Thursday, March 17, 2011

Remember, No Bottom Lip Trembling........

Last year I TO’d four Warhammer 40k events. All four were at 1850 points. Each of them had a Composition Score that effectively made up 20-30% of the Overall Score. For the four events, one had a panel, two were TO judged and one had peer judging (a Masters event with 12 players).

The intention of this score was purely to act as a handicap because I believe that GW can’t balance a dozen plus codexes over three editions and over a decade. This balancing is not a precise science but I firmly believe that it is a better alternative to believing that the 3rd Edition Daemonhunter Codex can go toe to toe with the 5th Edition Space Wolves and Imperial Guard armies.

At each of those events the best player won, in two cases the same player while in the fourth that dual winning player lost his first game and never made the ground up on the eventual winner.

After the recent Battlecry event in Auckland where composition scoring could most charitably be described as “problematic”, there has been a call to move to a No Comp environment. This is a very very tempting proposition for a TO because it removes one of the major causes of bitching after the event. Certainly for the gun-players (and those that think they are gun players) it is also very tempting. They can push efficiency to the extreme.

In NZ, the Nicon event is going to be No-Comp. I really want to encourage the New Zealand community to support this event. However……and this is pointed at those who think they are good but ultimately get exposed….remember, no tears. This is big boy pants time and there is no point whining after the event about other people’s armies if you get flogged seven Sundays sidewards.

Everybody starts with a level playing field. You have the choice of 12+ codexes and a Force Organisation chart the same as everyone else. You only have the figures for one army? Bad luck. There’s no could’ve, should’ve, would’ve…..if you take an army less than the most efficient build for your likely opponents and the given missions then you are handicapping yourself and it’s your choice. Not the TO, not the other players, not God…..just you :-)

Next time play better! Oh, and have fun!

Disclaimer: As an ex-tournament player I would have loved it if it was always No-Comp. It rewards people who put thought into army construction and takes one variable (Comp Scoring) out of the equation. However it does discriminate against those that don’t have access to a variety of “powerful” armies. There is also an argument around Market Efficiency that says over time you limit the breadth of armies you will face. That is not a bad thing from a competitiveness point of view but does assume you’re main reason for attending is to win.


  1. Very very interesting situation. All my lists I build and play with even at home have the 'comp' factor involved as if the build works I would like to field it at a tourney. This has spread to my gaming group who also play with this mindset. However if there are more 'no comp; tournaments I believe that you will actually see more variety in army builds as I know for a fact that some players are not building certain new codex armies for fear of the comp 'hit'. Also it will see more themed lists using special characters who alter the FOC. Interested to see where this goes

  2. "At each of those events the best player won, in three cases the same player while in the fourth that player lost his first game and never made the ground up on the eventual winner."

    I did win one of these as well, remember? ;)

  3. Edited for you Jack! I had forgotten....advancing age

  4. Finally! The minute I leave and we switch to no comp..
    I think 40k is in a much better situation to go no comp than fantasy. There are only a few codices that have not been updated properly for 5th edition and, arguably, all bar necrons can make a competitive army in a no-comp environment. I hope there's a good turn out for the event and no hard feelings at the end. Looking forward to hearing about it.

  5. The thing with no-comp is suddenly it is an enormous wake-up call for a lot of people as to how good they actually are. Clue: Not very. They probably won a lot of games playing vs. softer armies where comp wasn't an adequate handicap.

    Sorry if this sounds brutal to some but in a place like NZ with its low population there are probably only 5-6 people in any game that are truly competitive. These are the ones who have dissected the rules, looked at counters in different situations etc....not just the ones who sneak a net list under the comp radar.