Friday, April 26, 2013

Looking at the Adepticon 40K Warzone Surveys Part 1

This year at Adepticon I endeavored to try something a bit different. I ran something I dubbed the 40K Warzone Tournament. The ultimate goal was for all 32 players to fight across 4 very different “Warzones”. Each game was intended to be fought across a different board with its own special rules. This year the featured Warzones were Desert, Zone Mortalis, Cities of Death, and Trench. Each player brought a 1000 point army list with a 250 point side board so that they could make small modifications to their army so that they could drop that tank or flyer they used in the Desert to meet the constraints of the enclosed tunnels of a Zone Mortalis board. In addition, every player was allowed to choose a Stratagem from a master list that I pulled from a variety of sources like the Cities of Death book, Planetstrike, Imperial Armor 9, and even from the Battle Missions book. Similarly, the objectives for the scenarios were gleaned from a multitude of sources, putting all of my various newer and older Expansion books, and even the Dark Millennium sections of old rulebooks to use. The goal was to create a unique and fun experience for Adepticon goers that tapped into all of the things I love about the rather limitless world of 40K that seem to go overshadowed in the more competitive end of the tournament scene. It also created a bunch of interesting challenges for me as both a hobbyist and an arm chair game designer as I mashed game concepts together and simultaneously labored to build 16 fully detailed tables to match the Warzones depicted, that were beautiful and fun to play on. Though I never finished all 16 tables, and there were some small design flaws with select Stratagems and how they interacted with certain missions, overall I thought it was a huge success.
At the end of the the 40K Warzone Tournament I handed out surveys, and the results were really interesting.  From what I can see it seems to me that people really enjoy playing with Special Rules and Terrain Effects as long as they can figure out how to deal with them. For example, the Zone Mortalis rules are very heavy handed and there are a lot of them. What’s interesting is that people were sort of split on how much they liked or disliked ZM. Eight people considered it their favorite Warzone, and 5 people considered it their least favorite, ultimately making it the top choice for both. The Warzone that had the least amount of Special Rules was Desert, and when asked what Warzone people would drop in order to replace it with something different, Desert was the number one answer.  One of the biggest surprises for me was that a handful of people were frustrated with the Building Rules from the 6th Edition Rule Book and were taken very off guard by having to use them. People are very familiar with the rules for Ruins, but as soon as someone was in a Building things sort of fell apart and people didn’t know what their tactical options were for dealing with units inside of them. I hate to say it, but this makes me want to use Buildings even more because they create new challenges that I think are fun and interesting when you know that they are coming.
Another interesting detail that relates to people enjoying the more Special Rule heavy Warzones was that a quarter of the people surveyed actually requested more Dangerous and Mysterious Terrain, and more detrimental Environmental Effects, like high winds and the like. Considering I spend a lot of time on blogs reading about tournament players railing against these sorts of bits of randomness, I found it really interesting to see that there are people out there like myself who find these elements unique, interesting, and thematic.
Though I thought I got all 26 back, I only count 24 today. Regardless, the information contained within these 24 surveys is very interesting to me, so maybe it might be to you:

1) Did you have fun? Would you play in an event like this again?

All 24 surveys came back: Yes. Yes & Yes. Or some derivation of Definitely/Absolutely. This made me feel like the event was an absolute hit and invigorates me to do it again next year.

2) What was your favorite Warzone? What was you least favorite?

Desert: 1
Zone Mortalis: 8
Trench: 4
Cities of Death: 7
All of the Above: 1
No Favorite: 1

Least Favorite:
Desert: 4
Zone Mortalis: 5
Trench: 3
Cities of Death: 1
No “Least Favorite”: 3
No Reply: 6

3) Did anything seem broken or overly frustrating? Did you have any serious rule issues?

No Issues: 10
Wraiths passing through walls: 1 (Personally I thought this was really cinematic! -Nick)
Hidden Deployment Stratagem was too powerful: 3
Flyers were too powerful: 1
Preliminary Bombardment was too powerful: 1
Zone Mortalis table/rooms/objectives too ambiguous: 1
Intact buildings were too hard to deal with: 3
Zone Mortalis tables needed doors: 1
Impossible to make a list for both Desert and Cities of Death: 1

4) Were you able to complete 4 or more turns every game? Should the rounds be longer? Or should there be less games? (they were supposed to be 1.5 hrs but were pushed closer to 2 hours depending on how people’s games were running.)

Yes I’d like longer turns: 8
No, the turn length was perfect: 16
I would like to play less than 4 games: 0
It was the perfect number of games: 18

5) Were there any Stratagems you felt were automatic choices?

No: 13
Booby Traps: 2
Tunnels: 2
Flakk Mods: 3
Hidden Deployment: 3
Preliminary Bombardment: 2
Familiar Ground: 2
Yes, but I’m not going to tell you what ones: 1

6) Next year I’d like to drop one Warzone and replace it with a different one. Which Warzone would you drop? And what type of Warzone would you replace it with?

Drop Zone Mortalis: 3
Drop Trenches: 6
Drop Desert: 9

No changes: 2

Replace with Alien World: 3
Replace with Jungle: 4
Replace with Swamp/Bridges/Islands: 9
Replace with Daemon World: 3
Replace with Ice World: 1
Replace with Space Hulk: 2

Add more Dangerous Terrain, Mysterious and Random Effects: 6

In my next post I’m going to analyze this data and talk about possible changes for next year. Do you have any additional comments or suggestions? Here’s an opportunity to share them.

PS. Every one of these images was recycled because I couldn't find a single image from the event through Google. I saw plenty of you taking pics so if you have an image to share, please do!

1 comment:

Chad said...

I played one of the Necron armies and I had a blast! I will definitely sign up for it again if you have it next year.