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"Sword & Spear & Tournament Play" Topic


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by Editor in Chief Bill

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by Editor in Chief Bill

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian12 Nov 2015 8:36 p.m. PST

Does Sword & Spear make a good ruleset for competitive/tournament play?

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2015 11:46 p.m. PST

No. Not enough ways to cheat. :-)

- Ix

MajorB13 Nov 2015 3:33 a.m. PST

Why would anyone want to play in a tournament?

Khusrau Inactive Member13 Nov 2015 4:00 a.m. PST

Playing tournaments gives me a chance to meet and play people from across the country. I am not sure about sword and spear, but I have played tournaments in wrg, DBm, DBA, DBMM and a couple of other rulesets. It's fun to match your skills (and the better sets of rules do match genuine skills, not just knowledge of the rules). May as well ask why people play sport. To test yourself.

MacDuff13 Nov 2015 5:24 a.m. PST

Showing my "outta it" side, are you talking about the old Milgamex skirmish game from the 70s or something newer?

MajorB13 Nov 2015 5:40 a.m. PST

May as well ask why people play sport. To test yourself.

I don't see any need to "test myself". I play wargames for enjoyment and the history.

Sysiphus Inactive Member13 Nov 2015 6:28 a.m. PST

The game has you roll several dice and choose the top four rolls IIRC. The chance for errors in this process, would seem to me, to exclude the fast play of a tournament event.

Who asked this joker13 Nov 2015 8:22 a.m. PST

Why would anyone want to play in a tournament?

To validate one's worth as an Ancient or Medieval commander either real or imagined. grin

MajorB13 Nov 2015 8:45 a.m. PST

Why would anyone want to play in a tournament?

To validate one's worth as an Ancient or Medieval commander either real or imagined

I have no pretensions as to my capabilities as a commander so that is irrelevant.

Marcus Brutus13 Nov 2015 10:24 a.m. PST

I don't quite understand MajorB why your responding to this topic. If you don't enjoy tournaments fair enough (although personally I could care less if you do or don't.) The topic isn't about the efficacy of tournaments. It is about how S&S fairs with respect to tournament play. Do you have anything germaine to say about that?

Marshal Mark13 Nov 2015 10:38 a.m. PST

The game has you roll several dice and choose the top four rolls IIRC. The chance for errors in this process, would seem to me, to exclude the fast play of a tournament event.

In combat you choose the top four out of about 4, 5 or 6 dice. I'm not sure why you think there is a chance of error there. It's not particularly difficult to get it right. It is also pretty quick.

Marshal Mark13 Nov 2015 10:40 a.m. PST

Showing my "outta it" side, are you talking about the old Milgamex skirmish game from the 70s or something newer?

Something newer.

TMP link

link

MajorB13 Nov 2015 10:49 a.m. PST

It is about how S&S fairs with respect to tournament play. Do you have anything germaine to say about that?

Having never ever played in a tournament I cannot comment on the efficacy or otherwise of S&S for such a purpose. Or any other ruleset for that matter. I just can't see the point of tournaments. And that is indeed germaine to the OP because if tournaments are pointless (and given the vagaries of chance I believe they are) then the question becomes moot.

Marshal Mark13 Nov 2015 10:51 a.m. PST

Does Sword & Spear make a good ruleset for competitive/tournament play?

There have been a couple of tournaments in Australia and they seem to have gone well. They weren't written with tournaments in mind, but IMO they would work in a friendly tournament. Here is what I see as the points in favour and against Sword & Spear as a set of rules for a tournament:
For:
Tightly written rules (that was the aim anyway) with little dependance on geometry. Little opportunity for gamey / cheesy play such as exploiting loopholes in the rules in an ahistoric fashion.
Relatively simple mechanics, especially movement, so no time wasted doing fiddly wheels, double wheels etc to get into exactly the right position.
Plays in about 2-3 hours for a decent size game with 12-15 units per side.

Against:
More random outcomes than most tournament orientated rules. Whilst the best player will win most of the time, I wanted a bit more randomness than in some other games to give a weaker player more of a chance against a better player.
The army lists are relatively flexible, so are open to abuse by ultra competitive players.

Marcus Brutus13 Nov 2015 12:38 p.m. PST

MajorB, nobody asked your opinion about tournaments in general and the topic isn't about the validity of tournaments so your comments aren't helpful. Which still begs the question of why you are responding in a manner that frustrates the point of the original post?

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Nov 2015 2:21 p.m. PST

Tournaments can be a great social event, if people come with the right spirit and don't take it all too seriously. Great way to meet people. And crush their armies. ;-)

MajorB13 Nov 2015 2:25 p.m. PST

@Marcus Brutus:
The OP stated:

Does Sword & Spear make a good ruleset for competitive/tournament play?

And my response to that was to question the premise that tournament play was a desirable thing in the first place. So my comments are completely within the scope of the original question.

I also note that you have not contributed anything positive in this thread but have just sniped at me.

MajorB13 Nov 2015 2:26 p.m. PST

Tournaments can be a great social event, if people come with the right spirit and don't take it all too seriously.

Sadly that atttude of not taking it too seriously is somewhat lacking insofar as a lot of what I see with regard to tournaments.

Who asked this joker13 Nov 2015 2:43 p.m. PST

Tournaments can be a great social event, if people come with the right spirit and don't take it all too seriously.

Well Simon, the trick is to find the tournament where people don't take things too seriously. grin

Henry Martini Inactive Member13 Nov 2015 2:53 p.m. PST

A clowning tournament?

Marcus Brutus13 Nov 2015 4:23 p.m. PST

I also note that you have not contributed anything positive in this thread but have just sniped at me.

Because I have nothing to contribute other than a real interest in original questions posed by the Editor?

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Nov 2015 4:54 p.m. PST

Watj, I've been to a few like that- the Berkeley HoTT tournament was one such, played for fun by a laid-back crowd. The best prizes were reserved for the most sporting players and those who got the worst scores. :-)

The Wargames Room13 Nov 2015 9:32 p.m. PST

Tournaments can be a great social event, if people come with the right spirit and don't take it all too seriously. Great way to meet people.

Well said. I play mostly non competition games. However, the opportunity to play people outside my normal gaming group is the only reason I play in, and occasionly organise, competitions.

Alas, there are a significant number of competitions that I would never consider playing in.

MajorB14 Nov 2015 4:13 a.m. PST

I also note that you have not contributed anything positive in this thread but have just sniped at me.

Because I have nothing to contribute other than a real interest in original questions posed by the Editor?

So how about giving us the benefit of YOUR opinion. Or is that too much to ask?

Marshal Mark14 Nov 2015 1:12 p.m. PST

MajorB:

my response to that was to question the premise that tournament play was a desirable thing in the first place. So my comments are completely within the scope of the original question.

No they are not. Your comments are nothing to do with the original question. Not a politician by any chance, are you ?

If you wanted to give your opinion on tournaments in general, why don't you start a new thread about it rather than hijacking this one ?

Personal logo Blackhorse MP Supporting Member of TMP14 Nov 2015 3:12 p.m. PST

Have to agree with Marcus Brutus and Marshal Mark.

MajorB14 Nov 2015 3:36 p.m. PST

Your comments are nothing to do with the original question.

Did the OP refer to tournaments or not?

Personal logo Blackhorse MP Supporting Member of TMP14 Nov 2015 3:43 p.m. PST

OP said:

Does Sword & Spear make a good ruleset for competitive/tournament play?

MajorB, your answer was essentially: tournaments are stupid.

Doesn't really seem like you are answering the question.

MajorB14 Nov 2015 3:50 p.m. PST

your answer was essentially: tournaments are stupid.

I did not say tournaments are stupid. I said that I cannot see the point of tournaments. Not at all the same thing.

Doesn't really seem like you are answering the question.

Having though about it a bit more, my answer to the question "Does Sword & Spear make a good ruleset for competitive/tournament play?" is no. There is NO set of rules ("Sword & Spear" or anything else) that is a "good ruleset for tournament play" because there is no ruleset that can guarantee that both players have an equal chance of winning given the same "skill" (if there is such a thing) or ability (likewise). Wargames by their very nature are driven by random factors.

I think that answers the original question.

Personal logo Blackhorse MP Supporting Member of TMP14 Nov 2015 4:12 p.m. PST

I did not say tournaments are stupid. I said that I cannot see the point of tournaments. Not at all the same thing.

Well, I was paraphrasing, but when you are asked if the rules are good for tournaments and you reply that tournaments are pointless you are still not answering the question. My point remains valid.

As far as your re-think goes…you could have just said: no, they do not.

Marcus Brutus14 Nov 2015 4:21 p.m. PST

So how about giving us the benefit of YOUR opinion. Or is that too much to ask?

As I said above, I don't have an opinion on whether S&S make a good rule set for tournaments. That was the question MajorB. I play Impetus but I always read S&S topics because the rules interest me. Since I don't have any experience with S&S I was interested it what others had to say who did have experience with S&S

Why would anyone want to play in a tournament?

I took this comment in the same manner as Blackhorse. I mean how else could it really be taken? You state that your meaning was that you could not see the point of tournaments. That seems like back tracking to me. But more to the point, in the context of this discussion no one cares what your opinion about tournaments is generally. The absurdity of your point of view extends to your blanket no about tournaments. But really, how can you say that S&S might not be the one exception? I suppose if you played S&S you might have an informed opinion but I doubt that you have. Please be more careful in the future in offering opinions that are not relevant to the discussion and taking people off topic.

MajorB15 Nov 2015 6:34 a.m. PST

As far as your re-think goes…you could have just said: no, they do not.

Whuch would not have been helpful to anyone. Explaining WHY I said no at least does others the courtesy of giving my thoughts on the matter rather than hoping they can read my mind.

MajorB15 Nov 2015 6:38 a.m. PST

But really, how can you say that S&S might not be the one exception?

I challenge anyone to show that in a game of S&S (or any other ruleset for that matter) the chances of victory are exactly the same for each player. If they CAN be shown to be the same then S&S would have some validity for use in tournaments.

Please be more careful in the future in offering opinions that are not relevant to the discussion and taking people off topic.

You still do not seem to understand that a perfectly valid and "on topic" response to ANY question is to possibly question the premise on which it is based. That is ALL I have done.

Delbruck15 Nov 2015 10:57 a.m. PST

I find Sword & Spear to be a fun and interesting game. I play ancients with many tournament players. In general I would say that many of them found S&S to be too unpredictable to be used for tournaments. In the US ADLG seems to have replaced FogAM for tournaments. Personally, I don't think there is anything inherent in S&S preventing it from being used successfully for tournaments.

And another vote against MajorB. If you really dislike tournaments so much, start your own separate thread.

jwebster15 Nov 2015 4:15 p.m. PST


Does Sword & Spear make a good ruleset for competitive/tournament play?

I have only played one game some mechanisms worked really well, we found combat dragged a bit we were able to recover some units at about the rate they took hits. There didn't seem to be a mechanism where a unit that lost a combat fell back and broke up the line. This seems such a significant omission that we still think we got something wrong.

The dice comparing mechanism was very quick and we liked it. Activation mechanism worked well too.

One concern I would have as a tournament game is non-standardized basing. This is one of the major benefits of the rules, as you can use whatever you have (I have 10mm based for Warmaster for instance) in the test game we used 5"x3" magnet sabots with 28mm individual figures mounted on 1" washers. It looked good and worked well.

The other issue for tournament is army lists. It is almost impossible to come up with lists that everyone would agree is historically accurate and in reality many armies changed their composition for each campaign. For a tournament to work, you need a "set in stone" set of army lists.

This is a rule set I would definitely play again

I have only played in friendly DBA tournaments. This has resulted in some of the best wargaming I have done, very tense and exciting down to the last round. If things go South early, then then next game is not much more than an hour away


John

freecloud Inactive Member20 Nov 2015 7:26 a.m. PST

They will work for a Tournament, played in good spirit but the real Tourney Tigers will probably start to spam the lists and find all the "rules don't say I can't do X" in the rules you never dreamed existed.

I think the lists will be spammed in that they have no maxima for non-limited troops.

The game flows nicely, there are no cumbersome workflows, rules are pretty clear, with quite a lot of built in variability – the outcomes are less predictable than in quite a few other sets. I like S&S for very big battles (600 pts in DBM money) as they are quick and bloody so handle mass armies well – also putcomes conform more to norms as there ae more units on table

Re "why go to tournamenst" they are great social events as well as getting in a lot of wargames in a short time period have made lots of friends that way.

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