About Me

Hey there, as you can see this is blog is all about gaming. And that's what I've been doing for pretty much all of my life. Currently I'm completely enveloped in Warhammer 40,000 and I'm breaking into the new Warhammer Fantasy system with the release of the new 8th edition.

Follow me as I build new armies, find newer and better ways to destroy my enemy, learn more about the rules, and just complain about the things that don't go my way :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Thoughts of a Gamer: Beating the Clock

So this past weekend I've been playing my 2k list for the BoLSCon Tournament coming up here in a couple weeks. I know I should've been painting but I needed to get a better feel for my list, (since I've never played it's kind before and just wanted to try some new things.

So yesterday me and my friend, we're both going to be going out and braving that new tourney scene and we figured we try playing in the 2 hour, dice down, time limit. Let me just say it's quite a pain to play 2k points in under 2 hours, the furthest we were able to get was half of turn 5, and most of the time it was just to turn four and that got me to thinking about the Dice Down rules and if they actually provided a fair game.

We were able to play 3 games yesterday with the two hour time limit (and I'm not going to admit I may have left work a little early to do so) The first game we made it to my turn four, I was able to win and block him off of the objective with him not being able to reach mine, and him not having any troops on his (we was playing Nids and they were trying to totally swarm me) it was a pretty solid win but at the same time it did not allow him to play out his turn which could've resulted in him destroying one of my blocking tanks and consolidating to contest the objective.

The second game he went first, I played his Nids against his SM list he'll be using. We were able to make it all the way to his turn five. I was going to tie the game once my lictors automatically came in (sucky sucky reserve rolls on my side) by contesting the only objective he held and he had just wide out the troops on the objective I held. But the timer went off before it was my turn meaning it was a game win for him, all of maybe five more minutes and it would've been a tie, possibly a win for me if I could pull off some miracle rolls on another objective, but alas the clock had run out.

The third game is the one I don't feel as bad about. I went first with my Eldar vs his SM list and instead of keeping things in reserves like I usually do I figured I'd trying actually playing with things on the board, but was a little worried about those darn drop pods of his. But it turned out to be a good call on my side, I pretty much went all out to his objective while blasting away at him with my Falcon and Prisms. By second turn I'd taken out his HQ and most of his troops and had lost a couple dragons and bikes. We made it to my turn 3 (there had been a lot of combat and slaughtering on my part and it was clear he wasn't going to get to either objective and that wiping him off the board was a real possibility) and the time ran out again with out the other person getting a chance to have there turn.

It seems very unfair to me for my opponent or even myself not to be able to complete a full turn. That can drastically give the other player a huge advantage. I know why it is that it's done this way, to keep tournaments moving along but it seems to me that this could be worked differently. Maybe by dropping it to 1 hr and 45 minutes with a 15 minute warning and then at that time players maybe finish the full turn that they are on. Or by building in more time between rounds although this can be a challenge too for players that somehow manage to finish fast. It just seems very difficult to me to see myself reaching games of 4 and 5 turns especially against opponents with many large units where it takes just 15 minutes to move them all.

Maybe it's just a part of the tournament scene, and something some people can take advantage of somehow, but to me it just seems like by dropping the dice at the time limit you're taking away quite a bit from the players.


  1. Our local events have had similar problems with time limits. We try to make sure the turn is finished but even with 1500 points games do not always get throuhg turn 5. I had a game only make it to turn 3 before due to my horde of scouts inflitatrating, scouting, fleeting and assaulting in turn 1 tieing up most of both armies in slow attrition combats.

  2. Here we give a 20-minute warning. Both players are allowed one full turn from when time is called. So middle of 3 gets to play to end of 4, bottom of 4 plays through 5, start of 4 plays through 4 and so on. This limits the amount players can stall or play the clock for advantage. It also means the player going at the bottom of the turn doesn't get pounded and then bilked of their response. It works fairly smoothly.

    That said, most top level tournament armies take this kind of thing into account. You'll notice that true hordes (150+ models in 1750) are rare. Many players mechanize to reduce the amount of guys being shuffled around. There's a number of other time-saving tips too... especially if you don't sweat the small stuff. For instance, you don't need to measure the move of every single model in a unit, at least when the move isn't critical to assaulting, shooting or claiming an objective. Move the end points (front/back, left/right) and then just space the rest between similar to how they were originally. Two players that know what they're doing, have planned for tournament play, play at a steady pace and stay focused on the game should rarely have a problem finishing a full 1750 in 2 hours.

  3. I've never played in a "dice down" tournament. The local RTTs here let you finish out the full turn that you're on when time is called. There's also some leeway, so if you finish up turn 4 with 5 minutes left, you don't typically go on to turn 5, but if there's 15-20 minutes left, then you would go on.

  4. A couple things that should help people stay in the time limits at BoLSCon:

    The terrain is set, no time used arranging terrain. Terrain values are also assigned in the packets, so no need to discuss that.

    You have the scenarios from check-in on, so you should be able to have the scenario read and understood before your next round starts.

    I do understand that a lot of people don't routinely play with the clock in mind at all, and that coming and playing at tournament with strict time limits will be culture shock for those players. Thanks for coming to play, and I hope you have a good time.

  5. Ah noob TO speaks and the inexperience shows.

    Every tournament is setup with fixed terrain and scenarios given to players.

    Doesn't make one damn bit of difference--that's the *minimum* one needs to do, and games will still go too long.

    Especially if you go 7 games over a weekend, mental fatigue will slow down even the best tournament players.

    Ah well. Problems abound in every tournament, probably why you start off slow...