Bodger Bowl Updates

The Bodger Bowl schedule and site is live.  Note that this site is NOT final – this is a work in progress.  I already have a LOT planned for future improvements for it, and those will be coming shortly.

That said, the whole schedule is there.  Please double check that you don’t play the same person twice during the league.  Pretty sure no one will, but it never hurts to double check.

Below the schedule are the Conferences and Divisions.  Note that there are three Divisions per Conference this year.

Some updates regarding rules for this league are below.

Conceding A Match

If you are playing a game, and decide to concede the match, you will count as though every model on the table is destroyed at that moment.  This means any beasts that have bonds will lose them, any beasts with a bond bonus will lose it, you will have to do injury checks, etc.

Please do not concede a game.  In Warmachine and Hordes, I have seen (and made) plenty of “comeback” situations in the games.  More than I have room for.  Additionally, because of the nature of the Bodger Bowl, whether something is destroyed or not matters a ton.  And conceding the match takes away from that part of the game.

Warjack and Warbeast Bonds

In the past, we have made it so that Warjack and Warbeast bond bonuses go away if you don’t play the Warcaster or Warlock consecutive weeks.  Part of why I wanted to get a site to manage all of this was to allow for us to keep the bond bonuses even if you don’t play the same Warcaster or Warlock from week to week.

Playoffs

Who enters the playoffs will be decided as follows:

  • The top two players in each division will enter the playoffs
  • Of the remaining players in the conference, the top two with the best record will enter the playoffs in the wildcard slots.
    • If there is a tie for any (or all) of the wildcard slots, then if one player beat the other player, they will take the spot
    • If that does not resolve it (for instance, if they didn’t play during the season) then those players will play a game before the first week of the playoffs as a tie breaker.  Note that this game DOES count for purposes of bonds, injuries, etc.
    • If it is more complicated than described above, we will use random chance to determine who plays off for the wildcard slot(s)

First Game

The first game is THIS Wednesday, October 22nd.  If you are unable to make this week (or any other week) email me ASAP so that we can get things rescheduled with your opponent.  If you know ahead of time that you will be missing, let your opponent for that week know.

 

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please feel free to direct them to me.  Good luck everyone!

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?

Bodger Bowl Retro – What Didn’t Work

On Wednesday I discussed what worked with the Bodger Bowl.  Today, I want to discuss what didn’t work, and how I would do it differently next time (because yes, there will be a next time).

What Didn’t Work

Format

The Problem

As I mentioned Wednesday, the format of the league worked pretty well.  The few times we had people unable to play a particular date, they rescheduled their play time.  The only confusion there was we had a set of games that had to be moved for a player out of town for just over a week, and they were played in the opposite order because of other people’s schedules.  We worked around this by saying that bonding and injuries applied to the next game played, so there was no chance of getting an injury and not being penalized, or missing out on a bond roll or potential bond because of a weird play order.

The Fix

This was a minor problem, and I think the ad-hoc fix I came up with was the right answer.  I will make sure to call this out in the rules explicitly next time, as I am pretty sure that this will happen again.

The Problem

The big thing that didn’t work was that we had a player who had to drop out of the league for personal reasons.  I am a big proponent of “Real Life Comes First,” but the way it worked out was unfortunate (he didn’t notify me until he had already missed a game).  I had to fill in for him for the rest of the season, which meant that there were some people who were suddenly hit with playing a different army and player than they were expecting to.

The Fix

Put explicit rules in there about missing games, and enforce them.  I didn’t do this very well.  Also, put in explicit rules on how someone can “bow out.”  This will help allow people to step out if real life calls.  Part of the impetus to not bow out is that there is a drawing at the end, and we did NOT refund their money if they needed to step out.  I liked this, as it helped keep people engaged throughout the league.

Schedule

The Problem

Creating the schedule by hand took a lot of time, and was error prone.  In fact, I had to fix several errors in the schedule throughout the league as people noticed problems with it (duplicate matchups, same faction matchups, etc).

The Solution

Technology.  Specifically, I am working on some software (I am a software engineer by trade) to handle generating a schedule for me.  While scheduling is an NP-Complete (translation: can take a really long time) problem, the number of players is small (16-20 at most) so it won’t be prohibitively slow.  And this will help to eliminate (barring bugs) the scheduling snafus.  It will also reduce the amount of time I spend creating the schedule, which was a major problem as well.

The Problem

I had a requirement that people sign up by the Sunday before the first game so that I had time to generate the schedule.  This meant there were some people who were unable to play in the league because they missed the signup.  Actually, only one person I am aware of.  While one person misunderstanding the sign up requirements is not a huge deal, it is something I want to avoid.

The Solution

I need to be better about being very explicit with the requirements.  I will be notifying the mailing list throughout the sign up process, as well as reminding people every game night next time leading up to the league.  Also, having a quicker generation system (i.e. the software as noted in the previous problem) will help me to be more aggressive on the last time people can sign up.

Gameplay

The Problem

Games took too long.  We had several games go over 4 hours, and at least one go to 5.  I did not require timed turns, and this lead to some overanalyzing by some players.

The Solution

Timed turns.  This will help to reduce the chance that a game can go super long.  Have one, or even two, extensions, and a liberal amount of time for the turns, but enforce the times for the turns.  No one likes long turns, not on either side, so removing the ability helps to speed up games and rewards aggressive play.

The Problem

The bonds and injuries were too hard to keep track of on paper.  I wanted an app, or a web site, where people could record their games and the results of bonds and injuries, and it would track it for the next game(s).

The Solution

I am also working on a web site (with the help of some friends who are also developers) to track all of this information for next time.  It should be pretty easy to do, although there is a lot to do still.

The Location

The Problem

There were some nights where we did not have enough table space for all the games going on.  One unintended (happy) side effect of the league was that more players started showing up to play on Wednesday nights for free games.  That was interesting, but it lead to a shortage of table space.  Add in the occasional game of other systems (Flames of War, Warhammer 40K, Warhammer Fantasy, etc), and table space was tight.

The Solution

As our Warmachine and Hordes community continues to grow, we will need more table space.  There is space in the shop for it, and I am in discussion with the owners to get that space cleaned up and ready for use.  We currently have 22(!) people who have expressed serious interest (i.e. have all but put money down) in the Journeyman league.  We are going to need the table space.

Recap

Overall, the Bodger Bowl was a huge success, and I am looking forward to Bodger Bowl II later this year.  If I can implement these changes, I think it will be an even bigger success.  We already have people saying how much they want to play in it, so maybe we can get 16 or even 20 players this time – that would be awesome!

Any other ideas, from people in the Bodger Bowl or others who have done similar leagues?

Bozeman Summer Journeyman Rules

Alright everybody here in the Gallatin county, the summer 2012 Journeyman Slow-Growth league is nearing.  Here are the schedule and official rules:

  • Week 1 – July  18th through July 24th (battlebox only)
  • Week 2 – July 25th through July 31st (15 pts, using battlebox)
  • Week 3 – August 1st through August 7th (25 pts, using battlebox)
  • Week 4 – August 8th through August 14th (25 pts, using battlebox, can switch caster)
  • Week 5 – August 15th through August 21st (35 pts, using battlebox, can switch caster)
  • Week 6 – August 22nd through August 28th (any 35 pts)
  • Awards – August 29th

The official rules are found here, but for our local event we will be making the following changes:

  1. You will be allowed to record your 3 best games each week only. You CAN play more than 3, and just record your 3 best.
  2. The entrance fee is $10, and is payable directly at Rooks Comics and Games.
  3. All games will be directly reported to me in person on Wednesday nights, or the results will be emailed to me at dbsmash@gmail.com
  4. I will keep the overall standings posted on Sustained Attack, but individual points totals will be kept secret from other players.
  5. There are a few modifications to the way I will be awarding points for painting models. To alleviate confusion, here are the complete model painting point rules:

Warcasters, warlocks, warbeasts, warjacks, and solos: 3 points for a large-based model, 2 points for a medium-based
model, and 1 point for a small-based model

Battle engines, Colossals, and Gargantuans: 5 points

Small-based units:  1 point per model if the unit’s minimum or maximum size is finished.

Medium-based units:  2 points per model if the unit’s minimum or maximum size is finished.

Large-based units:  3 points per model if the unit’s minimum or maximum size is finished.

If you have any questions at all, leave a comment here or find me at Rooks on Wednesdays.

Now, play like you’ve got a pair!

Bodger Bowl – Are your ready to rumble!?!?

Division finals are over, and it looks like it will be a Cryx vs. Trolls event.  Congratulations to both Seth and Colby, and congratulations to everyone who got as far as they did.  It was a tough lineup this time.

The finals will be played next Wednesday, the 13th, at Rook’s Comics and Games.  The table and scenario will be set up by 6:30, and both players will need to send me their lists ahead of time.  I am looking forward to a knockdown, drag out game everyone!

After the Bodger Bowl completes, we will do the random drawing for painting and participation prizes.  I have been very pleased to see the painting everyone has done – people have really gone all out to get as much done as possible.  Well done to everyone!

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