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  1. #1
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    Tournament Missions

    Hello All,

    I recently just competed in my first BFG tourney, which i placed second with my Chaos Fleet. The day was fun overall, well run, good facilities and a decent number of players (at least for our little corner of the world). The only gripe was some (particularly one) mission that was weighted heavily to one side. This was in no way intended but with the the groans it did put a small cloud over the day.

    After participating i have decided to run one myself as one to two BFG tourneys a year is not enough. I believe from my experiences that the quality of the mission will really make for a great tournament, so i am going to discuss ideas and criteria for a number of missions that have plenty of action and reward savvy maneuvers.

    Criteria for great (not good, great) missions in BFG Tournaments:

    1. Quality and Quantity of Celestial Phenomena:

    I am a staunch believer in fighting over very dense boards in BFG. Lots of asteroids, gas clouds, mine fields, planets and moons. Having stuff to maneuver around and through, areas that block line of sight, gravity wells to slingshot around etc makes for an interesting game and one that will punish a general for ignoring the space he is fighting in. Although i do not advocate going overboard i think that a little more than average is needed.

    A point must be made that good quality of Celestial Phenomena is also required. It must look good, serve it's purpose of marking an area where a unusual effect will occur, be flexible enough to allow ships to move through it and sturdy enough to not fall over and ruin your perfect fleet alignment.

    Celestial Phenomena must also be tailored to the mission in general. Space is a huge place and the likelihood of two fleets just running into each other is not very good. Also with the very limited resource that warships are and the time for construction they require etc, every movement would be planned, thought over, analyzed to the smallest detail. So it makes sense that a defending player would position himself in an area to his benefit and an attacker would always choose the path of least resistance, unless of course he is looking to engage the majority of the enemy fleet. So i would advocate a change in the board terrain to make it suitable for each mission.

    2. In depth missions with multiple objectives:

    The primarily role of the fleet in BFG is primarily control, it is not to destroy the enemy. That is a secondary objective. Take this example;

    a Chaos Fleet is harboring in a system that has a vast fuel and munition stores. They are harboring here because they are isolated from friendly territory and the supplies allow them to operate withing the area with impunity. While they are present here Imperial Forces will have to deploy ships to guard against Wolf Packs and Hit an Run forces which will drain the strength of the major offensive under way. Without the ability to remove the fleet with acceptable losses the Admirals target the location of the enemy fleet rather then the fleet itself. Using minimum forces in a lighting raid to destroy the fuel and munitions reserves, thus forcing the enemy fleet to relocate back to enemy territory. Destruction of the enemy is the secondary objective, desirable but not necessary for mission success.

    To accommodate this i think that mission sheets need to be to contain greater depth. Have a table sheet, it will detail how the terrain needs for the battle, what effect that terrain has and any other non-scenic effects, like the sun ward edge. Then each player has a Mission Brief. This Brief is for the players eyes only, it will contain the specific mission objectives of which the will be many (maybe 2-4). Continuing with the above example; the Attacker (in this case an Imperial player) is presented his Brief which shows his Objectives.

    Primary Objective: The destruction of the fuel refining facility on the moon orbiting the planet.
    Secondary Objective: The destruction of the munitions factories on the planet surface.
    Tertiary Objective: destruction enemy capital ships and escorts

    While the objectives are many the method in which they are accomplished shouldn't be difficult and should come from the core rules. E.g entering low orbit to destroy the fuel supplies as you would for a planetfal mission.

    The Mission as a whole is worth a certain number of victory points for its success, This total would be multiplied by a number of factors like the completion of the secondary and Tertiary objectives. Negative modifiers would also apply for the loss of fleet resources. So as you can see you would rewarded mainly for accomplishing the objective with minimal losses. I will go into the victory point system later (when i have worked it out).

    3. Linked Missions:

    A Tournament should have no more than 3-4 games in a day, and 4 would be pushing it. The results of each mission should have consequences onto the next. These consequences would include what role you play in the next mission and more importantly you (the Admiral/Warmaster/Price/Skeletal Robot) would gain Renown which will effect your flagships leadership and the fleets number of re-rolls/marks. The ships in your fleet will gain leadership as the progress or lose it if they are crippled or destroyed. Once again this is reinforcing a play style that sees the objective complete with minimal losses.

    These are just overviews of what i would like to achieve with my Tournament and I'm hoping others out there have had similar ideas or experiences that would be winning to come up with some really great scenarios for tournament play.

    Cheers

    Origin


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  3. #2
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    I'm not sure if you're just announcing this or putting it up for comments, so I'll assume you want comments... if you didn't just ignore me.

    I'm glad you enjoyed your first tournament so much, and congradulations on entering the competative side of BFG.

    I won't comment on the mission that caused grief because you don't give us alot of information on it. Was it randomly generated? It is an official mission from the Blue Book or Armada or a cannon source? How was it administered {terrain/board set up/etc}? What sides were involved?

    I'm also a little confused... you talk tournament and linked missions... were you playing using the campaign style rules, IE Battlefleets/Raiding fleets, holding worlds... or was it more a sequence of 1 off games? {most tournaments}.

    However in regards to you running one, I think since as you have stated you just recently competed in your first one yourself you might be biting off more then you should right now. I'm not saying this to discourage you, or to say you won't be a great admin. one day, but if you try and go to far with your first one it will really knock you off track in learning how to do it right. Basically like most things, thing hard before you don't baby step yourself a bit into it.

    I'd like to recommend to you that you should volunteer to help run one first, or co-run your first one with a more senior administrator of BFG tournaments. There are so many things that you will not be ready for if you've never done it before, and actually functionally helping with the pre-tournament planning and tournament admin work while it's going on alongside a more veteran admin will make it Leaps and BOUNDS easier for if you want to run your own after.

    Now by tournament I assume you mean something semi-formal. If it's just you running some large scale gaming for close friends by all means cut lose!!! {Close friends being more forgiving then most tournament gamers, and also more inclined to help fix a problem that occurs as opposed to bitch and moan about it}.

    As for your ideas specifically...

    Now some of the fluff stuff you have here is GREAT, and many a tournament I've seen {and even a few I've helped run} would have greatly benefited from such enjoyable background material.

    However from a rules standpoint I don't think you're going to get what you expect by playing with the core rules like you are. You deviate pretty signifigantly on your views on how terrain should be and I'll warn you, letting your personal bias be your center point as an administer is going to net you with alot of unhappy players, and you probably facing the realization that GW had the rules the way they were for a reason.

    Now I'm not going to say it won't work, I don't know your players, your fleets, the missions involved, or you personally... but I am saying the game is designed to make terrain variable for a reason. Aside from the fact that space does have vast areas of emptyness, and when it does have clutter it tends to be alot in one spot, the main reason for it being so variable is some fleets thrive on terrain {CW/P.Eldar, Necron} while others can be decimated by it {Imperial, Ork, Tau to some extent}. The game needs to have both, and preferbly random within limitations, so that it's a fair tournament for all involved.

    Think long and think hard before you force a tournament where people have to deal with alot of terrain just because you like it that way. You will be directly effecting the fairness of the game for the two parties playing. Now if you know all the fleets involved and have first hand experiance playing them, especially in a build/strategy style similiar to your players, that may not be a big deal. However if you have people coming to play you don't know, or you're running this without truly understanding all the fleets involved, you could be in for problems.

    Just remember, as the admin., you really have to know every applicable rule and major strategy, strength, and weakness of everything in your game. The more you know to a point the better you are, the less you know is pretty much always bad. First hand experiance always trumps rules knowledge, and rules knowledge trumps assumptions. {basically play as many fleets as you can, and in all cases, read the blue book and armada cover to cover, every page, at least twice}

    Perhaps most importantly, you really should consider running a by the book tournament first to get your bearings before you go about modifying it. I speak from experiance in running them that it takes several under your belt before you will truly begin to understand the rules in the grand scheme of things and how one change effects others. It's not even ripplies in a pond, it's more like strings interwoven to support a weight. If you twist one because you think it makes it stronger you may be moving it in such a way it no longer supports another and the weight {the game as a whole} falls through.

    Also, quit playing Chaos. I have nothing against Chaos. However to be an admin., take time away from the fleet you love. Play a differant fleet. Play two or three. Biggest advice I can give to wanna-be tourny admins who want to be good tourny admins, play more then one fleet, learn what it's like to be the other sides shoes, leave fleet bias at the door. The best way to do this is like most things, if you can, borrow a friends fleet and walk a mile in another fleets shoes.

    After all that is said and done... If you must do your first tournament w/o first aiding in one run by someone else, and you must do it while deviating from the core rules, at the least let me say that if you're going to do this, do your first tourny with just close friends and DO NOT charge for entry. Be prepared to have to change things on the fly, and don't take it personally if people don't like it. Stand by what you belive in till people give it a fair shake, but past a point don't fight with people... if your players don't like your changes be ready to move them back to core rules.

    [Actually the only time I ever say charge for any tournament is if it's either
    A.) so big it takes a signifigant amount of time... usually only the holiday weekend ones take this much
    B.) prizes involved/winners pot involved
    C.) store sponsered {they get to call the shots on that}
    D.) some other outstanding factor {one time we wanted to rent a projection TV to play the good 3 star wars movies during the tournament over and over}
    E.) combination of the above]


    EDIT: Let me also just clarify, I'm NOT saying I don't think you could do this, and I'm NOT trying to imply you're stupid or anything like that. I'm just trying to say with all this that since you seem to state you have no experiance with this {by saying you've only attended as a player your first tourny yourself} you might greatly benefit from a more gradual introduction to the administration side of things, and not only your players but you yourself might come out with a far greater enjoyment of it if you did it in moderation.
    Last edited by BFGMidwesternPrisoner; January 24th, 2007 at 09:55. Reason: clean up

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    Quote Originally Posted by BFGMidwesternPrisoner View Post
    I'm also a little confused... you talk tournament and linked missions... were you playing using the campaign style rules, IE Battlefleets/Raiding fleets, holding worlds... or was it more a sequence of 1 off games? {most tournaments}.
    It was one off games where the result had no bearing on the next. It was a structure where the admirals (us) gained renown through experience. The TO used the standard renown tables provided in the blue book and we gained or lost LD and Re-Rolls as we progressed. Also if a ship was destroyed it came backas LD6 and ships that where crippled droped by 1 LD point. If a ship survived then it gained a LD if it could roll higher on 2D6.

    Quote Originally Posted by BFGMidwesternPrisoner View Post
    However in regards to you running one, I think since as you have stated you just recently competed in your first one yourself you might be biting off more then you should right now. I'm not saying this to discourage you, or to say you won't be a great admin. one day, but if you try and go to far with your first one it will really knock you off track in learning how to do it right. Basically like most things, thing hard before you don't baby step yourself a bit into it.

    I'd like to recommend to you that you should volunteer to help run one first, or co-run your first one with a more senior administrator of BFG tournaments. There are so many things that you will not be ready for if you've never done it before, and actually functionally helping with the pre-tournament planning and tournament admin work while it's going on alongside a more veteran admin will make it Leaps and BOUNDS easier for if you want to run your own after.

    Now by tournament I assume you mean something semi-formal. If it's just you running some large scale gaming for close friends by all means cut lose!!! {Close friends being more forgiving then most tournament gamers, and also more inclined to help fix a problem that occurs as opposed to bitch and moan about it}.
    Good points. I'm not sure how big BFG is in your place of the world but in my little corner it is only played infrequently and by very few people. Running a tourney (or campaign for that matter) is really just an attempt to gether people together to have a good day playing a game that is often pushed aside by more common games. So in that respect it is always going to be semi-formal. I can appreciate that it is a hard thing to do, much like running any tourney. I will keep this in mind when designing missions, post ganes sequences etc. I do learn from others mistakes. And i interand to play test every thing first.

    Quote Originally Posted by BFGMidwesternPrisoner View Post
    As for your ideas specifically...

    Now some of the fluff stuff you have here is GREAT, and many a tournament I've seen {and even a few I've helped run} would have greatly benefited from such enjoyable background material.
    I thank that a small amount of back story goes a long way to defining the objectives of the mission. Just a small paragraph really gives people purpose.

    Quote Originally Posted by BFGMidwesternPrisoner View Post
    However from a rules standpoint I don't think you're going to get what you expect by playing with the core rules like you are. You deviate pretty signifigantly on your views on how terrain should be and I'll warn you, letting your personal bias be your center point as an administer is going to net you with alot of unhappy players, and you probably facing the realization that GW had the rules the way they were for a reason.
    I think we may have a little miscommunication here, my fault. I will cliffy i what i think is a dense board. The Blue Book gives tables that will place at least 6 pieces if not more. That is what i like. I do not like sparse boards that have 2 maybe 3 pieces, which unfairly disadvantages short ranged forces. I achknowledge that balance is the goal so you can never lean to heavily to the one side or the other. My main point was the quality of the terrain. Terrain that does not fall over, that is able to be moved but still shows which area it effects. Take an asteroid feild for example.

    A usual one is about 10cmX10cm We place a clear sheet of astitate on the board with a bright green (thinking neon green here) broken line border that denotes the area of the asteriod field. The sheet also has all the rules required for the field printed on it so we do not have to look stuff up and break the flow of the game. Once this area has been mapped on the board we can then fill it with model asteriods, each of which should be on it's own stand. These can be removed as required to allow for ships to pass through or occupy the field, making for a very user friendly terrain piece. The same can be done for gas clouds, debris fields etc. Planets can make use of the astitate also by having their gavity wells present on the field, mapped in similar way to the asteroids.

    My primary concern is the quaility of terrain. When it is clear and the rules are well understood it adds to the game by allowing you to make use of ALL the core rules. I'm not trying to add new rules or amaend ones i dislike i just wish to provide a battlefield that allows people to use all the rules. A perfect example of not including the core rules of simplicity is the lack of the sunward edges, solar flares etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by BFGMidwesternPrisoner View Post
    Just remember, as the admin., you really have to know every applicable rule and major strategy, strength, and weakness of everything in your game. The more you know to a point the better you are, the less you know is pretty much always bad. First hand experiance always trumps rules knowledge, and rules knowledge trumps assumptions. {basically play as many fleets as you can, and in all cases, read the blue book and armada cover to cover, every page, at least twice}

    Perhaps most importantly, you really should consider running a by the book tournament first to get your bearings before you go about modifying it. I speak from experiance in running them that it takes several under your belt before you will truly begin to understand the rules in the grand scheme of things and how one change effects others. It's not even ripplies in a pond, it's more like strings interwoven to support a weight. If you twist one because you think it makes it stronger you may be moving it in such a way it no longer supports another and the weight {the game as a whole} falls through.
    Good points, once again it just reinforces the need for play testing. I DO NOT wish to change the rules. I want to design good mission for tournement play. Most of the ones in the blue book are for campaigns, are unbalanced or even worse, are boring. I want exciting, challanging and fun missions.

    Quote Originally Posted by BFGMidwesternPrisoner View Post
    After all that is said and done... If you must do your first tournament w/o first aiding in one run by someone else, and you must do it while deviating from the core rules, at the least let me say that if you're going to do this, do your first tourny with just close friends and DO NOT charge for entry. Be prepared to have to change things on the fly, and don't take it personally if people don't like it. Stand by what you belive in till people give it a fair shake, but past a point don't fight with people... if your players don't like your changes be ready to move them back to core rules.
    Good Points, but once again i'm not lookig to change the rules, i don't believe i said snywhere in my post that i wished to do so. The only thing that comes close would be the points allocated for achieving the mission objectives.


    Quote Originally Posted by BFGMidwesternPrisoner View Post
    Actually the only time I ever say charge for any tournament is if it's either
    A.) so big it takes a signifigant amount of time... usually only the holiday weekend ones take this much
    B.) prizes involved/winners pot involved
    C.) store sponsered {they get to call the shots on that}
    D.) some other outstanding factor {one time we wanted to rent a projection TV to play the good 3 star wars movies during the tournament over and over}
    E.) combination of the above]


    EDIT: Let me also just clarify, I'm NOT saying I don't think you could do this, and I'm NOT trying to imply you're stupid or anything like that. I'm just trying to say with all this that since you seem to state you have no experiance with this {by saying you've only attended as a player your first tourny yourself} you might greatly benefit from a more gradual introduction to the administration side of things, and not only your players but you yourself might come out with a far greater enjoyment of it if you did it in moderation.
    Ok, i can appreciate the warning and the adivce on running a tourney, that is all true and needs to be considered, and acted on. But at the moment i just wish to come up with some really good missions for a tourney. Stuff that has backgroud info, good multiple objectives and challenges the player to think about their goal as much as the blasting the crap out of the opponent.

    I am in the middle of writing some up that include good terrain use, multiple objectives and consquencs to the fleet over time. I will post it up later today when it is done.

    Cheers

    Origin

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