Organising the SELWG wfb Competition – Part 5 – Terrain

In the final post of this series (thank god I hear you say, I can’t deal with any more of these wordy posts, where the hell are all the pictures!) I’ll look at the terrain table.

I will hold up my hand and say right now that i’m not a fan of the terrain table in whfb 8th edition. I know it can be argued that it was designed to work in conjunction with the rest of the rule set but it bugs me that almost everything has to have some special ability. Why can’t a river just be a river. Isn’t it enough that it has impact on movement or removes steadfast etc. Why on top of that must it give you the ability to cast spells etc. Having something that also gives you loremaster of Death seems massively overpowered. I’ve also found that when playing games, most of the time people forget about the terrain abilities too.

Well because it was my comp pack, I decided to follow Steve’s lead from last year and get rid of most of that crap (If you don’t like the decision, you can step up and run it next year and include all of it 😀).

If you read the blog, you will know that i’ve been playing Kings of War this year and in that rule set, the norm is to use Map Packs (one of the best known in the community is a random map generator from http://www.epicdwarf.com/. Like everyone his site is struggling a bit from the recent photo bucket change of terms but the random terrain generator still works fine). Although it is a fantastic tool, I don’t actually like the presentation (see below example) so instead thought about producing my own in battle chronicler (again example below). The issue with this was the amount of effort it would take to produce on top of everything else.

Epic Dwarf map example
Epic Dwarf map example
1. Terrain
Battle Chronicler example map
Neil (who is running our KOW comp) decided to go down a different route and put together his own terrain chart. In this he created 6 separate maps with fixed terrain but the placement could be variable and was down to the players (within certain limits). I think everyone in the competition really liked using this table and a number of the additional comments on the survey asked to use something similar. So with Neil’s permission I adapted it for use in the whfb competition.

You will note that, despite my personal dislike for the magical element of all terrain in 8th ed. I didn’t completely get rid of all the random terrain ‘abilities’. I appreciated that some players actually like this randomness, so I kept the rules for woods and marshes and also included the odd other item in some of the maps (all items I deemed to be not game changing)

So below is the current version of the terrain setup document.

WHFB 2017 Competition Terrain setup v1.2

In most wargames getting the terrain setup acceptable, without too many rules & taking a fair amount of time can be a challenge. So here is a process that hopefully will not be too challenging & avoids the dreaded barren table with a few sparse pieces stuck in the corners. Players will still have some input into the final position of certain items. (This was adapted from Neil’s KOW pack).

After deciding scenario/mission, roll on the table below (D6).

Collect terrain listed, & determine player A & B with a roll off (player highest roll). Then follow the deployment instructions.

Some general points:

Buildings: All have three levels (including Fozziks folding fortress) and can be no more than 6” across. A maximum of 20 wounds worth of models may garrison a building. (e.g. 17 HE Archers & an Archmage) Count the number of starting wounds (e.g. Archmage always counts as 3).

Woods: Can be no more than 12” across – roll a D6 when entering to decide the type. In addition: Dangerous Terrain if Ca/MC/Ch march, charge, flee/pursue, overrun or if Flyer entering/leaving; No Steadfast (unless Stubborn); Lone infantry characters and Skirmishers characters count as Steadfast.

  • 1-3= Normal Forest,
  • 4= Venom Thicket [Unit has Poisonous Attacks; counts as Dangerous Terrain],
  • 5= Abyssal wood [Unit causes fear]
  • 6= Fungus Forest [Stupidity]

Rivers: – all normal.

Marshes: Can be no wider than 9” – roll a D3 when entering to find the type. In addition Dangerous Terrain except Skirmishers; Ca MC and Ch fail test on a 1 or 2.

  • 1= Earthblood Mere [any unit in the marsh has Regen (6+)]
  • 2= Khemrian Quicksand [Mo/MI//MC removed on Dangerous Terrain failure]
  • 3= Mist wreathed swamp [Hard Cover; In test or D6 models are removed]

Walls/hedges/fences (WHF): – all give hard cover. 1 WHF length = 12”, so 3*WHF= 36”

Hills: Can be no wider than 12” – all normal unless stated.

Unless otherwise stated all terrain must be at least 3” apart (exception WHF, which touch/link buildings).

DZ = Deployment zone

Should it prove impossible to place terrain as described, then it is ok to overlap areas/distances to full fill the instruction.

Terrain table (D6 roll).

Map 1) 2*Buildings, 1* hill, 2* woods, 1*WHF, 1*Elven Waystone* [Impassable; Channelling at +1 w/in 6”]

Map 2) 1*River 1*building, 3*hills (2*normal, 1*Anvil of Vaul [Unit within 6” has Flaming and Magical Attacks]), 1* woods, 1*WHF.

Map 3) 2*Marsh, 2*woods, 2*hills.

Map 4) 1*River, 4*hills (2*normal, 2*Scree slope [Dangerous Terrain]), 1*woods.

Map 5) 4*buildings, 1*woods, 2*WHF, 1 hill (Scree slope [Dangerous Terrain])

Map 6) 2*woods, 2 hills, 2*marsh.

 

Terrain deployment instructions Map 1.

  1. Player A places the 2*buildings, anywhere on the table except in any DZ and at least 6” from any table edges. Also each building must be between 6”-9” of each other.
  2. Player B places the hill in any DZ, at least 9” from any table edge.
  3. Player A places 1*tree base anywhere on the table, at least 6” from any table edge.
  4. Player B places 1*tree base anywhere on the table, at least 6” from any table edge.
  5. Player A places 1* WHF in any deployment zone, at least 6” from any table edge in any configuration, but all pieces must be touching each other.
  6. Player B places 1* Elven Waystone anywhere on the table except in any DZ and at least 12” from any table edge.

Terrain deployment instructions Map 2.

  1. Player A places river 2ft from any short table edge running from long edge to long edge (4ft length).
  2. Player B places 3*hills (2*normal, 1*Anvil of Vaul [Unit within 6” has Flaming and Magical Attacks]) anywhere on the table except in DZ’s, and no more than 6” from any table edges.
  3. Player A places 1* tree base in any DZ no more than 9” from any table edge.
  4. Player B places 1 building with WHF touching in the opposite DZ that the trees are in, no more than 6” from any table edge.

Terrain deployment instructions Map 3.

  1. Player A places 2*trees, anywhere on the table except in DZ’s and at least 6” from any table edge.
  2. Player B places 1* hill in each DZ at least 6” from any table edge.
  3. Player A places 1* marsh anywhere on the table at least 9” from any table edge.
  4. Player B places 1* marsh anywhere on the table at least 9” from any table edge.

Terrain deployment instructions Map 4.

  1. Player A places river 18” from any long table edge running from short edge to short edge (6ft length).
  2. Player B places 1*tree base anywhere on the table, except in a DZ.
  3. Player A places 2* hills (1*normal, 1* Scree slope [Dangerous Terrain]), one in any DZ no nearer than 6” from any table edge, & the second hill anywhere on the table other than in a DZ.
  4. Player B places 2* hills (1*normal, 1* Scree slope [Dangerous Terrain]), one in any DZ no nearer than 6” from any table edge, & the other hill anywhere on the table other than in a DZ. (it is allowed that 2 hills end up in the same DZ)

Terrain deployment instructions Map 5.

  1. Player A places 2*buildings & 1*WHF anywhere on the table, but not In any DZ, at least 6” from any table edge, The buildings being 6” apart with WHF linking both buildings in any configuration.
  2. Player B places 2*buildings & 1*WHF anywhere, but In any DZ at least 6” from any table edge The buildings being 6” apart with WHF linking both buildings in any configuration. Also must be at least 12” away from nearest building in A above.
  3. Player A places 1*trees anywhere on the table at least 9” from any table edge.
  4. Player B places 1*hill (Scree slope [Dangerous Terrain]) anywhere on the table at least 9” from any table edge.

Terrain deployment instructions Map 6.

  1. Player A places 2*trees, anywhere on the table except in DZ’s and no nearer than 6” from any table edge & at least 6” apart.
  2. Player B places 2*marsh in any DZ at least 9” from any table edge. Both can be in the same DZ.
  3. Player A places 1 hill anywhere on the table 9” from any table edge.
  4. Player B places 1 hill anywhere on the table 9” from any table edge.

 

Organising the SELWG wfb Competition – Part 4 – Army and List Restrictions

Out of all the parts of the competition pack, this section was going to be the one that would make or break it and would be the deciding factor on who would want to enter.

Last year’s pack contained quite a few hard restrictions, blocking you from taking certain choices. I kept this for some of the items (e.g. no end times/special characters/allies etc. – see first set of bullet points below). However I wanted to change the slant of the list building making it more open but penalising entrants for taking certain combinations. As with life, you are self determining but your actions can have consequences! This is where the difficulty lay, what would make up these restrictions and how would I make these decisions (whilst not favouring any army I may choose to take).

Having a multitude of previous GT and other tournament packs available to look at really helped and gave me a good understanding of what combos most tournament organisers thought to be overpowered. Most of them seemed to be similar no matter what part of the world the pack originated. Different tournaments did however choose to implement restrictions in different ways, normally via a scoring system, if you take xx unit you add so many points to your ‘score’, whilst others reduce points. This ‘score’ is then added/deducted from your total tournament score.

With our format this approach wouldn’t quite work so instead I opted for two distinct restriction sections. The first was a general section, which incorporated many of the previous tournaments restrictions but instead of the outright ban, it penalised a player if they took 3 or more choices from the section. The second section was army specific and again penalised a player if they took certain choices from their army book.

For each of the sections, if they breached the restrictions, they would be deducted 20 points (and it was cumulative so it could be 40pts in total, 20 per section and could mean you started with a negative score). Each points ‘fine’ was roughly the equivalent of winning a game so entrants could choose to ignore the restrictions but would have to be confident of their ability to get results to offset this.

Empire vs Chaos
Random stock photo added to break up the wall of text
I do wonder if this makes it overly complicated but it was one of the few ways I could think of to incorporate many of the restrictions fed back without banning everything.

The army building section of the comp pack, in its current iteration (v1.4 at present) is below.

Having gone through this process I have a lot of respect for individuals who do this every year for tournaments. It takes a lot of effort and is easy to make mistakes (I made a number that club members were kind enough to point out – hence I am up to v1.4 at present – though the latest version only contains rules clarifications and as such i’ve not released it yet).

Army Lists

  • Each Army must be no more than 2500 points. These lists will be checked and cleared by an adjudicator and will be open to all once cleared.
  • No End Times Rules or Armies.
  • No Allies may be taken.
  • Wizards must use the same magic lore that they started the competition with throughout the competition. However, wizards that are allowed to generate spells from multiple magic lore’s are allowed to do so. For example, Skaven wizards that are allowed to generate spells from either Plague & Ruin before each game will be allowed to.
  • No Special characters are allowed.
  • No Forge World rules/stat lines apart from Chaos Dwarfs.

Army lists will be as follows:

Standard army                        2500 points

The following composition restrictions apply:

Army section Percentage Restrictions
Lords and Heroes Up to 50% No Triples and a maximum total Wizard level of 5 in an army (e.g. one level 4 lord and one level 1 wizard or one level 3 and one level 2. This level cap includes items that specify they have magic levels (such as the wizarding hat) or that increase a user’s magic level but excludes items with bound spells such as the fireball ring. Note: this cap excludes units with magic levels).

No flying Wizards (unless the wizard/unit has an innate fly ability. If you have to buy the fly upgrade, whether it be wings or a mount etc., then it may not be taken).

Core At least 25%
Special Up to 50% No Triples
Rare Up to 25% No Doubles*

2016 Semi-finalists and finalists only:

Lords                                       Up to 25%               No doubles

Heroes                                    Up to 25%               No doubles

The above restrictions are fixed. The next 2 sections list a number of optional restrictions. You can choose to go over them but if you do Victory Points will be deducted. This could result in starting the competition with a negative score. 

General Restrictions:

Armies meeting 3 or more of the following general restrictions will be deducted 20 VP’s from the Group stage.

Level 4 Wizard who selects Death Magic (“excluding know all signatures” abilities and rules such as Wandering Deliberations),

Level 4 Wizard who can selects Life Magic (“excluding know all signatures” abilities and rules such as Wandering Deliberations),

Crown of Command,

Banner of Discipline,

Folding Fortress.

Light Council (at least 3 wizards in the army with lore of light),

3+ units and/or characters classified as Monster

3+ units and/or Characters with 1+ armour save.

3+ units and/or characters with the Flyer special rule

Characters over 425pts in cost (after any upgrades/items)

Any Unit exceeding 450pts (after any upgrades/items)

5 Warmachines* Includes, Steam tank, chariots and models with war machine weapons such as Ironblasters, Gyrocopters, Hellcannons. (Engineers count as 1 warmachine choice. Each Dwarf Rune counts as ½ a warmachine, so 2 Runes count as 1 warmachine choice, even if the runes are split between machines).

* Certain army books allow you to take double the normal amount of warmachines in your list than is normally allowed (e.g. Elf bolt throwers, Dwarf Gyrocoptors, Goblin Spearchuckers, Pump Wagons etc). In the above restrictions, taking 2 of these count as 1 selection (so you could take 2 Elf Bolt throwers from the rare section and they would also only count as a single warmachine out of your 5 warmachine limit).

Army Specific Restrictions.

Armies meeting the following restrictions will be deducted 20 VP’s from the Group stage (this is cumulative with the above deduction so the maximum deduction could be 40pts)

Beastmen: 2 choices from; Herdstone with 3 wizards, Doombull.

Bretonnian: None

Chaos Dwarves: 4 or more choices from; K’daii Destroyer, Lvl 4 with Hasut, Magma Cannon, Iron Daemon, Death Shreiker, Hell Cannon.
Daemons of Chaos:
3 or more choices from; skullcannon, Great Unclean One, 3 or more Beasts, taking units aligned to a chaos god who hate another unit aligned to a different chaos god in the army. E.g. Tzeentch hate Nurgle. (Note, no matter how many opposing aligned units you take, it only counts as one ‘choice’. E.g. you could take 2 units of pink horrors and 2 units of bloodletters and this is only 1 of the 3 restrictions, not 2 of them).
Dark Elves: 3 or more choices from; 2 Bolt Throwers; 1 unit of Warlocks, more than 2 units of Dark Riders, 2 or more characters mounted on Dark Pegasus’, Cloak of Twilight.

Dwarves: 2 or more choices from; 20+ Irondrakes, 2 or more Gyrocoptors, Having 3+ runes of spellbreaking in any combination.

High Elves: 3 or more choices from; BOTWD, Book of Hoeth, 2 Bolt Throwers, Unmounted Frost Heart Phoenix, more than 2 units of Ellyrian Reavers.

Empire: 3 choices from; Two Great Cannons, Steam Tank, 5 or more Demi-Gryph knights.

Lizardmen: 2 or more choices from; 2 or more Scar vets or old ones on Cold ones, 3 Skink skirmishers, Slann Priest with channelling staff and Harmonic Convergence.

Ogre Kingdoms: 3 or more choices from; Iron Blasters, Hellheart, Mournfang, 2 individual sabretusks.

Orc & Goblin: 4 choices from; Mangler squig, doom diver, rock lobba, 25+ Savage Orcs big Un’s.

Skaven:  3 or more choices from; Hellpit Abomination, storm banner, 50+ Skaven slaves, Warp Lightning Cannon

Tomb Kings: None

Vampire Counts: 2 or more choices from; Terrorgheist, Red Fury on Vampire Lord, 2+ Vampire lords

Warriors of Chaos: 4 or more choices from; Daemon Prince, Hero on Disc, Hellcannon, Skullcrushers, 2+ Chimeras, Character with 3++ ward.

Wood elves: 4 or more choices from; Waywatchers, Acorn of Ages, Moonstone of Hidden ways, Each unit with Trueflight after the 2nd, Each unit with Hagbane after the 2nd, Each unit of Wildriders/SotT (combined) after the 2nd, 70+ models with 30” range shooting.

Organising the SELWG wfb Competition – Part 2 – Points & Secondary Objectives

The next few posts will cover in no particular order, various sections of the comp pack. I’ll try and explain why the choices were made (at a superficial level at least). One thing I was very conscious of, was not putting in (or leaving out) any restrictions that would benefit me. It’s one of the reasons that I committed to bringing an army that no one else was (if possible), so that I wouldn’t know which one I would be using until well after the pack was written.

Putting together a pack is quite a daunting task. The second step for me after getting the survey set up was to go online and try and find and download every comp pack I could find to see how others had put together packs. Even though 8th ed. whfb has been out of vogue for a few years, I was still able to to find and download around 15 (quite a few curtesy of links on warhammer.org). Most were of limited use but many did list out restrictions on the most common over powered combos for specific armies which I would utilise in the list building.

I also got hold of the last few years packs for SELWG and decided to follow some of the format from this, as it would keep it recognisable for people who had entered before.

So in this post I’ll cover the points on offer. As per the last SELWG comp, points would be split into Primary, Secondary and Tertiary.

Primary are awarded based on the outcome of the game victory conditions and are available at all stages of the competition.

Tertiary are only available in the group stages of the comp and are bonus points awarded for completing the game and for having a painted army. Neither of these are game breaking but encourages players to both finish the game and it’s always nice to face a painted army on the table no matter the standard of the painting (whether pro painter or just an average tabletop standard).

Secondary are available at all stages of the competition and are smaller missions that can add to your competition points. Most of these were taken from a combination of the the secondary missions available from the previous two SELWG whfb competitions. I added one new objective, “to see what I can see” (yes the name is part of a children’s nursery rhyme but no bonus points for remembering the rest of the song which involves a bear and a mountain). The other change made was to reduce the points from 7 to 6 for a successfully completed mission. There was a point to this.

Knockout rounds – The final added restriction was that in the final rounds, if you didn’t have a fully painted army, you would only get half points. I’m still not sure about this restriction, it seemed pretty harsh but quite a few paid competitions do have restrictions on having fully painted armies. As a compromise, I made it so if a player didn’t have a fully painted army but got maximum points for a win and mission completed, (15+6 = 21/2 = 11 – rounded up) they could still have a chance of going through if the opponent lost and also completed their mission (5+6 = 11).  If you get a straight win and your opponent lost you will just go through (at 15/2 = 8 vs 5 points).

So below is the ‘Game Format and Scoring section’ of the 2017 SELWG comp pack.

 

  • Primary Tournament Points

Games will be Won, Lost, Drawn, as per the tournament scenarios victory conditions. In the event of a tiebreak scenario in the knockout rounds, use victory points as per the rules in the BRB (pg 143 Tournament Points will be awarded as follows):

WIN = 15 points      DRAW= 10 points   LOSS = 5 points

  • Secondary Tournament Points

For each battle pick a ‘Secret Mission’. This must be done after deployment, but before the first turn is underway. Players must note down their mission, and hand it to someone at another table for safe keeping until it is revealed at the end of the game.

  • Each Player completing their secret mission is awarded = 6 points (Note the change in points from last year)
  • Each ‘Secret Mission’ can only be used once during each league stage and resets for the knockout stage.

“Raid the Baggage” – Have more Fortitude bearing*** Friendly units in the Enemy deployment zone, than the Enemy has Fortitude bearing units in this deployment zone, at the end of the game.

“Cut off the Head” – Kill the Enemy General in hand to hand to hand combat by the end of the game. Any mount does not need to be killed. An Enemy General fleeing at the end of the game does not count.

 “Hero-Hammered” – To have amassed the biggest tally of dead Enemy characters at the end of the game. For calculation purposes, each Hero level character is worth ‘1 point’, each Lord level character is worth ‘2 points’. Self-inflicted deaths (such as from Miscasts or Skaven targeting their own troops), still count towards your opponents score.

“To see what I can see” – When you write down your mission also specify one hill or building that is outside of your deployment zone. This piece of terrain is the tallest in the area and will give your general the advantage in spying troop movements. If, at the end of the game, you have a unit *** occupying that terrain feature and no enemy units occupy**** that terrain feature as per the rules in Scenario 4 (Secure), your mission is a success.

“Take a Message” – Specify a model in your army to be a messenger. Specify a fortitude-bearing unit in the enemy army that contains your spy. Get your messenger model into contact with the spy’s unit. If the spy’s unit is alive at the end of the game your mission has succeeded. The messenger model does not have to be a character model.

  • Tertiary Tournament Points (only available during the group stage)

In an attempt to encourage the completion of games and that they are played using painted armies, but also to reward hobby activity, the following points are available in each battle:

If your army is fully painted (minimum of 3 colours per model and a painted base) = 2 points

If the game is fully completed on the night, each player shall be awarded = 2 point

Total Game Points

A maximum of 25 TPs are up for grabs in each game.

  • Bonus Tournament Points:

Submission of your Group Stage 1 tournament list by 11 August = 5 Points

Knockout Rounds

When taking part in the knockout rounds, if your army is not fully painted you only receive half the tournament points (rounding up). e.g. a win would be worth 8 points. (Note it is possible to still win the knockout stages even with this handicap).

Organising the SELWG wfb Competition – Part 1 – Survey

This year I stepped up to run the club warhammer fantasy battle (wfb) competition. Having only taken part in the previous year’s comp’ and a few others, my only experience was in participating not running comps.  So where to start?

I’d had mixed feedback from last years entrants of the comp and the previous years TO (Steve who kindly volunteered to help out this year), in so far as the competitive players would tend to take part no matter what, so it was mainly about trying to get the casual players involved. With a number of players involved in the Kings of War comp this might be harder than it was in previous years, so I decided the first step would be to set up a simple survey to get some feed back on what participants would like.

I asked 9 questions, the responses to the first 8 are below. The final question was a ‘any other comments’ question.

Q.1. Are you interested in taking part in the 2017 compQ.2. Do you want any restrictionsQ.3. What restriction do you wantQ.4. What comp format do you wantQ.5. Do you want new ScenariosQ.6. Do you want secondary objectivesQ.7. Do you want new secondary objectivesQ.8. Do you want bonus points available

 

So I took a few things from the results. First there had been 15 responses which was more than we had been expecting.

In the main most people thought last years comp was too long. In fairness it did drag on a bit with people not completing their games (including knockouts) for quite a while. That was simple to fix, drop one of the rounds.

The second thing was that people still wanted to have restrictions on units and characters. This was a harder one to decide on and i’ll cover this in depth in a later post.

The main thing change that came from the results, was that the majority of the respondents wanted different scenarios than those in the basic rule book (brb). Time to get my thinking hat on!