Tournament Softscores?

Green Blowfly wrote a great post over on his blog, Terminus Est (the links in my blog list).  Check it out here.

It's always an interesting subject; I piped in with my 2-cents.

Brent said...
Man, soft scores are a tough call. I believe limits are okay, as long as you know about them in advance. I also don't mind rewarding painting and conversions, but I have a differing opinion about two things.

1) Composition. Personally, over the last few years I've changed my mind about this: I'm okay with any legal list a Codex can produce. I tend to think fluff is rewarded off the table for the most part.

2) Soft scores... that are too subjective, that is. I don't mind grading my opponent, but I think it should be limited and strictly controlled. The worst abuses I've seen in tournaments involved friends vote-blocking each other. That can be difficult to overcome.

Your advice about big tournaments is great. I've seen the same things, and my big-event experience doesn't match yours. You've got to advocate for yourself and get a judge involved if necessary.

So I hate to steal his topic, but it looks like I'm stealing his topic...  Thoughts?


Evil Homer said...

Hate comp, despise soft scores, and don't think painting/modeling should be included in tournament scores.

The game is the game. Rules are rules. What happens on the field has no bearing on how well I paint. If painting is required to enter great, I have no problem there, but it should have no bearing on final tournament scores.

Comp scores just given people at tournaments another angle to try and game. Remove comp and paint, let the games speak for themselves.

If you want to have a separate painting competition more power to you.

Big Whit said...

They should have another prize for best painted then.

Green Blow Fly said...

If there are no soft scores then there are some players who will cheat as much as they can because there is no penalty. That's the reason why I hate events like Ard Boyz and the to some extent but nearly as much the Gladiator. Soft scores force smart competitive players to be nice and play more fairly because they need those points to win a tournament. I have met many people who can every game by a massacre but they never win any awards except for best general. They get mad when they don't win any awards but to me it's their own fault because they turn a blind eye to the soft scores.

Soft scores can be gamed- everyone gives everyone a perfect score for sportsmanship in hopes they will max out in this category- clubs block vote for their members and chipmunk everyone else; etc. Like Brent has said the TOs should police this watching the scoring after each turn. If I am running a tournament and I see someone handing out everyone low soft scores you had better believe I will take them aside and ask why, and they better have a sound answer or will talk to their opponents. I let everyone know this well ahead of the tournament and I have found it really helps curb this type of abuse.

Comp scores and theme- I played strictly Blood Angels for over five years. After the PDF codex was released by GW it eventually became apparent that the only competitive build was to take Dante & Corbulo as your two HQ choices. I know for a fact my soft scores for theme/comp took a hit because a lot of players hate special characters for whatever reason and I had two in my army. I did a lot better when I ran Mephiston and a generic chaplain but after 5th edition was released Mephiston lost a lot of his effectiveness. Now I could blame GW for writing a codex that is limited BUT it was my choice to stick with Blood Angels and run the Dante/Corbulo combination. I could just as well play other armies and eventually after reading the Black Library fantasy novel Blood for the Blood God I decided to build a beautiful Khornate daemon army... My soft scores went through the roof and I started to win tournaments again even though in reality the daemon army is much more powerful than Blood Angels and also much easier to play. I am a lot happier now as a result of my decision to change armies. Perception is often not reality but it is what it is. If you look at the rules for the Indy GTs in the circuit the vast majority include some soft scores. I don't think that is going to change anytime soon in the US either. Theme/comp is a means of punishing players that bring WAAC/completely over the top armies. If you are a WAAC player you don't like comp/theme for just that reason but on the other hand it's possible to design and build armies that have both a strong theme and are very competitive.

If I don't like the scoring system for a tournament then I don't go. It's just that simple to me and I live in area where I can play in an RTT every weekend if I so desire.


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