22 March 2012

Tournament in Ten Days

I'm making the final edits in the scenarios, putting together some more buildings and bridges, getting the word out, and thinking about what I want for the next Dystopian Wars event.  For the DWVA Spring Event, only ten days out now, I mostly wanted to set up a day of some fun games for both experienced and new players.  At least two players planning to attend only own a naval starter box while several others have more than a thousand points in naval and armored models each, so I wanted a format which would welcome the new players while still providing some variety for the more experienced players. 

The first round is just a basic naval match, but with the option for a player to reduce the starting force by ten percent, from 800 to only 720 (this is the limit of any starter naval box), providing a new player a chance to participate in a big game and a bonus despite the conclusion of the match--the player electing to use the smaller naval force will earn a bonus Objective Point, therefore earning something toward placing in the tournament even if the first round ends in absolute defeat.  And for the experienced player, why not rise to the challenge of winning a game with the smaller force?  I remember reading those BattleTech novels when I was a teenager, particularly interested in how the Clans, when planning an attack against a planet in the Inner Sphere, would actually bid for the honor of leading the attack by electing to send the smallest force still able to conquer the planet from the more numerous but inferior Inner Sphere forces; I've often thought about incorporating that element into a wargame.  For this next DW event it's just a simple mechanic:  field a force 10% smaller than the MFV of the scenario and earn a bonus Objective Point, regardless of whether the player wins or loses, but I'd like to expand on this element to include in later scenarios.  I've been thinking about the possibility that for every 5% fewer points in your force than your opponent then your final score in Victory Points could be increased by 10%... if you actually manage to win.  In this way, for example, a player with a smaller force could score not just a marginal win but a epic victory against challenging odds.  That's the concept anyway, but I'll work on expanding it for next time.

Also, the team match in the second round will be a good opportunity for the more experienced players with lots of models to put their landships on the table while the new players still have a chance to have their shiny new naval ships see a bit more action.  Teams will work together to take objectives and win the scenario, earning points for each player in the team, but there will also be opportunities for players to earn points for individual achievements.

For this event I also wanted to try using something other than the basic VP formula for scoring wins and placements.  In each scenario there are objectives, and players earn Objective Points for each objective achieved by the end of any round.  For example, in the first round, points are only awarded for ships in a scoring position at the end of the game, so while blasting your opponent's ships out of the water might keep him from achieving any objectives it won't lead you to an automatic victory.  This should keep the games short, as we will be playing until a time limit and then scoring objectives rather than playing until one player has no more ship models to activate.  Also, it will make scoring easier for me to track as I won't be madly punching digits into a calculator and determining placement for players after each round like I did for the last event back in November.  Each player could be scoring 1-5 Objective Points each round rather than over a thousand odd victory points, so I should be able to do all the math in my head.

And the final round?  Well, I wanted this event to be fun, and I wanted to try something big, and I figured we might have eight or ten players all in one room, so why not get everyone around one big table and try an epic land game?  Of course, this scenario sort of leaves out the new player with just the naval starter box, so I decided not to include this final round as part of the scoring for the first two rounds (unless necessary to break any ties).  But it would provide an opportunity for some great pictures and (hopefully) a fun experience which most players can't capture with their usual matches of two or even four players in an afternoon game.

I'm not expecting a massive turnout for this event, mostly the same guys I've been playing against in recent months, maybe as many players as in November, certainly a few new players.  The date isn't the best for everyone wanting to participate, but I wanted to host something by the end of March rather than wait until a more agreeable date which will likely be later this summer.  So, the 1st of April it is, just so we can get together and play some games and try some new things and have a bit of fun.  And by trying some new things I'll be able to improve the format and successfully host something bigger and better later in the year.