Friday, January 21, 2011

More on Tournament Restrictions

Received an email in response to my “Tournament Restrictions” post and thought it worth sharing. I have abridged parts of it but think that it makes some very good points that are worth wider consideration.

“I can understand the rationale behind the daemonic gift restrictions, but as a competitive player, I can tell you that not allowing duplication of Master of Sorcery [MoS] makes daemons mono-build. It's likely that you're specifically targeting this, Spell Breaker and Siren Song, but something like Armour of Khorne is fairly harmless.

With one Tzeentch Herald with MoS at 2000pts you have to take a big block of Horrors to get anywhere close to suitable magic defence, possibly Standard of Sundering on top of that. With one Tzeentch Herald with MoS at 2400pts you have to take a Greater Daemon, more specifically/likely a level 3/4 Great unclean one.

No one is going to take a non-MoS Tzeentch herald. There's absolutely no point now that they no longer generate dice like in 7th. The Daemonic Tzeentch lore is pretty pants when you can only have 2 of the spells at random (and rolling a 1,2 combo makes it basically useless).

So at 2k, you take your Tzeentch Herald + Horror block, Khorne Herald + Bloodletter block + support/units to taste (which won't be much since you have to sink lots of points into those Horrors). This would certainly restrict what I could do with the list, to the point where I'd essentially have play more standoff-ish rather than aggressively as you have a massive liability in the horrors.

Again, at 2400, it's GUO, Tzeentch Herald + Khorne troops + support, except now you can't really take 2 Khorne heralds because you can't take armour for them, which makes them very fragile. So you likely switch to Daemonettes and Shadow magic.

The ability to take 2 MoS gifts allows you to open up more builds. At 2k it allows you to take 2 Bloodletter blocks or 1+daemonettes/plaguebearers at 2400 it allows you to operate the 4 herald build instead of taking a greater daemon.

Meanwhile, vampires can still duplicate loremaster all they want.

Honestly, I can see why you'd want to restrict loremaster abilities, but this cuts daemons at the knees and in my view allows for one build because you can't cover your bases. Possibly the intent, and something I'd accept, but daemon armies are looking cookie cutter as it is.

Also, just as clarification, does the no duplication of 80pt Rares mean you can only have 2 single Fiends, or could you possibly have 1 single Fiend and then another unit of multiple Fiends. Again, if restricted there all daemon players are going 2 single Fiends, 6 Flamers for Rare.

I know I must sound a bit whiney, but the army is fairly restricted in optimal choices as is in 8th, this really hurts the variety, if there was any.

Right, after my little daemon whine, I think there are other restrictions that need to be put in place.

• No more than 3 of the same core choice - eliminates skaven slave/skink skirmisher spam.
• I still think storm banner should be BSB only, but that's just me and my general difficulties with Skaven I guess.
• I don't really know how powerful high elves are in 8th, but it seems generally accepted that restricting Book of Hoeth and Banner of Sorcery is a good idea. I think it should be an either/or choice.
• And the only other thing I can think of is something like ETCs restriction on shooting troops. I have a feeling they've done this because they've eliminated the scenarios, but facing gunlines really isn't fun (which is why we're restricting war machines), the last thing anyone wants to see is those war machines replaced by lots of units of shooting troops (possibly covered by restricting triplication of core units).

Also, why 4 war machines/templates rather than 5? With not being able to duplicate Rares over 80pts I would think that the worst of the war machines would be restricted. And by restricting triple specials you eliminate cannon/stone thrower etc spam.

Anyway, thanks for hearing me out. I think you have probably captured about 95% of the abuses, but I think that at a minimum, no more than 3 of the same core choices should be put in there along with the book/banner combo for HE.”

So I think there is a lot of good stuff in there. Important to realise the reason for these restrictions is to remove abusive lists rather than to reduce people’s choice. Here are my thoughts on the issues raised:

• The restriction on no duplicate Daemonic Gifts was aimed at restricting Mastery of Sorcery, Siren Song and Spell Breaker. I do think that there is a case fore restricting the loremaster ability and also to bring Daemons in line with other races re Dispel Scrolls. The other Daemonic Gifts I don’t see as so much as a problem.

• Master of Sorcery. I think the choice is still there for Daemon players. You can take a second Tzeentch Herald or not. I certainly think he is stronger with MoS and understand the arguments – however by allowing it aren’t you just elevating that build over the others.

• Loremaster. I need to check my VC book. I thought Master of the Dark Arts was the loremaster ability. That was what the VC restriction was aimed at. I’ll amend to correct power.

• Points restriction on Rares. It meant you can repeat a unit if it costs under 80 points. So for Daemons yes two single Fiends. Does this move to a restrictive choice? Possibily. The alternative would be to say no double Rare period. Single Fiends are good but if faced with the choice I’m sure there are people who would choose a Fiend unit rather than necessarily choosing two singles. Single Fiends do suffer from clearing out skirmish units etc whereas a unit of 2-3 Fiends works far better.

• Limit to no more than three of the same Core Choice. Certainly can live with that. The only problem I’ve actually seen is the Skink spam, the Slave spam while talked about hasn’t really eventuated. The units tend to get bigger than more numerous.

• Limits on shooting. Thought about it but didn’t want to introduce further limits were there hasn’t been a problem to date. The three Core restriction would probably sort out most problems.

• Storm Banner on BSB only. Typically it is as you are not seeing huge numbers of Plague Monks or Stormvermin (the only units that can take Magic Banners) anyway. I don’t think you want to restrict those units further by taking options away from them.

• Warmachines. The outlier is Orcs & Goblins. I think the restrictions will be informed by the new book.

• High Elves. Yep agree – only one of Book of Hoeth and Banner of Sorcery.

So what do other people think about these comments and responses?

1 comment:

  1. I like to try and keep things simple so here are my plans for Crowsfeats 2011.

    The question is what do we want from comp and restrictions.
    Those answers to me are.
    1. we want a wide choice of units.
    2. minimal restrictions on what we can take.
    3. A fun and competative field at tournaments with balanced armies.
    4. A system that works and is fair.

    NOT an easy task, but what I intend to try out at Crowsfeast here in Adelaide is as follows.
    1. Provide a guidline which are not manditory
    2. Have no restrictions except caps like those below.
    3. Cap things like magic items at 5% and rares at 12.5% of total. So at 2400pts that means 120pts and 300pts respectivly can be taken in TOTAL. A lot of abuse can come from these quarters so this is just one possible solution.
    4. Go over and reject lists that are OTT.