Monday, March 23, 2020


Well Adepticon getting canceled and the Stay the F indoors movement in full swing due to COVID-19 got me to do another massive update to the ASC 2.0.
Once more, it was nice to return to it after almost a year since the last draft. In that year, I stopped work not because of lack of interest, but just every other project got in the way and life in general. Editing a massive document is tedious at times.
That being said, I finally am at a place I can actually resume work, and I have a new draft up as a result. And with this draft I am happy to say CHAOS IS COMPLETE! YAY! We are up to 90 vessels with 12 added since the last revision (2 of which are SM vessels), 9 fleet lists (2 new SM ones) and the Navis Mercantilis custom transport creator! On top of that, I did a lot of formating to make all the Notes WAY EASIER TO READ and PRINT
What is the ASC 2.0 you ask? Well for those of you who play the community updated versions of BFG (ie BFG:R or XR) it is a comprehensive compendium of additional ships (thus ASC) to be used with these systems that are not in the "official" rules but are established in the fluff or other unnofficial sources (Warp Rift, Book of Nemesis). Additionally it covers many common conversions (or easy to convert) that just fit in the game. It is a completely fun and optional thing with great hobby opportunity, supporting the long tradition of BFG being the most open game and community to fan made rules. AND even if you don't play those versions of BFG, I have gone to great lengths to provide awesome artwork, accurate fluff and some neat designs, so it is worth checking out as a generic BFG resource anyway!
Pictured are screen shots of vessels from the latest draft. ENJOY! You can learn more of all of these projects, as well as find other resources for them here, just check the files section.
(it used to all be on the specialist arms forums. RIP sweet prince) AND as always, feed back is most welcome! Please be constructive with it though, and remember, these are extra ships for fun!

Friday, March 13, 2020

Thoughts on Chess Clocks: Is there a better way to stop slow play?

Chess clocks have become a fundamental staple of competitive 40k it seems. I have generally disliked them personally for sometime, as they are outside the normal rules. The game is not designed for their use and most players are practiced with them. Also the concept of rolling my saves on my time for wounds you inflicted is lunacy IMO. Further more, I want to know who the best 40k player is, not the best 40k time manager.

But I get what people were trying to achieve with the introduction of Chess clocks. But IMO it hasn't really stopped exploitation shenanigans and achieves something far worse.

The concept is that they prevent someone from cheating their opponent out of a win by preventing slow play. 

However, in my opinion, they are cheating people out of a win by forced play. What do I mean by that? Well I am glad you asked.
I'm going to refer back to LVO a few months ago. One of the semi-final games. Orks vs Eldar. Two very fundamentally different armies. This could not be more starkly seen by the fact that the Eldar (list linked here) had 48 models (with some of those in reserve) and the Orks (list linked here) had 193. Or just over 4 times the number of models.

Now this is usually where people jump in and say "well the Ork play just needs to play faster or he should play something else"
But this wasn't some scrub table. This was in the TOP 8 at LVO. That Ork player knew how to play the game, how to play his army, and how to play it fast. And he was using a Dice App for all his rolls. So the idea that he to just needed to up his game is bull crap.
What really made me hate chess clocks was watching the Eldar take just as much time to deploy, then pick up, then adjust, then redeploy etc. etc. the same 6 bikes again and again IN THE SAME TIME THE ORK PLAYER SPENT DEPLOYING 90 BOYS.

See, the fundamental problem is the Eldar and Ork factions are INHERENTLY DESIGNED IN DIFFERENT WAYS. I know that is obvious, but I am going to break it down. Each Eldar unit has higher damage potential to accompany their higher point cost. They DO MORE IN LESS ACTIONS. The Orks however, being high model count and low points cost TAKE MORE ACTIONS TO DO THE SAME AMOUNT OF WORK. Its just the nature of their Army.
This is why chess clocks work... FOR CHESS. Both sides are identical. Obviously they are not in 40k.

So the Ork play KNEW he needed time, where as the Eldar player KNEW he could waste it. He knew later in the game he'd have time to spare on the clock where as teh Ork player likely wouldn't. And why did they know this? Because the TIME IS FORCED SPLIT HALF AND HALF.

Now how is that in anyway fair when you consider that the armies fundamentally work differently. Absent a time limitations, in a normal game of 40k, I guarantee you 9 times out of 10 and Horde army is just going to take longer to play their turns than an Elite army. It just makes sense. As I said before, more actions to cause equal damage. Its the way they are designed. And actions take TIME.
Furthermore, if an hour is 3 rounds, and player A runs out of time, but play B ends turn 6 with 20 minutes left, they didn't even use the full 3 hours. Now its too late to go back and give those 20 minutes to your opponent to give them a sporting chance with another shooting phase. Like I said at the beginning, I want to know who the better 40k player is. IMO you are no longer playing 40k if one of the players can take NO ACTIONS in their own turn. 

So I am going to ask you a question- if you had 3 hours to play a game with your friend at home, what would be more important to you? That you each had 90 minutes to play OR that you finished a game?
I would argue it should be FINISH THE GAME. I play Custodes. I may only need 50 minutes to play out 6 full turns. Why should I deny my opponent the 40 minutes of a game I would take from them by using a chess clock. I am FORCING them to play faster, possibly to the detriment of the way their army is designed. And that just seems unsporting to me.

But Slow players you say. People who intentionally eat time of the game so that they have an advantage in scoring.

Well, I didn't say a clock wasn't the solution. Just not a chess clock. Rather, why not a stop watch?

Here is the concept:
Each player writes down the start and stop times of their turn.
If a game finishes 6 turns- give BOTH PLAYERS bonus points
If a game finishes 5 turns- both players get full points for their game
If a game finishes 4 turns- CHECK THE TIMES. If one player used more than 60% of the time of the game (108 minutes of a 3 hour game), then that player get a points PENALTY. If the times are below that threshold, split the penalty to both players
If a game finishes 3 turns or less- CHECK THE TIMES. If one player used more than 60% of the time, they get a larger PENALTY. If they used more than 67% of the time (120 minutes of a 3 hour round) they take a LOSS despite any other outcome. If the times are below the 60% threshold, split the penalty to both players.
This way actively PUNISHES slow players, rather than just limiting armies that NATURALLY NEED MORE TIME TO PLAY A GAME OF 40k! Furthermore, it doesn't require any alteration of how the game is played. There is no "you can no longer do X actions". There is no longer a forced distribution of time. Rather only the final outcome of placings in the rankings is affected.

Now is this solution perfect? No. Any system has flaws. The immediate I see is that a particularly slow player could still suppress the score of a good fast player. Sure they will take a penalty, but the winner may have had the potential to score higher. And I am not fully sure what the answer is to that. But I also don't believe that many games will fall afoul of this problem? And certainty no more than the current number that have to rush through turns, either skipping actions or making mistakes as they do so. So I am of the opinion the risk is worth it. Especially by offering than bump for finishing 6 turns. 

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Adepticon is canceled, so I should post more

So Adepticon is a big thing every year for me. This year was going to be our biggest yet. So much so I haven't really been working on my personal hobby backlog OR posting here on the Blog, which were both two of my expressed goals for 2020.

So now that Adepticon is kaput for 2020, instead of being in the dumps about it, I'm going to take this money saved (the only silver lining) and the time saved to try and to be hobby positive. Of course I am disappointed. We even recorded an Episode of Allies of Incovenience the night of the 9th to be our Adepticon Pre-Show (AND WE TALKED ABOUT FABIUS BILE BEFORE HIS GAMA REVEAL ON IT).. and I still have to edit that episode. We will probably do an addendum to it now, but its a slight bummer to death with.

A preview of what our theme this year for the Team Tournament was to be. 

Expect to see more great hobby content here SOON!