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Made in us
Rogue Daemonhunter fueled by Chaos






Macon, GA

I know this topic has been beaten and thrashed about on dakka for the last few years, and I think a lot of gamers fall into two camps:
 1) people have a basic idea of what good comp is, and they should judge it based on their understanding
 2) Everybody has a different idea of what good comp/theme is, and to even try to judge it is to unfairly impose the your values on an opponent

a lot of comp systems involve elaborate formulae, or even worse, solely depending on reliance to "Fluff."  Clearly, there is not one solution, but this is a system that I hashed out recently:

score it from 0-5 points. 
0: this army would present a nearly unwinnable game for nearly any tournament level army from any codex.  It relies solely on a gimmick or a highly unbalanced list for success. 
1: This army would present a nearly unwinnable game for severable otherwise viable codices, and presents a disproportionate challenge to those armies. 
2: A reasonable gamer, with a strong, tournament list, could expect a challenging but not impossible game from this list.
3: Same as above, but presents a unified theme apparent from roster selections
4: Same as above, but is evocative of a "representative" army for that codex.  The army tells a story, and seems natural together.
5: The army made deliberate and clear choices in favor of theme that hurt it tactically.  In other words, the army sacrifice at least some utitity in favor of theme. 

This is very rough draft, and I fully expect to suffer the same fate as everyone who has suggested a comp system.  But it at least judges all army books equaly, makes no quantifiable requirements, and perhaps most importantly, it does not allow broken or abusive armies to claim to be thematic.  The minimum or fair play must be met before theme points may be gained. 

Note that 2 points should be awarded if the army presents a tough, but still possible game.  This is to differentiate "Strong" lists from broken.  it also punishes armies that are not horribly strong, but could roll over specific armies (rock/scissors/paper syndrome).

Here are some examples"
0: Siren, any illegal list, etc. (perhaps more of a WFB problem)
1: Double FoD (it kills tau), three monoliths (kills eldar), etc.
2: Most RTT armies
3: A drop pod list without two librarians, minimal termies
4: a drop pod list with only one HQ, larger squads
5: a Drop pod list with devestator squads

My Painted Armies
: Co. B, 37th Praetorian IG: 21,000pts
KOW Ogres: 4500 points
Loyalist Emperor's Children: 2500 points 
   
Made in us
Foul Dwimmerlaik





Minneapolis, MN

I like the list, but sadly Your second point makes it clear that judging comp should not be done by the opponent. Dont let what I am about to say stop you from doing this or refining what you have, as this isnt about you but the game which GW made and gamers themselves.

I really made efforts in the past to comply with composition, but it has made the game bad because you stress over great comp and then the opponent gives you zeroes in sports.

Actually its not comp thats the problem. Its letting every dumbass in the world play because they threw some bases with marine legs on the table.

Alot of people give me flak for playing Deathwing, saying it is abusive and broken with the number of assault cannons. The subjective part is trying to see that for the deathwing, assault cannons work different than in the hands of cheaper marines. So I get zeroed in comp and sports while they beat me. All for them to say later "Wow! DW arent nearly as bad as I thought!". Even though my list is very very fluffy and competitive which should score a "4" on you list.

I lack faith in gamers today and doubt a comp system will ever work for this game. Its not made for competitive use and I havent seen anything ever come close to balancing this in tourney formats so that it is equitable.

Ironman is the only way to go.

   
Made in ca
Buttons Should Be Brass, Not Gold!






Soviet Kanukistan

Slippery slope there, since for some players "unwinnable" is awfully subjective.

e.g.  Ork footsloggers are pretty much helpless against a multi-lith bomb.

IMO:  Composition would be better done thusly:  Start at 10 points:

[-2] Does any unit cost more than 20% of the total list value? (370 at 1850)

[-2] Is over 50% of the list value in one non-troops category? -

[-2] Does the army contain no non-compulsory troops units?
-or-
Does the army contain no full sized troops units - (or up to capcity of purchased transport if this number is smaller). - I think it is only fair that the IG can negate this by using 1 iron fist squad.  And Deathwing can save themselves from this and (no.1) by mounting in a land raider.

[-2] Does the army contain maximum selections from more than one non-troops category.

[-2] Does the army contain 2 or more identical units? - (Note:  Units which may be bought for multiple force org sections i.e. Devestators bought using "honor thy wargear" as elites are considered seperate from heavy support.  So, Heed the Widsom of the Ancients would alow  for a total of 4 dreadnoughts).

   
Made in us
Rogue Daemonhunter fueled by Chaos






Macon, GA

Posted By keezus on 11/06/2006 10:30 AM

Slippery slope there, since for some players "unwinnable" is awfully subjective.

e.g.  Ork footsloggers are pretty much helpless against a multi-lith bomb.

That's my point.  there are mulitple armies that cannot hope to win against an army.  These aren't weak armies, (though footslogging orks are nearly always fairly weak.)  If there are a couple of viable tournament armies that have less then a 10% chance against an army, this is a way of sanctioning it.

You're system is interesting, but not signifigantly different from all the other overly numerical systems.  For example, huge units, IMO, aren't always 100% bad.  Every army needs to be judged by a few things:
1) the nature of the codex
2) the community
3) the nature of the list iselt. 


Your system, and most comp systems, try to make all armies follow the same rubric.  My goal is to guide the judges or opponents in making a relatively objective standard, while keeping in mind the background behind each army.

Hellfury: i completely agree that comp should be done by judges.  Personally, I think a 50/50 split between a judge and your opponents should give a pretty decent sample.  

I think this system also doesn't hurt the more exotic armies as much, while expecting a bit more from space marines the more common armies.  Other advantages:
1) no force chart requirements
2) doesn't force "unique" units (i never understood why that's good comp."
3) there are almost no 0's, and almost no 5's.  Most armies will cluster around 2-3, witha  few 1's and a few 4s, hopefully minimizing the overall effect of comp on best overall.

It's easier for a Judge to watch for chipmunking (giving zeros unwarranted.)  Since very few armies deserve a 0, they can ask a player why they think your army deserves a 0.  If they can't explain it, the judge should be able to give a more appropriate score. 


My Painted Armies
: Co. B, 37th Praetorian IG: 21,000pts
KOW Ogres: 4500 points
Loyalist Emperor's Children: 2500 points 
   
Made in ca
Buttons Should Be Brass, Not Gold!






Soviet Kanukistan

I have to disagree with your view that a codex specific view is needed.  Using poor maligned foot orks as an example, players that bring foot orks to a tournament already know that they are disadvantaged and are either:

1. Looking for a challenge.
2. Playing for fun.

The way the metagame works is - to build an "all comers" army against your perceptions of the "expected" spread of opponents.  The fact that say, Dark Eldar get slaughtered by monoliths, or foot orks get gunned down by Iron Warriors is directly attributed to the various strengths of the codex.

Just because a Blood Angels player has a huge Death Company win against Tau doesn't mean that the list is poor comp - even if the Tau player largely wouldn't stand a chance...  It could in fact be a fairly tame list (by comparison)... say, something like...

Chaplain w/ Jump Pack
1x Tactical Squad (10) with meltagun w/ vet sgt + Rhino
1x Tactical Squad (6) with meltagun w/ vet sgt + Lazorback
1x Tactical Squad (6) with meltagun w/ vet sgt + Lazorback
1x Scout Squad (5) w/ bolters, veg sgt
2x Assault Squad (10) with powerfist sgt
Baal Predator

It could obviously be much worse... and the blood angels are playing to their "assault" based strengths.  Is this list deserving of poor comp because it massacres Tau in HTH?

   
Made in us
Rogue Daemonhunter fueled by Chaos






Macon, GA

I think I see your point.  There is a very fine line between difficult games, and impossible games.  In the example you gave, not knowing if they went first or not, is any blood angel player feeling confident if they're facing a tau gunline?  Yes, when you play some armies you know that certain matchups will not be in your favor.  Would you say that game is unwinnable for the Tau player?  I wouldn't, but I'm not an expert on either Blood Angels or Tau.  IIRC, tournament tau lists are pretty mobile, and have at least some chance of manuevering away from the Death Company, while outshooting the remainder of the list.  Yes, if the Tau player is sloppy and lets his troops get caught by the death company, he's going to be in serious trouble, but I wouldn't call that game "unwinnable."  A tau commander has to know he might be facing a Blood angels army with a decent death company. 

Also, by codex specific, I meant the codex whose army is being judged, not the armies that it could theoretically play. 

this system is a different way of analyzing comp, and I think Hellfury might be correct in saying a judge should administer it. 

Again, the way I'd envision this working for grading low comp (zeroes and ones) would be to compare the army to viable, competitive army lists, played by reasonably skilled players.  Just because a list could blow a poorly designed Grey Knights army off the board does mean it has bad comp, it's just a tough draw.  Likewise for Dark Eldar against Necrons: DE are going to have a hard time winning a lot of the time.  The standard is whether the disadvantaged player has a "fighting chance."

Thanks for the input, it's helping me to clarify it.  This system is dependend on the instructions given to whoever is judging the armies.

My Painted Armies
: Co. B, 37th Praetorian IG: 21,000pts
KOW Ogres: 4500 points
Loyalist Emperor's Children: 2500 points 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





You still have to deal with a judge's prejudices...Giving a worse score to an outsider, or they think all Chaos is 'cheesy', or they don't understand the codex, so tank it because it has special rules (Daemonhunters comes to mind...I've had that happen to me).

Any way of judging comp is flawed and basically worthless.

And what is 'good comp'? Is it a non-effective list or is it a list that has a theme?

And what is a theme? By definition, alot of 'cheesy' lists (That are all slated one way) are themed lists...
   
Made in us
Foul Dwimmerlaik





Minneapolis, MN

Which is why I am glad more and more tourneys are opting to not use the composition scores.

sportsmanship is bad enough, though there has to be some way of policing the people who have no sense of fair play.

   
Made in us
Rogue Daemonhunter fueled by Chaos






Macon, GA

Skyth: there are two basic points that you raised, and I'll tackle them one at a time:
1) Biased judges: this is a problem for all aspects of the hobby, but perhaps worst for comp. Half the reason the score has such a bad reputation is because we've all been to tournies where our Deathwing/daemonhunters/IG (my example) got a minimum comp score while an Iron Warriors local won best army. There is no way around this, but in my experience you can create guidelines or rules that can at least constrain the worst of it. You are correct though. If you have crooked judges, you'll have a crooked event, and there's nothing you can do about it. abandoning the idea of having judges, or judged events, simply because you don't trust the ability to judge, seems unfair to those communities with fair judges.

2) Comp is inherently subjective, and impossible to create a uniform scale for. I think you might be correct here, but I'm not sure, which is why I've been working on systems for a while. I was unclear ealier, so i'll try to lay out my basic principles for this system. Personally, I think that you can create an objective standard, but if I'm wrong, I'm wrong.

Assumption 1: People come to tournaments to win
Assumption 2: Peopel come to tournaments to have fun
Assumption 3: People should bring the strongest lists they can devise to tournaments
Assumption 4: there are certain army lists, that while perhaps easily defeatible by many army lists, present an insurmountable challenge to others.
Assumption 5: There is room in the background and story of the 40k universe to justify any army that can be created on a Force Organization Chart.

This is a comp system designed with competitive gamers in mind! it doesn't punish anyone for a strong list, what it tries to do is sanction those lists that the community universally despises (siren, multiple liths, four defilers, the old star cannon list of doom, the old eldar storm guardian gunboat army, etc.)

Unless I'm completely mistaken, these lists aren't the strongest on the circuit. Instead, they are focused on defeating certain enemies, making certain match-ups nearly impossible for even a strong army to win.

The goal is to weed up gimmick armies, that don't win, and aren't fun to play against.

I shall now present my defintion of Good Comp: An army has good comp if it is strong, competitive, and presents a challenging but still possible game to it's opponent. Mech Tau, Drop Pods, Mauleed's Marines, Kult of Speed, etc. are all good comp under this system.

Great Comp is a little hazier, and admittedly more subjective because it deals with the concept of theme. An army with Great Comp will have a strong element of theme in it's construction, whether it be numbers of models in units, giving all units the same doctrine/veteran skill/trait, adherence to a craftworld or Clan list, etc. Does the army tell a story? Does it look like it was assembled for a purpose? Have any sacrifices of effectiveness to theme been made? I think that could be rewarded with a single point of comp.

To Hellfury: Yeah, I agree with you on Tournaments getting rid of comp. heres' my complaint: a ton of local places use it, and it might be nice to have a workable standard for the tournaments that still do use it. A large percentage of gamers love it. My goal was to create a system that would reward fluff-heads without penalizing powergamers.

My Painted Armies
: Co. B, 37th Praetorian IG: 21,000pts
KOW Ogres: 4500 points
Loyalist Emperor's Children: 2500 points 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





Here's a better one...

Can this list take on all comers (+1)
Is this list a rock-paper-scissors list (-1)

And btw, the 4 pie plate list with many obliterators is actually fluffy and in the theme for Iron Warriors. People just have rules-envy about that one so they whine about it.
   
Made in us
[MOD]
Madrak Ironhide







Weird. Why not one judge?

DR:70+S+G-MB-I+Pwmhd05#+D++A+++/aWD100R++T(S)DM+++
Get your own Dakka Code!

"...he could never understand the sense of a contest in which the two adversaries agreed upon the rules." Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut






Posted By skyth on 11/06/2006 2:11 PM
Here's a better one...

Can this list take on all comers (+1)
Is this list a rock-paper-scissors list (-1)

And btw, the 4 pie plate list with many obliterators is actually fluffy and in the theme for Iron Warriors. People just have rules-envy about that one so they whine about it.


So you're saying every list I've ever taking would get full points? Fantastic!

"I've still got a job, so the rules must be good enough" - Design team motto.  
   
Made in us
Krazed Killa Kan






South NJ/Philly

You can't address the fact that not all armies are created equal.

What about Mech Tau?

Not the toughest list out there by any stretch, SAFH Marines would probably have a fair chance.

Of course it completely rips the ass off any Codex or Kult of Speed Ork list I can come up with.

You seem to be into trying to Nerf Spoiler Armies; lists that just kill other specific lists or a particular type of army. But this doesn't always work - some armies will naturally hurt others.

Necrons come to mind immediately. Throw in 1 Lith and 1 Veil at 1500 Points and you've got an army that will probably rip any H2H army apart if it's built properly simply because the Warriors can phase out of combat and then whatever Choppy Squad got there will then get the full firepower of the Tin'Eads against em.

How are Orks going to deal with that? Hoard Nids? World Eaters? Dark Eldar?

Sure not all of those are competitive lists, but DE can field some nice tourny armies, but their best stuff would probably fold against the Necron list.

So do Necrons with a 'Lith automatically suffer a comp hit because there are a bunch of lists that it just hurts off the bat?

Comp can really only work if you have a detailed system that is broken down by army type; which makes it VERY complicated. I don't think you can come up with a simple system that will work.
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





Posted By mauleed on 11/07/2006 4:35 AM
Posted By skyth on 11/06/2006 2:11 PM
Here's a better one...

Can this list take on all comers (+1)
Is this list a rock-paper-scissors list (-1)

And btw, the 4 pie plate list with many obliterators is actually fluffy and in the theme for Iron Warriors. People just have rules-envy about that one so they whine about it.


So you're saying every list I've ever taking would get full points? Fantastic!

Yep

The only armies I don't like seeing in a tournament are wana-be powergamer lists.  All the shiny toys, but no cohesiveness to them. Like the Black templars army I faced...Alot of assault stuff, but then 3 Vindicators...

Basically, if it's a forgone conclusion that I'll win, there's not much of a challenge there, and not much fun.

   
Made in us
[MOD]
Madrak Ironhide







Make it a sliding scale where the two opponents decide which army has an advantage.

That'll be fun to watch.

DR:70+S+G-MB-I+Pwmhd05#+D++A+++/aWD100R++T(S)DM+++
Get your own Dakka Code!

"...he could never understand the sense of a contest in which the two adversaries agreed upon the rules." Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut






"Basically, if it's a forgone conclusion that I'll win, there's not much of a challenge there, and not much fun."

Or you could just find better opponents.

Did you win that game against the black templar army?


"I've still got a job, so the rules must be good enough" - Design team motto.  
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





Posted By mauleed on 11/07/2006 10:47 AM

"Basically, if it's a forgone conclusion that I'll win, there's not much of a challenge there, and not much fun."

Or you could just find better opponents.

Did you win that game against the black templar army?


Splattered him.  Of course, this was accompanied by him cheating, cursing and crying (with real tears) whenever I destroyed one of his vehicles, etc...

And come spring, I do intend to travel around going to regional tournaments.  But you can't quite control the caliber of opponent you face in a tournament.

   
 
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