WFB: On Comp, Banning, and ETC.

Most people who know me, know that I have a pretty strong opinion when it comes to ETC and Comp in general in a tournament […]

Most people who know me, know that I have a pretty strong opinion when it comes to ETC and Comp in general in a tournament setting.  For those of you who don’t know me, I generally argue for no Comp score in tournaments, and not banning a damn thing, except generally Special Characters (who sadly have never really been well written in WHFB).

Comp Score

When I go to a tournament, I expect to see the toughest army you can muster, similarly, I expect the player to be at the top of their game.  When you introduce a Composition Score, what you really end up doing is not making the armies more balanced across the board, but instead emphasizing the armies that don’t necessarily need to break said comp rules to have a powerful list.  When a Composition Score affects your overall score, then you’re doubly boosting the armies that don’t need to break the Composition rules.

If I were to suggest a compromise, it would be that Comp Score is ONLY used to determine Strength of Schedule in the initial couple of rounds (or first round for smaller tournaments).  After that, then the players who are doing well will end up facing each other, to determine an overall winner.  This keeps Comp from skewing the results, but also decreases the likelihood that a stronger army squashes a weaker one in the first round.

Banning/Restricting

I generally think that banning anything is a bad move, with the noted exception of Special Characters.  In the last tournament I played in, the only things that were banned was the Book of Hoeth and the Folding Fortress.  Both of those items I totally understand and have no problem with being removed from the competitive field.

With the new High Elf book around the corner though, it seems that the Book of Hoeth has been nerfed into an item that is still good, but not OP as all hell, but instead, the ever absurd Mat Ward has come up with an item that invalidates a whole damn army, the Banner of the World Dragon.  Cheap enough for most unit standards, this item gives your unit a 2+ ward save against ANY magic attack, including spells, magic weapons, etc… as if to prove that Mat Ward has no clue how WHFB is actually played (despite writing the damn rules for 8th edition), he has written in an item that makes your massive point denial horde of White Lions or Swordmasters, almost completely immune to the ENTIRE Daemon book.  If you want to make it a bit worse, simply take Lore of Heavens and re-roll your 1’s.  On that note, I’d be totally pleased if this item were banned (provided the rumors are all correct).

Sorry about that little tangent.  My point on banning any item is that it really should be done with extreme caution.  Unless the item literally invalidates an entire army book, it’s probably fine to leave be.

ETC

Sorry folks, this just isn’t Warhammer.  With so many absurd restrictions, bonuses, and composition rules, you’re simply fooling yourself if you think you’re playing Warhammer.  What you’re playing is Warhammer-like, but as much as I’ve tried to see the strengths, I’ve only found that the armies are so homogenized that the armies come out are quite bland and the games are frankly boring to play.  Fortunately, since 8th edition has rolled around, the Army Books have been much more well balanced, making major comp systems more and more obsolete.  Thank god I live in ‘Murica, where we don’t use these silly rules.

About Adam B

I've been at this for 20 years now! You can find me playing Infinity (USAriadna and Combined) mostly, and sometimes Heavy Gear, Necromunda, or Test of Honour. Also, I love miniature board games like: Blood Bowl, Warhammer Quest, and Space Hulk, plus Aristeia and Warhammer Underworlds coming soon!