State of 9th age in the US

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    • The Beninator wrote:

      Grouchy Badger wrote:

      Even still its words on a forum, its not going to leap from your screen and twist your nipples while calling you a nerd.
      I for one would not mind that.
      Heh, posted this before I saw @Shlagrabak 's post. Well put sir, you got me!
      the ole purple nurple.
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    • Free speech can be messy; but I don't want to drag us off topic here.

      The current status about changes is this (please correct inaccuracies):

      1. Gold BRB soon, so core rules will finally be stable

      2. FAB on rolling release after

      3. Frequency of point adjustments post FAB release still in limbo, but the various points for and against have been heard.

      4. Still controversial whether or not one year of data is enough to make meaningful point adjustments towards "balance ".

      5. Point adjustments will prove a challenge for prospective manufacturers of hard cover FABs, but some promising workarounds have been suggested.

      6. It is the experience of several players that point adjustments post-FAB will be detrimental to community growth. Said issue is primarily, but not exclusively, a US concern.

      Did I leave anything out?
      "An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you *stand, Men of the West!*"

      -Aragorn, son of Arathorn

      The post was edited 2 times, last by grungimusic ().

    • I would like to add a point.

      Level of personal involvement of "ordinary" members of the wider US community in retaining current players and getting new players in the current climate.


      Maybe we can discuss what every single person can do to ease the player introduction and retention in order to reduce the pressure on event organisers, club leaders and shop owners.

      :)

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    • On the subject of lowering powerlevel.

      I would love to see that happen but it doesn't mean the game have to be boring.

      Let's take wdg spiked shield as an example. Consenus on our threads seems to be that while fun mechanic it doesn't do much. So people would be happier with something more powerful. My opinion is that spiked shield should be enough.

      There was talks internally and on common threads that wdg should have some boost to their armour as currently armour is countered with esy acces to high AP. Luckily spiked shield was introduced instead as any boost to wdg armour would have created counters in other armybooks during rewrites and so basic armour would have been even more useless.

      Our wretched ones are seen useless with their AP0. Again D6+1 S4 attacks should be enough and personally I love the unit. Paradoxically AP0 isn't enough as there are too much armour in the game. :S

      Lower powerlevel creates opportunities for designers to invent mechanics that doesn't need to be OP to be fun and still have impact in the game.
      All things wargaming. My super entertaining hobby blog where anything wargaming related can happen.

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    • Giladis wrote:

      I would like to add a point.

      Level of personal involvement of "ordinary" members of the wider US community in retaining current players and getting new players in the current climate.


      Maybe we can discuss what every single person can do to ease the player introduction and retention in order to reduce the pressure on event organisers, club leaders and shop owners.

      :)
      It's something we've discussed at length, and we've definitely seen a trend of greater personal involvement from players who remain. Overall; the game is very good. It is its own best salesman. We just have to get the word out, and stability will help a ton as we could then anticipate several old players returning.
      "An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you *stand, Men of the West!*"

      -Aragorn, son of Arathorn
    • Grouchy Badger wrote:

      its not going to leap from your screen and twist your nipples while calling you a nerd
      OMG I laughed at that ... :girltongue:

      shlagrabak wrote:

      I feel sometimes that it becomes about the fight as much or even more than about the essence of the matter
      Yes, sooo true.

      Shlagrabak wrote:

      Maybe one practical guideline to think about: you are posting more than twice a day in a thread, maybe it's worth pondering and refining your ideas a tad longer
      :girlblush: ... oops ... :girlbag:
    • A FYI on rules update.

      Background: Denmark has a pretty solid player base for the 9th age. The main Danish Tabletop Forum is powerfist.dk , which is focused on Warhammer in all its forms and 9th age is lead by El Rey (founder of 9th age).

      Issue: The 9th age part of the forum is all but dead. The two last threads going over the last two months has been 1) where to find players 2) will the rules never stop updating. With 2) being a lot of the people who drove the pre-AoS gamer scene in Denmark rejecting 9th age due to the constant updates and changing restrictions which is detrimental to the hobby aspect.

      Take-home. This is not a US thing only, it is an issue for all who doesn't spend hours on this forum on a weekly basis = most of the player base.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Windelov: gramma ().

    • Speaking about 6th edition, I would like to speak of some historical perspective.
      I know T9A is not WFB but I think all posters in this thread are former WFB players.

      6th edition was a reset for WFB since all 4th and 5th edition ABs were invalidated, the core rulebook was changed significantly, and a short book with all army lists and no background (Ravening Hordes) was published so that players could play while waiting for their ABs.
      This happened in 2000, and the Wood Elves book was published in 2006. Bretonnia was published in 2005 if memory serves me.

      Now, in the Warhammer Chronicles, or Annuals, updated army lists were published in 2001, 2003 and 2004. This means that Wood Elves, Lizardmen, Bretonnia and Tomb Kings played with 3 different army lists (Ravening Hordes, Warhammer Chronicles and Army Book) during the same edition. Mercenaries and Chaos Dwarves famously never even got an Army Book.

      Why am I posting this here? Because for most of its life, WFB was also in flux. It was not in flux as fast as T9A, but some armies got many changes over the editions, and let me now remind you that Demon players got half of their entries invalidated for 2 years (Hordes of Chaos (2002) didn't have mounted demons, for instance, they appeared in the Storm of Chaos (2004) list). Talk about invalidating the players' models...

      So arguing that leaving room open for some point changes is going to RUIN THE PLAYERBASE and PREVENT GROWTH seems a bit exaggerated to me, considering what former GW players have had to endure over the years. What T9A is doing seems rather mild compared to what GW did in the past (and I am speaking as a person who loves 6th edition WFB).

      Now somebody might say, whatever GW did wrong is no excuse for T9A doing it wrong too. And that is true of course.
      But it seems to me that some players simply trust more a company than a project run by volunteers, even if their behaviour or output or design process is similar. The only thing you can do against such bias is to do your best, but I think as @DanT says that clubs will be far more important than shops for T9A. And this does not mean shops should be ignored, or there should be no marketing. But I doubt it is going to be the be-all end-all solution.

      That said, I think a Background Compendium (printed or not) would do wonders compared to printed FABs. A cool background sparkles enthusiasm for endeavours like campaigns and small leagues, which in turn will allow experienced players to show the game to other (former or new) players.
      "It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone's fault. If it was Us, what did that make Me? After all, I'm one of Us. I must be. I've certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We're always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things."
      Terry Pratchett, Jingo!
    • I will add a perspective from Sweden, as we were used to ever updating comp systems the Swedish community has a high tolerance for change and a low tolerance for staleness. (The long rules freeze before the release of 2.0 actually did some damage to our community as people quit due to staleness). Now I have seen the first hints of people who had enough of the game never reaching stability and selling their armies. This is in no way a problem or a trend. Just a hint that even the most change tolerant player base will get feed up eventually.

      I will not advocate for any kind of freeze. The freeze the americans seem to dream of would be be very damaging to my community but even so I feel I must ask for some restraint.

      Things need to move towards a stable state. The project can not keep tinkering for ever. Every change need to be smaller than the last and there need to be a schedule that is communicated well in advance. To me one update per year feels about right and only points update for FAB. (Each FAB obviously need a beta period as can be seen by WODG but when a FAB leaves beta it should be frozen and only points changes allowed).

      The same goes for paths of magic, They need to be frozen asap. I'm holding of printing a nice set of magic cards until the paths are stable and I'm not happy to hear that this stability will not happen in the foreseeable future.

      (A yearly points update is not a problem, all other games does changes such as this and it works for them so it will work for us. Even GW does this now. I think GW does this by not including the points in the armybooks any more. Points are instead published separately which prevents the invalidation issue)

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Hoffa ().

    • "Merica!!!

      I accept that 9th exists for ETC. I will never play in ETC, but I will enjoy the game none the less. I would like stability. I took off almost 8 months from 9th only to come back to the forums and see the same old arguements.

      I am not a casual gamer. I have gone to 3 different GTs in 3 different t states and repeat player in 2 of them, but the whacky tweeking to serve ETC got old. I needed a break. I get that the tail is wagging the dog here, but take a break. Relax. Let things settle before announcing more changes coming.
    • @DanT

      I think that the whole "casual vs. tournament" is probably a mistaken explanation of player profiles. MtG ran an article that talked about the three player profiles that they had developed in their game. I honestly think they can apply to most games like MtG or TT games.

      Spike is what is referred to when people talk about "tournament player". He is the competitive player. The guy for whom the "fun" is in the Big W. He will look for the most optimized combinations and best chance to succeed. I can only think of ONE BLT person who is not a Spike (and even he's a hybrid/borderline player on that note), and am fairly well convinced that most of RT is as well (hence things like Veil Tokens, that take heavy manipulation to actually squeak out the maximum amount of power). For them the thrill of the game is in striving for a win, and creating the most optimized, streamlined, and successful deck/list.

      Here's the quote from the MtG article speaking of Spike:
      Spike is the competitive player. Spike plays to win. Spike enjoys winning. To accomplish this, Spike will play whatever the best deck is. Spike will copy decks off the Internet. Spike will borrow other players’ decks. To Spike, the thrill of Magic is the adrenalin rush of competition. Spike enjoys the stimulation of outplaying the opponent and the glory of victory.
      Spike cares more about the quantity of wins than the quality. For example, Spike plays ten games and wins nine of them. If Spike feels he should have won the tenth, he walks away unhappy.

      Johnny is the next player. He plays as a form of expression and of putting himself out there. For him, the win that matters is the one that he achieves by purely by his own merits, to the point that even something like "using a netlist" makes him unhappy. For a Johnny to be happy, he needs to be able to express his creativity with the army. While the hobby side of the game provides this to some degree, it MUST also be present in the game itself. He will experiment to find things he loves, then play them to death or glory. His goal won't be to win, but to do so in a way that he believes is awesome and unique.

      The quote from the MtG article on Johnny:
      Johnny is the creative gamer to whom Magic is a form of self-expression. Johnny likes to win, but he wants to win with style. It’s very important to Johnny that he win on his own terms. As such, it’s important to Johnny that he’s using his own deck. Playing Magic is an opportunity for Johnny to show off his creativity.
      Johnny likes a challenge. Johnny enjoys winning with cards that no one else wants to use. He likes making decks that win in innovative ways. What sets Johnny apart from the other profiles is that Johnny enjoys deckbuilding as much as (or more than) he enjoys playing. Johnny loves the cool interactions of the cards. He loves combo decks. Johnny is happiest when he’s exploring uncharted territory.
      Like Timmy, Johnny cares more about the quality of his wins than the quantity. For example, let's say Johnny builds a new deck that has a neat but difficult way to win. He plays ten games and manages to get his deck to do its thing… once. Johnny walks away happy.

      Our last player is Timmy. He's the guy who likes to FEEL badass when he plays. Timmy wants HIS army to feel truly special. He wants to leaf through is army book and look at his army list, and think "Man, I am totally going to ROCK THIS OUT". For Timmy, it's about feeling like his army is baller and kicks butt when he plays. He doesn't want to try to eke out tiny margins for victory, but utterly smash his opponent.

      The quote from the MtG article on Timmy:
      Timmy is what we in R&D call the "power gamer." Timmy likes to win big. He doesn’t want to eke out a last minute victory. Timmy wants to smash his opponents. He likes his cards to be impressive, and he enjoys playing big creatures and big spells.
      One of the misconceptions is that Timmy has to be young. While its true that younger players are more apt to fall into this category, players of any age can be a Timmy. What sets Timmy apart from the other two profiles is that Timmy is motivated by fun. He plays Magic because it’s enjoyable. Timmy is very social. An important part of the game is sitting around with his friends.
      Timmy cares more about the quality of his win than the quantity of his wins. For example, Timmy sits down and plays ten games. He only wins three games out of ten but the three he wins, he dominates his opponent. Timmy had fun. Timmy walks away happy.


      Now on to why this is relevant:
      The main problem that I see with 9th Age is that the OVERWHELMING percentage (easily greater than 80%, and probably somewhere between 90 and 100 percent) of the members of RT and BLT are PURELY Spikes. THAT is where a lot of problems come by. The game was created BY Spikes FOR Spikes. Yet no game can be successful purely on that "personality type". You need the Timmys and Johnnys to actually keep your game alive. To point at MtG, there is a large number of competitive players who go to RPTQ's (regional qualifiers for the Grand Tournament Brouhaha of the Cycle that runs every 3 months), PTQ's (the national qualifying tournament), and then the ProTour. It would be if 9th Age had a "regional tournament" that gave you entry to a national tournament that allowed you into the ETC. Yet MtG is, in its overwhelming majority, NOT played by people who play at that level, JUST LIKE 9TH AGE. These are going to be more Timmys and Johnnys, though you can have Spikes as well.

      Unless 9th Age begins to cater towards "Non-Spikes" in the near future, it HAS no future. The reason that the new army books won't really "shake up the meta" is that a lot of army books are cornered into having only 1, maybe 2 if they are lucky, viable lists. So if changing your list means you are actively crippling yourself, it doesn't matter that another army book is now brand new. You can't adapt because "adaptation" is death. That's why having NuStuff would be a great idea. We can make it from scratch at the desired power level and then balance it to OUR guidelines. It helps keep army books fresh while the whole FAB process is done, makes it so that the army books that are WAY too old actually have fresh life breathed into them (and can see SUCCESSFUL 9th Age design applied to their own army book), and will show everyone who isn't a Spike that the project DOES care about them.

      Source:
      magic.wizards.com/en/articles/…hnny-and-spike-2002-03-08
      My army has rocks, papers, and scissors. The reason you lost this war is that you thought we were playing checkers at every battle. - Anon. Highborn Elf Prince.
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    • Giladis wrote:

      I see there is a perception that Paths of Magic would be frozen alongside the BRB. No such thing is planned. PoM are to be as malleable as army books.
      So another deterrent to someone producing nice cards to use. Or players making their own. No incentive because we just have to keep changing. great. :killed:
      US Masters Representative for the Midwest
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    • PS. Everyone remember that analysis I posted looking at the number of events and the number of attendees to each one in the USA?

      So I decided to look through Warscore.net to see how the year was going so far. By this time in 2017, there were 13 events in the USA reported. Of those, only three failed to report how many people had attended the event. As of right now, there are only 8 events for 9th Age reported in the USA, four of which failed to report their attendees.

      This was 2017:
      Number of Tournaments for 2016: 22
      Number of Tournaments w/ Greater than 16 attendees: 13
      Average Number of Tournament Attendees 2017: 30 (without Buckeye Battles, it goes down to: 26)


      2018 So far:
      Number of tournaments: 8
      Number of tournaments with greater than 16 attendees: 4 confirmed, 4 unknown.
      Average number of attendees: 38.5

      So far, 2018 is confirming the trend that I found when I actually looked at numbers for 9th Age's lifespan. Less events with less total players across the country, but each event is denser. Every year in the USA, there have been less events, with more players. So there's less people to actually PLAY, and the ones that remain are forced to congregate through farther distance. Eventually, the game simply . . . dies. Either we figure some way out to FIX this that is good for both USA and Europe, or the game dies a slow death in the USA.
      My army has rocks, papers, and scissors. The reason you lost this war is that you thought we were playing checkers at every battle. - Anon. Highborn Elf Prince.
      Highborn Master of the Infantry and aspiring Equitaininan Champion of the Lady.

      Playtester

      DL Army Community Support

    • @Truckeye

      Good to know.

      That puts it at 9 to 14, though (didn't count Buckeye battles in the last count). The average actually then goes down. XD


      We shall see at the end of the year. I plan to do this again in December once the whole year has been reported.
      My army has rocks, papers, and scissors. The reason you lost this war is that you thought we were playing checkers at every battle. - Anon. Highborn Elf Prince.
      Highborn Master of the Infantry and aspiring Equitaininan Champion of the Lady.

      Playtester

      DL Army Community Support

    • To be fair, 10% at any one tournament is easily variance and within a margin of error. I wouldn't worry about a single tournament being down 10%. . . .

      now if EVERY tournament is down 10% or more. . . . then that's a big deal. It's all about trends, IMO. Granted, that may be my medical/anesthesia training. Fondie made DARN sure that we cared more about trends and changes over time than single numbers.
      My army has rocks, papers, and scissors. The reason you lost this war is that you thought we were playing checkers at every battle. - Anon. Highborn Elf Prince.
      Highborn Master of the Infantry and aspiring Equitaininan Champion of the Lady.

      Playtester

      DL Army Community Support

    • Aenarion43 wrote:

      PS. Everyone remember that analysis I posted looking at the number of events and the number of attendees to each one in the USA?

      So I decided to look through Warscore.net to see how the year was going so far. By this time in 2017, there were 13 events in the USA reported. Of those, only three failed to report how many people had attended the event. As of right now, there are only 8 events for 9th Age reported in the USA, four of which failed to report their attendees.

      This was 2017:
      Number of Tournaments for 2016: 22
      Number of Tournaments w/ Greater than 16 attendees: 13
      Average Number of Tournament Attendees 2017: 30 (without Buckeye Battles, it goes down to: 26)


      2018 So far:
      Number of tournaments: 8
      Number of tournaments with greater than 16 attendees: 4 confirmed, 4 unknown.
      Average number of attendees: 38.5

      So far, 2018 is confirming the trend that I found when I actually looked at numbers for 9th Age's lifespan. Less events with less total players across the country, but each event is denser. Every year in the USA, there have been less events, with more players. So there's less people to actually PLAY, and the ones that remain are forced to congregate through farther distance. Eventually, the game simply . . . dies. Either we figure some way out to FIX this that is good for both USA and Europe, or the game dies a slow death in the USA.
      QFT; we're having Ohio guys play against Texans, in Kansas. Just to give some perspective for our European friends, that's a 15 and 10 hour drive respectively. But other than the one I'm hosting, it's the closest GT to my home (in before a Canadian tells me how good I've got it).
      "An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you *stand, Men of the West!*"

      -Aragorn, son of Arathorn
    • Truckeye wrote:

      Giladis wrote:

      I see there is a perception that Paths of Magic would be frozen alongside the BRB. No such thing is planned. PoM are to be as malleable as army books.
      So another deterrent to someone producing nice cards to use. Or players making their own. No incentive because we just have to keep changing. great. :killed:
      Perception is the paths are part of the BRB. While being a separate document is seen as a convenience, they are universal to the core rules and applied like core rules across the various AB. I think this will be a further nail in the lack of trust coffin for a number of clubs. It will be seen as disingenuous.
      US Masters Representative for the Midwest
      Beast Herds Army Support (retired)

      buckeyebattles.com