Thursday, September 30, 2010

Scenarios in Tournaments

Over the past month one of the hot topics on Warhammer forums has been the so-called "Rage-Quitting" by veteran players. If you believe the posts this is in part because the game now requires less sophisticated tactics, is prone to big spell-itis and has generally been "dumbed down".

Now I don't prescribe to those theories (with the exception that a big spell can hurt you and completely disrupt your battleplan) as I think the game has moved on, evolved, what-have-you.

At Pilgrimage in August, three scenarios were played - Battleline, Meeting Engagement and Battle for the Pass. Post-event you should have heard the gnashing of teeth as various people catalogued how the scenarios neutered their armis. For goodness sake people read the Players Pack. You knew where playing them. Construct your army to deal with them!

Which brings me to the point of this post - The Scenarios.

I was always a nay-sayer re scenarios in 7th Edition. However in 8th Edition I believe that GW have hit a winner. The scenarios are varied and if you play all six of them, internally balanced. What sort of army can win Battleline? An extreme army - be it in terms of magic, points denial or hitting power. What type of army will dominate tournaments where the full gambit of scenarios are played - a balanced army.

Only want ghouls as your Core Infantry? Good luck for "Blood and Glory". Only want to take big blocks in Battleline? Good luck when you meet a bigger dog (read deathstar) and can't deal with it - I'll bet then you wished you had spent 100 points on three cheap throwaway units rather than the "uber-mega-combo of doom" sword on your Lord. Playing "Watchtower" - well you better have something in your list that can claim the tower (20 or less core infantry) or shift the incumbents. Put 1000 points in your Deathstar? Hope you don't roll a "1" in "Meeting Engagement" or it gets separated from your main force in "Dawn Attack".

The scenarios provide a balance that acts as a form of comp over the course of a tournament. Yes you might compete well in "Battleline" but let's see you across the full gambit.

This of course is predicated on the fact that you are playing the scenarios. Already I have seen events where scenarios like "Watchtower" or "Blood & Glory" have their objective reduced to 400-500VPs. This isn't playing scenarios (nor do I believe is it giving the game a fair chance). This is playing "Battleline - with a Twist of Lemon". In a lot of cases I think this is the influence of compromise to appease the Rage-Quitters. These guys don't want to give up their 7th Ed paradigm.

At Skitterleap III this weekend, the scenarios are......the scenarios. If you don't control the Watchtower you don't win the game. If your Fortitude level is breached you don't win the game. Yes there is an opportunity to score points/lose points but the scenario is sacrosanct.

I see the ability to adapt, evolve, amend your battleplan and list as the key in 8th Ed.

The game has moved on from the ability to judge distances and know with near absolute certainty the outcome of particular combat. It is now about risk management, risk mitigation, having a balanced army to cover various scenarios and contingencies.......and especially having a Plan B when shit happens.

To mix historical references - "It's a Brave New World out there, evolve or die".

1 comment:

  1. I have tried and failed to say exactly this as well as you have here Pete. AMEN BROTHER! Leave the missions alone...