A Discussion of Comp and Factors for Winning

Really, honestly, actually on the Dallas Aquarium.
Let's say this right out: this is a long-running issue and the lines are drawn.  I doubt this post will change anyone's mind, but it's a topic that's interesting since I'm attending Da Boyz GT later this year.

Hey!  Go check out these articles if you haven't already: Mass Murderers as Nicknames and Defining the Assumptions in Wargaming.  Also, make sure you vote in last week's Friday Night Internet Fight; I'd hate to lose this one!

That's right: me, Goatboy, and Darkwynn are hopping a plane to Rochester, New York in November to participate... along the way we'll meet new friends and old...

...cue butt-grabbing and much hugging...

...particularly exciting for me is (holding) meeting Chumby from Blackjack and Hookers.

Let's cut to the chase: Da Boyz is a comp heavy event.  

I'm excited about it - really, really excited.  Despite my misgivings about comp, the pictures from past events look amazing and the prize support is simply awesome.  I just have a clinical mind, so this is me talking myself through the process.

Check?  Check.

Now, I have two options.  I can play my army the way it is and just accept whatever comp score it will get, or I can make some changes and see if I can increase my comp score without ruining what makes my army effective.

I'll be playing my Daemons.  Why?

On Friday I played Eldar against Evil Homer's Plague Marines... and got kicked around.
My Eldar army wasn't great - in fact, it sucked... but it was my vision of what a comped Footdar would look like.

Mmm...  I think I'm full of SELF-EDIT.  As I type this, I realize there was a part of me that thought I was good enough to make it work.

Ego.  Slapping. 

What a wake-up call!

I'm good - but Evil Homer is as good.  He's my Nemesis.  (By the way, EH: where's the rest of the article you promised?)  Let's assume two people are playing and their level of skill is equal.  What factors would decide the game?  Here's my list, in order.

  • Experience with Army
  • Army List
  • Scenario
  • First/Second Turn Choice
  • Luck / Dice

Again, that's all things being equal... and assuming the armies don't completely suck to begin with.  Like the Footdar.  Do you fine folks have something to add?

Anyway, Evil Homer beat me into submission, but he also pointed out how stale my game was; I simply couldn't shift gears from Daemons to Eldar and was taking a long time to make average moves.

So Daemons it is!

And that brings it back to comp.

Here's an 1850 variation of my list.

x3 Herald of Tzeentch, Chariot Breath Bolt Master of Sorcery 130
x3 Fiends, champ 190
x5 Plaguebearers 75
x3 Daemon Prince of Tzeentch, Breath Bolt 170

Now... how are they going to look at it?

Is it, "Hey, Daemons aren't a top Codex - this dude will need a decent army to stand a chance of competing."

Or is it, "Man, this dude spams everything!  What an unoriginal dope."

So, my chickies... what to do?


Farmpunk said...

stuff like this is why I'm not a fan of comp, as many others aren't fans of comp anymore.

I'd take the list you're most familiar with, and say screw it. You'll take some hits on comp.

so will the guys playing old codexes, esp. the poor guy playing Dark Eldar (which you won't probably see in a comp environ)

I find it ironic that the Aussie guys I argued with about Comp last year defended it by stating "Comp encourages people to bring more types of armies to the tourney"

I countered with "It encourages people not to play old codexes, and to bring more Space Marine, and IG armies to the tourney, since they have the greatest diversity of overlapping purpose units"

Comp is a TO imposed layer of game imposed onto the game of 40K. it's another layer of gamble.
did your dice fail you? no
did another guy pay $1000 to have his army painted to Golden Daemon quality so he can play mediocre and still win the tourney? no
did you make stupid mistakes? no

yet you still loose because the TO thinks you brought an over-competitive list to a competition.

Comp makes you try to guestimate how strong you need to be to win. too strong a list, you defeat yourself, too weak, your opponenet defeats you.

take what you want, and enjoy the weekend.

it only takes a half dozen or so guys ignoring the comp system to screw it up. then you can complain loudly.

fester said...

As someone who always plays in comp events (no choice), Farmpunk is right.

Take what you want. If you take a subpar list and then get slaughtered on both comp and battlepoints you will kick yourself.

Brent said...

I think you guys are right and that's ultimately what I'm going to do.

Of course, I'm a wordy dude, so I'll talk about other options before coming right back around to taking my regular list!

Black Blow Fly said...

I am not a fan of comp and think it is dying out due to people like Stelek and MVB. Apparently people are listening. I did some work trying to develop a fair comp system for the CSM codex because it is in my opinion a fairly simple codex with not that many choices as compared to the newer 5ed codices. I concluded it would be a full time job over the course of a month to get something around 80 percent done. It's easier just to toss it out completely and I agree with everything farmpunk has said above. My team will not be using comp for Bolter Beach II this coming January and all I have heard is positive feedback. As a TO I can say if you use comp you are going to get a negative reaction from the online community.

In regards to your choices what should you do if you attend a tournament with comp - in your particular case I think daemons will probably take a hit regardless what you bring. Most people do not understand how to play daemons, think they stink because of the randomness... But when it comes time to score your list they will suddenly focus on Eternal Warrrior across the army even though it's really not that big a deal plus all the nasty nasty that you can bring to the table. So even if you attempt to tone down your list I think you'll get goosed. My daemon army is all Khorne all the time - I've actually received a lot of positive feedback but I have never taken it to a tournament with comp. Like I said comp is dying off with little pockets of resistance to change in places like the northeast.

I really hate it when comp is used for pairing and refuse to play in those types of tournaments. You are utterly at the mercy of the TOs. I think you should bring whatever is your most beat stick list and drop the hammer. That way you'll still have fun playing your army and I doubt you'll look back and say "Wow I should have brought a kinder gentler machine gun." Thats why comp don't work and people will game it. People that bring armies the TOs play will get better scores due to positive bias.

Sometimes you get lucky though. I once brought a 13th Company army and got perfect scores for comp then went on to win all my games totally maxing out on battlepoints and bonuses. I also got two votes for favorite opponent. It was a fun day and I just got very lucky because the TOs thought 13th Company was crap.

It's too bad you guys didn't pick BoS but them is the breaks. I can say Da Boyz are great guys and I think you'll have a great time no matter what. Just don't let on you are from Texas.


Brent said...

Thanks guys.

GBF: I appreciate it man, and that's what I'll be doing. I received much the same words of wisdom from others, like Farmpunk and Chumby.

I'll make sure I don't talk myself out of having a good time!


Iggy said...

obviously, the solution is to take max-sized units of beasts of nurgle instead of those spammy fiends

Brent said...

Iggy: yea, that'll get me great scores all the way to a losing streak! :)

Jwolf said...

@ BBF-

Crediting either of your sources as responsible for the die-out of comp in 40K is ludicrous. No one in Texas has used comp in 40K for an RTT under the latest edition of the rules. Adepticon doesn't comp 40K at all either, and certainly has a hell of a lot more influence (and exposure) on the 40K tournament scene than either of your responsible parties.

I'm all for giving credit where credit is due, but no credit for the general decline of comped 40K in the US lies with either of your choices. Most TOs I'm familiar with recognized that comp for 40K was bad a long time ago and certainly did not base that one Mike's event this year or on Andrew's carnival of kvetching.

Black Blow Fly said...

Hi Jon

You know I think you are right in regards to the demise of comp. Bad call on my part. After reading your response I agree with what you said. I will say that Stelek has been preaching no comp for quite awhile and it's one of the planks in his platform.

It would be cool if there was a tight set of rules to apply comp but that would be a Herculean task.


Da Warboss said...

Bah...I just found out about our FNIF deal. I would have thought you'd have figured Da Warboss and Zatoichibindsword were the same person...I demand an appeal.

Brent said...

Lol - ya, fun stuff. I won that one pretty handily, but in fairness you weren't around to defend yourself.

Re: the nics... actually, I hadn't figured that part out. So you really are my internet nemesis - your active dislike goes back a ways!

An appeal might actually be fun stuff though - what have you got in mind?

A treatise on my many deficits? I'll publish it I will...

Da Warboss said...

No, no...nothing so droll. I'll just keep up my insensitive comments when I see something that irks me.

(A new favorite!) Anon: I haven’t even bothered playing a game of 6th yet, cause I have read the rules, and actually understand how they interact with units. I know my armies no longer function how they should, and so I need to change them.

Strictly Average: 'cause 6-inches is all you get.

Stalking Jawaballs since 2009.

Jawaballs: "My butt just tightened up."

Brent, preferred 2-to-1 over Not Brent in a recent, scientific poll.

Brent: emptied the Kool Aid and DRINKING YOUR MILKSHAKE with an extra-long straw.

Unicorns don't exist.

Home of the Stormbuster, the Dyson Pattern Storm Raven.

I'm a comment whore and this whore is getting no play.

Not Brent hurts Brent's feelings.

I think, therefore I blog.

"You should stop writing for everyone else and worry about your crappy blog." - Anon.

Not Brent has been spotted lurking around with a green marker.

He's not like a bad guy from a cartoon, all devious but never quite evil, Not Brent is bad beans, man, bad beans.

Dethtron: "Again I feel obliged to remind you that trying to sound smart only works if you are."

MVB: "I am not one to join the unwashed masses of self-titled 40k experts out there distributing advice from their blogs about exactly how your list should be built..."

Shiner Bock on tap: that's how I choose hotels.

Strictly Average: The Home of Hugs and Gropings.

Don't feed the trolls!

MoD: "Welcome to Brent's head."

Competitive is Consistent.

Dethtron: "...you could use that extra time to figure out a way to get your panties unbunched and perform a sandectomy on your vagina."

Dethtron: “When calling someone an idiot, it's generally best to avoid making grammatical mistakes.”

Warboss Stalin: "You know, if it actually WAS funny, maybe I wouldn't mind."

Mike Brandt: "It's not a successful bachelor party if you don't misplace someone".

"The Master Manipulator (every store needs one): "...now, enough stroking."

Kirby: "I don't know about gropings. Seriously, Brent, keep it in the pants, please."

Loquacious: "No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get Hugs & Gropings or Stalks Jawaballs into Brent's little tribute."

Captain Kellen: "I rate this article a Brent on the Faith Hill to Nancy Pelosi scale!"

Drathmere: "Come for the balls, stay for the Brent? Kind of disturbing, man."

Go no further, lest thee see something thine eyes would fain look past!

Isabelle: "So, thank you for supporting your local and not so local unicorns. A noble gesture like that can show some scared kids out there that they don't have to hide from everyone and it's ok to be who they really are."

There is nothing more interesting than We The People... in all our beautiful, ugly glory!

On Internet Advice: You see, I have an almost religious belief that's it's a huge, colossal waste of time.

...I think I'll call it the Gun Shy Pattern Stormbuster, because after the Internet destroyed my first humble effort, I find I'm a bit worried about the reaction to this one.

Lauby: "Is it left over from that time you thought that you could just complete step one 12 times to meet the mandates of that court order?"

Not Brent: "I guess we'll have to read on and find out. Signed, Not Brent. Especially today."

Cynthia Davis: "I think the scrolling text is from Glen Beck's new book."

Grimaldi: "Spamming certain units creates interesting possibilities but also fatal weaknesses."

Purgatus: "Math can inform decisions. It cannot make decisions."

Thoughts? Comments? Hugs and gropings?

You'd be that much quicker to figure out what I mean when I refer to a Unicorn if I covered it in a rainbow flag.

SinSynn: (To Brent) "Curse you and your insidious influence on the internets..."

Dave G (N++): "You know you're an internet celebrity when your following is more akin to tabloids."

I prefer the term Internet Personality (or IP) myself, seeing as how I coined it.

Lauby: "Your attempt to humanize him as failed. I feel nothing but scorn for his beard - it's like a warcrime or something."

BBF: "I've always thought you are a good player but I finally figured out that you are a great player. It's hard to see sometimes because your personality is engaging, sincere and quite charming - to me that is kind of a rare combination."

'Clearly cheating?' I didn't misspeak: you jumped to conclusions. If you'd like to apologize I'll be happy to send you an autographed picture of my ass.


I thought I was doing alright before I realized I was losing.

Age and treachery beats youth and vigor every time.

Popular Posts