On Chess and the Tournament Environment.

This is a comment on a rather interesting article concerning the current tournament scene, which you can find here.  One doesn't need to read that to understand my point, however.  This is the first of some thoughts I've been developing and will share.

A correction: in chess, all things being equal, the result is a draw.  White has an advantage and can dictate play, but that's not a guarantee on any level.  I was a tournament chess player long before I played 40K in that fashion... but I'm not pointing to that as 'proof' I'm correct.  All you have to do is look at Grandmasters and championship events.  A draw is by far the most common result.

It's why games shake out the way they do.  In order to play for a win, you have to complicate the game.  In many cases, black is happy with a draw - since it is much tougher to win with the dark pieces, all things being equal - so white has to avoid trading pieces, where oftentimes black is content to do so.

I won't belabor the point, since this isn't chess.  I also don't think it invalidates the point Stelek was making.

Not that I agree or disagree.  But trying to control a tournament is tough enough without worrying about how many times a player went first.

The alpha strike was discussed...  interestingly, JWolf commented on my blog recently that my opponents needed to learn how to avoid Daemon's alpha strike.  It frustrated him no-end that, by appearance, my opponents weren't adapting.


That's really the crux, as far as I'm concerned.  I've said before that if there's a YTTHCon that I'd commit to going.  It interests me to think that Stelek could change how tournaments are played in this country... but right now, the tournament scene is what it is.

Congrats to JWolf and Darkwynn: I think they've earned it.  They've proven they can adapt to the environment and win big events - and that's NOT easy, despite how it may seem so. 

Let's say the scene does change though - I have no reason to think that the players who are currently successful won't be able to adapt and continue winning.

Anyway, that's where I'm coming from - Brent


Crazy Red Praetorian said...

Brent, if you think Stelek is going to change the way tournaments are ran in this hobby, you are as delusional as he is. People in this hobby like to bitch and whine. They will bitch, whine, moan, and groan about the smallest of things. Right now, people like to bitch about the tournament scene. You might say that the tournament scene is the bottom bitch of all the gaming bitches.

You know what WOULD change the way tournaments are ran? The TOs need to get their heads together and establish a common scoring and ruling system. However, the chance of that happening is about as likely as Obama balancing the budget...it ain't going to happen.

What would change the way tournaments are ran? One or possibly two like minded TOs need to expand and run tournaments across the country. Currently, the pie is divided among too many pie eaters. Maybe in the coming years we will see Adepticon LA, or BoLScon Atlanta, or even multiple YTTHs cons(which I highly doubt due to Stelek's recent local tournament performance). Either way, it will take some one that is organized and has a bank account to put on multiple events. That will be the start of change in our tournament scene. Until then, we can continue to bitch and gripe and moan and complain. But, that's how most gamer's like it, anyway.

The_King_Elessar said...

Apart from his opening statement, I largely agree with CRP here. Which is weird, I think he's an idiot...but since we've had no interaction in almost a year, perhaps I will find my opinion changes.

Sorry, off topic. Anyway - players do indeed like to bitch about things. And his suggested solution would indeed be a huge help - from my lofty perch, your Tournament Calender looks a mess, and your scoring systems even worse.

I notice that the same names come up a few times in the 'Council' who run GTs at present. Surely they could get together easily enough, to arrange common ground?

Brent said...

CRP: Ha! Well said.

Success breeds change - if Stelek ran a successful, large event, he could make an impact. That's a big, big if, and it requires big, big pockets. At this point, at this time, does he have that? No. But I'm not in the business of discouraging anyone, so I rarely come out and say anything definitively negative.

I've said numerous times BoLSCon was the best tournament I've ever attended. I hope my finances allow me to attend Adepticon next year, to give me something regional to compare it to. Anyway, they made a lot of smart decisions, put a lot of thought into the softscores. While I'm not a huge fan of softscores, I also not going to let something like that keep me away from something I enjoy.

I think too many people are doing that. How often is something perfect? I'm not going to stop living until something 'better' comes along.

TKE: From what I understand, the 'Council' are those dudes who picked up the mess GW left then spent their own money to build something new. I may not be perfect, but I've enjoyed the Indies far more than I ever enjoyed GW GT's or RTT's. It does look like GW did it better in Europe though, but that may just be a different player base - I'm not sure.

Anway - I've run off at the mouth again - thanks for your thoughts.

Evil Homer said...

The Euro tournament scene is easier to manage simply because of geography. The U.K. heats are great but again, geography and organization make it work. If you lived in a state the size of lets say Connecticut it would be reasonable easy to implement something like that.

I agree with the fundamental need for some kind of national organizational body call it the NA40k (North American 40k) and come up with a set of faqs (not rules changes [see INAT]), and a standardized set of scenarios.

Of course we had that for Confrontation (NACORD) and everyone bitched then too.

In the end any event can be described as competitive once you toss soft scores and sportsmanship.

I've always maintained comp was unnecessary. I hated when we had it locally. I hate the idea of using comp/soft scores/painting scores/sportsmanship, or anything other than straight battle points deciding or influencing the outcome of any tournament event I may choose to go to.

I would think twice before traveling to an event that used those scores to decide outcomes, if for no other reason that I think they may engender a certain amount of homerism thus skewing any result.

Crazy Red Praetorian said...

@TKE To know me is to love me. Don't be a hater. As for me being an idiot...well, my ex has never been right about ANYTHING....and she's the devil.

As for my opening statement, my main concern with Stelek is that he has diarhea of the mouth/keyboard. People with this condition rarely do well in organizing BIG events. It takes team work and a certain amount of finese. Usually, his type doesn't play well with others. I am not attacking the guy(I don't even know him)or be negative, I just have my doubts based on his online antics.

..and Brent, I agree BoLScon was great and promises to be better this year. I hope to see you there.

The_King_Elessar said...


I'm not saying I may not have judged you harshly - but I certainly want you to be wrong about Stelek's organizational capacity.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to simply travel the globe playing 40k, and would like to visit every 40k event in the world...but YTTHCon would be so unique and different that I'd simply have to go to the first one. If possible, obvs. If I get stopped at customs for bringing suspicious cases with a lot of unidentified metal objects inside...well. lol

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