Friday, July 15, 2011

Pete-Lite Comp

Over at The Warhammer Forum ( there is a multipage thread concerned with Comp and whether it is needed or not. As usual this quickly descended into intransigence and name-calling as any thread on a public forum is wont to do.

I’ve been vocal in my view over the past 12 months since its release, that 8th edition has done a great job in balancing the landscape between the various army books. I’d contend that the excesses we saw at the end of 7th Edition have largely been addressed if you play the game as per the 8th Edn rulebook. This means playing the scenarios, playing the victory conditions, playing terrain etc rather than a bastardised version of v7.5 Edn that a number of people who have since moved to other games wanted the Australasian scene to adopt.

I love 8th Edn and the skills it encourages. There has been a move from distance and angle estimation as a prime skill (due to nature of 7th combat) to one where risk assessment and management are the deciders.

Early in 2011 I published on this blog the comp system I’d be using at events I ran. This was designed to be a very light system aimed at taking the most extreme builds out of the mix. There has been a few small changes on the way – with the release of Orcs & Goblins and Tomb Kings – but I think it has achieved the stated objectives. It is aimed at an inclusive rather than exclusive game and is based on keeping abreast of the game across all jurisdictions. Sometimes mistakes are made – e.g. the exclusion of the Tomb King Nefratta’s Plaques – but these are corrected when identified.

So here is the updated version of “ Pete Lite Comp” designed for 2000-2500 point games:

General Restrictions

• No Special Characters

• Max Power Dice usage of 12 in Magic Phase (as distinct from max of 12 dice in pool at any time)

• Army to have no more than four (4) potential template weapons

• Army to have a maximum of four (4) warmachines

• No more than two (2) of any Special choice

• No double Rare choice worth more than 70 points

• No Power Scroll

• Only one item that automatically dispels a spell

Army Specific Restrictions

• Daemons of Chaos: No duplication of Daemonic Gifts

• Empire: Steam Tank is classed as Warmachine in terms of General Restrictions

• Lizardmen: Slaan may have maximum two of Focus of Mystery, Becalming Cogitation, Cupped Hands or Focused Rumination

• Skaven: Maximum of three Engineers

• Orcs & Goblins: Maximum of three Mangler Squigs and/or Pump Wagons total

• Vampire Counts: Only one Vampire may have Loremaster ability

As you can see it is very very light in its restrictions.

Always looking for feedback.


  1. • Daemons of Chaos: No duplication of Daemonic Gifts

    What gifts do you think about when you say that.

  2. Didn't Russel Crowes band have a single entitled "swallow my gift" ?

  3. Sounds like Slaneesh, not sure it was what Pete had in mind though :D

  4. Master of Sorcery, Spellbreakers and some of the Khorne ones are the main ones.

    Given that they are the only ones you generally see duplicated rather than specific a generic exclusion is better shorthand.

  5. Better shorthand, but it hurts my feelings :) Siren song and MoS tend to be the usual suspects. MoS slips through a fair bit, but dual Siren Song gets taken out back at every tournament so far and beaten with a pipe. Comp lite > other varieties though, so I'm right behind ya.

  6. Limiting the items that kill spells removes one of the Dwarf armies main strengths while at the same time putting them at a disadvantage to other races. We cannot counter with magic so must rely on anti-magic defence. Not being able to take multiple RO Spellbreaking hurts us more than only being able to take a single Dispel Scroll hurts other armies.

    Maybe a army specific rule for Dwarfs here would be better.

  7. I'm biased, being a Dwarf player and all, but John is right about the Spellbreaker restriction on Dwarfs. We only get a +2 to dispel, so we're on the back foot against the compulsory Lvl 4 in every other army, despite our additional 2-4 DD.

    Don't forget that, while Dwarf players with multiple Spellbreakers can shut down magic phases, that magic defence, as awesome as it is, will not kill a single model of yours, nor hex them or augment our own troops. We cannot use our anti-magic to concentrate combat power at decisive points, only use it to prevent you from doing it, which is not the same thing. It's like the All Black backline only knowing how to tackle, but not how to break the opposing line.

    Facing a Runelord with 2 Spellbreakers might not be much fun for your Level 4, but take it from me, it's less fun facing 6 dice 13th Spell/Dwellers/Mindrazor etc every turn, when you only have DD with a +2 to dispel.

  8. See I don't buy that John. You have a have an item that that steals a PD and turns it into a have a dispel scroll have MR. You have choices.

    Sorry I don't see the case for multiples of the scroll.

    I don't think it is any more integral to a Dwarf list than it is to a DoC list. They are both anomalies because you don't have CMI list and reflect that at the time of publication all races could take multiples.

  9. Daemons are a poor comparison to Dwarves, as they can cast magic, and better than most others.

    Dwarves cannot do this. We have anti-magic that is excellent ONLY if we can take multiple Spellbreakers; it's on par with other armies if we can't. We can gain additional dispel dice, but use these normally at a -2 disadvantage, given that it's usually a Level 4 casting. Magic Resistance is really not worth the points, as the bigger direct damage spells allow no saves, we're resilient to the rest and hexes/augments allow no saves either.

    If we could sling spells back at you, then you'd be correct in banning our use of multiple Spellbreakers. We can't, so I have to say that I still disagree with you.

  10. >We have anti-magic that is excellent ONLY if we can take multiple Spellbreakers; it's on par with other armies if we can't<

    Sorry Tane but this statement doesn't stand up to scrutiny. You get extra dice, you can take dice....there is no need for multiple spellbreakers - except for the Dwarf need to have certainty.

  11. I have no sympathy for Dwarf players that moan about not being able to take a second scroll when they already have 3-4 dice up on you with you losing one as well, coupled with a spell eater.

    Actually, Dwarfs are one of the only armies where I don't feel bad about throwing 10+ dice at a spell. They deserve it! ;)

  12. We at the Tauranga Club are holding a 'no comp' comp Sept 10/11 this year.... the only restrictions are No Special Characters and this on the magic phase "• In each magic phase, only 12 PD and 12 DD may be thrown. "

    I think it is the first time that it has been done in NZ but I could be wrong.

    So if you want to come to the sunny Bay of Plenty and see what you can do then contact me ( for a players pack..

    If you want some feedback I will provide it to pete....

  13. What, no special characters? Damn comp bunny >:(

  14. >Sorry Tane but this statement doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

    Fair enough, we'll agree to disagree on this one. I figure that if you organise the tournament, you get to make the call, and I'll live with it.

    Jack, under Pete's rules, we can't take the Spelleater and the Spellbreaker (oh the injustice!). We also need those 3-4 dispel dice to cope with your Sac Dagger, Power of Darkness and 10 dice Mindrazor casts. But arguing fairness with a Dark Elf player is like arguing the virtues of bacon with a vegan....[insert cheeky emoticon-thingy]

  15. Shameless advertising I know, but seriously, a chance to see what will happen in a no comp environment.

    I suspect it will come down to economics... it is all very well to want to play with 2 Hydras, a million executioners etc etc but having the money to actually field it...

    I guess it will answer some of the questions people are raising in the comments above...

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  17. Agree with Jack and Pete. Dwarves will always have enough dispel dice. From my games against them, the only way to even cast a spell against them generally is to roll an IF, at which point you could have 6 scrolls for all I care...

    Pete, have you thought of limiting max unit sizes? Also, dunno if anyones been doing it in NZ, but huge units of Graveguard/Ghouls plus spam casting and the Helm is the single worst thing about 8th Edition. Yay for WS10 Ghouls!

  18. For those on the fence .... we just had a great tournament on the other side of the world in Chicago. The only comp rule, no special characters ... the Brets won ...

    Out little league has also moved to allow special characters ... most of the worst are hard to get into a 2200-2400 point game.

  19. I feel like the arguments I made when you first drafted the restrictions hold true.

    As they relate to my army, I don't think daemons are overly nerfed by this (in fact, they're still very very good), but they'll all look the same and be kinda boring. Combine this with the '2k sweetspot' you wrote about earlier and you really have a mono-build. Boo-hoo for us I guess :) I'll just be over here with my bloodletter hordes...

    On that note though... I would second the question about unit size caps. I think that would really curb some of the more egregious builds that can still be made under this comp. If it's not an issue and everyone is playing with the right spirit, that's fine, but some horrific stuff can be built without the caps.

    And re dwarfs: spelleater and master rune of balance and either 2 runesmiths or a runelord+anvil is plenty of defense. Plenty. If DE were able to use that sac dagger/power of darkness to go over 12pd, then sure, complain, but they can't. When you put the other restrictions in context dwarfs do just fine.

    Meals, I'm gonna disagree about the worst thing in 8th.. Cauldron+Black Guard+10pd Mindrazor.. would rather face the ghouls any day of the week.

  20. My only gripe with the comp is that it rules out certain "unbroken" things.
    2 RBT
    2 units of the game changing unit way watchers

    basically, rare units that are not monsters, template artillery, or super units.

    And also completely ignores the way the High Elf armybook is written re: restrictions on multiples of rare and special. Skaven can run around with 3 15 point engineers + minimum sized giant rat units etc, but 3 or 4 eagles is a no no. Same role, but in different parts of the army, so get around restrictions.

    Though other than those two things I like the system.

  21. Unfortunately I haven't yet seen any comp/hard cap system in use in NZ which actually allows me to build any of the lists I want to run. I'm not a fan of comp, and even less of a fan of hard caps (which is saying you definitively cannot take this rather than, take whatever you want but its nasty its going to be harder for you to win the tournament) in any system and it seems to be incredibly entrenched into Fantasy gaming here. I can agree with banning specials (because GW messed up bad with some of them) and a few items like the Power Scroll in the interest of avoiding point and click 'I win' moments, most stuff will balance out anyway (take too many war machines and you get run over by fast/scout/horde lists, take too much magic and have it backfire spectacularly or get low winds rolls and do nothing the whole game, take a Deathstar and get out manoeuvred by MSU etc etc).

    Tbh I would be more interested in seeing this specific kind of approach scrapped and doing small balancing tweaks to more general rules. A few examples I've heard about; removing the Level casting bonus to your spells, which both makes spells harder to cast in the first place but also means you don't always have to take a Level 4 just for defensive purposes (which is a common sight in most lists). Also removing the slightly retarded rule that means you get no points at all for a unit unless its completely dead and adding the below half strength rule back in, which makes Deathstar builds easier to manage because you aren't just stuck trying to snipe out the characters to grab some points.

  22. @Joel - the High Elves can still have their 2:1 choices. So you get two RBT and two eagles no problem. You just can't have four of each.

    As far as the other comments go I really don't like altering the rules of the "game" itself. So other than putting a cap on power dice that can be used I like to use all the rules.

    I think it is far better to have hard caps and no comp scoring as it removes the bitching you get pre and post event. If you review the caps regularly and adjust with each new book I think you get something workable.

    What I personally don't like is the absence of scenarios, terrain etc. I prefer playing 8th as it is written rather than adjust the core mechanisms.

    Have a look at things like the city guard forum or WAU and you see a lot of bandwidth I'd spent arguing about scores or determining how to beat system. I've found that having a light brush system like this removes a lot of this dynamic.

  23. Thanks Pete for the clarification. However to avoid the confusion for future High Elf players, my suggestion would be state that High Elf RBT count as 2:1 as they currently NOT that way in the armybook (unlike the Dark elf army book where they are 2:1). Might also be a good idea to clarify that Dark Elf 2:1 RBT is considered 1 rare choice (re: 7th ed comp which usually restricted to 2 RBT max in the good 'ol slot days).

    At 2000pts 2 RBT probably not a "competitive" build-so hasn't been an issue. However, at 2400pts 2 RBT could be considered a "viable" choice for competitive builds, so as events slowly wind up to 2400pt (Heresy!), there could be "issues".