Thursday, January 21, 2010

Combat Patrol League: inching towards Doomsday

Fortunately, Britt has sharper eyes than I do, and noticed someone painting up some Sisters of Battle at Hypermind yesterday. Brad (the gentleman in question) did seem interested in joining in once we got a firmer idea of what nights we'd play (he also mentioned Battlefleet Gothic, but that's a post for another day). Mark G. also seemed like he'd at least be interested in playing a few scrimmage games with a loaner army, and possibly joining the informal league; and finally original Brad said he'd want to use my Orks while he works on getting his built. So, preliminary interest and armies seem to be:

Britt: Sisters of Battle
original Brad: my Orks
new Brad: Sisters of Battle
Chris Knight (who we met at the 4 corners game): can't recall what army, although Space Marines sounds right for some reason
Mark G: whatever I foist off on him, I guess, although I will get some feedback from him next Tuesday if he's got any preferences and if I've got stuff that would fit
myself: whatever I don't foist off on Mark G, yet can still fight Penitent Engines (bane of the tables that they are)

So here's six players, one overlapping army (which is no problem, in my opinion - presumably Britt's SoBs and Brad's SoBs can try and burn each other to death over which hymnal they're supposed to be using this century), and I've got to figure out two more 400-pointers to finish up in a semi-timely fashion, along with my poor Orks that I'm going to be fostering out. I'm not going to use my Berzerkers, or hand them off to Mark, as I still think they're a bit one-note and cheesy in this format. My Eldar are almost assembled, so I think I'll go with them, and maybe I'll make a non-Berzerker Chaos Marines list for Mark's loaner - although I did get the new Nid codex last week, and I've actually got everything built to make a passable CP list for them already. I still would like to see the Guard make an appearance, but I've only come up with two lists for them, one of which is a static autocannon spam gunline with a borderline-cheesy three Chimeras, and the other of which is a probably almost impossibly gimmicky and unwieldy collection of convicts, veterans, Sentinel walkers and explosive-lance-wielding cavalry (which, to be fair, will probably be much more fun and characterful for Traitor Guardsmen than the disciplined gunnery one). If anything, that one might replace Eldar for my pick, assuming I don't wuss out and run the easy-to-paint Nids instead of either of them.

This looks disturbingly like the nexus of a decent little 6-person ladder league as Britt envisioned last year. Maybe now I should start working on firming up commitments, and trying to nail people down to Thursday nights; or conversely, get everyone to tell what nights work best for them and try to reach some consensus that way.

The next question is how to handle our rosters. I guess there's two main ways to approach this - either everyone turns in a master list at the beginning of the league, and sticks with it for the whole thing, or we allow some degree of change. I don't particularly want to end up with people custom-tailoring their lists to fight whoever's going to be their next opponent (not to mention that since I'm going to be providing half the armies in the league, I've got no real desire to be retooling three lists every week), but I'd hate for people to realize they don't like their force composition and yet be stuck with it for the foreseeable future. Maybe we can declare some sort of halfway point where everyone can totally rewrite their list, so long as it's still the same Codex they started with? Give everyone one or two free rewrite tokens, which they can cash in whenever? In any event, in the interest of fairness I'll finalize my list first and hand it off to someone unaffiliated, then collect initial lists and vet them for point totals, adherence to the CP rules, etc.

Hopefully we can maybe get this cranked up by late February? It's interesting that we're slowly unearthing people at Hypermind who play - one can only hope that real live games will flush more closet 40k players out of the woodwork!

EDIT TO ADD: assuming arguendo that we get 6 players and make a little 3-2-1 triangular ladder as per the 'War Without End' format GW mentions, how should we fill the board for this first informal league? Right now I'm frankly thinking just a pure random draw to populate the board, but I'm open to other suggestions. Also, what order should challenges be resolved/played in? For example, Players 4 and 5 (third rank) both issue challenges to player 3 (2nd rank); deciding whose challenge resolves first might be a significant decision, but at the same time, real-world issues might dictate who will have time to meet up in a given week. Or am I just borrowing trouble by thinking about this stuff this early, and should I just wait to resolve such possible 'problems' if and when they occur?


  1. Some thoughts...
    What if initial rankings are determined by the results of the first games.
    Six players results in 3 initial games. The losers automatically go into the bottom rank. Since players earn VPs for meeting mission objectives, let those split the winners into the second rank and top rank. If there is a tie, play it out. This could provide some extra tension and excitement for the first games.

    As for issuing challenges, does the GW tourney rules stipulate the order of challenges? If not, lower ranks' challenges should come before higher ranks. But how to parse which lower rank player gets to play first? How about a simple die roll? 40K is a dice driven game; justice in 40K is a die toss.

    I think that these issues should be answered before the league starts.
    Otherwise, Commissioner, it falls on you to make a decision on the spur of the moment. Better to take care of any problem areas now.

    If we started in late Feb or March, I could probably do that....but would definitely only be available on Thursdays and Saturdays.
    Can't wait!

  2. Britt-
    You've nailed all this stuff down very nicely - consider all those suggestions duly incorporated into the league by-laws (which I suppose I ought to write up at some point, although I don't foresee them being much more than a few bullet points and a link to the CP handout we're using).

    Due to all the helpful ideas, research, and player-recruitment stuff youve been doing, you're obviously the de facto Assistant Commissioner; so I guess now would be the right time to offer you the job de jure. I figure the only thing you'd ever have to do (other than continue to help me figure out stuff like this) is so the league could 'Chinese Wall' me on stuff like reviewing people's picks if someone wants to use whatever list-changing mechanisms we might implement before playing me, so I wouldn't have an unfair chance to counter-plan. Want the job?