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Ewan McNay
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 5:03 am    Post subject: CW Mini musings

Unexpectedly, I appear to be able to play in the Mini. So, I started to look at lists - then I was reminded of the conditions.

1200 points, as normal; but now both (i) on big (huge) tables for the point size (8x5 in 25mm, 6x4 in 15 - i.e. same size as the 2000-point doubles games) *and* with only 2.5 hours for the games.

Yikes. Let's take 15mm as an example; 6' is roughly 180cm, or 45 elements of table frontage. To cover it, your army's average element of frontage would have to cost well under 30 points, including command. Pretty unlikely. Indeed, the Sassanid list I drew up (stealing from Charles Yaw's ideas a while back, check the archives) only has about a *9* element frontage of actual troops, plus some lights. Urk.

OK, so we're not trying to fight across the line. That means that it's going to be a tournament of manouvre, and while massed irreg LC might actually have found their home, that probably means regular armies - which of course makes the frontage even smaller. I don't think that a foot army that is not missile-based is plausible at all, frankly. Something like an Inca, with lots of D-class, might do well, though; Khmer is another viable contender.

[The comment on LC is serious: I would expect to see a *ton* of e.g. Huns in this setup. Cheap bow armies are also going to excel; Mark's Chinese wil be great. Too bad I own none of these armies Smile.]

OK, how does one then try to get a significant win with an army relying on manouvre, on a huge table, in what's likely to be 4 bounds or so in most cases? I think that the answer is 'you don't.' Big wins are going to be at a *premium* - although I suppose that if everyone takes armies to try out the new barbarian rules, that might not be the case.

We'll see how it goes, but I'm not enthused. I suspect that matchups of opponents, more even than armies, are going to be key: a game cannot be won in 3 bounds, which is a possible game-length. And if your opponent *does* bring a LC force, there's no hope in hell of pinning it down, most likely.

Worst of all, maybe: the schedule offers *nothing* in return for the game compression: gamestarts are still at 12, 4, and 8. So no later start time to allow more flexible travel, no significant dinner break to allow a decent meal... wtf? Why are we doing this?

Having said all of that: it's still 3 games of Warrior in a day, with 3 more the following day. So the problems are only relative Smile.
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Todd Kaeser
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 11:04 pm    Post subject:

Hmmm... where have you been w/ this one Ewan??? Wink

Here's my post from Jan 29th O' Team Partner.

Quote:
Scott,

I am just expressing a concern regarding the shortened battles. I'm sure you (and others) thought long and hard about the changing of times. My concern is that there will be insufficient time to have a battle when you play against a newbee or a slow player who either takes forever to set up or move that LI unit. IMO this reduced format does not give the inexperienced a reasonable time to get through a complete battle.

I realize that they will then face the consequences of a 1-1, but then again so would the rest of those who face them.

The recent changes/modifications to table size in the Mini have changed what can and can't be played on the table. Now with the reduction of time it is impossible to conceive that that a foot army, especially close foot, can get into contact, nevermind grind it out in 2.5 hours on a 6x4 board in 15mm.

In my opinion the only viable armies are ones that you can get out there and reach your opponent quickly and decisively.

I also understand that the opposite is true if we ever were to return to the mini being on 4x4 table and 3 hours we could see Macedonians, Scots Common, etc... type armies.

I guess I'm also personally bummed that my gaming time will be reduced. I'm traveling, and many others are as well, 8+ hours and my gaming time is going to be reduced by 3 hours over 2 days. Big pile of Sad if you ask me.

I am also hoping that the rules changes, modifications, new list rules, etc... become the rare occurance rather then the common occurance of the past 3 years. I guess I'm tired of the single life of constant dating and would like to settle down and get to know WARRIOR in one form.

Just my 2 cents from an old veteran of 20 years.

Todd Kaeser


We'll have to see how this plays out. Tons of LC should be out there for the Mini. I'm hoping this will either work out well (and therefore give us a tad bit of extra time) or be a giant bust and we can return back to the old format.

Todd K

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Ewan McNay
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 2:12 am    Post subject:

Quote:
Hmmm... where have you been w/ this one Ewan??? Wink


Dozing, mostly; and I rarely think about army lists before the week of anyway (especially when I wasn't planning to make it). I tried drawing up a bunch of lists - started with the Sass, until I saw just how *tiny* they'd be in the relatively huge table; went through Arthurian, Viking (!!), a bunch of medieval stuff... I do think this combination of point, table size, and game time is just silly. As you say, we'll see.

Quote:

Here's my post from Jan 29th O' Team Partner.
I am just expressing a concern regarding the shortened battles. I'm sure you (and others) thought long and hard about the changing of times. My concern is that there will be insufficient time to have a battle when you play against a newbee or a slow player who either takes forever to set up or move that LI unit. IMO this reduced format does not give the inexperienced a reasonable time to get through a complete battle.

I realize that they will then face the consequences of a 1-1, but then again so would the rest of those who face them.

The recent changes/modifications to table size in the Mini have changed what can and can't be played on the table. Now with the reduction of time it is impossible to conceive that that a foot army, especially close foot, can get into contact, nevermind grind it out in 2.5 hours on a 6x4 board in 15mm.

In my opinion the only viable armies are ones that you can get out there and reach your opponent quickly and decisively.

I also understand that the opposite is true if we ever were to return to the mini being on 4x4 table and 3 hours we could see Macedonians, Scots Common, etc... type armies.


I think you're being overly understanding here, Todd. We *did* have that format for many years, and *didn't* see the domination of close foot. What was broken? [I suspect I have a guess: dealers complaining that we didn't have enough break time, maybe. Not that this format is going to help - I suppose that rounds of 12-2.30, 5.30 - 8 and 8.30 - 11 or some such might at least give a significant break, but we seem to have the worst of all worlds here.]

Quote:

I guess I'm also personally bummed that my gaming time will be reduced. I'm traveling, and many others are as well, 8+ hours and my gaming time is going to be reduced by 3 hours over 2 days. Big pile of Sad if you ask me.


Yep.

Quote:

We'll have to see how this plays out. Tons of LC should be out there for the Mini. I'm hoping this will either work out well (and therefore give us a tad bit of extra time) or be a giant bust and we can return back to the old format.


Given the expected prevalence of LC, I actually suspect that something like a D-class Khmer may be the 'right' answer. Oy veh. Certainly no non-missile foot are relevant, really, is my guess.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 1:50 pm    Post subject:

You know, some of us have been playing this format for years...lol It is indeed possible to get a win in the time alloted and yes, it is indeed a battle of maneuver - which is entirely the intent.

Personally, I prefer it. It discourages the play of Warrior as though its a a chess match.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 2:11 pm    Post subject:

Why are we doing this?

Because a significant (it's about a 50/50 split) of polled players last year asked for it and NASAMW's President asked to try it this year.

The specifics of the scheduling on Fri for the Mini, I didn't really redo probably because I'm lazy. I'm more interested in how it works.

The only reason the Doubles tourney isn't less time is 2000 points.

Be forewarned, all the 1600 point games at Hcon are gonna be 3.5 hours in length. I'll adjust the schedule accordingly that time around.

Again, it's simply a year-long experiment because there's a growing body of sentiment (clearly not here) that's finding the 4 hour games a real grind because the time limit used dictates a certain playing style. And the accumulated effects of playing like that all day are becoming an issue.

scott

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Todd Kaeser
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 2:21 pm    Post subject:

Okay - I'm game to give it a try and not be such a bellyacher. I will enjoy my battles, beer, and Tony Wangs to the fullest. I'll be of fair mind and will post my thoughts after the fact, as well as pictures of the WARRIOR tournaments.

Todd K

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:26 pm    Post subject:

Jon:
Quote:
You know, some of us have been playing this format for years...lol It is indeed possible to get a win in the time alloted and yes, it is indeed a battle of maneuver - which is entirely the intent.

Personally, I prefer it. It discourages the play of Warrior as though its a a chess match.


I'm not sure how 'battle of manouvre' and 'not like a chess match' are consistent Smile. Of course it is *possible* to get a result; it's just that the likelihood goes down. Where's the line of what's acceptable? Possibly worse, where's the line of how much haranguing will occur to get a recalcitrant player to speed up so that it's possible to get, oh, 3 bounds in?

Time alone - no big deal. Bigger table for the point size - slight deal, but not much. Together - well, it's a problem; I think that the range of viable armies is *so* tiny as to be a huge negative. MNSHO, of course...


Scott:
Quote:
Why are we doing this?

Because a significant (it's about a 50/50 split) of polled players last year asked for it and NASAMW's President asked to try it this year.


Wow - well, the first's certainly a decent reason, I'm just astonished.

Quote:
Be forewarned, all the 1600 point games at Hcon are gonna be 3.5 hours in length. I'll adjust the schedule accordingly that time around.


This does *not* apply to the NICT, right? [At least, that was the statement previously, and I really hope it's true still] In which case, I'll be umping and not care; expect an 'activist umpire' when it comes to time issues... Cool
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 9:24 pm    Post subject:

By chess match I don't mean the way a player maneuvers his pieces, I mean its pace.

Warrior games have the perception of being paint peeling exercises - not among the 30 players who always get qualified for the NICT, but among the prospective players of the game.

We are suffering from a lack of real recruits. We are hampered by a general (there are some exceptions, but overall..) lack of internal recruiting by those who already play the game. Outside observers see excrutiatingly long games played with hand me down armies from many years/players ago played on pieces of felt.

We are trying to tackle this on as many fronts as we can - encouraging players to have well painted armies and nice terrain, creating an introductory level game (which has admittedly been hammered by unforeseen time constraints on me..) and looking at formats other than what the big 30 want. 14 hours of things that move 24cm in games that sometimes only have 3-4 turns isn't doing us any favors in diversifying the faces of Warrior.

J

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:46 pm    Post subject:

Ewan McNay wrote:
This does *not* apply to the NICT, right? [At least, that was the statement previously, and I really hope it's true still] In which case, I'll be umping and not care; expect an 'activist umpire' when it comes to time issues... Cool


I'm with Ewan here. I'll be very disappointed if this applies to the NICT, and most likely have to give up on the army I was intending to play for the NICT and pick a different army. I had thought that was exactly the kind of policy decision that Scott was striving to avoid.

Scott Holder wrote:
Again, it's simply a year-long experiment because there's a growing body of sentiment (clearly not here) that's finding the 4 hour games a real grind because the time limit used dictates a certain playing style.


I'm confused here. I would have thought that 4 hours dictated a fairly aggressive style that benefited those looking for a decisive outcome one way or the other. I think tournament results in Lancaster over recent years bear that out. Call this the "Attack orders" style. There's a whole bunch of tactics and associated armies ruled out by this (Alex and I had an interesting conversation on this point recently when he asked why we didn't do two 6 hour games instead of three 4 hour games).

Going to 3 1/2 hours doesn't seem like a different "grind"; it seems like a more extreme form of the same grind; call it the "Rush orders" style.

What am I missing here?


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Terry Dix
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 1:23 am    Post subject:

I know that when we played TOG most tournaments in LA were 2.5 hours for 1500 pts. The engine is the same, the improvements should help speed up the game, have the generals simply slowed?
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joncleaves
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 1:54 pm    Post subject:

Mark, there are players of the game who identify the four hour game with the slow methodical wear a guy down approach full of long-considered meticulous exacting moves with the final strike aiming for a big 400-point swing coming at the 3:45 mark. I know I feel this way and I know I am not alone. I also feel - and new players have unanimously backed this up - that it is Warrior's least endearing feature.

I also believe, again not alone, that there is nothing that says you cannot get a decisive result in 3.5 or less hours. Also, there is nothing making anyone play 1600 at the NICT except the stranglehold the current qualifiers have on the format.
The NICT - love it or hate it - is one of Warrior's selling points, if not the main one, and is certainly NASAMW's/the ancients community's biggest selling point. But we've reached the limit of who we can recruit using that format. It is now keeping new players away.

Last year's debacle - 14 hours of Warrior on top of the NASAMW meeting insanity - just exacerbated the problem. this is to say nothing of the fact that you had to play a full work day of Warrior prior to that.

We have always catered to our core. But if we discover, and IMO the evidence is mounting, that catering to our core means the core is all we will ever have, we need to reconsider parts of that policy if we are to grow.

Look at the list of folks qualified for this year's NICT. Look at the one from five years ago.
To make it worse, look at the number of people who are new to the list in the last five years not recruited by me or Bill....

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 3:48 pm    Post subject:

Jon,

I sure hope you are right with this. I hope that the majority of the "slow" players are able to adapt to this reduction of time and set up promptly and keep the game at a resonable pace. It is difficult when setup takes 45 minutes.

I just went over my battles from the NICT and they typically ranged from 5-7 bounds in 4 hours. I hope I am able to achieve the same in 2.5 hours in the mini and that most of the games are decisive.

If this DOES work out I would welcome some extra time to walk around the dealer area or enjoy a meal as well.

Todd K

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 3:53 pm    Post subject:

This is my opinion - but 45 minute set up is simply horrid. It doesn't just turn off new players. I hate it. And I certainly do not feel it is in any way necessary.

Ability to enjoy the rest of a con is also not a small issue.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 4:06 pm    Post subject:

joncleaves wrote:
Mark, there are players of the game who identify the four hour game with the slow methodical wear a guy down approach full of long-considered meticulous exacting moves with the final strike aiming for a big 400-point swing coming at the 3:45 mark. I know I feel this way and I know I am not alone. I also feel - and new players have unanimously backed this up - that it is Warrior's least endearing feature.


I guess I know where this line of thinking comes from, but in my opinion it is pure myth. Go back 12 years ago to a time when sportsmanship was at something of a low point for Ancients, and I'd agree with you. Micro-measurements, cheesy flank charges, multiple bathroom breaks to drag out a game... I think we've all seen the minority of players who engaged in these extremes back then. Frankly, I just don't see it now.

If I think back on all the Cold Wars and NICT games I've played in the last five years, there have been maybe 2 or 3 games in which one side did not score at least 4 points. And while plenty of games have come down to the last bound, it has never been because of one player carefully holding off for that moment. Last bound decisions come from both sides taking their shots with the opportunities they've created, and die rolls and waver tests deciding the outcome. And that's out of roughly 30 games. And I'm hardly the Chris D'Amour all out attack kind of guy. I play a range of styles:
    skirmish and envelope (Later Paleologan Byzantines)
    probe and attack (Knights of Saint John)
    counter-punch (10 Independent States)

What I like about the 4 hour format is that it gives me room to try any of those styles and know that I have a good chance of getting to decisivie results even against a fairly deliberate player.

Take a half hour off my game time, and you severely constrain my playing style options, and hence the range of armies I can play. You make roughly half my lead purely ornamental, and unless you're willing to buy it off me, I think I have every right to be upset at the prospect of you guys doing exactly the thing you said you'd never do: undermining the value of the investment players have made in lead and painting.

So let's put our cards on the table here, Jon. If you, or anyone else on this list think there are games and/or players that are an example of "slow methodical wear a guy down approach full of long-considered meticulous exacting moves with the final strike aiming for a big 400-point swing coming at the 3:45 mark" then I'd like to hear it. Because from what I've observed over the last five years you're dead wrong.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 4:54 pm    Post subject:

You're upset. Based on my polling (not last year but the year before), you're not alone.

But you're also not in the majority. As I said before, when I last approached people on cutting back on the time, half said no, half said yes. When I see that kind of response, I realize that all is not ideal in our little world.

And yet, I did nothing last year. I probably should have done my post-NICT polling to see if the shortened game time opinion changed one way or the other. But I didn't.

However, post-NICT last year, NASAMW president and long time Warrior player, Scott McDonald, tasked me with implementing something on a test basis for 07, hence this discussion. Scott was *not* aware of my limited data nor do I think he'd talked directly with Jon about the subject. Basically, he came to a conclusion that we needed to explore the efficacy of shorter game times.

To accuse FHE of trying "undermining the value of the investment players have made in lead and painting." is mesleading at best. All we've ever said is that we'd do everything possible to not do that vis a vis FHE's list work. Tournament format has *never* entered into that equation.

Yes, we (okay, me) have a lot of input as to how tourney format runs at the Big East shows so if I'm wearing two hats at once and it causes some confusion, well, that's why.

Thus, what Scott McD suggested seemed (and seems) very reasonable to me. It shouldn't cause doom and gloom results on the part of *any* army, imnsho. I've heard these same complaints about other tourney format related issues over the last 2 decades.

Believe it or not, I straddle the fence on this issue. I, like Jon, feel that as things are setup now, it somewhat encourages the kind of setup and play that Jon critisizes. But, I'm not deaf to those times when it just seems like a game needs 4 hours at 1600 points. And I'm not deaf to how jarring this could be to some players.

But, I am *very* aware of how the prospect of a 4 hour Warrior game at 1600 points drives away potential players. And as part of FHE and NASAMW's Warrior Ump, I can't ignore that.

Thus, I'm more than willing to run this this year and then step back and see how it played out.

Moreover, when I played at Derby, game times were shorter like this and I played against some of the most hyper competitive tourney gamers on the planet. And, the games were less taxing than here--and that was in 15mm! Moreover, comments like Terry's in this thread certainly suggest that the overwhelming vast majority of Warrior games *can* be completed in less time than we currently allocate but that will mean players adjusting how they play and setup.

scott

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