Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Adepticon Championships: Is 2 hours enough time?

I was taking a look at the Adepticon events this year and it looks like the championships are going to be 1850 points and 2 hour rounds.

So my question to you is 2 hours enough time to play a 1850 point game?

To me, a 2 hour round does not sound like enough time. The armies that have come out recently have all been dice and labor intensive and seem to take a while to play. GW has lowered point costs of units that increases model counts, and have increased the phases that armies operate in. Gone are the times when armies use to sit back and shoot, or rush into assault. Now armies are moving, shooting and assaulting, and that takes more, and more time.

For example: Round #1 last year I played a very small demonhunters army that played very fast and I was paired up against a Dark Eldar army. I was blowing him off of the table, but because his army took so long to play (moving a lot of models, counting out a lot of dice to roll, then rolling them, then allocating wounds, etc) and I lost game #1 because they called 15 minutes to go/do not start another turn in the middle of turn #4 and he just raced to get all of the objectives and it was all over. The tournament that I waited all year for, paid $350 for a flight, $300 for a hotel room, and it was all over because of the short time limit.

To make events fair and to give every army a chance at winning, you need to increase the time of the rounds. I know it is 4 rounds on Friday, but people need to finish there games! Wargames Con found out what everyone already knew and that was that you can't fit a 2000 point game in 2 hours. Adepticon is only 150 points less, and you are going to have a lot of problems. Especially with their strict "Dice down" policy and the "Do not start another turn" calls.

So what are you thoughts? Is 2 hours enough time?


  1. I've been very interested in paying up for the trip over the Atlantic to go to Adepticon, but the time limit for the games is just to short.
    If you have a display board and a fast played army and are a fast player it will work out fine, but being forced to play a special kind of army and play style isn't how it's supposed to be.

    And if playing against an ork horde or similar.
    How would you stop them from contesting everything when the game ends by turn three?

    I think it's better to have one half of the players finish early and be forced to wait, than forcing the other half of the players to end their games prematurely.

    The game is supposted to last for five turns plus a random chance of two more, and not to end when one or both players KNOW it is the last turn beforehand.

  2. I don't think it's enough time either. I hate to say this, but I'm starting to become a much bigger fan of taking these really large events and breaking them down into sub brackets of 64 players. This way, you can have 6 games, 3 hours a game. I'm with you that games need to finish. It's heresy I know but trying to cram in 8 games to fit the 256 mark is exhausting and creates this 2-hour round conundrum.

    Or maybe break 256 down into 4 64 man rounds, and then on a third day, have the 4 winners play their 2 games to decide the overall crowned victor. Then, the vast majority won't be completely exhausted and get a 3 hour game to finish.

  3. Not so fast! You are looking at the description from the 2011 event - hasn't been fully updated yet. We are still working up the draft rules/schedule. Cart doesn't go live until the 31st and if you look close...you will see the event is already an hour longer than last year...

    A question I'd like to see asked is...are you willing to play 9AM to 11PM or 10AM to 12AM on Friday? Last year it was scheduled 10AM to 10PM as a trial. It was the first year we moved the event to Friday and we had some concerns about starting it too early as people were bound to be arriving Friday morning.

    We are committed to adding time to the rounds this year. Sunday is slightly more difficult, but we are considering a couple of options to speed up the breaks and make it more comfortable for the players (catered lunch is one idea).

  4. I'm with the crowd of "less games with more time" rather than cramming in as many games as possible where many people don't finish. If you want a tournament to be a true test of competitive players, allow enough time to finish random game lengths and decide the true winner.

    2 hours isn't enough IMO whether it's 1850 or 2000. We heard people complain about it at NOVA and even MVB went into overtime in the final round of BFS showing that even "tournament pro's" can have trouble with time limits.

    I like 2.5hrs for 1850 and personally have never had trouble with it unless facing an opponent who is very new or distracted.

  5. Im not playing in the championship next year. I would rather spend my time and money at a more enjoyable venue such as the ATC.

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  7. Blackmoor .. As Matthias has said more to come including an Alt format 40k event for Friday Night at AdeptiCon for those that desire a bit more chill'n with their 40k.

    Green Blow Fly .. the ATC is a great event - enjoy it! I happily support your decision.

  8. Allowing people to finish games is great, but until this last year down here in Austin most of our unfinished games involved a few players. With the Grey Knights Codex being the newest (and definitely flavor of the month) and a significant number of players (including a fair number of those playing it) not really solid on the Codex, we had a lot more and a lot more distributed "incomplete" results. Dark Eldar also have some issues with completion, but those incomplete games tended to be less distributed (a higher percentage on incomplete games for them focused on fewer individuals).

    We are strongly considering increasing our time limits on games - at this point it is fairly certain that we'll run longer time limits. But allowing time for "everyone to finish their games" is simply impossible in a tournament with lots of players - scheduling enough games to have any statistical validity with 3 hour time limits (as an example, and there are people who would still not finish) looks something like this:
    2 players - 3 hours
    4 players - 6.25 hours
    8 players - 10.25 hours (have to have a meal break)
    16 players - 13.5 hours
    32 players - 16.75 hours
    64 players - 25.75 hours (minimal sleep break)
    128 players - 29 hours
    256 players - 32 hours

    So that's a 17 hour day with 1 meal break, and a 10 hour day with no meal break, and a 6 hour break for sleeping. And that is with no problems and 15 minutes between round end and next round start, which is asking a whole lot of your TOs.

    Adepticon reasonably has to expect 256 players in their 40K GT (and will have a waiting list). To get to 16 undefeated with 3 hour games:
    3 hours - 128
    6.5 hours - 64
    10.5 hours - 32 (hour between for meal)
    14 hours - 16
    So to get to 16 undefeated, you have a 14 hour gaming run with 1 meal break. If that starts at 10am, you end at midnight, which is a pretty gruesome way to start the weekend for most people.

    The reality of tournaments is there will be incomplete games, no matter the time limits, if enough players are present. I will still generally bang out my 1850 and 2000 point games in 90 minutes or less, but nothing short of forcing people to PLAY GAMES like it's a profession can make all the games finish in any reasonable time frame.

  9. Yeah I guess with the way the game has changed in regards to mass shooting and a steady stream of MSU Mech armies from the newer books I just have a lot less interest in tournament play. I really don't want to play MSU Mech vs MSU Mech with less than 3 hours. Even 2.5 and the game feels rushed. Newer players just can't handle it and now these are the popular armies so they are playing them. The BoLS dice academy video was a good idea, people really need to practice dice pile management while there opponents are thinking at the start of their turns.

    I'm looking now at ATC and Da Boyz for 2012. I'd like to go to Wargamescon and Nova but I won't unless they have long rounds. I don't sleep at these things anyways, 6 hours of sleep is like 9 at home.

  10. Maybe 6th edition will be super simplistic. Perhaps they could get rid of that TLoS garbage and tone down cover. Anything to make the games move faster.

    I really really hate to say it but how about 1750?

  11. You have 2 factors at play here:
    Point limits have increased
    Game time limits have not increased

    Now in the past year another factor was added and that is the number of tournament rounds are increasing.

    2 hours and 30 minutes seems like a reasonable amount of time for a 1850 point game on day #1. If you do that you can have 2-60 minute breaks and one 30 minute break and still get out of there in 12 hours.

  12. What you propose is actually already 12 hours and 30 minutes and does not include any time for check-in, initial table assignment, additional paint judging or post-event score calculations/awards. Typically all that adds an additional 1 1/2 - 2 hours to a large event.

  13. I sent you a couple of schedules, and I missed 30 minutes in there. No mater what, with 4 rounds it is going to make for a long day.

    A Friday schedule of:
    No long breaks, just 30 minutes between rounds

    Registration 8:00-10:00am
    Round #1 10:00am to 12:30pm
    30 Minute break
    Round #2 1:00pm to 3:30pm
    30 Minute break
    Round #3 4:00pm to 6:30pm
    30 Minute break
    Round #4 7:00pm to 9:30 pm
    9:30pm Award ceremony

    People’s games will end at all times so some games will end in an hour and a half, and others will end at the full 2.5 hours. So during the day you will have times when people can go to lunch during their 3 breaks. If you have the hotel set up lunch and dinner outside of the vendor hall like they always do, people can just grab a bite to eat in-between games instead of having an extra long break for lunch or dinner.


    2-60 minute breaks and 12.5 hours from start to finish.
    Registration 7:00-9:00am
    Round #1 9:00am to 11:30pm
    60 minute lunch break
    Round #2 12:30pm to 3:00pm
    Round #3 3:30pm to 6:00pm
    60 minute dinner break
    Round #4 7:00pm to 9:30 pm
    9:30pm Award ceremony

    9:00am is a normal start time for most GTs in my experience, but your event is much larger than any other, and it is on a Friday which makes it tricky. You can do some registration on Thursday night to try to help out the Friday morning registration. Also paint judging on Thursday night to alleviate some of the work you have to do on Friday. You can also drop it to only one hour break and give yourselves an extra half hour to check people in.

    Wait a minute...isn't the Team Tournament 4 rounds and 2.5 hours games? Can't you just mirror there schedule and then have consistency and simplify things so everyone knows what the schedule is for both days?

  14. 2:30 rounds simply do not work for the finals on Sunday which is a larger issue. 2:15 is doable on Sunday (starting at 6:30am, with 15 min breaks and and catered lunch - even then it is very tight). Running different timed rounds for the qualifiers and the finals isn't something I am necessarily comfortable with.

    We are working towards a happy medium here and still allowing the qualifier/finals format to function properly. Adding 15 mins to each round and then changing the way the end of game is called (more like how Da Boyz have been doing it - calling game end at the 5 min mark and allowing the current round to be played out even if that extends into the break) will result in more than 15 mins per round when needed. This is essentially the same as running 2:30 rounds under our old format where we would have called the game at 2:15 and a hard dice down at 2:30...granted the game end is called 5 mins earlier, but it is more lenient in terms of playing out the final round.

    Early paint judging has been tried multiple years for the team event and is a total failure. Early reg on the other hand has worked out very well.

    Your 12.5 hours only accounts for actual play time - people will be there at 7 and I sort of count that as part of the overall event. It is a 14-15 hour day for judges and most attendees at that point (both Friday and Saturday).

  15. I am mostly talking about, and worried about Friday. That is where I would like to see the 2.5 hour rounds.

    Sunday is a whole different animal and has special concerns (finishing so people can get out and get to their flights, closing award ceremony, etc). It is so different than Friday that you might have to do 2 hour rounds. The reason why is at that point people know what they are doing, and most of the players will know each other, and their armies and a lot of the things that take some time to sort out will be alleviated.

  16. At the end of the day Matt/Matthias it is up to you.

    I know that most people would like to see longer games. There is nothing more frustrating than losing a game only because of the time limit.

    People are realists though, and realize that there are considerations for time and there are just not enough hours in the day. At this point Adepticon is testing the limits of human patience and endurance with the amount of games in a weekend.

    If the time limits are lower then people will just have to adapt and make sacrifices to play armies that are smaller so they can finish in time, and accept that certain armies will just have to struggle to finish games.

  17. Not up to me at all. It is up to a number of factors, most of which you outlined above. Add to that what the players want. People didn't want two events. People wanted 'winners' to win. People didn't want Battle Points. People didn't want Sportsmanship to factor into overall. All these things are community driven...as is now the issue of game length. It is not a unique situation for AdeptiCon. We have 120 or so events this year - each one requires attention - no way I am doing that all by myself!

    We are proposing to give each game 15 additional minutes (Friday and Sunday), extend the game end call by 10 minutes (call at 2:10 as opposed to 1:45) and give players the ability to finish out rounds into the break as opposed to a hard dice down rule. Is that not movement towards addressing the issue? I think this is a very realist approach.

  18. I think that is am excellent compromise.

    What really hurt people (and I would expect you to have gotten a lot of feedback on) was the hard "Dice Down" policy that saw people get an extra turn in a game and that was unfair to the players on the wrong side of time.

  19. For these super competitive events that have many rounds it might be a good idea to make them run over a period of 2.5 days. 2.5 hours per game really makes the games a lot more fun... and I think the final results will better reflect who are the best.