Monday, August 18, 2014

FOB-Lite Comp - Comment Sought from Locals

Ok, I'm back.

I've got shedloads of content to post over the next little while but I want to get some input from you guys first.

FOB-Lite Comp is the permissive system that I use at a lot of my events. It needs an update.

Over the last 12 months we have seen a lot of new books released and that has seen layers of comp removed from the system. I have as much as possible tried to leave new books uncomped while old books have progressively had their comp "revised".

Looking at recent meta trends there is now a little bit of a disconnect and I suspect that certain books are better than others.

There are various ways to address this:

1. Remove further layers of comp from the existing system

For instance, should there be restrictions on Ironblasters, Skullcannons, Warp Lightning Cannons when there are no restrictions on items such as RBTs (Elves can and do take four - other races limited to one "cannon") or on Empire (two Stanks, two Cannons).

There are no restrictions on Stanks, Frosties but there are on HPAs.

Are these "restricted" items controlled by Rare allocation e.g. You could take 2x HPA but that would restrict you to a single other Rare choice. You could take two Skullcannons but that limits the number of Plague Drones.

Some things shouldn't change - limit on Skaven engineers, shot cap with Khalida, BoN with Epidemis - but have these other restrictions been surpassed.

2. Write layers of new comp for other armies

Here, for example, it would be to allow two Stanks but prohibit other cannons. Or allow Banner of the World dragon but restrict Frost Phoenix.

For Dark Elves, it would need to be more elaborate. A restriction on lists purely constructed via all the "good items" e.g. Peg Riders, RXB Dark Rider Core, Max Warlocks, death magic etc. The ETC tried this and while it worked to an extent it was complicated and not all embracing.

Wood Elves would like require a shot gap - especially on Trueflight arrows - and potentially limits on Wild Riders.

3. Some middle ground

My major concern is that I am keen to keep the system simple and permissive. As a TO I don't like telling people they can't bring their toys.

So locals go at it.....what needs to be done to update FOB-Lite Comp. I want your input. I don't promise it will be implemented but it will be read and considered.

Remember, you can't please all the people, all the time - but let's be positive and try to get something workable.

Note: This doesn't apply to NZTC where ETC comp will be used.


  1. ???? so Pete-lite wont be used at NZTC, instead we will use ETC comp...or are we using Pete-lite with ETC FAQ's??

    Regarding the current comp I'm in favour of removing a few layers from the older books. Remove the artillery restrictions on all armies (other than max 2 of a kind) means the double stank list is more vulnerable (especially with the death magic meta) is the pegasus flying circus/double frostie + stardragon etc etc

    Suggested Woodie and Dark Elf comp to remove the edge from the Elfpocolpyse:
    Woodies: Either 31+ trueflight shots or 2nd unit of waywatchers = shooting controlled and wildriders less of a threat.

    Dark Elves: Either 6+ brolocks or the Cloak of Twilight. Max 1: 4 RBT's, more than 4 fast calv units (not including characters), death magic on lvl4. No more than 20 dark rider models can have xbows

    I dont think high elves need comping because if we open up the artillery, then the frosties etc are controlled. Frosties and RBT's both competing for rare slots already comps them nicely.

    Joel v

    1. Note: This doesn't apply to NZTC where ETC comp will be used.

    2. See this is the massive problem with all these debates, you the Empire/High Elf player are saying: Don't comp High Elves and let Empire take the 5th Cannon, but comp Dark Elves.

      And I the brand new DE player am saying: Don't comp the army I've only just started playing....

      Very hard to be objective. This is why I choose to be prepared to fight for freedom!!

    3. True that. The key difference between comped and uncomped Empire tends to be 1 stank, and exactly how many banishments you can have/what the max strength of it is. High Elf comp is usually based on potential game changing magic items (book and banner). In both cases minor changes create effectively the same list (see ETC comp) as before, but tempered.

      Also in both cases the armies have not been dominating events, and no one has yet to take a list that stretches the comp to its logical limits (usually because of scenarios etc). Both are also restricted by the generic comp (flyer cap and warmachine restrictions), or how the strong items in the army books are priced and/or completing against (ie you cannot have 2 frosties and 4 RBTs....or 2 cannons, 2 stanks and a hellblaster, and a runefang that hits on 2's etc etc).

      If certain Empire and High Armies are causing concern to the local gamers under FOB-lite, then there would be a case for some comping as they are the paying customer.

      The Dark Elf and woodie books are the current flavour of the month for concerns (like WoC, DoC, and Ogres before them) and both armies are internationally are getting comped. Sure there is the social contract "I'm testing your tactical abilities" argument, but if there is comp on some things, then everything needs to be considered for adjustment + we need to consider the needs of the vast majority of FOB event attendees who bring whatever and pay in money and time to have an enjoyable weekend....some people don't see playing top tier cutting edge meta lists as "fun"....especially on repeat. They need time and $$ to adjust their army to the current state.

      For woodies the complaints come from trueflight/waywatcher shooting backed up by a million wildriders cleaning up what's left. For Dark Elves the concern is around the extreme mobility of its shooting and the strength of brolocks in such a build - especially since they do not compete with any other viable options in the rare slot (see high elf RBT vs Frostie). If these are the areas of concern, then a slight capping of the extremes of the build could be warranted. And who knows...when the Beastmen book gets redone this might be a moot point...meaning the comp can be reconsidered.

    4. There's not a single complaint about woodies yet, this is a problem that is being anticipated.

      WoC have never been comped under FoB-lite as a result of concerns and the fact that they remain the strongest performing army by a massive margin. The only comp on WoC was put out instantly before anyone had even tried the combo out (to my knowledge).

      Sure I play DE, but it's 9+ months since that book came out and we're only just starting to see them pick up momentum. I'm just saying it's rich to declare that Woodies and DE urgently require comp (as the 2nd and 9th highest ranked armies with WE only just out) while saying that WoC need to stay where they are (massively better performing than any other army), and that DoC and Empire should have comp eased (#3 and #4) while HE can stay the same (#5).

      Sure that makes sense if we're trying to balance armies, but we're only talking about the top 5 lists (and WE for some reason). There are 16 armies in the game and most outside of the top 5/6 will be brutalised by easing comp on DoC/Empire/Ogres.

      I don't see the elfpocalypse as a major problem, and I think there's enough variety in events at the moment that it's nice to have FoB-lite where you can take what you want.

    5. Comp on woodies was initially suggested in blog post - I personally dont see any need (other than MAYBE limits waystalkers and of course 0-1: acorn, treesinging, moonstone :P...). Suggestions for Empire is to leave it as it is (there are no current specific FOB-lite restrictions). Relaxing artillery for Skaven, DoC, and Ogres would actually be a comp on WoC because the "meta" lists tend to not like cannons (or wildriders). But yes - as mentioned below - give ogres, skaven and DoC back their unrestricted 2nd cannon and the lower tiered armies suffer more than the desired "meta comp" on WoC.

      How would you comp WoC anyway? most net lists come from comp events with limit of 3 core chariots etc. Scenarios force them to take the "weak" stuff anyway...possibly limit the number of trolls with Throgg to 12 (so only 2x6)??? 0-1: 2nd unit of crushers, Dprince???
      Or go down the another route: must have at least 1 unit of forsaken that dont count towards min core? If take a lord choice, list also needs to include 2 giants?

  2. I believe FOB-Lite should be kept as permissive as possibly.

    Skaven: Make Hellpits/WLC 0-3

    TK: This army pretty much doesn't function under any comp system so nothing is required. Has anyone in NZ ever used Khalida with the 40 shots limit? If not raise it to 60 and see if someone can make it work, if they can, all the more power to them.

    DoC - Drop comp on Skillcannons

    Ogres - Drop comp on Ironblasters

    I don't think there's any requirement to mess around with the general limits.The artillery armies of OnG (can already max warmachines), Empire (can already get 4 cannons) and Dwarves (2 Cannons, 2 Grudgethrowers, 2 Organ Gun) are all differently affected. OnG aren't helped at all and they struggle in WHFB for a range of reasons. Empire players will just get 1 more cannon and Dwarves will be even more gunline, none of this will make the game more fun or fair.

    How do we deal with the elfapocalypse? I'm not sure we have an elfapocalypse on your hands yet.

    HE and DE sit in 3rd/4th on Army Rankings. The DE book is 10 months old so it still hasn't settled in but HE have. Despite that we see HE doing well but not dominating, the loosening of comp proposed on the mobile cannons will negatively affect their power. Sure they have 4 tourney wins in the last year, but only 1 of those had more than 12 players and that was fluffycon.

    DE are I think a very powerful army book, but again there is no show of consistent dominance since their release. The Icon is held on 166 points, no Dark Elf dominance has happened though I'll concede that CTA might be a sign of things to come but this is still the first time that Dark Elves have won a tournament.

    WE are a brand new book that has done terribly so far, Peter Williamson has only just managed top half finishes thanks to his u-boat antics. To comp an army that hasn't even glimpsed the podium seems silly. I believe the fortunes of the army will improve as time goes by, but if anything the rise of the Wood Elves will see the avoidance Dark Elves have their power compromised.

    To Sum it Up: Loosen the comp as it stands and let the Elves play out for awhile. We had big issues last year with WoC/DoC coming in and crushing all before them with a push-it forward playstyle. We haven't seen these big results from any of the Elves thus far (though it is possible). If anything the Elves comp eachother and once WE are fully developed we'll see that. The problem doesn't now exist and given NZ's small player base it could be a long time before it does.

    Disclaimer: Sure I've last played DE, but I've also played Empire, Lizards, OnG, HE and WoC. So I'll just jump to whatever isn't balanced after any change lol.

  3. I like the middle ground idea. Comp is needed, but can't be over the top.

    What about generic rules?
    No more than 2 monsters (inc stanks)
    No more than 20 cav
    No more than 40 BS shooting models
    No more than 3 warmachines (HE / DE: 4)
    No more than 4 fliers
    Better than 3+ ward becomes 3+ (no reroll)


    1. Interesting idea but it wouldn't work given that wide variation in the types of units available to each army and their relative strengths e.g WE/Dwarfs lend themselves toward shooting - limiting the # of BS shots and particularly war-machines effectively removes those armies key strengths.

    2. Semi-agree, and possibly my values need tweaking (50BS and 4WarMach? 10 monst beasts / inf, unless ogres).

      But it seems to me that the army lists that are breaking the game are the ones taking things to an extreme not foreseen by the game designers.

      Ie. All fast cav, or all BotWD H-Cav, or all BS shooting, or all trolls, or all beasts of nurgle, or all monsters, or all fliers etc.

      By limiting the number (or perhaps % of points) it will guide peoples armies back to a more balanced state, without removing the strengths of that individual race.

      Dwarfs could still run a gunline with these rules, similarly empire or whatever, it just removes the extremes. Dunno, food for thought.

    3. In one fell swoop you've comletely uncomped Skaven, Daemons, Empire while managing to massively nerf Tomb Kings, neuter lizards, and ban OnG from taking 2 giants and a wyvern if they wanted to. I'm not going for that.

    4. Yeah ok you've convinced me, The armies are too diverse for generic rules.

      But I still believe a little tweaking of the most extreme lists needs a little curtailing... with targeted rules I suppose.


  4. I'll chat here about Ogres (and their comp) which is where my Warhammer experience lies. I would argue that over the last 12 months that numbers of Ogre players have gone into sharp decline. Why? The meta has changed with the release of certain new books. The decline began sharply with the release of Chaos Warriors which are a hard counter to Ogres. Recent releases of Woodies and Dark Elves which when played as shooty avoidance lists give your average ogre player a headache.
    The new books and changing meta leaves the ogre player with four options that they need to consider:
    1. Evolve the Standard list under Pete Lite – this likely means considering inserting lead belchers into the list to deal with avoidance, putting MR or the Runemaw into your bus (still doesn’t stop Purple Sun one shoting your game), consider including two firebellies, and, I also think, dropping the Dispel Scroll for a Hellheart should come into strong consideration.
    2. Learn to play better
    3. Petition to change the comp restrictions on ogres. There are lots of old arguments for and against the second Ironblaster and then there is the argument that the Hellheart in combination with the Dispel Scroll should stop two magic phases. A second iron blaster would really help against WoC and the Hellheart would help against Doomfire Warlocks and the Woody equivalents, while the scroll means your opponent has to IF Purple Sun before you lose (a somewhat riskier proposition). The trouble is that both these items make the ogre list stronger against other armies which they perform well enough against already. It is also likely that the boat has sailed, and that removing this comp restriction is not going to attract back the WAAC ogre players (Is this me?)
    4. Become fluff bunnies
    In my case, option four isn’t an option, I go to tournaments to try and win my games, at least, until I run into someone who can really play and then I like to think I learn something new in terms of how to play better. So in terms of ogre players, I would argue they need to consider points 1 & 2 carefully. But, what to do about comp restrictions? Removing either or both of the two ogre comps will allow them to better cope with the armies they struggle against. However, the armies they don’t struggle against are not going to enjoy the removal of those existing restrictions. I suspect the answer to this problem is a careful assessment of how far has the meta progressed. When the meta progresses far enough the restrictions need to be carefully reconsidered. Ogres (and perhaps Brets) can design lists to shut down two magic phases – is that really a problem in the current meta, perhaps that concern is old warhammer thinking now and the ability is just a racial strength? Are two moving, laser guided cannons going to make your opponent splutter and swear in the same way they did 12-18 months ago? And, then lastly will removing the comp restrictions make any difference at all to whether people play them and how well they perform?

    1. Ogres suffer as they were the first of the "new" books and consequently have fallen behind the others particularly the last 3 or so as GW seemed to take a few books to work out where they wanted to go with things.

      Yes I think its fair that the 0-1 Ironblaster and Hellheart or Scroll comp get removed as they are hold overs from when the book first came out. Double Ironblasters are good but if the rest of your army is getting wiped out by armies full of multiple fast cavalry skirmishing poison high BS shooting units then they are not going to do diddly. Two shots from two chariot-cannons is still only 2 shots vs. the 30,40, or 50 you get from other armies. Hellheart is great but to use it effectively you have to push up into peoples faces which is difficult with the strong lean toward avoidance MSU lists. Rune Maw/Hellheart are now auto-includes for me but despite the restrictions you can still build a solid list. Ogres find it harder though as they are not a book that leans toward MSU style play and they are still a big block army. Nor are they an army that can deal with DE/WE/LM spam lists effectively.

      Comp should allow each army to play to its strengths but without allowing players to completely avoid any weaknesses their army has. But his has to be balanced out against the abilities of other books. The permissive comp we have with Pete-lite is solid but could be slightly tweaked - particularly re: Ogres (as discussed above) and flying units where I think there needs to be a distinction between flying characters and flying units. The 500pt max unit limit is good but doesn't cater for the different points cost of various units e.g. 500pts of DoC Beasts will do a hell of a lot more damage than 500pts of Dwarf Warriors.

  5. I'd like to point out that in terms of performance that Warriors are still the best performing army by a massive massive margin. DoC, HE, DE and Empire are all within several points of eachother

    1. Which is one of the interesting things about the NZ tournament scene: comp on an army is really comp vs specific players given the size of the scene and the frequent return visits to the masters by largely the same group of people.

      eg Skaven comp is basically self imposed restrictions by Pete, DoC comp was essentially a ban on Sam's CTA's list last year...the Khadaii comp was introduced after Tim Joss's efforts 3 CTA's ago etc etc.

      What we do know is that even when the comp allows the cutting edge meta filth, most players voluntarily dont bring the comp really is of little consequence on the vast majority of people who attend FOB events...

      I'm not sure what the conclusion of that should be - personally I like the current justification for Pete-lite "taking the edge off the top lists". The current top lists are WoC (based on results) and increasingly DE's. Opening up artillery comps WoC and the current tournment attending pool of people is too small for Welves to counter Delves, therefore I think restrictive comp on Delves is a viable solution. If the net list Woodies start to dominate, or cause public outcry (like beasts + epidimus did), then they can be looked at for potential comp.

      Joel v

    2. Joel makes a good point in that the local community does lean more heavily toward "self-comp" in that no-one really sets out to break things. So you need to ask what is the purpose of comp:

      - To balance out the books because GW didn't
      - To wield a big stick to beat down those who seek to dominate events
      - To provide guidance for new players looking to enter events for the first time
      - To get rid of units that key members of the event scene don't like or want to face/field/see
      - To set out expectations of what "fair" and "reasonable" lists are while still allowing people to win
      - A mixture of the above

      Most of these approaches are problematic as it relies on the subjective interpretations of people who play the game all of whom, regardless of statements to the contrary, will possess highly partisan views about the relative worth of their own armies and why its other books that need comping and not their own.

    3. oops - not K'daii -the queen poins bs3 shots lady :D

      Joel v

      Also - is CTA's the annual comp trigger event?

    4. Seems to be where most of the bitching comes from...however it's not organised by or uses FOB-Lite.

      I do think looking at the lists this year there was a marked ratcheting up by a few people - the taste of sweet ranking points I guess

  6. Of the armies I am any good at:

    For Chaos Dwarfs does the Magma cannon still need to be 0-1? Or is this included from when ogres/ beasts of nurgle etc were prevalent?

    If you were going to counter anything from CD you could go 0-2 Iron Daemons/K'daai Destroyer to stop unber monster spam.

    Apart from the 0-4 Flyers, max unit value and max 2 artillery, dwarfs don't need any more comp as the book is quite balanced.


  7. Another approach would be to have an automatic handicapping system that adjusts on results.
    This would result in the point allowance for armies being different but otherwise no comp restrictions. So a standard 2400 point tournament would have top armies playing on probably 2200 and bottom armies playing on 2700.
    There are different ways this could be done and I have given the outline of one way it could be done below that uses current info within the FoB rankings.

    For example we currently have the rankings of the armies based on the top 10 performances excluding the current icon holder. Woc is at the top with 731.33 and O&G is at the bottom with 243.51. The average of all of the armies (excluding CD) is 545.06.
    If we take the difference between the average and the actual score for each army, rounded to the nearest 50, and add/subtract from the 2400 point allowance you will get the following point allowance:
    Warriors of Chaos 2200
    Dark Elves 2250
    Empire 2250
    Daemons of Chaos 2250
    High Elves 2250
    Vampire Counts 2350
    Lizardmen 2350
    Ogre Kingdoms 2400
    Wood Elves 2400
    Skaven 2450
    Bretonnians 2450
    Dwarfs 2450
    Tomb Kings 2550
    Beastmen 2700
    Orcs & Goblins 2700

    The system would be self adjusting as results come through ie. an auto handicapping system. As armies improve their results the point allowance reduces and vice versa. Over time the system should balance out so that all armies have an equal chance against each other. New army books should start at 2400 and then enter the system once the top 10 results have been collected.

    1. Neil, while I'd love an extra 50 points to pick up a Brass orb and watch the steam tanks go boom, the points system doesn't achieve the prime aim in that it hurts the more friendly players too and it encourages the behavior that comp tries to curtail.

      Playing devils advocate: If I have 2200 points and facing those with 2400 or 2700, i'm going to fill my 2200 points full of the nastiest stuff possible, which while i may still not win, it's not a fun tourny for anyone.

      Similarly if i'm a new or more friendly player, i have 2200 points of normal guys, i'm going to get tabled a lot.

      Sorry, I love the idea, but I'd suggest that comp is about moderating the player, not just the army.


  8. No Comp. End. Thanks for coming.

  9. While I agree with Sam above, I did have an interesting conversation with someone at ETC. Rather than all the elaborate comp thry came up with, just cap characters with Sea Dragon Cloaks at some level and it knocks the annoying Peg/fastcav spam avoidance crap in the face.

    1. Thats only if we feel they need comping FYI

  10. Replies
    1. And maybe just ditch special characters too :)

    2. aaaaaaand remove Chaos Dwarfs as they aren't a real army book...