The Lost RulesMan Articles: Designing Rules for Tournaments

Here we are again, with another draft article from Atrotos dredged up from the murky depths of RulesMan.

With the store up and running it's time to consider what our first event will look like. Locally 40k is the most popular tabletop game followed closely by Fantasy and with LOTR trailing but not completely out of the picture. My favorite events are always 40k doubles  - the mixing of two armies combined with low point levels per player makes it more interesting as well as more accessible to those player who are just starting out and don't have 2000 points painted up and ready to go.

In the New England area 2500 point team events are very popular and the TO's in the area are always up to designing some interesting scenarios. However, Adepticon does seem to have heavy influenced design theory when it comes to tournament missions. Mission parameters tend to become heavy reading with deployment and objectives needed paragraph after paragraph to explain. This does add flavor to each game but can also be draining when applied to three or more back-to-back games.

Advanced mission parameters also work better when competitors have plenty of time to playtest them. In our case players won't have more than 3 weeks or so to prepare their lists.

This is as far as it goes, and to be honest I don't have the knowledge or wherewithal to finish it myself.

This is mainly because different people want different things and have different defenitions of a 'tournament.' Some people want something simple and streamlined, others prefer varied missions. Personally, despite being a casual I like to play as efficiently as possible, so something simple and balanced works well for me. If you're going to spend a stellar age on mission parameters, use it as part of a campaign. It'll fit in better, honest.

I haaaate (I could have more As if I wanted to...) larger games for the length of time they take. To me, 1500-1750 is the average, but I'm also a big fan of hyper-efficient small lists, for reasons I want to explain in a future post. I don't have the patience to go to 2000 just because someone else thinks it is more balanced. As I have myself experienced several times, 1000 point mixed doubles is an awful lot of fun, and it's tied with 750 for my favourite points level.

In conclusion, if you want a massive battlefest, do not let me design your tournament. What I'd like to run is essentially the 40k equivalent of speed dating. You have 20-30 minutes to play a 500 point game. Good luck.