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 Post subject: Re: Competitive Play Changes Proposal
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:33 pm 
Master of the Order
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S1AL wrote:
TBH, I think that you guys are approaching this in completely the wrong way. I don't see how you came to the conclusion that the intent of the game is to "finish" (i.e. reach the build total) in 60 minutes. This is, in fact, the only game where I have ever seen that comment about the "official tournament" rules, which is DCI in this case. In reality, most miniatures games also have at least 1 way to score points that doesn't involve killing pieces, and I'm of the opinion that it adds a tactical element to the game that would not otherwise be present. Then again, I've always been more interested in non-linear strategy than in linear strategy (one reason I only played chess casually). Heck, most miniatures games either don't have a notable time limit or else don't expect the players to finish within the time limit (and have more intricate rules for scoring when they don't).

So take that for what you think it's worth... just a different perspective from the norm, it would appear.


Well, for me....."finish the game" does not necessarily equal "kill all your opponents pieces". "Finish the game" equals "reach the build total limit of (for instance) 150 points". I'm 100% for alternate methods of achieving points in the game.


Mickey wrote:
Actually Aaron the gambit was still in there [sticks tongue out] :lol:


Not sure what you mean there. Gambit was not introduced until AFTER the Universe set came out. So, four full sets of the rules simply being "kill your opponent's squad within the time limit" (or, yes, I know, have more points than your opponent when time was called). Gambit was then introduced to combat the Override/Lockout issues.

Cybit wrote:
Fun is relative, though. My roommate, for instance, LOVES those close, tense, 40-35 games that comes down to tight positioning and careful shots.


I'm not saying that this can't be fun too. I'm just suggesting to try playing games to completion. I would definitely agree with Dean on this one. I think by playing only to a 40-35 score means you're missing out on a lot that the game has to offer, and a lot on how to beat an opponent that would play MUCH faster. What happens when you get to GenCon and have to play against Bill or me or Dean, and they are screaming through the game at full speed. Even if you play your normal pace, the game will probably go 2-3 rounds more in the 60 minutes than you are used to. If you don't often play games to that point of the conflict, you will be at a sore disadvantage in how to win at that point, because you don't have practice at that point in the game.

Grand Moff Boris wrote:
Maybe we should just do away with Gambit altogether and go with the rule:

Games are limited to 60 minutes or less, though players are encouraged to complete the game in a shorter amount of time, if possible.

If a game goes to time, add up the total points based on characters defeated. (San Hill is worth 10 points, for example.) The person with the most points is the winner.

If a game goes 10 rounds without a character making an attack, taking damage, or rolling a save initiated by an enemy character's action, the game immediately ends at the end of the 10th round. For each character within 4 squares of the middle of the map, the controlling player scores 10 points.

A player who used Override 5 or more times in that 10-round period loses 50 points.


That's certainly an option.

Another thing i was thinking about would be to say something like "Players only gain gambit in rounds where no attacks were made, and no offensive abilities (Special Abilities or Force Powers that affect the opponent's pieces) were activated". That way, as long as you take one shot per round, no gambit for either player. If an opponent decides to try a lock-out, then the opponent can start racking up gambit. All it would take to deny gambit would be an Ugo attacking the other Ugo in the gambit zone. :P


Oh, and great example piece to pick in your suggestion above. Woot San Hill. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Competitive Play Changes Proposal
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:38 pm 
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Gambit is the saving grace in most games against slow play. I will not support any method that makes it more difficult to obtain.

I also won't likely support anything that makes a major change in the game rules. I don't think that is needed at this time, it pisses people off unnecessarily, and often creates as many new problems as it fixes. Minor tweaks here and there are ok and helpful, but changing the scoring system is too much.

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 Post subject: Re: Competitive Play Changes Proposal
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:48 pm 
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billiv15 wrote:
Gambit is the saving grace in most games against slow play. I will not support any method that makes it more difficult to obtain.

I also won't likely support anything that makes a major change in the game rules. I don't think that is needed at this time, it pisses people off unnecessarily, and often creates as many new problems as it fixes. Minor tweaks here and there are ok and helpful, but changing the scoring system is too much.


I agree, Gambit is a amazing tool. I also think at this stage in the game it would be hard to make that change. Back in ROTS/UNI onyl 3/4 sets in it was new, but so was the game, now we are way past that.

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 Post subject: Re: Competitive Play Changes Proposal
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:16 pm 
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LoboStele wrote:
Cybit wrote:
swinefeld wrote:
LoboStele wrote:
<snip....>
And I don't really like setting the exact round minimums. Some people end up only playing 3-4 rounds in the 1 hour time limit already. Do we really want tournaments to be round-based instead of time-based? Do you grant double-losses to anyone who doesn't finish 8 rounds in an hour for a 150 point game? Sure, that might encourage people to play faster, but as others have pointed out in the thread, that unnaturally balances the game toward the top-end players who are capable of not only playing fast, but playing cautiously AND playing fast at the same time.
<snip....>


This is really the issue at the LGS level (at least mine). There are a few players that will clean the clocks of the rest of us in short order if we do not carefully consider most of our moves. It is a sliding scale, and I think I fall somewhere in the middle in that it's the same situation for the newer (or very casual) players when facing me or another player of my skill level.

I realize I'm a slow player, but not the type that is dragging things out just to get a win on points. I'm always seeking ways to keep putting damage on, and hopefully eliminate some important tech which will blow the game open for me. I sacrifice pieces to do so. But I often don't see some of the key moves (for either side) quickly so I have to take more time with it. Below my skill level some players don't see the onslaught coming when it is right in front of them.

The best players are usually going to win anyway, so I feel that for a lot of us, any kind of hard limits (outside of time) would just take away the enjoyment of learning to put up a good fight against better opponents. We have to learn to play faster, yes - but play WELL at the same time. That's hard to do when you can only play a few times a month, and then when you do get to play, you see the core of your squad get annihilated because of hasty decisions. There isn't much fun in that.

That said, at the regional or national tourney level I think it is only fair to be a stricter about the issue - there is a higher standard to be met at such events. I would just ask that any DCI-wide changes take into consideration that there are a LOT of players who regularly have matches that go to time that aren't playing just to win on points - we are playing to play the BEST game we can muster up.


What he said. :)


LOL

I know where you guys are coming from. We have the same issue at my LGS. Probably at least 60% of our games go to time there. Most of us are having a blast, and very few times does anyone actually complain about one person playing slow. Most of the time, the person playing slow ends up being the loser anyways.

In addition, we play 50 minute rounds at a maximum, simply because we're trying to squeeze in 4 rounds on most nights. So, usually, we play 50 minutes for 200 point games, 40 or 45 minutes for 150, and 30 minutes for 100 points. It's actually pretty interesting how much of a difference those 10 minutes make. 90% of the games that end when time is called, and the score is something like 40-30, if those games had 1-2 more rounds, the scores would usually be something more like 120-50 by the end of that next round or two. So, for our group, we usually don't fuss about the 'slow play' because it's already starting to be obvious who was going to win, and most of us can extrapolate what the next round or two would hold.

But....regardless of how much fun you might be having, with your super tight, brain-scratching games that go to time...don't you think you might have more fun if you played the games all the way to their conclusion? Wouldn't it be interesting to see if you really could come back after you lost that key commander?

These are the types of things in this thread that we've been trying to communicate. Many SWM are comfortable with the game as it is. Humans naturally resist change. But sit down with your friends, and agree that you're all going to try playing faster, even if it means making a few mistakes here and there. What we're suggesting is that you will probably have more fun overall in that scenario.

This isn't necessarily about what's right or wrong, or whether 4 rounds in an hour is OK. It's about getting back to what the spirit of the game was designed around: killing your opponent's squad. Regardless of what the DCI rules say, killing your opponent's squad was the first way, and only way at the beginning, of winning games. We'd just like to see things shift back towards that.


Oh, I understand what this thread is trying to communicate. I'm not against encouraging faster play and completing games - it's a great goal. I'm just saying that some games go to time with low scores and are GREAT games, and there is no "stalling" going on - it is just part of the nature of the builds and player matchups. I'm just not for hard limits or minimums with regards to number of rounds played etc, or penalties, unless the judge can actually verify an abusive situation happening.

I have an open mind about this - I just don't want see things changed in a way that makes it even harder for the less experienced players to compete. People have different learning styles. Being "forced" to play fast would be good (and fun) for some, but maybe not so much for others.

So sure, let's coax things back in that direction. I'm just wary of what rules changes could mean. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Competitive Play Changes Proposal
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:48 pm 
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LoboStele wrote:
Gambit was not introduced until AFTER the Universe set came out.


Actually, Gambit was introduced just after RotS came out.

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 Post subject: Re: Competitive Play Changes Proposal
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:52 pm 
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swinefeld wrote:
Oh, I understand what this thread is trying to communicate. I'm not against encouraging faster play and completing games - it's a great goal. I'm just saying that some games go to time with low scores and are GREAT games, and there is no "stalling" going on - it is just part of the nature of the builds and player matchups. I'm just not for hard limits or minimums with regards to number of rounds played etc, or penalties, unless the judge can actually verify an abusive situation happening.

I have an open mind about this - I just don't want see things changed in a way that makes it even harder for the less experienced players to compete. People have different learning styles. Being "forced" to play fast would be good (and fun) for some, but maybe not so much for others.

So sure, let's coax things back in that direction. I'm just wary of what rules changes could mean. :)


I think we're mostly on the same page there. The original suggestion from Bill does not include a single rules change in regards to Slow Play.

Not one. The fear from some is that maybe some players and judges interpret guidelines/suggestions as rules changes.

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 Post subject: Re: Competitive Play Changes Proposal
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:57 pm 
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NickName wrote:
The fear from some is that maybe some players and judges interpret guidelines/suggestions as rules changes.


thats how i look at gudielines as being one step down from being a rule

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 Post subject: Re: Competitive Play Changes Proposal
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:57 pm 
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Ironically until reading this thread I never considered that the concept of killing all your opponents characters as the point to the DCI game. Even on Bloo I made some questions about how to best get Gambit to make sure I was scoring points and my current build I was going to try and use was built around the idea of putting some Evading Vong in the middle and hope they can outlast in gambit to score points. With Primarily defensive squad and they fact that I had a mind set of scoring points as a tactic mean that I am somehow playing the game wrong? When I read the floor rules it says:



A match ends when:
1.a player meets the victory condition, or
2.the match time limit runs out,

If a match ends before a player meets the victory condition, players complete the current round. At the end of that round, the player who scored the most victory points is the winner.

There are two ways to score victory points:
1)
Eliminate enemy models: points scored are equal to model cost
2)
Occupy the map center: five points are scored each round that a player ends a round with a model within four squares of the center of the map; ignore low objects and walls when determining this area.



As a new player and a new member of the community I read the DCI rules as scoring points is what matters, or keep your opponent from scoring points. Not kill your opponent, but keeping them from getting to the 150 point condition, while scoring your own points.

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 Post subject: Re: Competitive Play Changes Proposal
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:07 pm 
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NickName wrote:
Not one. The fear from some is that maybe some players and judges interpret guidelines/suggestions as rules changes.


Granted, it's not a real change but any time you flesh out concepts into something more concrete, whether meant as guidelines or something more, this usually can and does happen.

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 Post subject: Re: Competitive Play Changes Proposal
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:08 pm 
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As a new player and a new member of the community I read the DCI rules as scoring points is what matters, or keep your opponent from scoring points. Not kill your opponent, but keeping them from getting to the 150 point condition, while scoring your own points.


The point of gambit scoring was to allow you to still achieve victory with a combination of kills and center points if your opponent locked himself in a room, or "camped" on the fringes of the map or start area. It wasn't really implimented to allow any gameplay speed or score differential no matter how low be an alternative form of victory. Something was lost in translation and it wasn't really evident until these discussions pointed out that that wording is not explicit in the floor rules.

But you're partly right in that it's an alternate way to get to 150. The problem is that people have gone from using it at an alternate way to get to a 150 point victory and instead use it as a method to win 50-40 through tiebreakers.

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 Post subject: Re: Competitive Play Changes Proposal
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:10 pm 
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NickName wrote:
The point of gambit scoring was to allow you to still achieve victory with a combination of kills and center points if your opponent locked himself in a room, or "camped" on the fringes of the map or start area. It wasn't really implimented to allow any gameplay speed or score differential no matter how low be an alternative form of victory. Something was lost in translation and it wasn't really evident until these discussions pointed out that that wording is not explicit in the floor rules.


Exactly, which is what I propose cleaning up in the next update.

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 Post subject: Re: Competitive Play Changes Proposal
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:16 pm 
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Grand Moff Boris wrote:
Granted, it's not a real change but any time you flesh out concepts into something more concrete, whether meant as guidelines or something more, this usually can and does happen.


I guess I just consider the potential benefits worth the potential risk.

I don't think the game really needs a drastic change at this point--and that's why it seems like maybe I too have been a bit dismissive of other more radical ideas. (Note that I've been equally dismissive of my own so I hope that at least there's a hint of objectivity evident.)

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 Post subject: Re: Competitive Play Changes Proposal
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:18 pm 
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billiv15 wrote:
Exactly, which is what I propose cleaning up in the next update.


How do you do that? If you allow points to be a victory condition that has equal weight as defeating your opponent there is still no incentive for a player to try and eliminate the other team. I generally play most games and not just SWM in a defensive manner. (After all a good offense is a good defense.) I play to minimize the points that can be scored on me because at the end of the day a W is still a W and there is no difference between a point win and a Kill win. I think unless there is some way you can fix that your never going to fix the problem of the perception of what the point of the game is.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:26 pm 
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Azavander wrote:
billiv15 wrote:
Exactly, which is what I propose cleaning up in the next update.


How do you do that? If you allow points to be a victory condition that has equal weight as defeating your opponent there is still no incentive for a player to try and eliminate the other team. I generally play most games and not just SWM in a defensive manner. (After all a good offense is a good defense.) I play to minimize the points that can be scored on me because at the end of the day a W is still a W and there is no difference between a point win and a Kill win. I think unless there is some way you can fix that your never going to fix the problem of the perception of what the point of the game is.


The tactics you mention are fine. The abusive part comes when it's coupled with slow play (which it most often is). If enough rounds are being played, your ability to sit and defend can be hampered by gambit points, and offensive play. If you are allowed to slow the game down to a 4-6 round affair, then the game is not being played fairly.

I don't want to take away strategic options, which is why I am not in support of changing anything drastically with the rules. What I want, is to deal with the abuse that has become all too common. You can play defensively all you want, but if I have 8 or more rounds, in many cases I have at least had enough time to counter your play. 6 rounds or less, is generally not enough.

It has been lost in the thread, but I also proposed changing the tie breaker scoring in a time limit game, to include scoring 1/2 pts for any mini with less than 1/2 health remaining. This will hamper the defensive player from abusing the time limit by running in the last round in many cases.

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 Post subject: Re: Competitive Play Changes Proposal
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:30 pm 
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billiv15 wrote:
It has been lost in the thread, but I also proposed changing the tie breaker scoring in a time limit game, to include scoring 1/2 pts for any mini with less than 1/2 health remaining. This will hamper the defensive player from abusing the time limit by running in the last round in many cases.



This is an idea that I think is really great, because it opens up the meta a little bit for people to consider healing, bacta and other things. I can already see swap squads bring people back and forth to a Bacta/Cade Skywalker tank to heal some one before moving them back out, especially with more points in 200.

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 Post subject: Re: Competitive Play Changes Proposal
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:36 pm 
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Personally I'm happy with the way things are myself. I have not experienced slow play--the intentional slowing of the game to gain an advantage or at least I have never perceived it.

When my boy and I started playing 3 years ago we only played casual and did so for 2 years. For us it was always about killing everything. Since we had no time limits I taught him to carefully consider every move just like you would do in chess. You can't take a move back once you make it so choose a good one and weigh your options. That takes time. Last year we decided to get into competitive play and he of course took that slow decision process with him. He's slow for sure. He was a camper in casual also almost never leaving the room he started in. In DCi with gambit he had to adjust and be more aggressive. Gambit I think is a good thing.

When we began DCI we basically learned each game was won by highest score. I know you all say it is meant to be won by killing but each game boils down to score whether you kill all the pieces or not. When I play a game I intend to score the most points before time is up. I go into any game knowing that the time will most likely be called before I can kill everything.

In the regionals out of my 5 games 1 ended due to killing everything. That was against my first opponent who had no clue how to play. I spent more time trying to teach him the game than playing. He decided he didn't want to play and just got everything killed. The rest of my games went to time decided on points. One I conceded right at the end because I knew there was no way I was going to catch up on points in time. The other 3 were very close matches and at no time did I think my opponent was stalling. I consider myself a faster player and rarely ponder over my moves since I do that doing their turn.

So long story made short, a game for me is based on points not kills. That's just the way I learned to play DCI matches :oops:

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 Post subject: Re: Competitive Play Changes Proposal
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:49 pm 
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You clearly taught him to play chess in a non-competetive environment otherwise there would be a Chess clock and the time issues that accompany it where you must make the best use of the limited time available.

The same is true of casual vs competetive SWM. Even though there is no clock in SWM that directly limits each player's time consumption, players still should be treating the game as if half the time belongs to their opponent and that the goal should be to achieve victory in the 30 minutes that's yours. (And granted, we've been lax as a community in communicating that for years, so it's not unusual in the least that you've evolved to this state.)

Also, you're confusing slow play with stalling. Stalling is intentionally taking longer than necessary to exploit the clock. Slow play is playing at a speed that does not allow for any possibility of completing the game. The former is cheating and will get you DQed for a single offense. The latter generally just a warning to speed up, but multiple infractions could lead to a game loss penalty.

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 Post subject: Re: Competitive Play Changes Proposal
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:16 pm 
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Grand Moff Boris wrote:
You want to stop slow play issues? I'll tell you exactly how to do it, and it will be so unpopular that there may be a lynching for saying it.

Activation limits.

No more than 6 characters in 100.
No more than 10 characters in 150.
No more than 12 characters in 200.

Characters with Swarm ignore this restriction.
Characters that enter the game through abilities such as Reserves or Reinforcements ignore this restriction.

Watch what happens.

It took me a while to locate this post.

DDM included an activation limit. It really made fodder pieces not throw away. If you only had a few cheap pieces, you would be much less likely to risk them in the Gambit zone.

I'm for heavily considering the above suggestion. It made DDM a fun game to play.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:24 pm 
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Engineer wrote:
Grand Moff Boris wrote:
You want to stop slow play issues? I'll tell you exactly how to do it, and it will be so unpopular that there may be a lynching for saying it.

Activation limits.

No more than 6 characters in 100.
No more than 10 characters in 150.
No more than 12 characters in 200.

Characters with Swarm ignore this restriction.
Characters that enter the game through abilities such as Reserves or Reinforcements ignore this restriction.

Watch what happens.

It took me a while to locate this post.

DDM included an activation limit. It really made fodder pieces not throw away. If you only had a few cheap pieces, you would be much less likely to risk them in the Gambit zone.

I'm for heavily considering the above suggestion. It made DDM a fun game to play.


I don't think it helps as much as you think. The Snowspeeder squads started with 8-10 activations and generally added 6 more with Lobot. I've also seen people play slow with 6-8 activations. I really don't think number of activations is the primary issue. It's a secondary issue at best. The primary cause is that many players think they can take longer to do everything than they should be allowed, and judges have not enforced the slow play rules to stop it.

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 Post subject: Re: Competitive Play Changes Proposal
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:32 pm 
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Actually I taught him to play to have fun. As I told Jim last night if we do make it to GenCon next year, which we hope, I intend to play something less competitve. It just seems the championship play is more about winning than having fun from all the talk I see. I play thia game to have fun. Each time I enter a DCI event it is to meet new people and to have a good time. No matter how a game turns out I have always had fun.

I was confused about the definition of slow play because it seems in most of the complaints written here about it there is an underlying accusation that someone is doing it on purpose.

As I said, I'm perfectly happy playing for points to end the game as long as I had fun playing.

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