Tavern Talk – Tournaments and Comp

The bar has been reopened!

Tournaments are a very interesting and popular way to play Warhammer, giving an individual the opportunity to play games against players from around the country or to try out different format.  The tournament might be fun, but the organisers often find a need to change how the game is played.  These changes come in the form of restrictions, such as ‘no double rare choices’, ‘maximum of 12 power dice per magic phase’ or they might be the outright banning of certain items (‘no power scroll’).  Many tournaments come out with large rules packs full of restrictions, others have none at all.
The question is how do you feel about comp’ed tournaments?  Do you view these restrictions as important to balance out the game, or are they just a pointless dumbing down of the rules?  What do you like or dislike about these comp’ed tournaments?  What are your experience with them?

I’m at a little bit of a disadvantage here, as I still haven’t had a chance to play in a tournament with the new rule edition.

But so far, playing games of Warhammer, I have been left with the impression that this edition of Warhammer was made with tournaments specifically not in mind. The whole tone of the book and the rules seems to be ‘fun first, rules second’. Not that I think this is bad, far from it. I always prefer a fun game to an unenjoyable one. But certainly this doesn’t lend itself to a highly competitive environment.

With this in mind, it seems only fair for tournament organisers to be able to put restrictions and rules changes into their games. In an ideal world this wouldn’t have to be done, and we could all play the game as-is on equal footing, but that just isn’t the case. While this theoretically provides an equal footing, it also creates its own unique set of problems. For example, you can’t just attend a tournament with ‘out-of-the-box’ knowledge, you have to read and understand a players pack.

My major concern has always been, at what point does the game stop being Warhammer and start being something else entirely? If 10% of the rules are changed, is that still Warhammer. What if it was 50%? 80%? At what point does the title ‘Warhammer tournament’ not accurately describe the proceedings? I have no answer, but it is something that has long weighed on my mind.

In the end though, it is unavoidable that restrictions and alterations will be made. As always, it is up to the tournament organisers to use their best judgement, and for players to just roll with the punches.


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About matt

Freelance Graphic Designer, thinker, and Warhammer tragic.

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