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.