The Case For Lower Point 40k Games

Lower Point Levels Games – Recased

There is no doubt that 40k has bloated significantly in the past few years and in a variety of ways. Many armies can summon now, not just Daemons, with units like the Psyclopia Cabal, Psykana Division, and Librarius Conclave being chief at getting easy summons off. We also have other units like the Tau Piranha formation that drops off massive amounts of drones only to go off and come back with more. Genestealer Cults can summon new units as well and even orks can get on the Daemon summoning train. We also have many formations that regain lost units like the CSM Legion formation and at least a couple of Tyranid formations.battle company

Then there is the rising trend of free units and upgrades. Battle company is chief among these as they can get around 12 free transports for their various squads. This makes an already large army even larger and sucks up time to play. As GW continues to use rules to sell models (not necessarily a bad thing) there is more and more that a player has to keep track of and use during games.

Then there is the reduction in cost of units that GW is pushing as well. Many models are now cheaper and therefore it is able for a general to field much larger forces. Larger forces take longer to play typically. Also, many armies are able to spam high volume shooting and psychic forces that drain a lot of time in that phase. Renegades anyone?

The problem is time. A recent Major event saw many games not getting past 3 rounds with at least one game not getting past two. I was playing my Genestealer cult and two of my games got to turn three with the others getting farther, but most of my games had to use the splitting of last turn mechanic where if we were 20 minutes or less in the game we each got 10 or less and finished the game that way. The last game of the LVO 40k Champs only went to turn 4, with both players splitting the last 30 minutes of play. This is not ideal.magnus2

The Usual Suspects

So here are some problem when it comes to timed events in a list format.

  1. Larger armies – we are able to field larger armies for the same points.
  2. Summmoned units – Summoned could mean any number of things for armies but basically getting new units in game.
  3. Resurrected units – units coming back that keep the army at its optimum size and points level.
  4. All Phase Armies – the ability that most armies have now to engage in every phase of the game adds to the time of each section.
  5. Multiple sources – armies made of different sources require lots of bookeeping. Just the psychic phase alone can use four different books to generate powers from.
  6. Fast paced release style – great for gamers but hard to keep track off. Lots of, “What does that do again?” in game.
  7. Large point level games – 1850 is the standard ITC event point level, which is a lot.
  8. Long phase armies – Some armies take so long in certain phases. Mass shooty armies can take an enormous time shooting, heavy psyker long in the psychic phase, etc. etc.

Keep the Time in Mind

So lets get into the turns themselves and how much time a tournament game gives each player. I’m going to assume that each player has 15 minutes for deployment AND pregame rolls to get the game going. Lets take a look at how much time a player has each round for a 2.5, 2.75 and 3 hour tournament game.

Infinity time. Digital generated

Minutes per round (5 Rounds)

2.5 Hour Game – 12 minutes per player per turn
2.75 Hour Game – 13.5 minutes per player per turn
3 Hour Game – 15 minutes per player per turn

Minutes per round (6 Rounds)

2.5 Hour Game – 10 minutes per player per turn
2.75 Hour Game – 11.25 minutes per player per turn
3 Hour Game – 12.5 minutes per player per turn

Yes, there is some hyperbole here. Some armies take longer to deploy while other armies are rather quick. Some armies take no time at all such as a drop pod army, but their deployment comes in those first couple of turns. The main point to look at is how much time a player has for each round. In a two and a half hour game you only have 10 minutes to complete each round to get to turn 6. This is an average. Most turns are bigger in the beginning and shorter near the end, but that means that you only have 60 minutes to do your entire armies turns in if each player is to have an even amount of time. Yes Max, I hear you that different armies function in their own way and some take longer than others, but in a tournament setting, many games are not completing to a natural conclusion if my half baked casual polling is of any good!DSC_0225

Again, you will spend more time in the beginning of the game than in the latter part, but still, you will need to make up that time in those latter turns.

TL:DR The game is bloated and tournaments can’t give enough time for natural conclusions. What are we to do?

Options

Longer Tournament Rounds – Adding more time would be a good thing. Most tournaments are at the 2.5 to 2.75 hour rounds which is barely enough. I feel 2.75 is the minimum needed for events.

Smaller armies – 1650 was floated as the ITC level but got shot down. I’d love to collect data at this years LVO to see how many games not to a natural rolling dice conclusion. Devils Advocate – at 1850 my GSC army has 169 models. At 1650 it still has 146 models. That’s still a ton.quad riptide

Time clocks – Some type of chess type clock would make things “Fair” but some armies do take longer than others. I use Objective Secured to time my games and use it more to keep me honest, but this could be an option.

Conclusion

I think something will need to be done to make the tournament scene a better place for games to finish in a natural time setting. I think longer standard games and smaller armies are the best bet to get these games done on time. What about you? Are you experiencing something similar? If you went to LVO, how many of your games went to a natural conclusion?

Any other ideas? Post your thoughts below.

Remember, Frontline Gaming offers up to 25% off on Games Workshop products every day if you’re looking to start a new army or add to an existing one.

About CaptainA

Aaron is a longtime gamer of many systems. He is an avid community builder of 40k and after running many 40k events in Portland, Oregon, has recently moved to Boise, Idaho and continues to host and run leagues and events. He has also recently expanded his repertoire and entered the second hand Warhammer business. Check out his website at www.trader-a.com to see how he can help you get rid off your old and unused models.

111 Responses to “The Case For Lower Point 40k Games”

  1. Helms February 6, 2017 9:47 am
    #

    1650 pls! Smaller point values will help newer players get started too. It’ll take less models to polish out ones army.

  2. Keith February 6, 2017 10:04 am
    #

    I played with my Tau at the LVO this year and I had every game go to at least turn 5 before time ran out.

    But I also didn’t play against Gladius, demons, nor GSC. The only time consuming army I played against was Eldar with Warpspiders.

  3. jonathan ciscon February 6, 2017 10:05 am
    #

    We actually tested lowering points at our FLG in LA and it.. didnt really solve the time problem. We went down to 1500 and the issues were still there, mostly because everything that takes forever (summoning, free transports, tau shooting, eldar extra movement) are all still there, its just that everyone else has fewer tools to deal with it.

    The problem is there are core issues that take time that (ideally) 8th will solve.

    For example:

    1. Scattering just needs to go away entirely. It’s the reason why horde armies take so long, and its the source of 90% of arguments as to what direction the arrow is pointing. At one point some friends and I had constructed a system which worked without it but broadly the idea is this:
    Shooting: BS + random dice for shooting (with the goal to hit the range of 3-5 models per hit result)
    DS: 2d6 distance + opponent controlling the motion if you scatter, BUT the mishap table is more forgiving.

    2. AoS style of choosing/paying for psychic powers. no more giant chart of rolling, you pay for the power.

    3. Similarly you pre-pay for the summoned units (with some disount for it. like 500 points of summoned stuff counts for 250 points in your army list or some such)

    • Mcsardo February 6, 2017 12:44 pm
      #

      I really like the idea of prepaying for warlord traits and psychic powers like wargear in principle, but you’d have to really make sure that the point costs reflect game benefit (you don’t want invis to be a 10 point upgrade, for example).
      I’m also not against rolling once for warlord and psychic powers etc at the beginning of the tournament and locking those in (we did this at a local rtt). Sure you lose the tactical fun of picking powers for a specific army, but you still have to think strategically in which charts will benefit me the most given my meta and against different types of armies.

      • Erik February 6, 2017 11:31 pm
        #

        I definitely think that 40k could use a LOT of the changes made in Age of Sigmar. I totally agree on template/blast weapons and how they should do a flat number of hits (with occasional bonuses if the target exceeds a certain size). This removes scatter dice and templates, as well as the discussion of “how many models are under there? Did you move that? Doesn’t it look like the arrow points that way?” that we’ve all gone through. Additionally, if we had something like “Large Blasts cause d3+2 hits”, then we’ve got large blast weapons that are now very threatening to single model units like GMCs or vehicles of any kind.

        As for summoning, honestly I really dislike the idea of prepay for summoned units. It seems like at that point you’re buying a unit that will deep strike with the caveat that it doesn’t arrive when you pass your reserve roll– instead it drops in when a sorcerer casts the appropriate spell. But what if your opponent sees what you’re doing and kills your Psyker? Or just denies it? And it comes at the cost of just having that unit on the battlefield to start, where it would be vulnerable, but at the same time that unit would be fighting, holding objectives, and occasionally contributing psychic dice. I’d like to see a limit of some kind imposed on summoning, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t think prepay is the answer there.

      • Beau February 7, 2017 8:54 am
        #

        They have that in AoS. I like it.

  4. Horton February 6, 2017 10:17 am
    #

    The format of the tournament in question also really impacts the speed of games. Maelstrom mission really slow the game down, as each player must roll for objectives every round. I think more often than not the reason a game does not finish is a player over thinks a particular scenario and takes waaaay too long during his/her turn. I have been guilty of this myself. It had nothing to do with my army size, just my inability to play it was well as I needed to. This is only my opinion though.

  5. Coblen February 6, 2017 10:19 am
    #

    I don’t think a single game on stream got to 6 rounds. 4 seems to be the medium. How often did the game not going the full amount of turns effect the outcome? Obviously this is hard to measure. We could just lower the official number of turns to 4 so every player has a chance to play around that. Then have a system of penalizing players that are consistently not finishing turn 4.

    • Threllen February 6, 2017 10:35 am
      #

      The problem with just giving up and saying “let’s just finish on turn 4” means you are invalidating even more armies.

      Anything that is slow-moving is going to struggle. If you don’t have Eldar jetbikes that can move across the entire board you’re going to have a hard time.

      Even if you’re quick – playing an assault-based army vs a shooting army is going to be even tougher than normal because normally the late rounds are where those armies shine. When they have a chance to actually get in the opponent’s face.

      Also any sort of army with force multipliers (like summoning or some other form of gaining units) or units in reserves are going to suffer if games are only allowed to go to 4 turns.

      4 turns is just not a tenable amount of time to get in enough actions and movement in many games.

      • sheit27 February 6, 2017 10:45 am
        #

        I agree fully and this is the current huge problem. If player A is playing with 150 models and player B has 6 riptides + friends and the ability to shoot Player A off the board by turn 5-6 then it’s too easy for player A to slow down everything he/she is doing in order to prevent turn 5-6 from ever happening.

        But player B currently has no defense against the clock running out and this is something that is being implemented into army building at a high level whether the pilots of those armies want to admit doing it or not.

      • abusepuppy February 6, 2017 6:16 pm
        #

        Shooting armies actually suffer a lot from “incomplete” games as well, at least the ones that rely on firepower as their primary means of winning the game. If you’re not getting 5+ turns worth of shooting in, it often ends up that you simply haven’t killed enough models to actually win- this is especially problematic versus horde and Battle Company armies, both of which slow the game to a crawl and both of which benefit immensely from things ending prematurely. I don’t care how strong your shooting is, you’re not gonna blast ten transports plus fifteen squads of dudes off the table by the bottom of turn 3.

        • Jural February 7, 2017 12:56 pm
          #

          Doubly so for the drop pod armies- you may not get a single round of shooting off!

  6. Patrick February 6, 2017 10:20 am
    #

    If the championship with two top tier players can’t get to a natural conclusion in the allotted time I think you have no choice but to come down to 1,650 or definitely make rds a minimum of 3hrs

    • Skallagoose February 6, 2017 12:26 pm
      #

      I disagree this is an indicator.
      If you look at each round on the stream i think the reason they weren’t finishing was the ‘indecisiveness’ where they were thinking the pros and cons of each move. each move had money and prestige weighing on it.
      I’m not saying there is’nt a problem. I just merely think the problem should be properly addressed. Not the depiction of a few elite players who cant finish.
      A simple and clear fix is practice practice practice. People need to learn their armies inside and out. I was more than surprised during the live streams the amount of rule questions. I have gone to GTs and i am aware by game 3 your mind is shot, let alone the second day.
      Other easy fixes involve being polite, being smart with transporting armies/tools. A cool trick i would love to see amongst 100+ model armies is a movement tray style item like in old fantasy. Have the spots cut properly for 5/10 each roughly 2 inches away from the cut outs. But this goes to playing practicing and learning their armies and wanting to create a fun game.

      • Mike February 7, 2017 7:13 am
        #

        No.

        First, it’s a strategy game. If there is not adequate time to “consider the pros and cons of each move,” then something is horribly wrong.

        Second, “get better at the rules” is not a solution. It ostracizes newer and less experienced players from joining events, which is the absolute most awful thing an event can do.
        Additionally, you can only practice half the game. You have no idea what army you’ll be staring at across the table, and it might be harlequins or Corsairs or some 30k list in the events that allow them, or even Matt Root’s war convORKation. Since winning, according to some Sun Tzu guy, is extremely reliant on knowing your enemy, it behooves players to take the time to understand the opponent’s army. (And that is quite frankly, time we don’t currently have.)

        The mere fact that the time limit is coming up regularly in discussion is damning evidence that we need to do something about it.

        Hell, we needed to do something about it over a year ago. Now it’s just downright ludicrous.

  7. sheit27 February 6, 2017 10:40 am
    #

    I think if players started the game playing at the speeds they are forced to play when a game reaches turn 4-5 with 20-30 minutes left and you are put on a clock then a lot of the games would get further.

    The problem is that in some cases players understand they will do much worse if they allow their opponent to play to turn 4-6 and intentionally slow down their phases to press for a turn 3-4 ending.

    Chess clocks seem to be a common answer but how do you account for the time it takes your opponent to react while you’re on the clock? if they have to make 40 armor saves with different characters in the unit and look out sirs they can easily soak up 5 minutes of the clock while you are on the timer.

    I also haven’t heard much debate about what to do to penalize a player who runs out of their clock time. If they’ve used 75 minutes between deployment and Turn 1 while you’ve used 25 minutes and they end up running out of time by turn 3-4 what happens?

  8. Chandler February 6, 2017 10:41 am
    #

    I think there are several issues at play and CaptainA did a good job touching on them.

    1. Longer rounds. Yes, it makes the day longer, but just think about how many psyker armies there are now. Rolling powers for these armies takes a long time. Pre-game rolls in general are a headache. Then of course there is the whole “I get free stuff” factor which takes up more time in deployment and more units on the board through the course of a game. I attended Warzone Atlanta and all of my games finished to a natural conclusion with time to spare in most cases. I was running Eldar with Warp Spiders, btw.

    2. Points reduction. Will it help? Probably not as the most common offenders are battle company in terms of just mass unit numbers and you can still field a battle company at 1650. All a point reduction means is less models you have to deal with them. Other armies will be largely unaffected by points reductions as well such as GSC and Daemons and War Convo. It really just puts everyone else at more of a disadvantage as they lose the tools to mitigate the overwhelming free units/wargear. The only way this really helps is if we go down to about 1500 or so where the free units and wargear on armies becomes harder, and sometimes impossible to pull off in army lists due to formation requirements putting the army over 1500. Then again, most people probably don’t want to play 1500 points as a standard.

    3. Play faster. Well, yeah that seems to be the most obvious answer doesn’t it? And while that might work for the top elite table players, that is not reasonable for everyone else. Most people aren’t intentionally slow playing they just don’t play as much and aren’t as familiar with the tricks to speed the game up like a lot of players. Are there deliberate slow players? Yes. That isn’t a large problem that requires a revamp of the system however. That is a game-by-game issue that a judge or TO needs to address. Most people are not going to deliberately slow play you as a tactic. “Play faster” is the equivalent to “git gud”

    4. Chess clocks or timed turns. I don’t like the idea at all. I think it serves as a good option in cases where people might intentionally be slow playing you and a judge gets involved, but other than that, it creates more pressure on players than is necessary. It’s not reasonable simply because by the nature of some army builds they just take longer. Someone shouldn’t be punished because their army tends to take a while longer in the shooting phase for example.

    In my humble opinion, option 1 is the only reasonable solution at this point. 40k has changed. It is not the same tournament scene as it was 2 or 3 years ago. Armies require more time to play now. It is what it is. We need to adapt to this. Yes, the days become a little longer, but extending the rounds to 3 hours or longer seems the only real reasonable solution to me at this point. Again, just my opinion.

    • Troy Graber February 6, 2017 2:52 pm
      #

      2. Points Reduction.
      Look. I can add. So I know that while Gladius can still be fielded at 1650 it’s harder to field gladius + a Bark Bark Star or Gladius + Libby Conclave. Just because they don’t lose everything doesn’t mean they don’t lose something, and what they do lose tends to be things like psychic add ons that are massive time sinks.

      I agree that going down to 1500 would do much more than going down to 1650, and we’ve found a significantly higher satisfaction of attendees at our events when we run 1500 rather than 1850. I can acknowledge seeing this myself. I much prefer 1500 point games. I think it is the most tactical and fun way to play 40K, though I know a handful that are Apoc or Bust, and think that we should play bigger games no matter what size we are playing.

      I see your point that longer rounds are definitely an improvement, but there are lots of other options. Reducing points is one. Limiting formations is another. Capping warp dice is a 3rd. If we did all 3 we might have a fun and approachable tourney format again. If we want to keep our extremely permissive army comp we should go up in points to like 2,500 so that IG, Orks, and Nids can participate too, and then expand rounds to like 4 hours.

      • abusepuppy February 6, 2017 6:18 pm
        #

        We’ve been playing our local tournaments at 1500 for years now. While it doesn’t _always_ mean games finish on time, I find that far, far more games manage to do so.

        • Chandler February 7, 2017 8:36 am
          #

          I have run 1500 point events locally here as well and honestly I preferred them over 1850. Time was not an issue at all really and 1500 lends itself to less list abuse which in turn means less time consuming shenanigans. I think most people are opposed to 1500 because it becomes nigh impossible to field some of the more popular armies at that point level and make them actually worth fielding.

          I was hoping the ITC would vote for a point reduction in the last poll as well as I do think it has an impact on time, but I think the game has changed and we haven’t really changed with it. Games take longer to play to a natural conclusion than they did even 2 years ago. The only way to account for that and still let everyone play with their toys is by extending the time of the rounds I think.

          • Beau February 7, 2017 9:01 am
            #

            I think that people like seeing some of the powerful and interesting combo’s/synergies that can be created at the 1850 point level. Plus people like playing with as much of their investment as they can squeeze in at a time.

            For the past 5 years I have been playing at local tourneys though I want to point out I have to get a babysitter everytime (usually costing me money of course). As the formations and special rules have increased in the past 5 years the amount of hours I have to hire this babysitter for have increased from 2-3 hours to more like 5. It takes longer to take out and put away all those free units now too. Now I only play at 1500 or less (used to be 1850 of course) because I don’t want to spend more than 3 hours of time playing.

  9. pleasantnoodles February 6, 2017 10:47 am
    #

    For anecdotal evidence, I played demons with Magnus and Fatey and all my games came to a natural conclusion. We tried at our local store (Game Empire) playing at lower points, and the ratio of long running games didn’t change significantly, we specifically even had players keep track of what turn they made it to in the time limit.

    In my mind the biggest culprit here though is model count and generating things pre-game. For a GSC player they need to roll for EACH unit on deployment, and manage 80+ models in a lot of cases. That’s like having a horde army + a psychic army. Demons have a similar problem with generating powers pre-game + rewards, and then summoning adding more models.

    There’s also other culprits like scatter for barrage heavy armies and generating maelstroms each player turn, which both requires a roll and more thinking by the player.

    We could take the Sigmar route for demons, but that won’t help with something like GSC. We could add model limits, but that risks invalidating certain armies. I think realistically at this point we’re past the point of no return on 7e and we just have to button down and see what 8e brings.

    • Jason Wolfe February 6, 2017 11:04 am
      #

      I want to second hoping that there is some kind of blast rules consolidation in 8th. I brought blasts and I feel bad for doing it. It eats a lot of time on the shooting side and it eats time on the other side’s movement phase. If we didn’t have to worry about spacing and clipping and counting units that get hit the game would go much faster. I will be greatly reducing the number of blasts in my army going forwards just so my games go faster.

      I am going to post my hope for blasts in 8th:

      Most small blasts = Up to 2 dice at BS of firer based on target unit model count (1 model and 1 small blast = 1 dice).
      Most large blasts = Up to 4 dice at BS of firer based on target unit model count (10 models and 1 large blast 4 dice).

      • hillshire February 6, 2017 10:03 pm
        #

        I’m with you there on blasts. I had a very nice unit using 12 small blasts. I had a pretty efficient system worked out but it soaked up more time than I liked, so I gave up on the concept even though it was highly effective.

        • Beau February 7, 2017 9:04 am
          #

          I agree about the blasts as well. I love wyverns, but I have seen some brutal spam where I was just bashing my forehead into the concrete floor while my opponent was rolling all those darn blasts.

          • Jason Wolfe February 7, 2017 10:08 am
            #

            I feel like you can simulate the power of the mass small blast attacks without the scatter dice. An ‘up to 2’ system [possibly ‘up to 3’ where it was a more costly blast platform] would generate a comparable amount of wounds assuming they were targeting correctly spaced units. An ‘up to’ system would be a nerf compared to using massed small blasts against tightly packed or lazily spaced units. But I think the spacing thing is a big source of drag on the game and lowering the penalty for not quite having that 1.75″ perfect spacing on your troops would be a good thing.

  10. pleasantnoodles February 6, 2017 11:07 am
    #

    If 8th doesn’t end up simplifying enough I think the answer will be that we have
    to take control of the rules directly to simplify them for competitive use.

    Things to do:

    Picking psychic powers, maybe you get a budget where each ML gives you, say, 20
    points, and each WC a power has costs 10. So you’ll have fewer powers but
    they’ll be the ones you need. The numbers don’t really matter, the point is that
    its possible to convert ML and WC cost to budget/points pretty easily and
    drastically hasten that part of the game.

    Reworking scattering to not use the scatter dice at all. Point buys for
    summoning like AoS but with discounts to make it fairer..etc.

    remove special rules that are near duplicates (poison vs fleshbane
    vs shred if you are >= in str.. etc)

  11. Jonathan February 6, 2017 11:10 am
    #

    We had a reasonable scatter system that removed the dice entirely. If i remember correctly it was:

    BS to hit, if hit then d3+1 wounds for small blasts, d3+3 for large. The goal is to generate 2-4 wounds for small 3-6 for large, which is about the average. 1-3 and 2-5 would also work, but either way its to keep some random but not get crazy and get 12 wounds on a hit or something.

    If miss then scatter d6 in a direction your opponent chooses. If you hit something then apply as before.

    Similarly with DS:

    If you hit (with BS), if not then you scatter 2d6 in a direction your opponent chooses. BUT the mishap table is a bit more lenient. Instead of going to the corner of the board you might scatter another 2d6..etc.

    The point is that hits become a bit more of a known quantity, but misses are entirely set to be “worst case scenario”. No more arguing about direction. you know exactly what to plan for if you miss.

  12. Ibushi
    Ibushi February 6, 2017 11:20 am
    #

    Great article sir. There is unavoidable time bloat in the game right now.

    Just thinking about how armies used to be very strictly “move, shoot, assault” and re-rolls were rare in previous editions, now we have Warlord Traits, run moves, battle focus, jetpack thrusts, charges etc., which also are all random rolls, and these days you get ways to re-roll those too, which really adds up. Just look at that spectacular combat between Brandon’s bark bark star and Brett’s screamer star, I was laughing so hard at that one. Practically would have been worth Brandon’s time to pull 3 dogs a turn and just not roll any dice at all, but you HAVE to roll it all out just on the .01% chance he makes the screamers die to instability.

    Then there are additional sub-phases that didn’t used to exist – rolling random powers, rolling warp charge, rolling to deny the witch, Interceptor, Overwatch, challenges, Look Our Sir *my personal least favourite for time wasting, then the Feel No Pain “post-armour save” phase ha.

    It’s a really fun, fascinating, complex game to play, but lordy does it take up the brain juice, which also slows down play with trying to make tough decisions all the time.

    People have said it before — at this point in 7e we are basically stuck with what we have from a rules mechanic perspective, therefore 1) play as fast as humanly possible with as many shortcuts and cheatsheets as you can think of, 2) play at lower points levels. Time limits are going to be 2-3 hrs, I think Captain A’s point at looking at minutes per player turn is astute, but also shows that it’s much of a muchness really.

    Maybe if we have time caps on a given player’s any single turn, so every player turn faces a potential “dice down” moment that might help — something like 10mins each pre-game/deploy; 20mins each turn 1, then turn 2 = 15/15 turn 3 = 10/10 turn 4 = 10/10, turn 5 = remainder + 10/10.

    But this would also be horribly draconian, and the issue is the opposing player could hog a lot of that time with allocating hits to characters, Look Out Sirs, re-rolling saves, FNPs, etc.

    Also recently I had a game where we did keep very close track of time, we thought we had just a few minutes left so I burned through some moves and did a “dice down” on my half, other player starts burning through their turn and it turns out we miscalculated the time and we actually have 20 more minutes. Do we go back and finish some of the things I skipped? Of course not! Fog of war my friends, things don’t happen that are supposed to… maybe *should* be part of the game, but I think it would create more problems than it solves.

    Solution to my mind is play 1500pts and wait for 8th edition, in that order.

  13. xthexclincherx February 6, 2017 11:28 am
    #

    Has anyone entertained the idea of timed “complete turns” (as in player 1 goes and player 2 goes; top and bottom of a turn), sort of like in an apoc game?

    TLDR you get 15 mins per turn to do all your “stuff”. This is fixed, so that you can actually see the variable game length play-out if you speed up your play. You can end your turn when you’re done, to move on.

    For instance, if you took 5 rounds (the natural point where you begin to roll for conclusion) and divided a 2.5 hour tournament round… you get about 15 mins per player, per turn… if there are roughly 15 minutes in a “complete turn” for each player, then you just have to do all your “stuff” in that amount of time. When your turn ends, the next players begins and when they’re done, you start the next “complete turn” – so each of you get another 15 mins.

    Any extra time you have at the end of a game where you get past turn 5 (so if each of you took less than 15 mins per turn on every turn… leaving you enough time for an extra turn or two, if the end-game die roll permits) you just continue to play the same way.

    Anything wrong with that? That’s mostly how apoc games go, just in a larger sense. I don’t think that’s asking too much of players.. it’s up to them to manage their army and their phases… it may be best to skip parts of a phase, and it would discipline people more. We’ve been playing that way here locally and at first it seemed rough… but after a couple games it was really really nice actually!

    • xthexclincherx February 6, 2017 11:32 am
      #

      Just to add one more thing though… as far as setup and deployment… that’s actually where I find the most time lost/wasted… the clock is ticking and most people really aren’t in the “go mode” mindset yet… in that case I would recommend adding an additional “turn” timing if they can go up to 3 hours per round… but if they can’t, well, then perhaps go down to 10 mins per player per round in the end? (on turn 4+?)

    • abusepuppy February 6, 2017 6:19 pm
      #

      One issue with this is that not all turns take the same length of time- turn 1 is gonna be a lot longer than turn 6 for most armies out there, since you’ve got more models on the board.

  14. Sam sanchez February 6, 2017 11:50 am
    #

    Answer is wait for 8th
    Gw already tested a lot of streamlined ideas in AoS they can easily import to 40k.
    Summoning sideboard is a huge time saver.
    Less rolls pregame such as choosing your psychic powers is another time saver.
    Less special rules will cut down on the multiple rules issues/arguments
    Less randomness like random charge ranges

    The main focus is cutting down on bloat for 8th according to all rumours so less see what arrives in the next 3 months. If it doesn’t do enough then we can see if we can bring down the point limit to 1650 or 1500 pt games. I honestly don’t see many venues going to 3+ hour rounds it’s to much.

    • Jason Wolfe February 6, 2017 12:47 pm
      #

      I would like to also second reduced randomness in charge distances. If charges were 4 + D6, then a lot more charges would be auto succeeds and the variance between rolls would be greatly reduced. Right now 2-3 and 11-12 inch charges are low but persistent possibilities. Finding a way to get the charge distance down to 1d6 plus a flat number would really even out the failed charge swings.

      • Dakkath February 6, 2017 2:33 pm
        #

        Kinda wish they’d go back to 5th’s set 6″ charge

  15. GRUNT February 6, 2017 12:30 pm
    #

    Brett Perkins took a 45 minute first turn in the TOP 8 at LVO. Should have been DQed on the spot, if that is accurate. Is there an official ITC policy on turn/slow play?

    • Chandler February 6, 2017 12:56 pm
      #

      That is a lengthy turn no question about it. But at the same time, his army is a time consuming one in general because of all the blasts and the psychic phase. I’m not sure a DQ is the answer. I didn’t see the game except for what was featured on the facebook stream, but I think it is a bit excessive to jump to the immediate conclusion that he was deliberately slow playing.

      • Troy Graber February 6, 2017 3:25 pm
        #

        Brett is no dummy. He knows his army doesn’t frequently finish games. He also knows that doesn’t hurt his chance at winning those games, and that there aren’t consequences for running such an army.

        The issue is that the incentives are misaligned. Gladuis does better if the game ends early so they have incentives to play slower, and the only incentives to play faster is the social contract between players. We know how that goes. One guy starts pushing it, and then others feel like “If he can build an army that wins on turn 3, then I can too. It’s what I got to do to compete”.

        We need to develop a system that penalizes slow play and armies that can’t finish. I would look to the Australian system.

        All that being said it is important that we not forget that our army comp is as tasty as a horse turd. Dropping points, limiting formations, and capping warp dice would all do the game good, add some tactical depth, and open it up to more players and armies.

      • GRUNT February 6, 2017 6:14 pm
        #

        Slow play is slow play whether it is intentionalso or not. For a 2.5 Hour to come to a natural end, 5 turn, it should be 15 minutes per turn. He took triple that!!!

    • abusepuppy February 6, 2017 6:20 pm
      #

      Can you think of any reason turn 1 might take longer than other turns of the game?

      • GRUNT February 6, 2017 6:24 pm
        #

        Yea but 45 minutes! Please!

        • abusepuppy February 7, 2017 3:12 am
          #

          I have seen plenty of 45minute turns from good players who knew what they were doing and were playing as quickly as could reasonably be expected. When you have to deep strike five units, move ten more units, cast seven psychic powers, shoot with six units, and then launch (and resolve) multiple assaults the turn can take a long time.

        • Jural February 7, 2017 1:01 pm
          #

          You expect longer turns with better competitors as well. Better lists, better competitors, higher stakes, and no penalty for not finishing quickly?

          I’ve never met Brett, but he would have been stupid to rush his turn.

          Chess has this problem too. They have timed moves so as to compensate, it’s part of the game. But it’s a choice any competition has- speed vs. allowing the top players more optimization time.

  16. Tomguycot February 6, 2017 1:01 pm
    #

    Lowering points is just a bandaid for a much bigger set of problems. Everything about 7th edition works against fast games.

    Lots of pregame book keeping with generating psychic powers, warlord traits and assorted abilities.

    Game balance such that it can be said to be balanced is geared for higher points values. Plus people want to play with their toys and a lot of formations don’t really unlock until you ratchet up the points. Unfortunately you’re fighting human psychology here.

    Third, gameplay itself is slow. Templates are slow. Running mechanic is slow. Psychic phase is slow. Rolling buckets of dice is slow. Plus, competitive play rewards precise (slow) movement.

    Let’s hope 8th edition really streamlines things because I don’t think there’s an elegant solution for making tournament games go faster.

  17. Threllen February 6, 2017 1:51 pm
    #

    To me, it seems like any attempt to curtail game times is just an exercise in futility until a new edition arrives. Tournaments can do lots of small things (smaller point levels, encourage practice, encourage use of timers, etc, etc) but too many things just can’t be controlled.

    It used to be that having something with re-rolls made it awesome. Now it seems like if you don’t get re-rolls then you’re using something that’s inferior. Re-rolls to hit. Re-rolls to wound. Re-rolls to save. Re-rolls to FnP the save you just missed. Re-rolls on psychic powers. Re-rolls on charge distance.

    The beginning of the game is becoming a nightmare of rolling as well. Roll for warlord traits (generally with re-rolls). Roll for psychic powers. Roll for deployment for some armies (like GSC). Roll for gifts/rewards/other buffs.

    Then you have armies that are getting tons of free stuff, summoning in reinforcements, or getting troops back from the dead. That’s adding more and more to the model count of what an “1850” point army.

    You also have the fact that rules are everywhere now. You might have to look in 4 different books (or more) just to play a single army. It’s hard enough to keep track of how to play your own army let alone trust that the other guy is telling you the correct rules for his army since you might not have ever played against it before.

    And the problem with all of the above is that there’s nothing you can do about 90% of it. Lowering points and increasing game time are good band-aids but you can’t really fix the problems of all the rolling, the moving, and the myriad of special rules that affect everything in 7th edition. Warhammer should be a game about strategy and being able to out-think your opponent. Not trying to race against time taking rolls and movement as quick as possible even if it means you mess something up just so you’re not accused of “slow playing.”

  18. vybert February 6, 2017 2:05 pm
    #

    Some shooting takes longer as well. With quad mortars being so popular now, a single unit of 3 has an annoyingly large amount of scatters to keep track of, and then the hits blah blah blah. Not run two or 3 units of these and the shooting phase bloats.

  19. Lochcrest February 6, 2017 2:12 pm
    #

    Chess clocks are by far the best solution if you want to treat both players fairly and equally in respects to time. Here is a post that serves as a guide on how to use them.

    https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/679969.page

  20. Dakkath February 6, 2017 2:31 pm
    #

    I keep seeing a bunch of comments about “Just wait for 8th ed to fix everything” Which is a cute idea but A) we don’t know WHEN 8th is ever gonna arrive, and B) IF it will actually fix anything.

    • Putzfrau February 6, 2017 2:55 pm
      #

      Sorry, that is just simply not a realistic statement to make. Automatic DQ for a 45 minute first turn?

      Some armies demand an extremely long first turn, and clip along after that. Sometimes thats just the way the cookie crumbles. The problem is the game, simple as that. We had literally the SAME conversation last year after everyone saw the finals ending on turn 4. For whatever reason, it blows peoples (the spectators) minds that the games don’t finish.

      How you are expected to finish 6-7 turns when you’re generating 20 spells before the game starts, maneuvering dozens of units, or summing hundreds of free points every game, is crazy.

      Every “solution” has been tried and is far from perfect. We should stop pretending fixing this problem is easy or has a perfect solution.

    • Sanchezsam2 February 6, 2017 3:08 pm
      #

      We don’t have an exact date but all rumours point to 8th being in the next few months.
      Regarding your second point it can’t really be worse especially considering all the streamlined changes tested in AoS.

      • abusepuppy February 6, 2017 6:21 pm
        #

        “all rumors”

        Which is to say, wholly unconfirmed rumors from people who have no particular track record of being right in the past?

    • Threllen February 6, 2017 3:26 pm
      #

      Regardless of when we get a new edition, or if it really helps that much, people bring it up because it is necessary.

      So much of the bloat and the changes to the game make attempts to cut time down a bit fruitless.

      You can get a couple minutes here and there but short of lowering points and raising time limits – there isn’t a lot that can be done with the current rules bloat.

      No matter how hard you try, a lot of 1850 point armies in 7th edition can’t finish a game in 2 and a half hours. So you’ve either got to cut down points, increase time, or just wait for a new edition.

      And the votes in the ITC seem to be saying a lot of people don’t want to do the first two.

      • Sanchezsam2 February 6, 2017 5:16 pm
        #

        Odds are 8th ed won’t solve the timelimit issue or slow play or slow armies.
        It can help especially with AoS style summoning sideboards.
        But I still think the itc should encorporate all suggestions.
        The top 8 needs chessclocks to prevent slow play
        Time limit should go up to 2:45 since the app helps transition time between games
        And points go to 1750
        Hopefully the above along with 8th ed gets most games finished on time.
        But let’s wait till 8th because if 8th doesn’t fix pregame time go down then we may have to do it ourselves.

    • Jural February 7, 2017 2:27 pm
      #

      I guess I’m not optimistic that 8th Edition will fix anything, but I am pessimistic that a solution put into place for 7th Edition may fail once 8th Edition is launched.

      The move from 7th to 8th is a logical time to change as well.

  21. Omega February 6, 2017 4:32 pm
    #

    Really good article CaptainA! However, I feel that I should add on to this. I think the best way to solve this problem is by waiting for 8th. The problem with that is WHEN will it come and IF it changes anything. So rather than coping out I will try my best to give my input.

    Chess clocks do not work. 1. What happens if someone forgets about the clock or misclicks? 2. What about things like overwatch and saving throws? 40k is a game that requires both players to cooperate. Its not like monopoly where you can sit out the turns until its your turn again it requires time and effort on both sides. 10 min a turn is a joke especially for gladius and what not. Chess clocks also make the game boring to watch (for me). People will focus more on the time rather than the thinking part of the game. People will take lists like tau and deathstar lists a lot more since all they have to do is smash people, it does not take much time. With that said chess clocks can also be a distraction. When people try to give a formal presentation, the biggest mistake is spending all your time on one point but never fleshing out the other 2, the same can happen in 40k. Everyone will focus on turn 1 but then lose their time and end the game unnaturally.

    I also think a points reduction wouldn’t work either. I believe that the core problem is the game itself. 40k is becoming the warhammer fantasy of games workshop. At 1650 pts you still have gladius with a crap ton of transports and daemon summoning that can spam daemons. The problem is not solved. All you do is take out specific lists such as: msu screamer+hound , rehahti warsect, 3xrip 2x storm and much more. At the end of the day I love 1850 because I get to play with more toys. All 1650 will do is cut down on the upgrades or certain models that you can play with.

    I believe the best option is to extend the time to 3 hours. I also believe that LVO itself has problem. Many people probably could not resist the urge to have a couple of beers or have some fun. The problem here is that you are not getting the rest you need so you play slower. On top of that, there are over 300 people in a tight space. Things are bound to be lost or cut off remember last year? Overall I think its best that we go with what we have but only extend the game time as much as we can. Sorry for being really long.

    • Lochcrest February 6, 2017 5:06 pm
      #

      Omega, I see you didn’t take the time to read the Dakka thread. First I suggest chess clocks for tournaments or tournament practice only. If you want a fluffy game in your basement were you look at models and make pew pew noises when you roll to hit, then I don’t suggest them.

      They are 100% fair because you control your own time and its equal among the players.

      1. If you forget to switch, you are only hurting yourself. The clock system is 100% fair, your opponent cannot cheat you out of your half of the game time.

      2. Its your right but not your obligation to pass the clock. This is explained in detail on that dakka post. In short what this means is that if its your opponents action (i.e. saves, over watch, whatever) in your player turn, then you have the right but not the obligation to pass the clock to them. In practice you only pass the clock when it makes time sense. Some examples of this is if your opponent has a bunch of saves to make, has to LOS every roll or is purposely stalling. Passing really doesn’t come up that often. Usually one or two times a player turn.

      Read the post it makes a lot of sense.

      As for 45 minute first turn, there is nothing wrong with that as long as you only take 30 minutes for your other 4+ turns. Anything more then that is cheating your opponent out of their time in a 2.5 hour game. There is no debating that.

      Clocks are 100% transparent and work extremely well once you get used to them.

      Additional they add another layer of fair and even strategy to tournament games and take away the rampant time exploiting that goes on now.

      • omega February 6, 2017 5:17 pm
        #

        I did read your thread. I find it funny since the replies basically say that chess clocks dont work. on top of that when there are rules questions (which happen almost every 5 min) it pauses games. sure you can reach 2 hours and 30 min on the chess clocks but then the amount of times you paused the clock to argue for rules results in a longer game.

        • abusepuppy February 6, 2017 6:25 pm
          #

          If you have a rules question every five minutes, you probably shouldn’t be learning to play Warhammer 40K during a tournament.

          • Mike February 7, 2017 7:28 am
            #

            To be fair, if you’re playing an army you aren’t familiar with, even a seasoned veteran might need to spend some time on rules.

            I played a daemon player recently that: tried to add warp dice to the pool immediately after summoning a herald, thought grimoire worked on a 2+, thought his khorne dogs could run 12″ since the biker sorcs were in the unit with them, and so on. You can’t control who you get matched up against, and it sucks up a lot of time through no fault of your own when you have to be a rules tutor for your opponent. Even worse would’ve been if I was unfamiliar with daemons.

            Hell my tyranid buddy has played 10 years and is usually my biggest competition at our in-town events, and when he started picking up GSC recently, he had to ask me for a tutorial on vehicle rules.

          • abusepuppy February 7, 2017 7:51 am
            #

            Sure, sometimes people don’t know rules and you have no control over who your opponent is- but if you’re getting dozens upon dozens of rules questions EVERY game (either because your opponent has to ask things or you do), then something very unusual is happening.

    • Troy Graber February 6, 2017 8:09 pm
      #

      Waiting for 8th because we lack the intestinal fortitude to fix 7th. Only GW can save us now! What an idea.

      If we can’t bring ourselves to do the right thing in 7th, we won’t be able to do the right thing in 8th. If GW writes awful rules in 7th, they are likely to write awful rules in 8th.

      At some point we’ve got to realize that we’ve got to save ourselves. Fix the problems today rather than stalling, and hoping for tomorrow.

      • Sanchezsam2 February 7, 2017 4:39 am
        #

        The reason we wait for 8th is because 7th caused the issues.
        5th ed was likely the best designed for tournaments. But 7th added a horribly time consuming psychic phase, free point armies, summoning mechanic and a few other things such as gsc deployment that just eats up time.

        We can nerf all this ourselves but then we are just making up our own game. Or we can wait a few months and see if gw does what it did in AoS by fixed by most of he the issues such as paid summoning sideboards. This is better then adding expensive chess clocks (which I still think should be required in top 8), lowering points which completely invalidates several armies decurions, or making tournaments a 3 day 12 hour endurance race. This has nothing to do with intenstinal fortitude or whatever nonsense your spouting.

        • Troy Graber February 7, 2017 6:06 am
          #

          If we Cap points, require battleforged, maintain a ban list, and tweak game mechanics we aren’t making our own game, but if we cap warp dice or formations we are? How does that compute?

        • Troy Graber February 7, 2017 6:10 am
          #

          By the way, 1850 invalidates several armies decurions. Look at Orks or Imperial Guard. They don’t play right below 2500, so if that is your argument we’ve got to raise points not lower them.

          • Mike February 7, 2017 7:30 am
            #

            Angel’s blade also sucks to build under 2 grand. :p

          • abusepuppy February 7, 2017 7:48 am
            #

            Let’s be fair here: the Angel’s Blade kinda just sucks.

          • Jural February 7, 2017 2:30 pm
            #

            Do Orks or IG really work at 2500 vs. other 2500 point lists? Or do you need 2500 points to compete against their 1850? 😉

          • Greg February 7, 2017 6:59 pm
            #

            ITC is already its own game. Changes the rules it doesn’t like, knight’s stomp, invisibility, etc.

            Also lowering the point only makes it worse on the the people playing without the free units, be they transports or summoning.

          • Troy Graber February 7, 2017 10:52 pm
            #

            I play Orks. I don’t play IG. But my experience is that Orks absolutely work at 2,500 points vs other 2,500 point armies. My IG friends feel confident that IG work at 2,500.

            I also find that Orks work quite well at 1,500 vs other 1,500 point armies.

            1850 is a bad level for Orks. It unlocks the powerful formations and combos for most armies, but the big Ork formations don’t work at that level. We are mainly left depending on the typo stompa, and hoping for good matchups.

            The most important thing to understand about Orks is that inside their decurion they get a leadership penalty, and the ability to run and charge every turn so long as their warlord is alive. The only answer to the leadership penalty is Ghazgul. Ghaz is both a super-durable warlord, but also make all Orks fearless. That is huge.

            However the only way to take Ghaz in an Orkurion is via an unwieldy, very expensive deathstar formation. So, super expensive Orcurion + super expensive deathstar just isn’t practical at 1850. 2,500 lets it come into it’s own.

            I’m not saying Orks become OP like Eldar. It just shrinks the gap significantly.

  22. IronMike February 6, 2017 5:18 pm
    #

    One of the things I like most about warmahordes is when a unit activates it does all its actions at that time, whether it be shooting charging or running. In 40k a lot time can be wasted just moving, then shooting/run and finally you get to move chargers. Also by doing all the actions of a squad at once it would help save time in the case of using a clock to time turns.

  23. D6Damager February 6, 2017 5:20 pm
    #

    Just do more time per game and drop the total number of games by 1.

    • abusepuppy February 7, 2017 3:13 am
      #

      Dropping the number of games played doesn’t really work when you are trying to achieve a “true” victor for the tournament.

  24. Travis Kirke February 6, 2017 5:28 pm
    #

    I don’t like the idea of chess clocks in 40k.
    I’m not opposed to the idea that both armies get equal time, or that you should bring an army that you expect to be able to play in time.

    It’s that 40k has so many ways to force your opponent to use time.

  25. fleetofclaw February 6, 2017 5:54 pm
    #

    Captain A, you’re a true American Hero.

    • CaptainA February 6, 2017 8:28 pm
      #

      I do what I can Stan!

  26. Beau February 6, 2017 6:15 pm
    #

    I vote: chess clocks, 1500 points, and wait for 8th edition. Hell, I use the clock for AoS sometimes. It is applicable everywhere. I would even venture to disallow allies.

    Hey wait that is how I play right now!

  27. Hiveminded February 6, 2017 6:31 pm
    #

    There is a solution out there that has already been true and proven to work.

    My understanding is that the recent Renegade Open decided to drop the army points to 1650 and 90% of he games finished before time was called.

    I don’t accept people’s argument that “dropping points won’t help because of …..”. Dropping points to 1650 has already been tried in a large scale event and proven to work.

    ITC rules permit TOs to set their own points limits at tournaments. FLG should just follow their own guidelines for TOs and make an executive decision and run next year’s LVO as a 1650 or 1500 point tourney.

  28. Dbiesto February 6, 2017 7:21 pm
    #

    I love 1850 because it lets ppl go to town on their lists maxing out what would be extremely crazy combos as I saw on the LVO twitch channel. Reducing points would probably make most people finish their games on time, but fitting some really expensive lords or warmschines would be 1/2 to 1/3 of their army and would def make some formations too expensive to take. With that said, average 1500 point game probably would finish in 2:45- 3. People just have to sacrifice some key power units.

  29. Swanson4969 February 6, 2017 7:27 pm
    #

    How about an even easier answer if your game doesn’t go to turn five you both lose? It will force people to work together to finish on time. I know people could slow play to cause someone to lose. However it is happening already anyway.

    • abusepuppy February 7, 2017 3:15 am
      #

      At that point, you would get a TON of “vengeance slowplays” from people who were willing to take a loss in return for also causing their opponent to lose. I mean, if you get a bad matchup, why not go for it? You’re already being taken out of the running, so why not drag that guy down with you at the same time?

    • Mike February 7, 2017 7:34 am
      #

      First: super abusable
      Second: turn 5 is not the end. There are only 4 ways to end the game legitimately:
      Concession, tabling, random game length roll, and end of 7. Anything else is illegitimate.

  30. Burrito February 6, 2017 9:32 pm
    #

    Tournaments need to go back to 1500 Points and restrict players to using a CAD and up to one Allied Detatchment. Armies like Harlequins, Admech, Skitarri etc are easily merged into a single CAD with their battle brothers. So for example a Cult Mechanicus army would be a single CAD with Mech, Skit, Knight, Inquisition, and Assasin entries being available. It’s the simplest solution. If you require formation rules to win you are bad.

    • Threllen February 7, 2017 6:40 am
      #

      First of all – we’re already playing formation-K. There’s no going back to the old 40k.

      Second – your example makes no sense. You cannot take more than one faction in a single CAD. So how are you going to “merge” armies into a single CAD with their battle brothers? Do you know the rules?

      I’m also not quite sure how playing with formation rules makes someone “bad.” Care to explain? How does hoping you play an army that fits nicely into a 1HQ 2troop tax make a player better?

      • Burrito February 9, 2017 9:34 am
        #

        Reading Comprehension isn’t a strong suit? I was explaining that lists like Cult Mech and Skit could be merged into one faction by simply saying so. I can tell you struggle in complex conversations.

        Has nothing to do with hoping for anything. The game has gotten out of hand and needs to be dialed back. Every game of 40k should come down to maneuver, shot/assault selection, and dice rolls. Not who has the most broken free rules. I also didn’t say using a formation makes you bad, I said if you require it to win a game then you are.

    • Jared February 10, 2017 5:58 am
      #

      I’ve been to events like that, they are fun and different, but have their own issues.

      Changing the comp. system, doesn’t balance the game. It just creates a different meta. Also, I love formations. Not because of how powerful they might be, but because of the flexibility you gain in building armies. I spent a lot of time and effort building my harlequin army, I don’t want it shoved into another faction to make it fit into a cad, especially when we have our own non-formation detachment.

      I do believe that detachments and formations should have a points cost (like in Age of Sigmar), so you’re not just getting a bunch of stuff for nothing.

  31. R February 6, 2017 9:48 pm
    #

    All this discussion is pointless because it’s already been proven twice that too many people don’t care and want to stay at 1850 even though it’s terrible.

    • Mike February 7, 2017 7:36 am
      #

      I’m hoping the FLG guys realize that they should be polling their attendees ONLY instead of the entire ITC for point value of their events.

      That may very well change things.

  32. Ahkris February 7, 2017 12:26 am
    #

    I just played in the Generals of the West RTT this weekend and had all my games come to a natural conclusion in round 6 or 7. These were all 1850 points games with 3 hour rounds. Pretty much everyone i saw at the event (46 players) had no problem finishing their games within the time limit. And yes those games were against veil of time look out sir slow as heck saving deathstars that also happened to summon daemons, battle companies, etc.

    When i watch the LVO streams and the FLG fight nights you used to do i see a lot of banter, dicking around and also a lot of indecisiveness, taking forever to decide what to do on your turn and not having decided this for yourself during the opponents turn yet.In the european events i attend there is always a strong drive by the players to play out the full game. And if one player shows they are making sure to play at a pretty fast pace the other players tends to follow.

    All in all i think LVO needs chess clocks for the top 8, because taking 45+ minutes for a single turn is just a joke. If you decide to bring a battle company it is up to you to have the necessary experience with it to play it at a decent speed.

  33. abusepuppy February 7, 2017 3:17 am
    #

    I am absolutely certain that every single person on here complaining about 45minute turns has themselves taken three-quarters of an hour for a turn without realizing it or being called on it.

    • Mike February 7, 2017 7:39 am
      #

      Agreed. Everything feels longer when it isn’t your turn, and shorter when it is.

  34. hillshire February 7, 2017 4:42 am
    #

    At Warzone Atlanta, the 3 hour round worked very well. All of my games came to a natural conclusion, as did most if not almost all of the other games from what I heard.

    A benefit of the 3 hour round is that it makes it less likely for a player to be tempted to slow play. There’s just too much time to fill so they’re not going to be able to keep the game down to 3 turns without being blatantly obvious. Even holding it down to 4 turns would be difficult to hide.

    There’s another reason (and there are many) games are taking longer which I haven’t seen discussed yet: armies have become more durable. If models die faster, the game will get shorter. A possible solution for this would be some limitations:

    Invulnerable, Cover, Jink, and Feel No Pain can never be better than 3+.

    An IC or Character can only benefit from one Look Out Sir, maybe two.

    This would also have the benefit of weakening Deathstars without making them unplayable,

    • abusepuppy February 7, 2017 6:18 am
      #

      The elephant in the room is wound allocation, it’s true- I said back when the game switched over to “closest model” allocation that it was gonna take a LOT more time, and it turns out that it does. There’s so many more steps to things now that you work saves out model-by-model, and while that may not add a lot of time per roll (maybe just a couple of seconds), that time adds up fast when you have to roll it ten or twenty or fifty times per turn.

      I don’t think capping survivability will necessarily speed things up significantly, at least not in that way- the vast majority of models don’t get better than a 3+ on any of the defenses you mention in the first place. Rather, the game as a whole would need to move away from defensive abilities (like Invis, etc) and towards more disposable models- however, that has issues of its own that would need to be handled.

      • Jason Wolfe February 7, 2017 3:28 pm
        #

        If you get rid of closest model casualties, then you need to remove true line of sight as well. Otherwise the playing deciding who dies will always just pick off the guys necessary to stop the remaining wounds. I would be fine with a system where if you can see 1 model, you can shoot at the unit and the wounds all get allocated. The tradeoff would be auto-pass look out sirs and using 2+ armor guys as wound sponges. Again, I would be fine with this because I hate the damned look out sir business. It confuses me every time and I swear I hear a different way of doing it from my opponent every few games.

  35. Mike February 7, 2017 7:53 am
    #

    Three cheers for captain A!

    In all honesty the round SHOULD be long enough that we can fit in the full game all the way to 7 if rolled, a rest room break, adequate time to become familiar with the enemy army, a few small rulebook snags, and at least one judge call, all without hitting the time wall. Currently, a game that featured the aforementioned would probably not even make t4.

    “Get better at rules!” “Play faster!” -No, this is absolutely not a solution. This discourages new players or more relaxed players from making the leap into events. Anything that discourages fresh blood is 100% the worst idea you could ever come up with. Full stop.

    “Psh, I don’t need less points, I make it to turn 4 and 5 all the time!” That’s not the end of the game. There are only 4 ways the game is supposed to be able to end: tabling, concession, t7, or RGL roll. If your game did not end in one of those ways, then you DO have an issue with the time limit. It should be a very rare occurrence for a game to stop due to time.

    I’ve found that 1650 really does help more than I thought it would. It hurt making some cuts and changes, but it feels damn good when we actually start a round EARLY because everyone was done with the previous round before time. It also helps entry cost and army transport some, which helps out the newer players, if only a little.

    • CaptainA February 7, 2017 9:23 am
      #

      Thanks!

  36. Codi February 7, 2017 8:48 am
    #

    I made it to turn 7 with an hour to spare at the LVO; and all of my LVO games came to a natural conclusion. The vast majority of my tournaments games come to a natural conclusion.

    • Beau February 7, 2017 9:20 am
      #

      But what do you play?

      • Codi February 7, 2017 2:22 pm
        #

        Players from the same poll as everyone else.

        • Codi February 7, 2017 2:28 pm
          #

          I play orks.

          • Mike February 7, 2017 8:33 pm
            #

            Depending on army setup, some
            People just don’t have an issue. There are several armies that either have low model count, low unit count, or have a blitz strategy that leaves either their enemy or themselves dead by turn 4. All of those list strategies are available to orks as well.

            The game has lists that are meant to last the game though, either through massive numbers of models and/or units, or through awesome durability like 2 turns of stealth/shrouded, flying, or defenses like RP and powers.

            If you just play a list from the first group, it’s understandable that you might not think time is an issue, but when two lists from the second group meet each other, the game can be nigh impossible to finish. Unit-spam battle company vs necron decurion is a good example. That’s like a 5 hour game that you’re trying to fit in half that time.

          • Codi February 8, 2017 11:18 am
            #

            My army is generally tabled before turn 5, or I get to roll to see if the game continues. Those are the games I generally win.

            So literally what you are saying is we should lower the points for everyone because a select group of players do not finish their games when they play against each other.

          • Threllen February 8, 2017 12:22 pm
            #

            I think what he’s saying is that there are armies that aren’t necessarily tabled by turn 5. Orks are not a very durable army and tend to have a “everyone rush as fast as we can and kill stuff” strategy. So, even if they have a lot of models, can be played relatively quickly.

            That’s very different than, say, a match between two Renegades armies with a million models and a million blasts/shooting attacks. Or armies like GSC, Daemons, or battle company which involve a lot of moving parts.

            Most of your games probably do end very quickly because you’re playing an army that gravitates toward playing quickly (and getting removed off the board very quickly usually). But that doesn’t mean every army is that way. And you shouldn’t be forced to play a different army just because someone else says “yours takes too long, I don’t like it.” That’s why people want longer rounds/lower points.

          • Codi February 8, 2017 1:57 pm
            #

            Lowering point is saying, “Everyone please take a different army, because some people are taking too long and I don’t like it.”

  37. Rugerkoz February 7, 2017 9:21 am
    #

    1850 is a good points lvl. Bring it to a vote again and we will defeat it for what a third year in a row. You want to see Eldar walk through the competition with out a problem just lower the points lvl.

    • Mike February 7, 2017 8:35 pm
      #

      If you play in the FLG events cool, but if not, I don’t think you have any right to vote on point value, and I’m hoping they limit that specific polling to attendees only.

  38. CaptainA February 7, 2017 9:35 am
    #

    So it would seem that many people see an issue with this as it appears that sooooo many things can and do bog the game down. I don’t think we should say that you have to reason to be at an event if you are new or don’t know the rules well enough because these people are the future of our games and getting new blood is great and helps people catch the hobby bug.

    I like the idea of apps like Objective Secured (no not sponsored) as it tracks total game time spent, and not round time, which we all know typically shortens at the end of the game. It would help to see if someone is truly being a slow player.

    I also think we shouldn’t look at solutions as band aids as we don’t know what 8th will bring (rumors have it not getting AOS’d) and will remain its complexity at least in some part. We as players have to act in order to keep the games of tournaments flowing. We want all these types of armies as they add so much flavor to the events. Remember 5th when 50% of players had GK razorspam? No fun.

  39. Fluorescent Alpaca February 7, 2017 10:54 am
    #

    My comment would be two things:

    1. In the pregame, both players have an opportunity to speed up the game in that. They taking care of their warlord traits and psychic powers in a timely manner and then they discuss anything that is “abnormal” about their army, ie if their detachment has any special rules or if their are certain units that will have 2 or 3 stacked rules so that those are not issues during the game. They should also discuss what terrain is what, so that it doesn’t come up later in the game.

    I know that doesn’t solve all the problems, and It seems very basic but it speeds up the game by a couple minutes a turn.

    2. Does lowering points reduce the power/size of the armies that take the longest? Yes.
    However their power decrease is less than that of the low tier armies who are affected comparably more by this. Most of the “low tier” armies, ie not the various Space Marines, War Convo, Eldar, Tau, Renegades, CSM, or Necrons(to a certain extent), loose any chance they had at making the top 8 at a larger event because those armies don’t have the dice redundancy built in. They don’t have the special rules benefits at any point level.

    So does lowering the points from 1850 to 1650 or 1500 speed up the game? Yes. But does it create more of a power gap between the top tier and the lower tier armies? Yes

  40. Happy_Inquisitor February 7, 2017 11:59 am
    #

    Players are going to bring armies that they believe might win the event. If winning on turn 3 is winning then why not bring a Renegades army that takes 45 minutes for your first turn?

    One way to counter it is to consider any game short of a natural completion as merely a minor win and scale down the win score accordingly. So you get the full 1000 point for a win in a game that goes to a natural conclusion or 500 for a draw likewise. For any other game the win is capped at turns x 100 (a practical max of 600) and the draw at turns x 50 (a max of 300).

    With such an incentive I believe we would see significantly different lists and significantly different behavior. A bit less of the delaying tactics such as interminable rules lawyering (which I think we all know by now is done pretty much just to put an opponent off their game) and a bit more getting the heck on with it would be really good both for the average player and also for any chance of streaming games becoming a commercially worthwhile thing.

  41. winterman February 7, 2017 5:50 pm
    #

    Great article Mr A

    Another reason to consider points reduction – larger events have a ton of time sucks. Straight up takes more time to do anything, whether its find your damn table, get a judge, take a piss, get lunch, etc. FLG and Best Coast are doing a lot to mitigate some of that extra time but it is still a factor that your average RTT event won’t have to deal with.

  42. CanHammer
    CanHammerLogan February 8, 2017 6:02 am
    #

    Lower points + chess clocks is the best answer _for tournament play_. Totally unfair to your opponent if you are bringing any army that takes up more than 50% of the round time. If the rounds are 3 hours and you need 2 hours to play your list, bring a different list. There’s a direct parallel for this with Warmachine, you specifically do not see some builds because they cannot be played consistently with the deathclock (and yes, I’m aware there is less player interaction, blah blah blah, that all boils down to the list in question).

    For CaptainA’s comment around his army still being huge, it certainly is, however you’ve got a 14% reduction in model count, with an 11% reduction in points. It’s a step toward solving the problem.

  43. Fireblazer February 14, 2017 7:56 am
    #

    Everybody still says time limits are not fair if you have to generate 20 spells etc. Maybe knowing there are time limits will make people build sensible forces that are fun to play with and against.