Putting the Champion Back in Championships [Part 2]

The AdeptiCon 2011 Warhammer 40K Championships rules draft can be found here. Please keep in mind this is still a draft, and while it has been through countless revisions and proofing, it most likely is not the absolute final version. Additionally, new codices and/or official FAQ documents in the months leading up to the event could require changes to the following rules. We are currently looking for feedback, most particularly in the realm of clarity.

Continued from Part 1...

Work on refining the Warhammer 40K Championships began in early 2010. First and foremost on the list was the redesign of the sportsmanship scoring system. For years, sportsmanship had rightfully been under fire for being an abusable and broken system. More often than not, sportsmanship scores were used to punish an opponent or were flagrantly waved around in hopes of trading maximum scores. A quick look at historical data proved that sportsmanship scoring had little to no effect on overall winners, even in a Battle Points based tournament. The checklist system was scrapped and a new ‘+/-’ system was conceived.

The basics of the new sportsmanship system were:
  • Maintain player input, give them a voice, but remove the ability to unduly punish your opponent.
  • Penalize by opponent consensus only.
  • Give judges the ability to police games in a manner that was interactive with the system.
  • Expect everyone to behave appropriately. Only punish players for excessively bad sportsmanship.
  • Make the scoring simple and to the point.
The goal of this system is not necessarily to disqualify players. It is meant to serve as a check against unchecked bad behavior, while no longer allowing that same type of player to punish others with spiteful scoring. This sportsmanship system is currently in playtesting. Once the process is fine-tuned, it will become the standard method across all 40K events (and possibly others) at AdeptiCon.

Once the soft scoring issues were more or less remedied, it was time to look at the actual scoring and structure of the games. There are easily a hundred different approaches to running a tournament of this nature, and no single method can necessarily be considered ‘the best’. Ultimately we had to decide what type of event we wanted the Championships to become. Traditionally the Warhammer 40K events at AdeptiCon had all followed a similar format. This ran the risk of events stagnating in terms of mission design and the ability to differentiate a unique feel for each tournament. At the same time, AdeptiCon is a demanding weekend, and to throw two or three different rulesets at people was begging for trouble. In the end we knew we wanted there to be some separation in terms of overall goals between the formats, but we also wanted them to maintain the same feel and presence that made our events unique.

The main goal in the Warhammer 40K Championships redesign was to make the event more 'competitive*', but still retain all the classic awards, mission structure and overall atmosphere of the convention. The Team Tournament had always been envisioned as a more thematic, hobby-oriented approach to competition and the Gladiator event was really a beast all unto itself. The Warhammer 40K Championships, being a direct descendant of the Rogue Trader and Grand Tournaments of old, was meant to be the ‘truer’ test of a general’s mettle and was begging to be treated in a grander manner.

Right off the bat we knew, without question, we needed to add additional rounds to the event. In order to accommodate the new schedule, that meant we had no choice but to move the Championships to Friday. The maximum number of rounds we could fit in on Friday was five. While this certainly would have been an improvement over the three from 2010, it also meant that we were asking people to play 14 hours of 40K right out of the gate. Likewise, simply settling on a manageable four round event wasn’t addressing attendee feedback or the sheer number of players. Taking a cue from BoLSCon and the Grand Tournaments of yesteryear, we decided to expand the event to seven games (this would eventually become eight as we moved to a true W/L/D format).

With the schedule roughed in, we got to work refining the scoring structure. AdeptiCon’s tournaments have always used the classic Battle Points system with a tiered set of objectives. This was mainly done to facilitate the separation of a large number of players over a short number of rounds. While in theory this system was fine, it allowed for two fundamental flaws when designing for a ‘more competitive’ tournament. Primarily this system did not produce a single undefeated winner, since technically there is no such thing as a ‘win’ or a ‘loss’ when using Battle Points. Secondly, it allowed (if not forced) draws based on pre-ordered and defined objectives without always accounting for overall carnage, strength of victory and the like. These types of draws can seem weak and not reflective of the game as a whole.

Initial drafts presented ideas that attempted to incorporate definitive wins into the Battle Points system. While these modified systems accomplished many of the desired goals, they felt lacking in terms of clarity and cohesiveness. It was around this time that we initiated a dialogue with the organizer of the NOVA Open. While the NOVA Open scoring system was nothing we were interested in running at AdeptiCon, we found the basic intentions of the event exciting and interesting...

:: To Be Continued ::

Up Next: Philosophical Leanings!

* 'Competitive' being in the eye of the beholder. All tournaments are competitive by nature in some form or the other.


  1. I don't think a seven-game format is workable unless you can play 2 games Friday, 3 games Saturday, and 2 games Sunday. How exhausted do you want players to be? Not every race has to be a marathon.

    "While the NOVA Open scoring system was nothing we were interested in running at AdeptiCon, we found the basic intentions of the event exciting and interesting..."

    Is this another way of saying 'we will perform lip service to competitive events' but not actually change anything? I worry greatly about your intentions, given your track record of innovations in tournaments since opening up.

    The criticism leveled at the style of events in US, which includes Adepticon and BOLSCon (and pretty much every other event for the last decade), has nothing to do with the 'fun' factor, nor will ending with a single undefeated winner actually make 'yourway40k' acceptable to all.

    I'd really like to see the original concept for Adepticon, the one where we could compete without all the 'British' attachments GW forced on us in the early years, come in to play. I certainly can't agree with this concept:

    "* 'Competitive' being in the eye of the beholder. All tournaments are competitive by nature in some form or the other."

    The philosophical leanings are going to be a doozy, based on this one statement.

    The truth is out there, gentlemen.

    Change is good. It doesn't matter that you didn't come up with a competitive system, watering it down won't help. It works and was incredibly fun because it was deviously simple. Something most GW and Indy tournaments haven't bothered trying but every other miniatures, card game, board game, and major sport has been doing it for a very long time now. With great results, I might add.

    So, my doubts are stated. I will provide feedback here as requested, and what you do with it will show whether all of our egos can be placed in check and the players who deserve better, are given that better. Now, when it's easy to do so. Not in two or three years. Please, anything but the slow death of the old way.

  2. Stelek, thanks for your feedback and appreciate the observations. AdeptiCon has always been about doing what is in the best interest of our attendees and the event. We discuss all aspects of AdeptiCon at length and every year. The points that you and others have raised are debated heavily by a great number of us involved with the yearly planning of AdeptiCon.

    >>I don't think a seven-game format is workable…..

    Certainly the format is not for everyone. AdeptiCon has ran a format of 11+ games on the 40K and WFB sides for 8 years. The current schedule for 98% of our attendees is exactly that same, as last year in the context of games played. As you know competition is not always conducted under ideal circumstances. Some players will be tired, hungover, get a bad matchup, sleep in late or run into a bad run of dice. The best players rise to the occasion and win games despite less than ideal conditions. Like Jordan dropping 38 while having the flu vs the Jazz. AdeptiCon offers a choice, you can play hard all weekend long if that’s your thing or select a more relaxed gaming schedule. Plenty of room for folks to run events with 3+ hour times for games, 2 hour breaks and a Swedish massage between rounds if that is your thing. For my part when I am at an event, I’m there to play. For those that want to play all weekend long AdeptiCon is pedal to the “medal” and whoever comes out of that AdeptiCon Championship event will have well earned it.

    >>Is this another way of saying 'we will perform lip service to competitive events' but not actually change anything?

    Again we change plenty every year for our attendees and we will change in the future. It has absolutely nothing to do with what is posted on some blog, or what a handful of guys have to say. It has everything to do with wanting to run the best possible events for our target audience. I do not get this competitive vs hobby angst. I have stayed silent about it as it is pretty pointless and I got a pile of work on my plate to make AdeptiCon successfully happen. But it is labeling for labeling sake, and promotes dividing our hobby into even smaller segments. It is the us vs them mentality. It’s great for working up the “troops”, “frothing” up the supporters, and generating blog hits. But it is a weak a ploy and most of us frankly know better or at least should. Whether you are playing Euro40K, AdeptiCon40K, Nova40k, ETC40K, Studio40K, MyBaesment40K or Stelek40K. The truth is we all just play a game of toy soldiers. I am personally a highly “competitive” person. But what matters is what folks consider the parameters of a "competitive" event. The rules for AdeptiCon are clear for all of our events. Our volunteer staff do an outstanding job of putting out top notch professional looking material. Our attendees know the rules of engagement up front and it hands down is the one of the most “competitive” wargaming event in the world. Your definition of competitive is not the only one. Every event can be competitive, but if you only acknowledge events that conform to one vision...well don't complain when you feel left out. AdeptiCon doesn't alienate you (or anyone), you choose to alienate yourself. There is plenty of room at the table for “both” sides of the hobby.
    >> 'yourway40k' acceptable to all.

    Let’s be clear. We don’t want “ourway” of 40K to be acceptable to all. Plenty of room for other events to run “theirway” of 40k to appeal to whole other segements of the hobby. There is no one way to play 40K. That is the way we like it.

  3. >>The truth is out there, gentlemen.

    Yep and proof is in the pudding. 160+ players 2003. to 1300+ players in 2010. I’ll stand on our track record of accomplishment and let those numbers speak for themselves.

    >>So, my doubts are stated. I will provide feedback here as requested, and what you do with it will show whether all of our egos can be placed in check and the players who deserve better, are given that better.

    Noted and appreciated. I always make myself available to discuss any aspect of AdeptiCon. I can say that the AdeptiCon staff is driven to run the best event possible for our attendees. Egos are checked at the door and anyone that has not been able to check them is not involved with AdeptiCon for long. Success does not just happen it has to be earned and takes a lot of selfless efforts by a large number of people to make AdeptiCon happen. AdeptiCon 2011 will be the best one yet.

  4. Hank: Let's see...

    What I should have said is 'with ALL of the games and events you are running, is a 7 game format possible? That's a hell of a lot of space going on, especially if you cram it into 2 days'. Not that the format itself is bad, just that 4 games a day is tiring as hell.

    I don't think it's a competitive vs hobby aspect. We need to include everyone. I stopped attending Adepticon (and every other GT) because of the 'ourwayof40k' thinking, which is fine if you can produce a competitive event...but it never felt competitive when there are 12 guys undefeated. I can never agree with you that Adepticon (or any other format that has existed) is highly competitive. Not sure why this isn't clear to you but I criticize you because you say things like that. Nothing wrong with pride in your event, and everyone having fun is a great thing--but when you can't clearly say who actually won an event, man that just kills the competitor in me.

    To me, there is no 'both sides' of the hobby. That nonsense needs to stop. The hobby keeps shrinking. Has been doing that for years and years. Why? It's stagnant. It's not competitive at events. In essence, the end game that you like does exclude people. All the people now playing Warmachine and Flames of War. I personally know of a dozen plus 40k and Fantasy players who play those game systems, and are looking forward to Adepticon because you support those systems--but will NEVER play 40k or Fantasy again, because the competitive just doesn't exist. Two companies have gobbled up half the miniatures market--and that's my 'proof' that your assumptions and beliefs need to be questioned.

    At any rate, those systems don't receive my criticism. Apocalypse and narrative gaming events don't receive my criticism when held as 'fun' events (they certainly aren't competitive, are they?). Just because the latter isn't for me (and I haven't had time or funds to attend the former outside of the western US) doesn't mean I don't like seeing it--that's a worthwhile part of the hobby, even if it doesn't embrace everyone in a singular subevent (which really isn't possible) it at least embraces a large amount of players.

  5. I think your numbers could be far higher. That's my lament here. I think we could fully embrace everyone by providing what you already do an excellent job of doing (what I call casual events) and then bring in hundreds MORE to play competitively in a true competitive event.

    NOVA is essentially a scoring system change and a balanced scenario system. That's really it.

    Yet it was highly competitive as a result of those changes.

    When GW's abandonment of the circuit is complete, only with change can we really grow. Not 'new fun', like it or not, gaining a modest amount of players over the course of 7 years when you could blow the water out of everyone with huge leaps...there are many many players who won't attend without a truly competitive event to go to. We're not talking about the tens of thousands of gamers who have permanently left the hobby, we're talking about the tens of thousands of gamers who remain--NOVA maxed itself out in a very short period of time and NOVA didn't have anything but a 'core', so comparing NOVA to Adepticon is a bit of a wash. If we have even say 20,000 gamers in the US (we have more than that, it's just an example), then where are they? Why don't we get more people coming to events? Is really all the US can manage a paltry 500-750 tournament goers for Warhammer? If so, it's no wonder GW intends to abandon the US tournament scene. Makes me sad really, how much we could grow the hobby but have failed repeatedly to do so. All for lack of a decent competitive tournament scene--the 'end game' as it were. It doesn't just kill MMO's, it kills miniature games, board games, and card games too. It just does it much slower than it does it to an MMO.

  6. @Stelek: "I stopped attending Adepticon..."

    I was under the impression that you've never been to Adepticon, much less attended several of them. Is that not the case? What years did you attend?

  7. I don't know why you think that. I have repeatedly said otherwise. I've attended several Indy's and GT's under a nom de plume. My recent foray into internet celebrity, whatever thatmeans, notwithstanding...I am very private by nature. That's why despite being on the internet from the beginning I have very little presence. Oh and I am one marriage and a hundred plus pounds away from the me that attended events in the first half of this decade. ;)

  8. "I've attended several Indy's and GT's under a nom de plume."

    Just to make sure we're clear. You are saying you attended Adepticon using a fake name? And you used a fake name (5+ years ago) because you are private by nature?

    "I have repeatedly said otherwise."

    Yes, but you've been inconsistent. Repeatedly.

    Once you said you never had time to go. Then later you said you've been three times. Then even later you said you've been only once.

    You say you "stopped attending Adepticon" because of the way it was run. You used that phrase to lend weight to your opinion that their way of organizing the event is wrong.

    I say you have a problem telling the truth.

  9. 1) That discussion is boring, the rest of us don't care.

    2) It in no way pertains to the running, function or ideology of Adepticon 2011, and, while it isn't my place to say 'take it outside', I doubt ANYONE wants e-drama on this blog, as that is at best counter-productive.

    Yours sincerely,

    Someone who'd like to see Adepticon be incredible even though he is on a different continent and has zero chance of attending in the next three years minimum barring some miracle.

  10. >What I should have said is 'with ALL of the games and events you are running, is a 7 game format possible? That's a hell of a lot of space going on, especially if you cram it into 2 days'. Not that the format itself is bad, just that 4 games a day is tiring as hell

    It certainly can be a brutal schedule. I highly recommend to every new player to get plenty of rest going into the weekend and why we once had the "Iron man award" but my point is that the 2011 format is much the same game wise as previous years for the majority of players. It has worked well over the years. Now whether folks should attempt to play 40k all three days is another matter. Some folks can do it. It is definitely pick your schedule wisely and we’ve found a number of veterans taking a more relaxed approach with some half day events like Combat Patrol, Space Hulk, BFG and I suspect Kill Team will be popular for 2011. Others go whole hog all weekend long and amazingly you see some of these guys getting pick up games at all hours as well because I guess 4 games a day isn't enough for some or they rarely get away from the wife so it is hobby overload all weekend long... right Scott? There is even demand for a 24 hour gaming hall and potentially a slate of midnight madness events. Different strokes for different folks but having roamed the halls at 3 am and seeing folks making use of the open gaming tables in the foyer areas I'm a convert. It's about giving people choices.

    The core main 40k schedules:
    2010: Friday: Gladiator 4 games, Saturday: Team Tourney 4 Games, Sunday: Championship 3 Games
    2011: Friday: Championship : 4 games, Saturday: Team Tourney 4 games, Sunday: Gladiator 3 games or for 16 players Championship Final 4 Games.

    I’m up against a tight deadline at work . I’ll try to comment more later.

  11. I think it would be a mistake for an event of this size to try and cater to people wishing to play in multiple events. There's a danger of course with drop-outs, but if things are scheduled in such a way that is is either the Gladiator or the Championship, for example, then you should boost attendance overall, and this is fairest to the community overall, as people have to pick the event that suits them best and leaves space in the other events for people who wouldn't necessarily enjoy the alternatives. For example, I never plan to play another Team event as long as I live - so I would be happy enough (well, disinterested) that it was logistically impossible to play both that and the Championship, were I going.

  12. Ok - start by saying that as TO's it's your prerogative to set things up as you see best - and I'm good with whatever.

    As one of those players who thinks if he's driving 9 hours 1 way and paying a bunch to stay in a Chicago hotel for 4 nights - he wants to maximize the number of games he plays - with the new system to we register for Champs and Gladiator - so we have a fallback for Gladiator if we don't make the top 16?

    Hell - make it a true championship - start it at 7 am on Friday and play all seven games in one day! The last man standing wins!

    I've been to three Adepticon's now - great fun and looking forward to my 4th this year.

  13. @TKE - The way AdeptiCon is being run this year in terms of schedule and number of games is exactly how it has always been, save we are basically flipping Friday and Sunday to accommodate the Championships. There is much more going on than the Gladiator or the Championships. Our 40K schedule alone looks like this:

    Warhammer 40K Championships Qualifier - 240 players - 4 rounds - top 16 qualify for finals on Sunday
    Warhammer 40K Kill Teams - 24 players
    Possibly Combat Patrol

    Warhammer 40K Team Tournament - 440 players
    Warhammer 40K Combat Patrol - 60 players

    Warhammer 40k Championships Finals - 16 players - 4 rounds
    Warhammer 40K AWC Championships (Invite Only) - 16 players
    Warhammer 40K Gladiator Tournament - 160 or more players
    Warhammer 40K Combat Patrol - 60 players
    Warhammer 40K Kill Team Narrative Event - 24 players
    1 or 2 other 40K Events (Dice Like Thunder Podcast Challenge is one we are looking at)

    It's mainly an issue of table surfaces from day to day.

    While I appreciate your concerns, and your feedback is well received, I hope you realize that in the end attendee feedback is what will ultimately drive this event. A bigger mistakes would be for us to change the convention to suit the needs of people that will never attend...or lie about attending...

    mkerr is perfectly fine questioning Stelek's claims of attendance. Stelek and everyone over here knows he is lying. He can lie/deceive you all he wants, but I hope everyone can understand how it calls into question his motivations, integrity and credibility.

    The truth isn't out there. What is out there is opinion. The only time truth has been an actual issue, we get a lie.

  14. @Aldonis - Definitely go ahead and register for Sunday events so you have an alternative event if you do not qualify. From the Championships draft (and this will be duplicated in the webcart when it goes live):

    Sunday Events/What If I Don’t Qualify? Never fear! Like always, AdeptiCon will offer a virtual smorgasbord of events on Sunday. Sunday Warhammer 40K events will include the age-old Gladiator, Kill Teams, Combat Patrol and more! Additionally, there will be a myriad of events spanning multiple game systems to satisfy all your wargaming needs. In order to guarantee your complete weekend schedule, you are encouraged to purchase tickets for other Sunday events in advance. If you qualify for Sunday’s Warhammer 40K Championships, AdeptiCon will refund all other Sunday event tickets onsite.

  15. I honestly don't see the point of calling into question whether stelek attended adepticon back in the day. I doubt anyone could prove it either way. And I for one, don't care either way, his opinions will still remain valid no matter the answer.

    The problem I see, is that so many people will want to play in the championship or team championship that events like kill team or combat patrol are going to be left in the dust. I mean, its fine if you got the players to play them. But they just seem like addons that aren't really needed and take up the time of the organizers.

    I don't want to just say take em out and just focus on 1-2 main events. But maybe there would be a better way to add them in. Like allowing drops outta the main tournaments after round 2 and then people could play side kill team tournaments or something.

    People could bring their kill team and then if their championship bid went to hell, they could switch over and play kill team for a nominal fee, and some prize support. Of course this could cause some scheduling nightmares.

  16. @Timmah - Of course it matters. He is lying, yet claiming 'truth'. He constantly uses this lie to try and justify his position in attacking us. Highly opinionated jabs built on a lie have nothing to do with validity. More than anything it is simply a window into his character. I have no problems proving it, and he knows it.

    Finally, I would expect you to defend your event if someone was openly lying about certain aspects of it - don't be an apologist. Demand the 'truth'. He is not infallible and needs to take his own advice and 'man up'. I for one cannot take him seriously until he does.

    The additional events like Combat Patrol and Kill teams have been added because there was a demand for them. The Team Tournament sold out at 440 players last year and had 5 teams (20 more players) on the waitlist. At the same time on Saturday we had 60 more players in Combat patrol with another 22 on the waitlist. They are not tack-ons at all. The demand is there and they provide an alternative to people that might not want to play in a hyper-competitive event or have the ability to organize a 4-player team. We also have people that want to run these events - so no strain on the TOs. Events exist at AdeptiCon because people champion them.

    You cannot have dropouts...the other events will be sold out without question. Likewise you can't leave slots open and 'hope' people drop out...that simply does not work. Our demand far outweighs our supply.

  17. Fair enough. Like I said, I don't have the information you do.

    As far as drop outs are concerned. If done correctly I don't see how they would hurt the format. Provided everyone with 1 game loss after round 2 doesn't drop out. Most competitive MTG events allow drop outs whenever and then run side events and such to keep them entertained. Mike did things slightly different by just upping the amount of prizes you can win.

    Either way, and I am sure you know this already, you need to keep everyone entertained or give them a reason to keep playing no matter their record. Just so you don't get that small group of people who ruin it for others. And of course because everyone is there to have fun, not just the best of the best.

    I take it you haven't considered allowing dropouts after the 2nd round and then running smaller 8 player tournaments that maybe only use 1000 points or just something fun like that. Heck you could do, a mini escalation tournament after the 2nd round. Pools of 8, play a 500/1000/1500 with 8 ppl, winners advance to the next tier of points.

    Just a thought.

    I don't really want to get into a discussion about the validity of stelek on your development blog. You are always going to have people heatedly discuss your events. I would just take his opinion as you would anyone else. Consider it and if you disagree just don't agree with him and keep doing what your doing. I personally think he is wrong here and that if you really have grown to 500+ people I would say you are doing a fine job. Of course that doesn't take into account the reason you are growing. Reasons like, there is nothing else, people actually really enjoy adepticon, people like the way its run ect ect. A discussion for another time though tbh.

    I will say this to wrap it up, cause I really don't think you want to start a flame war or something stupid over stelek on your development blog (that helps no one). If Stelek told you he has in fact never attended adepticon would his opinions and points be any less relevant? (Personally I would say no, ofc that doesn't mean I agree with them either)

    Anyways, if you want to discuss it further, for whatever reason, just hit me up on dakka for my email, or get it from Mike and we can do it there.

  18. Do you know yet if you are going to go by win % for top 16 overall or are you going to do points based on like a 3-1-0 system?

    I'm not sure how it would all work out, but you will probably need something in place to determine whether 3-1-0 is better than 2-0-2 and such.

    Not continuing the other discussion here because it is not important or relevant. (email or dakka pm if you really want to)

  19. @Timmah - The only event where this becomes an issue is the Championships, but the Championships qualifier (Friday night) has been built to be a completely self-contained event. Look at the awards. Not only is it totally self-contained, it is a more concise event than last year (4 rounds and all the players in one pool vs. 3 rounds and two pools). We aren't worried about drop outs. Plenty of stuff to shoot for.

    Also with draws and capping the player pool at 240, we are guaranteeing at least one (most likely more) wildcard slots, so it is perfectly possible to draw or maybe even lose and still qualify for Sunday.

    Enjoyment has never been in short supply at AdeptiCon.

    As for Stelek, he has dug is own, deep, alienating hole. That is all on him, no one ever said he was unwelcome here over the years...but isn't it telling that someone who openly despises the event, the formats and those involved is posting on this blog almost immediately, calling into question our intentions and claiming to know what the original intentions of the event were? Of course he values his own opinion, above everything else. That is not 'helping', that is not respect, that is not empathy, that is not community-building, that is hubris propped up by a lie - something there is no room for here. It is not as simple as 'burying the hatchet' anymore, so yeah, you are most likely correct...

  20. For wildcard qualifiers, it will be calculated like Magic. Win = 3 points. Draw = 1 point. Loss = 0 points. After that we will use total objectives achieved and Strength of Schedule (using same values above) to break ties.

  21. Hrmm, I honestly don't know how I feel about that. I am so use to MTG that I reflexively say, yea that's a good idea.

    However there are potential problems with it as well.
    Since some guy could lose his first game, then run through 2 easy opponents and only have to win 1 hard game and do better than a guy who won his first 2 and then drew 2 games against very tough opponents.

    If you were to just do a straight win % it would more accurately reflect when and against who a player played against.

    Kinda up in the air on it tbh. Hopefully you guys had a good discussion over it. And if you didn't, maybe you will/should. :)

  22. Well that part is definitely open for change. Looking back over my notes for the Championships - I see I also had a Win = 1 point, Draw = 1/2 point system in there - this way 2 draws would equal 1 win and the 2 players in your example above would be tied. SoS before Objectives would more or less alleviate your concerns. That said, total objective achieved is an important aspect of the event. Food for thought for sure.

    Ultimately though, I am pretty sure you will need a 3-0-1 record to have much hope of qualifying for Sunday.

  23. Very true, however (and I don't know how your running stuff) but it might come into play for other awards and the like.

  24. @Timmah Absolutely a concern of mine. One of the advantages of BP systems is that it gives a pretty good spread. With W/D/L and you will end up with a large number of people with the exact same overall record. It's harder for folks to go I placed 21st out of 240. Which doesn't seem like much but an impact aspect of results. Only one guy wins but everyone likes to know how they have done in comparisons to everyone else. So have to have a good mechanic that is fair, clear and transparent to further divide up the field. Total objectives, strength of schedule, victory points, there are a number of options.
    Appreciate the feedback and input.

  25. Hehe, I'm always full of opinions so don't hesitate to ask. :p

  26. Ah get busy and look at what goes down.

    So you remember the skinny me, without the beard, grey hair, or glasses? The very quiet unassuming me?

    If I showed you a picture, would you remember me?

    Somehow I doubt you would remember. Maybe you'd remember the armies I played? Not sure I do, to be honest. If something bad happens, I remember it. If something good happens, I remember it. Non-event, as my time at Adepticon was...I don't really remember it. Fun, sure. Competitive, no. That's why I haven't been back, and that's why I criticize the event you run. Not sure you care about attendee feedback, it sounds like you are making a pre-excuse to not change anything. After all, despite your personal and insistent attacks on me, nobody was responsive to feedback years ago and it doesn't look like you are now. I'll touch on that in a minute.

    I don't know what to say about me digging a hole. What exactly does that mean? Are you angry with me, Mathias, for criticizing your event? I guess I don't get it, and frankly I don't care--so you hate me, nothing new under the sun.

    What Hank says is what I actually care about. I don't care about you really, but I feel like you just called me to the principals office. Quite something really. Are you really trying to exert some kind of authority over me?

    So, besides all of your nitpicking of me personally across the internet, which yes, I've had pointed out to me--so thanks for the many cheap shots. Just be a man, call me an asshole. I won't be offended. Just words to me bud. Now before you fall back into the denial state and go off on me, how about we discuss the impending non-change from Battle Points to a system that doesn't really address any concerns. I'd rather not call it a whitewash, a stubborn refusal to change for the better, but really--I don't see anything here on this "development" blog that actually looks like systemic change. Yes, I got the memo. You'll be moving to a 'undefeateds move on' system. Great. What happens if the system producing those 'undefeateds' isn't player skill at actual 40k, but player skill at gaming the system you won't change? Not so great.

  27. Battle Points are a terrible system, always have been. There is no 'advantage', Hank, Matthias, Jess, whoever is listening. You can get a much better view with a cumulative aggregate of mission points (NOVA format) than you can with battle points summed, and then players divided up.

    Don't you understand that nobody has a 'easy' choice when you play missions that are inherently unbalancable. That's not a test of skill, it's a test of random 'does my army function under these variables'. Instead of providing a clean playing field and letting the players battle it out, you are interfering in what they can and cannot do.

    Can't call a judge because my sports will get tanked, and I'm out.

    Can't bring mech this year, because mission X gives up 3 KP's for each transport destroyed--and I'm out.

    I need to win softly and early, so I can stay low in the pack and not face dangerous opponents--or I'm out.

    These are email comments I've gotten from YOUR attendees. People I've insisted on talking on the phone to, doing my job as a journalist, and interviewing them. I've had just as many saying they had a wonderful time at Adepticon--which is great, and commendable, and yes--I did too. I don't see anyone NOT saying that. What I do see are people voicing concerns that maybe you are not as 'receptive' to as you think. The personal attacks from Matthias would be my case in point. I can call shenanigans on your event and still talk to you like human beings. I use GBF as my own personal example--if you haven't seen the weirdo sex e-stalking bits he used to write (and might still for all I know), weirdo stuff like mkerr writes now--well, suffice to say I don't take it personally. Don't like me, my message, or my delivery of same--fine. Everyone seems to want to just 'get along'. Well, we've been 'getting along' ourselves right out of competition and losing the young players we need to beg to play with us. GW knows this, and has done everything under the sun to get new players onboard--and has been failing at it miserably. You have how many attendees? There are hundreds of them under the age of 18 then? No? Surely well over a hundred then? No? Dozens? So, less than 5% perhaps of total attendees are that young? How about 10%? Can we scrape together 130 kids from last year? I've been told no, but you can tell me the 'truth', whatever it is.

  28. What's the point? Guys, the general populace under the age of 18 is 25%. They don't use email anymore. They could care less about forums. They don't want 'fun' the way narrative and casual GW games are today. They want to log on their favorite game, and they want to win. Look at Blizzard. They have social interaction and 'ladders' for 'casual and competitive players alike' all across SC2. Do we have that? Do you think Adepticon (or really any event) has that? I certainly don't think so. They don't either, which is why there aren't lots of kids in the hobby. Those kids, that was you and me 20 years ago, when GW was just starting out. I had dozens of childhood friends, and none of them ever played or considered playing miniature games. I had one who built model airplanes, does that count? Now I'm an adult, and our 'market penetration' is even worse. I seriously tried to explain the hobby to my nieces and nephews--they could barely look up from their sexts to look at me funny long enough for me to realize I'm old. Mid 30's, and unless those kids get their attention fix right away, they just aren't interested. That's what we have to fight for--the younger generations attention span. The social fabric has changed dramatically from when we were teenagers. There is a compelling need to win built into the kids of today. Hell it's built into me too, and I assume it's somewhere in all of you too. We can argue about formats all decade long if you want, run right off the cliff together as the hobby dies it's slow quiet death. Half the gamers GW used to command here in the states, are gone. Freaking half of them, no longer play or buy models. How many of the remainder just buy models? There are a few thousand active players? Really? We've all seen Warmachine and FOW grow at the expense of GW--but is the miniatures gaming community as a whole growing? NO. Those gamers playing in WM and FOW came right from GW's back pocket. I'm one of the few players that has lots of armies from GW, BF, and PP. Look around. Do you have 20 armies, or say 50,000 points of Marines? Then you are one unusual person, in the top 1% buyers of miniatures products. Most people have one army in one system, and rarely advance past that. You try and convince a kid today that he can play for the low low price of 800$ and he will laugh in your face. Then try and tell him he can compete, but we're looking for the best 'gent' to win and have specifically handicapped our events so people that try to win, cannot actually win. Is he giving you the 'you are a dumbass' look? Believe you me, if you don't know what that look is--he is. Now let's talk turkey--the majority of video gamers are, in actuality, girls. Yes, that 'dude' who just crushed me repeatedly in Bad Company 2 is, in fact, a 13 year old girl who thinks my emo whining is 'cute'. Then she kills me again.

  29. Where are the girls? You must have hundreds of girls, right? You should have about 650. Wait, nowhere near that much? My little magic rabbit hat says less than...a hundred? Wait a minute, is this more 'we aren't representative' for women? Yes. How about Blacks? Spanish? Gays? I mean really. It's a bunch of white guys. Greeeaaaaat. The most rapidly declining statistic (that's us!) and that's all we've got to show for it? A bunch of white kids from the 70s and 80s? Great, just great. Go ahead and tell me 'girls don't compete'. I'll run from this discussion as fast as I came into it, because I know--not just from my wife, but every woman I know and have EVER known, is as incredibly competitive as the men. Just like the kids are. So we don't bring in the young, or the female half, and we're doing ok? Who says so? You? Well, I think you should start collecting demographic information and if you poll 90% white guys 19-54 then maybe something is wrong in the land of Oz. This isn't just a hit on YOU, and it's not freaking personal.

    If the events can only bring in a very small subset of the population, and the hobby does not grow--when you and I die, or lose interest...doesn't the hobby go with us?

    I implore you--make drastic changes. You, we, me--have stagnated in our 'happy valley' for so long, it's a shock we still HAVE a hobby. We need this. The hobby needs this. The adults of tomorrow need a reason to play today--and we are not providing it. Is it fair to lay that at your feet? No, but ignoring the elephant won't make it go away.

    Please, focus on the message and not the man. Take your personal beefs, and stow it. If I can do it, you can too.

    Change, it's for your own good.

  30. Having carefully read through what has been posted in this and the previous post, I must say that I am impressed. Specifically because the author (Hank?) has a solid grasp of the critiques that were being leveled. That is a very good first step towards improvement.

    I think one of Stelek's points was that if the scoring system is improved, but the scenarios are imbalanced OR the FAQs used for the event are overly interventionist, then the outcome of the event will still not be ideal.

    I'm assuming that scenarios and FAQs impacts on the championship remain to be discussed. Good work thus far.

  31. @Purgatus - Thanks for the feedback. I have written everything on this blog to date, other authors are working on things right now - perhaps post-Labor Day. While I have written them, the Championships articles contain a wide variety of ideas from number of people, staff, other TOs and the like. This why they are posted as AdeptiCon Staff, I'd feel guilty claiming those solely as my own.

    The scoring system and mission structure has changed/is changing - link to the draft rules at the top of this post. Tons of mission discussion to be had for sure, as well as the the intentions, use and misinterpretation of the INAT at AdeptiCon.

  32. @Matthias - thanks. I look forward to seeing more discussion about these issues. Poor scenario/mission design is at the heart of most imbalancing issues in tournament play, in my observation.

  33. @ Stelek - Thanks for the feedback, but your posts have nothing to do with the 40K Championships. Please refrain from attempting to derail the subject and mounting your crusade horse when you feel you are under attack. You have you own blog for that. You get what you give. Additional off-topic/diversionary posts will be deleted.

    Stelek's blog can be found here.

    For a more succinct overview of Stelek's internet persona, wander on over to Chainfist.

    For a good take on how people are actually working together, and how the entire community would benefit without all the negativity, posturing and lies, read MVB's recent post over at Whiskey & 40K.

  34. Loving it so far. Talking with Matt and Mike and others, I like the extra data (you know, numbers from actual tournaments) that support a number of changes or stances we all seem to be comfortable with. None of us are using sports as a scoring towards winners (except sportsmen or similar awards). Tabletop performance is what matters; we may disagree on what value W/L/D vs. battlepoints has in differentiating the players. I do agree that good scoring of battlepoints is harder to do than scoring W/L/D, but I don't believe that this makes either inherently better. I'll be interested to see how this shakes out for the Adepticon champs this year.

  35. Dang it, stop taking shots and trolling your own blog.
    Stelly, I ask that you stay on topic as well. Please :)

    Back on topic.

    Reading the (I assume) example scenario. It looks like you guys are going with 3 different "mission objectives" and whoever wins the most of these, wins the game. The problem I have with this, (and if we aren't discussing this yet, let me know, and I'll save it for later) is that the combination of these and needing to win multiple can really screw over some armies and determine a game winner before the game even starts.

    Like in the example missions, 2 of the "mission objectives" are kill points and objectives. The problem with this is that an older codex army (tau in this example) can have serious problems with 2 of these objectives. Tau generally have trouble with most scenarios in general. (they are good at killing stuff, they just seem to suck at winning games) Anyways that being said, the need to achieve multiple mission objectives can very much screw over certain armies before they even start the game. Meaning missions become much much harder to balance. Hope that made sense.

  36. @ Timmah - Perfect topic of discussion. Totally makes sense, but keep in mind you only ever need to win one objective. You just have to contest or deny your opponent the other two.

    It's really not that different than the NOVA's approach. If Tau can't win objective missions, then they auto lose the NOVA mission where objectives are the Primary....or they have to deny their opponent in order to force victory on the second objective.

    The sample mission is meant to give the structure a visual for now. The actual mission design is still in the future, with balance being our #1 concern.

  37. The difference between nova and here though is that you need to draw 2 mission objectives and still win the third.

    Objectives by themselves are not unwinnable for Tau. However then throw in the caveat that they also need to draw kill points and win/draw a 3rd mission objective and it becomes an overload on their army.

    That is the difference with nova. When you have a mission that your army is bad with you can still concentrate your entire army on either winning said mission objective or drawing it and moving on to mission objective 2.

    However here you will need to spread your army thin by trying to achieve multiple different mission objectives and not being able to concentrate your force on one.

    Is it more tactical and difficult to do it this way? (adepticon example mission) Possibly, but it becomes much harder to balance.

    Also it should be noted, objectives would then come up in multiple different missions. So instead of having 1 unfavorable mission for your army. You now have 3-4 games that have unfavorable or unwinnable elements for your army.

    Too many of one type of mission is bad in my opinion. Because it means certain armies that have trouble with those type of missions continue to fight uphill battles every round instead of just 1 round.

    (sorry, I kinda branched out into 2 different arguments against it)

  38. @ Timmah - Except in the Battle Points/PST missions you had to win all 3 objectives to get max points and 'win'. No doubt with one or two that would be considered unfavorable.

  39. Which I don't think those missions are balanced either though.

    Like I said, I am not saying your missions are bad. I just think its going to be very difficult to balance them across all armies.

    To sum up my thoughts:
    Forcing too many of 1 type of mission onto armies is bad
    Forcing people to do too many things in one mission is bad

    I'm not advocating or even suggesting you go to the system Mike used for the Nova open. If every tournament ran like that, 40k would probably be kinda boring. At the moment I don't have any suggestions for how you would change it. Only ideas of what could cause balance problems.

    Of course then the question comes down to how to go about balancing it properly. To which, at the moment, I have no idea. (helpful, I know. :p )

  40. Not all missions are balanced for all armies. The trick with making scenarios is knowing which individual missions favor which types of armies, and balancing the sweep of the missions so that different armies and builds all have some missions that are slightly better for them.

    This, above all else, is why a single mission tournament is a terrible, terrible idea. If there is a single mission, no matter how complex, some players will be significantly advantaged at the expense of other players (and I'm way at the end of the "some" group). One of the main reasons I think primer missions are a two-edged sword is that if the missions to be played are all known ahead of time, players that will prepare for those missions will have a competitive advantage - and players that prepare are already at an advantage without having a chance to practice the exact missions as well. Of course, the cry for transperency and fairness of non-secret missions paints an honest effort to make the tournament more fair for the average player as some sort of plan to give some other set of players an advantage, but that is actually 180 degrees from the truth...

    @ Timmah - At least you admit to not having any idea how to acheive what you want out of missions. Granted, having actual suggestions is actually better than just some nebulous concerns, but apparently we can't have everything.

  41. RE: Matthias; earlier response to me, that got kinda lost in the kerfuffle...
    Makes sense to me. I must admit some confusion between the AWC Championship and the other one...I get the 'other' one, but I haven't read anything about the former, is it explained in an article here? My concern here is primarily that you have two concurrent 'Exclusive' events, preventing any overlap - not necessarily bad, but being 'short' events, from my perspective I know it's the kind of thing I'd like to be able to do both of in a weekend. Of course, this - "If you qualify for Sunday’s Warhammer 40K Championships, AdeptiCon will refund all other Sunday event tickets onsite." - was really what I was looking to see, and am glad...problem being this forces drop-outs, of course. I don't know exactly how your ticketing works, but can people pay to get 'in' but not play?

    RE: Missions

    I haven't read the example yet, and so the only comment I can fairly make is to agree with Timmah and JWolf that certain missions will favour certain armies unfairly - eg, a 5e Codex will generally be able to get more stuff, and more useful stuff, than an older counterpart. This is amplified by Battle Points, however, as it is much harder in my experience for an Eldar army to achieve more than a small-ish win, tabling the foe is highly unlikely.

  42. Ugh. Missions that aren't balanced for all armies are missions I don't want to play, and tournaments using such unbalanced missions should just call themselves Mission Roulette day. Did you get lucky, and dodge the bullet?

    I don't know if I agree, disagree, or even understand this comment:

    "Of course, the cry for transperency and fairness of non-secret missions paints an honest effort to make the tournament more fair for the average player as some sort of plan to give some other set of players an advantage, but that is actually 180 degrees from the truth..."

    Anyway, I'm not sure if a 'single mission tournament' means literally a single mission--or playing a mission with variable goals that change the win conditions. I am not in favor of the former--it's boring and routine is my main problem, but am in favor of the latter--precisely because it's not. The 5x5 or NOVA formats both allow all armies to compete on a level playing field.

    This might not be what you want, but it's what the hobby needs. Unbalanced, puffpiece, 'this looks fun, let's do it!' missions need to be reserved for casual events. Like the team tournament. If you are going for a truly competitive event, you can't have missions that favor anyone, ever. Can we do anything about the fact some of the Codices are just bad, like Necrons? Nope. We have to wait for GW to fix them. Provide the chess board. Let the players decide what they want to bring to it. If that means there are lots of 5E Codices present, then so be it--at least we all know GW is finally doing something right with their army book design, and we can all look forward to the day when it's not half of the books competing but all of them. This is not something we can fix, and imho, we should not even attempt to. You can 'fix' Apocalypse, and Team Tournaments, all day long without anyone complaining--because they are both inherently broken and unbalanced. So if you remove the things that reduce the 'fun' factor, who would mind? It's not like completely breaking the game system's core mechanics can be touted as some kind of competitive Mecca. Good missions reinforce the game system's core mechanics, and actually lead to less drama intensive "fun" games which are still highly competitive. Bad missions try to redesign parts of the game, and annoy those players the missions are intended to screw.

    Anyway I left more feedback on YTTH regarding the missions, it's really long so writing 20 comments here or 1 blog post there...I did it there.

  43. @Jwolf

    Off the top of my head? No, I don't know how to run perfectly balanced missions. After talking with MVB and reading Stelek's stuff on his 5x5 missions, I think they are both on the right track.

    Now, I doubt you want to use either of those.

    Off the top of my head, something with 3 mission objectives. Have them worth 3-2-1 respectively. Meaning you could go for the win always just by having achieved the primary objective. However people could try and pull the draw by achieving both the secondary and tertiary. You would probably want to have the tertiary objective one that was very easy to draw. So that focus stayed on the primary objective. And so that it is very hard to pull out a draw if someone achieves the primary.

    If you were to get rid of draws, you could always have any draw settled by victory points as a final resort.