last 5 books (SM/IG/SW/Tyranids/BA) and compete very well.

"I am all for competitive tournaments, but I really want older codices to have a fighting chance, and some kind of comp or handicap system lets them."

Yet how often do you see Daemonhunters, Witchunters (outside of Immo-spam), DE, Necrons, etc. at tournaments with comp? Very rarely. Whilst this might be the original goal of comp, what comp ultimately does is dumb down the 'power lists' which creates a vacuum for new 'power lists.' It doesn't encourage the use of older books which may or may not have issues in today's environment but rather encourages un-optimised lists from any book and since most people collect newer armies (especially considering the age of DE, DH, Necrons and WH), you still see those armies.

Even thou I think the Swedish system have some strange side effects, and to make it worse they even have “relative” or “subjective” scoring so it is all in the hands of the TO and you cannot even have a clue of your score before you send in the list, as an old Magic player, I really see the merits of some kind of control over the list building; I just do not know how that system would be constructed. Would be interesting to see how a system that lets old and new codices fight at a reasonable equality would be constructed."

Leave 40k as it is, that's the system. If GW continues as they are, the older armies will be brought into line as soon as humanly possible. Swedish comp at least has the pdf which means you can calculate your score beforehand. Australian/NZ comp is a lot more subjective in that there is no guideline but rather a black box which no one really knows the algorithm for (or if you do, let's hear it please).

22 pinkments:

The Wolf's Lunch said...

I'm still waiting to see how the guys at LoT judged their comp :P

fester said...

Ironically, as a player in the Aus tournament scene, my guestimate on my comp score is usually pretty accurate.

As someone else said, it very much is about managing perceptions.
Putting 2 vindis and a Landraider in a list gives it a very tough perception.

L3go said...

you said "Stelek and I are not the same.." in response to the comments left on two points that illustrate what i meant.

1) it's no secret where stelek stands when it comes to soft scores on tournaments (need me to find a quote?), as you said on
"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.’"

i'm not saying you and stelek are the same person, however the quote above is representative of views i'm used to reading on YTTH.

2) you said this blog was founded to "fight" pro-comp mentality. again, it sounds pretty similar to stelek and his "mission" (as read in the YTTH primer)

if i come across as inflamatory, i apologize. you "advised" us let 40k be as it is. i in return ask you to let us play 40k the way we want to. if comp was such a problem for swedish warhamsters, don't you think we would tell our TO's to throw comp out the window? i don't speak for the entire community, but i think the majority is satisfied with our mix of comped and comp-free tournaments.

i'll try to turn off rant-mode now :)

Kirby said...

Play 40k as you want, I'm not telling you to change the way you play 40k but don't pretend it is 40k anymore (you've changed the game significantly), don't pretend I'm Stelek (again, our goals may be the same but there are more than one pathways to a solution) or comp fixes the 'problems' of 40k. This was the point of Puppy's article and quite a few of the comments (like LegenMythMan). New system? Fine I can 'break' it, too.

Comp doesn't exactly promote good list variation either, good codex design does. At Australia tournaments and in reports I see a lot of IG, SW, Chaos, Eldar, Tyranids with some more SM and BA and very little DE, DH, Orks (because they got lol comped), WH, Tau, etc. yet quite a few of the arguments for comp are you see more armies. This may be the case in Sweden but is not the case of world-wide comp. Newer codecies are going to be popular regardless because of recency effects. New toys. Shiny. Me buy. Me play. With 5th edition GW has done an excellent job at creating variety within the codecies. Again, look at the Army List page and tell me you're going to see a couple of armies built around a couple of lists with a straight face.

AbusePuppy said...

Similar goals; very different means. I don't think you can even begin to equate the tone of YTTH's articles and 3++'s. (This is not to say "we are superior;" Stelek has his methods that he thinks are right and we have ours. We both try them out and whatever works, works; that's the way the world is.)

>if comp was such a problem for swedish warhamsters, don't you think we would tell our TO's to throw comp out the window?

People are not always aware of what is best for them. (Again, I don't mean to come off as coming down with the truth from on high here- I am of the opinion that comp is bad for 40K. That is only my opinion, however; I am willing to listen to other's beliefs on the subject and hear arguments supporting their position.) A large number of people holding an opinion does not make that belief correct in and of itself; hence the reason to compare evidence. I don't know the politics of your country with any amount of detail, but doubtless you can drum up an example of folks banding together to support something that is clearly (from your point of view) against their best intrests; comp is, from our side of things, just like that- we feel that if people better understood the game, they would realize that it is unnecessary and, in many ways, harmful.

We don't want to start a fight; we want to have a discussion. If you think you have a lot of good reasons for comp, enough to make something way longer than a post in a thread, feel free to email it to one of us- I'll be honest, I haven't seen a lot of good, intelligent arguments in favor of comp. If you think you can make some, I would be more than happy to post them here for everyone to see. I'm not- and I don't think the others here are, either- interested in disseminating my One True Way of playing the game. I want to show people what I've learned, and get the same in return. I know I'm not always right; in fact, sometimes I'm downright stupid. Everyone is. And the only way to expose that, and to find better opinions and better methods, is to argue and discuss and present evidence.

You say comp promotes more diverse army builds; I say new codices allow incredibly diverse armies already, and old codices are not granted any more freedom than they already had, nor are they any more popular. You say 40K is unbalanced; I say it works well enough and your efforts don't help things any.

So don't turn off rant-mode; show us what you know. Explain to us why you're right. We _want_ to see your point of view on things; that is the point of this site as much as anything is. If it turns out that you're correct and we're wrong and comp is good and awesome, then I expect that Kirb will _change_the_mission_of_this_site_, or I will stop contributing and probably stop coming here. I am not interested in zealotry and self-righteousness. I am not perfect and sometimes fall into the traps of internet sarcasm, snide comments, etc, but when I do it's my own failings, not what we are aiming for here.

Chumbalaya said...

"But I must say that I really see a problem with using no comp at all, and that is the monotone army lists that you will see in the tournaments. Just take a look at NOVA, probably a lot of fun for people who wants to play against the latest two or three codices all day long; otherwise I guess no thank you."

He look, somebody else who doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about. I was there and there was plenty of variation, dipshit. Reason you see so many 5th ed books is because they have so much more variety than older books. I think 4/8 of the top 8 were SW and 2 were BA, but each build was do different they may as well have been playing different armies.

Get a clue, noob.

Kirby said...

+1 to what AbusePuppy said.

L3go said...

@Abuse and Kirby: i'm the first to admit i judge people, sometimes wrongly. perhaps the comparison to YTTH is premature. though there are definite similarities in your views, but that's not the point of this post.

Abuse asked me what i know, and as i tend to ramble, and the fact that i have some un-40k-related obligations to attend to, i'll try to sum up "the pros of comp" in an email, some time later today.
though i really wanna stress that i don't believe in "the ONE" way of playing 40k, and that this way is spelled comp. i just think there are advantages (rambling again... sorry lol)

@Chumb: way to be constructive, man :(

VT2 said...

Does this mean Sweden's gonna abolish comp completely, or is this just a period of butthurt that will forever echo through our one massive forum?

AbusePuppy said...

Hey now, let's try and keep this at least reasonably civil. I am the last person to tell anyone they can't fucking swear, but we don't need ad hominem fallacies being tossed around here. Feel free to tear someone's opinions to pieces, but try to avoid telling them they have a dumb stupid face.

Fair enough, a lot of us visit (or have visited in the past) YTTH and, in all honesty, we DO share a lot in common. But I think the differences are just as important, and I hope we don't come off with the same kind of attitude Stelek does.

I don't doubt this is a discussion that is going to go away, so take your time and compose your thoughts. I know the feeling of devolving into a rambling bunch of nonsense when I try and type out a post.

Incidentally, I'm very impressed with the command of English that you and many of the other Swedes have demonstrated. Um, or maybe that's just my ignorant American self and only being fluent in one language. :(

VT2 said...

It's just your ignorant americanese speaking =P
The law here is, if you don't type fluent english, you're not gonna pass school =P

AbusePuppy said...

I actually like that, in a lot of ways. Some high schools in America require a foreign language (1-3 years, so hardly fluent) to be taken, but most do not.

I suppose it's the hubris that stems from being one of the most powerful nations in the world, though. :\ We stupid, lazy, ignorant Americans don't think anyone else has anything worth learning.

Jon said...

1. My first comment was going to be "play one without comp! You'll see that things are balanced pretty well (at least in 5th ed. codex books)" but if you always play with this strict comp scoring, chances are you have your own tactics with each unit (and may even have purchased and assembled your models with this comp in mind) giving you a poorer chance in standard 40k. This isn't a different game as much as always playing the same battle mission. Try playing a friendly game with no comp with sub models, see how it goes.

2. You're free to play however you like, but shouldn't there be at least one no-comp tournament a year? This seems too strict.

3. Probably should have been my first comment, but what are you trying to accomplish with this, aside from keeping someone from running tanks and MCs? If you want to balance armies out with a soft-score so older armies with rules that don't play as designed are still viable, that's your business. What I don't understand is what the scores are based on. Why is a single Dark Lance penalized as much as a unit of Dark Reapers? Why are monoliths and the nightbringer huge hits (20+) when they're not very good in the army?

Stelek said...

Comp is ass.

Puppy, you should be here to fight. Without fighting, where would competitive gaming be today?

Still dead is the answer.

Kirby is me. Just in pink. Go ahead, ask him. He loves it when you say that.

Thud said...

Oh, Sweden. What a magical place indeed!

I especially liked this:

"en ursäkt var att han redan vunnit där en gång och en annan att 'det är för cheezy'"

(One excuse (for not attending tournaments) was that he (Stelek) had already won them once and another was that they were 'too cheesy')

So, there you go, Stelek. Whining about cheesy armies again! Do you ever do anything else? :p

Or, how about:

"Så kul när folk dissar saker som dom aldrig testat eller änns fattar hur dom funkar."

(It's so cool when people are dissing stuff they have never tested or even understand how it works)

And he's not talking about the comp system... He's talking about the BA list.

And on how it's a different game:

"det är fortfarande warhamster fjörti-kå, i enlighet med de regler som står i fjörti-kå-regelboken.
hur är det då ett annat spel? vi flyttar fortfarande GW-gubbar på ett bord och rullar tärningar."

(It's still W40k, played by the rules in the rules book. How is it then a different game? We're still moving models around and rolling dice)

Maybe someone should explain it to him?


Take care, Sweden. Good luck with Sverigedemokratorna.

Lotsa love from (uncomped) Norway.

Cyklown said...

And... 3++ turns around and in extremely atypical for the internet fashion, turns what could be a flame war into a dialog.

Part of my big issue with it was the way they went about hitting things with the nerfbat. I can understand wanting to see variety, but some things are good and should be.

Furthermore, that really actually hurts diversity. Some of the comping hits so hard things become impossible.

It's not even the "cheesy" lists that get hosed. It's lists that people flip about but which are actually "crap" (footdar, with the 'drad+avatar of furtuned death, nightspinners get the hose, etc.), or the almost viable, fun lists. Dual council gets the nerf. War walkers get the nerf.

If the lists were actually supposed to promote diversity then it seems like more thought should be put into things.

That being said, it really feels like a game that isn't 40k to me. It's a fan mod of the game, but someone who was good at strategy games who picked up the rulebook and codii and read them through should be able to get a solid enough grasps of what works and what doesn't. The comp creates an artificial metagame, and then has to nerf certain units because of the metagame it created. The vehicle tax scale immensely over time, but because of that Broadsides have to get the nerf because otherwise they've nerfed LRs to hard.

In the end it seems like it goes beyond it's intended goal and rewards bad list building. Why have a tournament for that? Why not just play with your friends? I've got people who I can freely proxy with for playing goofy "I like swooping hawks" games.

Henrik said...

@AbusePuppy: Thank you very much for your sincere interest.
It is a problem that the system is so complex, and it is hard to both explain and understand without experiencing it for real.
I will try to write you an email later this week with some more in-depth description about the way we use comp.

Kirby said...

+1 to Cyklown again. I've recieved two very long and in-depth emails from two Swedish players so will be trying to post them up ASAP but I know Puppy also has an article he's posting in reply to his original article so more discussion material is inbound :).

@Stelek; whatever floats your boat ^^.

Auretious Taak said...

This is rather interesting.

Stelek, dude, chill ffs. Who cares what your perceptions are of Kirby to yourself, we certainly don't. Just accept that YTTH is no longer the only dominant blog out there for 40k and that people are reading more then just YTTH and that 3++ IS DIFFERENT to YTTH. Both writing styles are different. E.g., me, I post here, I post much more relaxed and deliberate, I post on YTTH, I post more aggressively purely because that's the difference between the blogs. They both contribute differing things to the GW world of gamers. Get over it already.

Now, If you'd bothered reading the other thread and comments there you would have seen that sweden has a split system of tournaments which are both comp'ed and non-comp tournies. It's not an issue of it being just comp over there, rather to the majority of us here, it's a restrictive system currently that doesn't demonstrate a proper understanding of the game itself and hence imbalances occurring.

As kirby has stated, there's 2 big ass emails from Swedes coming up and puppy is doing a follow up article, and add to that I'm posting up an article here as well looking at it in a slightly different way, not just the more blunt 'This system is shit unleash the brokeness Pinkies!' that Puppy's article promotes.

I'm finding the discussion interesting to be honest.


Auretious Taak.

AbusePuppy said...

There's a big difference between working and fighting. Believe me, I don't like comp any more than you do- but insulting the people who use it isn't going to get us anywhere. All that does is trigger defensive responses from the people who _do_ like it and you end up in a shouting match where neither side gets anywhere.

>It's still W40k, played by the rules in the rules book. How is it then a different game? We're still moving models around and rolling dice

This is very telling, to me. It's NOT 40K anymore. 40K doesn't restrict what units you take except by points cost and FOC slots. Comp establishes _extra_ rules that are _not_ part of the 40K rulebook that change how the game is played.

I'm not saying comp is unplayable, or that it takes no brains to build a strong list. But it _isn't_ 40K, it is a different game, just as Chess the Queen removed (because she's "too good") is a different game.

Auretious Taak said...

@ The Wolf's Lunch "said...
I'm still waiting to see how the guys at LoT judged their comp :P"

Umm, I do belive it was actrively published on wargamerau on the thread for player infrmation. It was panel judged comp, 7 players, all tourney vterans and winners/podium placers, all given the pool of army lists annonymously and asked to comp them. Top/bottom-tailed cut off, taking the 5 average scores and taking an aveage of those 5 scores, bam, Lords of Terra omp score. It's actually on of the best ways to do a cmp score in a comp environment imho.

Swede said...

Been reading all over your site for the last few days and this shit is the first arrogant bullshit I've seen.

Allow me to summarize your opinion:
You're right. Everyone else is wrong. The reason why certain codexes are overly relied on in GW tournaments is that there are some issues but mostly everyone but you just doesn't know how to properly play the under-utilized armies. And anyone trying to change the rules a bit to get other comps on the table are just stupid and need to butt out.

How about just let people play like they want? Publish the rules ahead of time and as long as all are agreed, hop to it. If anything this should just be a kick in the pants to GW to get some revised points costs or FAQ/errata out there to fix their issues.

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