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Sunday, September 19, 2010

What is a GT to you?

I've been asked to help organize a GT-level tournament in the Indianapolis area.  The group consists of guys from The Back 40k, Too Competitive Hurts!, as well as other local TOs.

I used to play in GWs Grand Tournaments quite a bit from around 1999-2004.  I've never been a particularly competitive player, but I enjoy the competitive atmosphere of a tournament.  My philosophy has been to try and master the list I have, and figure out how to play against the so-called "tourmanent lists."

There has been much discussion in the last year in our local area regarding tournaments and soft scores.  Some claim that soft scores have no place in a tournament setting, that only battle points should be considered.  After all, Warhammer is a game.  If I play the game better than you, I should place higher than you, right?  Others claim that Warhammer is a hobby, and includes other aspects like painting, sportsmanship, and (dare I say it?) composition.

I have played in both types of tournaments, and have had a lot of fun in both.  My question to all of you is this:  In a GT-level event with upwards of 100 players, do you think that all aspects of the hobby should be represented in the scoring, or should battle points be the determining factor of a player's ranking?

If you think soft scores should be included, how much weight do you give them compared to the battle points?  Should battle points be 33% of a player's overall score?  50%?  75%?

If you were to travel to another city for a large event, how would you like to see the scoring break down?


  1. Is there any way to have separate categories apart from the GT result scores for the "soft stuff"?

    At our store, we have a small enough group that the winner of any tourney is obvious- whoever had enough VP, KP or objectives is the winner. The other stuff is fun fluff we include so everyone has a chance to be a winner.

    Just my thoughts...

  2. I've argued against comp and soft scores often. However I think that large tournaments should be about the complete hobby. I just happen to think that the things people like to score should be mandatory. A minimum level of maturity and level of painting should be required just to play in a major GT. I also think that the sports, painting, and battle scores should exist in separate worlds where one does not affect another.

    I essentially have no problem with all the things incorporated into most 40k tournament scoring, I just don't like how they are packaged up to determine who should get 1st place.

  3. I've been listening to a lot of podcast reviews of the NOVA Open and other GT-style tournaments. I like the way that they score each segment separately, awarding prizes for the top spots in each category.

    The player who scores highest overall is then awarded the top prize, as though the winner is the person who best personified the different aspects of the hobby, whether it be painting, gaming, or the social aspect of the hobby.

  4. I definitely favor some sort of scoring for painting, sportsmanship and whatnot. I think I like the format where the overall tournament is scored by battle points alone, and there are separate awards for sportsmanship, painting, and army composition. That said, I think that there should be a minimum standard for painting, and that excessively poor sportsmanship should definitely be able to penalize your overall score.

    Just my two spacebucks' worth.

  5. Caulyn Darr: This is most likely a "nOOb" question, but why do you feel painted armies=maturity?

    I mean, um... I'm a married lady with teen kids. I'm working on paint, but it's behind cooking, cleaning and making sure homework is done. (And all of that's after making sure bills are paid!)

    Or did I read you wrong?

  6. By maturity, I meant sportsmanship.

  7. CaulynDarr: Fair enough. Sorry for the mis-read.

  8. I'm tempted to put in an award category for 'most gimped, but best placed'

    for people who impose heavy comp on themselves, and still place well.

    I have lost tournaments where my old codex was comped hard because I've got fewer 'good units' to choose from vs. the new codexes, which have a LOT more units to choose from with overlapping purposes.

    If I modify my list towards comp, I loose because I took a list with no focus. If I keep focus in my list, I loose because the TO thought I was 'too competitive'.
    both are discouraging.
    they make me want to not bring WH or DH, and just bring yet another Space Marine army.

  9. I'm really not a fan of comped events.

    But I also don't like the idea of an event the praises battle points over every other metric. It's as if the event organizers are saying that the degree by which you defeat your opponent is the most important aspect of this hobby. There might be other things to consider (painting, sportsmanship, etc.), but they are all secondary to winning your games.

    I like the idea of scoring each category separately, but I feel that the "best general" award shouldn't be the top award given for the day.

    I feel that an event that purports to be similar to a Grand Tournament should encompass more of the hobby than just pummeling the guy across the table. That's what 'Ard Boyz is for. In my opinion, the purpose of a Grand Tournament is to celebrate all aspects of the hobby. I might go so far as to say that they should be valued equally.

  10. I despise battle points in general. I prefer tracking pure W/L, and having enough games to get to one undefeated. Failing that, giving every undefeated player an equal prize.

    Nova had a competitive winner takes all prize, but the best over all player(33% sports, 33% paint, 33% wins) took home the biggest prize.

    There aren't many events out there that cater directly to painting or softer games directly, so tournaments have to shoulder the responsibility of making every one happy. I don't think tournaments are a natural fit for promoting hobby aspects of the game, and that's why running miniature gaming tournaments is such a difficult task. The subjective nature of hobby scoring conflicts directly with the objective nature of determining the best player. I think independent scoring of all the aspects with equal rewards for achievement is the best way to go.

  11. Not sure how I missed this post, sorry. I believe a tournament that gives the hobby side and the competitive side their own seperate avenues for players to travel down. I believe the competitive part of our community is coming out more and more these days and appeals to younger crowds more. Let's do both!!!!!!!!

  12. What makes a tournament competitive? If a tournament has an overall winner using their combined win/loss, painting, and sports scores, can it still be competitive if it provides a clear avenue to determine who the best players are?

    I disagree with the notion that winning your games is the most important aspect of this hobby. It seems to me that when an event gives the largest prize to the person who beat his opponents the hardest, it says that the other aspects of this hobby are secondary at best.

    The "Best General" award was designed to designate the player who showed the most skill on the table. I would like to see more than just the highest scoring player get a prize, but I feel that the biggest winner of the day should be the player who is the most fun to play against, has the best looking army, and can provide the most challenging game to his opponents. This is the player who most completely embodies this hobby, and everything that makes it great.

    I feel that any tournament will, by its very nature, be competitive. The missions should be fair, and the scoring should clearly define which players are better, but the person who wins the most isn't necessarily the best player. Many people want to treat this hobby as if it were nothing more than a game to be won or lost. Those people are neither right nor wrong, but there are many players who get much more out of the hobby than just gaming, and I think all players should be taken into consideration in a large-scale event.