Ramblings of a wargaming general: Brighton comp for WH40k

Long time ago I got bored with seeing always same armies at 40k tournaments that I was attending. It seemed that a lot of players would simply always take what is absolutely best and skip other stuff, leading to a situation that when you played against certain armies, you pretty much could tell what units they will have without even looking. Warhammer Fantasy community was dealing with same situation earlier, but it always seemed like it was more keen on comping things and trying something different, whereas WH40k community was more conservative and wouldn’t do things outside of GW remit. Things changed though and different comping started appearing here and there. Most of it unfortunately resorted to “Banhammer”- stopping people from using certain things by simply banning them. Whilst on the surface it might not be a bad idea, Fantasy players went through same period in their tournaments and to be honest all it did was create new “must take” lists and new overpowered options, not contributing to the balance of the game and in certain instances making it even duller. Then came the Swedish Comp, which we implemented in our Brighton Warlords tournaments and never looked back. Essentially it was idea of assigning certain penalty to each (well, most) units, characters etc. you were taking and deducting that penalty from 300 points every player had on the beginning. Remaining points were divided by 10 and that was the score you would have added to your tournament points at the end, use it to determine first round pairings and do all sorts of other stuff, depending on the tournament organiser. Suddenly we started seeing stuff nobody would use on the tournaments before-  “must have” things still appeared but less, as bigger penalty on soft score meant less space for mistakes during the tourno. I fell absolutely in love with that system and though “Hey, why don’t we try doing similar thing for 40k?”.

After talking in local club with some local players, Rupert, Luke and Will also got quite excited about the idea and I decided to start working on it. Here’s what we managed to do so far: https://github.com/AngryLawyer/brighton-40k-comp and here is our forum for discussion purposes http://z15.invisionfree.com/Brighton_Warlords/index.php?s=46d9b88acf34d9c01a8909b1d56ab5fd&showforum=64

Essentially every army starts with 40 points and then you deduct points for units (sometimes you will add points in rare case of units that are really  not good, for example gretchin in Ork codex) and you end up with a soft score that gets added to your overall tournament score at the end (and is used for 1st round pairings). If you go below 0 your army is illegal and you will have to change something. One idea for future is to assign a minimum score that participants will have to achieve for their lists to be allowed.

Recently we playtested it for the first time in a local mini tournament. It was a good experience so far- people definitely thought about what are they taking in order to get a decent army score and most ended up with one around 20 points. It was a very small tournament, so there is still long way for us to perfect the system, but we started a FB group for people to discuss the comp (https://www.facebook.com/groups/338930492961929/ )  and help us perfect it and hopefully it will take on properly and there will be more events with it.

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