Thursday, September 18, 2014

WHFB: A few places adopting ETC

There is something hilariously appropriate with this picture and this article.

Word on the street is that next year, Crossroads GT in NE USA will be using the latest ETC restrictions.  For those of you who don't know what ETC is, it's the European Team Championships, a format that players over in Europe have been using for some time to help steer the game into more balanced lineups.  However, they normally play in a team setting.

Let's be honest for a second here.  I dislike the idea of comp because at the end of the day, it's just dude's houserules.  I will say that some forms of comp help mitigate the enormous amount of crazy shit that can happen in a game, and that's always a good thing.  A lot of the time, it's a good thing that some light comp is imposed, but only when it's fairly light and doesn't change the game too much.  Unfortunately, when you have some kinds of light comp that affects certain armies and not other armies, you end up with the meta for that tournament just shifting what kinds of filth will be present at the event.  The latest Crossroads GT restrictions can be found here, and despite WoC being comped pretty hard, you saw light council Allerielle White Lion deathstars with full on shooting.  I think the winner was some dude running VC scream with congoline zombies.  Not to take away from the hard won victory, but this is literally just picking your poison when it comes what's being played under a comped tournament setting.

ETC borderlines what I feel comfortable with because I think there's a good amount of fundamental game changes.  While this version is a lot better than the previous editions of ETC (they got rid of the ridiculous channeling shit), there's still some things I have a bit of an issue with.  Magic changed from max of 6 dice to 5, that's a big change to how probabilities work for some armies.  For Death, 4 dice is the cap and for Mindrazor in particular, this is also restricted to 4 dice.  This makes the spell fail on just below average and this changes how the Shadow lore should be used entirely.

Then comes the army-specific restrictions.  I personally think my VC army at 2400 points ETC is very solid.  All I really do is drop the Necro, fix my core, drop a Spirit Host for some Fell Bats and I'm good to go.  The rest of the army is still intact and retains much of its existing power.  My High Elves on the other hand, is completely restricted under this comp.  My regular list right now runs with a Shadow Book of Hoeth Archmage, 2x Phoenixes and a BotWD on the White Lions unit.  Not only can I not take Shadow with the Book, but Phoenixes/BotWD/BoH are considered max 2, which means if I want to take my Phoenixes, I have to drop both the BoH and BotWD.  As for my Demons, I can't help but laugh to think I can take my standard competitive DoC list with very little changes.  Sure, I need above average dice to mass Caco Choir, but much of the potency remains the same (double Soul Grinders for example).

What do you guys think?  Do you guys like ETC?


Klt said...

The ETC comp rules are very good. The game out of the box is insane unbalanced. For GTs you need heavy comp to make it fun and playable.

michael said...

I think as a gaming community we have to acknowledge that ultimately we choose the kind of game that we play. If we play "rules as written, main rulebook and army book, no hobby aspect" that is as much a choice about the kind of game we want to play as "house rules to change the disruption:steadfast interaction, storm of magic applies and all models painted" is.

Neither is right or wrong they are just choices. And GW really is not responsible for deciding how we want to play, or how we enjoy the hobby. In this context there is no binary right or wrong, fun or unfun. Assess with fellow players what you want out of the game, decide how to achieve that, play game.

So ETC? There are things that the committee like and feel are fun, and things they think are not fun and do not like. The restrictions reflect this. Do they make the game 'balanced'? As observed, all they do is change relative power levels of various builds. It does not mean that all choices are equally good, only that some netlist favourites are prevented.

Chris Pelletier said...

Hey, Chris Pelletier here (I'm the paint judge & lesser rules judge for CrossRoads).

Quick clarification: Crossroads Spring Break (the March GT) will use ETC rules. The September GT (idk, let's call it Crossroads Classic) will probably be similar to previous iterations.

I think the main impetuous for using the ETC rules is twofold: 1) There's not too much variety in events in the NE. At least the ones we go to. 2) We have a high number of ETC players (I think that we have one of the only events where all the fantasy ETC players are likely to make it) and a number of players that are interested in trying for the ETC team.

Hope that helps.


HERO said...

Hey Chris, thanks for posting. I have some questions if you don't mind. Does this mean the next event will be in team format? What is the general consensus of the ETC restrictions over on the East Coast? What do you players think? What do you think?

Yrellian said...

Just curious how we can complain about allarielle death star when SC are banned? Not hating, just curious if some dude cheated or. Plus the comp seems interesting. Might be fun to try in my group. Shake things up a bit.

HERO said...

Crossroads was special characters allowed case by case basis.

khurdur said...

I've got a newb question...I play warriors, how many skullcrushers can I play?

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