Saturday, August 1, 2015

Sneak Peak: THRO 2015

Good morning gamers,

So I've been thinking about our Fall "The Hunter's Red October" tournament (THRO, pronounced like "throw") a lot in the last few months, and so we'll begin this post with a short overview of the purpose of the THRO tournament and then give a sneak peak to the scenarios that are going to be played and the army list-related rules we're going to have. This is not only to field comments before the official tournament post goes up (read: this is not binding yet, so comment if you have better ideas...or if you think one of these ideas stinks), but also to allow players to practice before the tournament is posted to get a better idea of how they want to structure their armies.

1) What is THRO? Why do we do it?

THRO was originally designed to be a "fun" tournament - there's no prestige attached to winning it because it's intended to be a "safe" tournament to bring a fun list to AND a mode for trying out new and different scenarios. This is often our proving ground for things we want to add to our spring Grand Tournaments (or things we know we could NEVER get away with at a GT).

THRO is also an excellent opportunity to get new players involved in the hobby, since THRO's atmosphere tends to emphasize (in little ways, hopefully) what you can do with the LOTR hobby. Most of the scenarios (and armies) brought to a GT focus on the core rules of the game or the current meta (e.g. lots of To The Death/Domination games, lots of F4 D6 armies). THRO is different: "throw" a scenario with weird (but not complicated) rules out there, try out the newest "official" scenarios (with minor mods, of course), and try out new tournament scoring rules (like our "kudo points" that we traditionally use). THRO is open season without being too complex that people get frustrated and ask for "a simple game of To The Death."

2) What is going to be different this year?

Ever year, the goal is to make THRO a little different - that way, if we find something that we want for the GT, we can use it, knowing that it's been tested before. For example, our first THRO tournament tried out modified rules for the new Warband Sourcebook scenarios, overhauling the scenarios we used from the old "Legions of Middle-Earth" (referred on this blog and elsewhere as "LOME" or "Legions") book. Prior to the tournament, we had a lot of reservations against the scenarios and came out at the end of the tournament thinking "those weren't so bad on the whole."

This year, we're making a few changes:

  • For every tournament prior to this one, everyone posted their lists in comments on the tournament announcement. What this in reality did was encouraged everyone to wait until the last minute to post their list, adding to the stress of those who were trying to help newer players build their lists and delaying gratification for those who knew far in advance what they wanted their lists to look like (or at least, roughly knew). This year, armies will be submitted by email to the Tournament Director (me, Tiberius) and upon submitting your army list (and any subsequent player's submission), you will get a confirmation email that shows your list and all lists that have been already submitted. Since I will be receiving the lists, my army list will be submitted at the same time the THRO announcement is posted.
  • Armies will be built to the 600 point level (with 3 points of grace as normal), following our modified rules for LOME lists and the established rules for Warband lists. This year, only 450 (or so) points of the army list will be submitted in writing - the other up-to-150 points will be "hidden" from public view and each scenario will have something special about those 150 points worth of guys (more on that below).
3) Three (or more) Games:

At THRO, depending on how many players come, will determine how many boards we have (and hence, how many scenarios we need to have in play). So we're going to assume three scenarios for now, but we'll plan for a few more - if you have ideas for these scenarios, please send as a comment!

  1. Domination:
    1. DEPLOYMENT: 18" from one corner. 5 objectives (or markers with objective being everything within 3" of a marker) on the board.
    2. END OF GAME: enemy is brought to 25% OR 90 minutes elapse.
    3. SCORING: 
      1. 3pts for every uncontested objective OR 1pt for each objective you have more models on; 
      2. 2 pts for killing the enemy army leader; and
      3. 3pts for breaking the enemy without being broken OR 1pt for breaking the enemy and being broken.
    4. RULES FOR HIDDEN MODEL(S): no rules! You just have the element of surprise on your opponent.
  2. Hold (Ground) The Keep:
    1. DEPLOYMENT: Players roll to decide who attacks the fort and who defends the fort. One fort in the middle with an objective marker in the center. For directional purposes, the gatehouse is on the "north" wall. Each player then rolls a dice for each of his warband/detachment, with all models within 6" of the hero/hero-equivalent of the warband/detachment (any hero within that warband/detachment may use Might to influence the roll):
      1. Defender deployment:
        1. Reinforcements: The warband/detachment deploys within 3" of any board edge.
        2. North/South Guard: The warband/detachment deploys on the North or South wall (attacking player's choice).
        3. East/West Guard: The warband/detachment deploys on the East or West wall (attacking player's choice).
        4. North/South Guard: The warband/detachment deploys on the North or South wall (defending player's choice).
        5. East/West Guard: The warband/detachment deploys on the East or West wall (defending player's choice).
        6. Flex Guard: The warband/detachment deploys anywhere inside the fort (defending player's choice).
      2. Attacker deployment:
        1. Late Arrival: The warband/detachment moves onto the board edge of choice at the end of the Move phase. It may not charge but may otherwise act normally.
        2. North/South Flankers: The warband/detachment deploys within 3" of the North or South board edge (defending player's choice).
        3. East/West Flankers: The warband/detachment deploys within 3" of the East or West board edge (defending player's choice).
        4. North/South Flankers: The warband/detachment deploys within 3" of the North or South board edge (attacking player's choice).
        5. East/West Flankers: The warband/detachment deploys within 3" of the East or West board edge (attacking player's choice).
        6. Flex Guard: The warband/detachment deploys within 3" of any board edge (defending player's choice).
    2. END OF GAME: enemy is brought to 25% OR 90 minutes elapse.
    3. SCORING: 
      1. 1pt for each model within 6" of the objective marker; 
      2. 2 pts for killing the enemy army leader; and
      3. 3pts for breaking the enemy without being broken OR 1pt for breaking the enemy and being broken.
    4. RULES FOR HIDDEN MODEL(S): the defending player must pay at least 100 points to use the fort. The fort comes as-is, no rules associated with it. For 30 additional points, he may make all of the external grass leading up to the palisade wall difficult terrain. For 20 additional points, he may give the "Murder Holes" upgrade to Keep and Turret (models in the keep/turret may forgo a normal shooting attack - if any - in order to make the equivalent of a crossbow shot with a Range of 4" from base of keep and a Strength of 4). For every 50 points the attacker chooses not to take, each D6 roll made by the defending player is reduced by 1 (to reflect an earlier arrival of the adversary).
  3. The Road To Weathertop (High Ground):
    1. DEPLOYMENT: each warband/detachment rolls a dice: on a 1-3, deploy within 6" of the player's board edge. On a 4-6, deploy within 12" of the player's board edge. One large piece of terrain in the center of the map.
    2. END OF GAME: enemy is brought to 25% OR 90 minutes elapse.
    3. SCORING: 
      1. 1pt for each model touching/on the top two levels of Weathertop (roughly 6" from center of board); 
      2. 2 pts for killing the enemy army leader; and
      3. 3pts for breaking the enemy without being broken OR 1pt for breaking the enemy and being broken.
    4. RULES FOR HIDDEN MODEL(S): All hidden models deploy as a single detachment before all other warbands/detachments within 3-6" of the center of the map on the player's half of the board (determined by board edge).
THRO will be sometime in October (obviously), so keep an eye out during the start of September for the official announcement. In the meantime, would love scenario ideas.

3 comments:

  1. Fascinating ideas for the tournament, Tiberius! Really looking forward to the tournament! I thought the attacker option for the Hold the Keep mission was interesting - taking an intentionally smaller force to make the opponent deploy more toward your liking is a cool concept.

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  2. so... can I opt not to use the fort and keep my 100pts?

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    1. As written here, that's technically a legitimate call. However, when THRO is posted, the defender will be obligated to pay at least 100 points to have the fort. The other 50 points worth of upgrades are the defender's choice.

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