Sportsmanship – Soft Score or Necessary Evil?

Personally, I think these 3 questions pretty much sum of the issue of sportsmanship, soft score or necessary evil?

  1. What is the genesis of the sportsmanship score at 40K tournaments?
  2. What does one hope to accomplish by scoring sportsmanship?
  3. If you score sportsmanship how do you ensure your players all follow the same guidelines?

Let me start by going on the record, “sportsmanship is of the utmost importance!”  If/when I TO a tournament, I have a zero tolerance policy for flagrant sportsmanship violations.  The issue is that TOs really can’t see enough of what is going on to adequately apply this mantra.  I’m also surprised by how many people I’ve talked to after a tournament tell me about someone who should have been given a stern lecture or even the boot but their opponent didn’t want to cause any problems by pointing out their bad behavior.  I hate to say it but passive behavior like this makes it so that jerks can get away with their bad behavior and the rest of us get penalized as a result; let me explain.

Sportsmanship often contributes to Best Overall.  It is designed to make sure people have fun.  But it is a soft score, and therefore subjective.  Really subjective; even more than paint.

A TO needs to decide if they are trying to reward good sports, keep bad sports away, or ad a wishy washy third value to best overall.  You can probably tell I’m not in favor of scoring sportsmanship.  I have to say that its been a long road getting here, but I am not.  I was a year ago…

My partner and I recently lost 3rd place at the Twin-inked tournament at Great Escape games to another team.  This team scored 1 less point than us, but had perfect sportsmanship, where as our first round opponent docked us 2 points.  Mark, the TO told everyone (who was listening) that if anyone marked their opponent full sportsmanship they would have to explain to him why.  I didn’t hear him ask anyone why later…

So, we played a good game.  I gave our opponent the benefit of the doubt on many rules issues that had I been hardcore I would not have.  We were friendly, we bought our opponents bottled water and we get docked 2 points on sportsmanship.  Did the desired effect come out from including sportsmanship in the mix?  Maybe other teams were on better behavior, but I don’t know what else I could have done.

Factor in the fact that the top table had screaming and alleged throwing of dice and both teams got perfect sportsmanship and I’m not sure where to go from here…

My message to Mark, and any TO listening: have a zero tolerance policy, walk around and enforce it, and quit asking your players to apply a poorly designed and poorly enforced scoring rubric that isn’t consistently applied no matter how much you try.  Unless you are going to rank sportsmanship and paint scores 1 to N (like win loss, or even on a curve) the models don’t work.

Winning a local Team Challenge with the Daemons

Hell just froze over…  I’m thinking it might be time to hang up the Daemons for a while, or not.  I guess even a broken clock is accurate twice a day.  What am I talking about?  My local gaming group (that plays at Olde World Gaming in Elk Grove, CA) just went down to Stockton, CA to visit the crew from Heroes on Paper.  We played a three round Team Championship match, similar to ATC or ETC formats, but updated for 6th Edition.  You can read my blog post on the draft rules here.

The short of it was that our team of seven had a narrow victory over our opponents.  Out of 21 total games (3 rounds of 7 matches each) we went 11-9-1.  My Daemons came out as the only undefeated army of the day with a lot of guys coming in 2-0.

I’ll post up some battle reports when I have a moment, but I have to both congratulate my team and give a huge thank you to my opponents.  I had 3 stellar games, two of which may very well have come down to a final die roll.  So, when I started writing this article I was thinking I would hang up the Daemons for a bit and give my Wolves some more attention, but upon reflection, winning two close games isn’t a route.  I’m solid, but not an awesome player, and Chaos Daemons still rely on luck to pull off major wins.

Team Championship rules for 6E

Paying homage to ATC/ETC my local “club” in Elk Grove, CA and another group about 45 minutes south in Stockton, CA decided to get together for an ATC lite.  However, upon looking for rules, it seems that everything published still references 5E rules, so Tim Trammel and I set about revising what we’d seen for 6E.

Our event will be held on December 1, 2012 at Heroes on Paper in Stockton, CA.  Tentative rules per my initial discussion with Tim are as follows and subject to revision by both teams in the next week.


Key concept: practical tactical acumen but have a good time (no WAAC)
1500 point lists
No match ups will be repeated (each person will get 3 opponents)
3 rounds, 2 hours each, 15 minute breaks

6-7 players, including captain (who plays)
Same number of players from each team

1500 points, same list for all games
Lists submitted to opposing team 1 week in advance
Standard rulebook (allies are in, double FOC out at 1500 points)
Forgeworld 40K approved is okay
Fortifications are included; however FOD and SSLP are discouraged due to size
Models do not have to be painted, but painted models are encouraged
Modesl do not have to be WYSIWYG, but consistent “counts as” will be required (i.e. a unit of lasguns in one unit can be all lasguns or all plasma guns but you cannot use the same model for 2 or 3 things in a unit)

Psychic Powers

Warlord Traits
Select and roll on two lists (can use codex list in lieu of BRB list) before game and choose one of the two results.

No special rules for unique battlefield debris in play
Mysterious terrain is in play; however the first roll for each type of terrain applies to all of that type for th duration of the game (i.e. first roll for a forest applies to all forests)
Fortifications should be placed per terrain spacing rules if possible, otherwise 1 piece of terrain can be moved to place a fortification.
Terrain will be placed by the TO for the day in advance of the matches.

Mysterious objectives are in play; however the first roll applies to all objectives for the duration of the game.

All 6 missions will be in play, 2 per round (this way all 6 missions will see equal time, although each player will onyl play 3 of them), evenly divided between the tables and randomly assigned after terrain is placed.  Each round will have 1 deployment.

Missions – Round 1

Missions – Round 2

Missions – Round 3

All terrain, missions and deployment will be discussed by both teams and then…

1. Before each round the two captains will roll a die.
2. The captain with the LOW die roll will select an army from his team that has not yet been matched up and present it for a pairing.
3. The captain with the HIGH die roll will select an army from his team that has not yet been matched up and present it for a pairing (provided those two players have not yet played each other).
4. LOW die roll will select the table (with already determined mission) for that match to occur on.
5. The HIGH die roll will select an army from his team that has not yet been matched up and present it for a pairing.
5. The LOW die roll will select an army from his team that has not yet been matched up and present it for a pairing (provided those two players have not yet played each other).
6. HIGH die roll will select the table (with already determined mission) for that match to occur on.
7. Repeast steps 2-6 until all matches are determined.  In the event that a pairing cannot be made due to duplicate matches, an existing pairing will be selected at random and mixed with the remaining pairs to make a legitimate pair.

Each game will be scored as a Win (1 point), draw (.5 points) or loss (0 points) based upon accumulated victory points (per BRB both primary and secondary).  VP totals for each game will be tracked.  VP totals will only be used in case both teams score equal numbers of points at the end of the day or to determine a “best overall player” in the event of a multi-way tie.

Entry fee and prizes
$10-20 each (up for discussion).  Winning team will get a trophy.  If there are enough funds then best overall and best team may get some store credit prize from Heroes on Paper.

My first RTT with the Daemons in 6th edition (40K)

I’ve been playing the daemons regularly for a few months now; from the tail end of 5th edition through the codex update.  Today was my first RTT with the daemons.  Let me start by saying that the timing was poor for me, as I’m a huge San Francisco Giants Fan, and today was game 3 of the World Series, but I trudged on.  I went 1-1 and skipped the 3rd game in favor of the baseball game.


Lessons I learned:

  1. Watch the clock and make sure you get your turns in, or risk loosing a game due to leaving models off the board.
  2. Daemons are not OP (contrary to all the whining) but they have such a different play style that they must be factored in when building a list.  You need to have a counter for Flamers and Screamers.
  3. Hordes of IG are difficult to chew through unless you have template weapons, and even then Flamers of Tzeentch are not resilient enough to chew through hordes quickly enough.
  4. Dumb luck can win or lose a game for you.  My Fateweaver model cast Boon of Mutation on my first round opponent’s Abbaddon model and turned him into a spawn.