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 Post subject: GenCon 2008 planning update
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 10:56 am 
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It’s been too long since I posted on this site. My apologies. I thought I would spend a moment and talk about what’s happening in the planning for next years GenCon.

As you know, Pastimes will hopefully be retained and at this point there is a 99% chance that the contract will be completed. This will happen sometime in February. From that point the serious planning will begin. In the meantime, I started a thread a month or so ago on the WOTC message boards asking for some input. Many a good idea was brought to the table.

One of the key issues for 2008 will be the release of the KOTR huge expansion listed to release the Tuesday before GenCon. If this happens, league and a sealed event will be something that our team will really have to plan for. As you know, when Universe released in 2005 during GenCon, things got dicey. League play was destroyed since Universe product was sold out by Friday evening. To ensure a positive Con experience we can’t let that happen again.

That said, we are planning on a championship once again. At this point, it’s still planned at 150 points. We are however, considering a map rotation that would not include KGM. We will have to have permission on that from WOTC. I will have a die for each player in the championship as I did last year. Color will remain a secret until the event. I did look into customized dice. Wow, it’s really expensive to customize a D20. That is probably why we have not seen that. I’m still looking to find a vendor that can do it for a reasonable price. No promises here.

In addition, we will have a 100, 150, 200 point tournaments that will again be capped at 4 rounds. The difference this year is that we are looking at a special award for the individual that scores the highest number of points combining the three events. Call it the “Jedi Challenge Seriesâ€￾.

We will have other events as well. We will have a sealed event. I am trying to work out a team event. I am hoping that Boris will return to do the Hoth Battle (especially now with the new figs that work with the Hoth scenario). Rather than Trooper and Uttinni, we are planning to have Dynamic Duo and Tile Wars.

OK, I’m not sure about prize support at this time. I will know more as we get closer to GenCon and will let everyone know as far in advance as possible. I am looking into some customized figs as prizes this year. I will again have score sheets if you need them.

If everything goes to plan, Jon will be back again for league. His side games this year will be played on a Dwarven Forge replica of the ROTS starter map. It should be interesting.

Not totally different from 2007 but with some enhancements. We will be watching the release schedule. Once again, you will be mentally exhausted by Sunday afternoon!!!!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 11:07 am 
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I like the suggestions you are making so far! And the "Jedi Challenge Series" sounds like a REALLY great idea to try to drum up interest in the other games throughout the weekend, and not just in the big Championship.

Depending on how things continue to develop over the coming year, I definitely think it may be worthwhile to consider doing the Championship at 200 points instead of 150. If DCI adds the Ruined Base and Yavin Temple to the map list, and possibly the new Hoth map (haven't play-tested that one yet to know for sure) then you may not really have any map issues, and might open up the squad builds even more. I don't think I had any more (or less for that matter) trouble finishing games in the 200 point tourney at GC'07 than the 150 games. No matter what point format you run, some people will not finish until time is called.

Glad to know you're behind the wheel again, Moses. With a set release that same week, this should be tons of fun! However, a Tuesday release date seems really odd to me (initial reports for A&E gave a Tuesday release date as well, and it was later changed to Friday). So I would HIGHLY CAUTION that you look into that aspect, and what impact it would have on Sealed/League events if the set doesn't release until Friday. From what I've heard, there were some upset LGS's around the nation when Universe was made available on Thursday, a day early, at the con. I'd verify all those dates with WotC as soon as possible and find out what their plan is for the latest product. The way it was handled at Celebration IV was nothing less than simply unacceptable (League started you with a COTF and BH booster, and only introduced a VERY limited amount of prizes from A&E on Saturday and Sunday). Basically, the only A&E stuff that happened at CIV was the sealed tournament, and that was VERY disappointing.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 12:03 pm 
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LoboStele wrote:
Depending on how things continue to develop over the coming year, I definitely think it may be worthwhile to consider doing the Championship at 200 points instead of 150. If DCI adds the Ruined Base and Yavin Temple to the map list, and possibly the new Hoth map (haven't play-tested that one yet to know for sure) then you may not really have any map issues, and might open up the squad builds even more. I don't think I had any more (or less for that matter) trouble finishing games in the 200 point tourney at GC'07 than the 150 games. No matter what point format you run, some people will not finish until time is called.


Obviously the issue is time. I'm not locked in to 150 but consider the time issues the judges will face at 200. Not necessarily with the seasoned player but with the average player that still struggles to get done with 150 in an hour.

LoboStele wrote:
However, a Tuesday release date seems really odd to me (initial reports for A&E gave a Tuesday release date as well, and it was later changed to Friday). So I would HIGHLY CAUTION that you look into that aspect, and what impact it would have on Sealed/League events if the set doesn't release until Friday. From what I've heard, there were some upset LGS's around the nation when Universe was made available on Thursday, a day early, at the con. I'd verify all those dates with WotC as soon as possible and find out what their plan is for the latest product.


Well, I'm really going to watch this. Because this could really be a problem for us.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 12:10 pm 
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I am real concerned with 200 for the champ at this time. Lobot reinforcements allowed more than enough time control/abuse at 150 this year. However, I do not want to see a format where it can be further abused.

For me the issue at 200 now has become Garm + Lobot. There were other reinforcement options before, but none as potent or as competitive as this (Jabba and Nute). At 150 its pretty tough to use both of these guys. At 200, it can absolutely be abused - and believe me, I will do it if we can. Good luck getting through my free ugos, and rebels (perhaps a free Golan to sit on gambit first turn) and getting to my point figs who are hiding in the back shooting at you fast enough to score any points.

If DCI doesnt deal with the reinforcements in some way, I do not want to play a 200 pt champ ever.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 12:37 pm 
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It's being discussed that Reinforcements shouldn't score gambit, but who knows if such a rule will be in place before GenCon.

Of course, there's also still the chance the initiative rules are going to change between now and then, too. Just have to see.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 12:50 pm 
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billiv15 wrote:
I am real concerned with 200 for the champ at this time. Lobot reinforcements allowed more than enough time control/abuse at 150 this year. However, I do not want to see a format where it can be further abused.

For me the issue at 200 now has become Garm + Lobot. There were other reinforcement options before, but none as potent or as competitive as this (Jabba and Nute). At 150 its pretty tough to use both of these guys. At 200, it can absolutely be abused - and believe me, I will do it if we can. Good luck getting through my free ugos, and rebels (perhaps a free Golan to sit on gambit first turn) and getting to my point figs who are hiding in the back shooting at you fast enough to score any points.

If DCI doesnt deal with the reinforcements in some way, I do not want to play a 200 pt champ ever.

Huh? This is the first I think that I've heard someone complaining about reinforcements being somehow detrimental to the game.


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 Post subject: gen con 2008
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 1:07 pm 
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the problem with lobot and garm is this. run into gambit collect 5 to 10 points, kill off one of there characters the play keep away till time runs out. i saw this severel times up there, by some of the better players as well. not going to name any names but they are on this board. so 150 i think should be the big event. also i would like to see some kind of time issue on how long it takes you to move or act so people can't turtle there way to a win. had a guy try to do this to me after he jumped out to a big lead, only to see me come roaring back on him in the last 10 min of the match. but a champ for each 100 150 and 200 would be cool. as long as the big prize went to 150.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 1:11 pm 
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Menoth's Fire wrote:
Huh? This is the first I think that I've heard someone complaining about reinforcements being somehow detrimental to the game.


Then you missed my "Gencon Learnings" thread on WotC that I made after Gencon this year to address some of the ongoing issues for DCI competitive play (Issues were there before Gencon, however, the champ showed them to almost everyone who played or watched it).

I talked about this very issue. I suggested that reinforcements not be able to gain gambit points as one of my improvements.

I also suggested a change to initiative (this one came from Rob's mouth as a possibility actually).

AS well as removing KMG from legal play - which got by far the most attention in the thread.

And finally that something needed to be done to lower the dominance of Boba BH and JWMs (I asked for more counters rather than bannings). This has been covered well enough imo by TFU and will continue in the future. Some would still like Disintegration changed, however.

And finally, the reinforcements were used in particular with San Hill (not exclusively mind you) to turtle. Outactivate your opponent, hide completely, at the end of the round charge a free ugo/ewok into gambit. Repeat. Force your opponent into your trap to score points. Take enough time each round to only finish 5-6 rounds of play in an hour. Etc.

Emr131 already has looked as possible exploits. At 200 it gets so much worse.

Would you like to see a potential squad design?

Garm 45
Lobot 27
Boba Merc 58
Han RH 35
Droids 18
Camasi Noble 5
Ugo X4 12

Now, you can play it straight by getting an MTB with lots of fodder if you want, or get a golan and/or fodder to turtle.

50pts of reinforcements are an aweful lot to have to fight through. Especially since they can gain gambit for sure for a round (Golan). At least with just lobot, most fodder you could kill with one shot. Good luck taking the Golan down in one round.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 1:23 pm 
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I will be the first to admit that I used Reinforcements as a way to control how the game went.

However, I think I only had one, possibly two games during all 9 that I played in the Championship that actually went to time. There's a very big difference between using Reinforcements and stalling to win, and using Reinforcements to control how the game plays out. Up until now, I honestly don't think it would've been possible to use Reinforcements and stall to win. After one or two rounds, if it was obvious my opponent was stalling, I'd make them regret it. In my experience, a player that stalls only does so because they are not confident they can win the game any other way. This means, if you take the fight to them, you quite likely will win out in the end.

So, I just wanted to point out that just because a person is using Reinforcements to gain free gambit, does not mean they are intentionally trying to stall and win a game. Even both my games in the finals were finished before time was called, and that included about 10 minutes of running around in circles against stsparks, lol.

Of course, as Billiv pointed out, I do think that at the 200 point level, this may have drastically changed because of Garm. The Golan Turret becomes a piece that can potentially gain 3 to 4 rounds of gambit, while forcing your opponent to sit out in the middle of the battle field and deal with it. When you have solid shooters like Boba Merc and Han RH behind that turret, it definitely presents abusive problems.

So, Bill, what you point out about the 200 point level is a very valid point, especially since you're looking at an army with probably 15+ activations too. I hadn't really thought that through. I think it would certainly take some heavy play-testing for me to determine exactly how big of a problem that is.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 1:41 pm 
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Yes, lobo, I certainly wasnt pointing to you specifically as I told you before. The tactic was seen to some degree from a number of players. And I am certainly not criticizing the tactic either, dont get me wrong. If its legal, abuse it (I turtled with Han quite a bit on Mustafar). The worst of the abuse however could be yet to come.

Making the champ 200 with the current rules would be a mistake imo. Not saying changes cannot be made to fix it, Ive already suggested some.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 1:48 pm 
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Wouldn't playing more aggressively stop the tactic, too?

If everyone is hiding and sniping, then all you'll be able to do is kill 0-point scrubs.I find that a lot of these stall/turtle tactics fall apart if you play less conservatively and get damage-dealers into their backfield. I have to admit that from watching so many games on vassal and at big tournies, that too many folks (IMO) play this way (conservatively, that is) which, to me anyway, is very boring and not what I think SWM should be. Builds designed for aggressive play will make anyone think twice about hiding-based squads.


Last edited by Menoths Fire on Wed Dec 05, 2007 1:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 1:50 pm 
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Actually, now that i think about it...reinforcements do not scare me at all. Look at the maps that the reinforcement gambit gainers abused (deathstar and mustafar mainly). These maps are very open to this type of abuse. How would you abuse maps like the rancor pit, temple, ruined base, starship, throne room? These maps are balanced enough that you really cannot do this effectively. While most maps have an advantageous side, it isnt AS abusive as it can be in 150.

As far as slower players not finishing, i dont think it really matters. They are going to struggle either way. The balance of maps allows for people to run more aggressive squads than 150. You dont have to worry about getting screwed into the open. The starships is the only one that is close, but even it isnt that bad...and i run a lot of straight Jedi melee.

In 150 everyone is scared of having to deal with KMG. The balanced maps alone i think make 200 jsut as viable.

I would really like to see 200 tested.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 1:58 pm 
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Sorry if this pulls a bit away from topic but what were the discussed changes to initiative?

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 2:13 pm 
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Menoth's Fire wrote:
Wouldn't playing more aggressively stop the tactic, too?

If everyone is hiding and sniping, then all you'll be able to do is kill 0-point scrubs.I find that a lot of these stall/turtle tactics fall apart if you play less conservatively and get damage-dealers into their backfield. I have to admit that from watching so many games on vassal and at big tournies, that too many folks (IMO) play this way (conservatively, that is) which, to me anyway, is very boring and not what I think SWM should be. Builds designed for aggressive play will make anyone think twice about hiding-based squads.


This is exactly what I was hinting at. If I play a squad that doesn't have Reinforcements, and my opponent wants to turtle while using his Reinforcements to get cheap gambit, for the most part, I am confident that I can take the battle to them, and end up on top. Besides, if that opponent turtles, once I kill off whatever he has in gambit, then the gambit area becomes mine. As soon as I start moving pieces toward his starting area to get the ones that are hiding, now I effectively block him from being able to get gambit at all, because he now has to get past my big pieces first. So, whatever gambit they gain in the first few rounds gets negated by the rounds that I hold it completely. Certainly, it still takes some good playing to win these types of games, but in my experience, you have to use the Reinforcements to force the opponent to play into your hands, but you CANNOT turtle at the same time. You still have to play aggressively. I never once kept Boba and Aurra hidden more than the first couple of rounds at GenCon.

(Oh, and Bill, I know you weren't talking about me, and I wasn't sure that anybody was, but I thought I would just offer my thoughts and show that it was possible to both use Reinforcements, and do well in a big tournament, without turtling or stalling.)

Sithdragon13 wrote:
Actually, now that i think about it...reinforcements do not scare me at all. Look at the maps that the reinforcement gambit gainers abused (deathstar and mustafar mainly). These maps are very open to this type of abuse. How would you abuse maps like the rancor pit, temple, ruined base, starship, throne room? These maps are balanced enough that you really cannot do this effectively. While most maps have an advantageous side, it isnt AS abusive as it can be in 150.


This is what I was thinking as well. Even you add in Ruined Base and Jedi Temple to the list as it currently sits, I think it is quite a bit tougher to abuse tactics like the Golan Turret. And honestly, the Turret is the only thing that worries me at all with this aspect. It just means that people have to build their squads expecting to face it. Honestly though, in a mirror match, a Han RH and Boba Merc attacking the turret would do 80 damage in a round if they got to go first. That means the turret likely only gains one round of gambit. Same thing against most builds that might include Lord Vader, Thrawn with JH (swap in at end of round 1), Maris Brood, Mara Jade, JWMs. In one of my release tourneys I wiped out a Golan Turret AND an AT-ST in 4 rounds with Maris and Vader Unleashed. So the counters exist, and as long as the maps aren't total shooting galleries (which most of the 200 point maps aren't) then I don't see it being too bad.

Again....some more play-testing is probably needed though.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 2:36 pm 
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Well unless WotC deems a change in the point total (it's their call) I think the game will remain at 150.

I am going to be pushing very strongly, IF there is a Championship event next year, to get it more in line with some of the concepts from D&D Minis.

For one thing, the DDM Championship had a set list of maps for each round, and players knew what they were well in advance. I want the same thing for SWM.

Something like:

Round 1 - Rancor Pit
Round 2 - Jedi Temple
Round 3 - Chancellor's Starship
Round 4 - Starship (hardboard)
Round 5 - Echo Base Outpost
Round 6 - Ravaged Base
Round 7 - Rancor Pit
Round 8 - Chancellor's Starship

You get the idea. The challenge with it will be for people who either don't check the rules ahead of time or don't have those maps. I don't know if WotC can provide ample copies for every match (they would need about 50 of each map), and I don't think its fair for players to come up with it.

Again, nothing of this is set in stone or anything, I'm just throwing out ideas.

The other thing I might mention is that if there is a Championship I won't be playing. I wanted to say that for anyone that thought I might be trying to influence too much as a player in the event. I'll be doing something else during the Championship.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 3:23 pm 
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Boris wrote:
Well unless WotC deems a change in the point total (it's their call) I think the game will remain at 150.

I am going to be pushing very strongly, IF there is a Championship event next year, to get it more in line with some of the concepts from D&D Minis.

For one thing, the DDM Championship had a set list of maps for each round, and players knew what they were well in advance. I want the same thing for SWM.

Something like:

Round 1 - Rancor Pit
Round 2 - Jedi Temple
Round 3 - Chancellor's Starship
Round 4 - Starship (hardboard)
Round 5 - Echo Base Outpost
Round 6 - Ravaged Base
Round 7 - Rancor Pit
Round 8 - Chancellor's Starship

You get the idea. The challenge with it will be for people who either don't check the rules ahead of time or don't have those maps. I don't know if WotC can provide ample copies for every match (they would need about 50 of each map), and I don't think its fair for players to come up with it.

Again, nothing of this is set in stone or anything, I'm just throwing out ideas.

The other thing I might mention is that if there is a Championship I won't be playing. I wanted to say that for anyone that thought I might be trying to influence too much as a player in the event. I'll be doing something else during the Championship.



I like this idea. Having played in the chapionship last year it would be great to know what maps that you will have to face. This also is a great to keep maps like mustafar legal and to keep people from complaining about them so much.

I would prefer that the maps be provided. It is a pain to carry stuff around the convention anyway let alone haveing to keep 6 different maps decent the entire time.

On another subject I think it is a good idea to drop the Uttini tournament. Only 4 people played in it and I think one of those had to be talked into it so they could be sancationed. I know that I will be playing dynamic dou.

Well back to work...

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 3:39 pm 
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What do you think about this change to DCI games. This comes from the tile wars format. You can only win the game if you defeat 50% of your opponents squad.

Does it reward aggressive play or encourage turtling until the last 20 min of a match?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:59 pm 
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Menoth's Fire wrote:
Wouldn't playing more aggressively stop the tactic, too?


I play about as fast and aggressive as anyone out there and I could not fully run down a San squad that was played deliberately (no intentional stalling) in 60 minutes at Gencon. I lost that game on Gambit like 100-90 because my Ewok and Gran were unable to hit his last Ewok in Gambit and he hit both my guys back to back leaving his lone Ewok to collect 4 extra rounds of Gambit into the late game. (Same player Bill beat 15-5 the game previously, but I chose not to use the tactic Bill did--not fun to me.)

In the non-champs 150 same situation with running down a San squad on Death Star with JWM swarm. I lost 73-70 when Boba Enf missiled an Ugo on the very last activation of the game because it was my only piece with less than 30 HP remaining and I missed the save. (Neither of us had any idea it would matter.)


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:04 pm 
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Engineer wrote:
What do you think about this change to DCI games. This comes from the tile wars format. You can only win the game if you defeat 50% of your opponents squad.

Does it reward aggressive play or encourage turtling until the last 20 min of a match?


My other concern would be does it give too much control of your fate to your opponent? If someone starts running after they lose a big piece just so it's a double loss because you're up 60 kill points to 0 is that in the best interest of the game? I'd hate to see a "sour grapes" double loss in that case.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:12 pm 
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Couldn't agree more Dean. The problem is that it is very difficult to legislate honor or fairness. I, like you, would rather win a fair game through outthinking my opponent.

I love the idea of anti-turtling rules. If no one kills anything, you both lose... end of story. I think this will encourage aggression, as turtling to the end will put too much at risk. Frankly, if someone turtles until the end, I may well turtle in response to ensure they lose, even knowing I will also lose. I think if we have a rule like that in place, folks will build to fight... which is as it should be.

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