Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Review of Composition System Used at 2012 Wellington Events

As we move into the end of the year, I’d like to initiate a discussion around the composition system used at the events I organized over 2012. This was heavily based on the 2012 SCGT system in England.

There were a number of reasons for this, most notably the following:
  • It is hard cap composition – discussions at HomeCon II indicated that the regular tournament goers strongly preferred a hard cap system over ANY form of subjective comp.
  • It was relatively light comp with the aim of being generally permissive – the restrictions allowed you to build hard but not OTT lists that spoil the enjoyment of other players.
  • It did not change the underlying core rules in any significant way. There was a shot cap and a cap on Power Dice but generally you played out of the book.
  • It was independent.
This last one was important for me as given I wanted to play in tournaments, I wanted to distance myself from any perceived bias.

The restrictions used at the Masters are attached below.

The only alterations that were made to the original pack were the exclusion of Special Characters and an amendment to the Daemon rules (removing the restriction on Flamers) after the White Dwarf update came out.

The first of these was driven by history – Special Characters had a bad rep from 7th Edition. Those perceptions remained. Special Characters were trialed at Call to Arms and those used attracted little comment apart from Khalida.

Unlike previous years, the SCGT pack was not updated during the year which therefore required some NZ-centric interpretation as new books were released. The pack was written with only 1-2 months experience of the Vampire Counts book and so that comp was largely untested. However, other than that, the only book released since the pack was written was Empire. That release has seen an increase in Monstrous Cavalry and that has changed the local meta. Similarly, the most recent White Dwarf update for Warriors of Chaos has continued that with the Skullcrusher release. In addition, there was the release of the White Dwarf update to Daemons.

So in light of all that what changes are needed?

• Should Special Characters be added? If so what restrictions and what exceptions?
• Do any of the four new releases – Vampires, Empire, Daemons and Warriors – require amendment?
• Do any General Restrictions require amendment?
• Do any specific Race Restrictions require amendment in light of the evolving meta?

My initial comments are that, firstly, a new Daemons book is due no later than February 2013; secondly, the intention is to be permissive if at all possible and thirdly, if advocating restrictions is the problem actually game-breaking or is potentially based on utopian theoryhammer?

Let the discussion commence!

• Non warmachine shooting is limited to 90 shots per army - count the number of shots, not models. So for example Dark Elf Warriors with repeater crossbows count as 2 shots. Ranked (non-skirmisher) infantry with missile weapons with a range of 12" or less are excluded from this restriction

• No Special characters

• An army may not include more than 2 warmachines of the same type and no more than 5 in an army.

• No single non character unit in the army may be over 450 points

• The magic item “Fozzrik’s Folding Fortress” may not be taken.

Race Specific Restrictions:


• Salamanders 0 – 3 models per army.

• Higher State of Consciousness and the Crown of Command may not be taken on the same model.

• Skink Cohorts are 0 – 3 units per army. Cohorts containing Kroxigor do not count towards the cap.

• Only two of the following may be taken per army – Beclaming Cognitation, Cube of Darkness, Dispel Scroll, Cupped Hands.

Vampire Counts

• Max 3 units/characters with the Ethereal special rule


• Hell Pit Abominations and Warp Lighting Cannons are 0-1 unit selection per army.

• A Screaming Bell or Plague Furnace may only be placed in a unit containing no more than 50 models.

• Gutter Runners units are 0 – 2 per army.

• Warlock Engineers are 0 – 3 models per army.

• Skaven Slaves units may only be a maximum of 50 models per unit.

Dark Elves

• The Pendant of Kaleth and the Crown of Command may not be taken on the same model.

• Hydras 0 – 1 unit selections per army.

• Max 3 units with the ‘fly’ special rule


• Steam Tanks are 0 – 1 models per army and count as a Warmachine

Daemons of Chaos

• Infantry units may only be a maximum of 400 points per unit

• Max 3 units with the ‘fly’ special rule

Tomb Kings

• Only Skeleton Bowmen count towards the shot cap, all other “shots” in the army are excluded when calculating the army’s total “shots”

• No further restrictions

High Elves

• High Elves may take units of up to 550 points, overriding the 450 point restriction given above

• High Elf armies may ignore the “same type” warmachine restriction

• Dragon Mage's additional dice do not count towards the '+2 cap' Winds of Magic dice restriction. They are effectively 'free'.


• A maximum of 2 out of the 3 following items may be taken in the army: Greedy Fist, Lore of Death and Hellheart

• If the Hellheart is taken then a Dispel Scroll may not be taken in the army

• If a second Ironblaster is taken, Mornfang Units become a 0-2 unit selection per army

Orcs & Goblins

• Goblin Bolt Throwers do not count when working out your 5 maximum warmachine allowance


• Beastmen armies may take units of up to 550 points, overriding the 450 point restriction given above

Bretonnians, Warriors of Chaos, Wood Elves, Dwarfs, Chaos Dwarfs (Forgeworld list will be used)

• No further restrictions


  1. My thoughts are basc:

    Blanket ban the Crown of Command, not becuase its overly broken, but because it promotes boring unintelligent game play. "push big unit/unkillable character forward, grind forever." yay....

    Does the Greedy Fist/Lore of Death need comp following the latest FAQ changes? (not even sure it did before the changes but thats another discussion)

    Allow all special characters, bar Teclis, Thorek (yes I know hes not that good, just promotes boredom...), and a cap on skellie bowmen size when Khalida's involved. Otherwise, you can pretty much always make a better character from standard choices in the army book, so all SCs do is allow some interesting army build/tactical variations, which is frankly only a good thing as I've noticed the majority of armies are getting very samey at the moment

    Thats all for now...

    1. Surely it's easier to allow everything and just ban boring people.

    2. James I think you should be doing the opposite and join the band wagon

      Prince+Vambraces+Crown+Enchanted Shield - drive him straight at the bus; have your <300 point character hold them up indefinitly.

    3. My current set would be:
      No Folding Fortress
      No Teclis
      Maximum of 450 points and 50 models per unit
      0-1 Hellpit, WLC, Hydras
      0-2 Gutter runners, Shades
      0-3 Engineers, Salamanders

    4. I like the minimal approach, but I can very much see the upsides of banning the crown as well. I never understood the benefit of having High Elf units worth more than 450pts. They suffer from "only one punchy unit" disease.

      However there needs to be an exception that allows Karl Franz on a dragon with the Ghal Maraz in a 2400pt list...Empire need all the help they can get!

    5. Ray, he doesn't need a crown to do that ;-)

      Add chamo skinks to the 0-2 and id take that comp.

  2. I had no real issue with them, most had little to no impact on my lists, being a biased Lizardmen would like more Salamanders . . .

    Not a big fan Race based restrictions (but seeing I have none for Natcon 13, I have to say that), except to balance out extremes, so limiting Dark Elves to 6 dice per cast I see as reasonable, rest seem to be attempts to rebalance army books, rightly or wrongly.

    One set of restrictions for all I say.


  3. Khalida is fine when people realize she cant give her WS to her unit as she doesn't have "my will be done". no one picked up on it at the tournament so she romped through with an unkillable horde that should have quickly popped in combat. special characters in the new books tend to add a bit of fluff and a new dynamic to their lists (the Orc fast cav characters for instance, and grimgor actually making black orcs good). otherwise i think the other rules are relatively fair.

  4. I am happy with most of the rules and restrictions, but would like to have greater freedom with the amount of stuff that can stop spells instantly, so dwarf players can take a runesmith or runelord with more than just one Ro spelleating/spellbreaking.

    - Adam Richards

    1. How about Dwarfs can have a total 4 war machines and/or runes of spell eating/breaking?

    2. I say ban dwarfs . . . They suck all fun out of game

    3. Yep, I would be happy with the warmachine and/or spell eating/breaking compromise in the composition restrictions, that would mean I could take two of each. Which should be more than enough at a tournament.

      @Sam - You could take a night goblin army, that way everybody gets some re-roll fun. *chuckle*

      - Adam Richards

    4. Oh yah hordes of freaking fanatics and manglers awesome - and that ideas a terrible one. Dwarfs have good warmachines and good anti-magic limiting both alters the book far too much - it would like saying Skaven can have Clan Rats/Slaves or Gutter Runners but not both.

    5. Who'd have thought Dwarfs grumbling and exhibiting classic NIMBY behaviour

  5. The only problem with the comp is 2x Mournfang and 2x Ironblasters. As a person looking to play ogres for most of next year I can't really see a point in not taking this combination. Perhaps a change to only 3 units of any combination of Mournfang/Ironblasters?


  6. Not another one on the Ogre bandwagon Locky?! Ha ha, depends on what you want to achieve with comp - looking at the "skaven comp" for instance it still allows you to build the optimum skaven list that is probably the most powerful in warhammer. I'm not sure there is a way to truely balance the game so we do our best! I like bringing in special characters, they are really not overpowered in the current environment. Anything that adds a new dimension is good.

    1. Sorry what army are you collecting this week James.

      You have the attention span of a fruit fly.

  7. I prefered it when you could only take single Rares and double Specials. I like this not for balance reasons, but more for fluff ones. Rare things should be rare and not more common than core troops (Ironblasters being more common than Bull units for example).

    I'd also like to see the restriction on mundane equipment lifted from all BSBs. Wood Elf BSBs should be able to take longbows, Dwarves should be able to take Great Weapons or even pistols.

    I note that the PD/DD restriction is missing from the top, as is the usual alternative to this, the limit on auto-dispel items. Is that intentional?

    As for a limit on Dwarf war machines and auto-dispel, you'll make the army unplayable. That only leave Dwarf combat lists which quite frankly can't compete against high movement or hard combat armies. Given that you dislike Dwarves this might be your intention, but you should just come out and say so.

    Otherwise the comp at the top looks fine and I'd have no problems with it. We can't change the fundamentals of Warhammer (LOS blocking hills and forests for instance) so a light approach to comp works well.

    1. I HATED only single rare choices, apart from a-bombs and Hydras. But I am an O&G player so am obviously biased.

    2. No...(normal) PD maximum of 12. Nevever more than 6 PD at spell.

      My point with the "proposed" Dwarf cap was to illustrate that most people think restrictions are great.....on other people.

      I think we can take that point as duly illustrated.

    3. Sorry Pete, my reply was a bit blunter than it should have been and I didn't read your original message in context.

      Sam, I can see why you'd be biased, given how much of the good stuff in the OnG list is in Rares. Ogres and Skaven players would say the same thing no doubt. I hadn't thought of it like that, as neither Dwarves nor High Elves have only one decent choice in the Rare slot.

  8. Current comp is OK but I agree with Tane in that the single rare choice was a far better restriction.

    Also totally agree that limiting Dwarfs to a single dispel rune simply alters them beyond recognition - they are an anti-magic army, if you take that away you are effectively negating one of their only strengths and making them unplayable in some respects.

    Also Pete I've nominated you for a Liebster (some funny blog award thing)

    1. The only problem with a blanket no duplicate rates is that you end up effectively banning all the averaget rare choices which only work when you have two of them, ie beasts rares, terrorghiests, etc and I think we want to be encouraging them, not telling people to avoid them even more than they do already

  9. So is the consensus to keep with what we have but allow Special Characters with the exception of Thorek and Teclis?

    Should there be a cap on the size of the bowmen unit Khalida joins? SCGT has 50 bowmen - what was the feeling of those who faced it at CTA?

    Vamps - Ok?
    Empire - Ok?
    WoC - Ok?

    Multiple auto-dispel for Dwarfs, Brets and DoC?

    1. I don't mind unit point caps, but not model limits. I faced the Khalida list, and agree with the limit being 50. Locky's idea regarding Ogres is possibly one to look at? Everything else is good mate, as balanced as I think you can make it. Lizards can get 2 auto dispel too. I say keep it at 1.


      If I do manage to get to Nationals in 2013, I will have to give him an outing :)

      TECLIS fan Club

    3. I'll happily accept only one auto-dispel and a 2DD cap on my Dwarves, provided I get to run a Level 4 and a Level 2. I can make up some half-baked fluff story to justify their presence in a Dwarf List.

      I'm thinking both of them on Lore of Light would be a good start.

  10. Just cap all units at 50 models or 450 points - makes it nice and simple. The only units you would see that size are zombies, slaves, ng, etc and 50 is plenty. Yes allright, if I can't have 100 slaves, you can't have 100 zombies :-P

    multi autodispel ok - you can't get a spell off against Dwarfs anyway, Daemons are just broken so what the hey, and only Neil plays Brets locally ;)

    and just confirming it's 12 PD all up ever per phase, not 12 in the current pool?

    with everything else, I'd prefer less restrictions not more. I think we're at a place where you can say:

    "Here are some very blanket restrictions. With the rest, don't be a git!"

    As an example, there is a place for a double Abom army if it's themed and the rest of it is Throt, Rat Ogres and Giant Rats.


    1. I am sorry James, but there is NEVER a place for double A-Bombs.....Ever

  11. Ask Dan Butler about the time he ran double Abombs into a corner to stop them dying! Pete I do have the shinny crack addiction.. Painting is my issue! I am getting my Ogres commission painted for the New Year and then have Dark Elves to paint myself