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"Tournaments: Two List Systems" Topic


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Action Log

14 Apr 2017 9:31 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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988 hits since 4 Jun 2012
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian05 Jun 2012 10:02 a.m. PST

Writing in Slingshot magazine, Steven Neate condemns the "ridiculousness of the current two-list system being used in DBM competitions at present…"

How do you feel about competitions which allow you to choose between two lists?

Mr Elmo05 Jun 2012 10:11 a.m. PST

I always liked the sideboard. Much better to have, like for a 1750 FoW tournament, a 1000 point core and two 750 point options from which you pick one for the game.

Personal logo Jovian1 Supporting Member of TMP05 Jun 2012 10:22 a.m. PST

"You don't fight a war with the army you would like to have, but with the army that you have at the present."

I have tried both and prefer the options list described by Mr Elmo because it allows you to tailor your force to face specific types of opponents. For example, say you are fighting an Early War Flames of War tournament, and you bring a German Infantry Company as your force. If you find that an opponent is running a Matilda II heavy force with virtually no infantry and your force does not have any method of dealing with the Matilda II tanks, you are almost guaranteed to have a long, boring affair of having your units killed, bullied and pushed around the table by the Matila tanks. If you have an optional side board, you can substitute in those Bunker Flak to address the British armor, perhaps not completely successfully, but at least have a fighting chance of doing it.

DBA is another animal though – because it is really rock, paper, scissors with a die roll at the end. I've not had enough experience with the rules to make a considered judgment on this issue concerning these rules. However, if there are certain lists that can be abused for purposes of tournament play, then I would agree with the side-board option.

If you are forced to fight with a single list – the game becomes a "list-building" lesson and not much of a game if you don't bring the "right" list to the tournament.

RudyNelson05 Jun 2012 11:22 a.m. PST

Makes sense. A commander will field the troop types best suited for the environment in real life.
Why not in simulation /tournament games?

MajorB05 Jun 2012 1:11 p.m. PST

A commander will field the troop types best suited for the environment in real life.

No he won't. A commander will make do with what he has.

NOLA Chris Supporting Member of TMP05 Jun 2012 1:15 p.m. PST

In DBM this was important as a bad "match-up" could be
deadly. Having a 2 list tourny allowed you to avoid
excessive missmatches and hopefully have 1) a fun game and 2) an outcome more based on player capability rather than a lucky mismatch (which is how I got many of my points!!)

Chris

TKindred Supporting Member of TMP05 Jun 2012 6:01 p.m. PST

You should be permitted to bring one army and one army only. You submit your list prior to the tournament, and that's the list you play with. period.

RudyNelson05 Jun 2012 6:15 p.m. PST

Margard you are wrong.

For example a General is attacking a coastal city. In this case he will take naval support and marines. A General is attacking a city in the desert. He will not take the naval assets.

Command deployment in a vast plain will require many horsemen as scouts. yet the march through a jungle or heavy forest will find scouts on foot more effective than mounted ones.

Socalwarhammer Inactive Member06 Jun 2012 12:48 a.m. PST

2 list systems just encourage players to build '2' really strong lists, with no holes. Jovian1 comments regarding the 'rock, paper, scissor' aspect of DBA is spot on, but I don't think 2 lists will prevent it. It only lets you another trump card (say rock, paper, scissors, glue)…

List building is part of any game. A good general (in a tournament) knows what troops he will need bring to be competitive and while maybe not optimum against all opponents, will give his a strong chance against most.

Lion in the Stars06 Jun 2012 1:34 a.m. PST

Some games you really need two lists for a tournament. Privateer Press is one of them, and really GW is another. Flames of war *can* be.

There are just some bad match-ups that are not any fun to play against, and don't show any level of skill. Like the EW German Infantry company running into a Matilda company. What can the German player do?

Even Infinity, where we like to say "It is not your list, the fault lies with your suboptimal tactical decisions", there are very not-fun matchups possible.

A commander will field the troop types best suited for the environment in real life.
No he won't. A commander will make do with what he has.
Only when the commander is fielding *everything* he has, with no reserves.

If I'm that EW German commander (remember that a FoW game represents the most-active part of a battalion on the attack), I would leave some infantry or something behind as a reserve once the report of 'Matildas!' hit my HQ. Because until *something* gets there to deal with those tanks, I am not going to be able to advance. Full Stop.

Yesthatphil Inactive Member06 Jun 2012 4:52 a.m. PST

@ Margard and RudyNelson … it depends on when you think the commander is making the 'which list?' decision – it is a proper military discipline to take the correct kit for the job … it is also a correct military discipline to adapt/employ what you've got to cope with eventualities.

My favourite tournament types are the ones where the tables are pre-set and historical (so you have no control over the choice or composition of armies, you just have to tackle the battlefield decisions) … but these require more dedication on the part of the organising team.

'Bring your own army' is the easiest sort to manage, but tends to attract the 'designer army' players

I quite like the old DBM 'two list' system (I now play FoG, and mostly doubles, for ancients tournaments) but I would often toss a coin as to which one to usegrin.

Phil

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP06 Jun 2012 7:30 a.m. PST

A 2 list tournament hugely favors the armies with flexible compositions.
What are your two lists if you want to field Parthians or Gauls? Practically identical, right? So, you bring neither, and fall back on the tired old Seleucids or Late Romans.
When I played in tournaments years ago, any time you were allowed multiple lists (some even allowed three lists!), that is exactly what happened.

It is fashionable to sneer at equal points tournaments. Allowing multple lists just gives the sneerers more ammunition. Excusing the practice because one side could have a coastal city just makes the terrain selection look silly, and gives yet more ammunition.

Tournament players now seem to be in charge of most major Ancients rules, with modifications and ammendments being proposed all the time so the armies that "should" win, do win.

MajorB06 Jun 2012 11:08 a.m. PST

For example a General is attacking a coastal city. In this case he will take naval support and marines.

What if he hasn't got any? Or more likely, his superior officer (or the government) says they are urgently needed elsewhere?

A General is attacking a city in the desert. He will not take the naval assets.

In that case, why did Wolseley take the Naval Brigade to Khartoum?

Lion in the Stars06 Jun 2012 11:50 a.m. PST

If a General is attacking a coastal city and the government isn't giving him any naval support, he's going to lose. You cannot effectively take a city if the enemy is constantly reinforcing it!

And the Naval Brigade went to Khartoum mostly because they were the ones with the Gatling/Gardener guns. Less a case of 'naval troops' and more a case of 'machine gun brigade'.

MajorB06 Jun 2012 1:20 p.m. PST

If a General is attacking a coastal city and the government isn't giving him any naval support, he's going to lose.

Not if he's attacking from the landward side. In that case the "coastal city" might just as well be 100 miles inland. And anyway, generals tend not to attack cities, particularly if they are fortified. They tend to go for the enemy army.

And the Naval Brigade went to Khartoum mostly because they were the ones with the Gatling/Gardener guns. Less a case of 'naval troops' and more a case of 'machine gun brigade'.

Yes, handy that. Do you think he wouldn't have taken them if they hadn't had the machine guns?

"Sorry chaps, stout fellows and all that, but you're really only second rate infantry so we'll manage without you this time."

The point is that a general doesn't cherry pick his forces. He'll take as many troops as are available on the sound principle that a successful general is usually the one that gets there fastest with the mostest.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP15 Oct 2016 8:42 a.m. PST

No better or worse than any other system.

In terms of the real world, you both have to deal with what is at hand, but you also try to optimize your force for what you know about your opponent.

I think the real challenge with the discussion on this balance is that in wargames, we really don't take on the role of "general". One player takes on a number of different roles, none of them complete.

For "bring your own army" games, I've always preferred the system where you show up with a force, then you randomly select whether to play using your force or your opponent's. With two players per side, the odds aren't extremely low that you could go three bouts in a row facing your "uber army" with someone else's dross. This both discourages min-maxing for the sake of min-maxing and building a force with a "hidden fatal flaw" lest your opponent be familiar with that flaw as well.

At home for game day, we tend to do more complex things. A typical one would be to proffer some notion of a force that could be "evenly divided" into quarters. You bring "four quarters" and a "reserve". At game time each player gets to either swap out one of their "quarters", or one of their opponent's (your choice on a forced swap for who goes out) by blind ballot. Blind ballots are adjudicated in random order (literally pulled from a hat).

Piyan Glupak Inactive Member15 Oct 2016 10:50 a.m. PST

"DBA is another animal though because it is really rock, paper, scissors with a die roll at the end. I've not had enough experience with the rules to make a considered judgment on this issue concerning these rules. However, if there are certain lists that can be abused for purposes of tournament play, then I would agree with the side-board option."

Just as a matter of interest, why are some people referring to DBA when the thread appears to be about DBM?

maverick290917 Oct 2016 3:53 a.m. PST

Because it's all the same really. DBA, DBM, DBMM. While they have their differences, all three still have a rock-paper-scissors aspect and benefit from a two list tournament system.

I would personally only allow one list if I ran a tournament, but that's because half the fun I get is from building a list, believing that those are my boys and that's what I have at my disposal to get the job done.

I see the benefits of a two list tournament and I certainly wouldn't hold my nose to playing in a tournament with such requirements, but as others have said it certainly does change what army type you bring to the table.

keyhat Inactive Member17 Oct 2016 5:49 a.m. PST

Several posts on this topic have lost sight of what we are actually talking about here. Comparing the situation of a tournament player to a real life commander is a false comparison.
First of all, there is no hard and fast guide to "what real generals did". Often times a commander was forced to work with what he had at hand, while just as often, especially in an initial series of battles, the attacker would be able to tailor his forces according to what he might expect.
The most pertinent historical reality is that all through time, peoples and nations have known who their most likely opponents were, what sort of terrain was likely to be important and they built there standing armies accordingly.
This is decidedly not the case in a tournament where armies can range from the Sumerians to the Hundred Years War English and from Meso-America through Europe to The Middle East and China.
So the idea that having one list is somehow more in keeping with history is based on not looking at historical realities.
The practical side of this, is that when one has invested the time and money to attend a tournament or convention and the experience is less than expected because of a mis-match (as noted above) or mis-matches, through no fault of his own, then a bit of disservice has been done to the player.
The principle idea of our gatherings should be to have fun, to have fun and to have fun.Beyond this, it is to encourage the growth of the hobby and to enjoy heightened competition, all of which is promoted by allowing two lists.

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