Monday, February 13, 2012

QUAE VICTOR? February Results

From left to right: John Wessel, "J-bone",
"Juanito", and Rich DeBaun
First of all, a big thanks to the players that came out for the February QUAE VICTOR? playtest and tournament.  As you can see from the happy faces on the right, much fun was had amongst the bloodshed and destruction.

In addition to a new QUAE VICTOR champion, I also want to hand out a "Best Rookie" award for one of our new players.


The Winners

Normally, declaring a new champ is an easy thing... unfortunately, irregularities throughout most the matches made it difficult to judge an overall winner.  Only two full 100-point tournament games were played; one of those was a controversial attempt to play with a chess clock, and the other was against the referee and thus invalid. The other two matches were a tutorial mission, and a 70-point "short" tournament game.

Nevertheless, the referees (which would be me) have weighed the various factors, and are happy to announce a new champion.  We are also going to bestow a "Most Valuable Plebian" award:

Jon "Juanito" Stover
VICTOR OMNIUM
Quae Victor Feb 2012

John Wessel
MOST VALUABLE PLEBIAN
Quae Victor Feb 2012
The Results

We tracked all the match data and I compiled it in the following table.  The winners' names are in bold.



But what does it all mean?

  • Setup.  Either a predefined mission (e.g. a tutorial mission) or tournament play with a certain number of points.  T100 is a full hundred-point game.  T70 is a game with fewer points and a smaller board.
  • Red/Blue.  Red "attacks" and gets to move first; Blue is "defender" and gets a slight advantage in setting up the map.  This is determined by a simple coin flip at the beginning of the game.
  • Start/End.  This shows the Glory that each player started and ended with.  AV uses a secret bidding system as part of the game setup: you get a certain number of points to buy units with.  Whatever you don't spend ends up as your starting Glory.  You lose when you hit zero glory -- so there's a fine balance between spending points on units and saving for the game itself.
  • Roster.  This gives a shorthand list of the units each player fielded.  None of this will make sense until we actually start publishing our army lists.

Game 1
DeBaun, R. beats Wessel, J.
Tutorial #1

The two newbies showed up first, and played a quick learning game.  I've written a number of tutorial scenarios that gradually introduce parts of the game.   Rich DeBaun (aka "pops") and John Wessel played the first tutorial.  For the sake of completeness, I recorded the match results.

The first tutorial is incredibly basic: if it were chess, you would be playing with half a board and four pawns each.  It focuses on the essentials: Playing Command Cards, issuing Orders, and resolving simple Moves and Attacks.

Both players are experienced gamers:  Rich worked in the wargame industry in the early days, and Wessel is an avid chess player.  They both quickly picked up the core parts of the game.  Several players have remarked how much parts of the game remind them of chess -- forks, pins, revealed attacks, etc.  I think people who are familiar with deep chess strategy will quickly find the parallels.

The game wrapped up quickly, with DeBaun, R. winning by a single point.

Game 2
Juanito beats J-Bone, DeBaun, R.
Tournament-100

This game was a bit off.  It started with two experienced players, "J-Bone" and Jon "Juanito" Stover.  We experimented with using a chess clock, to try to keep the game moving quickly.  Unfortunately, there was not universal accord about the clock use, and the referee had to step in and make a ruling.  At the end of the fray, Rich DeBaun took over J-Bone's position against Juanito.

Roster

Red (Juanito) played a mixed, general purpose roster.  He fielded:
2x Legion Heavy @8
2x Legion Medium @5
2x Legion Light @4
2x Legion Cavalry (HQ) @7
2x Legion Jump @7
(100-) 62 points (= 38 Glory)

He made one of his Cavalry units his HQ -- a move we haven't seen before, which worked really well for him.  When you build a roster, you pick any unit on it to be your HQ.  It doesn't get any extra combat capabilities, but it becomes a special scoring piece.

Blue (J-Bone) played a more diverse list of specialists.  He ran:
3x Allied Levies @3
2x Legion Heavy @8
2x Legion Jump @7
2x Allied Brutes (HQ) @10
1x Legion Field Gun @10
(100-) 69 points = 31 Glory

He used a Brute for his HQ.  A heavy-hitting unit with good maneuverability (for Terrans) and survivability.

J-Bone tends to buy heavy, and this match was no exception.  Blue starts out with a 7 point Glory deficit (38 to 31).

Opening

Both player opened aggressively, with Red using his HQ Cavalry to push his right flank cap point.  Both sides tussled over that throughout the game.  Red started out with several turns of scoring, which dug Blue even deeper in the hole.

Red Cavalry (Biker figures) move towards the flanks, supported by a Jump Infantry.
The black tokens on the top cavalry indicate that it's his HQ.

Early Game

Blue never played very aggressively, and continued to bleed points throughout the early game.  He later confessed he was focusing on making quick, safe moves, and expected to win when his opponent's clock ran out.

Blue's two Brutes on his left flank have driven off Red's initial attack.  Red continues to deploy from reserves in a piecemeal fashion, while Blue pushes out towards the center and right.

Mid Game

With Rich DeBaun taking over the Blue position, they started to play to win.  Blue advanced aggressively on both flanks.  Red started playing a lot more conservatively -- and rightfully so, with a 20 point advantage and his opponent 10 points away from a knockout.

Blue grabs his right flank capture point and starts a counter-attack on his left flank.

End Game

As fiercely as Blue played, he wasn't able to dig himself out of the hole.  While he managed to grab and hold his right flank cap point, it was too little, too late.

Blue's attack on his left ends in disaster; the death of a 10-point Brute knocks him out.


Other Games

Game 3 was an exciting 70-point Tournament game on a "short board" -- 6 map tiles instead of 9.  Red (Wessel) managed to design a pretty awesome list (on his first real game!) and got a really good board setup for it.  I've got some pictures, but this post is running long already.  Perhaps if one of the players wants to write it up...?

Game 4 was an overwhelming mismatch between Juanito and yours truly.  It wasn't quite fair -- it was really late, and there is nothing in particular to brag about.

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