Winners Atrittion

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pyruse
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Re: Winners Atrittion

Post by pyruse » Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:57 am

The most obvious way to speed up the game is to play with fewer points. 650 point games in 25mm on 6x4 tables are nice and decisive.
Another way to speed up FoG would be to restrict unit sizes (maybe just have small and large units with 4 or 8 bases), and mandate that units always line up exactly.
Restrict formations to 2 deep line + column.
Then one could calculate POAs on a per unit basis.
We find the slowest thing is when you get misaligned units and have to calculate lots of POAs and remember how many hits each file did on its opponent. Game slows to a crawl.

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Re: Winners Atrittion

Post by vexillia » Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:35 am

madaxeman wrote:Being repeatedly stomped is always dull, but when players start to expect that they will experience some dull repetitive games even in the rounds where they aren't being stomped as well, the risk/reward ratio of entering a (more open, 800 6x4-type) competition starts to get too far out of kilter to be attractive.
This thread has raised some very good points but the focus so far has been on the "hard" structure of the games. There are other "softer" player issues linked to structure that can be equally, if not more, important in attracting and retaining players:
  • Early starts, long days - linked to game length and points
  • Accessibility - distance travelled, parking & cost of same
  • Venue - room to play, table space vs competition size
  • Tea & toilets - basic but vital
To exaggerate to make a point: who wants to get up early on a Sunday, travel 75 miles, struggle with parking, just to play for eight hours plus in a cramped venue with basic facilities? I suspect if you are winning then these issues are secondary but if you're middle ranking or getting thumped then they easily tip the balance in favour of something more enjoyable. I'm not suggesting that all competitions are like this but I'm sure every organiser has at least one of the above issues they wish they could improve.

I've four other related points:
  • One benefit of breaking the 800 pt, 6x4, 3+ hour stranglehold is that it breaks the image of macho competition play; I know it's not true but how we are perceived by others matters. Plus lower points/smaller table would ease the pressure on the venues and shorter games would reduce the need for an early start.
  • Sunday competitions with an early start are almost impossible to get to using public transport if you live any distance away. It's not insurmountable if you have mates who can help but it's a real barrier if you don't.
  • Themes will restrict, if not exclude, newcomers unless they have an army that fits the theme. In fact themes favour established wargamers with large collections.
  • How often have you seen FOG AM v2 rules available for sale at competitions held at shows where traders are present? I've only seen it when Caliver were trading and they only had one copy. There wasn't any available at Britcon so anyone new, and inspired by the games, couldn't get started.
I hope this thread comes up with some positive suggestions. My own would be for more 650 point tournaments (5'x3' table played in around 2 hours) like those at Stoke & Stockport and possibly given it's own ranking.

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Re: Winners Atrittion

Post by grahambriggs » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:27 pm

Suggestions for fixing all manner of ills here. Almost needs a number of different threads.

In my mind it divides into two main areas: attracting new players and keeping the interest of existing players. To attract new players you need a lot of effort as you have to help the new players over our fomidable entry barriers. Other miniatures games do that because they have a commercial need to do so (say GW) or have people who are willing to give lots of their time for free to do so. It helps to reduce the entry barriers (less figures, a cut down entry game for example). Since slitherine make their money elsewhere, it seems umlikly that the commercial motive will come into play.

In terms of keeping the interest of existing players it's probably best to speak to those that play less to get their views, rather than those who post here (since we're kind of self selecting). But generally, variety is good. I do like the idea of a handicap system, where tiger players or armies might get less points than others. Or indeed you could have an event where there isn't a competition, where there are asymmetrical armies, etc. I suspect the 6x4 800 point straightjacket is just habit.

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Re: Winners Atrittion

Post by philqw78 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:42 pm

So there will be no quick play rules as Slitherine don't want to do it and will not allow anyone else to infringe their copyright on FoG
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Re: Winners Atrittion

Post by Sarmaticus » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:46 pm

Speaking from ignorance here: I don't do wargame competition but have competed in and organised those in an individual sport. Maybe one path might be to give beginners a better chance by using pre-set terrain and scenarios drawn per game? Drawing a short straw of a match-up would test the skill of the player even though the overall results table might not reflect relative skill. I think more context (such as the DBA campaign structure) gives an interest to the game whatever the result and it is context and incident that less single-mindedly competitive players might be after. Rules that intuitive correspond with real actions; outcomes that don't violate informed judgement; armies that are fun to collect; contests that bring all those into play in interesting contexts are for some more important than a pure test of skill.

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Re: Winners Atrittion

Post by Sarmaticus » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:52 pm

pyruse wrote:The most obvious way to speed up the game is to play with fewer points. 650 point games in 25mm on 6x4 tables are nice and decisive.
Another way to speed up FoG would be to restrict unit sizes (maybe just have small and large units with 4 or 8 bases), and mandate that units always line up exactly.
Restrict formations to 2 deep line + column.
Then one could calculate POAs on a per unit basis.
We find the slowest thing is when you get misaligned units and have to calculate lots of POAs and remember how many hits each file did on its opponent. Game slows to a crawl.
There might be some useful ideas in FoG:N which already has small/large units and combat by unit rather thann file and with no base removal buried within it's ill-organised pages.

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Re: Winners Atrittion

Post by hazelbark » Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:35 pm

berthier wrote:I think you are still missing the point. Yes cleverly designed themes might appeal to the bored die hards but that does not to bring in new blood. Cleverly designed seeding systems and sliding attrition plans don't either.

Most of the new blood we've seen in the Gulf Coast have joined because they have a pet army they like the history of.

One of the earlier posts talked about a mini-FOG using 400 points. I think that has more to appeal to new players than you might think.
I think these in particular are all excellent points.

I guess my thoughts on winners attrition was to bring back some who have fallen away, but consensus seems less so.

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Re: Winners Atrittion

Post by hazelbark » Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:40 pm

IainMcNeil wrote:Would it not be easier to have a seeding system and handicaps instead of taking their troops away. The easiest way to enforce a handicap is a modified break point so good players armies break on 10% less BP or something like that. Weaker players get an increased BP.
That perhaps gets to the idea. Although thinking back to your DBM days there was a skill difference where you could have been redcued to EE per command and it still wouldn't change most outcomes? Having the better player with a full arsenal is also part.

The other piece is I am not sure ELO, rankings and GLICKO and all that is productive for the gorwth of the hobby. But that is a different thread.

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Re: Winners Atrittion

Post by hazelbark » Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:44 pm

IainMcNeil wrote:Would it not be easier to have a seeding system and handicaps instead of taking their troops away. The easiest way to enforce a handicap is a modified break point so good players armies break on 10% less BP or something like that. Weaker players get an increased BP.
That perhaps gets to the idea. Although thinking back to your DBM days there was a skill difference where you could have been redcued to EE per command and it still wouldn't change most outcomes? Having the better player with a full arsenal is also part.

The other piece is I am not sure ELO, rankings and GLICKO and all that is productive for the gorwth of the hobby. But that is a different thread.

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Re: Winners Atrittion

Post by hazelbark » Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:45 pm

pyruse wrote:The most obvious way to speed up the game is to play with fewer points. 650 point games in 25mm on 6x4 tables are nice and decisive.
Or small table I have been a big advocate of 5x3 800 pts at times.

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Re: Winners Atrittion

Post by ethan » Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:44 pm

pyruse wrote:The most obvious way to speed up the game is to play with fewer points. 650 point games in 25mm on 6x4 tables are nice and decisive.
I don't think points matters overly much in speed, what matters is table size. 25mm on a 6x4 is a much smaller table size than 15mm on a 6x4.

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Re: Winners Atrittion

Post by gozerius » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:37 pm

The big issue is that if your default is 800 pt singles tournaments, you will have a difficult time attracting new blood. If new blood is what you want, you need to create formats that invite a new player to take an allied contingent of an army. Doubles matches are fine, but they don't seem all that common. In my area, tournaments are passé. We have seen campaigns, and multi-player free for alls that get lots of people interacting together.
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Re: Winners Atrittion

Post by ravenflight » Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:29 am

To me, time and luck seem to be my biggest priblems that have to be overcome.

I quite like dBa, and luck can easily swing things around in dBa, but the game is over in an hour. I have played several FoG games where overwhelming luck has reduced the enjoyability... especially given my investment of about 3 or 4 hours.

I've said it before:
My most favourite game is a tough fight of swinging (or hardly any) luck where I win.
My second most favourite is the same where I lose.

WAY down the list (I mean, I'd probably have preferred to do something else if I'd known) is here I win, but my skill or lack thereof doesn't matter because I roll a lot of lucky hits, and lastly the same where I lose.

I find there is a disproportionate number of games in the last category and too few in the upper category.

I'm not sure if it's FoG, but I don't recall that amount of luck affecting dBM, (but I may be looking at it with bias but I don't think so)

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Re: Winners Atrittion

Post by Sarmaticus » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:34 am

hazelbark wrote:
IainMcNeil wrote:Would it not be easier to have a seeding system and handicaps instead of taking their troops away. The easiest way to enforce a handicap is a modified break point so good players armies break on 10% less BP or something like that. Weaker players get an increased BP.
That perhaps gets to the idea. Although thinking back to your DBM days there was a skill difference where you could have been redcued to EE per command and it still wouldn't change most outcomes? Having the better player with a full arsenal is also part.

The other piece is I am not sure ELO, rankings and GLICKO and all that is productive for the gorwth of the hobby. But that is a different thread.
In my own sport, a focus on national rankings has done a lot to suck the life out of local, club and team competitions. One of the problems of a minority activity is that the dilletante is thrown into contact with the professionals and in small competitions, there is nowhere to hide.

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Re: Winners Atrittion

Post by stecal » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:24 pm

As a part time player who dabbled in few HMGS tournaments I'd say time is the major factor. 12 hour days for 3 rounds is just too much. I want a HOBBY, not a full time job when I go to Cons. Double games help with the longer format it that you can walk away & leave your partner in charge for 15 minutes.

in comparison, a 3 round Flames of War tourney starts at noon and ends 8-9pm.

FOGAM just plays too slow. You can usually tell which way combats are going to go, it just takes turns & turns of dice rolling to get there. Movement needs to be farther and Combat needs to be more decisive & end in a rout after every turn to get this game moving. Oops, I think I just defined Hail Caesar...

Oh, and preset terrain PLEASE! Most battlefields were just that, a flat piece of ground to fight on. Maybe a hill here or a copse of trees there. Extensive rules for & gameyness in setting up terrain is not part of a miniatures game.
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Re: Winners Atrittion

Post by jorneto » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:55 pm

On the “keeping players” front here go a few more ideas:

1 day competitions format. Full weekend with 2 one day comps. Besides the usuals also allows for those that cannot or don’t want to spend the 2 days.

Tigers problem: make two “themed” pools: the Tigers and the Joes.

Competitive vs non-competitive (or fun) armies:
Competition with a fixed list of armies. This could allow average armies to appear. The tricky part here is how to assign an army to a player.

Or an organizer could provide a list of armies (supposedly non-competitive!) and allow them an extra 50pts.

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Re: Winners Atrittion

Post by Niceas » Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:08 am

A few of things have made me less than enthusiastic about tournaments:
1) Time. 800 pt games just take time, and add into that terrain set up, army set up, and the usual dithering by all gamers, it turns into a total time suck. 900 point games are not an improvement. I'd like to see more 650 point games.
2) Insane tourney-twat gameyness, from dumping giant large hills in the middle of the battlefield, to perfectly circular areas of rough ground. C'mon, I thought that went out with WRG 6th edition. Pre set the terrain. It can't be that hard.
3) A sneaking suspicion that may of the lists are just so much fantasy, which if I wanted that, I would be playing Warhammer. This is probably unfixable.
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Re: Ideas

Post by muz177 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 11:33 am

It would be interesting to see a graph tracking the number of people playing FoG comps each quarter since the start. Whilst not all FoG players enter competitions, I think it is likely to show a decline in player numbers, probably increasing.

So as a keen player I would love to see innovative ideas to get more people involved. A common problem though is that any time an organizer suggests something unusual, or a departure from 800 on 6x4 then all sorts of argument starts, and often players go off to do something else.

So if variety is seen as important in keeping interest and numbers up, we need to support new ideas.

Muz

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Re: Ideas

Post by madaxeman » Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:54 pm

muz177 wrote: A common problem though is that any time an organizer suggests something unusual, or a departure from 800 on 6x4 then all sorts of argument starts, and often players go off to do something else.
I've seen this said on a number of occasions, but I'm not sure I believe it is true.

At Britcon this year we had smaller tables for one period, and also brought in a "best 5 scores out of 6 count" final placings system - I certainly didn't hear any complaints or hear of players deciding not to participate. In FoGR we've had a lot of 1-day pre-set terrain competitions with fairly tight themes, and I can only think of one instance of a player electing not to attend because the event wasn't "800 6x4".

Late promotion of events, and the organisers allowing too much time for discussion online before nailing down the format are IMO where problems arise, not just the principle of varying from the norms. These might be exacerbated by an existing declining attendance trend as organisers are perhaps less enthusiastic, and less prepared to take risks without what feels like "market research" in publishing dates for a competition, and these issues would also be common to all rulesets, so I still can't see how or why they'd specifically impact FoGAM more than any other set ?

There are some factors which are maybe integral in a general weakening of interest in FoGAM (limited availability of the printed rules, lack of participation of "the authors" in this and other forums, uncertainty over the format and schedule for future updates and a publisher who doesn't have any other tabletop wargames rules as a core business line) but they too are probably more background factors than specific influencers of competition attendance - so being bold with formats and early with dates will go some way to counteract them.
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Re: Winners Atrittion

Post by madaxeman » Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:58 pm

Niceas wrote:
3) A sneaking suspicion that may of the lists are just so much fantasy, which if I wanted that, I would be playing Warhammer. This is probably unfixable.
I suspect a lot of people on the forum would vote for a little more fantasy in the lists, not less.

The odd unit of Kings bodyguard, Viking beserkers, camels disguised as elephants and Knights of the Round Table would at least serve to liven up an awful lot of bland, unplayable, "patently not as good as that very similar one" lists in pretty much every army list book out there, even if the historical evidence for them was pretty patchy.
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