Friday, May 7, 2021

Who's the Bossk Followup!

As several of you know, I've been putting on a tournament.   As round 3 begins, I thought I'd share a few life lessons both from running a tournament and from running this Who's the Bossk tournament.  If you ever end up wanting to run it in real life, feel free to use me as a guide for doing so.  I'll throw it below the fold for anyone not interested.

Angry lizard is angry

First, the most important part of running a tournament on Discord/Vassal is making sure EVERYONE IS ON DISCORD.  Round 1 went a little haywire as I had to grab emails for people for their opponents who.... weren't.  Great.  I eventually (mid round 2) was able to convince several of those people to join our Discord (hey look more referrals) but that was several days of me having to track down email addresses on my phone or desktop when general laziness is much preferred.  I do appreciate that I was able to track everyone down, but make sure that is fixed going forward.

Second, let's talk fleet building.  I always knew it was going to be 370 points just because at 400 without a commander you can make a lot of "solved" fleets.  Here's 5 activations, 134 in Biggs ball squadrons, Norra, and enough easy ways to push everything and never lose.  A straight 400 points build is easier for everyone to navigate, but you can make a lot of lists that just would never lose or didn't depend on commander.  Which is not what I wanted.  The same thing with the standard tournament stipulation of "4 unique squads, as many other uniques as you want." Sure is easy to throw Kuat Chimaera, 134 in Rogues, and a stripped down Onager, with uniques everywhere.  It's taking away from the inherent ludicrousness of the format, which is the point of it.

Speaking of ludicrousness, Eric and I had discussed doing "points" or something for pulling off randomness in game, much like the actual game of Who's the Boss (stolen from Warmachine) would do.  But we had tried something like that for in-store leagues before, and it just turns into post-game "oh crud did I get that? Sure I think so yeah why not."  Which is.... a thing? But not one that promotes fun, if no one can remember it and all.  If I was to do it again IRL, I'd think about doing that, but it would be more....easy binary memory things.  If I can come up with anything for that, I'll let you know, haha.

Was 3 rounds enough? Technically not with 36 people, no.  But for a goofy tournament where all you can win is the ability to get your own POD for the next VWC I'm willing to overlook that.  Especially because I knew all along the third round was going to be havoc/haywire where I gave YOUR favorite commander to YOUR OPPONENT.  It amused me, and that's the point of running this, right?

Third, with regard to commander assignations, I didn't note it in the initial post, but always make sure the commander you give isn't in faction.  I COULD put Sloane on the SSD, but that just makes for a bad Imperial list and is nowhere near as fun as Mar Tuuk showing up instead.  Sacrifices DO need to be made, of course.  The person with the Biggs ball isn't getting Yularen (sorry bro!) and I pushed away an all-Raider list from spinning into Mar Tuuk (as I assumed he didn't want extra red dice in a range he couldn't reach).  I didn't give the SSD list Agate because I honestly wasn't sure HOW fair or unfair that would be.  Yes, ludicrous format, but come on, guys!

Round 1 was semi-random, and then I spent round 2 making sure that everyone had both a commander that wasn't in faction and one from a faction they hadn't just played.  It started from a Randbetween function, and then I massaged the data from there.  The real WtB just gives you a wheel to spin and you end up with who you end up with.  That doesn't work as well here, especially for an inaugural one that I'd like to redo again.  A few people in round 2 had initially "spun" into the same commander they had in round 1, which, not fun? Same with getting "the Garbage will do!" 2 rounds in a row.  If I was doing this IRL, I'd have spots for "player's choice", "opponent's choice", "mid-game respin" for a new commander, some way of "no commander but you get Pryce for a round" or something like that.  It's an untested silly format so looking for balance isn't something I'm intent on spending a lot of time doing.  I did (up until the third round where I went full crazy) try to push things somewhat towards balance each round, slash, making sure nothing looked too imbalanced for an unfun game to occur.  Inherently, you should expect RNG to potentially mess with you, which I would allow if this was established as a format.  But for the first time doing it, I need to make sure people WANT to play next year and not get TOO salty when 5 Arquitens get Ackbar versus your squadless list running Sato (sorry again for not looking JJ!).

Speaking of looking for things, I saw no one brought Kanan or Gauntlets.  If you had, you would have definitely gotten TF1726 (aka the Garbage).  Jank deserves its own reward, and that seems like something I would definitely do IRL given the option. I encourage anyone doing this IRL to do the same, reward your players for going outside the norm and "force a choice" for them.  I assume that's why they're bringing those, right?

Let's talk about the third round.  It was ALWAYS going to be "who does your opponent love?" I HOPE everyone answered that honestly, and I hope it makes several people try some of these commanders they were given out more.  Are Sato, Madine, Dooku, and Tagge the most competitive commanders at the moment? No, but some part of this game must be played for fun.  I wouldn't repeat this if you do it in real life (or next year). I'll find some other weird thing to affect everyone with, but for now, "your friend's favorite" is done.  I might do something like "pick your opponent's third round commander, list sight unseen" or "everyone gets Leia, Bail, Dooku, or Palp" 3rd round.  The format is dumb and allows for many crazy opportunities.  Use them if you want to, get creative!

The last thing I'll say is that I asked about everyone's LEAST favorite commander more out of curiosity than anything, but I also didn't want to give you a commander you hated (again, the format is in fun).  I don't know how honestly everyone was answering the questions, but it surprised me that literally half my respondents listed Sloane as someone they hated.  Heck, look at Green Knight's Vassal thing that kicked over a LOT of Sloane combos and all.  People REALLY dislike Sloane and what she presumably does to your tokens and the squadron game.  I don't know what AMG can do about that, but it's still worth looking at going forwards.  I'm not advocating for anything immediately, but I don't like how strong of a data point that is.  I believe the appropriate picture to both sum up my feelings on that point and on who's the bossk in general....

So who won? Eh, I dunno. Hit up the discord in a week or so and I'll have an answer for you about that. If it matters. Which it doesn't.  The silliness IS the point.  Hope everyone had fun! (And it was Angela)

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