Alternative formats

Here are some changes and alternative tournament formats Torsten’s local group uses. Check them out, try them if you like, adapt them to your needs, whatever makes it fun for you.

For normal tournaments: Updated restricted and banned lists, changed tie-breaker rules

Based on the existing lists in the FAQ 2.2, we made these changes:

Added to the restricted list:
Crone Hellebron
Dark Elf Infiltrator
Grimgor Ironhide
Mage of Loec
The Liber Mortis
Troll Vomit

Added to the banned list:
Rodrik’s Raiders

Additional errata:
Barbed Snares: Now has the “Limited” keyword.
Doubling of the Guard: The existing errata is removed.
Snotling Invasion: Loses the “Limited” keyword again, is Unique again.
Star Crown Fragments: Now has the “Limited” keyword.
Summons of Chaos: Now has the “Chaos only” keyword.
Teller of Tales: Changed to read “… is triggered on a Dwarf quest you control …”

The ideas here are to reduce the strength of certain decks that were dominant at the time official development ended, to limit the strength of decks using infinite loops, and to limit the use of cards that can severely impact the enjoyment of the game by producing drastic swings in the early turns or practically negating a player’s early turn.

Based on the last official tournament rules, we made this change to the tie-breaker rules:

When time is called, the player currently taking his turn finishes that turn. If that player was the first to take a turn in this game, the other player gets one more turn. If the game doesn’t reach a normal end in this last turn, it is disregarded for the result of the round, regardless of whether this results in a tie for this round or not.

The idea here is to remove the advantage rush decks and decks using the Eternal War legends had in the official tie-breaker rules.

Alternative format 1: Horse and horseman

This is a single player tournament format where you don’t play with your own deck. You construct a deck as normal, but you never play with it. Each round, each player is assigned (semi-random, see below) one of the decks built by the other players. You earn victory points both for your results and your deck’s results. So if you win a match with my deck, you and I both get the same amount of victory points for that. For the end result, you add the points a player earned and the points his deck earned together to get an overall winner. If you like, you can also crown a best player and best deckbuilder based on the separate counts.

Our tournaments are swiss rounds only, no cut. Horse and horseman uses this too. We first match players based on the swiss system, then, as far as possible without violating the following guidelines, the highest ranked player gets the lowest ranked deck, while the lowest ranked player gets the highest ranked deck, and so on. Try to follow these guidelines, in this order of importance, though some of them might be difficult to follow depending on the number of players:

1) You never play against your own deck. (This is vital!)
2) You never play with your own deck.
3) You don’t use the same deck more than once.
4) You don’t play against the same deck more than once.

If you want to make things easier for the tournament organizer, you can just assign decks randomly each round instead of matching strong players with weak decks and vice versa, though you should still stick to guidelines 1) and 2) as well.

The way we have done it so far, you just get the deck and at the start of each round everyone gets a couple of minutes to look through their deck for this round. You cannot ask the player who built the deck for explanations, and there are no notes included. We hope to soon try it with notes included, but still no actual dialogue with the deckbuilder.

Despite some initial skepticisms, this is overall the most popular alternative format in our group.

Alternative format 2: Marathon

This is a normal single player tournament with the following changes:

– The minimum deck size is 65 cards.
– Each zone has 16 hit points.
– The time limit for each round is 70 minutes (10 additional minutes, we normally have 60 minute rounds).

While I personally enjoyed this format, since it felt very close to the normal game with better chances to build up and larger battles, it wasn’t as well received as the others, particularly because the mental exhaustion over the course of a tournament was perceived as more of a problem than normally.

Alternative format 3: Rainbow … of death!

A normal single player tournament again, with the following changes:

– At least 24 cards in a deck must match the faction of the capital.
– Two other factions must be represented in the deck by at least 13 cards each.

The neutral factions count as factions. Neutral cards without the Lizardmen, Wood Elf, Skaven, or Undead trait are not considered to belong to any faction.

Alternative format 4: Banhammer

We have used this in a single player tournament before the release of Hidden Kingdoms and before we implemented the changes above to the restricted and banned lists. The deviation from the normal rules is:

All cards that are normally restricted are banned. In addition, 20 more cards per faction and several neutral cards are banned too.

We banned what we perceived to be the most used cards per faction. So if you want to use this format, you might want to adjust the lists based on your group’s preferences. The idea is after all to make people try new things and play with cards they normally do not use.

The full banned list we used for this format, including the cards that are normally restricted, follows:

Judgement of Verena
Derricksburg Forge
Friedrich Hemmler
Rodrik’s Raiders
Visit the Haunted City

Iron Discipline
Peasant Militia
Recruiting for War
Red Arrow Coach
The Emperor’s Statue
The Imperial Zoo
Call for Reserves
Called Back
Chain Lightning
Church of Sigmar
Emperor’s Chosen
Knights Panther
Sons of Coin
Temple of Verena
Osterknacht Elite
Werner Ludenhof
Wilhelm of the Osterknacht
Kurt Helborg

Dwarf Ranger
Mining Tunnels
Reclaiming the Fallen

Ancient Debts Repaid
My Life for the Hold!
New Trade Route
Karak Hirn Mine
Stand Your Ground
Ancestral Tomb
Dwarf Cannon Crew
Mountain Barracks
Slayers of Karak Kadrin
Spirit Slayer
Wealth of the Hold
Blood Vengeance
Master Rune of Spite
Duregan Thorgrimson
Serpent Slayer
Tunnel Fighter
King Kazador

High Elves:
Judgement of Loec

Convocation of Eagles
Lion Standard
Planning for War
Return to Glory
Through All of Time
Elven Scout
Envoy from Averlorn
Ilthilmar Arrows
Outlying Tower
Purged by Flame
Citadel of Dusk
Outpost of Tiranoc
Valorous Mage
Dreamer of Dragons
Lothern Sea Master
Mage of Loec
Temple of Vaul
Flames of the Phoenix
Eltharion the Grim

Neutral, Order only:
Dance to Loec
Order in Chaos
Nimble Spearman
Skinks of Sotek
Spawn of Itzl
Wild Rider
Shield of Aeons

Warpstone Excavation
Muster for War
End Times

Heroic Task
Long Winter
Spoils of War
Veteran Sellswords
Ancient Map
Arcane Power
Contested Village
Burn it Down
Descendant of Gods
Remote Monastery
Rogue Warrior

Neutral, Destruction only:
Warpstone Experiments
Clan Moulder’s Elite
Swarm of Bats
Mannfred von Carstein
Blood Dragon Knight
Raise Dead
The Liber Mortis
Wight Lord

Sorcerer of Tzeentch
Mounted Marauders
Beastmen Incursion

Daemon Prince
Disc of Tzeentch
Fledgling Chaos Spawn
Raiding Camps
Seduced by Darkness
Northern Wastes
Seeds of Chaos
Braying Gor
Den of Iniquity
Desecrated Temple
Pink Horrors
Ungor Raiders
Khorvak Grimbreath
Plague Bomb
Unleashing the Spell
Call the Brayherd
Kairos Fateweaver

The Unending Horde

Baby Squig
Mork’s Teef Ritual
Snotling Invasion
Tribal Tattoos
Get Outta My Way!
Goblin Raiders
Mob O’ Hutz
Rip Dere ‘Eads Off!
Spider Riders
Get ‘Em Ladz!
Lobber Crew
One Orc’s Scrap…
Squig Trackers
Valley of Many Eyes
Squig Pen
Troll Vomit
Gorbad Ironclaw
Grimgor Ironhide

Dark Elves:
Sacrifice to Khaine
Temple of Spite
Pleasure Cults

Call of the Kraken
Offering to Hekarti
Walking Sacrifice
Barbed Snares
Chill Sea Watchtower
Shattered Thought
Withering Hex
Crimson Brides
Dark Elf Infiltrator
Hag Graef Knights
Sacred Cauldron
Slave Pen
Sorceress Convent
Thief of Essence
Vile Sorceress
Crone Hellebron
Hag Queen
Seasoned Corsair