Monday, January 23, 2012

International Variations

With all this discussion recently around composition systems I think that it is quite interesting the move globally to hard cap systems.

The UK and NZ seem to be firmly in that camp - with some NZ events having a TO veto - while Europe has always been that way. From what I understand the US vacillates between no comp and hard comp depending on geography.

The one outlier is Australia. Here they are still largely following the subjective comp route, primarily using panel comp (or in some events peer). I'm not really sure why they are so wedded to the system as I struggle to see any significant benefits over a well thought out hard cap system.

I've just finished marking 60+ lists for Cancon (Australia's biggest event) and certainly it is hard to make a strong case that not using hard caps results in greater list variety. There was only minimal variation between the lists for most of the races.

I expect there will be the usual griping about comp scores post the event. This is just an occupational hazard of a subjective system. The hard cap system mutes this - to an extent - and transfers it to pre the event (with the added advantage of participants having certainty).


  1. I've posted about this before. Whilst there may not have been as much variety as there could have been in the lists, there was still a lot more than you would find at an event like the ETC.

    I agree that using a comp panel is more likely to result in griping against the system. I am willing to wear that in the hope that players will take advantage of the fact that the onus is not on them to field the toughest possible list within the restrictions.

  2. And that is a fair point, Greg.

    With hard caps the onus is on not leaving anything behind.

    I think that it is interesting that the international move to hard caps has been resisted in Oz, the place with the greatest 7th/8th schism.

  3. Personally I think the ETC is a bad example to use in regards to list variation. Given the team nature and the way the event "works" it can hardly be compared to a standard tourney in regards to list design.

  4. I notice the bitching has started for Cancon over at WAU and that is without seeing the comp scores. People have started posting lists and the peanut gallery is weighing in.

    This to me must be the biggest turnoff for a TO under subjective comp.

    The absence of this is the biggest attraction of hard caps - once published anyway

  5. Half of the peanut gallery is not playing in the tournament...

    As you say, the complaining is coming without seeing the comp scores. This limits how informed any opinions are going to be. In a tournament where comp is worth half as much as battle, you'd think people would give it a little more consideration.

    We'll wait and see what armies actually win the tournament, rather than the ones that cause the most internet warriors to flip out (perhaps a victory in itself).

  6. Oh, and in response to hard caps being resisted in Oz and Philfy's comment regarding the ETC, I don't think these two things are entirely unrelated. Half of our recent experience (ie the last few years) here with hard caps has been people declaring the ETC restrictions to be God's gift to Warhammer and using them as the bible when it comes to regular tournaments. This it turns leads to Attack of the Clones, much like you see at the ETC itself. As some of us have been saying all along, ETC restrictions work in a team environment, which is what they were designed for. People who try to use them in regular tournaments are doing the ETC system a disservice and turning people against hard caps.

    There are a number of reasons why we've been opting for soft comp instead of hard caps recently, and thus far the system has worked very well. It may be that eventually opinion will shift and we will see more Oz tournaments opting for the caps instead. We shall wait and see.