Thoughts on Leagues

We have run a number of leagues at the Friendly Local Game Store, and I have had some thoughts on them.

First is that we tend to have an older crowd playing the game.  That is, most of us have full time jobs, and a significant minority of us have a family (with the majority of the remaining people having an active social life).  This means that most of us, even those of us who love the game, will not be able to play every day (or even close to every day).  However, there is always the one player that really wants to do well, and so they play as many games as possible to get as many points as possible.

This has lead to many players feeling like they cannot win, so they stop showing up.  Which is contradictory to the goal of the league!  The goal of the league is to get people to play, and show up to play in the shop.  This is why I really prefer the Bodger Bowl premise/style of league.  Everyone is agreeing to one game a week, and their final standings are based entirely on how well they do in the games.  To encourage painting, we have a drawing at the end that people get entries in by painting models.

Now this may not be for everyone, but I noticed that the response was almost universally positive, and we already have people excited for the next one.  (Information on that is coming soon folks!)

I love Journeyman Leagues, because they are a good way to help people “get back to basics” and get in a new faction (or bring in new players, like is happening in our current one).  But the PiP leagues just don’t work well for our group, so we are considering not running them anymore.  Thoughts on this?  Especially from local players?

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14 responses to “Thoughts on Leagues

  1. I have noticed that I care very little about winning the Journeyman League because I haven’t had as much time to paint and I know that is a key to winning. I just really enjoy being forced to use the battle box and play smaller games and it really is a perfect setup to get new players in or learn new armies.

    • Yeah, I love the Journeyman Leagues. I feel they add a different kind of experience to the game. What I have been unhappy with are their “official” quarterly leagues. They just never seem to do very well, and no one seems to enjoy them very much.

    • We have done 3 a week in the past, and that has worked somewhat. The problem with it for leagues like the Journeyman is then it turns into a painting competition, which is better (imo), but still not the ultimate goal of the league (which is to get people involved in the game).

      • For our group it is also about getting people to paint (and even fully assemble in some cases) their armies as we have more players than painters (not that there is anything wrong with that in the least), as well introduce any new players to the game.

  2. Our group runs all the PP leagues, we have put into place a rule that the first 3 games of the week count for points. This came after we tried our first league and a situation like you described came up.

    • We have tried this too, and it just didn’t work very well. People in the local meta would almost always rather do something else than the leagues, and we actually have seen attendance drop during the official leagues.

      As for painting, I saw way more painting overall during the Bodger Bowl (where painting was not a direct guarantee of “victory” but instead gave you entries to random drawn prizes at the end) than I have seen in any other league before or since. Yes, some players painted more than others in the other leagues.

      In our current Journeyman league, we have one person who is blasting out the painting so fast no one can keep up. Therefore, they will end up winning the overall, there is nothing anyone can do to keep up with it.

      Just observations. Especially since we have 22ish players pretty consistently now, there will always be at least one who will show up and go whole hog into whatever is necessary to “win.”

      • We are having a raffle for a Colossal in our currently ongoing Journeyman and the tickets are based on what you paint. Our PG keeps a cap on how many you can earn however to avoid a situation where someone blasts out an entire faction in 6 weeks.

        Suffice to say, we’ve run a lot of the leagues so it’s almost a science for our group now. We’ve got it so anyone is able to be competitive. For instance, myself, who can only game one night a week, have ended up in the 4-8th place (out of 20+ish players) range pretty regularly.

      • I forgot to add, that easing up on the league rules helps a lot. In ours, any games played count, not just your games against league participants. Some of our players don’t want to or can’t do the leagues, so there’s no reason to penalize either.

        At the end of the day, we just come to make moves and roll dice.

      • Yeah, I have thought about loosening the league restrictions about only playing against others in the same league. As an example, out of our 15 or so regular players that were around during the last league, we had 6 sign up. Everyone was still showing up to play, and almost everyone said they were not interested in the league. Those who did sign up expressed unhappiness with the league itself.

        We have run a lot of leagues – every single one since I started playing in early 2010 actually (except for one that happened right in the middle of a Journeyman), and in general they have just not gone over well with the local group. *shrug* I am going to start asking around about it tonight, over the next few weeks, to see how people feel. But the response I got last time was “can we just do another Bodger Bowl instead?” So that will probably be what we do.

  3. Maybe we go for a model where instead of pitting everyone against one another, every week has a meximum number of points you can get. There are gaming points, and painting points, but both max out at some level. So you might have 2, 3, etc players hit maximum points for the league, so they all get a prize, but there doesn’t have to be one supreme victor…

  4. I really like the PiP leagues. The special scenario as well as league models are fun for me. As are patches and coins. That’s what i really aim for….winning comes secondary to faction coins or interesting patches. And a secondary note. I’m not painting my entire faction to win the league its cause someone has poked me in the ribs for six plus months to have a painted faction. When the league ends ill keep painting :). However as this is now starting to cause an issue for me i would offer alternative solutions. First would be to cap the points for how much you can claim or offer different prizes for painting. Second would be change who gets what prizes at the end if we have a whole big pot why not prize the first five members then prize the most seccusful new player and give a prize to (voted for) best painted instead of most?

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