Chess Clocks in T9A

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy.

  • Chess Clocks in T9A

    Hi, I would like you suggestion on how best to use the chess clocks in 9th age. When we play with them we do the following:

    -1h20 per player, 30s delay (the clock starts 30s after you hit it)
    -hit the clock after each action that requires the opponent to take an action. example: I charge *hits clock*, I hold *hits clock*
    -pause the clock whenever a rules issue comes out and press play when the discussion is over (do not hit clock because the delay will start over)

    What we have not figured out yet is what to do if a player runs out of time? That's where I need your help.

    My suggestion: when the bell rings and the round is over, everyone finishes the current game turn. Then check the times left on each player's clock:
    For each 10min difference, there is a bonus/malus awarded to the score of +1/-1. If difference is less than 10min, no modification to the score. If a player runs out of time, check time difference and apply that malus/bonus at the end and just play without the clock until the rouns is over.
    Disadvantage to this: not every game will go to 6 turns and players want to play 30 turns over the weekend.

    Do you have an idea to help guarantee that everyone finishes 6 turns? Maybe with clock pressure, we will get more players to finish their games. Playing 6 turns is important because that extra turn can have a huge swing in the score in certain situations.
  • I definitely agree, not finishing a game because of time is one of the worst possible outcomes. However I'd be reluctant to have the time directly affect player score, at least initially.

    At first I'd use the clocks to track players and help them become aware of how slow they're playing. Because my assumption is that slow players know that they're slow, but they don't realize how slow. Having some data to show them ("hey man, your movement phase took 30 minutes") can hopefully help them pick up the pace a bit.

    Maybe after the community has attended several events with clocks they can start being used to affect points or sportsmanship scores. That's just my take on it.
    "The old wisdom born out of the west was forsaken. Kings made tombs more splendid than the houses of the living, and counted the old names of their descent dearer than the names of their sons. Childless lords sat in aged halls musing on heraldry, or in high cold towers asking questions of the stars.”

    Show off your Gaming Club!

    Southern California 9th Age Facebook Page
  • I totally agree with playing 6 turns is very important but it's not the answer to solving the problem. It's more like a band-aid or treating a small part of the bigger problem.

    The bigger problem is familiarity with the game - which in turn affects the speed of game play. So long as T9A continues to change at such a constant speed you'll continue to have this is.

    From my personal experience I am definitely playing alot slower than I use to be, because I have to keep referencing rules/armbooks as it always changes. I use to (8th Ed) be able to complete a competitive game in 2.5hrs (my fastest is 1.5hrs)...now even with 3hrs I'm lucky to get 4 turns.

    I personally think that chess clock will be another item that players will need to remember to do/use and adds another layer of complexity. I rather have the TOs do a shout-out like
    20mins - deployment finished
    1hr - turn 1 completed
    1.5hrs - turn 2 completed
    2 hrs - turn 3 completed / start turn 4
    2.5hrs - turn 5 starting / completed
    30 left - finish off the turn / start turn 6.

    somewhat of a ball-park as to where people should be.
    :HE: Beware of the panda....with big guns
  • Morgan_Treeman wrote:

    but i really like the chess clocks because it adds excitement to the game. Also it acts as a confirmation of your actions. You say you charge and hit the clock...ah you want to change your mind: too late you already confirmed with the clock.
    Although exciting this might not match everyone's expectation of "fun". A lot of my local players are just excited to get out of the house on a Saturday and roll some dice. They could care less about the competitive details of the tournament and more just want to have a good time. They might view mandatory chess clocks as a killjoy.

    For Masters events or large tournaments I think chess clocks could be really useful, especially at the top tables. I guess it's just a matter of personal choice with the TO.
    "The old wisdom born out of the west was forsaken. Kings made tombs more splendid than the houses of the living, and counted the old names of their descent dearer than the names of their sons. Childless lords sat in aged halls musing on heraldry, or in high cold towers asking questions of the stars.”

    Show off your Gaming Club!

    Southern California 9th Age Facebook Page
  • It might be a bit unfair, depending on army size? To exaggerate a bit, if my opponent plonks down 20 chaos warriors, while I have to carefully line up 200 skaven on their regiment bases so their tails fit, that usually means i take three times as long to set up at least. And if I then have five times as many units, I also take longer to move.
    True Heirs of Avras: Vermin Swarm Auxillary Army books
    Some call it shameless Wishlisting! Some call it an Unplayable Mess! Some ask what is the Point of This! Is it an Auxillary Book? A Copy-paste Ripoff? A Fan Version of an existing Book? See for yourself, citizens!
  • Chess clock.
    Well, that's a can of worms... lets see if I can open it a bit...

    So, first of all, chess is a non social turn based game where there is a single action a player can take during their turn and none during his opponents turns. So a chess clock is perfectly balanced.
    A T9A game is highly social and interactive game where both players take a number of actions, during both player turns.
    Implementing a chess clock is a logical failure. Still, not even close the first such failure when Warhammer and T9A are concerned, so lets proceed with it.

    I'd suggest, keeping fairness and game balance in mind, the following:
    1. In a 3h game, each player has 1h20min on their clock. No grace periods. In case any player is out of time, they get 0 points from the game.
    (there needs to be a very strict and clear set of rules in order for the chess clock to work)
    2. 20 remaining minutes total are there for the judge to give to one or more players during the game; becaues there are legitemate rule disputes and a judge needs to make rulings. Time ticks for the player whose turn it is. Also, extra time is there for the players to add up the results and to check them in to the organizer.
    (So, in case of a rule problem for a difficult situation a judge gives the player, whose turn it is, xy extra minutes)
    3. A player gets to punch the clock only when his current action is finished.
    (For example; rolls his dice to cast a spell, adds their result and says that it is successfully cast.
    4. In case of minor rules disputes, that are solved by checking the referent book, the clock ticks for the player whose turn it is. Each player has 5 times to 'challenge' the opponent for a rule. Each time they are right, they keep their 'challenge' and the opponents looses one of their 'challenge'. Once they used them all up, they can only call a judge to question his opponent.
    (This will cause situations where players play things wrong, but that is less of a problem then NOT finishing the full 6 turns. Also, once all challenges are used up an opponent gets to lie through their teeth and the other can only call a judge)
    5. Judge, after he has granted the full 20min for the game extension MUST give out yellow and red cards to players that continue to call them. Each of those times they come to the table, one of the players gets a yellow (-5 battle points) or a red (score is set 20-0 to one player). Again like the extra time, it's up to him to make a decision which card.


    Well, with that out of the way, one can actually try to SOLVE the problem at hand, not finishing the game on time. Rather then try to apply a patch or a another special rule to quick fix it (a thing that both Warhammer and T9A rule writers have been failing at for so long now; suggesting chess clock is exactly that).

    First of all, the bigest problem are the cheaters. Players that time stall in order to get an advantage. There need not be chess clocks or special rules; a tournament organizer/ judge should solve that problem as best as they can (verr harsh sanctions).

    A competitive game of Warhammer used to take 2,5h (2,5K pts). 2h when played with less points (2K pts). Warhammer had much less pre game stuff (special deplyments, setting up secondary objectives). Much less (special) rules for the main book and the armies, that are scattered across the book sections. Warhammer used to be about bigger units and T9A is more about MSU, and it takes much longer to play with MSU. Finally, Warhammer did not undergo changes every few months. So, with that in mind, a 4,5K pts T9A should take about 3,5 - 4h.
    Once the rules stabilize, we can probably go back to 3h.
    I've seen only a few tournament organizers that figured this out (on their own). T9A should have it in the official rules, once/ if they too figure it out...

    Another solution would be to remove 50% of all the rules/ special rules, to get the to a number that is much less then Warhammer used to have. And to have all the information, for each individual thing (unit/ item/ spell) in one place. Then we can play this game in 2 - 2,5h time. I'm certain 90% of all players would love such a thing to be possible and that we'd even get more new (or returning) players to the game...
  • Eldan wrote:

    It might be a bit unfair, depending on army size? To exaggerate a bit, if my opponent plonks down 20 chaos warriors, while I have to carefully line up 200 skaven on their regiment bases so their tails fit, that usually means i take three times as long to set up at least. And if I then have five times as many units, I also take longer to move.
    I think it's entirely fair and sportsmanly that people who play armies that are potential time hogs take responsibility to make sure their choice of army and playstyle doesn't slow down the game.

    Maybe line up the rats at home and use magnetic bases so they stay ranked up on the way? Maybe use larger bases with several rats each, and only enough "small change" of single rats on single bases to keep things legal?

    I already do the former, and plan to do the latter for an O&G army project where I see myself fielding 25-model infantry units that can situationally either go 5x5 or 8x3+1, and likely reform during battle.
    Sunna is not with the big battalions, but with the ones whose parts move with the best coordination.
  • Eldan wrote:

    It might be a bit unfair, depending on army size? To exaggerate a bit, if my opponent plonks down 20 chaos warriors, while I have to carefully line up 200 skaven on their regiment bases so their tails fit, that usually means i take three times as long to set up at least. And if I then have five times as many units, I also take longer to move.
    both players shoukd have the same amount of time regardless of army choice. If someone uses a horde army, then it's up to them to play it faster. We have some people who take forever to place their skeletona and rats on their non magnetized trays. It is up to them to figure out a solution to do it fast and not their opponent to be penalized with time because of this. Know your army rules, know how to play your list fast.
  • Morgan_Treeman wrote:

    Eldan wrote:

    It might be a bit unfair, depending on army size? To exaggerate a bit, if my opponent plonks down 20 chaos warriors, while I have to carefully line up 200 skaven on their regiment bases so their tails fit, that usually means i take three times as long to set up at least. And if I then have five times as many units, I also take longer to move.
    both players shoukd have the same amount of time regardless of army choice. If someone uses a horde army, then it's up to them to play it faster. We have some people who take forever to place their skeletona and rats on their non magnetized trays. It is up to them to figure out a solution to do it fast and not their opponent to be penalized with time because of this. Know your army rules, know how to play your list fast.
    That just sounds incredibly hostile to me. That's the main reason why I wouldn't want to go to tournaments ever again, really. Everyone is so stressed and hostile.
    True Heirs of Avras: Vermin Swarm Auxillary Army books
    Some call it shameless Wishlisting! Some call it an Unplayable Mess! Some ask what is the Point of This! Is it an Auxillary Book? A Copy-paste Ripoff? A Fan Version of an existing Book? See for yourself, citizens!
  • Eldan wrote:

    Morgan_Treeman wrote:

    Eldan wrote:

    It might be a bit unfair, depending on army size? To exaggerate a bit, if my opponent plonks down 20 chaos warriors, while I have to carefully line up 200 skaven on their regiment bases so their tails fit, that usually means i take three times as long to set up at least. And if I then have five times as many units, I also take longer to move.
    both players shoukd have the same amount of time regardless of army choice. If someone uses a horde army, then it's up to them to play it faster. We have some people who take forever to place their skeletona and rats on their non magnetized trays. It is up to them to figure out a solution to do it fast and not their opponent to be penalized with time because of this. Know your army rules, know how to play your list fast.
    That just sounds incredibly hostile to me. That's the main reason why I wouldn't want to go to tournaments ever again, really. Everyone is so stressed and hostile.
    This is never an issue at normal tournaments here in Sweden, we usually dont even have a ref, if we need help measuring something we just ask a fellow player for help.

    At the ETC though, stalling is a real problem. Some players are just real a**holes.
    Rules Questions?
    Moderator Requests

    Many of the questions already got an answer:
    Check out the FAQ here!

    ETC 2016 - Referee
    ETC 2017 Warm-up Herford - Head Judge
    ETC 2017 Salamanca - Head Judge
    ETC 2018 - Team Sweden
  • Razon wrote:

    Another solution would be to remove 50% of all the rules/ special rules, to get the to a number that is much less then Warhammer used to have. And to have all the information, for each individual thing (unit/ item/ spell) in one place.
    This is what I am attempting to do with a series on the future of wargaming.
  • Eldan wrote:

    Morgan_Treeman wrote:

    Eldan wrote:

    It might be a bit unfair, depending on army size? To exaggerate a bit, if my opponent plonks down 20 chaos warriors, while I have to carefully line up 200 skaven on their regiment bases so their tails fit, that usually means i take three times as long to set up at least. And if I then have five times as many units, I also take longer to move.
    both players shoukd have the same amount of time regardless of army choice. If someone uses a horde army, then it's up to them to play it faster. We have some people who take forever to place their skeletona and rats on their non magnetized trays. It is up to them to figure out a solution to do it fast and not their opponent to be penalized with time because of this. Know your army rules, know how to play your list fast.
    That just sounds incredibly hostile to me. That's the main reason why I wouldn't want to go to tournaments ever again, really. Everyone is so stressed and hostile.
    No offense but your rationale of "because I have a horde army therefore I need more time" isn't viable. What makes your time more valuable than mine? To me this sounds quite selfish.

    So you have more models that does not rationalise to have more time. It has minimal affect of gameplay. Only reason why you would need more time is probably setup? If you have a high model count value army then you should be thinking of ideas of reducing your setup time. i.e unit fillers / come in earlier.

    I have friends that play VS / O&G and they set up fast - average 5-10mins because they have unit fillers and things magnetise.
    :HE: Beware of the panda....with big guns
  • Really? We usually plan at least half an hour for setup at our store.
    True Heirs of Avras: Vermin Swarm Auxillary Army books
    Some call it shameless Wishlisting! Some call it an Unplayable Mess! Some ask what is the Point of This! Is it an Auxillary Book? A Copy-paste Ripoff? A Fan Version of an existing Book? See for yourself, citizens!
  • It is possible to set up any army in 10 minutes, regardless of the number of models. The number of guys in the unit does not matter, you are moving them on a tray, as it is the easiest way to move your troops (Even for smaller armies).

    Death Clock can and should be implemented into tournament rules pack, it should be 1 Hour and 40 Minutes. As in all honesty it does not take you a lot of time to move, roll, shoot and/or cast magic. If someone runs out of time the game ends and both players score points, secondary objective goes to the person who still has time on his clock.