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Tournament Design: what missions do you choose?

Discussion in 'ITS' started by BLOODGOD, May 28, 2019.

  1. BLOODGOD

    BLOODGOD Vampire Hunter

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    I'll try.

    ITS10 satellites (total 12/35 missions that I think are bad tournament missions)

    Rose City Raid 2019
    1. Highly Classified
    2. Power Pack
    3. Transmission Matrix
    4. Unmasking
    5. Frostbyte
    2/5 bad missions (Highly Classified, Tx Matrix)

    Salt Lake Showdown 2019
    Round 1: FROSTBYTE
    Round 2: Firefight
    Round 3: Capture and protect
    Round 4: Biotechvore
    Round 5: Highly classified

    2/5 bad missions (Highly Classified, Biotechvore)

    Rumble on Route 66 2019
    Round 1: UNMASKING
    Round 2: Supplies
    Round 3: Decapitation
    Round 4: Acquisition
    Round 5: Firefight

    1 or 0/5 bad missions (Decapitation was bad until someone read the Spanish version and we got the English version fixed)

    Las Vegas Open 2019
    Round 1: The armory
    Round 2: Engineering Deck
    Round 3: Acquisition
    Round 4: Power Pack
    Round 5: Firefight

    2/5 bad missions (Armory, Engineering Deck

    Baltimore Brawl 2018
    Round 1: Frontline
    Round 2: Looting and Sabotaging
    Round 3: Transimission matrix
    Round 4: FROSTBYTE

    2/4 bad missions (Looting & Sabotaging, Tx Matrix)

    Iowa Incident 2018
    Round 1: Capture and protect
    Round 2: FROSTBYTE
    Round 3: Highly classified
    Round 4: Safe Area
    Round 5: Firefight

    1/5 bad missions (Highly Classified)

    Arizona Armageddon 2018
    Round 1: Show of force
    Round 2: Power Pack
    Round 3: Looting and Sabotaging
    Round 4: Frontline
    Round 5: UNMASKING

    2/5 bad missions (Show of Force, Looting & Sabotaging)

    ITS9 Satellites (3/19 bad)

    Rumble on Route 66 2018
    Round 1: Acquisition
    Round 2: Hunting party
    Round 3: Rescue
    Round 4: Power Pack
    Round 5: Capture and protect

    2/5 bad missions (Hunting Party, Rescue)

    Baltimore Brawl 2017
    Round 1: Frontline
    Round 2: Acquisition
    Round 3: Firefight
    Round 4: Supplies

    0/4 bad missions!

    Iowa Incident 2017
    Round 1: Frontline
    Round 2: Safe Area
    Round 3: Acquisition
    Round 4: Supplies
    Round 5: Firefight

    0/5 bad missions!

    Arizona Armageddon 2017
    Round 1: Acquisition
    Round 2: Power Pack
    Round 3: Supplies
    Round 4: Highly classified
    Round 5: Capture and protect

    1/5 bad missions (Highly Classified)

    ITS8 Satellites (9/25 bad missions)

    Twinfinity 2017
    Round 1: Antenna field
    Round 2: Highly classified
    Round 3: SAFE AREA
    Round 4: Transimission matrix
    Round 5: Firefight

    2/5 bad missions (Highly Classified, Transmission Matrix)

    Rumble on Route 66 2017
    Round 1: Firefight
    Round 2: Frontline
    Round 3: SAFE AREA
    Round 4: Supremacy
    Round 5: Rescue
    Round 6: Highly classified

    2/6 bad missions (Rescue, Highly Classified)

    Baltimore Brawl 2016
    Round 1: Supplies
    Round 2: Seize the antennas
    Round 3: Antennas field
    Round 4: Capture and protect

    0/4 bad mission!

    Iowa Incident 2016
    Round 1: ENGINEERING DECK
    Round 2: SAFE AREA
    Round 3: Highly classified
    Round 4: Transimission matrix
    Round 5: Supplies

    3/5 bad missions (Engineering Deck, Highly Classified, Transmission Matrix)

    Arizona Armageddon 2016
    Round 1: Frontline
    Round 2: Highly classified
    Round 3: Transimission matrix
    Round 4: Antennas field
    Round 5: Firefight

    2/5 bad missions (Highly Classified, Transmission Matrix)

    24/78 missions being poor tournament missions isn't great but it might not be as bad as I was thinking, at least satellite-wise. I know there are/were a couple large tournaments this year that I was considering attending but saw the mission list and immediately thought "nevermind."
     
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  2. meikyoushisui

    meikyoushisui Competitor for Most Ignored User

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    Could you list out which missions you think are bad for us and what the rationales are? I really don't see a problem with Engineering Deck or Rescue, for example.
     
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  3. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    @BLOODGOD
    Curious to see your list of problem scenarios. Just based on your comments in this thread, I suspect it looks a lot like my list.

    Your breakdown of major US events with weird missions is right on the money too. Why Highly Classified remains so popular is beyond me.
     
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  4. MikeTheScrivener

    MikeTheScrivener O-12 Peace Kepper

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    Well, I have to disagree with you on a few things but mostly you're correct. I don't find Armor/Engineering deck as bad a mission as you, especially engineering deck.

    Highly classified is in a weird spot – I enjoy the mission but just mostly for fun, I don't see it as very competitive.

    Anyway, having one wildcard or swingy mission in a set of 5 imo isn't bad at all – actually preferable to me.
     
  5. inane.imp

    inane.imp Well-Known Member

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    It depends. Increasingly we're seeing situations where people need to have 2 lists that can do 5 missions of a tournie so that they can prioritise the differences between the lists to accommodate table / faction match ups.

    Mostly though it's still 1 list for these 3-4 Missions and list 2 for these 1-2 missions.

    I'm not saying that having a tournie where you have 2 very different sets of missions is bad, but it does create particularly list building conundrums.

    This can be seen in what missions are generally considered 'bad tournie missions'. Usually they're missions that need bespoke lists: they feel 'out of place' compared to the other missions of the tournament. Take BTV for instance, in a tournie with Unmasking and Decap it would be the outlier. But in a tournie with Frostbyte and Frontline it's probably not a bad choice.

    Aside, I disagree that armoury and engineering deck are bad tournie missions from a player POV. They're not too skewy and pair nicely, they also accompany more killy or more button pushing missions well. A trio of Armoury, Eng Deck and Frostbyte or a trio of Armoury, Eng Deck and Supremacy both don't really have a mission that feels 'out of place'.

    This is really the problem with Hunting Party and Highly Classified: they're usually out of place whatever the other missions on offer.

    Personally I don't like the list building conundrums that are introduced by outlier missions. I'd prefer to be able to bring lists tailored for tables/opponent's rather than being forced to bring 1 list for 'outlier mission' and 1 all comers list for the rest. But this is a personal opinion, neither option is 'wrong'.
     
  6. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

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    @inane.imp Agreed wholeheartedly. The removal of the "operation type" in ITS tournaments means that TOs should be careful and thoughtful about their mission lineups. It's definitely possible to make "clusterfuck" mission lineups like Looting & Sabotaging/Highly Classified/Hunting Party in a 3-round tournament.

    Hunting Party still hasn't addressed the issue of suiciding your Lt, either.
     
  7. konuhageruke

    konuhageruke Well-Known Member
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    Interesting.
    I like when bigger tournament gives me a challenge in creating lists. Mixing typically fight missions, with specialist heavy missions and the ones that require specific actions, but not with specialists. That makes creating lists more challenging as you need to compromise more:
    1. the mission (specialists or not)
    2. the enemies (light spam or heavy armour)
    3. types of tables (dense, loose)
    This rises the stakes. BTW this issue would require a separate thread, and should not be discussed under "Jammer burst bonus".
     
  8. xagroth

    xagroth Mournful Echo

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    For the Armory, I think the infinite height building in the middle can be weird, the other option being a "come to the middle and let's all cluster", which calls for cheap troops with flamethrowers, Missile Launchers, or Rocket Launchers. Just my thoughts, but I never found it specially "uncompetitive".

    Engineering deck is something else, since it goes against factions relying on AD troops, while favouring factions with AI beacons (don't roll, place to a side).

    As for why Highly Classified is so liked, I would say that it's because its the same mission every time, but with entirely different objectives every time. In that regard, it's a good mission, but having wildly different objectives on each table, and decided at the time of the list decision, is not competitive at all, not to mention certain sectorials (Caledonia) can be totally unable to win (hacking objectives, for example).
    In that regard, I'm with the people preferring the "pre-draw when defining the mission for all".
     
  9. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    How about Highly Classified, Looting & Sabotaging, Quadrant Control, Unmasking, and Comms Center in the same tournament? 2 lists.

    I've basically resigned and said fuckit and am going to play to have fun instead of even remotely building decent lists. Impossible to make two lists that's able to handle all missions, handle different types of terrain and be able to parry Impersonation.
     
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  10. xagroth

    xagroth Mournful Echo

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    There has been a lot of extra stuff being shoved onto the game, and at least for me it has reached a point in which defense seems a futile effort.

    In my last tournament (the narrative one of the 75 bucks prize box) I lost Achilles to 3 Fat2 crits (3 ones in three different rolls), then to E/M Spec Fire, then I lost 2 Devas to a singel order of a Red Fury Mukhtar (who is basically a PanO Deva Vs my Nomad Devas, because of -1Will +1BS, but with inmunity shock, +3BTS, Red Fury instead of Spitfire, both MSV2, both NWI, etc..., and a linked doctor plus for extra measure, of course).
    Plus on that FAT2 game, I had to fend off 2 Fidays (Al Djabel & one other) & Saladin & another mukhtar etc etc...

    It becomes totally impossible to have an answer to even half of what you can find. And then, on the 3rd mission, no one was able to score a secondary objective point due to the mission not allowing to change the EXTREME mode objectives for HVT control...
     
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  11. inane.imp

    inane.imp Well-Known Member

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    More challenging isn't necessarily better. The problem becomes the tournament not your opponents. It forces people to play more highly optimised lists to be competitive. So it's a balance. I find there's a point where it's just frustrating trying to 'solve the problem' AND play a list / faction you want to.

    @Mahtamori's example isn't particularly uncommon.

    Locally @deltakilo is running a satellite consisting of Armoury, Engineering Deck, Frostbyte, Supplies. One of the things I like about that lay down is that the 'outlier' is Supplies (usually considered a tournament staple), there's several ways of splitting up the missions into list 1/ list 2 missions but if you wanted to you could build 2 lists that could each do all 5 missions.

    @psychoticstorm please can you split the 'Tournament Design: what missions do you choose?' conversation off and move it to Access Zone?
     
    #11 inane.imp, May 29, 2019
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
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  12. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    My current line of thinking regarding the state of the game and the way defence work is thus:
    1. Every model will be killed in typically one order worth of attacks (not counting movement), regardless if they have 1 or 2 wounds
    2. ARM and BTS are "luck" stats. Much like lottery, they are designed such that if you roll you are already a loser
      1. Any effect which modifies your or your opponent's chance of winning a face to face is the only true protection
    3. Two mediocre models capable of doing the same task as one elite model for the same price;
      1. Two models can accomplish two different objectives
      2. Two models can exist in two places
      3. Two models will never suffer "bleed-over" into their "second" wound on failed ARM saves
    4. Marker state and 3 "wounds" means a model takes roughly two orders instead of one to kill a model.
    5. Blast weapons are a necessity to reduce vanilla factions or vanilla-like sectorial lists mobility
    6. Your vulnerabilities will be exploited, the only protection is to diversify them
      1. If you have a Hackable point man, you must have a non-Hackable backup as otherwise you risk facing Assault Hacker in a position where you can't challenge them.
      2. If you have a Hacker point man, you must have a non-Hacker backup as otherwise you risk facing Killer Hacker in a position where you can't challenge them.
      3. If you have a non-Veteran L1+ point man, you must have a Veteran L1 backup as otherwise you risk facing Jammer or E/M weapons in position where you can't challenge them.
      4. If you have a Fireteam as your main attack tool, you must have a solo model as backup as otherwise you risk facing difficult to assail blast weapons which will drain your orders or manpower.
    7. Your only way of defending against a good opponent is to maximize order drain
    For this reason, you have a few godlike models (list is not exhaustive);
    Zulu-Cobra and Hecklers - Mediocre models at a mediocre price that have Marker state combined with weapon which very few models can engage with.
    Helot Militia - Cheap Marker state models with blast weapon
    Mutta - Cheap models with weapons which very few models can engage with.
    Proxy - Elite model with marker state and wounds spread in several physical places
    Noctifier - Mediocre model with Marker state and blast weapon
    Speculo/Al-Djabel - Elite model at mediocre price with double (!) Marker state
     
  13. Urobros

    Urobros Well-Known Member

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    Maybe someone with "powers" should move the thread into another location, this become more a discussion of the game in general, than a discussion/question about the jammer and the bonus or not.

    Continuing with the "no related thema"... ;) hehehe After read you, guys, yes, I have a little the same impression, now it is harder to build a list good against almost everything. It looks like a circle now, the type A of list do really well against type B list, but not against type C list, but still most of lists can face most of rivals.

    @Mahtamori after some games against SpiralCorps could I be agree with you but I didn't. My most powerfull tool, the Lt Assura Hacker Plus was stuck by a Kriegel with "Eraser". After the game I regret a lot made the Assura the Datatracker because of this I couldn't use "Cibermask" and I missed a lot not include some Yadu, but in the end I had a very powerfull tool blocked because I made a questionable decision. At first I think like you and others, but now I'am convinced that most of the new toys made the game more interessting because now you have tools and have to use it. Jammers? Eraser? And you need to go there... camo, cibermask, stealth, veteran can do the trick. Before we don't really include all of this in our tournament list because only haquisslam had acces to the jammers and no one had eraser (yes, the symbiobombs have it before spiral, but no one place on the table instead the symbiomates), now that we have to do use of this kind of troups in our lists claim against "the new things" like no will be tomorrow.

    Yes, jammers are a problems, but not worst if you have to face an Avatar and your list don't has visors or AP ammo, even if you had the tools you can spend one or two turns trying to put down the big guy and nothing.

    Of course some things need a revision, but sometimes looks like all was wrong.

    And please, don't forget we play a game with "dices" of 20 faces, so is really ramdom in the majority of circunstances.
     
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  14. deltakilo

    deltakilo Bear of Butcher bay
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    As a TO, I personally do not subscribe to the idea that if you want to win a huge event you need to suffer through complex mission setups. I actually feel pretty strongly about this, and whilst I think every mission outside of TAG ones have a place in events. I think creating a lineup that is just a mess of competing goals can be a problem.
    1. Some armies can just take all comers lists that handle more mission lineups than others do. I would take one list to almost any event with OS. It gave me familiarity and it could handle everything except L&S other armies can't do that.
    2. I think some TO's want their opponents to spend so long fighting the tournament that they aren't able to play their best game against their opponent.
    3. Simple missions allow both players to play their best game, you don't have headspace occupied by weird interactions that you can both play your game and not be caught off by some weird interactions.
    4.and this is the most important to me, less than twenty percent of tournament attendees have a likely expectation of winning an event, they go for the social side and to enjoy playing 3-5 games. I create events for those players, and the misnomer a tough event list means you "earnt" the win doesn't take into account you have plenty of players grinding through potentially not fun games to stroke the ego of the few at the top who may have got their on skill, or may have gotten their because the army they took was just better equipped for the mission set. (Not fun may come off strong, but I mean a game that a player clearly started behind the 8ball due to the mission and their armies ability to handle it eg a standard USARF list into a mission requiring anti materiel is going to be a slog)

    OFF TOPIC OF JAMMERS BUT HEY SOMEONE ELSE STARTED IT
     
  15. BLOODGOD

    BLOODGOD Vampire Hunter

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    I probably wouldn't attend, and I would tell the TO his questionable mission choice was the reason.

    That choice has kept me from attending several tournaments that I otherwise would have this season, and almost kept me from going to the big event I've attended 6/7 years of its existence.
     
    #15 BLOODGOD, May 29, 2019
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
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  16. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    @Urobros I think you either made a list consisting of only an Asura or you missed a few of my points.

    These are all solvable issues if you work around these problems. Having an HI that gets denied shouldn't be a problem as long as you don't make a list consisting almost entirely of HI. Having a list with a key figurine being a hacke shouldn't be a problem as long as you have other competent enough means of clearing the block.

    The issue is when the game has factions incapable of dealing with these issues effectively enough that the order sink becomes great enough that you're no longer able to compete in the mission.

    It's all kind of fuzzy at this point, but with proliferation of E/M, Jammers, etc and with the price on ARM and wounds remaining as high as they are, you've got an issue.
    Now, for your own list I presume the Asura wasn't alone and that you had a Proxy, maybe a Deva Haris attached to the Asura, possibly a Naga or Dasyu to clear the Kriegel? Not an issue then. Asura can probably justifiably be called overpriced due to having comparatively low survival rate compared to points cost, but hopefully provided unique opportunities that this price was still worth it.
     
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  17. Urobros

    Urobros Well-Known Member

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    I can agree with you in the point of the probably overcosted ARM or Wounds (in some cases). It is true that in the latest updates, only to have a big number in Armour atribute is become expensive more than anything.

    No, of course I played others troups :D I only tried to put one example in this particular case. The game was advanced and I used Dart in first place, but she was isolated and did some weird combination against the Krieegel with Eraser and his fireteams friends. She blocked much as the jammer blocked me. The problem was that the Asura had to pass for this zone of the table almost mandatory, the enemy civilian was there and I need to catch him. The other side of the table was too dominated for my adversary and most of my tools to put down the enemy lied on the ground. But, like I said before, the problem wasn't so the eraser guy than my bad choice of datatracker. If instead a Eraser guy my enemy would have one linked Multisnipper the effect probably would be the same as the Eraser guy on the roof.

    Now we have "new trreats" to deal with, but we have the tools, of course, not all the armies have the same tools, and here you made a good point: the order sink. But all this things are what the game need to be fixed in order to continue with the balance.
     
  18. BLOODGOD

    BLOODGOD Vampire Hunter

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    Continuing off the original topic, but oh well:

    This is my current list of missions that I don't like in tournaments (this judgment is solely on the use of the mission in a tournament: a bunch of these missions are great for campaigns or one-off games), and the reasons for my dislike. It applies to ITS10; my judgment of the mission previously may have been different because some of the missions change pretty drastically season-to-season. The Xenotech is the worst part of ITS10, and a negative part of every mission that includes it. Including the Xenotech isn't enough, alone,to make this list.
    Biotechvore: Majorly favors sectorials and going second, the biotechvore plague rolls add annoying unnecessary randomness to the game
    Deadly Dance: Requires a TAG for max points, randomness of assigned quadrants after deployment
    Decapitation (English PDF v1.0, it's fine in the Spanish version): Very tough to go second and protect your datatracker, especially for some factions
    Engineering Deck: Uses Objective Room, which (unless you're rearranging tables between rounds) dictates the layout of every table because it's huge and infinitely tall (any terrain that isn't what-you-see-is-what-you get seriously irks me); uses the xenotech
    Highly Classified: Possibly the worst mission in ITS10 because it's so damn random; dictates list building for many armies if you want to cover all of the possible classifieds
    Hunting Party: Very cool stand-alone mission that really lends itself to a highly tailored list and therefore doesn't play nearly as well in a tournament; lots of rules questions (many of which have been slowly cleared up over the years, but still require the TO to explain them to clarify at the beginning and probably again while scoring)
    Looting and Sabotaging: Wildly differing abilities of sectorials (and some whole factions) to complete the main mission
    Rescue: Ludicrously hard to accomplish all of the objectives, some armies are just way better or worse
    Show of Force: Requires a TAG for max points
    The Armory: Uses Objective Room (see Engineering Deck)
    Transmission Matrix: Repeaters covering most of the table are problematic and really discourage playing a lot of things; for the first season or two after it was introduced this caused the most player headaches of any mission

    11/27 missions are (IMO) bad for tournaments, especially big ones that go five rounds. That's pretty rough. It does fit my lack of satisfaction with ITS, though. Every year some things get cleaned up but as much or more bad stuff gets thrown at the wall. I get the desire to prevent the system from getting stale, but I wish there was some kind of tick-tock cycle where one year got experimental stuff and the next year was just about refining the existing rule set.
     
    #18 BLOODGOD, May 29, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
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  19. b1ackheart

    b1ackheart Well-Known Member

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    I agree, there are a few things that make lovely narrative games but just don't work competitively, Spec-Ops and 1/3rd the missions being definitely part of that. At least there is enough elbow room in the remaining missions that tournament organisers can still do a 3 to 5 round event with some nice variations
     
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  20. MikeTheScrivener

    MikeTheScrivener O-12 Peace Kepper

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    I think you're being a little up tight about this – whats the alternative? to only have like 6 missions to choose between?
    Having more missions isn't necessarily worse. I'm happy they did away with operations types aswell, more freedom is always appreciated. A lot of these missions feel a lot more at home in a three round tournament than a 5 though
     
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