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 Post subject: Why the Bugman's XXXXXX rules are no worse than many others
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:14 pm 
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Hello all,

The recently released rules for the The Bugman’s XXXXXX League Cup have caused a bit of comment and mockery in the community. If you haven't seen them you can find them here : http://warhammerworld.games-workshop.co ... eague-cup/ . But to summarise briefly, there are no points awarded for winning, drawing or losing a game. Instead you score a number of 'league points' roughly equal to the SPPS you'd normally earn during a game - so 3 for a Touchdown, 2 for a blocking casualty or interception and 1 for a completion or having a player sent off for fouling. So yes, you can win a game 3-0 and still score fewer points than an opponent who gets lucky on casualties or concentrates on throwing a completion every turn. Madness you say! How can GW create such a ridiculous ruleset? I might be playing Devil's Advocate here ... but is that actually any worse than the rules we already use for some NAF tournaments?

If you are running a tournament, it by definition seeks to crown a winner. If you are going to crown a winner, I think most people can agree that good rules would be ones that seek to crown the 'right' winner. The person who has performed best over the weekend. Factors such as sportsmanship or painting could be brought into consideration here, but as the Bugman's tournament is not doing so I won't digress on that subject. If you are looking to crown a winner based on their performance as a Blood Bowl coach you want rules that award points for performing well in your games of Blood Bowl. We could run a tournament that awards 3 points for a win and 100 points for being the tallest coach, and at most one person is going to find that satisfactory.

So with the preamble over, are the Bugman's rules less fit for purpose than some others we use? There was a NAF-ranked tournament (to remain unnamed) that used the following rules:

3 points for a win.
2 points for a draw.
0 points for a loss.
1 point for a casualty (unlimited).
0 points for a touchdown.

You read that right. A coach could win 5-0 and still score fewer points than his opponent. And in fact that actually happened. One coach finished with the best record, a 5/0/1 including three 5-0 wins, and finished in 4th place (it was not me, I did not attend, this isn't a waa). But with the Bugman's rules, a 5-0 win would garner at least 15 points, which an opponent would struggle to make up with casualties or completions (most teams being unsuited to pursuing both in the same game). So which ruleset is more sensible here?

The NAF tournament example is a fairly extreme example, so perhaps we should look at a more normal situation. The following is a very common scoring system :

10 points for a win.
5 points for a draw.
0 points for a loss.
1 point for a touchdown (max 3).
1 point for a casualty (max 3).

Looking at a 5-0 (0-5) result and a 3-3 (3-3) tie under all three systems for example :

Bugman's : winner gets 15 points, loser gets 10 points, tie gets 15 points (with the possibility of extras on both sides for completions etc.)
NAF Tournament A : winner gets 3 points, loser gets 5 points, tie gets 5.
NAF Tournament B : winner gets 13 points, loser gets 3 points, tie gets 11 points.

This isn't meant to be a rigorous analysis, I'm sure there are other results that could be presented to put this in a different light. But at first glance it seems that the Bugman's rules are entirely within the parameters of what we have come to expect from a NAF tournament. It is just that they have been presented in a slightly different way.

There is an argument that coaches might try to 'game' the system, by ignoring normal tactics and just trying to max out the points for casualties or throwing completions. But again is this a bad thing? I would never personally do this, as it isn't how I want to spend 2 hours of my time. But if a coach chose to do this it would actually be a reasonably skilled achievement. Throwing a completion for 8 turns and then scoring without losing the ball would be a very impressive feat, and anyone who pulled it off would be a 'worthy' tournament winner. Is this true of a coach who just took Mighty Blow and racked up a load of casualties at the above NAF tournament?

We must address the point that GW have designed this ruleset for an different purpose than crowning a winner of course. That is entirely incidental to them, they traditionally run events as an excuse for people to mess about with the game and experience Warhammer World. Being competitive is antithetical to the GW message - just look at what they did with Age Of Sigmar. And in that, are they not being more honest than some NAF tournament organisers?

All the best,
Joe



For a lovely summary of bonus points and why they are stupid, I'll quote below a post by Purplegoo.
Purplegoo wrote:
The area that really irritates me (in general, not just here) is tournament scoring systems. Scoring at NAF events is my absolute personal bugbear, and something with a NAF badge on it not giving an example I see as the ‘correct’ version in this summary makes me grind my teeth a little. I’d rather this piece not steer new TOs down the all too common path of ropey systems.

We all attend BB events to have a laugh, meet friends and have fun, no-one spends time and money travelling to win first and foremost. That is a given, and I wanted to get in before anyone else did. However, these things are ‘tournaments’, so something as trivial as getting the scoring system that determines final placings right should be pretty easy, and isn’t really an area for flair or innovation. Keep it simple and correct.

Blood Bowl is not football. A win should not be valued more highly than double a tie. We have no spectators to please (Jimmy Hill be damned), and the mechanics of our strategy game are often not suited to pressing for a win over a tie if behind at the half (for instance). Indeed, scoring systems that value a win as more valuable than two ties can very easily encourage coaches to play badly, which is counter intuitive.

Bonus points are a plague. Again, rewarding poor play (pushing for 3-0 at the expense of consolidating a victory) or rewarding a good Swiss draw twice (woo! I’ve drawn 16 Snotlings, I’ll win. Woo! Not only will I win, I will collect loads of bonus points equivalent to a whole tie, when those two guys playing out a fantastically coached 0-0 will just get a bad draw’s worth of points) is the sort of thing that shouldn’t happen.

BPs are easily dismissed with a wave of the hand as just a bit of fun, but all too often they impact tournament results more than they should. Rather than adding transparency, we are too commonly left in a situation where the proper tournament winner on 5/1/0 is awaiting a handshake, only for the guy on 4/2/0 (or worse) that killed everything to become the shock winner, to the surprise of everyone following the top tables. Whilst no-one goes home and punches a wall, everyone looks at each other and says ‘well, that’s a bit crap, sorry buddy. See you in a month or so?’ and the winner is left ashen faced. It’s perverse that we go out of our way at tournaments to crown incorrect winners. Nothing in a rulespack is really sacred; skills packages, tiering systems, gold to spend should be, and are, all up for grabs. But intuitively, the scoring system should be the one thing that is bloody sacred. Bonus points for sendings off, indeed.

2/1/0 / SoS tie breakers is very slowly creeping in as ‘standard’ at both flagship events and some smaller tournaments. Like democracy, it’s not perfect, but it’s the best system we’ve got by some distance. I can accept 1000 /500/0 with a point or two for TDs and CAS if you must, but why meddle with something so simple and elegant?

So, er, TL:DR, at least put the best system in, like?

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Bugman's XXXXXX rules are no worse than many oth
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:30 pm 
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Huh ... weird to me for anyone to do an event this way.

As far as my memory serves ... don't think I've never given extra points for CAS and TD for winning in any of my tournaments. I've used them as tie breakers for points for winning and draws ... but not for determining anything beyond a tie breaker.

But given your breakdown of other European events Joe ... it makes sense what you state.

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Bugman's XXXXXX rules are no worse than many oth
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:33 pm 
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It is very common to use bonus points here in the UK at least. It makes no sense to me, but as you say within this context the Bugman's rules are not that much of leap.

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Bugman's XXXXXX rules are no worse than many oth
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:30 pm 
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Some of us were actually talking about the Bugman rules this past weekend. I think it might be a fun weekend (but not fun enough to justify flying to England, plus a 55 Pound entry fee).

The rules definitely change the game. I don't expect a lot of defense to be played, as losing a shootout is objectively better than winning a low-scoring game. I expect no stalling, lots of silly fouling, plenty of elves. It won't be Blood Bowl "as we know it". It's Arena League to "Normal" Blood Bowl's NFL.

Is that a bad thing? That's a matter of opinion. But the rules are known in advance. If somebody shows up with Khemri, plays hard defense, wins a bunch of 1-0 games, then complains about placing badly, that's their fault.

It's interesting that some of the more common complaints about Blood Bowl which we've all heard over and over (how the rules encourage a risk-averse play style, leading to boring games, stalling, 2-1 grind tactics) seem to be specifically discouraged by the Bugman rule set. Maybe this is part of an experiment by the new Specialist Games division to see how they can tweak the rules to encourage more exciting play styles. Or maybe it's just some people who have no idea about Blood Bowl making up rules which seem like a great idea halfway through their third sixpac.

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Bugman's XXXXXX rules are no worse than many oth
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:47 pm 
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rolo wrote:
It's interesting that some of the more common complaints about Blood Bowl which we've all heard over and over (how the rules encourage a risk-averse play style, leading to boring games, stalling, 2-1 grind tactics) seem to be specifically discouraged by the Bugman rule set. Maybe this is part of an experiment by the new Specialist Games division to see how they can tweak the rules to encourage more exciting play styles.
On a completely separate point, these kinds of complaints are entirely demonstrative of people not understanding Blood Bowl (or strategy games in general). The complainers are most likely poor or average coaches who blame the game for their loss, or claim stalling is somehow morally wrong. If the rules encourage shoot-outs (as Bugman's do for example) then these players will still lose to the people who were previously beating them with 2-1 grinds. The better coaches will just adapt their strategies and very likely be better at scoring fast and stopping other people from scoring fast. The complainers were not losing because stalling is cheating or whatever, they were losing because they make bad decisions. But they won't realise this, they will just find another external factor to blame. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Bugman's XXXXXX rules are no worse than many oth
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:12 pm 
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Very true, thanks for sharing :)

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Bugman's XXXXXX rules are no worse than many oth
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:43 pm 
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Joemanji wrote:
rolo wrote:
It's interesting that some of the more common complaints about Blood Bowl which we've all heard over and over (how the rules encourage a risk-averse play style, leading to boring games, stalling, 2-1 grind tactics) seem to be specifically discouraged by the Bugman rule set. Maybe this is part of an experiment by the new Specialist Games division to see how they can tweak the rules to encourage more exciting play styles.
On a completely separate point, these kinds of complaints are entirely demonstrative of people not understanding Blood Bowl (or strategy games in general). The complainers are most likely poor or average coaches who blame the game for their loss, or claim stalling is somehow morally wrong. If the rules encourage shoot-outs (as Bugman's do for example) then these players will still lose to the people who were previously beating them with 2-1 grinds. The better coaches will just adapt their strategies and very likely be better at scoring fast and stopping other people from scoring fast. The complainers were not losing because stalling is cheating or whatever, they were losing because they make bad decisions. But they won't realise this, they will just find another external factor to blame. :wink:


While I agree with your assessment of how poor coaches will fare under a new system, and I've never "complained" about stalling/grinding or losing to players who do so, wishing for a more wide-open game is not necessarily the same thing as complaining about rules that you can't adapt to. I'd love to see a Blood Bowl where there were fewer ties, more scoring, and perhaps more passing. Not enough to change the rules substantially from where they are currently, mind you, because the teams that need those grinds are important to Blood Bowl, and I wouldn't want their flavor to be diminished either. So that wide-open Blood Bowl is a pruely theoretical one, I guess. But maybe reinstating SPPs for passing/catching, for example, would help to balance the risks in a league setting as they might in the Bugman's tourney.

I agree that Bugman's sounds like it has potential to be some good fun, and I'm eager to hear how it goes (can't travel cross the Atlantic for it, alas...).

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Bugman's XXXXXX rules are no worse than many oth
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:43 am 
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what ever the tournament format, scoring system, etc, at the same tourney we might have participants with different objectives.
for example, i have some friends that ALWAYS build rosters just to win the most fouling awards (example of roster: khemris without thrower! but dirty player or wrestler)
some other are doing only 2-3 tourney per year, their goal is to paint a new team per tourney, and to target the best paint award
some other are very competitive, and always try to find the best roster for a particular ruleset, in order to win the tourney (so most of the time, are playing, Woodies, Lizards or Undead)
and some other are here only for fun (dress like a pharaon or Xena, if playing khermi or amazon), beers
i have even seen some other going back to tourney only if the foods is great at this tourney :)

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Bugman's XXXXXX rules are no worse than many oth
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:14 pm 
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100% agree with Joe's points (and Goo's quoted post). It's a shame so few people will read the OP buried in this quiet forum.


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 Post subject: Re: Why the Bugman's XXXXXX rules are no worse than many oth
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 8:59 pm 
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Agreed

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Bugman's XXXXXX rules are no worse than many oth
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:49 am 
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Even though I did not want to discuss this here in details, as this is nothing I don't care about that much and nothing I can influence. But to show that there are different opinions out there :)

I do agree with purplegoo's quote and I also think bonus points are a bad thing and that there are some Naf tournaments out there that have rules that could use some improvement.

But this bugman event is something else. Even if some fail in this, Other tournaments try usually to make the tournament winner someone who wins most games.
This rules fully neglects this at all.
So that is why that rule set is to me worse than many others, or if you don't like the word "worse" Then it is something completely different with a very different focus.

But let's see how much fun that event will be, when we have the reports from those that actually attended.

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Bugman's XXXXXX rules are no worse than many oth
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 12:50 pm 
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It would be a very sad game if there could only be one winner. How do you win at BloodBowl anyway? People play the game differently and for different reasons. Why do people still play Chaos at tournaments or even humans when they could just take Wood Elves and score more touchdowns and "win".

This Bugmans XXXXXX event trys to take into consideration the whole spectrum of play during a game of BloodBowl. I think it cool and reflects what the game is meant to be about. Fun.

There's only ever going to be one winner, and the majority of people making the most noise an complaints about these rules wouldn't be good enough to win it anyway, even if they were attending. So just go and have fun, try and win it and if you do come across a decent coach, give em hell ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Bugman's XXXXXX rules are no worse than many oth
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:20 pm 
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Much as the Bugmans tourney doesnt appeal to me personally, it is GW's tourney and they are free to run it how they like. I'm sure a lot of people will enjoy themselves without me :)
There are lots of reasons to play BB. Many just play for fun, some only enjoy it if they win (and can be quite miserable if they dont). Most however fall somewhere inbetween.

Tourney rules are set before the tourney takes place, so if a coach doesnt like them, they are free not to attend. To me, it's up to the tourney director who is giving their own free time to host a tourney to make the rules as they see fit. I dont see 'better' or 'worse' rules. I see Different. If there are 20 new players who attend Bugmans, lose the majority of their matches and still have fun, well fair play to them. Maybe this will ignite their interest in the game.

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Bugman's XXXXXX rules are no worse than many oth
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:55 am 
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I think there was already a thread for the gw tournament in general
Here the question or statement was:
Is the rule set worse than many other tournaments.
And if you don't like the word worse, read it is as "very different from any other rules out there"

That is at least how I interpret this thread of the OP.

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 Post subject: Re: Why the Bugman's XXXXXX rules are no worse than many oth
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 11:12 am 
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I think there is at least one way that Bugman's is worse than other events. I've never seen an event where you could concede the game and your opponent doesn't get any points for it.

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