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Steamforged

Organised Play Document Update 9/5/17

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I [Mat Hart] was lucky enough to get to Adepticon in Chicago this year. I met a load of great people and had an absolute blast. During the weekend, I got to spend a fair amount of time chatting with the players vying for the US Qualifications and observed a heck of a lot of games. These conversations and observations got me thinking…mostly about how the Organised Play Rules can massively influence the game.

Today we roll out an updated Organised Play Rules document with several key changes.  These changes are detailed below.

Tiebreakers

Guild Ball was designed as a win or lose game, a simple binary state if you like. The intent was that it really doesn’t matter if you win 12-0 or 12-10, a win is a win. However, tiebreakers that are calculated using Victory Points and VP differences goes against this original intent.  Furthermore, they can lead to some weird situations where a first-round loss of 11-12 could actually help you finish higher up the table! 

We’ve overhauled the tiebreakers to use percentage win rate, or Strength of Schedule as its more commonly known. Players are ranked in order of the following:

  1. Their Tournament Points Scored
  2. Their own Strength of Schedule
  3. Their opponents Strength of Schedule

The new Organised Play Document goes through in detail how this is calculated and the Tiebreak platform has been updated accordingly.

Drafting

The way drafting worked, gave some teams an unnatural power bump due to the way their rosters could be constructed, meaning it was possible to keep their captain selection until very late in the draft, resulting in an unfair advantage. Basically, it meant that if you played some teams and knew how to draft properly, then you could almost always be able to counter pick your captain against your opponent. This ended up lifting some teams unnaturally in the meta whilst forcing others down.

To address this, we’ve tweaked the order in which teams are drafted to the following:

  1. Deal and decide on Plot cards, as normal
  2. Simultaneous reveal of Captains and Mascots
  3. Roll to decide who kicks off (and who receives)
  4. Draft the remaining 4 players for each team starting with the Receiving player

Roster Size

Another unusual one, we observed an impact on certain teams that the roster size of 9 was causing. Looking at these teams, whilst the models seemed perfectly strong and competitive enough individually, the team itself struggled to put together a meaningful 2 captain roster of 9 models without severely limiting the remaining choices.

Guild Ball is a game of choices and so we have expanded the roster size to 10 players. The 1-2 model restriction on both Captains and Mascots remains unaffected.

Draws

As mentioned earlier, Guild Ball is a game of winning or losing, there really is no room for a draw and it only served to make the math complex in the rare situations where it came up in competitive play.  We have removed draws from competitive play. The long and short of it is if the players are still tied at the end of the game, after dice-down has been called by the event organiser, then the win is awarded to the player that kicked off at the beginning of the match. Simple.

Round Length

A simple change, we have extended the round length back up to 110 minutes to allow a little more breathing room for people to prepare for the next round.

So there you have it, a handful of changes to the Organised Play document that we believe will make the game healthier and more fun for everyone. Obviously, these changes are effective immediately for any Steamforged Games organised events but, TO’s of upcoming events have the option, for the remainder of May, to revert to the previous system on tiebreak should they wish. If you’re attending an event in May do please check with your TO which system they’ll be using – the old system will be gone forever 1 June 2017. Let us know below how this will impact your Tournament Roster choices.

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Can we get a confirm that captains/mascot choices are now before rolling for initiative? That change just isn't addressed in the reasoning for the rules changes, whereas every other change is covered, so I just wanna make sure that isn't a misprint.

I'm not sure I like that change very much. But I am VERY EXCITED!(!)! about %SOS, and the removal of draws is very good too IMO.

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1 minute ago, Slothrop said:

Can we get a confirm that captains/mascot choices are now before rolling for initiative? That change just isn't addressed in the reasoning for the rules changes, whereas every other change is covered, so I just wanna make sure that isn't a misprint.

I'm not sure I like that change very much. But I am VERY EXCITED!(!)! about %SOS, and the removal of draws is very good too IMO.

  1. Deal and decide on Plot cards, as normal
  2. Simultaneous reveal of Captains and Mascots
  3. Roll to decide who kicks off (and who receives)
  4. Draft the remaining 4 players for each team starting with the Receiving player

Captains and Mascots are step 2 which is before rolling for initiative (step 3).

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I think  the Captain and Mascot prior to knowing is bonkers. But I guess we'll have to see. I still feel this change is about the damn Fishermen and their ability to abuse the draw game (fix Fishermen!). I suspect football heavy captains are going to suffer because will you take sBrisket with a 50/50 chance to receive? Maybe? I will be interested how this bends the meta choices. Maybe it won't matter. Seems out of left field though. I thought we would just have to choose Captains first rather than whenever we wanted.

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1 minute ago, angelforge said:
  1. Deal and decide on Plot cards, as normal
  2. Simultaneous reveal of Captains and Mascots
  3. Roll to decide who kicks off (and who receives)
  4. Draft the remaining 4 players for each team starting with the Receiving player

Captains and Mascots are step 2 which is before rolling for initiative (step 3).

I guess since that appears to also be in the OPD it must have been intentional. I'd like to see reasoning for this, there was a lot of captain choice that went down to kicking or receiving for some teams and being subject to a random roll seems unfair for those teams. Would personally prefer if steps #2 and #3 were swapped.

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I was surprised to see, despite calls for it, that the Roster size didn't see a move to change Union numbers though, with consideration to including two with a final choice of one to play.

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Just now, Rendorin said:

I was surprised to see, despite calls for it, that the Roster size didn't see a move on Union though to two with a choice of one to play.

Union is likely a big problem with balance in the other guilds so I am sure they didn't want to make the problem worse.  The last thing I want to go to is seeing Harry and AnG in every single team comp.

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Just now, Isante said:

Union is likely a big problem with balance in the other guilds so I am sure they didn't want to make the problem worse.  The last thing I want to go to is seeing Harry and AnG in every single team comp.

Instead it's just Harry in every team comp

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Just now, Isante said:

Union is likely a big problem with balance in the other guilds so I am sure they didn't want to make the problem worse.  The last thing I want to go to is seeing Harry and AnG in every single team comp.

Agreed but you could still only take one to the pitch (which would be Harry!).

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Just now, Frostmane said:

Instead it's just Harry in every team comp

Yes and until they go back and rebalance the offending Union models the last thing we need is more of them running around in every team :)

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Yeah, captains before rolling for kickoff seems strange.

I expect captain/mascot will now be decided on general guild strategy, with the remainder for individual matchups. Hrm.

I'm a bit miffed at the up to ten - not for game design reasons, but because my tournament tray only had spots for 9 + Greede. Might have to talk to @Grantt about modifying his Guild Ball inserts.

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Just now, Siberys said:

I'm a bit miffed at the up to ten - not for game esign reasons, but because my tournament tray only had spots for 9 + Greede. Might have to talk to @Grantt about modifying his Guild Ball inserts.

Was thinking the exact same thing, will likely have to remove my customised goal from the tray in order to accommodate.

P.S. Maybe they have shares in the company!

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16 minutes ago, Isante said:

Someone go look in on the Mason forum and see if they are happy about the 10 man roster change.  I am too afraid to venture there.

Positive so far! :)

Two thumbs up for the changes.  Pretty much exactly what I was hoping to see.

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10 minutes ago, LunarSol said:

Positive so far! :)

Two thumbs up for the changes.  Pretty much exactly what I was hoping to see.

Negative here!

Actually I like some of the changes. Captains first makes drafting a bit more fair, and allows for some more appropriate counterpicks. Overall I'm disappointed about no change to the union rules, because all the change to 10 on a roster does for me is let Chisel get in... on the bench... where she's likely to stay. Increasing roster size without increasing union cap is actually removing choice from list building, since now you can just bring your entire guild's set of regular players and pick at game time.

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1 minute ago, TeabagNation said:

Increasing roster size without increasing union cap is actually removing choice from list building, since now you can just bring your entire guild's set of regular players and pick at game time.

There are currently 12 Masons players + 1 Union pick, so you've got to cut 3 from your roster.

Besides, in game choices add more to the game than pre-game choices.  It's just less interesting to discuss on the interwebs.

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I'm glad they didn't cave on Union. We all know there are basically 3 union picks right now and so all the 10/2 would do would add Harry and A+G to most teams...do we need to see that? No (ironically my original stance was against Union restriction - and then they released A+G & Harry who are basically stupid good in their current form). My Hunters will be glad of the 10th man. I kind of wish it was just All Guild. I see why they've done what they've done with the picking order, but it feels inelegant. I thought (and said) that knowing whether you are kicking or receiving is extremely powerful in list selection (Shark agogo) and having it before can lead to conservative picks that work in either scenario (like in Season 1). Now it's half-half. You get a conservative captain with an adaptive team. I don't really like it as I've honed my teams into Kick Off and Receive Teams and this is going to throw that out the window based on a dice roll. People will have to gravitate to the 'safe' captain because now that roll might be even more powerful. *sigh*.

 

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3 minutes ago, EpicChris said:

People will have to gravitate to the 'safe' captain because now that roll might be even more powerful. *sigh*.

 

Will this see an end to running two Captain's in the roster and then running more players in order to enable you to adapt to the situation?

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1 minute ago, LunarSol said:

There are currently 12 Masons players + 1 Union pick, so you've got to cut 3 from your roster.

Besides, in game choices add more to the game than pre-game choices.  It's just less interesting to discuss on the interwebs.

I like list building choices. Having a personalized and contemplated list that I know how I'm going to use against each other faction is a source of personal satisfaction for me. In game choices are obviously also good, though, and I do enjoy a good match of character select wars.

With the changes to captain drafting, though, I feel like 2 captains on a roster are even more of a trap for Masons than ever before. It used to be that you had a reasonable chance of hiding your captain until late in the draft by choosing Flint-Tower-Union (probably A&G) and feeling out what your opponent was looking to do. Now, with the preferences of each of our captains towards different supporting models, showing your captain and mascot first pretty much telegraphs the rest of your draft if you've brought players that like to go with each.

I suppose the Masons-specific discussion should move over to that forum, but the point also holds in general, that 2 captain lineups got a nerf, while simultaneously making 1 captain lineups very boring to build (although interesting to draft).

 

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Yes & No. You can still take the 'better' captain into certain matchups (see Hammer vs Honour) but in Guilds where this isn't so relevant and it was more about Football vs Take Outs I think people will gravitate to the one they can rely on if they are kicking. I think it makes the Captain choice a bit more crap shoot now...

But I could be totally wrong - it's just a Hot Take. However my current view is I now will probably be taking Skatha a lot more than Theron because Skatha was my kicker of choice...(this is just a Hunter view - perhaps other Guilds will vary).

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Just now, Rendorin said:

Will this see an end to running two Captain's in the roster and then running more players in order to enable you to adapt to the situation?

For some teams, maybe.  Some teams rely more on their captain to deal with certain teams effectively.

 

I might add PV to my 10, but I'm so stuck on Ballista I doubt she'd ever see the table.

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