Guest Editorial: Why a Points drop is necessry for Competitive 40k

points-words

I’m known by most of the followers of this blog and the C&C Facebook page as being a proponent of competitive game play, I’m known to the listeners of TFG Radio as “Salty John”. I also support the ITC format and go to FrontlineGaming events often, always 1 a year for sure. So what I am going to talk about today may seem odd given the results of the recent ITC poll to have events stay at 1850. More after the break.

40k is in a state of flux. That’s not to say it isn’t in a really strong spot, because it is, but the state of flux I am referring to is model inflation. The current way GW has the game organized is we get to put more and more models on the table for the same points cost as before. This is being done, not as it was in the past through points drops in codex, but through “free” or lower costed units via formations and “decurion” style detachments.

The reason GW is doing this is obvious, if you have a strong and robust player group as 40k does. (Seriously, stop listening to SpikeyBits etc about “Bringning HHHobby back” and their consistent sky is falling “Fuck GW, but still buy their products from us” hullabaloo)(Edit: this statement reflects the sentiments of the author and does not represent Frontline Gaming) Then the easiest way for you to sell new models isn’t by getting new players, especially given the high price point of entry into the game, but to get your current players to buy new models. Without wanting the extra cost of producing new codices GW can put out updates via formations/detachments and make it worth while to take old units and give you”free” units that now you will want to buy to add to your list because, hey! They’re free! Don’t get me wrong, I love my dedicated transports to be free, or the upgrades to my vehicles, or the upgrades to my Warconvocation etc. The issue isn’t if this is a good business move or if I approve of the strategy to sell more models with less overhead cost from game/army redesign. The issue is model inflation.

ants

The number of models hitting the table top in a 1850 point list has ballooned, I would argue out of control. The problem of model inflation and game completion became apparent in large part due to FLG live streaming games form the Las Vegas Open this year. Those live streams began a conversation among many parts of the community over game length, and the completion of games in tournaments. It’s become apparent that game completion, or even turn length in general, is a larger issue than many realized. Locally of course many TOs observe that some games don’t come close to natural completions but the majority do. So why then do GTs have a large disparity in completion of games?

That question has been beaten a bit to death recently but let’s quickly rehash the answer. At local events the players more or less know one another. They know each others lists, the local meta, the players’ who are slower or faster etc. It’s easy to play your best gaming bud to a complete game in 2.5 hours when you’re almost fighting the same battle from your game last Tuesday night when you tested your list. This is the same reason players, like me, can suffer from “big fish little pond” syndrome from time to time. It’s easier not only to complete games in your local meta but it’s also easier to win games. When you go to a larger GT, or have an influx of new players to your meta, things get tougher. Games take longer, and you lose more of them, because those outsiders present a variable to the equation you had previously solved.

time

Unfortunately a lot of what we have to go off of in the competitive 40k environment is anecdotal evidence. Things like Torrent, and the ITC rankings give us some semblance of hard data but a lot of this still must be based in the anecdotal. The anecdotal, and some of the hard evidence collected regarding completed games at larger GTs, clearly shows a need to address games finishing on time. Locally we just had this became glaringly apparent. The March 40k tournament at Game Empire Pasadena saw a massive turn out for a local one day event with 33 players. A large portion of the San Diego crowd, including Reece and Frankie from FLG, came up for it and one of our former regulars who moved to AZ came in from AZ for the event!

That did however shift the store meta for the event. Our store rarely has issues with games finishing on time, we all know each other well and play each other often. This last tournament did have major issues, most games did not get past turn 3. These aren’t bad players or noobs we’re talking about here. We’re talking about players from some of the highest ranked teams and army categories in the nation. ZeroComp, Rage Quit Table Flip, NWA, #REKT. To me, and Travis from TFG Radio it indicated that if we’re going to have a consistently high number of players from disparate metas that a points drop would be needed for games to complete. Next month we’re going to try out 1650, having already done a successful 1500 point event in February, and see if that helps.

If games finishing on time is indeed an issue, and the evidence supports this assertion. Than the easiest way to address the issue is dropping points. If you listen to the last 3 episodes or so of TFG Radio you’ll hear Travis, Adam, and the Producer discussing the other ways to address the issue. They do a great drop of breaking down the pros and cons of each way and explaining why they don’t work as well as a point drop. Simply put here are the options.

CL2008

Chess Clocks- While it sounds great on the surface, they simply won’t work for 40k the way they can for Warmahordes. Also the overhead cost to organizers is significant.

Minimum turn or double loss policy- This works amazingly well for our local events. This again is because we all know each other and no one, here at least, is going to risk being ostracize by our group for purposefully slow playing just so your opponent loses too. In a larger event where you aren’t drinking buddies with the guy/gal across the table then the temptation to slow play a game you’re losing so both of you lose may be too much for some players to resist.

Encouraging reporting of Slow-Play- This solution makes an assumption, that the problem with games not finishing is actually a larger problem with players slow playing on purpose. I have an issue with this solution as it seems like an aggressive solution to a passive problem. What I mean is it seems like it will have players reading into the actions of their opponents and finding malicious intent where non actually exists, creating a bad play environment.

Increased Judging/Active Judging- This is a less popular option. Having a large Judging staff with an active, or interventionist, judging mindset rather than a passive or reactionary role. This is hard due to potential overhead costs but mostly because it would be really hard to have enough judges to referee games in an efficient manner under this system. It is the least popular and feasible of the proposed solutions.

numbers

Ultimately a points drop is the only workable solution to game length in the competitive 40k scene.

Personally I wish the ITC vote had gone the other way, I really feel that games need to come to a more natural completion. Playing through turn 3 just isn’t a full game in my opinion. There are of course bad parts to dropping down points to 1650, and I’ll hopefully have a post all about that by the end of the week.

What do you all think about points levels in 40k?

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About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

97 Responses to “Guest Editorial: Why a Points drop is necessry for Competitive 40k”

  1. Joost Zaal March 16, 2016 1:45 pm #

    I can definitely see the pros of a point drop, and i am all for it!

    • Reecius
      Reecius March 16, 2016 2:25 pm #

      Yeah, Overwatch makes some good points in his article.

    • SaltyJohn
      OverwatchCNC March 16, 2016 2:51 pm #

      I can see the vote going the other way if Reece and crew put it up for a vote again next year.

      • Reecius
        Reecius March 16, 2016 5:06 pm #

        I think (and hope!) so. I think it takes time for the community in general terms to react to changes.

        • SaltyJohn
          OverwatchCNC March 16, 2016 8:35 pm #

          The 40k community is like the Catholic Church, a giant slow moving ship that can’t change course easily.

          Can you tell I was Catholic school educated? 😀

          • westrider March 16, 2016 10:02 pm
            #

            Honestly, that’s pretty true of the public school system, too. Pretty much the only way to get change through there is to wait til a generation dies off.

          • abusepuppy March 17, 2016 5:10 am
            #

            Yeah but in 40K our sexism is _slightly_ less overt.

      • Ryan March 18, 2016 12:31 pm #

        Especially if we see 2-3 more of these influential blog posts railing against 1850 which will sway the masses. I wonder what the ratio of posts on this website will be for keeping it at 1850 vs the number of blog posts calling for the reduction. Pretty obvious really what the vote will be nextyear given the built in bias from influential community members on here

    • adam Fasoldt March 16, 2016 5:44 pm #

      Seconded.

  2. Julnlecs March 16, 2016 2:11 pm #

    I went 2 wins 1 draw that weekend but all my games ended after turn 4. I played Eldar and mostly null deploy so I really only got 3 turns in. Games at 1850 do just take longer especially if both players have a psychic phase. My Round 3 opponent was summoning 2-3 units a turn. I also voted lesser pt games. And most of nWo did as well.

    • Reecius
      Reecius March 16, 2016 2:25 pm #

      Yeah, I voted for lower points, too.

      But, to be fair, that event last weekend was only 2hr15mn rounds, too. Typically we run 2hr45mn rounds.

    • SaltyJohn
      OverwatchCNC March 16, 2016 2:54 pm #

      We definitely like the 2h 15 min rounds in Pasadena 😉

      A lot of my games go to completion around turn 5 but that’s because I’m usually running a very drop pod heavy list, as you well know Julio 😀

      It really is a difficult and multi layered problem, and I think my article just scratched the surface.

  3. Berman March 16, 2016 2:35 pm #

    I just don’t understand this. I only get to play maybe once a month and get to go to my local tournaments once every 3 months. I’ve never not gotten thru turn 4 at a tournament. Typically we hit the natural end of game with 30-40 minutes left over. You just need to think about time and Take steps to reduce the amount you use. Set up pools of shooting dice next to units during your opponents turn. Remove dice as you take casualties. In hand to hand. Leave your needed dice pool by the unit. Loose guys remove dice as it happens. This cuts a ton of time as your no longer counting dice before every action. Just grab and throw.

    • Reecius
      Reecius March 16, 2016 3:02 pm #

      I do that, too. If I have a unit with 23 shots, I set 23 dice aside so I don’t have to count them out, etc.

      • fluger March 16, 2016 3:25 pm #

        I have 20 dice set aside and can quickly add and subtract to make lots of rolls. I routinely need to roll 60+ attacks with my Orks and it really helps to have it all set out ahead of time.

        • MarkDawg March 19, 2016 5:29 pm #

          Fluger you are the slowest dice roller in the history of orks. Get more dice please!

    • SaltyJohn
      OverwatchCNC March 16, 2016 3:06 pm #

      I agree on the dice. I keep mine clearly color coded in groups of ten, with a cigar box to hold them. However, a few quibbles if you will.

      1. Getting through turn 4 doesn’t mean you finished the game. A game might end on turn 5, but not end of 4.

      2. If you’re playing locally it is easier to finish games. I made reference in the article to this phenomena among groups locally. We also have little problem with games finishing when the tournament is 80%+ locals, we all know each other, when the field is 40-50% outsiders to the local meta things slow down. They slow down due to lack of intimate knowledge of the other players’ habits, shift to the meta, and probably an increase in the competitive stakes. All those will lead to an increase in the amount of time a game will take.

    • Adam
      Adam (TheDiceAbide.com) March 16, 2016 9:45 pm #

      The problem is that getting through turn 4 doesn’t mean the game finished… Neither does getting through turn 5. For the game to work where early game armies (like Eldar) can be beat by late-game armies (Orks and many melee armies) you need to have a natural conclusion. The game is designed in a way where 66% of the games will go BEYOND turn 5. Turn 5 is designed to be the minimum, and with an equal chance to finish on turn 7. The indeterminate last turn also helps mitigate armies (like Eldar) that are excellent at going second and hopping on all the objectives.

      • SaltyJohn
        OverwatchCNC March 16, 2016 10:41 pm #

        I agree Adam, the games should come to a natural conclusion. My main issue now is most games seem to rarely get close to even having a chance to roll for turn 6, let alone 7. Good points, well said!

  4. Lord Krungharr March 16, 2016 3:07 pm #

    I solve my time crunches now by taking low model count armies, because my models with huge bases are the coolest!

  5. fluger March 16, 2016 3:24 pm #

    I for one support a points drop! I force slow play because I play hordes, but it actually doesn’t work in my favor, I need the 4th and 5th turns to start doing damage in melee, and when the game ends on turn 3 (or even turn 2!) it hurts me.

    I’ve tried playing as fast as I can, but not only is their model inflation (my 2000 pt 5th ed Ork army had 131 models, I have 161 now in my 1850 list), but there are so many more sub phases. Assault especially takes longer now as you have to move models numerous times and often in tricky spaces and if you want to move things tactically, you can’t just shove them together).

    When playing competitively in an untimed environment, my games naturally take about 3-4 hours. That’s obviously untenable.

    Obviously, horde Orks aren’t going to make any meta shifts even if they could play as long as needed (screw you, scatter bikes!), but it frustrates me that I’m virtually guaranteeing that I will lose a bunch of games at an event because I just can’t finish in time.

    At 1500 pts, I can still fit in a proper horde, but the time frames should allow me to finish quickly. To whit, in 5th edition, I NEVER EVER didn’t get to the final turn with all my boyz, and I think if the model number was down to around 100 I could do that again.

    Anyway, just wanted to point out that sometimes, “slow players” aren’t even doing it for an advantage.

    • SaltyJohn
      OverwatchCNC March 16, 2016 3:32 pm #

      “Anyway, just wanted to point out that sometimes, “slow players” aren’t even doing it for an advantage.”

      That is exactly my issue with the idea people have to “report” slow players more often. It can create a bad situation where people are accused of doing something they aren’t doing.

      • westrider March 16, 2016 5:37 pm #

        Yeah, I’m finding myself in a similar place. In 5th, I could almost always finish a 2K Game in 2.5 hours, even with swarmy Nids. In 7th, I have trouble getting through 1850 in 2.75 hours, even with a significantly smaller KDK List.

      • abusepuppy March 17, 2016 5:13 am #

        To be fair, though, playing slowly (whether intentional or not) makes for a worse experience for both players. The players who aren’t doing it on purpose might not necessarily _mean_ to be doing so, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening because of them.

        Of course that’s not to say that they necessarily need to be punished for it, but they certainly need to be made aware of the problem- otherwise it will never be solved.

        • fluger March 17, 2016 11:32 am #

          I inwardly cringe all game long with how long it takes me to play.

  6. Drachnyen March 16, 2016 3:41 pm #

    What to do with factions that stil have old version of their codex, chaos space marines for example…

    They get nothing for free… Reducing points would only hurt more…

    • SaltyJohn
      OverwatchCNC March 16, 2016 3:44 pm #

      Honestly, the rate of updates is faster than it’s ever been. While the reduction in points may hurt Chaos in the short term in the long run it should even out once their new book(s) hit.

      • Adam
        Adam (TheDiceAbide.com) March 16, 2016 9:48 pm #

        As a long time Chaos Marine player, I actually think they are more competitive in 1500. They don’t actually have enough super efficient units to fully take advantage of playing 1850. At least in 1500 Drakes do a good job of carrying the army again.

        • SaltyJohn
          OverwatchCNC March 16, 2016 10:43 pm #

          I hadn’t considered that angle. It’s been years since I played Chaos. Last time I seriously played CSM Lash was still all the rage…

  7. masos March 16, 2016 3:56 pm #

    Very very good article. I agree with a lot of the points you made. Especially the model inflation.

    I have to say I put my old man face on and said ” No son not today” (old man voice) and voted for 1850 because fuck change.

  8. Matt R. March 16, 2016 3:56 pm #

    My gaming club tried some 1650 games and it was very well received. The games kept a good pace and there were still plenty of models on the table. As stated, all the free points, models and rules that come with formations really do make a difference in game size.

  9. MrMike March 16, 2016 4:02 pm #

    I’m a new player, but a local veteran player and I have struggled to get down an 1850 game in under two hours. I think if you can get the same tactical depth of play with less models, it’s a no-brainer. Reduce the points until it starts to break the game and then back off 20%

  10. zyekian March 16, 2016 4:21 pm #

    I 100% agree with the writer here. And I see this in local events, lots of matches going four turns, some going three, some going five.

    One thing I think needs to be seriously pointed out though is that the notion that five turns is a complete game is incorrect. Matches are variably 5-7 turns and for good reason. If a tournament match runs out of time at five then it probably wasn’t complete.

    • SaltyJohn
      OverwatchCNC March 16, 2016 8:20 pm #

      Glad agree with me 😉

      I would go a step further with your assertion and say we need to stop saying getting to through turn 4(!) is a complete game, it absolutely is not.

  11. aaronaleong March 16, 2016 4:40 pm #

    The problem is the popular armies:

    Eldar
    Gladius
    Daemons

    Have so much movement and extra time spent during their turns it slows the game down drastically.

    I also voted for less points even as a super competitive player. I am bringing a chess clock myself to all major events now. Even 1650 would lower the power level and make the game more tactical. I feel these armies above should be limited in their time.

    • Jp March 16, 2016 5:50 pm #

      I love it when people put chess clocks on the table! Nothing like their look when you put models behold it using it for cover and such.

    • SaltyJohn
      OverwatchCNC March 16, 2016 8:27 pm #

      We’ve discussed using Chess clocks for #REKT when we practice so our team can be more aware of the time they are eating, or not using well, during matches. I don’t think it is a good idea for tournaments still but timing your practice games using chess clocks is a great way to train for GT level events.

      • bigpig March 16, 2016 10:26 pm #

        Yes, but bringing your own and still using it at least takes the eye off you when the game doesn’t end in a timely manner. I’ve been playing gladius the last year and have gotten pretty fast at it. Most of my turns take less time than the eldar player with half the models, yet if the game doesn’t finish the finger gets pointed to the horde army when it just isn’t the case.

        • Vercingatorix March 17, 2016 9:53 am #

          I’m with you. I always got in trouble as the green tide player. One game in particular annoyed me as I literally never moved the damn thing. I just deployed it and it sat there guarding objectives. Yet when the game ended early it was automatically assumed I slow played.

    • abusepuppy March 17, 2016 5:16 am #

      Eldar armies typically have one of the lowest model counts of any top-tier faction in the game right now, and while the psychic phase does add some time to the game, with only casting 2-4 spells even for a relatively psychic-heavy army I would be extremely surprised if that took up more than 15 minutes in total over the course of the game. Even the Thrust moves for multiple squads of jetbikes should be a pretty trivial addition to things overall; Eldar should be playing faster than almost anything else out there save stuff like Imperial Knights.

  12. Jp March 16, 2016 5:49 pm #

    So up here at mugus 2 weeks ago we had a 20 person three round tourney with 2:45 rounds. We had three games out of three rounds that did not naturally conclude… Most of our players run competitive armies but we still had some newer players too. Afterwords we say around wondering how in the world some places have events that have more games that don’t get past turn 4 then not complete naturally. 30 games with 3 finishing on time….

    • Jp March 16, 2016 5:52 pm #

      30 games and 3 didn’t finish in time. 27 naturally concluded games. I see that I wrote that wrong

      • Adam
        Adam (TheDiceAbide.com) March 16, 2016 9:56 pm #

        Your group must be magicians, I feel like I’ve seen more events where 3 in 30 actually finish. Are you counting getting through turn 5, but ending because of time, a natural finish?

        • abusepuppy March 17, 2016 5:20 am #

          JP’s experience is actually pretty close to my own. In the tournaments I’ve attended in the last year, I would say probably 70-80% of them came to a natural finish and only perhaps one or two of them in total were forced to end on turn 5 due to time (and I’ve always gotten to at least finish turn 5, even in the worst of cases.)

        • Jural March 17, 2016 10:47 am #

          I think it really depends also on what “time” means. Did they start the clock once every player had moved their army over to the table, reviewed lists, rolled the pre-game, etc?

          That is one of the biggest annoyances I have with the LVO or BAO, the time you should be using to casually meet your opponent, go over lists, safely put down your models, etc, is actually game time!

          I’m not knocking FLG- It’s a reasonable policy and frankly necessary at large events. But it somewhat unsatisfying in a hobby environment to have to choose between friendly interactions and good sportsmanship vs. game completion! The problem just multiplies with all the sources and changes out there.

          • Kwodd March 17, 2016 6:07 pm
            #

            The clock starts when match ups are announced.

        • Kwodd March 17, 2016 6:06 pm #

          Must be a lot of chin stroking and hrmmmming in your area.

      • westrider March 17, 2016 2:21 am #

        He actually talks about that in the article, about how it’s much less of a problem when most of the people there are playing in a familiar setting and meta.

      • Kwodd March 17, 2016 5:58 pm #

        WITNESSED! (In best war boy howl)

  13. Floyd March 16, 2016 5:58 pm #

    Sorry to be confused, but when and where were the poll results posted?

  14. Gregorius42 March 16, 2016 6:10 pm #

    Article is unfair and uncalled for in slamming Rob Baer and Long War. Definitely there can be a difference of opinion but this was a sad personal attack.

    • SaltyJohn
      OverwatchCNC March 16, 2016 8:23 pm #

      I disagree but appreciate you have a different opinion.

    • abusepuppy March 17, 2016 5:21 am #

      Since it explicitly is an editorial article, voicing opinions is sorta the point. You might agree or disagree with those opinions, but opposing their inclusion is an utterly meaningless tactic.

      • Thejughead March 17, 2016 8:10 am #

        What does Rob or TLW have to do with lowering points? Its an anecdote that does not provide additional context other than Rob pissed in my corn flakes.

        • abusepuppy March 17, 2016 7:27 pm #

          The article includes lots of anecdotes that are not directly related to its main point; the only difference is that you don’t happen to like this one.

          • Thejughead March 18, 2016 1:32 am
            #

            Yeah. We have enough unfriendly gamers in this hobby . to promote smear campaigns on a blog or website is just plain dumb. We should be building up not tearing down contributors in an already niche.

          • abusepuppy March 18, 2016 3:50 am
            #

            But the point of the comment is that the person in question is having a negative effect on the hobby and he’s calling him out on that.

          • SaltyJohn
            OverwatchCNC March 18, 2016 8:53 am
            #

            You’re reading an awful lot into one sentence in a long editorial post.

            Also, thank you abusepuppy, nail on the head.

  15. Codi March 16, 2016 7:04 pm #

    I’m on team Frankie 1850 or bust!

  16. amnesiaditit March 16, 2016 7:43 pm #

    “(Seriously, stop listening to SpikeyBits etc about “Bringning HHHobby back” and their consistent sky is falling “Fuck GW, but still buy their products from us” hullabaloo)”

    Really? Was this absolutely necessary? Are we like 4 years old now over here?

    • David March 16, 2016 8:02 pm #

      So you’re asking people that play with toy soldiers if we’re mature?

    • SaltyJohn
      OverwatchCNC March 16, 2016 8:23 pm #

      I’m sorry you disagree with my opinion.

  17. Mike March 16, 2016 8:26 pm #

    Agreed on the main point.

    Consistently mistake the reasoning behind lowering the point value as a counter to slow play, when that isn’t what it’s trying to accomplish. It’s attempting to give players enough time to finish games with armies that are too large for the time limit.

    You can’t even pin it on one player usually- I clocked a couple games with my gladius; We found out that we were using roughly the same amount of time. (It was 1:30 to 1:15 in our first game and 1:25 to 1:20 in the second, with the slightly larger time being gladius in both.)
    It’s because the opponents were having to direct shots to tons of different units, fight in a ton of time-munching close combats, do challenges with the billion sergeants of those billion MSU squads, etc. Turns out you use up more time than you think you do when you’re facing an army with 30+ units.

    The game really has jumped from 1850 to 2200ish-in-disguise in under a year. Either we need hours added to days or smaller points…something’s gotta give.

    • SaltyJohn
      OverwatchCNC March 16, 2016 8:33 pm #

      Couldn’t agree more. I was one of those who blamed other players at first, but came to the same realization you did. It is a problem of getting games to completion, not slow play, not knee capping lists or codices, just making the game function well pure and simple.

  18. Adam
    Adam (TheDiceAbide.com) March 16, 2016 10:03 pm #

    Glad to see more people coming around. I wrote a similar article right before the poll went out but sadly it wasn’t enough to sway popular opinion.

    Sadly the defense of 1850 tends to be “well it’s not MY fault so why should I have to suffer” which is just kinda sad and short sided.

    It’s not intrinsically any more competitive to play 1850 over 1500, but nerds are resistant to change and a ~20% drop in points is a pretty big change. 🙂

    • bigpig March 16, 2016 10:28 pm #

      which is why I was up for the 1650 and voted that way. I think the “push” from TOs was sensed as being towards the 1500pt level. People were possibly concerned that a vote for a drop would fall to the lower mark and make that big change happen. No way to know for sure I guess. Maybe next year

      • westrider March 17, 2016 1:22 am #

        Maybe they should do it as two votes with a delay in-between next time. Vote 1: If we drop from 1850, would you prefer 1500 or 1650. Wait until that’s run and the results published, and then follow up with Vote 2: Would you like the Points to drop?

    • SaltyJohn
      OverwatchCNC March 16, 2016 10:45 pm #

      Perhaps two completely separate questions in the poll could yield better results.

      • westrider March 17, 2016 1:25 pm #

        It was done as two separate questions, but because they were done simultaneously, I think a lot of people who didn’t want to drop to 1500 voted for no points drop out of fear that the 1650 option wouldn’t win if the points drop did.

  19. Dayone916 March 16, 2016 11:04 pm #

    I love this article and couldn’t agree more with the observations as well as the conclusions. I voted for a points drop as well as nearly everyone I know (including most of our 35+ member team/club). I’m completely baffled as to how this change didn’t pass the vote. I can count on one hand how many people voted for 1850 to stay. Crazy.

    Another point is that certain lists become less viable when time becomes a concern. Armies that are alpha strike or quick to kill and hope to live style thrive in games that won’t reach a natural conclusion due to time. It’s one of the main reasons I switched to Gladius this season from centstar. Not only was I not finishing games but despite my best efforts to play faster and bring tools to do so, I was still struggling to get to turn four mostly because I would have to explain my moves or powers to people as I went and then let them respond. I felt like I was being slow played against but in reality it was just them not rushing to make a tactical decision.

    1650 or 1500 is the logical move. Even 1750 is a nice compromise that could take the edge off. The other alternative is to add more time to rounds but that sucks when it’s already a 10-12 hour day for a 3 round tournament, especially for us with bad backs or other medical constraints.

  20. grimD
    J March 17, 2016 1:14 am #

    That unfair criticism of Rob and The Long War team didn’t even make sense in the context of the paragraph let alone the article. I have to assume the author made a mistake.

    • Mike stereo March 17, 2016 3:56 am #

      Couldn’t agree more, it seems both out of context and unfounded

      • SaltyJohn
        OverwatchCNC March 17, 2016 7:15 am #

        I couldn’t disagree more with both of you.

    • SaltyJohn
      OverwatchCNC March 17, 2016 7:15 am #

      It’s an editorial, sorry you don’t understand what that means. I’m also sorry you didn’t comprehend what I was talking about.

      • Mike stereo March 17, 2016 12:22 pm #

        I totally understand the core of the article, what I don’t understand is the venom you have toward the long war guys. I’m not on any bodies side but it seems very much out of context, overly aggressive and petty. But then again it is only a guest editorial not a staff writer. Maybe you would have had a better constructed an clear opinion if you wrote for FLG full time. Keep chasing that dream and be open to constructive criticism

        • SaltyJohn
          OverwatchCNC March 19, 2016 8:22 pm #

          People sure are reading a lot into a single parenthetical…

          Their response on TLW podcast really speaks for itself.

    • Thejughead March 17, 2016 7:51 am #

      I think the Author should pen an apology. No need to attack other groups.

      • SaltyJohn
        OverwatchCNC March 17, 2016 8:04 am #

        Thanks for your advice. I won’t be penning an apology, my opinion is my own and I can voice it if I want to.

        Given the number of comments, and commenters, who don’t seem to care about my position on SpikeyBits I don’t really feel compelled to relent.

        • Thejughead March 17, 2016 8:12 am #

          To each is own. It added nothing to the article. Just that you don’t like them.

        • TxBobcat86 March 17, 2016 10:34 am #

          I have listened to The Long War, and it is pretty good podcast, however I don’t think the point of the article was a slam against those guys. I personally think a competitive game should be well just that, competitive. The Long War is like old school 40K. Comp based lists, and limiting what you can take in a tournament. In one of their recent casts they were slamming the winner of LVO saying his list was what was wrong with the game, and that would have never won a comp based scoring system. That is terribly boring. I have all these badass units, and I should be able to take them, and guess what you can take all your badass units too. I think if you are focusing on the two sentences where “Salty John” disagreed with TLW guys then you missed the point of the entire article.

          • Sam March 18, 2016 10:57 am
            #

            I agree with this article in general, but I would also like to see comp at tournaments. Comp does not mean non-competitive. I say this having played Eldar for over twenty years now. Bring on the comp (and 1500 points)!

            Just because someone advocates for comp, lower points, paint scores, sportsmanship, etc… does not mean they are against competition. It just means that they have a preference for something more than what they are currently getting.

      • Jural March 17, 2016 10:49 am #

        If the author pens an apology I will post and demand he pens an apology for the apology.

    • SaltyJohn
      OverwatchCNC March 17, 2016 8:02 am #

      The criticism is hardly unfair.

    • Incarnant March 20, 2016 12:59 am #

      It may have been better to leave it out of the article but it was not entirely unfounded or unfair. Spikey Bits has a completely unescessary amount of click-bait articles that prey on and feed into the negativity of the hobby, not to mention their danm advertisements. Despite their preaching about “bringing the hobby back” I primarily see them as a drain on that hobby. In fact, I would bassically say that Spikey-bits is BoLS lite, and not the good BoLS of yesteryear.

  21. brodrick March 17, 2016 4:45 am #

    I think using game completion as the reason for a point drop, while it will do that, the number of people who enjoy playing less points is a lot different. People like playing their toys. I think when people play lists they aren’t used to creates slower play, but another factor is people don’t factor into their list building the speed to play it at a tourney. They think I can play it in their gaming group and just morph it to a tourney without issue.

    I don’t find that as true.

  22. naramyth March 17, 2016 5:40 am #

    We have been talking about a rule that if you don’t make it to turn 5, you get half points.

    The games should also just be 3 hours including setup/teardown. It’s a long day, another 45 minutes isn’t going to change a thing.

  23. Adam March 17, 2016 6:12 am #

    I’ve never had an issue meeting time in any tournament I’ve ever played in. Especially at 1850pts. With the exception of one or two slow players where it’s apparent that they are either slow at 40K or purposefully slow playing for a tactical advantage. With that said, I can’t see how anyone could not make a 2:30 or 3:00 time cut at 1850, ever.

    I have noticed that the inclusion of Maelstrom definitely adds a lot of time to the game but I believe our Maelstrom games are still finishing within 3 hours.

  24. dasbeets March 17, 2016 6:36 am #

    in my gaming group we have set our “standard” games to 1650. we have felt little change in the forces as far as power. we have found that the lists that you made at 1850 work the same as they do at 1650. I would encourage people to play 5 games at 1650, I think you will find that they are fun and you are able to complete a game in a reasonable amount of time.

  25. Stainless Steel Rat March 17, 2016 8:45 am #

    1500 requires more thought in both list composition and tactical application, and as such brings out the best in gamers from what I have seen. Also, the increase in game completion is a nice bonus for both sides. Moving it up to 1650 shouldn’t impact any of the above and provides some more room for those who are new and/or aren’t adept at list composition. I can support either level. Let’s move the 2K list out of competitive play and back in to “friendly” game territory where it really belongs. I seriously doubt reducing point levels at tournaments will bite in to GW’s sales as gamers will keep buying to expand their options regardless of whether they play friendly, competitive, or both.

  26. TxBobcat86 March 17, 2016 10:27 am #

    I don’t really get to play competitively due to life and there typically only being an ITC tournament maybe twice a month here in San Antonio, so this is just my humble opinion. The main argument I’ve heard after the vote to stay 1850 passed was, “Well, you can still play whatever points you want at your local ITC, but the big events will be 1850”. That has to be the dumbest argument I have heard. Competitive players want to test out their lists in preparation for the ITC events like BAO LVO etc., so why would you play a 1650 local ITC tournament when that isn’t what you’re gonna play at the events that count? That would be like the Dallas Cowboys playing their entire preseason against high school teams. You’re not gonna be playing high school teams during the regular season.

  27. Jural March 17, 2016 10:40 am #

    I really don’t understand this discussion, clearly the problem isn’t anything with 1850, 1650, 1500. The problem is that the ITC somehow has a point value at all- especially one now ratified with a vote.

    40K is capable of being played at a wide range of point values, and each point value has it’s own unique tactics and considerations. By making the games 1850 (or 1500, 1650) it removes a tactical element of the game, but more importantly, removes one of the major tools from a TO.

    Just let TO’s choose their own points value (which to be fair, the ITC rules allow). That means for the major tournaments like BAO, LVO, etc, it doesn’t have to be the same value every time. Just choose what you think is best for your event and let the turnout and player experience inform your next point value.

    Is there some reason that LVO couldn’t be 1500, 6 games over 2 days and have normal ITC missions, then BAO be 2000 and 4 games over 2 days and a different subset of ITC missions? Then the next year LVO is 1800, BAO is 1631… And of course other tournaments can continue to do whatever the heck they want?

    I feel that if this was the norm, the discussion would be more informed among players and we could really see if lowering points values has the impact that some people think it will have on game length (and that I personally think will be muted.)

  28. xTHExCLINCHERx March 17, 2016 12:40 pm #

    By games not finishing naturally (with the probability of the game ending later becoming less and less, as the game actually goes on) competitive play is always going to favor early-game lists. Just look at the top armies and strategies right now sweeping the fields on turns 1 and 2… late game armies don’t even have a hope. 40k has essentially become playing to the alpha strike (either doing it or mitigating it), when there are supposed to be so many more parts to the equation.

    It’s great that any ITC event can change the rules to be “whatever point limit they want”, but let’s face it… most of us end up attending matches where the TO would prefer to take the “easiest road possible” and just have everyone refer to the ITC rules as they are currently defined – it saves on having to support specific rulings and loop-holes; bring new judges up to speed on the local changes; deal with edge cases for the event, etc. Also, I’m sure most people that are committed to an army (painting, learning, mastering) for that season would prefer to stick with it rather than scale it up and down all year long.

    Every time I play (or see a game played) that goes to turn 6 or 7, it’s ALWAYS a nail-biter and super tense and exciting. I really think this aspect of the game has vanished from the competitive scene, and also from most of the competitive battle reports you see online that use “current style lists”, because they’re all geared for the turn 1 and 2 win.

    I too wish the ruling was 1500 🙁

  29. Danny Ruiz
    Lemurking March 17, 2016 12:41 pm #

    For local RTTs, it wouldn’t be a problem to have fluctuating point values, but larger GTs should be uniform in points as they are major investments in time and cash for players, and having to constantly practice different point levels makes it hard to travel out of your own meta. It’s odd enough trying to transition smoothly between different metas, but add in different point levels, and list building is radically changed. The big GTs should try harmonize as much as possible, which is why it is a good thing that ITC codifies its larger tournaments to a set point level.

  30. ryan March 18, 2016 9:41 am #

    i thought the vote was clear, 1850.

    • SaltyJohn
      OverwatchCNC March 18, 2016 9:46 am #

      It was. That doesn’t mean the issue is closed for all coming time, or that the conversation ceases on a local level or on a wider non FLG event level.

  31. Nightman March 18, 2016 7:12 pm #

    Voted 1500 at the polls, but leaning towards atleast 1750+ again. It’s just more fun playing big games.

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